------------------------------------------------------------------- North/Northeast drug-free zone could grow (The Oregonian catches up with a recent article in Willamette Week, dishing up a typically one-sided account of plans by Portland police and prosecutors to drastically expand a so-called "drug-free zone" to cover 4.26 square miles in North and Northeast Portland. Under the city's drug-free ordinance, people charged with possession or distribution of drugs in a particular area can be excluded from the zone for 90 days, which may increase to a year if convicted. If they return to the zone during the exclusion period, they can be arrested for trespassing - which helps keep the public from realizing how much the war on some drug users is costing.) The Oregonian Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ North/Northeast drug-free zone could grow * Proponents say the area, which would incorporate two current zones, would cut down on drug activity that is substantially higher than elsewhere in the city Tuesday, January 5 1999 By Maxine Bernstein of The Oregonian staff Police and prosecutors, hoping to bring relief to a community plagued by street-level drug dealing, want to create a new, expanded drug-free zone stretching 4.26 square miles in North and Northeast Portland. The proposal for the new zone, which would envelop two existing zones and parts of at least six neighborhoods, could go to the Portland City Council for a vote as early as February. "No one's here to tell anybody that drug-free zones solve the problem, but they are tools to bring relief to the neighborhoods," said Jim Hayden, a Multnomah County deputy district attorney, addressing community representatives Monday. "We want to make it more difficult for people to stand there on the corner and deal drugs." Under the city's drug-free ordinance, people charged with possession or distribution of drugs in a particular area can be excluded from the zone for 90 days, which may increase to a year if convicted. If they return to the zone during the exclusion period, they can be arrested for trespassing. Portland currently has four drug-free zones including downtown/Old Town, the inner eastside and Northeast Portland's Beech and Alberta neighborhoods. The city also has four prostitution-free zones that operate under the same principle. The first drug-free zones were identified in 1992, and Beech and Alberta were added in February 1997. By incorporating the Beech and Alberta zones in a larger North/Northeast zone, police and prosecutors think the drug-zone enforcement will be more effective. Drug activity in the neighborhoods within the larger boundary continues to be "substantially higher" than in other parts of the city, Hayden said. For example, police made 847 narcotics-possession arrests in the proposed zone between February 1997 and February 1998; compared to 107 narcotics-possession arrests in the inner eastside exclusionary zone during the same period. "Right now, we have all these little islands in that area," he said. "We thought, 'Why don't we draw one larger area.' " The drug ordinance has not been without controversy. It has received mixed reviews from residents and was dealt a legal blow in April 1997, when a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge ruled that it violated state and federal constitutions both by excluding suspects from a city area and criminally prosecuting them. To do so, the judge ruled, was punishing a suspect twice for the same offense. The state attorney general's office has appealed that decision to the Oregon Court of Appeals, which has yet to rule. Prosecutors have continued to use the ordinance but have altered their enforcement to avoid further court challenges. Now, prosecutors offer suspects arrested on charges of minor drug possession an immediate plea deal: a reduced sentence for a promise to stay out of the drug-free zones for one year. Within the past few months, Hayden has met with at least 25 neighborhood groups that will be affected by the proposed zone expansion. Many have embraced the plan. George McKeever, manager of a 30-unit, federally subsidized apartment building in the Eliot neighborhood, which would be included in the expanded zone, supports the move. His tenants, he said, have mental disabilities and continually are victimized by drug dealers who get arrested and keep returning to the area. "It's truly needed," McKeever said. But some consider the exclusion zones an infringement on citizens' rights and question whether police might abuse their authority. Betty Hedberg, chairwoman of the crime prevention committee of Southwest Neighborhood Inc., a coalition of several neighborhoods, thinks the exclusion zones just create problems elsewhere in the city. She says that is the case in some Southwest Portland neighborhoods. "Experience has shown with drug- or prostitution-free zones that it doesn't cure the problem, it just moves it elsewhere," Hedberg said. Hayden acknowledged that certain "hot spots" do pop up outside of the exclusion zones at times, but he said officers work to monitor those and respond to them with special enforcement operations. Albert Jasper, who owns a restaurant in Old Town, described himself as one of the early supporters of drug-free zones. But Monday, he was critical of the expansion plan, saying the existing zones are not adequately enforced. Jasper says he continues to notice crack cocaine dealers milling about the Old Town neighborhood and not as many police officers targeting them as he has seen in past years. "The key to it is the enforcement, and that's where I think it's been a little lax," Jasper said, addressing the Chief's Forum, a group of community representatives that meets twice a month with Portland Police Chief Charles Moose. Richard Brown, a Northeast Portland resident and member of the Chief's Forum, praised the proposal, saying the zones have not only kept drug users from returning to the same street corners but also have enhanced cooperation between police and community members. "We need to do whatever we can to get rid of these problems," Brown said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Shootings gang-related, police say (The Oregonian says Portland police Monday sought a warrant for the arrest of a 24-year-old man whom investigators suspect was one of two gunmen in a gang-related shooting at a Chinese restaurant early Sunday in Old Town that left three people wounded. But the newspaper forgets to name the 24-year-old member of the Bloods gang who is being sought.) The Oregonian Contact: email@example.com 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Shootings gang-related, police say * A dispute between members of the Bloods and Kerby Blocc Crips during a party in Old Town triggers the incident early Sunday that leaves three people wounded Tuesday, January 5 1999 By Maxine Bernstein of The Oregonian staff Portland police Monday sought a warrant for the arrest of a 24-year-old man whom investigators suspect was one of two gunmen in a gang-related shooting at a Chinese restaurant early Sunday in Old Town. The suspect, police said, was one of several members of the Bloods gang who got into a dispute with rival gang members from the Kerby Blocc Crips during a hip-hop dance party on the second floor of the Great China Seafood Restaurant, 336 N.W. Davis St. One of the victims, Harry James Villa III, 24, drew immediate attention from gang detectives. Villa was painted by Multnomah County prosecutors as one of the most dangerous gang members in Portland when he pleaded guilty to state racketeering charges in October. Villa, a member of the Kerby Blocc Crips, had been out on bail since October but is scheduled to be sentenced in the racketeering case Friday. Among the conditions of his release, however, are that he not associate with fellow gang members or enter premises where alcohol is being served. At the party, police say, Villa was with dozens of gang associates, and alcohol was served. On Monday, Villa was in fair condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital, with four gunshot wounds. He was struck in the abdomen, police said. A 19-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant and shot in the back was in serious condition Monday after her baby girl was delivered by Caesarean section, said Claudia Brown, a hospital spokeswoman. Police are not naming the woman for security reasons. Another victim, Monica Owens, 22, was shot in the right arm and remained at OHSU Hospital in fair condition. Shots rang out about 2:30 a.m. as the party was breaking up. Police were investigating a separate shooting in the parking lot across the street when they heard shots inside the restaurant. Police still are trying to learn what prompted the shooting, but after interviewing witnesses Sunday and Monday, they determined that the exchange was between rival gangs. A friend of Villa's apparently got into a dispute with a rival gang member and punched him. Then shots were fired, said Detective Brian Grose. "There was some kind of argument inside the restaurant between two men," said Sgt. Mike Crebs, a supervisor of the Police Bureau's Gang Enforcement Team. "One person pulled out a gun and started firing. A third person pulled out a gun and started firing at the first shooter." Shots in close quarters Between 10 and 15 shots were fired near the dance floor, an area about 120 by 50 feet. There were nearly 200 people inside. "It's not a very big area -- it was pretty close quarters," Crebs said. The dance party, which got under way about 10 p.m. Saturday, was presented by Special K.A.P.E. & Jinx Entertainment, according to a flier posted outside the restaurant Monday. The flier described the event as a "21 and over affair," where identification was required for entry with security provided by "Top Knotch Security Enforcement." Police said private security guards used hand-held metal detectors to check partygoers at the door, but the gun-wielding suspects skirted security by throwing their weapons up to people on a second-floor balcony. Jack Ngo, who has owned the restaurant for three years, turned away callers Monday who sought to rent his banquet facility for future dance parties. "I said, 'Forget about it,' " said Ngo, who was in the kitchen when the gunfire erupted. "It's very hard for me to tell who's a good guy and who's a bad guy. It's very hard to control these people. To try to prevent this, we're having no more dance parties." Villa faces five years and 10 months in prison when he is sentenced Friday before Multnomah County Circuit Judge Henry Kantor. The sentence was part of a plea agreement reached last fall. Under the Oregon Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act, prosecutors must prove a criminal enterprise exists and that Villa was a member of the enterprise and committed at least two crimes on its behalf. It was the second time Multnomah County had used the law against street gangs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- This Is Your Dad's Brain On Drugs (San Francisco Chronicle columnist Adair Lara shares some lessons she learned after her father's supposed senile dementia turned out to be a psychosis induced by a pharmaceutical drug.) Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 17:13:08 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Column: This Is Your Dad's Brain On Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Page: E10 Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Forum: http://www.sfgate.com/conferences/ Author: Adair Lara THIS IS YOUR DAD'S BRAIN ON DRUGS A COUPLE OF years back, I wrote about how my dad had suddenly stopped knowing how to make coffee or date the letters he wrote. He had started pacing the halls at night. He finally landed in a nursing home, diapered and in a wheelchair, and was trying to light his cigarette with his shoes. He was 74, and his chart said ``senile dementia, uncomplicated type.'' But he had been sent off his rocker not by senility but by a baby tranquilizer called Tranzene prescribed to him by his doctor, a tranquilizer that had built up in his system and was turning him into a statue. When it wore off, he was fine -- angry, scared, still old, but fine. He went home to his apartment -- an apartment I had started to clear of lamps and boxer shorts, guitars and cans of rolling tobacco, thinking he would never need it again. People who work with the elderly are saints. They work hard, they're often underpaid, they toil in obscurity to help a part of the population nobody else has much interest in. But too few questions are asked. When a 40-year-old comes into a hospital not knowing how he got there, people try to find out why he's confused. When the person who comes in confused is older than 70, they think, oh -- senile. Drugs are not the problem, they're the solution. When my dad awoke, furious to find himself locked in a nursing home, offering to take on all comers with a piece of metal he'd torn off his wheelchair, they wanted to give him Haldol to quiet him back down. MARTY SOHL HAD a similar experience. Her dad is Jerry Sohl, a science-fiction writer who also wrote many ``Star Trek'' and ``Twilight Zone'' episodes. He's now 84 years old, and in pretty good health. Recently, though, he had begun to behave oddly. Suddenly he didn't always recognize Marty's mother. He even thought he saw his own mother walking around the house. He was not convinced that Marty's mom was really his wife, although they've been married for more than 50 years. He could not write or remember how to work his computer. He was often dizzy. His doctors were very concerned about him, setting up a CT scan and all kinds of other tests. ``But they were doubtful that anything could be done,'' Marty told me. ``They were pretty sure that he was on his way out, suffering from mini-strokes that were causing dementia.'' Marty wasn't so sure. She gave a pharmacist friend of hers a list of all the drugs her dad was taking. He looked them up and found that one of the eye drops prescribed by his ophthalmologist could cause her dad's very symptoms, in fewer than 2 percent of those taking them. ``My father, of course, being a good patient, refused to stop taking them,'' said Marty. She called the ophthalmologist. He was positive that the eye drops weren't the cause. Only a tiny percentage of people react that way, after all. And Jerry's ocular pressure could build to a dangerous level without the drops. But he agreed to have him lay off them for a few weeks. THAT was on a monday. By Wednesday Jerry recognized Marty's mom every time he saw her. By Saturday, his mother had left the house. He is writing again. As is my dad, long since back living on his own. Not long ago, after reading the obituary page, he remarked, ``All the newspaper knows about these oldsters they feature on the obituary page is that their hearts were still quivering at 90. They have no way of knowing the actual day of their deaths. There is more to life than clouding a mirror.'' My dad is not as sharp as he was. Neither is Marty's dad. But they are back in their own lives, doing more than clouding a mirror. Don't say no to drugs. Just ask questions.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Boz Scaggs' Son Dead; Heroin Blamed (The Associated Press version of yesterday's news from San Francisco about Oscar Scaggs) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Boz Scaggs' Son Dead; Heroin Blamed Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 19:19:54 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Tuesday, January 5, 1999 Boz Scaggs' Son Dead; Heroin Blamed Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO--They were two sons of the famous who grew up best friends, turned to drugs and died young. Oscar Scaggs, the 21-year-old son of singer Boz Scaggs, was found dead of an apparent heroin overdose in a hotel room in the early morning hours of New Year's Eve. His parents said he had been deeply affected by the September 1997 overdose death of Nicholas Traina, the 19-year-old son of romance novelist Danielle Steel. Scaggs was found at a Mission District hotel room registered to a friend, who found the body early Thursday morning. A spokesman for the San Francisco medical examiner said Monday that the cause of Scaggs' death remained under investigation.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Toll Of Heroin (An ignorant piece of nonsense in the San Francisco Examiner discusses the heroin that killed singer Boz Scaggs' son on New Year's Eve. The newspaper claims that in the past, street-grade heroin was only 3 percent to 5 percent pure, but during the past decade, purity has shot up to as much as 50 or 60 percent. But it ignores the evidence that even previously unexposed subjects can tolerate much higher doses than are sold on the street, and that heroin-related deaths are never caused by "overdoses," but are more likely caused by concurrent use of alcohol, or impurities attributable to prohibition. San Francisco ranks third after Baltimore and Newark, N.J., in per capita heroin-related hospital admissions, and the drug is believed to be The City's second-most popular illicit drug, after marijuana. Still, while the number of heroin addicts in San Francisco is now at about 13,000, an all-time high, the trend seems to be steady, said John Newmeyer, epidemiologist with the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic.) Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 05:26:42 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Toll Of Heroin Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Pubdate: Tuesday, January 5 1999 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Forum: http://examiner.com/cgi-bin/WebX Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Examiner Author: Ulysses Torassa and Anastasia Hendrix, Examiner Staff TOLL OF HEROIN The heroin that killed singer Boz Scaggs' son on New Year's Eve is a potent form that during the 1990s has lured more people from various walks of life into using a drug once associated only with skid-row junkies. In years past, when street-grade heroin was 3 to 5 percent pure, injecting it was the only way to get a decent high. But during the past decade, purity has shot up to as much as 50 or 60 percent, while the price has fallen to as little as $40 a gram. The result: More people have been willing to snort and smoke it. While those methods don't produce as strong a high, they are less intimidating. It was not known Monday what method Oscar Scaggs used to ingest the fatal dose of heroin. "It's getting more common now, and people are not shooting it as much anymore. We're finding a lot more people who are smoking it. They call it "Chasing the Dragon,' " said Inspector Matt Hanley, who has spent more than 10 years in San Francisco Police Department's narcotics division. The "dragon" reference is to the way the heroin smoke swirls up from a heated base - usually empty pen tubes or straws - as users draw it into their lungs. "Now you've got people who are growing up in the Sunset using it," Hanley said. "A lot of blue-collar people are calling their connection at six in the morning and they're shooting up and snorting it, putting it in Visine bottles. "They take a little snort all day long," Hanley continued. "It helps them relax and fight off the fits they get when they don't have it." San Francisco ranks third after Baltimore and Newark, N.J., in per capita heroin-related hospital admissions, and the drug is believed to be The City's second-most popular illicit drug, after marijuana. Still, while the number of heroin addicts in San Francisco is now at about 13,000, an all-time high, the trend seems to be steady, said John Newmeyer, epidemiologist with the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic. "It's more serious than it was in 1990, but since 1994, the increases have not been impressive," Newmeyer said. "It's up to a new peak, as high as any peak in the last 30 years, but there doesn't seem to be much further upward direction." And while there have been reports that more young people are becoming attracted to the drug, Newmeyer said the median age of heroin addicts in The City is surprisingly high - close to 40. Most are white, followed by African Americans and Hispanics. Only a small percentage, less than 4 percent, are Asian, although Asians account for a significant portion of San Francisco's population. Newmeyer agreed that some younger and middle-class people have gotten involved with the drug, but said he hasn't witnessed the kind of explosion many expected following the huge price drop in heroin over the last several years. Heroin is now about one-quarter as expensive as it once was. During a 12-month period in 1995 and 1996, heroin overdose deaths in The City reached an all-time high of 153, but fell the next 12 months to 107, Newmeyer said. Alice Gleghorn of The City's Department of Public Health said that while heroin use among teenagers remains low nationwide, those who are using it are much more likely to sniff or smoke it than in the past. David E. Smith, founder of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, said he's convinced that heroin dealers are targeting young people as aggressively as cigarette makers have. Three families he has known - Scaggs, the family of romance novelist Danielle Steel, and the family of a childhood friend from Bakersfield - have all had to bury sons who overdosed on heroin in the past 15 months. In Oscar Scaggs' case, Smith's wife had been working with the 21-year-old on keeping him off heroin, and she thought he was doing well. As a result, she said, his tolerance may have been down when he went to a Mission District hotel and took a dose that may have been more potent than he expected. "The kids don't know whether it's 6 percent or 60 percent. It's buyer beware," Smith said. Oscar Scaggs' death clearly hit home with Smith, who has four children, ages 17 to 24. His son Christopher, 18, was a friend of both Oscar Scaggs and of Steel's son, Nicholas Traina, through the San Francisco music scene. "My son was holding my wife yesterday as she was crying over Oscar's death. I hope the kids remember that," he said. He said heroin dealers have learned how to attract customers by flooding the market with the cheap, potent product. Once people are hooked, the dealers can cut it and raise the prices. "Just like the tobacco industry, it's in a very immoral way marketed to youth. They must have gone to the same business school," Smith said. Quitting heroin is extremely hard, and few people manage it successfully. Instead, many experts believe in methadone maintenance as a way to keep addicts' cravings at bay, allowing them to return to somewhat normal lives. However, methadone is strictly regulated by the federal government and is only available to about 2,000 addicts here. Supervisor Gavin Newsom has led The City's legislative effort to win federal approval for a sweeping methadone access waiver that would be the single largest program of its kind in the country. Unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors last February, the waiver would allow private physicians in The City to dispense the medicine. A 25-member panel of physicians, city health officials and other experts hopes to complete a detailed proposal for federal drug officials by March. Newsom said he's "incredibly optimistic" that the plan will be accepted. If it is, it could be in place as early as the end of this year, he said. (c)1998 San Francisco Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------- Last Lost Night At A Residence Hotel (Another annoying San Francisco Examiner article on the heroin-related death of Boz Scaggs' son looks for pathos in the usual places - how well Oscar had been doing with his rehab, and his privileged background and ironic demise in a Mission District hotel for down-and-outs.) Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 17:20:46 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Last Lost Night At A Residence Hotel Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Examiner Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Forum: http://examiner.com/cgi-bin/WebX Author: Marianne Costantinou and Anastasia Hendrix LAST LOST NIGHT AT A RESIDENCE HOTEL He lived in a two-story, gated mansion on Russian Hill, the son of a famous blues musician and an antiques dealer. He died with 92 cents in his pocket in Room 209 of the Hotel Royan, a $29-a-night hotel for down-and-outs in the Mission District. For Oscar Scaggs, heroin was the road that connected these two worlds. Family and friends of Boz Scaggs' 21-year-old son thought he was on the road to recovery, scared straight from the overdose death 15 months ago of his lifelong pal, Nicholas Traina, the 19-year-old son of romance novelist Danielle Steel. But even as those who knew and loved him rejoiced in how well he was doing with his rehab, it is clear Scaggs was not free of the addiction that would claim his life. In recent weeks, said hotel manager Barry Bhakta, 53, Scaggs often came calling at the Hotel Royan, a single-room occupancy hotel at 15th and Valencia streets that, like most of its residents, has seen better days. Built in 1928, the hotel used to house minor-league baseball players who competed at nearby Seals Stadium, home of the Triple-A Seals. But the team and stadium have both been gone nearly 40 years. Today, about 100 people live in the hotel, said Bhakta, some for days, others for years. Most of the occupants are singles or couples, although a few children also call the place home. Drug users and dealers, prostitutes, the homeless, the unemployed and the barely-making-it live there, said Ruth Rodriguez, 47, who's lived at Hotel Royan for four years. Rodriguez, a heroin addict, buys her stash from a neighbor down the hall from her in the hotel, she said. Overdoses at the hotel are common, she said. At least two people have committed suicide there since she moved in, she said, including one man who jumped from a top-floor window of the five-story building. "Nightly, somebody must call 911," said a fellow resident who gave her name only as Debbie. Still, news that the hotel's latest overdose victim was the son of a famous musician shocked the women. What was a rich boy doing there, they wondered. About 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 30, Scaggs came to visit Thomas Anthony Montalbano, 53, also known as Thomas A. Cole, according to police. Bhakta said while he was on duty at the front desk in recent weeks, Scaggs had been by to visit Montalbano several times. Scaggs would drop in at various times of the day or night, and stay for about a half-hour, he said. Montalbano told police he last saw Scaggs alive in his room, No. 209, sometime before 10 p.m. When he returned to the room nearly seven hours later, he found Scaggs sprawled on his double bed, not breathing. Montalbano told police he then carried Scaggs to the hotel's shower room 30 feet down the hall and called 911. But another resident, Luis Gueto Matos, 46, told police that the hotel clerk called his room and asked him to check on a report from yet another resident that a body was being dragged down the hall. Matos went to the bathroom, he told police, found Scaggs, and started performing CPR. It was too late. Police found Scaggs already dead on the tile bathroom floor when they arrived after 5 a.m. Nearby was a porcelain tub with a blue plastic shower curtain. Montalbano didn't want to talk about what happened, but denied Monday night that he provided Scaggs with the heroin. No arrests have been made pending a police investigation. "I didn't have nothing to do with it," he told The Examiner. "He always came with the drugs. "I'm feeling pretty bad," he said. Residents doubted if Scaggs' death would have any effect on life in the hotel. On the door of the hotel lobby is a sign forbidding overnight guests. There is also a sign: "Drug Problem? Call Narcotics Anonymous." It was there when Scaggs arrived that night. Eric McCormick of The Examiner staff contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Collecting Data On Police Treatment Of Minority Motorists (The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram says the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California launched an effort last fall to record the complaints of minority motorists who had been stopped without reason. The ACLU is hoping to use the data to introduce measures in the California legislature and Congress that would require law enforcement agencies to collect racial information about the motorists they stop but do not arrest. Though the problem is not new, many community activists and experts assert that the targeting of people of color has escalated with the war on drugs.) Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 17:08:06 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: ACLU Collecting Data On Police Treatment Of Minority Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 Source: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Copyright: 1999 Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.star-telegram.com/ Forum: http://www.star-telegram.com/comm/forums/ Author: V. Dion Haynes, Chicago Tribune ACLU COLLECTING DATA ON POLICE TREATMENT OF MINORITY MOTORISTS LOS ANGELES -- Last June, California Assemblyman Kevin Murray was on his way to celebrate his victory in a state Senate primary race when his car was pulled over by a Beverly Hills police officer. Though he can't prove it and the police department denies it, Murray, who wasn't ticketed, believes he was stopped for no reason other than for being black. For years, many law-abiding minority motorists, particularly African-American and Hispanic men, have been subjected to such treatment, asked in an accusatory manner about what they were doing in a particular neighborhood, where they were coming from and how they acquired their vehicles. Often dismissed by police as paranoid, Murray and others who have experienced such stops are part of a growing movement to document the incidents to prove their long-standing suspicions that minorities are victims of such targeting by law enforcement agencies much more frequently than whites. Last fall, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California launched an effort to record the complaints of minority motorists in California on a hot line. Callers flooded it during the first few minutes of the operation, forcing the ACLU to shut down the line temporarily to increase the capacity. So far more than 500 people have lodged complaints. The ACLU is hoping to use the data to bring back measures in the California legislature and Congress that would require law enforcement agencies to collect racial information about the motorists they stop but do not arrest. Such data, Murray and other supporters assert, could spur changes in police policy. "Any black male can tell you at least one incident that he's gone through and other incidents that have occurred with (black) people he knows," said Murray, a Democrat whose police monitoring bill was vetoed by outgoing California Gov. Pete Wilson. With Democrat Gray Davis succeeding Wilson this month, Murray believes the measure has a better chance of becoming law. The bill was modeled on a measure sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., which was approved by the House but died in a Senate committee. Conyers has indicated he will reintroduce his measure in the new Congress. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Ohio, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania are considering similar legislation. Jane Whicher, staff counsel at the ACLU of Illinois, says the organization supports legislative solutions. The ACLU of Illinois is involved in a class-action lawsuit filed by Hispanic and black motorists who assert that Illinois State Police stopped them because of their race. "We're not saying that all police officers are bad," added Murray, part of a class-action lawsuit charging discrimination against the Beverly Hills Police Department. But by collecting the racial data on who gets stopped, he said, "we can learn what's going on or at the very least see whether it is merely a perception problem." Complaints about unwarranted police stops are so commonplace among African Americans and Hispanics that the problem has acquired a label: DWB -- driving while black or brown. In California, where charges of racism among police remain in the wake of the Rodney King beating, the list of prominent African Americans stopped for no apparent reason includes former Lakers player Jamaal Wilkes, actor LeVar Burton, actor Blair Underwood, Olympic medalist Al Joyner, actor Wesley Snipes and Christopher Darden, a prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson criminal case. Recently in Boston, a federal judge reduced to 2 1/2 years from 4 years the sentence of a black man who pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm, ruling that the longer term had been based mainly on minor traffic offenses. Judge Nancy Gertner asserted that the man, Alexander Leviner, might have been stopped because of his race. Leviner's record, she wrote, raises "questions about what drew the officer's attention to (him) in the first place." Though Leviner faced four convictions for offenses such as driving without a license, Gertner wrote there was no evidence he was driving recklessly or had broken traffic laws when officers stopped him. Statistics collected by the Maryland State Police under a settlement with an African-American motorist appear to lend credence to the belief that minorities are stopped more than white drivers. The state police agreed to collect the data after the plaintiff uncovered an internal memo that warned troopers to target black men driving east on Interstate 68 as possible drug suspects. The data, collected from 1994 to 1997, showed that while blacks made up only 18 percent of the motorists on interstate highways, they represented 80 percent of the people targeted for searches. The number of searches prompted the federal court to extend the study to include all stops. "Maryland isn't unique. But it's the only place we have statistics," said Mary Jeon, an attorney with the ACLU of Maryland, which filed the suit on behalf of the black motorist. "I suspect many states have this problem." Conyers is seeking in his bill to require the Department of Justice to collect from all police agencies racial and ethnic data on motorists involved in stops. After two years, the department would report the findings to Congress. "People who endured this in embarrassment and silence in the past are coming forward because of the national recognition that this happens to virtually everyone (who is a minority)," Conyers said. "Frequently, we find that the incidents curtail automatically when they reach the public level of discussion." Though the problem is not new, many community activists and experts assert that the targeting of people of color has escalated with the war on drugs. The activists say police departments often develop profiles of drug traffickers based on such factors as race, age, style of dress and make of vehicle driven. Blacks and Hispanics are "who we have been conditioned to believe commit crimes," said Ronald Hampton, executive director of the National Black Police Association, a nonprofit Washington-based group that supported the Murray and Conyers bills. "So when you see a black person drive a 1998 BMW, Navigator or Mercedes you're going to conclude they got the car from selling drugs or they stole it," he added. Other police groups disagree. "Just because someone is stopped and no reason is given doesn't mean there is no reason for the stop," said Stephen McSpadden, general counsel for the National Association of Police Organizations, which represents about 220,000 officers. "There may be a small number of (officers) who have abused their positions," McSpadden said. "But our experience is that the vast majority of officers are doing the right thing." According to legal experts, a 1996 Supreme Court ruling gave police more latitude to stop motorists with little or no provocation. In Whren vs. U.S., justices ruled that police can stop a motorist for a traffic violation even if their real intent is to investigate whether the driver was involved in criminal activity. This has proven easy, according to David Harris, a professor at the University of Toledo College of Law and a visiting professor at Wayne State University Law School. He said traffic codes in many states have detailed regulations that indicate how far motorists should signal from the corner, how much room they should give the driver in front of them and the depth of the tire tread. "One of the problems with the Whren case is that anybody can be stopped for any reason," he added. Nevertheless, stopping motorists simply because of their race would violate the Fourth Amendment, the equal-protection clause of the Constitution, experts said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Please write to Will Foster (A supporter of the Oklahoma medical marijuana patient originally sentenced to 93 years in prison for growing his own medicine suggests Foster could use some kind words - his wife has apparently called it quits.) Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 11:22:47 -0500 From: Scott Dykstra (email@example.com) Reply-To: "Cannabis Patriots" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Cannabis Patriots (email@example.com) Subject: [cp] Please write to Will Foster. Dear Friends, I was contacted by Will Foster's family and they would like it to be known that they are grateful to Meg Foster for all she has done for Will in the past year and that they do not hold any ill feelings for her in any way. Below is Will Foster's new address. Please write to Will and let him know that WE have not abandoned him. Will Foster DOC #252721 LCF 3-A 208 8607 SE Flowermound Rd. Lawton, OK 73501 Thanks for your time, Sincerely, James Dawson
