Portland NORML News - Sunday, January 3, 1999

Hemp "eats" Chernobyl waste, offers hope for Hanford (An article
in the Central Oregon Green Pages, in Bend, says that Consolidated Growers
and Processors, Phytotech, and the Bast Institute in the Ukraine began
to plant industrial hemp near Chernobyl in 1998 in order to remove
contaminants from the soil. The Bast Institute has a genetic bank including
400 varieties of hemp. "Hemp is proving to be one of the best
phyto-remediative plants we have been able to find," said Slavik Dushenkov,
a research scienst with Phytotech. Test results have been promising
and full scale trials are planned in the Chernobyl region in the spring
of 1999.)

From: cwagoner@bendnet.com
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 19:17:11 -0800 (PST)
Subject: DPFOR: Hemp eats Chernobyl waste, offers hope for Hanford
To: editor@mapinc.org, DPFOR@drugsense.org
Sender: owner-dpfor@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfor@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/
Newshawk: Curt Wagoner (cwagoner@bendnet.com)
Source: Central Oregon Green Pages (cogp@empnet.com)
Mail: 557 NE Quimby, Bend, Oregon 97701
Website: www.copg.empnet.com
Pubdate: Winter 1998-99
Author: Elaine Charkowski
Section: Enlightened Living
Newshawk note: Central Oregon Green Pages is a community service, quarterly
magazine whose purpose is to encourage ecological and holistic
lifestyle,business and consumer choices through education. Circulation: 10,000


Hemp "eats" Chernobyl waste, offers hope for Hanford

An explosion at a nuclear reactor on April 26th, 1986 in Chernobyl, Ukraine
created the world's worst nuclear disaster - so far.

The blast heavily contaminated agricultural lands in a 30 km radius around
the reactor. The few people still living there must monitor their food and water
for radiation. However the combination of a new technology (phytoremediation)
and an old crop (industrial hemp) may offer the Ukraine a way to decontaminate
it's radioactive soil.

In 1998, Consolidated Growers and Processors (CGP), Phytotech, and the
Ukraine's Institute of Bast Crops began what may be one of the most important
projects in history - the planting of industrial hemp for the removal of
contaminants in the soil near Chernobyl.

CGP is an ecologically-minded multinational corporation which finances the
growing and processing of sustainable industrial crops such as flax, kenaf, and
industrial hemp. CGP operates in North America, Europe and the Ukraine.

Phytotech (see webpage: www.phytotech.com/index.html) specializes in
phytoremediation, the general term for using phyto (plants) to remediate
(clean up) polluted sites. Phytoremediation can be used to remove radioactive
elements from soil and water at former weapons producing facilaties. It can also
be used to clean up metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil,
polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and toxins leaching from landfills.

Plants break down or degrade organic pollutants and stabilize metal
contaminants by acting as filters or traps. Phytotech is conducting feild trials
to improve the phytoextraction of lead, uranium, cesium-137, and strontium-90
from soils and also from water.

Founded in 1931, the Institute of Bast Crops is now the leading research
institution in the Ukraine working on seed-breeding, seed-growing, cultivating,
harvesting and processing hemp and flax.

The Bast Institute has a genetic bank including 400 varieties of hemp from
various regions of the world.

"Hemp is proving to be one of the best phyto-remediative plants we have been
able to find, " said Slavik Dushenkov, a research scienst with Phytotech. Test
results have been promising and CGP, Phytotech and the Bast Institute plan full
scale trials in the Chernobyl region in the spring of 1999.

Industrial hemp is not a drug. Unlike its cousin marijuana, industrial hemp
has only trace amounts of THC - the chemical that produces the high. In 1973,
the Department of the Interior and Department of Health and Agriculture of the
former USSR issued an ultimatim to the Institute of Bast Crops - either create
non-psychoactive varities of hemp or stop cultivating hemp. So, scientists at the
institute created an industrial hemp plant containing only minute traces of THC.
Modern testing in Canada confirmed the low THC content of the Bast Institute's

New technologies in hemp harvesting and processing are also being developed
at the Institute whose library contains more than 55,000 volumes mainly on
hemp-growing and flax-growing.

Chernobyl may seem distant, but the EPA estimates that there are more than
30,000 sites requiring hazardous waste treatment throughout the U.S. including
Hanford and Three Mile Island.

Phytoremediation with industrial hemp could be used at many of these sites.
Unfortunantly, the U.S. government refuses to legalize the cultivation of
industrial hemp and clings to the obsolete myth that it is a drug.



Date: Sun, 03 Jan 1999 21:12:13 -0800
From: byoung@pacifier.com (byoung)
Subject: Tainted tumbleweeds concern Hanford
(Re: HT: Hemp eats Chernobyl waste, offers hope for Hanford)
Cc: hemp-talk@hemp.net

Here is a recent article from the Tri-City Herald, Dec 27, 1998. They're
talking about disposal costs and/or about using pesticides to prevent
thistle growth and subsequent contamination from the get go. But that seems
rash, considering that the lack of vegetation would make the topsoil loose.
I suppose you could replace the thistle with one that wouldn't reach so far
down (15 ft). I think hemp only reaches 6 to 8 feet. At any rate, I'm sure
hemp fits in here somewhere. At least you could use hemp to kill the
thistles instead of pesticides.

Tainted tumbleweeds concern Hanford
By John Stang
Herald staff writer

Think of them as a sour note from Hanford for the late singing
cowboy Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers.

I'll keep rollin' along.

Deep in my heart is a song.

Here on the range I belong.

Driftin' along with the tumblin' tumbleweeds.

Twwaaaannng! Klunk!

They are tumbleweeds in central Hanford, out there sucking up
contaminated ground water before tumbling about in the wind
and scattering radioactivity here and there.

And a November Department of Energy report notes that more
radioactive tumbleweeds have been showing up.

The numbers tell part of the tale: Eleven contaminated
tumbleweeds were found in 1995, 19 in 1996, 39 in 1997, and
20 in the first six months of 1998.

Hanford officials say the increase is mostly linked to increased
efforts to find radioactive tumbleweeds and expanding the
monitored areas from 8,786 acres in 1995 to 11,376 acres in

Of Hanford's roughly 1,100 documented findings of
contaminated vegetation in the past 50 years, more than 80
percent were tumbleweeds.

Almost all the contaminated tumbleweeds bounce around central
Hanford's 200 Area, where the ground underneath is
crisscrossed by numerous plumes of radioactive contaminants.

The weeds - more formally known as Russian thistle - have roots
that can stretch 15 feet deep in search of water, which at
Hanford is likely to be contaminated.

Radioactive strontium 90 is common in tumbleweeds, which
absorb the radionuclides into their tissue.

