------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Pot Use Doesn't Stop Arrests (The Tacoma News Tribune version of yesterday's news about the bust of a blind AIDS patient in Tacoma for three plants, despite Washington state's new voter-approved medical-marijuana law.) Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 12:32:33 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WA: MMJ: Medical Pot Use Doesn't Stop Arrests Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Pubdate: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 Source: Tacoma News Tribune (WA) Copyright: 1999 The News Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.tribnet.com/ Author: Cheryl Reid MEDICAL POT USE DOESN'T STOP ARRESTS Mother, Aids-Afflicted Son Jailed After Police Find Plants Despite a new state law that allows some medical use of marijuana, a 61-year-old Tacoma woman and her blind son who has AIDS were arrested this week after Tacoma police found three marijuana plants in their home. But it was unresolved past brushes with the law that kept the man in jail until New Year's Eve, his mother acknowledged Friday. The current pot-growing charges against mother and son have been dropped pending further investigation. The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington is investigating whether the arrests thwarted the intent of a recently passed initiative that lets patients with certain illnesses grow and keep a 60-day supply of marijuana. "At this point, we don't know what end is up. We are still wanting to know the details," said Gerard Sheehan, ACLU legislative director. "But we're really interested in this, and we are very concerned if the facts turn up to be as we have been told." The trouble started Tuesday afternoon as Tracie Morgan picked up her son, Kelly Grubbs, 35, from an appointment with a counselor. Their outgoing telephone service had been disconnected and while they were gone, the telephone company reconnected it. That triggered an alarm on Grubbs' lifeline alarm system. Operators couldn't reach Grubbs or a neighbor, so police were dispatched to check on him. Among the usual furnishings of a seriously ill man - a portable toilet chair, walker, scooter and Braille reading machine - the officers found a mature marijuana plant and two smaller plants. Morgan said she tried to explain her son's medical situation to the officers, including a sergeant at the scene, but they would have none of it. "One phone call could have solved this whole thing," Dr. Rob Killian, a leading proponent of the initiative, complained Friday. "No one called me." Instead, mother and son were booked into the Pierce County Jail. Morgan was able to come up with the $1,000 needed to get a bail bondsman to post her bail. She was out by midnight. But Grubbs had some unresolved legal problems: A 1987 conviction for possession of less than a gram of marijuana and a 1991 trespassing charge that had turned into a burglary conviction, Morgan said. He was in violation of his terms of release and therefore wasn't eligible for bail, Morgan said. Killian said Grubbs' arrest is the kind of thing voters wanted to abolish when they passed the medical marijuana initiative. "This was not a borderline case," Killian said. "This man has AIDS. ... I don't know about his past; I know about him the past few months." Police contend they acted properly because Grubbs and Morgan had no medical documents showing they were authorized to grow marijuana for personal medical use. Such documents would usually include medical records proving the existence of terminal or debilitating disease and a document showing a physician had discussed the potential medical benefits with the patient. But Killian said doctors are advised to put that documentation in their patients' files, not distribute it to patients. The fear is that doctors could be prosecuted for prescribing marijuana, which is illegal to possess or grow under federal law. Killian said he had talked to Grubbs about the medical benefits of marijuana in November, and a note documenting that discussion is in Grubbs' medical file. Grubbs was released Thursday, based on his terminal illness. "He spent two days in jail getting his head screwed up and his body, too," Morgan said, complaining that jail food wasn't plentiful or nutritious enough for an AIDS patient. Grubbs was diagnosed with advanced AIDS in 1996, she said. Since then, he has had a stroke, lost his eyesight and is semi-paralyzed on one side of his body. But medications have caused a recent rebound, she said, and marijuana is playing a role in improving Grubbs' eyesight. Marijuana proponents say the drug has significant medical benefits, including reduction of nausea for cancer patients going through chemotherapy. There is still no legal way to obtain marijuana, despite the new law, which took effect Dec. 3. While it provides a legal defense to some seriously ill people and their caregivers if they are charged with illegal possession of marijuana, it doesn't prohibit police from investigating patients' use in the first place. Morgan acknowledged she and her son used marijuana long before the initiative passed. Morgan said she was charged with manufacture and sale of marijuana a few years ago, but that she mostly provided it to sick people. Morgan said she has used pot for more than half of her 61 years. Killian said marijuana helps many AIDS patients maintain their appetites to keep them from wasting away. Although Morgan says she is angry about the treatment of her son, she sees it and his illness as part of a larger plan. "Sometimes God just tests you real hard, you know."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Arrests Test Issue Of Medicinal Pot (An Associated Press version in the Everett, Washington, Herald) Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 19:17:21 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WA: MMJ: Arrests Test Issue Of Medicinal Pot Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Source: Herald, The (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Copyright: 1999 The Daily Herald Co. Pubdate: 2 Jan 1999 Author: Associated Press ARRESTS TEST ISSUE OF MEDICINAL POT AIDS patient, mom busted despite law. TACOMA - A 61-year-old woman and her blind son who has AIDS were arrested earlier this week after Tacoma police found three marijuana plants in their home. The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington is investigating whether the arrests thwarted the intent of a recently passed initiative that lets patients with certain illnesses grow and keep a 60-day supply of marijuana. "At this point, we don't know what end is up. We are still wanting to know the details," said Gerard Sheehan, ACLU legislative director. "But we're real interested in this, and we are very concerned if the facts turn up to be as we have been told." Police contend they acted properly because Kelly Grubbs, 35, and Tracie Morgan had no medical documents showing they were exempt under the law, which also provides protection for caregivers. Morgan is Grubbs' designated caregiver. In addition, it requires people claiming the right to possess small amounts of marijuana have documented evidence they are exempt from prosecution. That would usually include medical records proving the existance of terminal or debilitating disease and a document showing that a physician had discussed potential medical benefits with the patient. Dr. Rob Killian, Grubbs' personal physician, acknowledged Thursday that although he had talked to Grubbs about the medical benefits of marijuana in November, he never gave the Tacoma man any document confirming the discussion. But, Killian said, it should have been obvious to police that Grubbs' use of the controlled substance was covered by the initiative. "This is not a borderline case," he said. "This was a clearcut, obvious mistake." Grubbs spent Wednesday night in jail and was released Thursday. "He spent two days in jail getting his head screwed up and his body, too," Morgan said. "I'm really worried about him. I'm very upset." Her son was diagnosed with an advanced stage of AIDS in 1996, she said. Since then, he has had a stroke, lost his eyesight and is semiparalyzed on one side of his. body. But medications have caused a recent rebound, she said, and marijuana is playing a role in improving Grubbs' eyesight. Federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, meaning it is dangerous and has no medical benefit. Drugs such as cocaine and morphine are Schedule II drugs, which can be prescribed legally but are controlled because of the potential for abuse. Marijuana proponents say the drug has significant medical benefits, including reduction of nausea for cancer patients going through chemotherapy. There is still no legal way to obtain marijuana, despite the new law, which took effect Dec. 3. While it provides a legal defense to some seriously ill people and their caregivers if they are charged with illegal possession of marijuana, it doesn't prohibit police from investigating patients' use in the first place. Morgan was bailed out of jail quickly but Grubbs remained because of unresolved charges involving a 1987 case of possesion of less than a gram of marjuana and a 1991 trespassing case.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Officer Held In Fatal DUI Collision (The Seattle Times says the name of the cop in Bellevue, Washington, was withheld pending the filing of charges. He was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide after his car crossed the median and collided with an oncoming vehicle at 3:15 a.m. New Year's Day. At midnight, tough new state laws went into effect that lowered the legal blood-alcohol limit to 0.08 percent and increased penalties for drunken drivers.) Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 19:10:01 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WA: Police Officer Held In Fatal DUI Collision Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Pubdate: 2 Jan 1999 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company Author: Jack Broom and Florangela Davila, Diedtra Henderson also contributed to this report. POLICE OFFICER HELD IN FATAL DUI COLLISION Two off-duty law-enforcement officers were involved in one of the first deadly crashes of the year involving drunken driving just three hours after stricter DUI laws went into effect. A 29-year-old Bellevue police officer was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide after his car cross the median and collided with an oncoming sport-utility vehicle on Coal Creek Parkway Southeast in Bellevue at 3:15 a.m. New Year's Day. Killed at the scene was Brian H. Grooms, 26, of Columbus, Ohio, a passenger in the back seat of the sedan driven by the officer. Sitting in the front passenger seat of the sedan was Jeremy Reid, a 26-year-old off-duty state trooper from Federal Way. Reid suffered head and chest injuries and was listed in serious condition last night in the intensive-care unit at Harborview Medical Center. The accident occurred on the one night of the year when the law-enforcement community is particularly vigilant about cracking down on drunken drivers. The stroke of midnight also triggered tough new laws that lowered the legal blood-alcohol limit to 0.08 percent and increased penalties for violators. Bellevue police spokesman Mike Johnson said it's discouraging that a police officer would be suspected of driving drunk because police agencies are campaigning for a new awareness of DUI laws and penalties. "It certainly won't make us look very good," Johnson said. "However, this officer was off duty. . . . He makes his own decisions and in this case it seems pretty obvious he didn't make good decisions." Bellevue police said initial tests showed that both drivers in the collision had illegally high levels of alcohol in their blood. Johnson did not specify the Bellevue officer's alcohol level except to say, "He had been drinking . . . preliminary indications are he was over the legal limit." The police officer, whose name was withheld by investigators pending the filing of charges, was in satisfactory condition yesterday at Harborview Medical Center with injuries to his chest and heart. He has been placed under arrest on suspicion of vehicular homicide and could face charges early next week, according to a statement from the Bellevue Police Department. He has been a Bellevue police officer since March 1996. The second driver, a Bellevue man, 45, also was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. He was released but may be charged pending further investigation, police said. Grooms, the man who was killed, was on vacation visiting a childhood friend from Ohio, said Samuel Grooms, his cousin. He grew up in Washington Court House, Ohio, a farming town about 40 miles southwest of Columbus. Grooms, known as "Red" because of his red hair, was engaged to be married. Reid is originally from the Columbus, Ohio, area and had served some time in the Army, said State Patrol spokesman Capt. Eric Robertson. He had moved to Washington state for the trooper job that he has held for 2 1/2 years. He is assigned to the Tacoma office, where he patrols Interstate 5. At Harborview, state troopers, Robertson and Assistant Chief Robert Leichner arrived to show their support for Reid. At a news conference last night, Robertson said he did not know if all three men knew each other, or what they had been doing before the accident. He declined to comment on the irony of having off-duty law-enforcement officers involved in a major drunken-driving accident on New Year's Day. "Our No. 1 concern right now is Jeremy's well-being," he said. The Bellevue Police Department is the lead investigative agency, but the State Patrol is also participating. Robertson expressed confidence that Bellevue police could objectively investigate an accident involving one of its employees. Witnesses told police that the Dodge Stratus driven by the Bellevue officer was traveling south at a high speed on the four-lane road and spun out of control, crossing into oncoming traffic, where it collided with a Ford Expedition. Evidence at the scene, including skid marks and the position of wreckage, corroborates that account, said Johnson, the police spokesman. The driver of the Expedition was not injured, but his 53-year-old wife was reported in stable condition last night at Overlake Hospital with leg and neck injuries. A back-seat passenger, a 78-year-old man from Newport, Pend Oreille County, was not injured, police said. Law-enforcement and government officials statewide had just kicked off an anti-drunken-driving campaign to coincide with the start of new laws that lower the legal blood-alcohol limit to 0.08 percent and increase penalties for violators. The Bellevue officer will remain in custody at least until he is released from Harborview, police said. In addition to the possibility of felony charges, the officer has been suspended with pay pending "an administrative review that's done to determine the future status of his employment," Johnson said. In a prepared statement, the department expressed its condolences: "We deeply regret this incident and the involvement of one of our officers who is suspected of driving his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol which has resulted in the loss of life. We are committed to conducting this investigation in a fair and impartial manner to ensure that all parties are treated consistently with the ethical standards of this department." John Moffat, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, which is coordinating the statewide anti-DUI campaign, stopped by the accident scene, about a half-mile from his home. "Its very sad to see this thing with anybody . . . and very, very sad that a police officer is involved," said Moffat, who was a Seattle police officer for 25 years. "What it gets down to is that everybody thinks the drunk driver is somebody else," Moffat said. "The challenge is to get people to recognize that this is something that can happen to you." As a 29-year-old male, the police officer in the wreck is "right in the classic age group of what we see with drunk drivers," Moffat said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drinker Ban Delights Liquor Merchants, Irks ACLU (CNN says a handful of communities in Northern California are prohibiting people labeled as habitual drunks from buying alcohol in liquor stores. Some of the affected drinkers and the American Civil Liberties Union are questioning the legality of the anti-drinking measures, which include public circulation of photos of "serial drinkers." The term "habitual drunkard" was ruled unconstitutional in 1960.) Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 12:30:49 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Drinker Ban Delights Liquor Merchants, Irks ACLU Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Source: CNN (US) Website: http://www.cnn.com/ Copyright: 1999 Cable News Network, Inc. A Time Warner Company Pubdate: 2 Jan 1999 Author: Rusty Dornin DRINKER BAN DELIGHTS LIQUOR MERCHANTS, IRKS ACLU SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- A handful of communities in Northern California are prohibiting some labeled as habitual drunks from buying alcohol in liquor stores. Some of the affected drinkers and the American Civil Liberties Union have questioned the legality of the anti-drinking measures, which include the public circulation of photos of serial drinkers. In San Pablo, pictures of problem drinkers were given to liquor merchants, who could refuse to sell them alcohol. Some merchants were relieved. "Sometimes they hang in certain areas.... No one is going into a store where a bunch of people are standing by," said Elaine Adobe. Some who made the boozing blacklist, however, had a different take. "I'm not running around here drunk," said Mike Fitzgerald, who opposes the ban. "It's the principle of the thing, telling me I cannot buy something." Police say they are enforcing a state law that prohibits the sale of alcohol to "habitual drunkards." Civil rights attorneys counter that the term is an outdated one that was ruled unconstitutional in 1960. "It's poor public policy, and it's unconstitutional, to finger particular individuals as common and habitual drunkards and distribute their names and photos," said civil rights attorney Julia Greenefield. Some cities concerned about legal controversy have backed off from similar actions. San Francisco police handed out photos to merchants in the city's North Beach two months ago. Now they say the program has been discontinued. But Paul Safavi, who owns a liquor store in Palo Alto, hopes it will continue. "With this program, we can filter people we don't want to do business with, and now we have some support," said Safavi, who owns Century Liquor. Critics say the program unfairly targets the poor and homeless. Police in Menlo Park say it takes five police contacts -- not arrests -- related to alcohol before someone is placed on the list. "There are a number of people on our list that are homeless, but the reality of the matter is that many of them are on our list because they have an alcohol problem," said Dominick Peloso of the Menlo Park police. "We would hope this would be the first stop for them getting off the streets."