------------------------------------------------------------------- Webb County Prosecutor's Trial To Feature Odd Cast Of Characters (An article from what appears to be the morning edition of the San Antonio Express-News says today marks the beginning of the court trial of assistant district attorney Ramon Villafranca, a former elementary school principal, who is charged with conspiracy and three counts of bribery. The witnesses against him include a bounty hunter, a disgraced former judge and a heroin addict. The latest episode in a 5-year-old crackdown on public officials around South Texas, the case is seen as a showdown between federal and local authorities.) Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 15:03:05 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Webb County Prosecutor's Trial To Feature Odd Cast Of Characters Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.expressnews.com/ Copyright: 1999 San Antonio Express-News Author: Dane Schiller WEBB COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S TRIAL TO FEATURE ODD CAST OF CHARACTERS LAREDO - An ex-elementary school principal is pitted against a bounty hunter, a disgraced former judge and a heroin addict in a much-anticipated corruption trial set to start here today. But it's the former educator, now a Webb County assistant district attorney, who's accused of a crime. Court documents show federal prosecutors have lined up a motley crew of witnesses to put him away in a case that's kept this border city abuzz for months. Ramon Villafranca, 58, is charged with conspiracy and three counts of bribery. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. Villafranca is accused of taking money in exchange for offering leniency to defendants charged with drug possession. The latest in a 5-year-old crackdown on public officials around South Texas, the case is seen as a showdown between federal and local authorities and has fueled months of speculation. The focus on public corruption cases by U.S. prosecutors netted the 1998 convictions of then-Starr County Sheriff Gene Falcon, five of his jailers and a justice of the peace who took part in a bail bond kickback scheme. Despite that success, prosecutors often have faced skeptical jurors, and their efforts have sometimes backfired. In one 10-month stretch at the federal courthouse here in 1996 and 1997, juries acquitted eight of nine public officials or law enforcement officers accused of official corruption, embezzlement or drug trafficking, court records show. They included Hidalgo County Judge J. Edgar Ruiz and a handful of elected officials cleared of taking kickbacks on purchases of supplies for that county. In the latest case, James DeAtley, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, said he'll be satisfied to let a jury decide Villafranca's fate. "My office has the responsibility to present the evidence and we will," DeAtley said last week. "The jurors, when ultimately selected and sworn to take an oath, vote their conscience," he said. Laredo attorney Octavio Salinas II said Villafranca has never taken a bribe and is ready to defend himself. "It's a big change for him to go from putting people away to being falsely accused," Salinas said. "He's ready for his day in court. He's ready to put this behind him." U.S. District Judge John Rainey will preside over the trial. Opening arguments are expected today. Prosecutors intend to make their case with bank records, photographs and dozens of secretly made audio recordings, court records show. But they also are expected to use testimony from Ruben Garcia, a former state district judge, who in a plea bargain late last year admitted that while working as an attorney he paid bribes to an unnamed Webb County prosecutor. One of Garcia's former clients, admitted drug addict Roy McCoy III, also pleaded guilty, saying he gave Garcia $8,000 as part of a payoff to Villafranca. Another key to the case may be the testimony of Jesse Salas, a contentious former lawman who posed as a bounty hunter while secretly working as an informant for the FBI since March 1996. Physical evidence also will be presented. On a warm Sunday night in May 1998, when much of Laredo was home watching the Chicago Bulls battle for the Eastern Conference championship, a small army of FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents raided the offices of Webb County District Attorney Joe Rubio. Armed with search warrants and hand trucks, the agents loaded more than 5,000 criminal case files - as well as bank records, daily planners and even phone books - into a U-Haul rental truck in the courthouse parking garage. Agents were interested in documents linked to 142 criminal defendants. They also had singled out 14 other people for intense scrutiny, including Villafranca and Rubio, the search warrant shows. Agents hit several other locations, including the offices of a justice of the peace, a bail bondsman and the home of Rubio's father. Neither Rubio nor his father have been charged with a crime. According to the rumors that percolated through local taquerias, bars and over the Internet, the feds had either struck a mother lode of corruption or soon would fall on their faces. "Late-night phone calls, midnight meetings, unholy alliances forming," read one message posted to a Laredo-area Internet bulletin board shortly after the raids. Meanwhile, Villafranca has remained on the payroll as a prosecutor, but has been assigned administrative duties pending the trial's outcome. "We're trying to support him and be sensitive about the whole issue," said Monica Notzon, chief prosecutor for the district attorney's office. "It's going to be strange for us; having one of our prosecutors on trial," she said. "It's hard to fathom the consequences." The government's witnesses have a checkered past. A law enforcement officer in Atascosa County, Salas outraged his colleagues in 1992 when he accused fellow members of a drug task force of corruption. A state grand jury didn't believe him and indicted him for perjury, but the charges later were dropped. As for Garcia, he was indicted in October 1981 by a Dimmit County grand jury for misapplication of county funds, accused of padding an expense account. The charges were dropped when a witness refused to testify, but Garcia was disciplined by a state judicial board.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Webb Prosecutor's Bribery Trial Under Way (The San Antonio Express-News says a federal prosecutor told jurors in Laredo Monday that Ramon Villafranca, an assistant Webb County district attorney, took more than $20,000 in bribes from 15 people arrested on drug charges during a three-year undercover investigation in which an FBI informant posed as a bounty hunter. Ruben Garcia, a former state district judge, has already pleaded guilty to extortion in connection with the case.) Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 20:01:06 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Webb Prosecutor's Bribery Trial Under Way Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: 5 Jan 1999 Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.expressnews.com/ Forum: http://data.express-news.net:2080/eshare/server?action=4 Copyright: 1999 San Antonio Express-News Author: Dane Schiller WEBB PROSECUTOR'S BRIBERY TRIAL UNDER WAY LAREDO - An assistant Webb County district attorney on trial here took more than $20,000 in bribes during a three-year undercover investigation in which an FBI informant posed as a bounty hunter, a federal prosecutor told jurors Monday. But in a spirited counterattack, a defense attorney charged the government's case was made by desperate liars and that none of dozens of secretly recorded conversations prove his client was corrupt. The government made up the case out of desperation to justify the lengthy investigation, the defense said. Ramon Villafranca, 58, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if he is convicted of any of the five counts, including conspiracy and bribery, for which he was indicted last year by a federal grand jury. He is the first person to be tried in the investigation that centered on the office of Joe Rubio, the Webb County district attorney. Rubio has not been charged and has insisted he is innocent of any wrongdoing. Testimony was to begin this morning and could last three weeks. Among the witnesses slated to take the stand is Rey Cantu, a former Cameron County district attorney, whom prosecutors said would explain to jurors how a prosecutor's office should function and what Villafranca's discretion would have included. "He (Villafranca) broke the very laws he swore to uphold," Assistant U.S. Attorney Don DeGabrielle said in opening arguments. "He accepted bribe money he had no business accepting." The bribes came from 15 people arrested on drug charges, ranging from possession of a crack pipe to smuggling more than 400 pounds of marijuana across the U.S.-Mexico border, DeGabrielle said. Dozens of secretly recorded conversations will back up the case, said DeGabrielle, who described a scheme in which Villafranca discussed and received bribes in his county office, in the bathroom at the county courthouse and at a law firm where he had an office. Jesse Salas, a former Atascosa County law enforcement officer, was working for the FBI and wore a hidden microphone as he met separately with Villafranca and Ruben Garcia, a former state district judge who has pleaded guilty to extortion, DeGabrielle said. In May 1998, when FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents raided Rubio's office and several homes and other offices here, Garcia agreed to cooperate with federal authorities, DeGabrielle said. Garcia pleaded guilty to extortion late last year and could be granted leniency in exchange for his testimony, according to court documents. But Julio Garcia, one of three attorneys representing Villafranca, predicted Ruben Garcia would lie to save his skin, and the defense lawyer charged that Salas was "out of control." Salas' credibility was torn apart by his past as well as his compensation package from the government that included having his rent paid, a $1,500-a-month salary and a bonus for making cases, Julio Garcia said. "Mr. Salas is not lily white and pure as snow," the attorney said. "Mr. Salas has brought a tale to this court." U.S. District Judge John Rainey admonished Julio Garcia to "remain under control" seconds after an emotional appeal to jurors in which he said he would show that some members of law enforcement "refer to Mexican-Americans as 'cockroaches.' " "If I appear to be upset and angry, I am," Julio Garcia told jurors. "This whole case stinks." "It's going to be push and pull, nip and tuck and fight and scratch all the way down the line," he concluded. Federal authorities have said the investigation is continuing. Lawyers for both sides huddled with Rainey behind closed doors at the end of opening arguments Monday to "discuss an ongoing investigation," but no one would say what transpired.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Laredo Prosecutor's Corruption Trial Begins (The Fort Worth, Texas, Star-Telegram version) Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 05:42:26 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Laredo Prosecutor's Corruption Trial Begins Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.star-telegram.com/ Forum: http://www.star-telegram.com/comm/forums/ Copyright: 1999 Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas Pubdate: 5 Jan 99 LAREDO PROSECUTOR'S CORRUPTION TRIAL BEGINS LAREDO, Texas -- The corruption trial of prosecutor Ramon Villafranca, accused of taking bribes from drug defendants, started Monday. Villafranca's trial is expected to last more than three weeks and involve more than 100 secretly-recorded audiotapes. The case is the culmination of a two-year investigation into corruption in the 49th Judicial District Attorney's office for Webb and Zapata counties. Villafranca, 58, is accused of taking bribes from at least three drug defendants in exchange for promises of reduced or dismissed sentences. He denies doing anything wrong. Ruben Garcia, a former state district judge who was working as a private attorney at the time, has pleaded guilty to related extortion charges and is cooperating with investigators. Two others have also pleaded guilty to case-fixing related charges, including Roy McCoy, a Tennessee man who allegedly paid Garcia and Villafranca $8,000 to have drug charges against him dropped. The federal investigation first came to public attention in May, when FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents raided the office of District Attorney Joe Rubio, hauling away thousands of files in a rented truck. Despite much speculation, Villafranca was the only prosecutor indicted for corruption. A jury was picked on Monday, and opening statement were scheduled for later in the day. U.S. Attorney Don DeGabrielle, the chief prosecutor in the case, is expected to introduce more than 100 audiotapes containing secretly-recorded conversations between Villafranca and others. "You're talking about a massive amount of evidence," Octavio Salinas, one of three attorneys defending Villafranca, told the Laredo Morning Times. Garcia is expected to testify in the trial along with Jesse James Salas, a government informant who represented himself as a freelance bounty hunter and karate instructor. McCoy is another potential witness. Villafranca, a former middle school principal and teacher of special education students, has maintained his innocence. He currently is assigned to administrative duties at the district attorney's office pending outcome of the trial.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon Police Got 'Raw Deal' (According to the Houston Chronicle, a Houston police union leader said Monday that testimony in the upcoming criminal trespass trial of a Houston prohibition agent who was fired after breaking into Pedro Oregon Navarro's home without a warrant with five other agents, before they shot Oregon 12 times, will show that the officers involved got "a raw deal" because while Oregon had no arrest history, "there was some gang activity in his past.")Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 15:01:36 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Oregon Police Got `Raw Deal' Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle Author: STEVE BREWER OREGON POLICE GOT `RAW DEAL' Union chief backs officers in shooting Testimony in the upcoming criminal trespass trial of an ex-officer charged in connection with the shooting of Pedro Oregon Navarro will show that the officers involved got "a raw deal," a Houston police union leader said Monday. "I think you're going to see that Mr. Oregon was not all he's been made out to be by earlier media reports, and I think people will see he's more than a soccer player and a lawn guy," said Hans Marticiuc, Houston Police Officers Union president. "He (Oregon) may not have been arrested for anything, but there was some gang activity in his past." Richard Mithoff, the attorney representing Oregon's family, balked at Marticiuc's comments and accused him of engaging in character assassination on the eve of the criminal trial. Mithoff, who is representing Oregon's family in the federal lawsuit, said Monday that Marticiuc's comments only make what happened to Oregon worse. "I think it only compounds the tragedy for the police officers or their spokesman to now be assassinating the character of Pedro Oregon, having already killed him once," Mithoff said. "Whatever personal matters are dragged out about him or his family cannot undo his unlawful and unjustified killing at their hands." Mithoff said he is not aware of any criminal activities in Oregon's past, and he doesn't know what Marticiuc is referring to. Jury selection starts early today in Harris County Criminal Court-at-Law Judge Neel Richardson's court in the misdemeanor trial of former Houston police Officer James Willis, 28. It was unclear Monday how long jury selection would last because of the high-profile nature of the case and because Willis' attorney, Brian Benken, has said he will ask for a change of venue hearing if it becomes clear that a fair jury panel cannot be selected. Willis was the only officer charged in connection with the July 12 death of Oregon. He and five other officers burst into Oregon's residence after receiving a tip from an informant that drugs were being sold. The officers opened fire on Oregon, a soccer enthusiast and landscaper, after another officer accidentally fired his weapon. Oregon was shot 12 times, including nine times in the back. The officers always have contended Oregon was armed and pointed a gun at them. But the officers did not have an arrest or search warrant, and Oregon's gun had not been fired. No drugs were found in the apartment or in Oregon's system. The circumstances of the shooting touched off a controversy. Protesters and supporters of Oregon's family called for serious criminal charges and heaped criticism on the Houston Police Department and later on the Harris County district attorney's office when Willis was the only one indicted after a lengthy grand jury probe. All six officers eventually were fired. The case also has spawned a multimillion-dollar federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Oregon's family against the city and a continuing FBI probe into the shooting. Marticiuc's group is helping four of the officers, including Willis, appeal their firings. The union president said everyone was so concerned about the bad publicity surrounding the shooting that the officers were denied their rights and wrongfully vilified. "Everyone was so concerned about due process for our dead complainant that they forgot the due process rights of the officers," Marticiuc said. "They (the officers) got a raw deal here and that will become clear." Mithoff, meanwhile, was critical of the grand jury investigation when that panel indicted only Willis in connection with the shooting. Prosecutor Ed Porter will not say why Willis was the only officer charged in the case. A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation, who requested anonymity, speculated that it might be because Willis didn't come across well when he testified in front of grand jurors. "He (Willis) wasn't the first in the door and he had nothing to do with the planning of the raid and he did no shooting," the source said. "It was probably his attitude (in front of grand jurors) because he was amazed that it was coming to this." Porter and Benken could not be reached for comment on that theory, but both have agreed in past interviews that the trial will provide an opportunity to clear up what they say are misconceptions about the case. Both have been critical of media coverage of the shooting and said testimony will show that Oregon was armed, that officers did not kick in the door to his residence or shot the locks off and that they didn't rush immediately into the botched raid after talking to the informant. Benken and Porter also said testimony will show that an "incorrect spin" has been put on the gunshot wounds to Oregon's back. Benken has said previous reports have made it seem that Oregon was shot in the back while standing or lying down. But he said the trajectory of the wounds indicates that those shots entered Oregon's body as he moved toward officers. That, Porter has said, would be consistent with what officers say happened once they entered the apartment. Willis might take the witness stand during the trial and the six jurors needed for a misdemeanor case may also hear from the other officers involved. The charge against Willis is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Testimony is expected to start immediately after a jury is picked.