The plants usually grow to 3 or 4 feet tall before they break off to
scatter seeds as the wind blows them around.

At Hanford, they also scatter bits and pieces of radioactive

The radioactivity in each piece is slight, but the pieces are a
symptom of an ongoing Hanford problem: controlling myriad
ways that nature conspires to spread radioactivity.

Add mice and various bugs to the list.

They track through Hanford's contaminated nooks and crannies,
then walk or fly off, spreading radioactivity.

Those specks can be picked up on workers' shoes and tracked
off-site. In September, that led to contaminated socks showing
up in a worker's laundry hamper at home.

In 1996, a contaminated mouse made it to the Tri-Cities Food
Bank in north Richland.

And this past fall, a couple dozen contaminated fruit flies
scattered radioactive specks around the 200 Area.

Then contaminated trash showed up in the Richland landfill, and
the city temporarily closed the landfill to Hanford. Trash was
hauled back to Hanford, while new procedures were hammered
out between Hanford and the city.

So Atomic Age tumbleweeds are taken seriously at Hanford.

In fact, the November DOE report calculated Fluor's
seven-company team spent $1.68 million in fiscal 1998 to control
vegetation like tumbleweeds and various critters ranging from
mice to bugs.

The report said that figure includes some unnecessarily high
overhead costs that could be reduced if the program was better
coordinated within Fluor's team and with another prime
contractor, Bechtel Hanford Inc.

Bechtel spent another $451,000 on herbicide spraying in 1998,
the report said.

Efforts to improve planning and coordination are under way, said
Fluor and DynCorp Tri-Cities Services officials.

The November report was prompted by a pair of employee
complaints that the tumbleweeds were not being tackled in a
timely manner.

So Hanford workers are now systematically surveying Hanford,
including checking tumbleweeds.

"There might be 50 tumbleweeds, and we'll find one with some
radioactivity," said Greg Perkins, Fluor Daniel Hanford's director
of radiation protection.

Contaminated tumbleweeds are stuffed into bags, then crushed
and buried in central Hanford's low-level waste trenches.

But such cleanup is expensive. Strict radioactivity handling
requirements bump up the costs of gathering and burying
contaminated tumbleweeds - which can run $27,000 to
$160,000 per acre, depending on the degree of infestation.

The November report also stressed preventing the tumbleweeds
from sucking up contaminants in the first place.

That means spraying herbicides to stop the growth of
tumbleweeds - for about $343 per acre.

Perkins explained the work isn't as simple as it sounds. "You
can't go out and blanket an area with spray. Certain (rare and
sensitive) plants have to be protected, and you can't arbitrarily
kill those off," he said.

Contaminated areas also have to be checked and sprayed
repeatedly because roaming tumbleweeds - each capable of
spreading 200,000 seeds - repopulate themselves very fast, said
Tom Harper, Fluor Daniel Hanford's director of infrastructure.


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Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 11:17:36 -0800
To: cwagoner@bendnet.com, cogp@empnet.com, info@phytotech.com,
info@congrowpro.com, hemp-talk@hemp.net
From: Richard Rose (richard@rella.com)
Subject: Re: HT: Hemp eats Chernobyl waste, offers hope for Hanford
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

The way hemp does this is by concentrating the heavy metals in the seeds.
Therefore, whomever is doing this must have a solid, credible and public
policy for disposing of the seeds in a manner which eliminates the
possibility of introducing them into commerce for food consumption, either
by people or animals.

Do they? If not, the danger is that customers will refuse to buy Ukrainian
seed, driving down their price to the point that some unscrupulous person
won't be able to resist the temptation, and buys them, changing the
'country of origin' statement and resells them as edible hempseed for a
hefty profit.

This is why we test our hempseed (HempNut) for heavy metals, and recommend
others do as well. One just never knows...

Richard Rose, Chief Hemp Nut
HempNut, Incorporated
Makers of the HempNut family of foods.
Hemp is Hope, not Dope.

It's Madness Not to Investigate Pot's Medical Use (Los Angeles Times
columnist Robert Scheer looks forward to the inauguration of California's
new attorney general, Bill Lockyer, who wants to fulfill Proposition 215's
mandate. The limited use of medically prescribed marijuana is a rare
opportunity to gain reliable evidence on the social and medical effects
of pot, instead of the reefer-madness hysteria that has always marked
the many wars on drugs going back to six decades ago - when marijuana
was legal without any disastrous social consequence.)

Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 11:32:08 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: It's Madness Not to Investigate Pot's Medical Use
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Pubdate: 3 Jan. 1999
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Fax: 213-237-4712
Forum: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/DISCUSS/
Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times.
Author: Robert Scheer (rscheer@aol.com), Zuade Kaufman contributed to this


Hung over from all that New Year's revelry and once again promising
yourself to abstain? Hah! Maybe you should have tried pot instead of
booze, Just kidding!

This is not a marijuana commercial, although it would be good to
counter those smug advertising council ads pimping the drug war.
Particularly after going through a weekend of football games in which
beer is presented to young people as the indispensable ticket to the
good life. Or after visiting many of the livelier dubs for young
people on the Westside where smoking is now so widespread, you can
hardly breathe,

Funny how some laws just don't get enforced. Alcohol kills 100,000 a
year, tobacco 400,000, and it there is hard evidence of the deadliness
of marijuana. particularly if eaten in a brownie rather than smoked,
the federal government has yet to come up with it.

But don't do pot. Marijuana is still a major target of opportunity in
the $11 billion war on drugs, and those warriors don't kid around.
They can mess you up real good, since they have the right to seize
property and in other ways violate due process with an abandon not
permitted in the war on violent crimes. More than half a million people
are arrested for marijuana possession each year, don't try it.

Just look at the Gestapo-like tactics employed against those locally
and throughout the state who have attempted to exercise their fight to
relieve the pain of serious illness with marijuana prescribed by a
physician - a right one had presumed was guaranteed by the passage of
Proposition 215.

I get plaintive e-mail all the time from people on the Westside with
AIDS and other serious illnesses who have found marijuana helpful but
are now afraid to buy it. There are also plenty of comments from
physicians who believe marijuana would be helpful to their patients,
but who are intimidated by federal and state threats to punish them if
they prescribe it.

Bill Clinton's Justice Department, acting in unity with California
Attorney General Dan Lungren, managed to thwart the will of the voters
by harassing distributors of medical marijuana here and throughout the
state. The drug war has always been driven by an unholy alliance of
just-jail-them reactionaries and do-gooder social activists who are
convinced they alone know what's best for us.