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Keep Cash Intended For Education series (The first part of a five-part article in the Kansas City Star says police in Missouri routinely conspire with federal agents to circumvent if not violate state law by diverting millions of dollars of forfeited cash and other assets away from state schoolchildren. Under Missouri law, forfeited assets are supposed to go to public school districts, but some police departments keep the money for their own use by turning it over to a federal agency, which is not subject to state laws. The agency keeps a cut and returns the rest of the money to state or local police.) Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 18:35:10 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MO: Part 1 of 5 - Police Keep Cash Intended For Education Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Laura Green, Kendra Wright and Keven Zeese Pubdate: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 Source: Kansas City Star Copyright: 1999 The Kansas City Star Section: Special Report Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.kcstar.com/ Author: Karen Dillon, The Kansas City Star firstname.lastname@example.org Note: This 5 part special report is being posted with the same subject line, even though each part has its own title. The Star lists as Web Resources on its site: National Drug Strategy Network: http://www.ndsn.org/ Forfeiture Endangers American Rights: http://www.fear.org/ POLICE KEEP CASH INTENDED FOR EDUCATION Police and federal agencies have diverted millions of dollars from Missouri schoolchildren. Under state law, money seized in drug cases is supposed to go to public school districts, but some police departments have found a simple way to keep the money for their own use. It works like this: When police discover a cache of drug money, they turn it over to a federal agency, which is not subject to state laws. The agency keeps a cut and returns the rest of the money to police. Police say some of that windfall is used to fight the war on drugs. But such transfers to federal agencies hurt taxpayers, who must pay more for schools. And they clearly violate state law. "The full intent (of the law) was to give that money to the schools, or most of it. They are not getting it," said state Rep. Jim Kreider, a Nixa Democrat and an early backer of the state law. "If the public knew this in a large scale, they would not like it." Federal officials and some local police say that the seizures of money are proper and that they've done nothing wrong. Other law enforcement officials say they believe the law is not clear about every situation that police confront. "We are trying to determine who is right and who is wrong," said Capt. James Keathley of the Missouri Highway Patrol, which often turns over money to federal agents. Still other departments won't talk at all about the way they handle federal forfeitures, which is the legal term for the process of taking money. For example, Kansas City police said state law did not require them to answer questions from the media. But a federal appellate judge, in a written opinion filed in 1998, said it was clear that the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the Missouri Highway Patrol had "successfully conspired" in one case to keep forfeited money. That case led Judge James B. Loken of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in his opinion to question whether federal agencies were "using their extensive forfeiture powers to frustrate the fiscal policy of States such as Missouri." The Law's Intent The state's fiscal policy was designed to keep forfeiture money out of the hands of police to prevent a conflict of interest: When police benefit directly from the money they seize, they might be tempted to conduct illegal searches to seize assets. In fact, that's exactly what has happened across the country, where most states, including Kansas, generally allow police to keep drug money they seize. Illegal searches and other abuses by police departments have been well-documented in recent years in such places as California, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. "I am not so concerned where the money goes as I am concerned where the money doesn't go," said Sen. Francis Flotron, a Chesterfield Republican who helped write Missouri's forfeiture law. "I don't want to create a situation where police have an incentive to stop people for the benefit of getting stuff for their own departmental use." If the money goes to schools, it not only removes a temptation from police but also is put to good use, relieving a burden from school taxpayers, lawmakers say. So they set up a process. Police who seize money must report it to the county prosecutor, who along with a judge must decide whether the money should be forfeited. The forfeited money is sent to schools or, in special cases, transferred to a federal agency. But police have found a way to defeat lawmakers' wishes. Their efforts to keep drug money have been no secret -- legislators tried to fight them off with tougher laws in 1993 -- yet the police arrangement with federal agencies has been almost invisible to the public. That's no accident. Police and federal agencies go to great lengths not to advertise their arrangement. In fact, all those contacted by The Kansas City Star refused to provide public records. As a result, it's impossible to track how much money law enforcement has diverted from schools. But The Star was able to glimpse the windfall for law enforcement by finding several police reports and court cases that show how police and federal agencies work together. In 14 cases in the Kansas City area in recent years, police and the Highway Patrol seized more than $1.4 million and sent it to federal agencies. In return, the federal agencies sent most of the money back to police and the Highway Patrol, usually keeping about 20 percent of it for processing costs. In each case, legal experts say, a state judge should have decided where the money would go -- and that's usually to schools. In one typical instance, Kansas City police stopped two men in 1996 because their car did not have a front license plate. Officers searched the car with a drug-sniffing dog and found a shoe box with $22,765 in the front seat, according to police reports. Neither man was charged with a crime, and although they protested the seizure, they gave up a challenge to it because of legal costs. Police turned the money over to the DEA, which later returned more than $18,000 to the department. Those 14 cases indicate a pattern of conduct, one expert said. "Reasonable inferences could be drawn that this is an attempt to circumvent the state forfeiture laws to benefit the state agency," said Jimmy Gurule, a law professor at Notre Dame University and co-author of a legal text on forfeitures. A few figures suggest how broad the forfeiture diversion by law enforcement may be. For example, the Missouri Highway Patrol seized $5.4 million from just four vehicles in the last two years in southwest Missouri, said a patrol official in the Springfield office. In each of those cases the patrol called the DEA and turned over the money, he said. Of all its forfeiture cases in the last three years, the Missouri Highway Patrol sent more than half to federal agencies, according to patrol reports. Since the 1993 laws were passed, federal agencies have sent more than $32 million back to Missouri law enforcement agencies, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Some of that money may have come from legitimate joint investigations, but it's impossible to know how much, because neither federal nor local agencies will release seizure reports. At least one sheriff's official from the other side of the state spoke frankly about the way his department treats drug money. "We don't deal in state forfeitures at all, because law enforcement doesn't derive any revenues from that," said Capt. Tom Neer of the St. Charles County Sheriff's Department, which sends almost no money to the county school fund. "You won't find too many local law enforcement agencies participating in state seizures at all." It's no wonder then that schools aren't receiving much forfeiture money. In the last three school years, districts in five area counties received only $277,000 -- and that was all in Jackson and Lafayette counties. Schools got nothing in Platte, Clay and Cass counties, officials said. "It's pretty shocking,"' said Lance Loewenstein, a Kansas City school board member. "The folks who are supposed to protect us are willing to steal from children in order to build their budgets." The Police Rationale Police offer three basic defenses for not complying with Missouri law, which flatly prohibits them from just giving seized money to a federal agency: It's a joint operation. If local and federal agencies are investigating the case together, they say, the federal agency can take the money. The crucial question is when federal agents become involved. In the 14 Kansas City-area cases found by The Star, police didn't call in federal agents until they had already found the money. Take the case of Fontaine Jones, who was murdered in March 1997. With the help of a drug-sniffing dog, Kansas City police at the crime scene found $14,425 hidden in a storage compartment in his truck's engine. Police seized the cash and later gave it to the DEA, according to court records. In a settlement with Jones' widow in federal court, the law enforcement agencies kept the money and the truck, which was valued at $16,000. "The bottom line is, if the federal government is not involved before the seizure, the seizure must come through state court," said Claire McCaskill, Jackson County prosecutor. "If that is not occurring, the law is not being followed." Even when police officers are working with a federal agency, they must send any money they find through state courts, the law says. State law is insufficient, police say. Officers can seize drug money only if they believe a crime has been committed or if the money is unclaimed. But some cases don't meet either requirement, said David Hansen, attorney for the Highway Patrol. Troopers sometimes stop a car for a traffic violation, search it and find a bundle of cash that a patrol dog identifies as drug money. The driver says he doesn't know where the money came from and doesn't want it, but that doesn't give troopers authority to seize it if no crime was committed, Hansen said. "I don't think anybody really would say that that situation under (Missouri law) was really contemplated," Hansen said. In such cases, the trooper has no options but to give the money to a federal agent or let the driver leave with it, he said. But state law absolutely prohibits police from just turning money over to a federal agency, said Sen. Wayne Goode, a St. Louis Democrat who helped craft the 1993 laws. "They're supposed to go to the (state) court in all of these cases," Goode said. Highway Patrol officials said they were now seeking an opinion from Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon. Taking money isn't the same as seizing it, police say. And because Missouri law covers only money that is seized, police say, they can give money to federal agencies if they hadn't really "seized" it. The question of when a seizure is a seizure came up after Dennis Cole was stopped in 1994 by the Highway Patrol for speeding on Interstate 70 near Odessa. In a search of the car, a trooper found a concealed compartment. The trooper arrested Cole and called a Highway Patrol drug officer, who arrived at the scene before calling a DEA agent. The compartment was opened, and officers found more than $844,000. The DEA agent took possession of the money. The DEA returned $591,164 to the Highway Patrol and sent $126,678 to a regional task force, keeping the rest. Cole, who was never charged, appealed the forfeiture. In a ruling last year, Loken, the judge, called it "pure fallacy" that the DEA was part of the case. "By summoning a DEA agent and then pretending DEA made the seizure, the DEA and Missouri Highway Patrol officers successfully conspired to violate the Missouri Constitution,... the Missouri Revised Codes, and a Missouri Supreme Court decision," Loken wrote in his concurring opinion. Although DEA officials provided The Star with their forfeiture policies, they refused to answer questions. Stephen L. Hill, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, protests Loken's opinion. "We disagree with (Judge Loken's) observations both on when the seizure took place and that there was some kind of effort to circumvent state law," Hill said. A seizure doesn't occur just because police find the money, said Frances Reddis, an assistant U.S. attorney. "My analogy is, when does an arrest occur?" Reddis said. "Police officers often stop people, question them and it is not considered an arrest until they can't leave." Gurule, the Notre Dame legal expert on forfeitures, strongly disagreed. A seizure occurs when someone is stopped by police, he said. "To suggest that the seizure of the vehicle and its contents, the money, occurred sometime later when the DEA arrived at the scene is ludicrous," Gurule said. Black's Law Dictionary defines a seizure as occurring "not only when an officer arrests an individual, but whenever he restrains the individual's freedom to walk away." Despite Loken's opinion, Cole never got his money back -- he filed his appeal of the forfeiture too late. Reform In The Works Public officials say they will press for reform on almost every front: State Law -- Kreider and other legislators say they will push for new measures when the General Assembly's 1999 session begins this week. Some lawmakers would prohibit any drug money at all going to federal agencies. Others suggest giving police an incentive to work with the state by letting them keep 50 percent of forfeitures. Penalties -- Sen. Ronnie DePasco, a Kansas City Democrat who was just elected floor majority leader, said it might be necessary to enact penalties for law enforcement agencies that do not follow the law. "Since there is no penalty clause, they can do whatever they want to do," said DePasco, who also is a member of the Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. "We'll probably have to put a penalty clause in there to put some teeth in the law." State Probe -- Some want the attorney general to investigate. Nixon, however, has declined to comment on the issue. His office confirmed that it had talked to the patrol, which asked for an opinion, but would not elaborate because it regarded the patrol as a client. State Audit -- Loewenstein, the Kansas City school board member, called for an accounting by the state auditor's office. "Those entities are going to have to give back... whatever they took if they indeed did take it," he said. "This is going to be, I'm sure, not a short affair." McCaskill, who takes office as Missouri's new state auditor this month, said she would review forfeitures. She said she was disappointed by the pattern of forfeitures The Star had found. Police guidelines -- Kansas City Police Board Commissioner Joe Mulvihill said police needed to set up guidelines if they were not following state law. Mulvihill said police hadn't told him about the forfeiture issue, even after The Star had submitted written questions to the department. "Since the Kansas City Police Department is the largest law enforcement agency in the area, we have to be perceived by the public as complying with the law," he said. Federal Investigation -- Loken, in his opinion last year, called on Congress and the Department of Justice to investigate whether federal agencies were abusing state forfeiture laws.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Case File - Police Keep Cash Intended For Education series (The second part of the five-part article in the Kansas City Star about police in Missouri circumventing state law by diverting forfeited cash and other assets away from state schools. Although law enforcement agencies refused to provide records showing how much money they were diverting from Missouri schools, the Kansas City Star hints at the value of the plunder by summarizing a few of the 14 recent cases it found in western Missouri.) Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 18:35:49 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MO: Part 2 of 5 - Police Keep Cash Intended For Education Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Laura Green, Kendra Wright and Keven Zeese Pubdate: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 Source: Kansas City Star Copyright: 1999 The Kansas City Star Section: Special Report Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.kcstar.com/ Author: Karen Dillon, The Kansas City Star THE CASE FILE Although law enforcement agencies refused to provide records that would show how much money they were diverting from Missouri schools, The Kansas City Star found 14 such cases in western Missouri. Some of those cases were described in court documents, sometimes generated when a defendant tried to regain money police had seized and turned over to federal agencies. Most of the other cases came from police reports about people whose names appeared on a Kansas City police list of 120 money seizures. A sampling of the cases: In January 1997, two Minnesota men were driving on Interstate 35 in North Kansas City when a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper pulled them over for speeding. When the men refused to let the trooper search their car, he called for a drug-sniffing dog, first from North Kansas City, which did not have a dog, and then from Kansas City police, whose dog was unavailable. The Clay County Sheriff's Department provided a dog, which indicated the possible presence of drugs toward the rear of the car. Finally, at least an hour after the stop, officers opened the trunk and found $473,790. When both men said the money did not belong to them, a federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent was called, according to a Highway Patrol report. The DEA took the money, later returning more than $274,000 to the Highway Patrol and more than $94,000 to Clay County. North Kansas City raised donations to buy a drug dog so it wouldn't be unprepared the next time such a windfall occurred. Jason Higgs' pregnant girlfriend left the house after a fight in 1994 and called Kansas City police. She told them Higgs kept drugs and a gun in the house. Police obtained a search warrant for the house, where they saw several guns, cash, "expensive-looking furniture," electronic equipment and a cornucopia of other items, including cocaine. Police obtained a second search warrant to recover all of it. Then they called the DEA. "Given the totality of the above circumstances I contacted the DEA to see if they would be interested in seizing the items inside the house," Detective Steve Christensen wrote in a report. A DEA agent took the $3,925 in cash, a BMW and all the electronic equipment, according to police records. Later the DEA returned more than $10,000 to police. Higgs pleaded guilty to drug charges in federal court. Kansas City police arrested David Humphrey in 1992 and seized guns, drugs and $21,576 in cash. The drug charges were dropped, and Humphrey was convicted on a weapons violation. Police held onto the money in a hidden account. Soon after Humphrey was released from prison in 1996, he was charged in the wounding of two Kansas City police officers and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Police asked the DEA to adopt Humphrey's $21,576 from the seizure four years before, according to federal court records. Humphrey fought the move in federal court, but a judge approved a settlement that gave $16,182 to the DEA, which returned $12,763 of it to police. Humphrey kept the rest. A Lafayette County sheriff's deputy stopped Bruce A. Wilson in 1993 on suspicion of drunken driving. The deputy spotted white powder in a vial in Wilson's shoe and arrested him. The car was towed to the Odessa Police Department, where a police officer found $13,328. Two months later a cashier's check was sent to the DEA. The DEA didn't complete the process to keep the money, however, until three years later, in 1996, according to court records. The records do not tell how much the DEA returned to police. Wilson was convicted the same year in federal court of drug trafficking. In 1996, Kansas City police searched the home of a restaurant owner after a confidential informant reported that the owner was selling marijuana, according to court and police records. Police seized a couple of plastic bags containing marijuana, $23,000 in cash and three cars. A few months later, police arrested the owner at his restaurant and charged him with two counts of distributing a controlled substance. During the arrest at the restaurant, a friend was searched and police found more than $3,000 on him, according to police records and an attorney in the case. That money also was seized. Police sent all the money to the DEA, which returned $21,000. The state appellate court recently overturned the restaurant owner's conviction, ruling that the search of his home was illegal. But the cash and cars have not been returned to him.