------------------------------------------------------------------- U.S. Drug Laws Harmful, Need Thorough Reform (USA Today reprints an eloquent op-ed by a member of the Drug Policy Forum of Texas that previously appeared in "DrugSense Weekly.") Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 20:02:03 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: USA Today: PUB LTE: U.S. Drug Laws Harmful, Need Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: GALAN@prodigy.net (G. A ROBISON) Pubdate: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 Source: USA Today (US) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm Copyright: 1999 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. Author: Bob Ramsey, Drug Policy Forum of Texas Page: 16A U.S. DRUG LAWS HARMFUL, NEED THOROUGH REFORM It is difficult to imagine the long-term impact of what the drug war is doing to our country. As many as 2.5 million American children now have at least one parent in prison, and that number grows as we add 1,200 people each week to the inmate population. Instead of looking at what could have been, perhaps we should look at what could have NOT been. [Note: the NOT was italicized rather than capitalized.] My grandfather was an immigrant who came to this country with little more than the clothes on his back. He worked in a shoe factory outside of Boston where he and his wife raised two children in a small single-family house. He has seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren who were and/or are mostly productive members of society, including at least one doctor, educator, engineer, lawyer, military officer, and politician. His descendents have served our country in time of war and paid millions of dollars in taxes. During the alcohol prohibition era of the 1920s, my grandfather had some sort of a small grain press that he shared with a neighbor. They used it to make alcoholic beverages, which was against the law. For that era, it was the equivalent of growing your own pot or cooking up methamphetamine. Imagine the impact on his family if today's drug penalties were in effect at that time. What would have happened if my grandfather had been sent to prison, his house confiscated, and my mother had been thrown out on the street when she was 8 years old? What if, instead of building universities, our country had spent the money on prisons? What if my grandmother, instead of saving up money for her children's education, had spent everything on bus tickets to visit her husband in a faraway prison? What would that have done to our country two or three generations later -- which is now? I don't know if it's possible for you to visualize such devastation, to imagine the effect on your own life if your parents had been raised in poverty because vicious busybodies didn't like what your grandpa ate or drank -- and to imagine the cumulative effect on the nation. Millions of Americans are living this nightmare every day in every city across our country. More are entering it every day. The pace is accelerating, and the effect on the underlying medical problem is negligible. I am working to reform our drug laws. This damage must stop. We've got to find another way to deal with this problem. Bob Ramsey, board of directors Drug Policy Forum of Texas Fort Worth, Texas
------------------------------------------------------------------- In Minnesota, Pomp and Pep Rally (The Washington Post says yesterday's inauguration of Governor Jesse Ventura of the Reform Party marks a new "tri-partisan" era in state politics. Ventura is a man of contrasts: He portrays himself as a tough-talking law-and-order politician but impressed many voters with his proposal to treat drug addiction as a public health problem rather than a criminal problem.) Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 10:36:25 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MN: WP: In Minnesota, Pomp and Pep Rally Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: DrugSense Pubdate: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 Source: The Washington Post Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Page: A02 Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://washingtonpost.com/ Author: Jon Jeter Washington Post Staff Writer IN MINNESOTA, POMP AND PEP RALLY An Unlikely Leader Takes Helm With High Spirits and 'Hooya' ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 4 -- Jesse "the Body" Ventura was sworn in as Minnesota's 38th governor today. In the end, the tough-talking ex-wrestler did not rappel down the granite walls of the State Capitol's rotunda, as he had threatened, but no one seemed truly disappointed: The nation's most celebrated and unlikely governor has become a Minnesota folk hero, if only because he makes anything seem possible. Ventura's quixotic third party campaign and upset victory over two established career politicians electrified this state and the air has been supercharged ever since. Despite Ventura's less-than-spectacular entrance today -- he strolled confidently to the dais in a dark double-breasted suit -- his inauguration was unlike anything Minnesota has ever seen, equal parts pep rally, carnival and pomp and circumstance. Nearly 2,500 people braved unimaginably cold weather -- the temperature did not climb above zero -- to attend the inauguration, the largest gathering held at Minnesota's State Capitol here since the Minnesota Twins won the World Series in 1991. The crowd of admirers included Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.); aging professional wrestlers and Navy SEALs; Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appeared in three action movies with Ventura in the mid-'80s; reporters from as far away as Japan; young men in dreadlocks who had never paid attention to politics in their lives; and balding war veterans who turned their back on politics long ago. It was Ventura's ability to reach out to indifferent and even unregistered voters -- 60 percent of the state's electorate voted in the general election, the highest turnout in the nation -- that was the key to his victory, pollsters say. "So with that in mind, I want you all to remember, we cannot fail, we must not fail, because if we do we could lose this generation, and we dare not let that happen," Ventura said in his 10-minute speech. "The reality of the situation is it's those young people, it's those disenchanted voters that we've reached out to and brought back to the system. So that's the challenge before us now. To keep those young people involved. To keep opening the arms of government and make it citizen-friendly. To bring the people back to respecting their government." Outside the rotunda, Greg Copeland stood wearing bulky layers of T-shirts and a corduroy hunting cap with oversized ear flaps. Although an odd testament to Ventura's appeal and words, it was the look Copeland was going for in his attempt to drum up support for a new reform-minded group founded in the days after Ventura's election. "The idea is to build on this wonderful energy created by Jesse Ventura and organize people," said Copeland, 46, while passing out fliers to something called the "Crow's Ball." "The media didn't elect Jesse Ventura. The experts didn't elect Jesse Ventura. The people elected Jesse Ventura," he said. Ventura's inauguration begins the "tri-partisan" era in Minnesota. With Republicans controlling the state House, Democrats controlling the Senate, and no Reform Party politicians in either chamber, it remains unclear how such a deeply divided state government will function, a question Ventura himself acknowledged. "Is Jesse Ventura up to governing? Can Jesse Ventura do the job?" he asked rhetorically in his remarks. But he has given remarkably few answers to either question since he was elected three months ago and again today, he promised only to do the best job that he could. "Whether you're a Democrat, a Republican, a Reform Party or whatever party you might be, we are all Minnesotans," he said, then finished his speech with a phrase from his days as a Navy SEAL. "Now we move forward to do Minnesota's business and we will do it to the best of our ability. Hooya." Despite his widespread popularity, Ventura is a man of contrasts: the son of a steamfitter and a champion of the working class who just signed a $500,000 book deal and whose tax-cutting agenda is stridently conservative. He portrays himself as a tough-talking law-and-order politician but impressed many voters with a sensitivity for gay rights and his proposal to treat drug addiction as a public health problem rather than a criminal problem. "He's not your typical politician," said Kevin Johnson, a childhood friend. "He's hard to pigeonhole and I think people like that because it makes him seem like he's really putting some real thought into these issues." The inaugural ball is scheduled for Jan. 16, billed as the "People's Ball." Nearly 14,000 tickets were sold in less than 48 hours. And just what is the attire for a bash in honor of a 6-foot-4, 260-pound pro wrestler who once belonged to a biker gang and favored army fatigues on the campaign trail? "Tux, tennis shoes, biker leather, whatever you feel comfortable wearing," said his wife, Terry. But "if you want to wear a black tie, nobody is going to point fingers or make fun of you."
------------------------------------------------------------------- International Meeting for A Mass Marijuana Movement (A list subscriber forwards information about the conference Jan. 8-10 in New York City, including the potarazzi who have already confirmed their attendance.) From: HSLotsof@aol.com Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 23:37:44 EST To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: FWD MMM Conference - NYC Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Forwarded Article International Meeting for A Mass Marijuana Movement January 8,9,10, 1999 New York City International Meeting for A Mass Marijuana Movement (@ Calyx Internet 13 Laight St. NY NY) Planning for the WorldWide Million Marijuana March on May 1, 1999 Bring your ideas, energy, and media for a meeting to develop non-violent strategies and learn more about the history of how a national civil rights protest in New York s Greenwich Village grew into a worldwide movement. Program & Schedule of Events: Friday, January 8 10 - 12 am - Morning Session: Opening Statements and Introductions 12 -1 pm- Lunch Break 1 - 3 pm - Afternoon Session: Coalition Building with Mainstream Politicians/Groups - Ann Northrop & Co 3 - 5 pm - Panel Discussion: Getting the Stars to Come Out - Celebrity Sponsorship Emily Kunstler, Robbie Robinson & friends Friday Evening 6 pm - 8 pm Reception 5 Bleecker St. (Backroom of Von) 9 pm - ? Party and Comedy Revue 9 Bleecker St. Saturday Morning, January 9 10 - 12 am - Morning Session: Getting through to the Media Eric Williams and Others 12 -1 pm- Lunch Break Saturday Afternoon, January 9 1 - 3 pm - Afternoon Session Panel Discussion Marijuana, Ibogaine: the Anti-Addiction/anti-Stroke Connection - Dana Beal, John Gettman, and Others 3 - 5 pm - Panel Discussion Fundraising: Finding the Big Bucks (4:20 Benefits) Dennis Peron & a Bunch of Rich Guys Saturday Night - 8pm. Party at Coney Island High on St.. Mark's Place Sunday, January 10 10 - 12 am - Morning Session: Mobilizing The People (4:20 Rallies) and planning transportation for May 1st George Kucewicz & John Wilson 12-1 pm- Lunch Break 1 - 5 pm- Afternoon Session: Alternative Scenarios for May 1st, Free-For-All discussion CONFIRMED ATTENDEES Dana Beal J.G. Bethos Andris Boris Bill Brown Mike Chance Mitch Cohen Chris Conrad Paul Cornwell Paul DeRienzo Mick Davis Michael Donelly Mike Felice Jim Fleming Diane Fornbacher John Gettman David Goldstein Chelsea Goodwin Carissa Haberland Julian P. Heicklen John Hodgson Kerry Huber Sue Jeffers Aaron Kay Anita King Laura Kriho George Kucewicz Emily Kunstler Sarah Kunstler Kiyoshi Kuromiya Scott Kurz Denny Lane Elvvy Musikka Rob MacDonald Ann McCormmick Johann Moore Joanie Moossy Brian Murphy Ann Northrop Adam Nodelman David Occhiutto David Peel Dennis Peron Terry Phelan Ed Powell John Pylka Robbie Robinson Chris Saunders Eric Sawyer Moonray Schepheart Don Schnell Andrew Seidenfeld Lynette Shaw Dave Shelly John Sheridan Brother Shine Jesse Silverman Ollie Steinberg William Swan Karen Thomas Cliff Thornton Kenny Toglia Bonnie Tocwish Dave Van Felix Dean Venezia Jerry Wade Rommell Washington Eric Williams John Wilson Peter Lamborn Wilson Doug Willinger Don Wirtschafter LET US KNOW IMMEDIATELY IF YOU WISH TO BE CONFIRMED (OR IF YOUR NAME APPEARS ON THIS LIST IN ERROR; OR IF YOU WISH TO BE LISTED AS AN ENDORSER OF THE MMM.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ann Landers: Marijuana Laws Are Too Harsh (The advice columnist syndicated in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune tells "A sad mother in Virginia," whose son is facing 30 years in prison for pot possession, "I have long believed that the laws regarding marijuana are too harsh. Those who keep pot for their own personal use should not be treated as criminals.") Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 20:48:28 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Ann Landers: Marijuana Laws Are Too Harsh Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: 5 Jan 1999 Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Contact: http://www.startribune.com/stonline/html/userguide/letform.html Website: http://www.startribune.com/ Forum: http://talk.startribune.com/cgi-bin/WebX.cgi Copyright: 1999 Star Tribune Author: Ann Landers Mail: Ann Landers, P.O. Box 11562, Chicago, IL, 60611-0562. ANN LANDERS: MARIJUANA LAWS ARE TOO HARSH Dear Ann: I just got a phone call from my son. He said, "I've been arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute." I knew he had used marijuana on occasion, but I'm sure he never tried to sell it. A lawyer told me if someone is caught with marijuana, chances are the police will add "intent to distribute," even in the absence of supporting evidence. The accusation of intent changes the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony. My son is a good kid who attends college and has a part-time job. He didn't hurt anyone. He didn't steal anything. He didn't cheat anybody. He was caught with marijuana for his own personal use, and for this, he could get 30 years in prison. He has never gotten so much as a parking ticket. I don't approve of smoking grass, nor do I approve of smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. But this punishment seems excessive. I can't help but think of the thousands of families that have suffered this same horror. These harsh laws hurt us all. People who criminalize marijuana believe that users are dangerous addicts in dark trench coats, lurking near playgrounds, ready to pounce on young children. I plead for compassion for those who are hurting only themselves when they use dangerous substances. What they need is counseling and medical intervention, not prison. Harsh laws don't work. Furthermore, they cost us a fortune in taxes to prosecute and incarcerate people who pose no danger to society. Enough. -- A sad mother in Va. Ann says: I'm sad about your son's predicament. If the police added ''intent to distribute'' without real evidence, your son will need the help of a competent lawyer who can get those charges dismissed. I have long believed that the laws regarding marijuana are too harsh. Those who keep pot for their own personal use should not be treated as criminals. Thirty years in prison makes no sense whatsoever. I'm with you.