Fortunately, they are about to be challenged by California's new Attorney
General Bill Lockyer, who bravely admitted during the campaign that he voted
for Proposition 215. He has said since that he wants to cooperate with
local officials to make it work. That means cooperating with local
communities if they have different approaches," he told the San
Francisco Examiner, adding "San Francisco would be different than Kern
County." I hope the politicians around here will identify more with
San Francisco's positive approach to medical marijuana than with Kern
County's. if not, it's up to you to put their feet to the fire.

Lockyer is operating out of a base of sympathy for those in pain
derived from his experiences with his mother and sister, both of whom
died from leukemia. But he is also acting out of vast experience in
government, including heading the state Senate as president pro
tempore. Lockyer knows that the limited medical use of marijuana will
provide us with much-needed data vital to shaping a sound drug policy.

The limited use of medically prescribed marijuana is a rare
opportunity to gain reliable evidence on the social and medical
effects of pot. Yes, facts, instead of the reefer-madness hysteria
that has always marked each one of the many wars on drugs going back
to six decades ago - when marijuana was legal in this country without
any disastrous social consequence.

Thanks to Proposition 215, new data was being collected by physicians
around the state, and brave souls opened up distribution points including
the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center in West Hollywood, directed
by Scott Imler.

After Lungren closed down the Oakland and San Francisco cannabis clubs,
our local one was the biggest in California; but it was threatened by
both state and federal officials.

I trust Lockyer will be able to talk some sense into the Clinton
Administration and get it to give a chance to this experiment with a more
rational policy.

I don't think the drug warriors want that data because it might demonstrate
that marijuana should not be lumped in with harder drugs. They need to keep
marijuana illegal in order to produce the hoary arrest figures supporting
claims of a drug epidemic.

As they say truth is the first casualty of war. The drug war has other
casualties, and none is more obvious in Los Angeles than the gang violence
that is often a fight over the spoils of the illegal drug trade. That's why
state Sen. Tom Hayden, who has worked long and hard on stopping gang
violence, hailed Lockyer's stance as "very good news, it's great."

Hayden noted the dramatic decline of violence after the end of alcohol
prohibition and added, "We have to re-examine the whole war on drugs with
respect to its social cost in increased gang violence. Implementing
Proposition 215 is a great place to begin." Of course it is, no
matter what those strange bedfellows Clinton and Lungren think.

I don't know why we spend so much time and money dealing with the
propositions if they don't have the force of law. I don't even like
it when the ones that I have columnized against pass and are all
bottled up in the courts. Representatve government involves letting
the voters take some risks with how we manage our affairs, to see if
there is a better way And the medical marijuana initiative, now passed
in similar form in six other states, was a modest challenge to a drug
policy that is an obvious disaster.

It's outrageous to ban a controlled experiment to see if those in deep pain
might not be made more comfortable.

My view is that any time someone is in that much pain, who are we to say
they don't have the right to alleviate it by whatever means works for them?

Pot doesn't work for me, never has and never will. Legal or not, it's not my
kind of high. Makes my head feel as big as the room. But three years ago,
when I showed up at the UCLA Medical Center to get my stomach cut open,
I came fortified. When the doc asked if I had anything to drink in the
previous 12 hours, I said, "Yeah, about a half-dozen vodka tonics. He said
that was against the rules, hut I pointed out that the advice sheet had
said clear liquids were permitted. Anyway I said it was the booze that
let me allay my fear enough to show up for the surgery, and he agreed
to proceed with what turned out to be a happy outcome. As was said,
whatever gets you through the night.

How dare we tell someone suffering from AIDS that they have no right to eat
a marijuana brownie?

Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana public meeting Jan. 11
at the Sebastopol Public Library (A list subscriber forwards a notice
saying the meeting will feature a lesson on marijuana cultivation,
an update on recent court hearings in Sonoma County, California,
and the presentation of a resolution on medical marijuana
for the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.)

From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Subject: Fwd: SAMM's upcoming meeting...
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 15:15:37 PST

Need a ride from the bay area? Call me 510-733-5414 after 10 am



From: "Doc Knapp" (docknapp@sonic.net)
To: "Doc Knapp" (DocKnapp@sonic.net)
Subject: SAMM's upcoming meeting...
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 21:08:21 -0800

Dear fellow supporters,

Happy New Year to you all!


Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana, SAMM, invites you to a public
meeting on medical marijuana:

When: Monday January 11, 1999
WHERE: Sebastopol Public Library
TIME: Meeting will be from 6:30 PM 8:00 PM

The library is located in Sebastopol on the corner of Bodega Hwy. and
High Street.


Learn how to grow Medical Marijuana legally in Sonoma County

Update on recent court hearings in Sonoma County and schedule for
upcoming hearings

Resolution on Medical Marijuana for the Sonoma County Board of

Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana is dedicated of education,
research, and networking related to the medical uses of marijuana, and
the implementation of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, AKA, Prop 215.

The attachment is in a flyer format, so please print it and distribute
it to people who might be interested. Also, post it around if you can.

Hope to see you there.

Doc Knapp, SAMM Member


[No flyer was attached to this email. - ed.]

Cultural Tide Gathers For A Puritan Revival (An op-ed
in the Los Angeles Times by Kevin Phillips, the publisher of American
Political Report and the author of a new book, "The Cousins' Wars: Religion,
Politics and the Triumph of Anglo-america," ponders whether the end
of the millennium could bring about a religious revival and a related
neo-Puritanism in America. Without really explaining how one could tell
the difference, Phillips notes the three principal civil wars in Britain and
the United States have coincided with cultural conflict and a reawakened
and remobilizing religion. Few questions are more important in America's
millennial countdown than whether the current peacetime imitation of civil
war is heading in a similar direction.)

Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 11:58:54 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: LAT OPED: Cultural Tide Gathers For A Puritan Revival
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Pubdate: Sun, 3 Jan 1999
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Forum: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/DISCUSS/
Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times.
Author: Kevin Phillips
Note: Kevin Phillips, Publisher of American Political Report, Is Author of
"The Politics of Rich and Poor." His New Book Is "The Cousins' Wars:
Religion, Politics and the Triumph of Anglo-america."


WASHINGTON--January 1999 is not just any old January. The Western world is
now in a countdown to the millennium, a 12-month world watch already
freighted with global economic jitters, the potential collapse of Russia,
moral and political crusades and an eerie mix of technology and doomsday

Americans, in particular, face the possibility that the continuing upheaval
in Washington could bring about a religious revival and a related
neo-Puritanism. The first-ever impeachment trial of an elected U.S.
president, amid what is already described as a cultural civil war, could be
leading toward a moral and ideological Gettysburg.

Final decades of centuries are often psychologically convulsive.

In the United States, the upheavals of the 1790s--the radicalism of Thomas
Paine and the scoffing at religion so prominent in the French
Revolution--led in the early 1800s to a great religious countertide called
the Second Great Awakening.