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Schools Can Lose, Even If The Law Is Followed - Police Keep Cash Intended For Education series (The third part of the five-part article in the Kansas City Star about police in Missouri circumventing state law by diverting forfeited cash and other assets away from state schools. Missouri law requires police departments to send drug money they seize through state courts. But even when they do, police have used the court system to get the money back. In seven cases the Kansas City Star found in Jackson and Pettis counties, police turned a total of $263,000 in drug money over to county prosecutors. In each case, the prosecutor apparently violated state law by asking a judge to send the money to a federal agency, which then sent most of it back to the local police.) Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 18:37:07 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MO: Part 3 of 5 - Police Keep Cash Intended For Education Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Laura Green, Kendra Wright and Keven Zeese Pubdate: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 Source: Kansas City Star (KS) Copyright: 1999 The Kansas City Star Section: Special Report Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.kcstar.com/ Author: Karen Dillon, The Kansas City Star SCHOOLS CAN LOSE, EVEN IF THE LAW IS FOLLOWED Missouri law requires police departments to send drug money they seize through state courts -- and sometimes police do it. But even when they do, police have used the court system to get the money back. Although that may not be a clear violation of state law, it violates the intent of sending drug money to state schools, legal experts say. "They are, in fact, circumventing something that is as important if not more important than the war on drugs, and that is the education of our youth," said Larry Schaffer, a defense attorney who also has worked as a prosecutor. The law requires police to report seized money to the county prosecutor, who may choose to file a petition to forfeit the money. The law then allows a judge to transfer forfeitures to a federal agency, rather than the schools -- if it appears the case would be better pursued under federal law. In seven cases The Kansas City Star found in Jackson and Pettis counties, police turned a total of $263,000 in drug money over to county prosecutors. In each case, the prosecutor asked a judge to send the money to a federal agency, which then sent most of it back to police. None of the documents in the six Jackson County cases outlined why a federal agency would be better able to handle the case. Dana Ford's case is typical. In 1996, Kansas City police, through a confidential informant, made three drug buys, which led detectives to a house in the 3300 block of Norton Avenue. Police searched the house, seizing more than $11,000 worth of cash and other property. Ford was charged by the Jackson County prosecutor's office and convicted in Circuit Court of trafficking in drugs. But the money took a separate route. Twenty-four days after police searched the house, Kansas City Detective Steve Christensen contacted assistant prosecutor Melissa Rodriguez. Christensen told her that the federal Drug Enforcement Administration had opened an investigation of Ford and that police wanted to transfer the forfeiture to the DEA, according to court records. (The request did not comply with state law, which requires police to report a seizure to prosecutors within four days.) Rodriguez filed the request with the state court. Schaffer, Ford's attorney, pointed out in a brief that the prosecutor had failed to provide any evidence that the case would be better prosecuted under federal law. There also was no evidence of a DEA investigation, he wrote. To allow the transfer "simply because the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department... may receive a 'kick-back' from the Federal Government," the brief said, "circumvents the Missouri Constitution." But Judge Ronald R. Holliger of the Jackson County Circuit Court signed an order to transfer most of the forfeiture to the DEA after Ford and the prosecutor had reached a settlement. Kansas City police received $7,449. The DEA kept $4,000. Holliger said it was difficult for him to remember the case, but after rereading Rodriguez's motion, he thinks he had considered the statement that the DEA was investigating Ford. He said he did not know that Ford was being tried in state court, not federal court. Rodriguez, who now works for the Jackson County counselor's office, said she would not comment on the case. Christensen did not return phone calls. Prosecutor Claire McCaskill said the transfer shouldn't have happened. "If I had been the judge, I would have ruled against my office on that transfer," she said. She added, though, that she didn't have time to monitor each of the hundreds of cases that come through her office each year. McCaskill did get involved in one strange case. In 1995 a Kansas City police officer spotted Daniel Gonzales burying $87,300 in the woods along Cliff Drive. After fighting with police, Gonzales was charged with misdemeanor assault. The next day, in a newspaper article about the incident, police said they had given the money to the FBI because they thought it was linked to drugs. When McCaskill saw the story, she immediately called police to tell them they could not just give the money to the FBI. "I asked them, 'What in the world are the feds doing with that money?' " McCaskill recalled. So police simply sent the case through McCaskill's office, which asked a judge to transfer the money to the FBI. Again, the judge did. McCaskill said she did not supervise the case, but she speculated that it might have involved interstate trafficking of drugs. A year later, Kansas City police got $52,272 back from the FBI, which kept $35,028.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Federal Agencies, Police Keep Public Records Out Of Reach - Police Keep Cash Intended For Education series (The fourth part of a five-part series in the Kansas City Star about police in Missouri circumventing state law by diverting forfeited assets away from state schools. Law enforcement officials in Missouri have constructed a neat Catch-22 to keep people from finding out how much forfeited drug money they are keeping.) Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 18:38:31 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MO: Part 4 of 5 - Police Keep Cash Intended For Education Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Laura Green, Kendra Wright and Keven Zeese Pubdate: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 Source: Kansas City Star Copyright: 1999 The Kansas City Star Section: Special Report Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.kcstar.com/ Author: Karen Dillon, The Kansas City Star FEDERAL AGENCIES, POLICE KEEP PUBLIC RECORDS OUT OF REACH How can you find out how much drug money law enforcement is keeping instead of sending to Missouri schools? By looking at public records called DAG-71 reports. There's only one problem: You can't. Law enforcement has constructed a neat Catch-22 to keep DAG-71s closed. It works this way: The Kansas City Police Department, the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Platte County Sheriff's Department all refuse to release the reports. They say the reports, which they must fill out to ask the Drug Enforcement Administration to handle the drug money, belong to the federal agency. So contact the DEA, they say. But no, DEA officials say. They can't legally release the reports either, because the files belong to the state and local law enforcement agencies. Just check the back of the DAG-71, the DEA says. Who has to sign the application? The attorney for the local agency and a ranking officer. Sandy Davidson, a First Amendment expert and lawyer who teaches at the University of Missouri-Columbia, said state law required Missouri governmental bodies to provide public records they retain. "After all, we are talking about the public's business," Davidson said. "In this case we are talking about funding for our schools." Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon declined to comment on the records.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lawmakers Again Hope To Tighten Up Law On Forfeitures - Police Keep Cash Intended For Education series (The final part of the five-part series in the Kansas City Star about police in Missouri circumventing state law by diverting forfeited assets away from state schools. Missouri lawmakers are about to take another crack at making police send money they seize in drug crimes to schools. So far, they've had little success. One proposed law would split forfeited drug money 50-50 between local police and schools. However, if local law enforcement can get 80 percent of the money by sending it through a federal agency, would they settle for 50 percent? No, said Capt. Tom Neer of the St. Charles County Sheriff's Department.) Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 18:39:29 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MO: Part 5 of 5 - Police Keep Cash Intended For Education Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Laura Green, Kendra Wright and Keven Zeese Pubdate: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 Source: Kansas City Star Copyright: 1999 The Kansas City Star Section: Special Report Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.kcstar.com/ Author: Karen Dillon, The Kansas City Star email@example.com Note: This 5 part special report is being posted with the same subject line, even though each part has its own title. The Star lists as Web Resources on its site: National Drug Strategy Network: http://www.ndsn.org/ Forfeiture Endangers American Rights: http://www.fear.org/ LAWMAKERS AGAIN HOPE TO TIGHTEN UP LAW ON FORFEITURES Some Missouri lawmakers are about to take another crack at making police send money they seize in drug crimes to schools. So far, they've had little success. In 1990 the Missouri Supreme Court affirmed a constitutional mandate requiring police to give up the money. The case involved the Odessa School District and more than $1 million seized by the Lafayette County sheriff's office. Just one week later, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri wrote a letter offering to help local law enforcement officials keep drug money. Jean Paul Bradshaw II encouraged them to file their forfeitures with the U.S. Department of Justice, rather than with the state. In 1993 the state legislature passed new laws to block such handoffs, but they continue. The legislature's next attempt will come in the new session with a bill that would allow law enforcement to keep 50 percent of the drug money if the other half is given to schools. Under one proposal, police departments would not be able to keep their 50 percent. Instead, the money would be deposited in a state fund and distributed as grants to all police agencies. Missouri voters also would have to approve the measure, because it would amend the state constitution. Even though the bill has been around several years, passage may be more likely this year. Educators have been leery in the past, said Missouri Rep. Craig Hosmer, a Springfield Democrat who sponsored the bill to split the money. But educators finally appear to be accepting the compromise because they realize how little the schools receive in forfeiture money, Hosmer said. "Fifty percent is better than nothing," Hosmer said. However, if law enforcement can get 80 percent of the money by sending it through a federal agency, would they settle for 50 percent instead? No, said Capt. Tom Neer of the St. Charles County Sheriff's Department. "We work with the DEA and FBI," Neer said. "So any of those forfeitures or seizures that they get, we share in 80 percent." Some legislators support the 50-50 bill because they think police should have some share of drug money. In fact, many of them say they didn't know police already had been keeping money that should have gone to education. Two backers of the 1993 laws, Sen. Wayne Goode, a St. Louis Democrat, and Sen. Francis Flotron, a Chesterfield Republican, said they would consider other reform bills this session. The two senators said it might be necessary to prohibit any drug money from being transferred to federal agencies under any circumstances. Another law that was passed last year will help clear up the mystery of how much -- or how little -- money police actually send to the schools. Until the law went into effect in August, there was no central clearinghouse to tally the money. Instead, the financial records were kept by each of Missouri's 114 counties and the city of St. Louis. The law, which was sponsored by Rep. Jim Kreider, a Nixa Democrat, requires the Missouri Department of Revenue to collect the money and place it in a school building fund. Although that will provide a central tally of money collected for schools, the public still won't know how much money law enforcement diverts away from education. The constitutionality of the law was challenged in a lawsuit filed last month by Lafayette County Prosecutor Page Bellamy. Bellamy is one of the few Missouri prosecutors who has publicly pushed his county to file forfeitures with the state -- and that's one reason for his challenge. Under the new law, counties like Lafayette that turn over drug money for education would be treated the same as counties that don't. In another pending lawsuit, Kansas City police asked the courts in 1997 to clarify what the department must do with seized and unclaimed money of all types that it had been keeping and not sending to either the state or federal agencies. The existence of the fund, worth more than $1 million, was disclosed in 1996 by The Kansas City Star. Defendants in the lawsuit are 11 school districts that normally would receive most of the money.
------------------------------------------------------------------- On Permanent Parole: A Special Report - Days on Methadone, Bound by Its Lifeline (A lengthy New York Times article examines the controversy in New York City over methadone maintenance for heroin addicts while recounting the disparate experiences of three methadone patients.) Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 06:48:09 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: NYT: Days on Methadone, Bound by Its Lifeline Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: DrugSense Source: The New York Times Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company Pubdate: Sat, 2 Jan 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Forum: http://forums.nytimes.com/comment/ Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Author: N. R. Kleinfield ON PERMANENT PAROLE: A SPECIAL REPORT DAYS ON METHADONE, BOUND BY ITS LIFELINE Shortly after 9 A.M., Pamela Carlo arrived at the tiny, nondescript clinic in Chinatown for her daily deliverance. It was a cool day, with a packed gray sky. The tang of fish was in the air. She displayed her ID card at the check-in window, consulted the blackboard to see who had to give a urine sample (she didn't), then waited on the scuffed linoleum floor until her name finally crackled over the loudspeaker. At the third of four dispensing windows, a nurse proffered a plastic cup partly filled with the reddish liquid known as methadone. The nurse was required to watch her drink it. Ms. Carlo diluted it with water to mask the taste and swallowed it in three gulps, grimacing and stamping her right foot. "Oh, that's evil," she howled. "It never tastes any better." The nurses ask patients to say something, to insure they aren't "slagging," stowing the liquid in their mouths so they can sell it on the street. One man used to conceal a plastic bag in the hood of his sweatshirt; he would raise his cup past his ear and pour the methadone in. The nurses trust Ms. Carlo; in any event, she is rarely quiet for two seconds. "O.K.," she said. "That's that." Days on methadone begin like this -- this ordered, schoolmarmish protocol at the clinic window. The grinding privations of life on methadone are why the former heroin addicts who take it speak of being "tied by a rope" or "on permanent parole." They love the drug, and they hate it -- for the vise grip of its rules, and for its vise grip on them. Methadone frees, but it also imprisons. It is magical at blocking the yearning for heroin, but much less effective against the simple craving to get high. It is highly addictive in its own right, with fiendish withdrawal symptoms. At more than moderate doses, it can leave some patients in a barely functional daze. Methadone is one bridge to a new life, but there are many other rivers to cross. All of which helps to explain why methadone has long been caught in the crosscurrents of social policy, though never more so than right now in New York. Over the years, methadone has become the favored treatment for heroin addiction, and the Federal Government has lately pledged to make it more accessible. That view was endorsed by a recent report in The Journal of the American Medical Association, which said that methadone can help curb crime and reduce the spread of infectious diseases like AIDS. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, on the other hand, has declared his desire to eliminate methadone-maintenance programs in New York and instead wean patients quickly to abstinence, though it is unclear how much power he has to do that. Like others scornful of methadone, the Mayor feels that addicts too weak to confront the pathology of their past are simply shedding an illegal habit for a legal one. Indeed, to many people in mainstream society, there is something unsavory and almost contemptible about methadone. But, in truth, few people uninvolved with it know much about it. And then there are the patients, for whom methadone is virtually an occupation. In the community of methadone users (population 115,000 nationwide, 36,000 in New York City, according to Federal and state officials), there is a continuum of dependence. On this day in the autumn of 1998, Pam Carlo occupied the vast middle; methadone allowed her to work on and off, but the employees at the clinic doubted she would ever leave it behind. Beth Griffin, a fellow patient, was almost weaned from methadone; she could already taste life on the other side. Jamil Muhammad continued to abuse drugs; he was what the clinic workers call a "resistant" patient, who requires great effort but gives little in return. Mostly, they were simply three people who took methadone to stop wanting heroin. They couldn't possibly untangle all the arguments. But they could illustrate something of the nuanced complexities of life on methadone, of what it can do and what it can't. As for the policy debate, each of their lives holds powerful arguments for both sides. Their weeks revolve around 46 and 62 East Broadway, the methadone treatment units of the Lower Eastside Service Center, a nonprofit substance abuse and mental health agency. One of the better regarded methadone programs, it offers a full array of counseling and detoxification services. And yet its aspirations are limited by the vagaries of addiction and methadone itself, by those who continue to take other drugs and who can't find a renewed life. The clinic would like people to achieve abstinence, but it imposes no time limit; many patients may be on methadone forever. The accent is on avoiding heroin, not graduating from methadone, an emphasis that sometimes frustrates patients who dearly hope to stop. Every social class is represented on methadone, but those low on the social index are predominant. About 30 percent of Lower Eastside's 950 clients work, and pay $2 to $56 a week, based on their income. The others, including Ms. Carlo, Ms. Griffin and Muhammad, are covered by Medicaid. No private insurer pays for methadone. About 65 percent of the patients are men; about 20 percent are H.I.V. positive. Roughly a quarter leave in the first year: they return to other drugs, are arrested or simply vanish. Ms. Carlo, Ms. Griffin and Muhammad lead lives that intersect on East Broadway and then radiate in very different directions. Methadone punctuates their days; it goes down in a gulp but seeps slowly into everything they do. Though they are not proud they are on it, they are persuaded of its necessity. "Society has made methadone into an evil, and that's tragic," Ms. Carlo said. "If Giuliani got rid of methadone, there would be tens of thousands of people on the street with guns in their hands." The Veteran: A Warm Glow For 20 Minutes Methadone's effect lingers for 24 to 36 hours, and Pam Carlo likes to take it soon after she awakens. Most patients do. Even before the clinic opens, there is a line outside. This is methadone rush hour. At first, she senses nothing. After about a half-hour, she feels no actual high but a sort of warm glow that endures for 20 minutes. Her speech slows. Otherwise, she is more or less her effusive, chatty, insouciant self. Ms. Carlo is one of methadone's elder stateswomen. She is 54, the last 28 on methadone. Even after all those years, she still feels like a specimen under glass. Methadone gives a lot, but it also takes a lot. There are many rules to being on methadone, perhaps the most tightly controlled drug in the nation. All methadone patients take it every day. Because of fears about diversion, patients, with few exceptions, must go to a clinic to get it. At Lower Eastside, one starts by visiting six days a week (the clinic is closed Sunday) and getting a take-home bottle on Saturday. This can fall to as little as one pickup a week (and six take-home bottles) if one has been on the program for three years, is working and has been "clean" from drugs for at least a year. (Pam Carlo goes three days a week.) Patients are forbidden to drink alcohol or use any other addictive drug. They are required to see a counselor at least once a month. Group therapy is mandatory at first, then voluntary. (Ms. Carlo skips it. "I've heard it all," she said.) A patient who goes out of town is limited to a two-week supply. Because of community anxiety, the clinic does not let clients loiter within a four-block radius. Habitual offenders can be dropped from the program, though few are. Pam Carlo did not linger. She and her fiancé, Earl Meares, headed east to his room in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. The sky hung low over the city. Meares will be husband No. 6. Ms. Carlo has had poor luck with husbands. One died of a heart attack and two of AIDS (by sheer luck, she never got the virus); the others were mistakes. Back at his room, they made themselves comfortable. They got out their artwork. She is a freelance commercial artist, and has been illustrating a book on mice. Meares, who is on workfare, sweeping up around the court buildings in TriBeCa, has been laboring on a comic strip called "Heroin Chic," based on Ms. Carlo's life. Meares has never had a drug habit. He doesn't fully understand addiction. She does. Her vision of drugs is dark. "See a sunny day like this?" she said. "I hated sunny days when I was using. I thought everything was so black. I thought there was no way out." She was born in Jamaica, Queens, an only child. Her mother lived off an inheritance. Her father, who was in the cemetery business, abandoned her mother for his secretary before Ms. Carlo was born. Growing up, she and her mother bickered constantly. "My mother hated everything that wasn't high class," she said. "And so I had to try everything that wasn't." She was smart, skipping two grades, starting college at 16 at Texas Western in El Paso. She felt too young, and drifted into the wrong crowd and into heroin. "When I found heroin, I thought it was what I was searching for my whole life," she said. "It was like drowning in a big black sea. And it was warm and comfortable and safe and nobody could touch me. I thought I had found God." A weekend thing evolved into a daily habit. She enrolled at Cornell University Medical College, she said, and met a doctor who was addicted to morphine. She moved in with him. She gave him sex; he gave her morphine. A year and a half short of graduation, she nodded out during a lab and collapsed onto a cadaver. She was suspended for using drugs. Furious, she sank into the shadows of the East Village and the unthinkable. Desperate to support her habit, she turned $10 tricks on the "day shift." She was a streetwalker for four years. She got just about anything you could get, including syphilis and jaw cancer. She shrank to 80 pounds and was less in demand. Homeless, she visited Woolworth's and bought a sign that read, "Bathroom Out of Order." At night, she trooped to the Albert Hotel in the West Village and affixed the sign to the door of a hallway bathroom. She arranged her fur coat in the bathtub, wiggled in and went to sleep. The next night, she chose a different bathroom. She did this for six months. In 1970, with no foreseeable future, she was drawn to a new treatment that was all the talk: methadone. "Methadone got me to feel again," she said. "We used to hear about the ring concept. People who are addicts, our lives are rings. There is a link that is either missing or improperly attached. With methadone, the ring is whole." Ms. Carlo drinks 66 milligrams a day. (The dose is determined by the patient's physical characteristics and the quantity and longevity of drug abuse.) Early on, her dosage was as high as 180. "I was wasted," she said. "I was walking into walls." Outside Meares's room, the sky had darkened. How did his fiancée's being on methadone affect him? "Sometimes she will take her dose and freeze in place." "Yes," she said quietly. "We'll go to the coffee shop and I'll reach for my tea and I'll just freeze in that position. Methadone freeze. It's embarrassing to him. I realize that." She does not like to discuss her condition. "I don't tell squares," she said. Once, visiting a friend of Meares, she slipped. She said she was on methadone. "His face froze," she said. "So did his wife's. Suddenly, disaster had struck. They had a junkie in the house." The ones who understand are her friends from the program. Methadone mornings, they get together at the Aten-Ra International Gourmet Deli, walking distance from the clinic. She sometimes refers to them by their names and doses: JoAnn, 60 milligrams; Tony, 8; James, 70, the size of the dose fixing them in the hierarchy of methadone. On a recent day, a couple of former members of the klatch tried to intrude but were ignored. They abused pills and were not welcome. James uses pills, too, but was down to half a pill a day from six, so he was O.K. "Anxiety," he said in explanation. Ms. Carlo said: "Anxiety problems are common for people on methadone. They have agoraphobia and claustrophobia. It's caused by their life styles." Pam Carlo has taken methadone for 28 years, 18 years longer than she took heroin. To an extent, she has made it a career. Chris DeLuca, the clinic's assistant director, doubts she will ever retire. She hopes he is wrong. "Before I die, I want to know what it feels like to be clean," she said. "You see, I don't remember. Imagine that: forgetting what it feels like to be straight. But I don't remember. And I want to feel it. I really do want to feel it." The Rule-Breaker: Admitting 'I'm Not A Prime Example' In the landscape of methadone are many people who straddle the world of drugs and the world of treatment, who continue to live by their own rules rather than methadone's. Jamil Muhammad is one of them. He is a lanky, hard-bitten man of 46, with a neatly trimmed beard and mustache. He has his own story of a defeated life, and he knows exactly where he stands. "I'm not a prime example of an addict who has gotten it together," he said. He went to Lower Eastside five years ago, and in every sense he got off to a bad start. At first his concept of being on the program meant to get his methadone and then take pills and shoot cocaine. He robbed apartments. He sold his methadone on the street. Several times, he ended up on Rikers Island. "I was crazy," he said. "Maybe I had a death wish." Addicts are used to being high, and once on methadone often gravitate to a substitute for heroin, generally cocaine or pills. Some pills combine with methadone to produce a euphoria. These days, the pill of choice is the sedative Xanax. "It makes you feel better with your meth," Muhammad explained. Methadone stops the thirst for heroin, but nothing more. Escape from addiction involves a protocol of methadone and counseling and ambition. Lower Eastside offers counselors and weekly group sessions to help resurrect aspirations, but patients take what they want, and sometimes it isn't much. Muhammad goes to group meetings with some regularity, but often sits there with a vacant look. "You have to deal with a lot of ignorance," he said. "I don't like it when someone starts running their mouth." He doesn't much like his counselor, either. The counselor, Anthony Badger, does nothing for him, he said. Badger said Muhammad had not accepted what had happened to him. "He tends to play people against people and put himself in the role of the victim," he said. Badger also said he had 56 patients. The state finances only one counselor for every 50. Badger said he monitored himself so he didn't burn out; he can do only so much. Over a burger at Rokka's Coffee Shop near the clinic, Muhammad gave a capsule version of his road to methadone. He was born in Orange, N.J., and raised mostly by his grandmother, who owned a prospering antique store. Talented at basketball, he received a scholarship to Providence College, but in his third year was caught dealing marijuana and expelled. He became a Muslim. He married and moved to Brooklyn. He went to Saudi Arabia and studied Arabic, hoping to teach it in American mosques. He had two sons. Back in Brooklyn, he taught Arabic for a while. He got hooked on pills and his marriage cracked apart. After the divorce, his descent was fast. "I was losing everybody," he said. "And so I turned to drugs." He snorted heroin and then he shot it, his life draining into his arm. He lived on the streets. He dealt heroin to make money to shoot it. He used it steadily for five years, as much as nine bags a day. In 1993, unable to support his habit, wanting to be useful again, he sought out methadone. These days, he tends to follow a cycle of being clean for several months, then taking cocaine or pills, then staying clean for several more months. Between August and the end of October, however, cocaine showed up in five consecutive urine samples. He was punished by having to show up five days a week instead of four. Even so, he drinks two or three cans of beer a day, in violation of clinic rules. "I have moments when I get frustrated at myself," he said. "Sometimes it gets so bad in my mind I feel like screaming. When I get disgusted, I'll go out and get high." Chris DeLuca said the clinic was highly permissive with patients who violated the rules. If you are caught selling your methadone or other drugs, you are generally dismissed, but the clinic grudgingly puts up with patients abusing drugs. Probably 30 percent do, DeLuca said. "We have a lot of patience because we found that if we kick them off, they go to another program or they go to the street and start shooting and sharing needles," he said. "We try to work with them on behavior modification. Sometimes this takes years. We can't succeed 100 percent." A flat, dull day. Muhammad was stacking books at the Angel Street Thrift Shop on West 17th Street. The Lower Eastside Service Center owns the shop and Muhammad works there three days a week, at $6 an hour. Mostly he waits for some stroke of luck, some act of legerdemain, to turn his world around. He had a lottery ticket in his pocket, banking on "587" to return him $500. He has played the same number for three years. It was the street address of a high school friend who was killed in a car accident on her prom night. His dosage is 100 milligrams, and it hasn't changed. Because of the stigma, he doesn't tell people about being on methadone, he says. "People have heard the stories about selling methadone and about still doing drugs." Of course, he still does drugs. Of course, he has sold his methadone. When he is broke, which is fairly often, he is tempted to sell it again. He can get $30 for a 100-milligram bottle, a lot when your pockets are empty. "I was tempted last week," he said. He doesn't want to get arrested. "If a friend of mine wanted some, I'd sell it to him," he said. "Not to a stranger." Muhammad has tumbled from Providence College to the Providence Hotel, a $10-a-night flophouse on the Bowery. He put some books in order and a doubtful look came across his face. He did not pretend to have any answers. "I'm not standing here and saying I'm outside of the problem," he said. "Maybe I'm the cause of the problem. I don't know. Maybe I'm the cause of it." The Fighter: 'People Stay Zombies For a Long Time' The Power of Hope group therapy session began at 10 A.M. Jamie Holder, the group leader, talked about the recovery process: "It is as complicated as the relapse process. Beth, you've spoken of what pressure you're under from your mother and your brother -- 'Are you still on that thing?' " "Yes," Beth Griffin said. "They want to know am I well yet." Her mother, she said, kept telling her, "I hope you'll be off methadone soon so I can put you back in my will." When the hour was up, Ms. Griffin headed for the East Village. She is 36, with frizzy blond hair. There are scars on her face; once when she was on speedballs she cut her face open with a razor because she thought there were spiders and worms beneath her skin. She trudged up the three flights to a studio she shares on East 9th Street. She does her art there, collages and paintings built around words and numbers. After a while, she went over to the Margaret Bodell gallery, where she had recently had a show and sold some of her work. "I'm starting to get a little following," she said. "Most of my life I've had really good jobs and stuff. More than anything else, I want to support myself again." She grew up in Laurence, S.C., where her father ran a gas station and her mother was a secretary. She graduated from the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Fla., and became an art director at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample in New York, working on Luvs diapers, Wranglers, Almond Joy. She said Advertising Age anointed her one of the 10 brightest young people in advertising. She butted heads with her boss and quit after nine months. Her resignation letter said, "Enough." She modeled for art students and sculptors, and then did typography for ad agencies. In 1988, she went with a friend to the Mars Bar in the East Village. Her boyfriend had just left her. She had had an abortion. Her parents had just divorced. At the bar, her friend asked her, "You want to do some?" In the bathroom, Ms. Griffin snorted half a bag of heroin. The first thing she did the next day was go out to get more. In four months, she knew the face of addiction. For nearly four years, she only snorted heroin because needles terrified her. But in time, to get a better high, she began to shoot. In the bathrooms of some of the city's best-known ad agencies, she shot up. Her sister, Laura, a drug- and alcohol-abuse therapist in South Carolina, tried hard to get her off. Heroin was more persuasive. Three times she quit, but it didn't last. Her life traced the familiar downward path. In December 1993, she looked to methadone and hoped it would be a lamp to another life. "When I came to the clinic I felt about as bad about myself as you could feel without killing yourself," she said. She kept taking Valium and Xanax. Even without pills, her dose of 90 milligrams a day knocked her out. Mainly, she slept, often 18 or 19 hours a day. Two years later, her sister was killed by a car while jogging. The driver was a lawyer high on drugs and alcohol. Ms. Griffin contemplated taking her own