------------------------------------------------------------------- More Than Three-Quarters Of Prisoners Had Abused Drugs In The Past (PR Newswire publicizes the URL for a new report from the US Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Substance Abuse and Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners, 1997," written by BJS Policy Analyst Christopher J. Mumola. Fifty-seven percent of state prisoners and 45 percent of federal prisoners surveyed in 1997 said they had used drugs in the month before their offense - up from 50 percent and 32 percent reported in a 1991 survey - though it's not clear whether the use of illegal substances was any greater among crimianls than among prospective law enforcement officials or anyone else. Not counting municipal and county jails, more than 277,000 offenders were in prison for a drug law violation in 1997 - 21 percent of state prisoners and "over 60 percent" of federal prisoners.) Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 22:15:08 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Wire: More Than Three-Quarters Of Prisoners Had Abused Drugs In The Past Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 Source: PR Newswire Copyright: 1999 PR Newswire MORE THAN THREE-QUARTERS OF PRISONERS HAD ABUSED DRUGS IN THE PAST WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Fifty-seven percent of state prisoners and 45 percent of federal prisoners surveyed in 1997 said they had used drugs in the month before their offense -- up from 50 percent and 32 percent reported in a 1991 survey, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) said today. Eighty-three percent of state prisoners and 73 percent of federal prisoners had used drugs at some time in the past. In 1997, 33 percent of state and 22 percent of federal prisoners said they committed their current offense while under the influence of drugs, compared to 31 percent and 17 percent in 1991, and about one in six of both state and federal inmates said in 1997 they committed their offense to get money for drugs. According to this special BJS substance abuse report, about three-quarters of all prisoners can be characterized as being involved with alcohol or drug abuse in the time leading up to their arrest. Sixty-four percent of state prisoners and 59 percent of federal prisoners reported having driven an automobile or other motor vehicle at one time or another while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even with an increase in reported drug and alcohol use between 1991 and 1997, substance abuse treatment provided to state and federal prisoners declined. However, there was increased participation in self-help, education or awareness programs for drug and alcohol abuse. Among those prisoners who had been using drugs in the month before their offense, 15 percent of both state and federal inmates said they had received drug abuse treatment during their current prison term -- down from a third of such prisoners in 1991. Among those who said they had used drugs in the month before their offense, 28 percent of the state inmates and 32 percent of the federal inmates said in the 1997 survey that they had participated in a self- help group or drug awareness program. Eighteen percent of both state and federal inmates who said in 1997 that they had been using drugs at the time of their offense reported participation in drug treatment programs, compared to about 40 percent in 1991. In 1997, among such prisoners, 32 percent of state inmates and 38 percent of federal inmates reported participating in a self-help, peer counseling, education or awareness program since admission. Since their admission to prison nearly a quarter of state inmates and 20 percent of federal inmates had been in treatment or other programs for alcohol abuse. Among those with a history of alcohol abuse or dependence, more than 40 percent reported taking part in a treatment or alcohol-related program since admission. More than 277,000 offenders were in prison for a drug law violation in 1997 -- 21 percent of state prisoners and over 60 percent of federal prisoners. The majority of these inmates were serving time for drug trafficking or possession with intent to distribute (70 percent of state drug offenders and 86 percent of federal). More than two-thirds of state and federal drug offenders reported that they possessed or were trafficking in cocaine or crack during their current offense. In 1997 more than 80 percent of state prisoners and more than 70 percent of federal prisoners reported some type of past drug use. Twenty percent of state prisoners and 12 percent of federal prisoners said they had used drugs intravenously. A quarter of state and a sixth of federal prisoners reported experiences consistent with a history of alcohol abuse or dependence. Forty-one percent of state prisoners and 30 percent of federal prisoners reported having consumed as much as a fifth of liquor in a single day (20 drinks, 3 six-packs of beer or 3 bottles of wine). Forty percent of state prisoners and 29 percent of federal prisoners reported having had a past alcohol-related domestic dispute. With the exception of marijuana use, reported drug use among state prisoners remained stable after 1991. The percentage of state inmates who used marijuana in the month before their offense rose sharply -- from 32 percent in 1991 to 39 percent in 1997. During the same period, the percentage of state prisoners who used cocaine or crack in the month before the offense remained unchanged at 25 percent. Among federal prisoners, the reported prior use of all drug types rose, with marijuana and cocaine-based drugs leading the trend. In 1997, 30 percent of federal prisoners said they had used marijuana in the month before the offense and 20 percent said they used cocaine or crack, compared to 19 percent and 15 percent, respectively, in 1991. The special report, "Substance Abuse and Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners, 1997" (NCJ-172871), was written by BJS Policy Analyst Christopher J. Mumola . Single copies may be obtained by calling the BJS Clearinghouse at 1- 800/732-3277. It is also available on the Internet. The BJS Webpage address is: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/. Additional criminal justice materials can be obtained from the Office of Justice Programs Internet homepage at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Most Federal Inmates Have Used Drugs (The Associated Press version) Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 15:13:13 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US DC: Wire: Most Prisoners Have Used Drugs Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press. Author: Sandra Sobieraj MOST PRISONERS HAVE USED DRUGS WASHINGTON (AP) Seven of every 10 federal prisoners had used drugs prior to their arrests, and one-fifth were on drugs at the time they committed the crime that sent them to prison, the Justice Department reported today. In conjunction with the release of the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics figures, which are up from 1991 levels, President Clinton said his fiscal 2000 budget would include $215 million to test and treat prisoners for drug use. "Drug use stokes all kinds of crime," Clinton said today in a White House ceremony. "It is clear to us that if we're going to continue to reduce the rate of crime we have to do something to avoid releasing criminals with their dangerous drug habits intact." If approved by Congress, the money would represent an increase of about $100 million over funds currently available to enforce "zero tolerance" of drug use by prisoners, parolees and probationers. White House drug policy director Barry McCaffrey said an untreated addict costs taxpayers about $43,000 per year, while prison-based treatment for an individual's drug use annually costs $2,700. McCaffrey called the president's proposed budget increase "a no-brainer for smart drug policy, for smart incarceration policy." The Justice report found that 70 percent of federal prisoners had used drugs, and 22 percent used them at the time of the offense. In 1991, 60 percent of federal prisoners said they had used drugs, and 17 percent used them at the time of the crime. Percentages of state prisoners using drugs were higher. In 1997, 83 percent said they had used drugs, up from 79 percent in 1991. And 33 percent used them at the time of the crime, up from 31 percent in 1991. Clinton also announced today the release of $120 million in funds already approved for drug-free prison initiatives this year. About $63 million is earmarked for state prisons to provide long-term drug treatment and intensive supervision for prisoners with the most serious drug problems.
------------------------------------------------------------------- $215M Eyed for Jail Drug Treatments (A different Associated Press account uncritically parrots the Clinton administration's duplicitous announcement, which in fact suggests a large part of the $215 million will be spent on enforcement measures such as "drug courts" and urine testing. During a White House ceremony with his drug czar and Attorney General Janet Reno, however, Clinton noted Chicago Mayor Richard Daley once said it is easier to get drugs in the Illinois penitientiary than on his city's streets. "That's a statement that could be made in more than half the states in this country," Clinton said, without explaining how prohibition could be enforced in a free society when it can't even be enforced in prisons. Despite the widely acknowledged fact that more than 70 million Americans have used an illegal drug - including Clinton himself - the administration will continue to base policy on its assumption that such use causes real crime and that therefore the way to reduce real crime is to lock up countless millions of illegal-drug users. But maybe the most inane comment came from White House drug policy director Barry McCaffrey, who said it costs taxpayers about $43,000 a year to incarcerate an untreated addict, while providing prison-based treatment for that addict costs about $2,700 a year, as if it doesn't cost anything to lock up inmates receiving treatment.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: $215M Eyed for Jail Drug Treatments Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 19:04:36 -0800 Sender: email@example.com January 5, 1999 $215M Eyed for Jail Drug Treatments Filed at 4:17 p.m. EST By The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Clinton said Tuesday he will propose $215 million in his next budget to test and treat inmates for drug use, to help them avoid returning to crime once they are freed. Clinton cited a Justice Department report that seven of every 10 federal prisoners had used drugs prior to their arrests, and one-fifth were on drugs when they committed the crimes that sent them to prison. Clinton's proposal sets aside $100 million in the fiscal 2000 budget for treatment and testing of offenders in prison as well as those on probation or parole. It also includes $50 million for creating more local drug courts and $65 million for residential drug treatment in state prisons. ``If we are going to continue to reduce the rate of crime, we have to do something to avoid releasing criminals with their dangerous drug habits intact,'' Clinton said. ``To inmates in every state, we want to send a message: If you stay on drugs, you must stay behind bars.'' Clinton also announced the release of $120 million under the fiscal 1999 budget for drug-free prison initiatives -- $63 million earmarked for state prisons to provide long-term treatment and intensive supervision for prisoners with the most serious drug problems. During a White House ceremony with his drug policy adviser and Attorney General Janet Reno, Clinton said drug use is a persistent problem in prisons. He noted Chicago Mayor Richard Daley once said it is easier to get drugs in the Illinois penitientiary than on his city's streets. ``That's a statement that could be made in more than half the states in this country,'' Clinton said. ``So we still have a lot to do. There is no better way to start than to help our prisoners break clean from drugs.'' The president also cited Bureau of Justice Statistics data that connected drug use to other crimes, from burglary and auto theft to assault and murder. He said 83 percent of state prisoners and 73 percent of federal prisoners had used drugs in 1997. Fifty-seven percent of state prisoners and 45 percent of federal prisoners had used drugs in the month before they were arrested, Clinton said. ``We have to break this cycle,'' Clinton said. ``We have to give these people a chance to be drug-free and to be productive citizens again.'' If approved by Congress, the money would represent an increase of about $100 million over funds currently available to enforce ``zero tolerance'' of drug use by prisoners, parolees and probationers. White House drug policy director Barry McCaffrey said it costs taxpayers about $43,000 a year to incarcerate an untreated addict, while providing prison-based treatment for that addict costs about $2,700 a year. ``This is a no-brainer for smart drug policy, for smart incarceration policy,'' McCaffrey said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton Announces Anti-drug Effort (The UPI version) Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 19:39:00 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Clinton Announces Anti-drug Effort Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 Source: Wire: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International CLINTON ANNOUNCES ANTI-DRUG EFFORT WASHINGTON, (UPI) - Flanked by his top law enforcement lieutenants, President Clinton announced more federal resources to help states and localities test, treat and sanction drug offenders in the nation's prison system. Shortly after the Justice Department issued a report today showing that in 1997 more than three-quarters of the nation's prisoners reported past drug use, Clinton appeared with Attorney General Janet Reno, drug czar Barry McCaffrey, members of Congress and state and local officials to declare that while crime overall is down, ``We have to break this cycle'' of drug abuse. Clinton is proposing $215 million in his fiscal year 2000 budget, which will be sent to Capitol Hill Feb. 1, to enforce a ``zero tolerance'' policy of testing those in prison, on probation or parole. ``Today we want to make a dramatic leap forward,'' the president said. ``To inmates in every state, we want to send a message: If you stay on drugs, you must stay behind bars. To probationers and parolees, we want to send a message: If you want to keep your freedom, you have to keep free of drugs.'' The event took place as word was announced on Capitol Hill that Clinton's impeachment trial in the Senate would begin on Thursday. Scant other details were revealed, however. Clinton appeared distracted during the ceremony in the Roosevelt Room, in which he was widely lauded for his leadership in the fight against crime and drugs by Reno, McCaffrey, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and a Republican mayor from Reno, Nev. ``Mr. President, with your leadership, our efforts to fight crime and to make our communities safer has paid off with solid results,'' Reno said. ``America is a better place today, a safer place than it was when you came to Washington.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Moderate drinking reduces stroke risk, study confirms (The Associated Press says researchers also reported in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association that the type of alcohol consumed - beer, wine or liquor - was unimportant. However, heavier drinking greatly increased the risk of stroke, and the authors cautioned that "No study has shown benefit in recommending alcohol consumption to those who do not drink.") From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Moderate drinking reduces stroke risk, study confirms Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 19:02:44 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Moderate drinking reduces stroke risk, study confirms By BRENDA C. COLEMAN The Associated Press 01/05/99 4:56 PM Eastern CHICAGO (AP) -- Similar to the way a drink or two a day protects against heart attacks, moderate alcohol consumption wards off strokes, a new study found. The study also found that the type of alcohol consumed -- beer, wine or liquor -- was unimportant. Any of them, or a combination, was protective, researchers reported in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. "No study has shown benefit in recommending alcohol consumption to those who do not drink," cautioned the authors, led by Dr. Ralph L. Sacco of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. But the new data support the guidelines of the National Stroke Association, which say moderate drinkers may protect themselves from strokes by continuing to consume alcohol, the authors said. The protective effect of moderate drinking against heart attacks is well established, but the data has been conflicting about alcohol and strokes, the authors said. The new study helps settle the question and is the first to find blacks and Hispanics benefit as well as whites, according to the authors. Further research is needed among other groups, such as Asians, whom past studies suggest may get no stroke protection from alcohol or may even be put at greater risk, researchers say. Among groups where the protective effect exists, its mechanism appears to differ from the protective effect against heart attacks, which occurs through boosts in levels of so-called "good" cholesterol, or HDL, the authors said. "In our analyses, much of the protective effect of alcohol on stroke risk was independent of HDL," the authors said. They speculated alcohol may protect against stroke by acting on some other blood trait, such as the tendency of blood platelets to clump, which is key in forming the blood clots that can cause strokes. The researchers studied 677 New York residents who lived in the northern part of Manhattan and had strokes between July 1, 1993, and June 1997. For comparison, they enrolled 1,139 similar residents who had not suffered strokes. About half of the subjects were Hispanic, just over one-fourth were black and the remainder were white. Slightly more than half were women. The mean age was 70. After taking into account differences in other factors that could affect stroke risk, such as high blood pressure, the researchers estimated that subjects who consumed up to two alcoholic drinks daily were only half as likely to have suffered clot-type strokes as nondrinkers. Clot-type strokes account for 80 percent of all strokes, a leading cause of U.S. deaths and disability. Stroke risk increased with heavier drinking. At seven drinks per day, risk was almost triple that of moderate drinkers, researchers said. An expert spokesman for the American Heart Association, who was not involved in the study, said it was well-done and important information. But it shouldn't be interpreted to mean, "I can have two drinks and therefore not worry about my high blood pressure or worry about my cholesterol," said Dr. Edgar J. Kenton, an associate professor of clinical neurology at Thomas Jefferson University Medical College in Philadelphia. Instead, he said, the study provides good reason to do further research and to add alcohol to the list of modifiable risk factors for stroke.