The fear is now growing in Manhattan, Martha's Vineyard and Malibu that
President Bill Clinton may be the inadvertent provocateur of another such
reversal. This is not so far-fetched.

New centuries have historically arrived amid a feeling of unrest, but the
millennial uncertainty is doubling or trebling the usual angst. Just ask
Clinton, Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin, Japanese bankers, Internet
investors and U.S. senators about to sit as Clinton's jurors.

Superstition is part of the mood: Look at the mania over the ultimate
disaster movie, "Titanic," and the perverse commercial interest in Megiddo,
the site in northern Israel where some believe Armageddon will take place.
Then there's the Y2K fixation, that computers will crash--and possibly also
jetliners and financial links--at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31.

The Y2K phobia, of course, is principally technological and economic, as is
the lingering fear of a global financial crisis and the analogies to 1929.
The latter was a convergence of global deflation, shrinking world trade and
a bull-market orgy in new technology not unlike today's--though the bubble
70 years ago was in broadcasting and telephone stocks, not e-commerce. A
Dutch bank, ING Barings, has even reminded us that British and Dutch stock
markets plummeted in 1699 and 1799, and the Dow Jones industrial average
slid in 1899.

Political revolution, in turn, is not confined to the U.S. House of
Representatives. Communist parties around the world have been gaining in
power, muscling into new governing coalitions or even bringing down
governments. Revenues are collapsing in the oil nations. Islam is on the

This brings us to the resurgence of fundamentalism, which in the United
States is already being labeled neo-Puritanism. The moral and legal issues
the U.S. Senate will face when and if it tries Clinton are only one litmus
test. Fundamentalist-type demands for simpler answers amid complexity are
also visible in global politics (Communist gains), economics (trade
nationalism) and culture (ethnic separatism and anti-immigration sentiment).

The moral shift is international. While congressmen in Washington cringe at
the scarlet "A," Pakistan is moving toward a code of Islamic justice in
which rapists are executed within 24 hours. Even nonreligious China has
drafted new laws to crack down on adultery. But in the English-speaking
world, morality and religion have a long history of being intertwined.

In Washington, vulnerable politicians who have called for Clinton's
sex-related impeachment are falling like moral tenpins. Not only Speaker
Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is resigning. So is his briefly chosen successor,
Rep. Bob Livingston (R-Ga.). Outed for adultery by Hustler magazine
publisher Larry Flynt, Livingston used his resignation statement to urge
the president to do the same.

With Hustler paying big money for women willing to tell all, congressmen
are now starting to imitate medical doctors: Don't have a woman in your
office without a) keeping the door open or b) having a nurse, or witness,

Where sexually transmitted diseases didn't stall the sexual revolution, the
Paula Corbin Jones and Monica S. Lewinsky ruckuses could. And there's also
Jane Doe No. 5--the unidentified woman whose comments about an alleged
Clinton sexual assault and coverup are part of the guarded material that
some undecided representatives read before voting for impeachment on Dec.
19. If such a charge enters the Senate trial, the president's foes claim he
could be facing new charges of obstruction of justice.

Equally to the point, neo-Puritanism could take a major step forward.

Current polls show Americans seem to prefer adultery, perjury and a rising
stock market to any sort of neo-Puritan crusade. But will they feel this
way in April or May, if the Dow has dropped by 30% and Senate trial
revelations have Clinton's ratings on a similar curve? At the moment, few
believe either is likely. Yet, a Puritan trend is easy enough to imagine.

Such movements were recurring tides in the United States from the 17th
through the 19th centuries. All three of the major English-speaking civil
wars have been preceded by religious surges: The English Civil War of the
1640s followed the rise of Puritanism; the American Revolution followed the
so-called First Great Awakening; and the U.S. Civil War followed the Second
Great Awakening. Several historians have called them the three Puritanisms.

By whatever label, this kind of religious politics has been powerful stuff.

And it could be again for the millennium. Despite talk about the rise of
fundamentalism and the emergence of the Christian Right since the 1970s,
the last three decades have seen a far larger counterdevelopment. This is
the sexual revolution that began in the 1960s and 1970s with Woodstock, the
Vietnam War and "Oh! Calcutta!" and reached new highs in the 1990s with
Flynt, Internet pornography and 1997's record sale or rental of 600 million
adult videos. Religious leaders like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson
clearly haven't been calling the shots in American culture. Liberals and
centrists have--people who are more secular and generally not very
religious and who, by two or three to one, now support Clinton and oppose

These polarizations of lifestyle, culture and conscience are central to the
way U.S. politics since the 1960s has resembled an intermittent civil war.
These tensions were evident from 1963 to 1974, then again in the late 1980s
and, most recently, since 1994. The fight over Clinton's fate is a vital
campaign for both cultural armies. If one set of moral, sexual, religious
and legal views prevails in the U.S. Senate, the vote could produce a
latter-day Gettysburg--the decade's potentially decisive confrontation
between the "moralists" and the "permissives." Sophisticates can present
anti-impeachment poll data to argue that America has a new anti-Puritan
morality. Perhaps so. It has been well over a century since the last major
American religious revival.

Rightly or wrongly, the bulk of U.S. religious histories deal with the
fundamentalist upsurges of the late 20th century as mere sideshows. The
last of the great waves came in the 19th century, with the Second Great
Awakening, or Third Puritanism. Few have identified any Third Awakening, or
Fourth Puritanism.

To predict a gathering amid the modernity of the 1990s would be to court
mockery. On the other hand, the final decades of centuries tend to
overpredict a moral laxity--the insurgent mood of revolutionary France and
Europe in the 1790s, and then, in the 1890s, the fin de siecle decadence of
Oscar Wilde's London. Chic thinking in the 1990s has been at least kindred:
If not postmoral cosmopolitanism, at least an age in which traditional
morality is displaced.

In the United States of the 1790s, reaction against moral and political
radicalism nurtured a traditionalist counterreaction, beginning in the
small towns of New England, which grew into the Second Great Awakening.
Through the 1850s, a related cultural warfare wracked U.S. politics with
demands for prohibitions of liquor sales and unseemly amusements on the

Missions and Bible societies proliferated. Puritanism even spread to
cuisine, with the invention of the graham cracker and the organization in
New England cities of Female Retrenchment Societies to defend women against
tea, coffee, rich cake and pastry.

One does not have to see cappuccino, chocolate eclairs and Sunday shopping
in jeopardy to suspect the gathering of another religious or traditionalist
countertide. The three principal civil wars in Britain and the United
States have been great intersections of cultural conflict with a reawakened
and remobilizing religion. Few questions are more important in America's
millennial countdown than whether the current peacetime imitation of civil
war is heading in a similar direction.