life. She sought therapy and took sedatives. The world moved on, while she slept. "I was a zombie for like four years," she said. "That is the dirty secret of methadone -- a lot of people stay zombies for a long time, for years. Not until you get below a certain dose does the fog lift." Methadone, she said, has saved her, but the drill has grown old. "I'm sick of being a slave to methadone," she said. "I'm sick of going down there and seeing all the same old faces." If Ms. Griffin has a criticism of the program, it is that no one ever pushed her to get off. "I know a lot of people who told them they wanted to come down in their dose, and they would say, 'We don't think you're ready,'" she said. DeLuca, at the Lower Eastside methadone clinic, said perhaps 20 people a year get off methadone there, though patients say far fewer truly do. Methadone is a psychological crutch as well as a physical one. It is something going in the body, day after day, a palliative routine that is hard to shake. Ms. Griffin said it took her own initiative for the clinic to start reducing her dose a milligram or two a week in pursuit of getting off. By Thanksgiving, she was down to three milligrams a day. She was feeling some withdrawal symptoms, but with her dose so low, it was as if she had been rebuilt. "It's like I'm on a faster speed setting," she said. "I do in a day what I did in a month." She lives with a cat named Amtrak in the Times Square Hotel, a single room occupancy hotel. She plays the piano in the lobby almost every morning. She was on welfare for about two years and is on S.S.I. now because she was classified with a psychiatric disability after her sister's death. She has been painting a lot, and hopes one day to live off her art. Soon she was planning to drink the red liquid for what she hoped would be the last time. She was going home for the holidays and would be gone a good three weeks. She didn't want the methadone rope pulling her back. On Wednesday, Dec. 2, Ms. Griffin drank a one-milligram bottle of methadone. It was her final dose. The removal of methadone from her life led to a nightmarish week. She found herself waking up by 4 A.M. She was achy and twitchy. Every second seemed like an hour. She felt old yearnings for heroin. On Sunday, she dragged herself down to the Museum of Modern Art. She stayed exactly 17 minutes. "I had no attention span," she said. As the days passed, she perked up somewhat, though she remained jittery and restless. "There are times I feel I can't get through this," she said. When they go off methadone, ex-addicts often feel a profound sense of loss. State rules allow six months of post-methadone care at the clinic. And so she will continue to go there. She will give her weekly urine sample and see her counselor. A few weeks ago, she wrote down some ramblings about methadone: "For me it was impossible to jump from dope life to straight life. I needed the gray shades of methadone in between. Dope life and straight life are as different as animals being in a cage or out in the jungle. I'm not sure which one is really 'free' but it takes a while to switch from one to the other. Without methadone, chances are I would be dead now."
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Drug Project Abandons Needle Exchange (The Lancet, in Britain, notes Diana McCague, who founded the Chai Project in New Brunswick, New Jersey, says her "resolve has been broken" by law enforcement officials and she and the Chai Project will abandon clean-syringe distribution. In her court statement, published on the Drug Reform Coordination Network website, McCague says, "I am convinced that what we have been forced to discontinue is a public health service that has saved lives." According to statistics from a 1998 report, AIDS is the leading cause of death in US African-Americans age 25 to 44. More than half these deaths are thought to be associated with injecting drugs.)Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 05:14:01 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NJ: US Drug Project Abandons Needle Exchange Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Source: The Lancet Pubdate: 2 January 1999 Copyright: The Lancet Ltd Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.thelancet.com/ Author: Kelly Morris US DRUG PROJECT ABANDONS NEEDLE EXCHANGE A longstanding drug project will abandon distribution of clean injecting equipment in New Brunswick (NJ, USA) after workers were convicted for this offence on Dec 17, and the project vehicle was confiscated. Diana McCague, who founded the Chai Project, a harm-reduction initiative, was given a 90-day suspended sentence, a US$750 fine, a 6 months' driving-licence suspension, and 100 hours of community service. She and other workers at the project have been convicted before under New Jersey's "zero tolerance" Comprehensive Drug Reform Act. McCague now almost certainly faces a jail term if she commits the offence again. She told the court that her "resolve has been broken" and that she, and the Chai Project while under her leadership, will abandon clean-syringe distribution. In her court statement, published on the Drug Reform Coordination Network website, she said "I am convinced that what we have been forced to discontinue is a public health service that has saved lives" (http://www.drcnet.org/ ). The most "shocking" part of the sentence, according to McCague, was the edict that she should spend her community service working for the local DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) programme. The countrywide DARE initiative involves uniformed police officers making regular visits to classrooms to educate students to "resist drug abuse". At the start of the visits, students have to sign a pledge to "keep their body free from drugs". But, many individuals and communities now question DARE's content, cost, and effectiveness. "If they want me to go into schools and do drug education", McCague told DRCNet, "I'm going to go in there and tell the truth. And truth has nothing to do with what the state means when it talks about drug education". New Jersey has some of the toughest anti-paraphernalia laws in the USA. Yet McCague estimates that, of the 50 000 HIV-infected people in New Jersey, up to three-quarters of these infections could have been prevented by clean injecting equipment. According to statistics from a 1998 report, AIDS is the leading cause of death in US African-Americans aged between 25 and 44 years--more than half these deaths are thought to be associated with injecting drugs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Not-So-Tricky Fix (A relatively lengthy review in the Capital Times, in Wisconsin, of the book "The Fix," by Michael Massing, says Massing concludes that the Nixon administration's dramatic expansion of drug-treatment programs in the early 1970s resulted in less crime, fewer overdose deaths and fewer drug-related visits to hospital emergency rooms. Not only would the Nixon plan work today, Massing believes, but it also would cost less.) Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 20:40:32 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Not-So-Tricky Fix Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Frank S. World Source: Capital Times, The (WI) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thecapitaltimes.com/ Copyright: 1999 The Capital Times Pubdate: 2 Jan 1999 NOT-SO-TRICKY FIX Journalist Michael Massing has devoted a decade to investigating America's war on drugs. He has talked with peasants in remote coca-growing regions of Colombia. He has combed through dusty boxes of federal archives. He has documented the heroic struggle of treatment workers at a drop-in center in Spanish Harlem. He has watched a heroin addict shoot up in a New York City tenement. And this is his conclusion: Richard Nixon was right. Now there's a sentence you don't see every day. But Massing argues in "The Fix," his fascinating and unforgiving account of U.S. drug policy, that the Nixon administration's approach in the early 1970s resulted in less crime, fewer overdose deaths and fewer drug-related visits to hospital emergency rooms. Not only would the Nixon plan work today, Massing believes, but it also would cost less. Interested? Here's the catch: Nixon's drug-fighting strategy included treatment for every hard-core drug addict who wanted it. Massing believes the country could -- and should -- offer the same today. Still interested? "I've learned that the c-word -- compassion -- is a real red flag for people," Massing says. "I'm stressing that this is a much more effective and promising approach. "When you lay out the research and how affordable and generally successful treatment is compared to other approaches, that rings in people's ears." With "The Fix," recently published by Simon and Schuster, Massing presents a meticulously researched, fact-filled account of U.S. drug policy since the Nixon years. Although the country now spends more than $17 billion a year to fight drugs, and prison populations and costs are soaring, there still remain an estimated 4 million hard-core abusers of cocaine and heroin. Something's not working. "It would be hard to think of an area of U.S. social policy that has failed more completely than the war on drugs," Massing writes in the book's opening sentence. The answer, he writes later, is a "new public-health approach to the nation's drug problem, one based not on the punitive powers of the law but on the healing powers of medicine." Massing, 46, is a 1970 graduate of Polytechnic Institute in Baltimore. Although he now lives in New York, he didn't have to look far from his former home to find the person most responsible for crafting the Nixon administration's successful drug-fighting strategy. Jerome Jaffe, who lives in Towson, was the nation's first drug czar. A psychopharmacologist, Jaffe had created a network of treatment programs in Illinois when he was picked by Nixon in 1971 to run the newly created Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention. "I wanted treatment to be so available that people could not say they committed crimes because they couldn't get treatment," Jaffe says. "If somebody becomes dependent, and there's no option for them, and they steal something, society faces a moral dilemma. They didn't provide an alternative, but they're holding them accountable." Well-founded Worries As Massing's book indicates, it certainly wasn't sympathy for drug addicts that led Nixon's advisers to Jaffe. A heroin epidemic at home, combined with press reports of increasing drug addiction among American GIs in Vietnam, produced well-founded White House worries of a political problem before the 1972 election. Nixon hoped Jaffe would help solve it. To Massing, this is yet another example of the Nixon paradox. The anti-Communist president who went to China also was the law-and-order champion who did more to help addicts than any president since. To Jaffe, "Nixon was the ultimate pragmatist. He certainly had strong feelings about drugs. He felt that they corroded the fabric of society. How do you deal with that? One way is to get supply under control. I think he came to realize that you have to deal with the demand side as well." "The Fix" is much more than a public policy analysis. Massing also tells the gripping stories of Raphael Flores, the obsessively dedicated worker at Hot Line Cares, a walk-in center in Spanish Harlem where addicts could walk in off the street and get help, and Yvonne Hamilton, a cocaine and crack addict. While visiting a "shooting gallery," Massing says, he was talking to some addicts when a man casually rolled up a sleeve, wrapped a belt around his arm to make a vein appear and plunged a needle into his skin. "At that moment, looking at him, I fainted," Massing says. "I've always had a thing about needles. I felt totally chagrined. Here I was, the tough reporter, going in and fainting." But Massing's work in Spanish Harlem -- he spent four years there -- showed him the similarity between what Jaffe was doing in Chicago 30 years ago and what workers such as Raphael Flores were trying to do today. Both believed help needed to be available as soon as addicts requested it. Otherwise they may never be seen again. And both discovered that different addicts require different methods of treatment. Some require structure. Heroin addicts might require methadone, a synthetic narcotic that allows some to lead productive lives. Some addicts reject formal programs. And some don't get better the first time. Or the second. Or the third. Today, Jaffe says, "it's clear that there's a certain sense that treatment doesn't work, and I think it's more an issue of values than it is an issue of facts." In fact, Massing says the research is clear: Treatment is the most cost-effective method of reducing drug addiction. He cites a 1994 RAND study that showed treatment is seven times more cost effective than arresting people, 10 times more effective than keeping drugs from entering the country and 23 times more effective than attacking drugs at their source. The effects of treatment "It's amazing to think that even while somebody's just in treatment, it pays for itself, dollar for dollar, in reduced crime, reduced medical problems, reduced havoc in the country," Massing says. "It pays for itself. Everything else is a bonus." With Jaffe as drug czar, thousands of addicts sought treatment in 1972. The amount of time they were forced to wait for a bed decreased dramatically. And so did crime. FBI figures in 1972 showed that crime rates dropped in 94 of 154 U.S. cities with a population of more than 100,000. Nationally, the crime rate decreased for the first time in 17 years. Although Jaffe says other factors likely contributed to the lower crime rate, he notes that 90,000 people entered treatment programs when he was in charge. "An awful lot of people stopped behaving the way they did." Despite the successes, the Jaffe method was an easy target. Methadone treatment always has been controversial, and no politician has ever won an election by advocating more treatment for addicts. Mandatory prison sentences for drug offenders have proven more popular among voters than reducing the wait for a hospital bed. The Reagan administration eventually cut the treatment budget by 25 percent. "If you have a population that's tougher to treat at the same time you cut the resources in half, you make it very tough to get good results," Jaffe says. Massing says an estimated 1.7 million people, nearly half of the nation's hard-core addicts, couldn't get help today even if they wanted it because of a lack of treatment beds. If Congress did nothing more than balance the money spent on supply and demand (law enforcement vs. treatment), those addicts could get treatment, he says. "It's not radical," he says. "It's do-able." But Massing says it will take another president with strong law-and-order credentials -- "I hate to say it, a Nixon-like figure" -- who can shift the emphasis from law enforcement to treatment. He says governors complain privately about the high cost of imprisoning drug offenders. "Money is going from education into prisons," he says. "I think people are going to start saying this is not a good development. They're going to see that drug abuse continues to plague us. My hope is that there will be a new openness." The answer, he says, is neither drug legalization nor throw-away-the-key sentencing. "This policy has been a disaster in political and human terms," he says. "We're seeing hundreds of thousands of people locked away. I would like to see a more humane policy." Jaffe left the White House in 1973. He later served as director of the Addiction Research Center in Baltimore and as acting director and senior science adviser at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Now 65, he's a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. He helped create a drug policy that worked in every respect except politically. It must be frustrating for him. "Not frustrating," he says. "That's not the right word. It's sad. I guess you get used to the way that public policy doesn't always follow a logical path, at least as I saw that logical path." Science and public policy rarely move in lockstep, he says. He refers to a research paper that says even though it was known in 1601 that three teaspoons of lemon juice would reduce scurvy deaths, it took the British Navy almost 200 more years to give citrus juice to sailors on a regular basis. Change takes time. "I don't take it personally," Jaffe says of U.S. drug policy. "I did the best I could as God gave me the ability to see the light. When it's your turn, you step down and let others take it from there."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug War Key May Lie In Past (A shorter version in the Everett, Washington, Herald, indicates the review is originally from the Baltimore Sun.) Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 19:09:58 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WA: OPED: Drug War Key May Lie In Past Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Saturday, 2 January 1999 Source: Herald, The (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Copyright: 1999 The Daily Herald Co. Author: Ken Fuson, The Baltimore Sun DRUG WAR KEY MAY LIE IN PAST Veteran observer of failing struggle finds Nixon's strategy to treat addicts worked. Journalist Michael Massing has devoted a decade to investigating the U.S. war on drugs. He has talked with peasants in remote coca-growing regions of Colombia. He has combed through dusty boxes of federal archives. He has documented the heroic struggle of treatment workers at a drop-in center in Spanish Harlem. He has watched a heroin addict shoot up in a New York City tenement. And this is his conclusion: Richard Nixon was right. Now there's a sentence you don't see every day. But Massing argues in "The Fix," his fascinating and unforgiving account of U.S. drug policy, that the Nixon administration's approach in the early 1970s resulted in less crime, fewer overdose deaths and fewer drug-related visits to hospital emergency rooms. Not only would the Nixon plan work today, Massing believes, but it also would cost less. Interested? Here's the catch: Nixon's drug-fighting strategy included treatment for every hardcore drug addict who wanted it. Massing believes the country could - and should - offer the same today. Still interested? "I've learned that the 'c' word - compassion - is a real red flag for people," Massing says. "I'm stressing that this is a much more effective and promising approach." With "The Fix," recently published by Simon and Schuster, Massing presents a meticulously researched, fact-filled account of U.S. drug policy since the Nixon years. Although the country now spends more than $17 billion a year to fight drugs, and prison populations and costs are soaring, there still remain an estimated 4 million hard-core abusers of cocaine and heroin. Something's not working. "It would be hard to think of an area of U.S. social policy that has failed more completely than the war on drugs," Massing writes in the book's opening sentence. The answer, he writes later, is a "new public-health approach to the nation's drug problem, one based not on the punitive powers of the law but on the healing powers of medicine." Massing, 46, is a 1970 graduate of Polytechnic Institute in Baltimore, Md. Although he now lives in New York, he didn't have to look far from his former home to find the person most responsible for crafting the Nixon administration's successful drug-fighting strategy. Jerome Jaffe, 65, who lives in Towson, Md., was the nation's first drug czar. A psychopharmacologist, Jaffe had created a network of treatment programs in Illinois when he was picked by Nixon in 1971 to run the newly created Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention. "I wanted treatment to be so available that people could not say they committed crimes because they couldn't get treatment," says Jaffe, who is a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. As Massing's book indicates, it certainly wasn't sympathy for drug addicts that led Nixon's advisers to Jaffe. A heroin epidemic at home, combined with media reports of increasing drug addiction among U.S. soldiers in Vietnam, produced well-founded White House worries of a political problem before the 1972 election. Nixon hoped Jaffe would help solve it. To Massing, this is yet another example of the Nixon paradox. The anti-communist president who went to China also was the law-and-order champion who did more to help addicts than any president since. To Jaffe, "Nixon was the ultimate pragmatist. He certainly had strong feelings about drugs. He felt that they corroded the fabric of society. How do you deal with that? One way is to get supply under control. I think he came to realize that you have to deal with the demand side as well." "The Fix" is much more than a public policy analysis. Massing also tells the gripping stories of Raphael Flores, the obsessively dedicated worker at Hot Line Cares, a walk-in center in Spanish Harlem where addicts could walk in off the street and get help, and Yvonne Hamilton, a cocaine and crack addict. Massing's work in Spanish Harlem - he spent four years there - showed him the similarity between what Jaffe was doing in Chicago 30 years ago and what workers such as Flores were trying to do today. Both believed help needed to be available as soon as addicts requested it. Otherwise, they may never be seen again. And both discovered that different addicts require different methods of treatment. Some require structure. Heroin addicts might require methadone, a synthetic narcotic that allows some to lead productive lives. Some addicts reject formal programs. And some don't get better the first time. Or the second. Or the third. Massing says the research is clear: Treatment is the most cost effective method of reducing drug addiction. He cites a 1994 Rand Corp. study that showed treatment is seven times more cost effective than arresting people, 10 times more effective than keeping drugs from entering the country and 23 times more effective than attacking drugs at their source. With Jaffe as drug czar, thousands of addicts sought treatment in 1972. The amount of time they were forced to wait for a bed decreased dramatically. And so did crime. FBI figures in 1972 showed that crime rates dropped in 94 of 154 U.S. cities with a population of more than 100,000. Nationally, the crime rate decreased for the first time in 17 years. Although Jaffe says other factors likely contributed to the lower crime rate, he notes that 90,000 people entered treatment programs when he was in charge. "An awful lot of people stopped behaving the way they did." Despite the successes, the Jaffe method was an easy target. Methadone treatment always has been controversial, and no politician has ever won an election by advocating more treatment for addicts. Mandatory prison sentences for drug offenders have proven more popular among voters than reducing the wait for a hospital bed. The Reagan administration eventually cut the treatment budget by 25 percent. Massing says an estimated 1.7 million people, nearly half of the nation's hard-core addicts, couldn't get help today even if they wanted it because of a lack of treatment beds. If Congress did nothing more than balance the money spent on supply and demand (law enforcement VS. treatment), those addicts could get treatment, he says. But Massing says it will take another president with strong law-, and-order credentials - "I hate to say it, a Nixonlike figure" - who can shift the emphasis from law enforcement to treatment. The answer, Massing says, is neither drug legalization nor throw-away-the-key sentencing. "This policy has been a disaster in political and human terms," he says. "We're seeing hundreds of thousands of people locked away. I would like to see a more humane policy."
------------------------------------------------------------------- "60 Minutes" - Where Have All The Addicts Gone? (A list subscriber publicizes a CBS newscast tomorrow night about the success of Switzerland's heroin-maintenance experiment, which followed on the heels of its failed policy in "Needle Park." Plus a URL where the video will be available online after the broadcast.) Date: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 20:16:43 -0500 To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: Richard Lake (email@example.com) Subject: 60 minutes: Where Have All The Addicts Gone? (FWD) For those that are interested: The following segment will be shown on 60 minutes on Sunday at 7:00 pm ET (check your local listings) and will be available on the Legalize! server soon thereafter: Where Have All The Addicts Gone? A policy of distributing heroin to addicts for a nominal fee has cleared Zurich's Needle Park of the unsavory characters who gave the place its name and reduced the crimes associated with desperate drug users. But is the distribution program really helping them get off the drug? Morley Safer reports. John Tiffin is the producer. If you miss it - the Legalize! server will carry the segment shortly afterwards. http://www.legalize-usa.org/TOCs/video.htm Regards Rolf Rolf Ernst 11909 Wildwood Lane Frisco, TX 75035 Tel: (972) 335-6455 Fax: (972) 377-4099
------------------------------------------------------------------- Christians And The Drug War - A Plan Of Action (A list subscriber forwards an anonymous drug policy reform activist's recommendations on how to enlist the religious community in helping to end America's longest war.) Date: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 09:02:43 -0500 From: Scott Dykstra (firstname.lastname@example.org) Reply-To: "Cannabis Patriots" (email@example.com) To: Cannabis Patriots (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: [cp] Christians and the Drug War CHRISTIANS AND THE DRUG WAR A PLAN OF ACTION INTRODUCTION We are going to need the Christians to end this war. You need to go out and convert them. You need to remember that they are all citizens as well. Appeal to their citizenship, and The Ten Commandments: specifically, Thou shalt not kill (Denying medicine to our sick), steal (confiscate our rights and property under the Drug War Ruse), bear false witness (no comment needed), take the lord's name in vain (cops swear to God before they lie on the stand), covet thy neighbors possessions (seized assets). Accountability of the Churches Step one: Approach the ministers of your local churches. Here is why. Christians do not make critical decisions without the council of their ministers. This is the argument that will get you in the ministers doors. State that this government is misrepresenting its own research to promote this drug war. State, I have a hard time believing that policies based on a foundation of lies is not a path to ruin. After all, if this government could defend this war with accurate information, it would be doing so. Step two: You expose the lies to the ministers and confront those ministers that a war based on lies, corrupts our Democratic government and enslaves its people. Then ask the minister if this church could survive the reprisals from the government by taking a stand that opposes the Drug War? When he says no, he will realize the Drug War has enslaved his church. Rub salt in the open wound, that you just created, by reminding him the drug war has enslaved his church. (This enforces the learning process and eliminates plausible deniability later on.) Step three: As a minister, he has an obligation to the church, congregation and the community to demand accurate information from a government we have sworn our allegiance (not obedience). If the minister loves his country, he has an obligation to defend his country and his church from corruption. Not to become a slave to it. NOTE: A minister asked me a few years back, if there really was proof that the CIA was involved in drug smuggling. I told him the DEA and local narcotics officers under Glenn Levant, in 1986 busted a major cocaine trafficking operation in LA. The bust netted hundred of pounds of cocaine, over $50,000,000 and over a hundred Nicaraguan nationals. The cocaine vanished from the evidence lockers and the money was wired to the Contras. Glenn Levant now runs the DARE program. Step four: The minister may not support your position so this is where you beat on him with the truth. Your goal here is to strip away his moral authority to promote this war in his community. Be brutal, because fear is rather debilitating and your goal here is to convince him that the fear of God is a greater threat than the fear of man. We are attempting to make a real Christian out of the minister. We must poison the puppets of this war with the truth. The church is part of the machine that perpetuates this war. The ministers are a critical key to the destruction of this war. We get to the congregations through the ministers. If the minister refuses to cooperate, you can quote him a few additional commandments. Like "It appears your almighty God is the almighty dollar, government grants and our precious IRS tax status." Then hit him with something like this. Let's see how the church deals with the Drug War in the context of the Ten Commandments. The Drug War and the Ten Commandments The First Commandment: Though shall have no other Gods before me "It appears your almighty God is the almighty dollar The Third Commandment: Thou shall not take the name of the Lord in Vain Promoting the Drug War under the color of authority when you know better. The Fourth Commandment: Keep the Sabbath Holy Bearing false witness on the Sabbath. The Fifth Commandment: Honor thy Father and Mother Fear of reprisals from this government is not an honorable reason to lie to your congregation, and support this corrupt war. The church and the faith of its congregation is not just a place to hide. The church is supposed to be a source of strength that can "Move Mountains" and conquer adversity. You dishonor your church, your family, your country and our future with this conduct. The Sixth Commandment: Thou shalt not kill. Denying medicine to the sick (Medical marijuana) is murder. Hiding in the sand to avoid the issue makes the church an accomplice. The Seventh Commandment: Thou shall not commit adultery. Look who you are sleeping with when you promote this war with lies. The Devil did not create this war. Money, power, deception, fear, ignorance, blind obedience and cowardice did. The Eighth Commandment: Thou shall not steal Repression is the tool that robs us of our rights, our access to knowledge, our dreams and hopes of prosperity and justice for future generations. Repression is the tool of a thief with power. The Drug war is legislating that repression and the church is refusing to address this abuse of power. This dirty little war is robbing the church of its soul for a pocket full of gold and a temporary and false sense of security. The Ninth Commandment: Bearing false witness Bearing false witness is an expensive, lifelong commitment to promote injustice and strife. When you compromise your integrity, you compromise your soul. The Church has an obligation to address corruption in their communities and provide accurate information to the congregation. Bearing false witness to your congregation breeds corruption in your communities and the abuse of power in the government. Repression is the logical conclusion to the abuse of power. The Truth will set you free applies to the solution to bearing false witness, corruption, abuse of power and repression. Without truth, there is no justice. The Tenth Commandment: Thou shalt not covet, thy neighbors possessions. If the rich control the levers of power in America, they control the policies of our churches as well. The function of government is the control of resources through the acquisition and maintenance of power. The church is a resource of power this government is determined to control. When you cooperate by promoting this dirty little war with lies you get rewarded with grants (Taxpayers money and seized assets), a friendly tax structure, minimum hassle from the IRS, economic opportunities and selective investigation/ prosecution of your church and your congregation. This is the invisible hand that provides for the obedient. What I have just described is called kickbacks. When your church puts its face in the government trough, It does not take long before you are addicted to the money. Promoting this drug war gets your fix and cold turkey sucks. Now you know what it is like to be an addict. The issue, are you coveting your neighbors possessions? As a church, you are a nonprofit public benefit corporation. You don't pay taxes. So tell me, where do your government benefits come from if it is not your neighbor? I rest my case. Sincerely, Anonymous PS. When the foundation of a war is based on lies, the truth is the greatest enemy of all. When the public finally realizes the drug war was based on lies and promoted for profit the Drug war Whores will hang. So keep that Drug War Propaganda because someday we will proudly state, Justice is a dish, best served cold. I'll bring the hemp rope. Comments on this article are appreciated.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 3 charged in home invasion by fake police (The Vancouver Sun, in British Columbia, says a couple on Saltspring Island were awakened and forced to open their front door at around 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 23 by intruders who took eight marijuana plants and sexually assaulted the woman. Corporal Rob Stutt of Surrey RCMP's major crimes unit said home invasions where assailants dress up as police are fairly common. He's handled three or four himself, he said. "It's a lot more common than you would think," Stutt said.) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: 3 charged in home invasion by fake police Date: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 14:36:52 -0800 Lines: 70 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Saturday 2 January 1999 Authors: Robyn Swanson, Chad Skelton 3 charged in home invasion by fake police Three Vancouver men are now charged after a home invasion on Saltspring Island by suspects claiming to be police officers. The men may be linked to similar incidents in the Lower Mainland, the RCMP says, and one is charged with sexual assault in connection with the Saltspring incident. A police search warrant says a resident of the Saltspring home was awakened as his front door was forced open at around 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 23. The resident told police two men entered screaming: "Police . . . search warrant . . . get on the ground!" One of the two men was brandishing a hand gun, the resident said, and they told him they were looking for his marijuana-growing operation. The resident's 27-year-old girlfriend, who was downstairs, later told police that she saw two men in the house wearing toques and winter jackets with the word "POLICE" in yellow letters on the back. The suspects struck the man on the right side of his face, tied him and covered him with blankets, police were told. Police say the intruders found only eight marijuana plants in the man's basement and threatened to "turn this into a homicide" if he didn't reveal the location of the remaining marijuana. The girlfriend, who was hiding downstairs, said she was found by the intruders and brought upstairs. There, the assailants taped the woman's arms and legs and threw a blanket over her head. Another man then led her into a bedroom where, she said, she was sexually assaulted. The suspects were arrested four hours after the home invasion as they disembarked from the ferry at Crofton on Vancouver Island. One suspect was found carrying a loaded semi-automatic handgun tucked into his pants. Police searched the vehicle and located another pistol and jackets bearing the word "POLICE." RCMP are continuing to investigate possible links to other incidents in the Lower Mainland. "Several inquiries have been received from other police agencies about the circumstances," said North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Corporal Mike Wilton. Corporal Rob Stutt of Surrey RCMP's major crimes unit said home invasions where assailants dress up as police are fairly common. He's handled three or four himself, he said. "It's a lot more common than you would think," Stutt said. The Saltspring Island resident told officers he suspected a former employee who had recently returned to Vancouver of being involved in the home invasion. The resident said the former employee had once told him how friends of his would dress up as police and invade the homes of marijuana grow operations. The day before his home was invaded, the resident said he received a call from the former employee asking whether he could help trim the marijuana plants, the search warrant indicated. Jazz Lamer Slater, Kevin James Jones and Cecil Henry Jones are charged jointly with 12 offences including break and enter, armed robbery, unlawful confinement and possession of marijuana and weapons. Cecil Jones faces additional counts of sexual assault and possession of a Luger nine-millimetre handgun. All three remain in custody and will appear again for a bail hearing in Victoria on Monday.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Residents angry after drug raid (The Edmonton Sun says two senior citizens claim they were victimized by police who smashed their way into the couple's inner-city rooming house yesterday to arrest two other tenants. Ron Davies, 65, says his landlord threatened to evict him if he doesn't come up with the money to fix the front window and the door, which police smashed to get inside.) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Residents angry after drug raid Date: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 14:33:37 -0800 Lines: 45 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Edmonton Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Saturday, January 2, 1999 Author: Kim Bradley Residents angry after drug raid A pair of seniors claim they were victimized by police who smashed their way into the couple's inner-city rooming house yesterday to arrest two other tenants. Cops say they believed a drug operation was being run from inside the house and that the search warrant they obtained on that notion was executed by the book. Ron Davies, 65, says he is planning to file a complaint against the police after his handicapped common-law wife, Julia Johnson, 64, was handcuffed during a drug raid in the rooming house at 10710 103 St. around 3 a.m. yesterday. Johnson said the handcuffs caused a hand to swell and she may have to see a doctor. "She's in shock right now," said Davies of his common-law wife of 29 years. "She can't even move her fingers. They should never have tied her up." Davies is asking that the police be held accountable for the damages they caused to the house when they smashed the front window and the door to get inside. The pensioner claims his landlord has threatened to evict him if he doesn't come up with the money to fix the damage. According to Sgt. Garet Bonn, cops went to the house after they heard from several sources that two men living there may be selling drugs. They also had information to suggest they were armed and a possible threat to police, he said. "These people live in a building where this type of activity was going on," Bonn said. "We have to go with the information we have at the time." It is routine for tactical cops to detain everyone found in a home when doing a search of this nature to protect the investigation and the officers doing the search, he added. There was evidence of drug use found in the house, but not enough to warrant any charges, Bonn said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US, Colombian Rebels Secretly Meet (According to the Associated Press, U.S. and Colombian officials Sunday confirmed a Colombian newspaper's assertion that U.S. State Department officials had met in Costa Rica with members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. FARC plans to begin negotiations with the Colombian government Thursday, and American officials supposedly see the talks as an opportunity to curb cocaine production, allegedly their top priority in Colombia. FARC has indicated it would help attack drug trafficking as part of a peace settlement.) Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 11:32:10 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Colombia: WIRE: US, Colombian Rebels Secretly Meet Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Sun, 03 Jan 1999 Source: Wire: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press. US, COLOMBIAN REBELS SECRETLY MEET BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) U.S. diplomats have met secretly with a Colombian guerrilla faction that Washington considers a terrorist organization, U.S. and Colombian officials confirmed Sunday. State Department officials met in Costa Rica with members of the 15,000- strong Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and a government representative, said Colombian presidential peace envoy Victor G. Ricardo. He declined to give details but said that "everything (discussed) was related to the peace process." A U.S. official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity also confirmed the meeting. Officials only acknowledged the meeting after it was revealed Sunday in a Colombian newspaper. The powerful rebel insurgency plans to enter negotiations with the Colombian government Thursday, and American officials have taken a keen interest in the peace talks. They see them as an opportunity to curb cocaine production, their top priority in Colombia. The U.S. government lists the leftist FARC which has kidnapped and killed U.S. citizens as well as Colombians as a terrorist organization. The FARC has indicated it would help attack drug trafficking as part of a peace settlement. The rebels now encourage the drug trade, protecting peasants who grow illegal drug crops and taking payoffs for guarding drug traffickers' laboratories and airstrips. The U.S. official would not say when the meeting occurred, and denied local media reports that Peter Romero, the State Department's top envoy for Latin America, was in attendance. "It was at a lower level," said the official. El Tiempo newspaper reported Sunday that Romero had met in Costa Rica around Dec. 25 with top FARC commander Raul Reyes.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ending The War On Drugs (The Economist, in Britain, insightfully recounts the history and pitfalls of modern drug prohibition in a review of several recent books about drugs and drug policy, including "Drug Crazy," by Mike Gray; "Opium: A History," by Martin Booth; "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances," by Richard Rudgley; "Buzzed," by Cynthia Kuhn and others; "Ending the War on Drugs," by Dirk Chase Eldredge, and "The Fix," by Michael Massing.) Date: Wed, 06 Jan 1999 22:45:59 +0000 To: email@example.com From: Peter Webster (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: The Economist: Ending The War On Drugs Source: Economist, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.economist.com/ Copyright: 1999 The Economist Newspaper Limited. Pubdate: 2 Jan 1999 ENDING THE WAR ON DRUGS The war against drugs is either not working or succeeding at too high a cost, several recent books agree. What should replace it is harder to be certain of. DRUG CRAZY. By Mike Gray. Random House; 240 pages; $23.95. OPIUM: A HISTORY. By Martin Booth. St Martin's Press; 381 pages; $24.95. Pocket; $6.99 (paperback). THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES. By Richard Rudgley. Little, Brown; 302 pages; $18.99. BUZZED. By Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Swartzwelder, Wilkie Wilson with Leigh Heather Wilson and Jeremy Foster. Norton; 317 pages; $25 and $18.95. ENDING THE WAR ON DRUGS. By Dirk Chase Eldredge. Bridge Works; 207 pages; $22.95. THE FIX. By Michael Massing. Simon and Schuster; 335 pages; $25 WAR is a dirty business, and the war on drugs involves plenty of filth: deceit, corruption and damage to civil liberties, not to mention outright violence--and that's just from the good guys. Every struggle has to have heroes, and America's anti-drugs campaign makes its casting billboard-clear. The white hats are enforcement agents stamping out narcotics at home and abroad, police sweeping dealers and users off the streets, judges jailing drug offenders, not to mention plucky little civilians who just say no. The black hats are shadowy figures: greedy drug barons, mostly foreign, who exploit their own countrymen and corrupt America's children. Congress and Hollywood, spurred on by alarmed parents, have created such a drugs mythology that the good and evil of narcotics is now as distinct, to many, as Mother Teresa and Saddam Hussein. Yet today's highly militarised drugs campaign originated in more than medicine and morality. From the start the war has involved political interest and financial gain, as well as frequent misunderstanding--not to mention downright misrepresentation--of the best evidence about drugs' medical and social effects. If these were novel or incidental mistakes, the war might be more understandable. But, along with social concern and good sense, modern drug policy has from the start involved fear and unreason, often directed against foreigners or outsiders. It is almost 125 years since authorities in San Francisco launched an early salvo in the western war on drugs by clamping down on opium use among the growing population of Chinese labourers. In the years leading up to the Harrison Act of 1914, which amounted to the first federal ban on non-medical narcotics, its drafters played on fears of drug-crazed, sex-mad negroes to win support in the South. Then 20 years later, the spectre of the sky-high, violent Mexican immigrant was played up to sell the public on the criminalising of marijuana. At several times since the 1930s, governments have used the drug card, whether to lean on dispensible foreign dictators or to brush back homegrown countercultures. One thing that has changed, though, are the high stakes that America is willing to play. In 1980, the federal government spent around $1 billion on drug control; federal, state and local spending last year exceeded $30 billion, which includes much expanded programmes of crop eradication, border patrolling and sting operations. Only a third of the federal government's drug-control spending goes on drugs education or drugs treatment. How much success this money buys depends on your definition. According to United Nations estimates, Americans are spending almost $60 billion on illegal drugs a year, mainly on the soft drug, marijuana, and its hard counterparts, cocaine and heroin. These are, unavoidably, guesstimates. But nobody seriously contests that drugs continue to pour into America and that prices have fallen. Cocaine costs half or less what it did in the early 1980s and heroin sells for just under $1,000 a gram, three-fifths of its price a decade ago. Purity has also increased. In the 1980s, street heroin was so adulterated that injecting straight into the blood was the surest way to achieve a high. Now fixes are commonly more than 50% pure, which means that users who might be deterred by needles can smoke or snort the drug instead. A third of all Americans admit to having tried drugs and at least 13m are occasional users. Drug arrests were 1.1m in 1995, double the 1980 figure. There are 400,000 Americans behind bars for drug offences, eight times the number 19 years ago. Those who fight the war on drugs, with its strict penalties at home and sharp punishment abroad, point to seizures of both drugs and their users as victories. In their terms, they are. And if slowing the spread of hard drugs is a sensible goal, which it seems to be, there is indeed good news. Nationwide studies of drug use, such as the University of Michigan survey of high-school students, suggest that although teenage marijuana use has risen in recent years, experimentation with cocaine or heroin among young, first-time users has stayed fairly steady. Those who question or oppose the drugs war, however, reckon that this is the wrong body count. Although casual hard-drug consumption may be dropping, the number of hard-core hard drug users--those most directly associated with the private and collective misery of drugs--has scarcely budged since the war began. Instead the war's critics propose an entirely new approach that drops or downplays military means and abandons unconditional surrender as the goal. The anti-war doves, as will be seen, form a growing and disputatious camp. Yet whether they favour disapproval or toleration, continued prohibition or legalisation, most doves accept that core drug abuse is not going to be eradicated at an acceptable price, that crusading moralism is counterproductive and that drugs policy should be refocused on education for the young and harm reduction for habitual users--for example, methadone programmes, needle-exchange centres or prescription heroin. It sounds like common sense. But good sense alone will not end the war on drugs. Both the law makers and law breakers have too much invested in the conflict for either to lay down arms easily. Even amid falling prices, drug producers continue to profit from the risk premium that prohibition puts on their multi-billion dollar industry. The anti-drug warriors' jobs and budgets depend on expensive enforcement and lucrative asset seizures. Having demonised their foes, they can only with great difficulty now make peace with the devil. Back to the future Neither side is above massaging the drugs statistics. But anyone who suspects that the critics of the drugs war are toying with the facts should read Drug Crazy. This book describes the origins and consequences of America's present narcotics policy. It moves from gangland drug busts to Colombian coca plantations to Mexican border patrols. This is reportage from the front line, told with all the verve of an action film, a style which no doubt owes much to the fact that its author, Mike Gray, is a Hollywood screenwriter and producer. Mr Gray does not shrink from describing the violence of the drugs war, from shoot-outs in the ghettoes of Chicago to explosions on the streets of Bogota. But the legal burden of America's current drug policy comes through most clearly in his description of how drug dealers are brought to justice. Chicago's county court, which has seen its caseload quadruple in the last 20 years largely because of continued tightening of policy on drugs, now runs round the clock. Although most people who take crack cocaine are white, 96% of the crack defendants in federal courts are black or Hispanic. This is largely because white people, being richer, do their deals behind closed doors, while blacks and Hispanics tend to trade on the streets, where they are more easily watched and arrested. The night shift at Cook County court catches only the foot soldiers of such drug armies as Chicago's Gangster Disciples. The officers stay out of sight and, generally, out of jail. Justice is summary, and baffling: ten-minute trials lead to five-year sentences for possession of a fifth of an ounce of crack, while the same amount of powdered cocaine lands its owner a few weeks in prison. Crack is cocaine mixed with baking soda to make it smokable and stronger. But concentrating the drug also concentrates the penalty, introduced during the crack scare of the 1980s. As blacks use more crack than powdered cocaine, the punishment falls disproportionately on them. Arrest and imprisonment are scarcely deterrents. A young lawyer at the county court is quoted as saying, We're not producing justice here. We're manufacturing revolutionaries. On a continent once famous for revolutionaries--Latin America--the tough position of the United States has had mixed effects. The Bush administration spent $2 billion on crop eradication and substitution, spraying the jungle and bribing peasants to plant passion fruit rather than coca plants--with little success. By 1992, cocaine production had grown by 15% and the business had spread across an area the size of the continental United States. It had also become frighteningly efficient, first dominated by Pablo Escobar (a ruthless killer, as Mr Gray describes him, with a pleasant side) in Medellin and then the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers in Cali. The high-tech barriers America erected along its borders have succeeded in diverting entry of South American cocaine from Florida to California and Texas via Mexico, thereby drawing another country into the violence and corruption which has plagued Colombia. And the high premium that the criminalisation of drugs places on them means that South America has turned its eye to heroin, a far more profitable drug than cocaine. None of this, as Mr Gray stresses, should come as a surprise. America's last concerted effort at substance control, prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s, had similar effects. It inflated prices, drove bootleg suppliers to organise, encouraged the spread of guns and crime, corrupted a quarter of the federal enforcement agents--and doubled the consumption of hard liquor, all within a decade. Nor does Drug Crazy neglect the influence of stubborn or strong-minded individuals. It is full of outsize characters from the past: Hamilton Wright, for example, an American doctor turned diplomat, who tried to bully the world into drug prohibition, crafted the Harrison Narcotics Act and was later sacked for drinking on the job. Or Harry Anslinger, head of drug enforcement from 1930 to 1962, who perfected the sledge hammer school of narcotics control and invoked every menace from axemen to communism. Drugs in history Because the drugs war is so noisy and so visible, it is often easy to forget that drugs are not just an American issue. Martin Booth's Opium: A History charts the rise of heroin from its ancient origins in the poppies of Eastern Europe to modern-day trade on the streets of America. The book's wealth of detail is remarkable: all aspects botanical, political, economic, cultural and pharmacological are discussed (including the unexpected etymology of such slang as hip, hype and junkie). Unlike Drug Crazy which is mainly focused on the Americas, much of Opium is set in Europe and Asia, giving the book a more international perspective and more comprehensive feel. Although Mr Booth's accounts of famous addicts, from Clive of India to John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola, make for interesting reading, the real fascination of Opium is in its account of the common man's habit through history. Until the Harrison Act, morphine and opium--mainly in the tincture laudanum or as patent medicine--were freely available in America, as they were in Europe. Opium was a sovereign cure in Victorian England for afflictions ranging from diarrhoea to depression. Babies were fed the drug in soothing syrups such as Godfrey's Cordial, leading to claims of physical and mental retardation, exactly the same concerns voiced about today's crack babies. In 1868, British public health authorities took most opiates out of the hands of grocers and put them into those of dispensing doctors and pharmacists (as, in America, did the Harrison Act). Starting with the International Opium Commission of 1909, American efforts to curtail world manufacture, sale and distribution of opium and its derivatives met with lively resistance from Europe, India and other countries with a stake in the international trade. Yet from the 1920s to the 1980s, a series of international treaties forced countries to clamp down on the production, trade and consumption of opiates, whether for ritual, for fun or as self-administered medicine. In that time, the penalties for peddling and possession tended to climb, especially in America. One clear historical lesson that emerges from Opium is that people will take drugs whether or not they are proscribed, and they will do so for all sorts of reasons--to escape life's burdens, for adventure, for straightforward fun. In 19th-century Britain, Mr Booth tells us, the Fens of East Anglia were awash in opium. Agricultural labourers took their pennyworth of elevation along with a nightly beer as a lift out of working drudgery. This is not so far from the plight of crack addicts in America's inner cities, boxed in by poverty, dead-end jobs and broken families. What does vary widely with history, however, are official attitudes towards the drug trade. As Britain followed America's line in the 1980s and got tough on drugs, complaints were regularly fired against heroin-producing nations, such as Pakistan. Supply-side control was seen as the solution to the drug problem; if only these people would pull up their poppies, then Western drug use would plummet. Ironically, exactly the same argument was used against the British in the early 19th century, when they foisted opium from India on the Chinese in exchange for tea. When China's then drug czar, Lin Ts=EA-hs=FC, complained to the British that they were breaking imperial edicts banning opium import and possession, the prime minister, Lord Palmerston, replied that the opium trade was a Chinese problem and that it should be dealt with by controlling consumption. His logic sounds