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marad Calls For Added Private Anti-Drug Efforts (According to the Journal of Commerce, a new report released by the U.S. Maritime Administration says ocean carriers and shippers must do more in the war on drugs, primarily by sharing information with authorities about heretofore private, competitive data, such as the practices of the carriers' customers.) Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 15:09:47 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US DC: Marad Calls For Added Private Anti-Drug Efforts Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 Source: Journal of Commerce (US) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.joc.com/ Copyright: Journal of Commerce 1988 MARAD CALLS FOR ADDED PRIVATE ANTI-DRUG EFFORTS As much as ocean carriers have pitched in to thwart the drug trade and other illicit traffic, it's still not enough, the federal government said in a new report. Ocean carriers and shippers must help out more in providing adequate security for maritime commerce, primarily by sharing information with authorities, said the report released by the Maritime Administration. This help would go so far as sharing heretofore private, competitive data, such as the practices of the carriers' customers, the study suggested.The study, called the "Maritime Security Report," was prepared by Marad's Office of Ports and Domestic Shipping. The report emerges at a time when carriers, weathering years of falling freight rates, largely believe they have already done their part to prevent ships from being used for drug trafficking and other forms of illegal trade. Yet Congress and the Clinton administration are increasing pressure on agencies like the U.S. Customs Service to stop the tide of narcotics, even as trade volumes are soaring and Customs' resources are strained. Noting that 45 percent of the Customs' Service's intelligence comes from "external sources," the Marad report said that a key component is "the private sector's role in supporting government's requirements for actionable intelligence on cargo-crime activities." While the report said exchanging information is "indispensable," carriers said they are edgy about being perceived by their customers as agents of the authorities. Because security procedures can delay the speedy movement of cargo, the shipping industry and government agencies are by nature at odds. "The more we cooperate, the more we get drawn in, the slower things go," moaned a maritime executive with a security background. Dennis P. Latina, director of business development for Delaware River Stevedores Inc., said the only way carriers and others would want to share information is if they managed the shipping package from the exporter to the door of the importer. "Only if it's absolutely seamless," said Mr. Latina, who operates terminals in the ports of Wilmington, Del., and in Philadelphia. "Otherwise, nobody is going to want to share information. This is a thing we keep to ourselves." COOPERATIVE PARTNERSHIP The report said, "A cooperative partnership between U.S. government agencies and U.S. companies engaged in foreign trade is needed to deter and counter the operations of trans-national, organized-crime groups targeting commercial operations." It said, "Modern international trade transactions are conducted in multiple markets . . . The complex and urgent pace of these activities often overwhelms local, state and federal enforcement capabilities." . . . A government-only approach depends on regulatory and law-enforcement capabilities . . . Law enforcement and judicial proceedings alone are not adequate mechanisms for combating trans- national organized crime's targeting of international commerce. Robust private support is also needed." Some 90,000 ships flying the flags of 200 nations move about 95 percent of global cargo, the Marad study said.In that mix, law- enforcement agencies have tried in the past to encourage the private sector to be of assistance. But seemingly avoidable snafus emerged, according to sources who asked not to be identified. Examples, which were not in the Marad study, include these: * A vessel's owners tipped the Customs Service to a suspicious container. Authorities seized the container and fined the carrier. * A carrier made a number of calls to authorities about a suspicious container, with no response. Later, authorities stormed onto the same ship and drilled holes in containers, leaving the carrier to tell its customers that its boxes had just been damaged and needed to be repaired -- at the shippers' expense. * Agents arrested Egyptian officers after sniffer dogs found mere hashish traces in the officers' cabins following a trip from Egypt, where pot is tolerated recreation. The most lucrative cargo crimes, according to the Marad study, are: theft, drug-smuggling, trafficking in illegal aliens, handling stolen autos, contraband merchandise and shipments of illicit currency. The Marad report applauded government's earlier attempts to partner with carriers, governments and shippers on security issues. CARRIERS ON BOARD Carriers serving drug-heavy ports have joined the U.S. Super Carrier Initiative Agreement, where the carrier takes extra steps against smuggled drugs in exchange for lower fines. A similar government-industry venture, the Sea Carrier Initiative, aims at reducing drug-smuggling on all cargo ships.In a third program, the Americas Counter-Smuggling Initiative, Customs enlists Latin-American governments to keep drugs away from export cargo. "If any of this is going to be of value, it is going to have to help the carrier in maintaining efficiencies," said maritime lawyer John E. Nelson II of Watson, Farley & Williams in New York. NO INCENTIVE Kevin W. Shields, president of US Africa Navigation Inc., in Edison, N.J., said, "There is not a heck of a lot of incentive for the carriers because there isn't any money." He says the private sector wants the government to lobby for the industry in foreign capitals, to encourage trading-partner nations to upgrade their own customs systems. "There are guys in some ports who make their money in finding something wrong, in finding "T's' not crossed, in finding 40 items in a box when the paperwork says there are supposed to be 39. Then we are penalized," he said. Reflecting the case made by the Marad report, Rex Sherman, security liaison at the American Association of Port Authorities, said all levels of enforcement come together at the port. Mr. Sherman said, "Customs is there for the revenue of the government. The Drug Enforcement Administration is there. Immigration and Naturalization is there. For the stolen cars, you have the FBI to some extent, and then you have state and local police, and the port police. It all bunches up in the port. Security there has to be a joint effort." A handful of ports around the country, including New York and Los Angeles, have cargo crime task forces made up of many of those agencies. Marad's report targeted eight broad goals: Move the first line of defense beyond U.S. borders, attack smuggling and smuggling-related crimes, deny safe haven to known criminals, combat money-laundering and strictly police high-tech exports. Also, monitor newly-hatched international crime rings, establish international standards, enhance executive-branch policy to mobilize, and incorporate the private sector into U.S. government efforts. The report can be obtained by calling the Marad Office of Ports and Domestic Shipping at (202) 366-4357. COMBATING CRIME The following agencies, programs and organizations can assist shippers and carriers wishing to increase their cooperation with the government in combating cargo theft and narcotics trafficking: Transportation Department's Office of Intelligence and Security -- 202-366- 6525. Office of Transportation Policy, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. State Department -- 202-647-4045 or 202-647-3148. The State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law- Enforcement Affairs -- 202-647-0453. International Organizations and Agreements Division, Office of International Affairs, U.S. Customs Service -- 202-927-1480. Office of Port and Waterway Management -- 202-267-6164.Maritime Security Council -- 713-465-7395.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Study: Women Using 'Date Rape Drug' (The Associated Press says a study by researchers at the University of Texas published Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics found that nearly 6 percent of a group of sexually active girls and young women reported taking the drug Rohypnol deliberately, despite warnings that it can make them vulnerable to rape. The researchers and "other experts" said they suspect women try the drug because it is cheap, produces a drunken-like high and heightens the effects of other narcotics.) Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 23:45:06 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Wire: Study: Women Using 'Date Rape Drug' Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press. Author: SUSAN MONTOYA Associated Press Writer STUDY: WOMEN USING 'DATE RAPE DRUG' DALLAS (AP)- Nearly 6 percent of a group of sexually active girls and young women reported taking the drug Rohypnol deliberately, despite warnings that it can make them vulnerable to rape, according to a study. Rohypnol, or "roofies," is known as a "date rape drug" because of cases in which women were assaulted after someone slipped it into their drink. Users have likened one tablet to drinking a 12-pack of beer. Researchers at the University of Texas questioned 904 women ages 14 to 26 who visited a Galveston family planning clinic, and found that 5.9 percent or 53 said they had taken flunitrazepam, the scientific name for Rohypnol, at least once. Six reported taking it more than 20 times. The study was reported Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics. The researchers and other experts said they suspect women try the drug because it is cheap, produces a drunken-like high and heightens the effects of other narcotics. "The media has been very clear about the dangers of this drug and yet teen- age girls, particularly the ones we studied, when they party and someone offers them something, they accept," said Dr. Vaughn Rickert. "They are really leaving themselves open for assault." Dr. Ron Charles, a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, questioned the survey's accuracy. "I doubt that many people actually know what Rohypnol is. There are many street drugs that can be perceived as Rohypnol," he said. Rohypnol is illegal in the United States but prescribed in Mexico and dozens of other countries for severe sleep disorders. In Mexican border towns, a tablet can sell for less than $1, meaning young people in Texas can get Rohypnol cheaply. Law enforcement agencies seized 194 pills in Texas in 1992, and 41,600 in 1995.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Antidepressant for dogs receives FDA approval (The Associated Press says the Food and Drug Administration has approved the sale of Clomicalm, known chemically as clomipramine, which, when used with "canine therapy," promises to relieve separation anxiety, one of the most common reasons dogs are euthanized. The FDA doesn't just regulate foods and medicines that affect human health - one of its lesser known roles is ensuring the safety and effectiveness of drugs given to animals.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Doggy antidepressant receives FDA approval Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 18:52:30 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Posted at 10:44 a.m. PST; Tuesday, January 5, 1999 Antidepressant for dogs receives FDA approval by Lauran Neergaard The Associated Press WASHINGTON - It's a nightmare for dog lovers: They leave the house, and their beloved pooch gets so upset it chews up the sofa and urinates on the rug. Separation anxiety afflicts thousands of dogs and is one of the most common reasons dogs are euthanized. Now the government has approved the first drug treatment - an antidepressant called Clomicalm that, when used with canine therapy, promises to help Fido behave better when his owners leave home. "This is a very difficult syndrome to treat," said Dr. Stephen Sundlof, the Food and Drug Administration's veterinary chief. "Oftentimes . . . (success) can mean the difference between having to put their animal to sleep or being able to live with their pet. . . . Having tools like this available can really make a tremendous difference." The FDA approved the sale of Clomicalm, known chemically as clomipramine, on Dec. 10, but made the approval public late yesterday. The FDA doesn't just regulate foods and medicines that affect human health - one of its lesser known roles is ensuring the safety and effectiveness of drugs given to animals. Dogs are pack animals, behavior specialists explain. So for some, being left alone even for short periods can prove stressful, which they may exhibit with destructive behavior that veterinarians label separation anxiety. Ripping up furniture, excessive salivation and inappropriate urination or defecation are symptoms. Separation anxiety accounts for 20 percent to 40 percent of all dog visits to vets for behavior problems. Behavior therapy can help, but it can be a lengthy, complicated task, as pet owners have to practice leaving home for progressively more minutes each day so the dog learns its family will come back.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Feed a pill, see Spot smile (The CNN version) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Feed a pill, see Spot smile Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 19:27:49 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: CNNfn Pubdate: January 5, 1999 Online: http://www.cnnfn.com/hotstories/bizbuzz/9901/05/dogs/ Feed a pill, see Spot smile FDA approves Novartis's anti-depressant drug for dogs, report says the Food and Drug Administration NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Beleaguered Dow investors aren't the only ones who have dog days. So, too, do dogs. Veterinarians have known for a while that Spot is as vulnerable to feeling sad as his owner; but they've been pharmaceutically disadvantaged to do anything about it. Until now. Late last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the green light to a meat-flavored anti-depressant pill that veterinarians soon will be able to prescribe to canines with behavioral problems and other neuroses, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The drug, developed by the animal-health unit of Novartis AG and known to veterinarians as Clomicalm, has been used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorders in humans under the name Anafranil, the newspaper said. Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland, is one of the world's largest life sciences companies, specializing in pharmaceuticals, crop protection, animal health and clinical nutrition. The company was created in 1996 through the $27 billion merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz. The Journal said Novartis plans to mount an intensive campaign to promote the drug to veterinarians, who will use it to help treat separation anxiety in pets. Dogs often manifest feelings of loneliness by destroying furniture, howling, or relieving themselves indoors. The drug is intended to help chemically counteract such behavior. But veterinarians note that Clomicalm is not a cure-all. They recommend that owners supplement the pill regime with regular behavior therapy to help wean their pets of bad habits stemming from depression. Novartis also plans a persuasion campaign aimed at inducing owners to take their dogs to the vet when pets exhibit tell-tale signs of depression.