Police Agencies Cop A New Attitude On Hiring (The Sacramento Bee
suggests police sound a different tune about the perils of illegal drugs
when it comes to their own. Smoking marijuana or using hard drugs
is no longer a reason for rejection by city police, sheriff's deputies,
Highway Patrol officers or the FBI - as long as the applicant is honest
about it and was not a "habitual drug user." Chief Deputy John Benbow
of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said, "It's not a quality
issue, it's a recruitment issue." So many young adults have experimented
with narcotics, he said, police administrators have been forced to soften
their stance.)

Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 18:51:50 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Police Agencies Cop A New Attitude On Hiring
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Sun, 3 Jan 1999
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Sacramento Bee
Contact: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Forum: http://www.sacbee.com/voices/voices_forum.html
Author: Steve Gibson


Take down the old sign: Drug users need not apply.

It's the late '90s, time for a new attitude in law

Fifteen years ago it was virtually impossible to become a police
officer if you had smoked marijuana or used hard drugs.

Not today.

Many of those now seeking jobs as city police, sheriff's deputies,
Highway Patrol officers or FBI agents have used drugs.

But it's no longer a reason for rejection -- as long as the applicant
is honest about it and was not a habitual drug user.

"Some find it very hard to swallow that we'd take people who used
drugs," said Mike McCrystle, a retired FBI special agent who now
teaches criminal investigation at California State University,
Sacramento. But "this is a new time, a new place. You have to come to
the party sooner or later."

"We're dealing with . . . a whole different generation than we were 15
or 20 years ago," said John F. Langenour, a former police officer who
now does background investigations for several Sacramento Valley
police agencies. "It's a generational values thing."

According to federal figures, about half of all Americans ages 18 to
34 have reported using drugs at some point in their lives.

Applicants who have used felony drugs -- such as cocaine or heroin --
within the last 10 years usually are rejected by most agencies,
Langenour said.

Despite the change in hiring guidelines, new officers today "are just
as good as they used to be," said Lt. Jim Cooper of the Sacramento
County Sheriff's Department. "Are they better? In some ways, perhaps.
They might have more street smarts."

What derails most candidates who have used drugs, Langenour said, "is
lying about it. Ninety percent of those who fail, it's because they
weren't honest in the application process."

Two of three candidates for most law enforcement jobs either fail the
written test or oral boards, law enforcement officials said. And of
those remaining, half flunk the background investigations.

"We look at everything, and I mean everything," including
relationships with former in-laws and ex-employers, said Sgt. Tony
Asano of the Sacramento Sheriff's Department.

In addition to questions about prior drug use, academic records and
credit histories are checked, Asano said. Candidates with felony
convictions are automatically disqualified.

Until a few years ago, the FBI refused to hire anyone who admitted to
using illegal drugs, other than experimental use of marijuana.

"It was difficult, because we had some talented applicants, very good
people, not qualify due to recreational use of drugs," said Thomas P.
Griffin Sr., a retired FBI special agent who helped screen prospective
hires when he worked in the Sacramento office.

"You definitely have to draw the line somewhere, but you can have a
no-tolerance policy and hurt yourself," Griffin said.

To keep up with the times, FBI Director Louis J. Freeh changed that
policy in 1994, announcing new hiring guidelines.

A booklet given to prospective agents now says: "The FBI does not
condone any prior unlawful drug use by applicants ... (but) realizes
... some otherwise qualified applicants may have used drugs at some
point in their past."

According to the FBI, prospective special agents may have used
marijuana a total of 15 times, but not during the past three years; or
used hard drugs up to five times, but not during the past 10 years.

"If you can pass that on the polygraph, fine. But if you've used 30,
40, 50 times, you're not going to pass the polygraph, so why go on,"
said Nancy Wedick, a special agent in the FBI field office in
Sacramento. "Besides, you've lied on your application, which shows
lack of candor."

At the Sacramento Police Department, however, any hard drug use --
even on an experimental basis -- after the age of 18 automatically
disqualifies an applicant, said Deputy Chief Albert Najera.

"We have one of the most restrictive policies of any agency," Najera

Najera said his department's hard line has resulted in the loss of
some otherwise first-rate applicants -- "people we really wanted to

Chief Deputy John Benbow of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department
said, "It's not a quality issue, it's a recruitment issue." So many
young adults have experimented with narcotics, he said, police
administrators have been forced to soften their stance.

"It's become a necessity for most agencies," Benbow

But Sacramento County Undersheriff Carol Daly said that applicants
with prior drug use get scrutinized "really closely."

"They better have everything else in order," she said. "They've got to
be really good."

Drugs Brought Velvets Together (According to World Entertainment News
Network, Jon Cale says his and Lou Reed's fondness for heroin at first
benefitted the Velvet Underground, the seminal 1960s New York rock group.)

Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 19:25:40 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Wire: Drugs Brought Velvets Together
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: 3 Jan 1999
Source: World Entertainment News Network
Copyright: 1999 The World Entertainment News Network.


CALE with heroin - because the musician was scared of needles.

Cale says it was an intimate experience between the two of them, not least
because he vomited.

He adds, "Shortly after that, though, I started to feel a lot better
because at first heroin makes you feel comfortable and friendly."

And although he wouldn't recommend heroin to anyone, Cale says he and Reed
benefitted from it at first. He says, "It was magic for two guys as uptight
and distanced from their surroundings as Lou and I.

"It opened up a channel between us and created the us-against-them attitude
which would become a hallmark of our band."

He adds, "The only things we had in common were drugs and an obsession with
risk-taking. That was the raison d'etre for the Velvet Underground."

'Win at all Costs': The Justice Department responds
(The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette prints a rebuttal from the US Justice Department
regarding the newspaper's recent series documenting how federal prosecutors
routinely violate the law.)

Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 18:18:45 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: 'Win at all Costs': The Justice Department responds
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: DrugSense
Source: (1) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) (2) The Blade (OH)
Pubdate: Sun, 3 Jan 1999
Contact: (1) letters@post-gazette.com
Webform: (1) http://www.post-gazette.com/contact/letters.asp
Website: (1) http://www.post-gazette.com/
Contact: (2) letters@theblade.com
Website: (2) http://www.toledoblade.com/
Author: Eric Holder, Deputy Attorney General
Note: Links to the entire "Win at all Costs" series may be found at:


An Unbalanced View, Myriad Errors - And Offensive For Suggesting That
Misconduct Is Widespread

Your recent 10-part series by Bill Moushey ("Win At All Costs," Nov. 22 to
Dec. 13), criticizing the conduct of prosecutors, relies largely on the
allegations of criminals and their defense attorneys. As a result, it
wrongly concludes that federal prosecutors and agents "routinely" engage in

The series presents an unbalanced view; contains myriad factual errors;
often neglects to report that the allegations have been rejected by the
courts; and fails to acknowledge that, in the rare cases where misconduct
has been found to have occurred, appropriate action has been taken.