familiar today. Such shifts are common in drug debates, according to Richard Rudgley, a University of Oxford anthropologist. Which intoxicants are forbidden and which tolerated has never added up to a very coherent story. How many exasperated parents have lectured teenagers about drugs while pouring themselves a third drink or lighting another fag? Some of the most debilitating and addictive compounds, such as alcohol and tobacco, are permitted while less obviously damaging drugs such as marijuana are widely proscribed. In The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances, Mr Rudgley offers a quick history of almost 100 drugs, sacred and profane, from the hallucinogenic mushroom amanita to the zombie mixtures of Haitian folklore. Though dutiful on ordinary drugs, he is gripped when it comes to the exotic or obscure. There are intriguing entries on so-called psychoactive animals. Apparently members of the Humr tribe in south-west Sudan dream vividly of giraffes after taking giraffe liver extract or bone marrow. What heroin taker would swap its orgasmic rush for a giraffe dream? As Mr Rudgley sweeps from soma of the ancient Indo-Iranians to Ecstasy in the British rave scene, he is careful always to put his psychoactive substances into a wider cultural or even ritual context, an aspect that has been largely lost in Western drug use. A quick fix Common to many of these books is the charge that American administrations have tended to neglect solid evidence which might ease their drug bind. This is most obvious with marijuana, which 70m Americans over the age of 12 have tried, some for medical reasons, but most for fun. Since the 1930s, blue-ribbon panels of scientists and doctors have urged its decriminalisation, only to meet rebuttal from influential voices, like Anslinger, that marijuana was a gateway substance leading users to more damaging drugs such as heroin. Yet the evidence to support marijuana's gateway status is remarkably thin. Marijuana is not benign. There are legitimate concerns about its effect on memory and on the lungs, among other organs. But by most clinical (and personal) accounts, the drug is no more dangerous than alcohol, a freely-flowing intoxicant. Yet marijuana policy in America does appear to be softening. Half a dozen states have voted to legalise the drug for medical purposes. By contrast, the tough official policy on hard drugs shows little sign of change. Nor do the anti-drug-war doves appear to be making much headway in winning converts where it counts--among elected politicians and in the criminal-justice system. Part of the trouble is that the anti-war camp is divided, not least on something seemingly as basic as the medical effects of hard drugs. This is not their fault: the issues are complex and the evidence is often disputable. Yet given the sheer weight of belief that hard drugs are very dangerous indeed, the burden of disproof rests, politically, on the doves. To take a glaring example of where well-informed, fair-minded people can differ on what you might expect was observable fact: Mr Rudgley describes the bleak prospects of America's 375,000 crack babies, born to addicted mothers, who face a life of mental and physical retardation. But Mr Gray claims that this figure is grossly exaggerated and that most crack babies grow up to be quite normal and not brain-damaged, unteachable monsters. Any sensible approach to hard drugs ought to start with an understanding of addiction. But addiction, too, appears to be a bendable notion. Do drugs give addicts a habit or do addicts make a habit of drugs? Not everyone who takes a hard drug spirals into dependence. How destructive it is to be hooked depends a lot on your circumstances. Cocaine is most certainly addictive for some, but many users manage to limit their intake to the occasional snort. Heroin is much harder to take or leave. But addicts can regularise consumption and do jobs, as heroin-prescription programmes in Switzerland and Britain have shown. The best research seems to confirm most people's intuition that addiction depends on a damaging mix of biochemistry and bad social conditions. Much of this research is discussed in Buzzed, a guide to the effects of legal and illicit drugs from coffee to cocaine. The authors wrote it out of concern for what they take to be a growing disconnect between advances in understanding of the physiology of addiction and public perceptions of drug abuse. Buzzed describes complex neurochemistry with admirable clarity and its glossary of drug terms will raise smiles. Roche may be a respectable Swiss pharmaceutical company. But Roche in street slang is Rohypnol, the notorious date-rape drug. Prudential has nothing to do with insurance but means a crack-user. Buzzed is less clear about how much cocaine or heroin you can take without risking addiction. This is not its fault. Even the best evidence on this has an elusive, it-depends quality: instant, one-off addiction is rare even with heroin, it seems, but repeated use over a few weeks or less can create dependence. Yes, but what is the connection between that first use and those few repeats? Denouncing the war on drugs is the easy part. Finding a different approach is trickier. The more radical anti-war doves believe in sweeping legalisation. Dirk Chase Eldredge is one such and he makes a fact-packed case in Ending the War on Drugs. Unlike Drug Crazy, which views the war from the trenches, this book reads more like a conference report from a chateau general. Yet the author is not what you might expect. Mr Eldredge is a life-long Republican and former campaign manager for President Reagan, whose wife, Nancy, sponsored Just Say No. Within the party his is very much a minority view: most Republicans in Congress who speak out on the issue are unblinkingly pro-war and would like to see users and pushers off the streets for good. Undaunted, Mr Eldredge spells out how legalisation could be accomplished. His preferred system would include state-run sales, quality-and-price control and a ban on advertising. Revenue from drug sales and a peace dividend (fewer prisoners and crop eradications to pay for) would, he believes, provide money for anti-drug education, drug treatment and research. As a virgin-lands policy, this has strong appeal. Unfortunately, America is not virgin soil and Mr Eldredge's proposal is beset by several layers of difficulty. He himself acknowledges the problem faced by the constitutional primacy of the states in criminal matters: repealing federal drug laws would do little good if states did not follow in concert. He imagines the black market that would persist if for example one state legalised while its neighbour continued to proscribe. A similar difficulty exists at the international level. America has signed several drug treaties that prohibit trade in narcotics and oblige countries to police its use. Either America must persuade much of the world to decriminalise, having spent decades cajoling or coercing other nations into adopting an opposite line. Or America must abrogate treaties and legalise unilaterally, a step which could turn it into a black-market drugs exporter. Politically, neither course looks appetising. A third problem is uncertainty about the use-and addiction-effects if cocaine and heroin were decriminalised. It may well be that some people will take drugs whatever the law says. Just as Mr Booth cites history, Mr Eldredge cites recent opinion polls in support of the view that drug laws have little visible effect on drug conduct. There are strict drug laws and most people do not take drugs. But to treat the second as a consequence of the first, he believes, is a mistake. The reasons people give for why they do not take drugs include all sorts of things--health effects, moral scruples, personal dislikes--but the law seldom figures highly among them. This is persuasive as far as it goes. But it skirts the main issue: how many people would try hard drugs if they were legally available, and how many new addicts would there be? Prohibitionists point to the Dutch experience. The partial decriminalisation of cannabis there was followed, they point out, by a sharp rise in use by teenagers. Increased availability, in other words, inevitably means some increased consumption. But the marijuana parallel is not relevant, many doves insist, since soft and hard drugs are so different. Cocaine and heroin, they seem to be saying, are their own best deterrent. The truth is nobody can say with any confidence what would happen if hard drugs were legalised. No country has yet dared to try and addiction research has not yet given firm enough answers. A middle way Not surprisingly, many people are looking for a middle way between the diehard warriors and the out-and-out legalisers. Last year, Foreign Affairs published an instructive exchange between Ethan Nadelmann, who favours harm-reduction for illegal hard drugs in a context of marijuana decriminalisation (Commonsense Drug Policy; January-February 1998 issue) and Herbert Kleber and Mitchell Rosenthal, who favour continued proscription but think money should also be invested in education, treatment and research on the home front (Drug Myths from Abroad; September-October 1998). In The Fix, Michael Massing describes in detail one of America's few sustained attempts to relieve or cure addicts rather than punish them. Early in the 1970s an estimated 600,000 Americans regularly used heroin, a number swollen by addicted soldiers returning from Vietnam. President Nixon asked Jerome Jaffe, a psychiatrist from Chicago, to set up methadone centres and abstinence programmes across the country. At their height, such demand-side initiatives received two-thirds of the federal drug budget, and made considerable gains: crime rates fell and fewer addicts died of overdoses. But as the heroin crisis abated, so did government interest in the Jaffe programmes. Subsequent administrations, Republican and Democratic, turned to supply-side controls abroad and to locking up users and pushers in America. Mr Massing is particularly critical of a shift in resources under Presidents Reagan and Bush from the dark heart of drug use--hard-core cocaine and heroin addiction--to teenage marijuana use. A few methadone treatment centres carry on Dr Jaffe's tradition, but they have room for only 15% of America's 800,000 heroin addicts. The Fix takes to the street with one service, New York's Hot Line Cares, as it lives hand-to-mouth trying to get the city's crack addicts into precious treatment slots. The reward is found, not only in Mr Massing's accounts of wasted lives rescued through treatment, but also in hard economics. According to a 1992 study conducted by California's Rand Corporation, treatment is seven times better at reducing cocaine consumption in America than domestic law enforcement and an astonishing 23 times more effective than blasting foreign drug sources. Mr Massing advocates a rebalancing of the nation's drug budget, with half of its resources allocated to treatment and education, out of the pocket of supply-side control. Drug warriors certainly challenge this balance of power. An increased investment in treatment or harm reduction will not singlehandedly solve the drug problem. But at least they will not make matters worse, which the war on drugs very arguably has.
------------------------------------------------------------------- EU Nations Will Resist Calls For More Tolerance (The Times, in Britain, summarizes the varying official attitudes and policies toward cannabis and harder drugs evolving in the major countries making up the European Union.) Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 00:55:28 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: EU Nations Will Resist Calls For More Tolerance Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Pelle Moulante Source: Times, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Copyright: 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd Pubdate: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 Author: ROGER BOYES EU NATIONS WILL RESIST CALLS FOR MORE TOLERANCE THE most liberal of EU governments are resisting any attempt to blur the borders between hard and soft drugs. Indeed Holland - famous for its coffee shops permitting the sale and smoking of small quantities of cannabis - argues that tolerance of soft drugs actually reduces misuse of harder drugs. France and other more conservative states disagree and maintain an across-the-board prohibition. But the effect is the same: the distinction between hard and soft drugs is regarded as necessary. Holland allows hundreds of coffee-shop owners to sell 5g of cannabis to each customer. These drug cafes survive in a legal limbo. It is illegal to supply a coffee shop with the soft drugs yet acceptable to sell them to customers. The police simply turn their gaze away providing that no one under 18 is served cannabis, that the coffee shops do not advertise or display drug menus in the window, that neighbours are not annoyed and that hard drugs, amphetamines and Ecstasy are not sold on the premises. Dutch officials say the policy works. The easy access to soft drugs keeps many young people out of immediate contact with hard-drug providers. The result is that the number of registered hard-drug addicts in Holland is, at 0.16 per cent of the population, significantly below the EU average. Certainly France and Britain have more addicts. France, the US and indeed most international police organisations are not convinced. While much cannabis is home-grown in Holland, most comes from Morocco. Such deliveries become immensely more profitable if they include other harder drugs, or at least a shipment of Ecstasy pills. Dutch dealers have been supplying cocaine to the Dutch Antilles - causing great concern in the United States since the Caribbean is regarded as a launching pad for drug shipments to North America - and are a major source of Ecstasy in Britain. The Dutch may thus be exporting their hard drug problem. The border-free Europe enables dealers or consumers to shop in Holland. The Dutch also tolerate possession of small amounts of heroin and cocaine - up to 1g. The proximity of Holland has encouraged Germany to start to liberalise its drug laws. The new Social Democratic Government's drug expert, Christa Nickels, is urging the legalisation of so-called "fixer rooms", in which heroin addicts can inject themselves under supervision, using clean needles. Some prisons have started to issue clean needles as of routine. In northern Germany, courts have been dismissing charges against people carrying small quantities of soft drugs for personal consumption. Gerhard Schroder, the Chancellor, has said there would be no legalisation of cannabis. The conventional wisdom that soft-drug use leads to hard drug use is still shared by the Social Democrats despite the Dutch experience.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Stop Talking To Children About 'Soft' Drugs, Teachers To Be Told (According to the Times, in London, Keith Hellawell, the British drugs czar, said yesterday that teachers will be told to stop describing drugs as "soft" or "recreational" because it encourages children to experiment with cannabis and Ecstasy. Mr Hellawell is so concerned that the terms are misunderstood by children that he intends to launch a national advertising campaign to urge the public to stop using them.) Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 12:24:59 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Stop Talking To Children About 'Soft' Drugs, Teachers To Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Pelle Moulante Pubdate: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 Source: Times, The (UK) Copyright: 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Author: Victoria Fletcher and Valerie Elliott STOP TALKING TO CHILDREN ABOUT 'SOFT' DRUGS, TEACHERS TO BE TOLD TEACHERS will be told to stop describing drugs as "soft" or "recreational" because that encourages children to experiment with cannabis and Ecstasy, Keith Hellawell, the drugs czar, said yesterday. Mr Hellawell is so concerned that the terms are misunderstood by children that he intends to launch a national advertising campaign to urge the public to drop them. The move comes after a study of attitudes about drugs among seven-year-olds in Lincolnshire. The children said that so-called "hard" drugs such as heroin were bad, but believed that "soft" drugs were good. Mr Hellawell is so disturbed by the findings that the new tough message that all drugs are equally dangerous will form the centrepiece of a ten-year strategy that he will unveil shortly. Ministers are increasingly concerned that they are losing the battle against drugs; a recent study showed that more children in Britain use drugs than in any other European country. Mr Hellawell said that a drug was a drug and that all must be treated with equal severity. Many children were less fearful of the effects of some drugs because of the terminology used by teachers, politicians and broadcasters. He added: "You have to consider the consequences that using such words as 'recreational' and 'soft' can have on young children. They know that Ecstasy is bad. But when it is called a recreational drug, that does not seem as serious." He said that the use of the term "soft drugs" was giving young people the wrong message: "Young people don't even seem to understand the legal consequences of getting involved with drugs. They think a police caution is just like a slap on the hand. Young people say they will not get involved in hard drugs, but they fail to understand the problems even connected with cannabis. They might not get a visa to travel to the United States. There will be no jobs for them in the Army or the police force if they have been caught in possession of the drug. We must start getting this message through." His approach will call into question the way many schools and health education advisers try to combat drug use. They give children detailed information about the different risks posed by various drugs, with clear distinctions made between hard and soft drugs. Mr Hellawell's comments are a thinly veiled attack on Estelle Morris, the Minister for School Standards, who in November urged schools to be more lenient with pupils caught experimenting with cannabis. Speaking to a teaching conference, Ms Morris criticised schools adopting "zero-tolerance" policies and said that pupils caught with drugs for the first time should not necessarily be expelled. Mr Hellawell was appointed Anti-drugs Co-ordinator by the Prime Minister a year ago to create a nationwide strategy to tackle the problems posed by Britain's estimated 200,000 drug addicts. A national plan for anti-drugs lessons will be introduced in the autumn for pupils from the age of five. Mr Hellawell said that reformed drug users could be used in more schools to give talks to pupils from the age of 11 and that such first-hand accounts could prove one of the most effective ways of getting the message through to young people. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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