------------------------------------------------------------------- U.S. Approves First Behavioral Drugs For Dogs (The Reuters version notes the FDA also approved Anipryl, which treats a syndrome that affects the cognitive skills of older dogs. The side-effects from Clomicalm include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and appetite fluctuations.) Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 23:45:03 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Wire: US Approves First Behavioral Drugs For Dogs Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (David Hadorn) Pubdate: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited. Author: Sue Pleming U.S. APPROVES FIRST BEHAVIORAL DRUGS FOR DOGS WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it had approved the first two drugs to treat behavioral problems in dogs. One of the drugs, a meat-flavored pill called Clomicalm, treats separation anxiety, a common ailment among dogs who miss their owners. The second, Anipryl, treats a syndrome that affects the cognitive skills of older dogs. ``These are important new drugs which can be used to help prolong the quality of life of dogs and their relationship with their owner,'' said the FDA's head of veterinary medicines, Dr. Stephen Sundlof. ``Dogs certainly have neurological problems just like humans do,'' he said in an interview, adding that he thought pet owners and humane societies would welcome the new drugs. The drugs are part of a new approach to treating dogs with behavioral problems, providing veterinarians with similar tools available to doctors treating humans. Clomicalm, which is sold by Novartis Animal Health U.S. Inc., a unit of Swiss-based Novartis AG, be prescribed for dogs older than six months and stems from an anti-depressant called Anafranil that is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorders in humans. However, Sundlof said it would not be used to treat depression in dogs because veterinarians were not sure whether canines suffered from this illness that is so common in humans. ``We don't know if they get depression or not, but one of the behavioral anomalies they do suffer from is anxiety,'' he said. About 20-40 percent of all dogs presented to veterinarians with behavioral problems suffered from separation anxiety, said Sundlof. They became particularly worried when left alone by their owners or people to whom they are attached, suffering separation anxiety -- a common problem among human toddlers. If used together with behavior-modification training, Clomicalm relieved some of the anxiety and made dogs less prone to aberrant behavior. ``This behavior included excessive barking, chewing up shoes or rugs as well as inappropriate urination and defecation,'' said Sundlof. During the FDA's eight-week trial of some 100 dogs, the side-effects from Clomicalm included vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and appetite fluctuations. The other drug, Anipryl, from Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE - news), treats Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in dogs, an age-related deterioration in which a dog's cognitive skills are affected. Such changes in a dog's behavior included disorientation, decreased activity, loss of house training and altered greeting behavior and responsiveness to family members. ``In clinical trials, Anipryl was shown to be effective in controlling clinical signs associated with CDS. However, onset, duration and magnitude of response varied with individual dogs,'' the FDA said in a statement. FDA veterinary medical officer Ann Stohlman said pet owners should monitor their dogs closely and decide whether Anipryl was effective. Anipryl stems from a drug called Eldepryl that is used to treat Parkinson's disease in humans. Alice Coram, a communications manager for Novartis, said Clomicalm would be available starting in mid-February and would cost pet owners about $1 a day. The company planned a major promotional campaign for the treatment, she said. ``This opens up an exciting new avenue in behavioral treatments for dogs,'' said Coram.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot-police go home-invasion crazy (Cannabis Culture magazine, in British Columbia, asks you to write a letter to the media about Canadian prohibition agents carrying out three separate drug busts over the weekend that caused extreme harm to innocent people.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Cannabis Culture) To: email@example.com Subject: CC: Pot-police go home-invasion crazy! Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 08:15:50 -0800 Lines: 232 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Cannabis Culture (http://www.cannabisculture.com/) Pot-police go home-invasion crazy! Three bad pot-related police home-invasions take place over one weekend. Police shoot family dog, terrorize babies, scare families, beat people, victimize handicapped seniors! By Dana Larsen Editor, Cannabis Culture Magazine Abbotsford is a town outside of Vancouver with its own police force. On Sunday, Jan 3 at 5pm, Abbotsford black-clad SWAT police stormed a house with a search warrant for marijuana. Despite 2 hours surveillance through open, curtainless windows, the police thought there were only 2 adults in the house. There were actually 11 adults and 15 children, celebrating a child's birthday party. One police officer shot the family dog three times, killing it in front of the children and splattering blood onto a two-week old baby. Witnesses were also said to have seen the police officers beating several people, and one man was admitted to the hospital spitting up blood, which witnesses said resulted from the police beating. This is just one in a rash of marijuana-police home invasions that occurred over the weekend. In Edmonton on Saturday, Jan 2, police smashed through the front door and window of an elderly handicapped couple's rooming house, victimized and handcuffed them, because they thought that some of the other tenants might be selling marijuana. "These people live in a building where this type of activity was going on," said the cop. Also in Vancouver, the same night that the Abbotsford cops were murdering the family dog, Vancouver police smashed their way into a home because they thought they smelled marijuana, they saw bags of fertlizer in the backyard, and they claimed the windows were moist. Actually, it was just a single man who burned incense, but if he had been holding a pellet gun in his hand when police smashed down his door, he would likely be a dead man. This happened in 1992, when police shot and killed 22 year old Daniel Possee in exactly this fashion, in a raid that netted a few ounces of marijuana. Please take a moment to write your brief opinions to some of the media contacts below. You might wish to note that the tragic thing is that these kind of violent police raids go on all the time, and they're not acceptable even when it's adults-only and there is some marijuana or a grow operation. Our society does not need people with guns and body armour invading homes to destroy marijuana plants and peaceful marijuana gardeners. These overzealous and violently aggressive officers are a threat to us all. As long as the insane war against the natural herb marijuana continues, the police will be forced to continually invade homes they think might harbour pot plants, and innocent people will continue to be terrorized, endangered, and sometimes killed. Here's the newspaper clippings and one TV transcript: Police gunfire terrifies kids Frank Luba, Staff Reporter, The Province Monday, January 4, 1999 [Snipped to avoid duplication. Follow the link. - ed.] Contacts: Vancouver Province: email@example.com Vancouver Sun: firstname.lastname@example.org *** BCTV covered the pot-police home invasion described above, and followed it with another pot-police foul-up: Another failed police pot raid in Vancouver Transcript from BCTV News Hour Final Monday, January 4, 1999 [Snipped to avoid duplication. Follow the link. - ed.] Contact: BCTV News email@example.com BCTV Online Forum: http://www.tv4bc.com/bctv/post/content/newscom/newscom.htm *** Residents Angry After Drug Raid By Kim Bradley, Edmonton Sun Saturday, January 2, 1999 [Snipped to avoid duplication. Follow the link. - ed.] Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Online Forum: http://www.canoe.ca/Chat/home.html *** CClist, the electronic news and information service of Cannabis Culture To unsubscribe, send a message to email@example.com containing the command "unsubscribe cclist". *** Subscribe to Cannabis Culture Magazine! Write to: 324 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, CANADA, V6B 1A1 Call us at: (604) 669-9069, or fax (604) 669-9038. Visit Cannabis Culture online at http://www.cannabisculture.com/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police apologize for shots fired during birthday party (The Vancouver Sun, in British Columbia, says Abbotsford police have apologized for raiding an alleged drug house during a child's birthday party Sunday and shooting the family dog. "We went in there not knowing there were 13 children," said Constable Dale Cresswell. Jason Rowsom, who was attending the party with his four children, said "They knew that there were children at the party. I mean, you could see the big 'Happy Birthday' banner from the street on the window. You could see the kids running around. There's no way they can get out of this.")From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: Police apologize for shots fired during birthday party Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 09:02:15 -0800 Lines: 106 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Tuesday 5 January 1999 Author: Lindsay Kines, Vancouver Sun Police apologize for shots fired during birthday party Abbotsford police have apologized for raiding an alleged drug house while 13 children were attending a birthday party Sunday. As the children watched in horror, a police emergency response team member shot and killed a dog that attacked one of the officers. A 31-year-old male tenant has been charged with drug offences. He was throwing a birthday party for his seven-year-old son in the house in the 2300-block of Centre Street in Abbotsford. "We went in there not knowing there were 13 children in there, and we do apologize for the children being in there," media relations Constable Dale Cresswell said Monday. He said police would never have raided the house had they known about the party. But parents of the children expressed outrage Monday and threatened to file official complaints or take legal action against the municipal police department. The parents said officers should have known the house was filled with children if they had been doing their job properly. "It was just a really violent and brutal affair and totally uncalled for," Jason Rowsom, who was attending the party with his four children, said Monday. "They knew that there were children at the party. I mean, you could see the big 'Happy Birthday' banner from the street on the window. You could see the kids running around. There's no way they can get out of this." Christy Homan, 21, was holding her infant at the time of the raid, and said the baby's blanket was splattered with blood when police shot the dog. "I'm upset about the whole thing," she said. "This is a little kid's birthday party that they did this to. "I'm feeling for the kids. It's the kids more than us. But we want something done about it." Cresswell said an investigation is under way, as happens any time a police officer discharges a weapon. He also said victims services people were called to the house immediately, and police are prepared to assist the children in any way possible. "You have to apologize in the sense that they are traumatized. Any time a child is victimized like that and scared - the police aren't out there to scare the kids." Cresswell said police set up surveillance two hours before the raid, which took place at 5 p.m. "The surveillance did not indicate that there was a birthday party going on, did not indicate that there was 13 children in the house," Cresswell said. "We obviously could not see totally in the whole house." During the raid, two officers entered the living room where a dog that police described as a "pit bull terrier" attacked one of the officers, biting him on the upper left arm. The second officer fired two shots into the dog at close range. Cresswell declined to say what type of weapon was used to kill the dog. Rowsom, 28, disputed the police version of events. He said that eight or nine children had been playing street hockey in the carport beside the house a short time before the raid, and that any police surveillance team should have realized there was a children's party in progress. By the time police arrived, Rowsom said everyone had gone inside the house for cake. He was sitting on the couch with his five-month-old child when officers in combat fatigues and carrying automatic weapons burst through the door, screaming at everyone to get down. Ronny Raber, who lived in the house, has been charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, possession of heroin, and possession of psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms. Raber, who was out on bail on other charges at the time of the raid, was also charged with breaching the conditions of his release. He appeared in court Monday and was held in custody. Raber's lawyer, Dan Henderson, said his client alleges he was assaulted by police during the arrest. Henderson said Raber suffered a concussion and bruises to his eye, ribs and the back of his head. "If any of these allegations are true, then it's a very serious matter," he said. Cresswell said any allegations of police misconduct will be investigated. Police raided the same residence on Nov. 26, and said they were confronted by the same dog. In that instance, police used pepper spray on the dog and the suspect. The police seized an unspecified quantity of drugs and weapons in that raid, and Raber was charged with drug offences.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug police burst in on children's party (The version in the Toronto Globe and Mail) From: Carey Ker (firstname.lastname@example.org) Reply-To: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Drug police burst in on children's party Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 13:22:44 -0500 (EST) Source: Globe and Mail (Canada), Page A3 Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Tuesday, January 5, 1999 Author: ROD MICKLEBURGH Drug police burst in on children's party Tuesday, January 5, 1999 ROD MICKLEBURGH British Columbia Bureau Vancouver -- Police have promised to investigate how a carefully staked-out drug raid turned into a nightmarish, traumatizing assault on a children's birthday party near here. Instead of candles being blown out, gun-toting Abbotsford police blew away the family dog in front of a dozen horrified youngsters, splattering blood on an infant less than two months old. While parents at the ill-fated party angrily vowed to file official complaints over the matter, police spokesman Dale Cresswell said there would be an internal investigation by the municipal force. "Any time there are children involved, I would apologize myself in the sense that you never want children in a high-risk area," Constable Cresswell told a crowded news conference yesterday. "It's regrettable that it happened on a birthday." He said police were shocked when they found a children's birthday party going on. "This was just bad timing," declared Sergeant Bill Emery, saying police would never have burst in when they did if they had known the situation ahead of time. Those at the Sunday-afternoon party and at least one neighbour were enraged by the police behaviour. "They shot the dog in front of all the children. There's blood on the baby, blood on the children, all these screaming children," Jennifer Fraser told a local television station, adding that her niece and nephew originally thought their father had been shot. In another interview, parent Jason Rowsom said there was immediate mayhem when police wearing black uniforms burst into the living room where the party was going on. "It was instant screaming. My seven-year old daughter dove over the end table and behind the couch and was screaming in the corner." He said police trained an automatic weapon on him while he cradled his baby daughter. Other adults in the house were beaten, he charged. Television pictures after the raid showed one man being wheeled into a waiting ambulance. "I want answers. My children want answers. If we don't get answers, then lawsuits are going to come," said Mr. Rowsom, four of whose children, aged nine to six months, were at the party. He questioned police statements that they didn't know children were in the house, pointing to a Happy Birthday banner hung in the living-room window and an earlier road hockey game that included himself and several youngsters, held in the car port. "I think it stinks what the police did," added neighbour John Eadie, 50. "If they had surveillance on the house, how could they not have picked up the fact kids were there? Those kids went through hell." Mr. Eadie lives next door to the raided house in the west end of Abbotsford, a sprawling Fraser Valley community about 80 kilometres west of Vancouver. "Suddenly, there was a whole bunch of police outside and I heard all these little kids screaming 'Daddy, Daddy!' Then Ron [Raber, who rented the house] kept shouting 'Why the dog? They killed the dog.' " Neighbour Stanley Mitchell said one police officer had been hiding behind his trailer, gun in hand. "He told me quietly to go back into the house," he said. "Then I heard what sounded like a cap gun, a lot of shouts and all these kids and women started screaming. "One of the women came in to use my bathroom. She said there was blood all over the place. She was pretty shaken up." The dog shot by police is said to have been a pit bull that lunged toward them when they burst into the living room. But Mr. Eadie described the dog as "friendly as hell. He didn't seem like an attack dog." Ms. Fraser said the dog was only protecting the children and bitten no one. However, Constable Cresswell said one of the two officers in the room was bitten on the arm by the dog, causing the other officer to fire "two shots directly into the animal at point-blank range." A preliminary investigation indicates the officer who fired acted correctly, he added. The tumble-down house rented by Mr. Raber had been raided in November by police, who said they found weapons and drugs at the time. That is why they brought in the emergency response team for Sunday's follow-up raid, Sgt. Emery explained. Mr. Raber, 31, who already faces two charges of possession of marijuana for the purposes of trafficking from the previous raid, was scheduled to appear in court yesterday to face several more charges.