While there are too many factual errors in the series to discuss, here are
just a few:

- The series claims that a woman who testified against her brother for his
part in a drug operation did not have her sentence reduced - even though
her testimony put the brother away for life. In fact, prosecutors did seek
a reduction, and the judge reduced her sentence by 10 years.

- The series claims that "nothing was ever made public" about an internal
Justice Department investigation into allegations of misconduct in a case
involving a Chinese national. In fact, the Justice Department publicly
released a 45-page summary of its investigation in 1996, finding that the
prosecutor had engaged in professional misconduct.

- The series implies that when an FBI agent stole heroin from an evidence
room, he was not prosecuted and punished promptly. It asserts that,
although the agent was arrested in 1994, he is still awaiting trial. In
fact, the agent pleaded guilty within four months of his arrest and is now
serving a 25-year sentence.

In other instances, the series simply rehashes allegations made by
defendants trying to get their convictions overturned - allegations that
often are exaggerated or simply fabricated, and in many cases already have
been rejected by the courts.

But the series does not present the full story. Again, here are a few of
the many examples:

- The series claims that an appellate court reversed the conviction of a
drug dealer in part because he had been "cajoled and entrapped" into
committing the crime. And it states that the dealer is awaiting a new trial.

However, the series never explains that the appellate court withdrew its
earlier opinion and explicitly found there was no misconduct by the
prosecutors. Nor does it mention that, following the appeal, the drug
dealer pleaded guilty and admitted to the court that he had not been
induced to commit the crime.

- The series claims that prosecutors unfairly charged a man with perjury
just because he had been acquitted on charges of cocaine trafficking. And
it adds that the man has now been in prison for seven years but "has yet to
be convicted of even one crime."

In fact, the man was charged, not with perjury, but with obtaining and
using false documents. And the series does not mention that the man jumped
bond in the middle of his trial and, after being rearrested, pleaded guilty
to the charges, as well as to charges of possessing a false U.S. passport.

- The series implies that a convict testified falsely against a reputed
mobster in a murder case just so he could get his sentence reduced. It also
contends that the convict was fed information about the murder, which the
convict now claims he knew nothing about.

However, the series fails to note that the information the convict provided
led not only to the discovery of the murder weapon, but to the fact that
the weapon was registered to his own father. That is hardly the type of
information that would have been provided by someone who knew nothing about
the murder.

- The series chastises prosecutors in a South Carolina public corruption
case for allegedly engaging in misconduct. However, on Nov. 23, the
appellate court completely exonerated the prosecutors, finding that the
allegations rested on "innuendo," and were not supported by the facts.

- The series focuses on a witness who, in one case, claimed he was a small
player in a drug trafficking organization. In a later case, he claimed he
was a big player. The series reports the government failed to inform the
defense of the inconsistent statements or disclose the witness' criminal

In fact, the prosecutors gave defense counsel the FBI's investigative
reports detailing the inconsistent statements, and the defense counsel even
cross-examined the witness at trial about it. Further, the prosecutor,
himself, brought out the witness' criminal background at trial.

- The series discusses a case against a defense attorney who was charged
with drug violations. It claims that prosecutors failed to disclose that a
witness, who supposedly handled the purchase of drug boats for the
attorney, had told government agents that he did not even know the attorney.

In fact, the witness never made such a statement and even testified at
trial that he had known the attorney. Further, the other allegations in the
series are a virtual verbatim recitation of the attorney's motion to
dismiss - a motion that the court denied nearly two years ago, ruling it
was "replete with . . . exaggerations." The series mistakenly reports that
the motion has yet to be decided.

- Certainly, not every prosecutor is perfect. As in any profession, there
are a few individuals who may cross the line. And in some cases cited in
the series, prosecutors did just that. But the series wrongly suggests that
we do not punish prosecutors when misconduct is proven.

In fact, in at least 20 of the cases discussed, the Justice Department's
Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) conducted investigations, and
it took action in nearly half of those. In several other cases,
investigations are pending.

And in most of the remaining cases cited in the series, no one ever filed a
complaint with OPR. Nonetheless, OPR will now review those cases. To top it
off, in a number of instances, federal judges - not the Justice Department
- found there was no wrongdoing.

- Contrary to what the series implies, OPR is doing its job. And to ensure
that it can oversee attorney conduct effectively, the attorney general has
nearly quadrupled the size of the office in the last six years. In 1996
alone, it investigated more than 120 matters involving alleged
prosecutorial misconduct, and substantiated the allegations in 15.
Discipline has been taken in most of those cases.

- More importantly, however, the isolated instances cited in the series
fail to support the series' central thesis - that federal prosecutors and
agents routinely violate the law without consequence. Although your
reporter spent more than two years researching the series, he discusses
fewer than 70 cases dating back more than 13 years.

Readers might be interested to know, by comparison, that during the same
period federal prosecutors brought approximately 500,000 criminal cases
against approximately 750,000 defendants. Even if the facts were as the
reporter assumes in each of the nearly 70 cases - and they are not - one
could argue that refutes rather than supports his thesis.

Indeed, the series seems to be most bothered not by prosecutors' misuse of
law enforcement techniques, such as sting operations, the use of
informants, plea bargaining, and stiff sentences for federal crimes, but by
the fact that such techniques have been approved by Congress and the
Supreme Court. They are effective tools in the war on crime and are not
unethical. Indeed, prosecutors would be remiss not to use them in
appropriate cases, in order to protect the public.

Federal prosecutors work around the clock putting criminals behind bars.
Their work has helped reduce the national crime rate for more than six
years in a row. And they are among the most respected and trusted lawyers
in the nation.

It is indeed offensive when even one prosecutor engages in misconduct, but
to suggest that such misconduct is characteristic of all prosecutors is
offensive as well.

Editors' note: The Justice Department was repeatedly given the opportunity
to express its views on these and other cases before and during publication
of the series. In every case cited here, the department refused.

How Wealth Divides the World (The Washington Post notes several statistics
from the United Nations' Human Development Report of 1998,
including the world budget of $400 billion for "narcotic" drugs.)

Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 07:57:43 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UN: WP: $400 Billion Spent On Narcotic Drugs Around The World
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: DrugSense
Source: The Washington Post
Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company
Section: What on Earth? Page 16A
Pubdate: Sat, 2 Dec 1998
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Data From: United Nations Human Development Report
Research: By Dita Smith -- The Washington Post
Subject: line by MAP


Here are some pretty amazing facts from the United Nations' Human
Development Report of 1998:

The world consumed more than $24 trillion in goods and services last year,
six times the figure for 1975.

Of the world's 6.8 billion people, 4.4 billion live in developing
countries, the rest in rich industrial or transition countries.

The 3 richest people in the world own assets that exceed the combined gross
domestic products of the world's poorest 48 countries.

Among the 4.4 billion people who live in developing countries, three-fifths
have no access to basic sanitation; almost one-third are without safe
drinking water; one-quarter lack adequate housing; one-fifth live beyond
reach of modern health services; one-fifth of the children do not get as
far as grade five in school and one-fifth are undernourished.

Basic education for all would cost $6 billion a year -- $8 billion is spent
annually for cosmetics in the United States alone.

Installation of water and sanitation for all would cost $9 billion plus
some annual costs -- $11 billion is spent annually on ice cream in Europe.

Reproductive health services for all women would cost $12 billion a year --
$12 billion a year is spent on perfumes in Europe and the United States.

Basic health care and nutrition would cost $13 billion; $17 billion a year
is spent on pet food in Europe and the United States.

$35 billion is spent on business entertainment in Japan; $50 billion on
cigarettes in Europe; $105 billion on alcoholic drinks in Europe; $400
billion on narcotic drugs around the world; and $780 billion on the world's

Cops just don't get it, says medical-pot user (The Vancouver Province,
in British Columbia, says Cheryl Eburne has a message for the senior RCMP
officer who thinks marijuana shouldn't be available to people with
debilitating illnesses. "I just feel these people should walk a mile in my
boots before they comment," said Eburne, 50, a housewife who says cannabis
helps her deal with severe arthritis and fibromyalgia.)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Cops just don't get it, says medical-pot user
Date: Sun, 03 Jan 1999 09:19:25 -0800
Lines: 65
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Vancouver Province (Canada)
Contact: provletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Pubdate: Sunday 3 January 1999
Author: John Colebourn, Staff Reporter The Province

Cops just don't get it, says medical-pot user

Cheryl Eburne has a message for the senior RCMP officer who thinks
marijuana shouldn't be available to those who have debilitating illnesses.

"I just feel these people should walk a mile in my boots before they
comment," said Eburne, 50, a housewife who says smoking pot daily helps her
deal with her severe arthritis and fibromyalgia.

"They just don't understand people are chronically ill. We're doing it to
help our health, not to get high."

Eburne, a mother of two teens, says she tried everything to help her deal
with the pain that began about six years ago.

Because she has a condition that makes her sensitive to many types of
medication, she says she was left with few options.

Then she tried smoking marijuana last summer -- and since then, Eburne says
she has been able to eat and sleep and leave the house on a daily basis.

She now gets her marijuana from the Compassion Club, an operation on
Commercial Drive in Vancouver that distributes "clean" high-grade organic
pot at discount prices to people who have a doctor's note saying they are
suffering from an illness.

RCMP Insp. Richard Barszczewski said last week that the Mounties don't want
to see marijuana distributed through operations like the Compassion Club.

"The RCMP agrees there is an unquestioned need to express compassion for
sufferers of debilitating illnesses, and to explore every option to provide
them with relief from their pain," Barszczewski said.

"But there is absolutely no medical evidence to support the suggestion
marijuana has medicinal value," he added.

"Quite the contrary, there is a comprehensive body of evidence [that]
indicates marijuana is a potentially harmful substance [that] invites drug

Since it moved to the Commercial Drive location about seven months ago, the
Compassion Club has not been bothered by Vancouver police, said founder
Hilary Black.

About 700 people are members.

Black said many suffer from AIDS, cancer, arthritis, glaucoma, nausea, and

The provincial government has given the club charitable status and the
club's lawyer is in negotiations with city hall regarding an occupancy

But Barszczewski, who heads the force's drug-awareness program in B.C.,
says the club is breaking the law and feels something should be done about

"The circumstances under which marijuana is provided to consumers at
smoking clubs fits the definition of trafficking," he insisted.

In U.S., public's leaning toward therapeutic use (A sidebar
in the Vancouver Province notes voters in Washington state,
Nevada and Alaska passed medical-marijuana laws
in the Nov. 3 elections.)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: US: MMJ: In U.S., public's leaning toward therapeutic use
Date: Sun, 03 Jan 1999 09:21:02 -0800
Lines: 33
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Vancouver Province (Canada)
Contact: provletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Pubdate: Sunday 3 January 1999
Author: John Colebourn, Staff Reporter The Province

In U.S., public's leaning toward therapeutic use

Across the border, voters have passed a direct challenge to federal drug
laws on marijuana.

In November, Initiative 692 passed easily in Washington state. Similar
medical-marijuana initiatives in Nevada and Alaska were also passed during
state elections.

Dr. Rob Killian, sponsor of I-692, said he expects the initiative to pave
the way for changes in federal drug policy.

"Washington state residents didn't want patients to be criminalized any
more," said Killian, a Seattle physician.

The Washington state initiative gained momentum in the fall as poll after
poll indicated residents there felt sick people should have the option of
smoking pot if it eased their pain or provided other therapeutic benefits.

The initiative does not legalize marijuana use in general, and recreational
use would still be illegal.

State lawmakers have said they intend to honour the vote and implement a
law that will allow patients to use marijuana.

In Canada, there is no indication that any similar legislative movement is

Police Still Struggle To Combat Cannabis Inflow (The Sunday Observer,
in Sri Lanka, says local prohibition agents' efforts to stem the flow of ganja
from the country's southern jungles are still proving unsuccessful.
Sources say November to March is the season ganja is grown, but a careful
examination of police actions and other preventive measures adopted so far
points out police raids should be continuous without a break. A kilo
of the dried leaves fetch around Rs.20,000 in Colombo.)

Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 19:19:29 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Sri Lanka: Police Still Struggle To Combat Cannabis Inflow
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Author: Anton Nonis
Source: Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka)
Contact: webmgr@sri.lanka.net
Website: http://www.lanka.net/
Pubdate: January 3, 1999



To arrest the flow of ganja (cannabis sativa ), the popular local narcotic,
from the jungles of the southern belt still proves unsuccessful.

Police raids on jungles and the stop of ganja plantations, netting in
suspects, but imprisonment of those responsible have not put a stop to this
menace. It was revealed that the city continues to get in more or less a
regular stock of the narcotic, despite tough actions to arrest the flow.

A careful examination of police actions and other preventive measures
adopted, so far points out that there had been a big flaw in the whole
procedure. It is now clear that the raids should be continuous without a

Southern Range Deputy Inspector General of Police Seneviratne Banda has
drawn out plans to deal with the situation more tactfully. Superintendent
of Police Upali Liyanage and the Hambantota ASP A.D.H Bandusena will be in

ASP Bandusena told the 'Sunday Observer' the new approach to tackle the
problem would be of a 'non-stop' type vigil. "I think it will be a
constructive way to eliminate the passage of ganja into the city," he said.

In literary sense, the police approach may look too hard to put into
practise. With limited manpower and saddled with other shortcomings, the
police could be posed with a difficult and dangerous task in jungle terrain.

The hand picked men from different police stations in the area will raid
jungles on surprise raids.

Thanamalwila, Suriyawewa, Tissamaharama, Udawalawe, Sevanagala and Lahugala
are identified as some of the notorious areas for ganja cultivation.

The cannabis plots, in several cases are far away from civilisation, thus
making approach difficult.

The extent of the cultivated land extend from one acre to several acres at
places. Sources say November to March is the season ganja is grown.

Police teams are advised to be extremely vigilant during raiding missions
in the jungles. There have been several instances of trap guns set on the
paths which leads to the plots. This, according to police, is another
measure by the growers in discouraging intruders.

A kilo of the dried leaves fetch around Rs.20,000 in Colombo and the price
may vary.

Investigations have also revealed that the modus operandi is to collect the
cannabis for several days until a sizeable quantity is stockpiled. Here,
Suriyawewa has been used as a transshipment base. Subsequently,
transportation to Colombo takes place in bulk concealed in every possible

These were revealed, when the Tissamaharama police nabbed a suspect while
transporting cannabis to the Suriyawewa base.

30,000 Addicted To Off-the-Shelf Drugs (Britain's Independent on Sunday
admits there are no official statistics but uncritically passes along
the estimate of David Grieve, the former cough-linctus addict who runs
Over-Count, a self-help organisation for over-the-counter drug addicts.
Two-thirds of Over-Count's 6,000 clients are women between the ages of 25
and 45. Mr Grieve believes they are prone to OTC drug addiction because
they had to endure monthly period pains for which they sought out
accessible remedies.)

Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 17:53:52 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UK: 30,000 Addicted To Off-the-Shelf Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Source: Independent on Sunday (UK)
Pubdate: Sunday, 3 Jan 1999
Contact: sundayletters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/sindy/sindy.html
Copyright: 1999 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.
Author: Julian Kossoff


A GROWING number of young people - especially women - are addicted to
over-the-counter medicines which help them cope with the stresses of
everyday life.

More than 30,000 people in Britain are said to be hooked on drugs that
contain opiates and stimulants which can be bought at high street chemists
without a prescription.

The typical addict is a woman in her twenties living in London who takes
several bottles of cough medicine or large doses of painkillers to cope
with everyday stresses.

David Grieve, a former cough-linctus addict, runs Over-Count, a self-help
organisation for over-the-counter (OTC) drug addicts. Mr Grieve survived a
10-bottle-a-day addiction to the cold remedy Phensydyl, and now campaigns
for greater awareness of the dangers of all OTC drug addictions.

There are no official statistics but Mr Grieve estimates there are 30,000
OTC drug addicts in the UK. "I can buy a dry-cough medicine from my chemist
for UKP3," he said. "Half a bottle contains as much amphetamine as a UKP20
bag of speed bought from a dealer. But when we buy these products we're not
told that. That's why people are getting addicted."

Earlier this year the British Medical Association's landmark report
recognising the medicinal benefits of cannabis included a chapter on OTC
drug misuse. It concluded that a warning about the addictive qualities of
certain OTC drugs, with information that they included opiates, sedatives
and hallucinogens, should be displayed on the packaging. The senior medical
experts and academics who compiled the report also recommended that more
information on OTC drugs should be made available to GPs.

According to Over-Count's annual survey, the most abused OTC brands are the
painkillers Solpadeine and Syndol, followed by Feminax, which is used to
ease period pains.

London and Scotland top the OTC drug addicts regional league. Indeed,
Lanarkshire Health Authority in Scotland recently organised the first UK
conference on the problem.

Two-thirds of Over-Count's 6,000 clients are women between the ages of 25
and 45. Mr Grieve believes they are prone to OTC drug addiction because
they had to endure monthly period pains for which they sought out
accessible remedies. Women got more of a "hit" from the drugs, he said.
"Although women are generally smaller and have lower body weights, they're
advised to take the same dosage as men. Because of this they end up with a
greater proportion of a drug in their system."

Kirsty Roberts' addiction to OTCs was typical. A 30-year-old mother of
three from Nottinghamshire, she habitually suffered from chronic back pain.
"I was reading a magazine when I saw an advertisement for a new drug called
Paramol," she recalled.

"It said it was the strongest painkiller available and that you no longer
needed a prescription to buy it. I opted for it, and now I don't have to
bother my doctor any more. I assumed that because I did not need a
prescription they were safe."

What Ms Roberts did not know was that Paramol contains dihydrocodeine, a
morphine derivative. It was declassified as an OTC drug in 1995. "I found
that as well as getting rid of my back pain I got a bit of a buzz. That
made me feel really good so after a while every time I got the slightest
twinge I'd have have another tablet. When I ran out or tried to go without
the tablets, I would get the shakes, stomach cramps and would sweat

At the peak of her addiction Ms Roberts was on 24 tablets a day, a
potentially lethal dose since Paramol also contains paracetamol, which can
cause irreparable liver damage.

After more than two years she decided to quit and sought help from
established drug clinics and projects. But they were used only to dealing
with heroin and cocaine addicts, and could not help. Eventually a course of
tranquillisers from her GP - and her own will-power - enabled her to quit.
"People just don't realise what's in these tablets. What is needed is a
warning on the packets. People should be better informed," she said.

Regulation of all drugs on the market and decisions over the licensing of
new ones are determined by a government-appointed quango, the Committee on
the Safety of Medicines (CSM). The majority of CSM members have financial
interests in pharmaceutical companies, leading many to question whether it
really is a truly independent body.

"In Britain a blanket of confidentiality has been thrown over the problem,"
said Maurice Frankel, director of the Freedom of Information Campaign. "It
means that neither the Department of Health nor the pharmaceutical industry
is under any obligation to satisfy consumer groups, expert medical opinion
or public pressure."

By contrast, the American public has full access to information on every
new drug granted a licence. At the pharmacy counter they can read up on all
the clinical studies that have been made on the particular drug they are
being offered, and receive a detailed list of all the possible side-effects
as part of the packaging.

The Department of Health maintains that strict criteria are adhered to for
OTC drugs. An increasing number of prescription drugs have been deregulated
to reduce pressure on GPs, and before medicines are declassified they must
meet certain strict criteria.

"These include whether or not the product is safe for people to
self-administer, and whether it has the potential to be addictive," a
Department of Health spokeswoman said. "We have to weigh up the risks that
the product carries against the benefits to the large majority of people
who use them and in the correct way."



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