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Save the busts for the balloons (A staff editorial in the Vancouver Province, in British Columbia, wonders why Abbotsford prohibition agents didn't notice 13 impressionable youngsters with sticky fingers before they blew the family dog to bits. Let the independent review begin.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: Editorial: Save the busts for the balloons Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 09:30:03 -0800 Lines: 35 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Vancouver Province (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 Save the busts for the balloons Okay. They goofed. Armed Abbotsford cops staking out a suspected drug den didn't know that inside, 13 birthday kids were chowing down on party ice cream cake. Perhaps the six-pack from the emergency response team should have made it their business to know -- but they didn't. They goofed. Yesterday, they said sorry. Okay, apology accepted, er, almost. We're still a little tense about why the cops lost it, you know, inside. Didn't their antenna pick up a birthday buzz? Didn't their trained eyes OBSERVE cake and cream-smeared faces? Didn't 13 impressionable youngsters with sticky fingers REGISTER on their psyche before they blew a part pit-bull to bits with a bullet? It wasn't long ago that Abbotsford (then Matsqui) police had a rep for over-zealousness: In 1991, a deputy police chief was blasted by the B.C. Police Commission for unprofessional behaviour, something about nixing an investigation into two pensioners' complaints of police brutality. A year later, a top court overturned two murder convictions -- Matsqui police had tricked the severely-retarded accused into telling. The valley force has since cleaned up its act, so we're told. Let the independent review party begin.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco laws protecting youth take effect (The Associated Press says changes in British Columbia's Tobacco Sales Act intended to deter tobacco retailers from selling to anyone younger than 19 mean convicted retailers or bar owners allowing patrons to smoke in Victoria now face increased suspensions and a fivefold increase in fines, to $2,500 for a first offense.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Canada Tobacco laws protecting youth take effect Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 18:58:33 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Tobacco laws protecting youth take effect The Associated Press 01/05/99 5:56 PM Eastern VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) -- Retailers caught selling tobacco to young people in British Columbia or bar owners allowing patrons to smoke in Victoria now face tougher laws and increased fines and suspensions. Changes to the Tobacco Sales Act intended to deter tobacco retailers from selling to minors took effect Monday. It is illegal in British Columbia to sell tobacco products to youth under 19 years old. Retailers now face fines of $2,500 (about $1,625 U.S.) -- a fivefold increase -- upon conviction on a first offense of selling tobacco to minors. Convictions for subsequent offenses will draw fines of $5,000. Store owners selling tobacco to youth also face longer suspensions of their tobacco-selling licenses. The suspensions range from six months to two years, depending on the number of convictions. Convicted retailers will have to post signs announcing their suspensions. Health Minister Penny Priddy said the Tobacco Sales Act changes are part of government programs to reduce smoking among young people. Also beginning this week, anyone caught smoking in Victoria pubs, restaurants, casinos or other public places could be forced to pay a fine. The no-smoking ordinance -- one of the toughest in Canada -- went into effect on New Year's Day, but regional health officials gave holiday smokers a few days for a last puff. Opponents of the law vow to defy it and fight it in court.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Chocolate - Health Food For The New Millennium (A chocolate lover's op-ed in the Toronto Star celebrates recent research finding health benefits in the candy, including a report in the British Medical Journal about a Harvard University study that found regular consumers of chocolate and other candies lived at least a year longer than abstainers. An Ottawa Citizen article about an exhibit on the Science of Chocolate at the Canadian Museum of Nature noted the substance is "Packed with 300 mind-altering chemicals, able to kill our pain." It helps fight depression, stimulates your central nervous system, triggers the body's release of the same natural painkillers that exercise produces, and contains anandamide, "which bears a connection to the effects of plant-derived cannabinoids, such as marijuana.") Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 23:45:10 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Chocolate - Health Food For The New Millennium Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake (email@example.com) Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Copyright: 1999, The Toronto Star Author: Harry Bruce Note: Harry Bruce is an editor with the Issues Network. CHOCOLATE - HEALTH FOOD FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM HALIFAX - No matter what you read in the dying days of '98, the Newsmaker of the Year was not Chretien, Clinton, Lewinsky, Starr, or any other fallible human being. It was chocolate, infallible chocolate, and, like a racehorse making a thrilling comeback in the final stretch, it waited till the last days of the year to charge home as the winner of the newsmaking sweepstakes. Chocolate eaters live longer: Study, roared a front-page headline in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, just as tens of thousands of its readers were scouring shops for cute, scrumptious, gilt-wrapped goodies, chock full 'o chocolate, to stuff into their loved ones' stockings. Chocoholics may live longer, Harvard research reveals, chimed a National Post headline the same morning. In the Daily Telegraph, out of England, Paul Chapman reported that Murray Langham, psychotherapist and author of Chocolate Therapy: Dare to Discover Your Inner Centre, says the shape of the morsel you pluck from a box of assorted chocolates reveals your dominant traits of character. You go for a circular chocolate? You're a likeable, friendly, social butterfly, but perhaps a shade superficial. A square one? You're honest, reliable, balanced. A rectangle? You're a rock, just a rock, a source of strength for all who want to lean on you. You like to organize others. But you probably wouldn't get along with lovers of spiral chocolates. They're chronically disorganized and their love lives are messy. Since I have never met any chocolate of any shape that I didn't like - except possibly a brown cube filled with mucky green jelly that I plucked from one of the Laura Secord boxes of my boyhood - I don't know how Langham's theory applies to me. Come Valentine's Day, however, be wary if your new lover selects a triangular-shaped chocolate above all others. Your typical triangle-chooser gets things done, but seldom frets over anyone else's feelings. The deluge of chocolate news continued right down to New Year's Eve. Move over Mr. Coffee, said a headline in the National Post. Mr. Cocoa is coming on as the top bean. Chocolate fanatics were adopting the lingo of wine snobs. They gabbled on about climate, soil, bean varieties, good and bad years, and ``hints of fruit in the finish.'' Fran Bigelow of Fran's Chocolates in Seattle gushed about the ``robust'' and ``smoky'' flavour of chocolate made from Venezuelan cocoa beans, making the stuff sound more like single-malt whisky than candy. While chewing a Venezuelan goodie, a professional chocolate sampler paid it what was supposed to be an enormous compliment: ``It tastes like dirt.'' Some day, I'll find what I'm looking for among newspaper job ads: ``Wanted: Professional taster to assess Venezuelan, Belgian, German, Swiss and domestic chocolate. Room to grow. Flexible hours. Must be self-starter. No people skills required. Will pay top dollar to right individual.'' Just as 1998 ended, the Ottawa Citizen paid tribute to The Science of Chocolate, a sweet little exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Nature. ``Packed with 300 mind-altering chemicals, able to kill our pain and make our hearts go boom-boom-boom,'' the story exulted, ``chocolate is a natural pack of wonder drugs.'' It helps fight depression, stimulates your central nervous system, triggers the body's release of the same natural painkillers that exercise produces, and contains amandamide, ``which bears a connection to the effects of plant-derived cannabinoids, such as marijuana.'' Oh, mama, that chocolate high! In an otherwise dry and learned discussion of the trinitario beans from Central America and the criolla beans from Venezuela and Indonesia that go into the finest dark chocolate, Florence Fabricant of the New York Times lurched into such passionate prose she betrayed herself as a helpless addict. She described ``the intense scent drawing you in . . . exotic hints of clove, coffee, orange peel, even cedar . . . ``You take a bite, and as it softens and melts in your mouth, the complexity is comparable to a good red wine. The chocolate feels satiny, utterly smooth and flawless. The flavour lingers, but you must have another taste.'' The British Medical Journal has just revealed that a Harvard University study of 7,841 men found that the regular consumers of chocolate and other candies lived at least a year longer than abstainers. Chocolate, like red wine, contains plenty of the antioxidant phenols that not only reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, but also make your immune system more resistant to cancer. Chocolate, in short, is good for both body and soul. It was trite and obvious of Time magazine to play up silly Billy Clinton and pompous Kenny Starr as its Men of the Year. The most important story of 1998, the one billions of people the world over had been waiting to hear for generations, was the discovery that chocolate is Health Food. R. Whidden Ganong, chairman emeritus of the 126-year-old Ganong's chocolates company in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, was right all along. For decades, he ate a pound of his own mixed chocolates every day of his life, and even now he's a formidable chocolate chomper. Ganong is 92.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis grown for medical tests (The BBC version of recent news about GW Pharmaceuticals harvesting Britain's first legal crop of medicinal marijuana for use in clinical trials into the herb's efficacy. Dr Geoffrey Guy, chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals, said the first aim of his research would be to establish a safe dose to give to patients that would produce benefits without a "high." Once that had been established the drug would be tested for its ability to relieve the pain associated with nerve damage in conditions such as multiple sclerosis, spina bifida and spinal cord injuries. Dr Guy also intends to test the impact of cannabis on minimising the brain injuries suffered by stroke victims, and its ability to improve sight and hearing in the blind and deaf.) From: "Todd McCormick" (email@example.com) To: (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Cannabis grown for medical tests Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 02:24:29 -0800 http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_248000/248384.stm Tuesday, January 5, 1999 Published at 04:07 GMT Health Cannabis grown for medical tests Cannabis could help multiple sclerosis patients Thousands of cannabis plants are being harvested at a secret government-approved farm for use in medical research. The Home Office has granted a licence to GW Pharmaceuticals to grow the plants, which will be used to ascertain whether cannabis can relieve pain and minimise the effects of major illness. An initial crop of 5,000 plants was sown in August at a secure glasshouse in the south of England. The mature eight-foot-tall plants are now being cut off just above the stem and hung up to dry before being transferred to a laboratory. The government allowed the cannabis farm to be set up after growing evidence that the plant has important therapeutic value and could be especially useful as a painkiller and in treating illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Eventually 20,000 plants will be cultivated at the highly secure facility, the location of which is being kept a strict secret. Patient trials investigating the ability of cannabis to help sufferers of multiple sclerosis commence this spring. Up to 2,000 patients are expected to take part. Dr Geoffrey Guy, chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals, said: "The potential benefits of cannabis are absolutely enormous. We are only really beginning to take the blinkers off that have been on this material for the last 30 years." Dr Guy said the first aim of his research would be to establish a safe dose to give to patients that would produce medical benefits without the "high" associated with recreational use of the drug. Once that had been established the drug would be tested for its ability to relieve the pain associated with nerve damage in conditions such as multiple sclerosis, spina bifida and spinal cord injuries. Dr Guy also intends to test the impact of cannabis on minimising the brain injuries suffered by stroke victims, and its ability to improve sight and hearing in the blind and deaf. Bids expected Inhaled cannabis will be tested Other researchers are also gearing up to test the potential of cannabis. The Medical Research Council and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society will meet next week to discuss how best research into the therapeutic use of cannabis should be carried out. An MRC spokesman said the council expected to receive bids from researchers wanting to undertake cannabis research in time for its next funding round in March. He said: "We are meeting to discuss how best to help these people with their applications. For any bid to be considered it must first be granted a licence by the Medicines Control Agency and be given the go ahead by the Home Office." The cannabis being grown for the research is a potent variety yielding large amounts of "high"-inducing chemicals. Because of its potential illegal street value the crop was guarded round the clock as it reached maturity. The Home Office has granted GW Pharmaceuticals two licences. One is a cultivation licence allowing the company to grow cannabis - which is normally illegal. The other licence allows the possession and supply of cannabis for medical research. GW Pharmaceuticals is collaborating with Dutch medicinal cannabis breeding specialists HortaPharm BV, which has extensive experience in cultivating cannabis for medical purposes.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Secret Farm Harvests Legal Cannabis For Medical Trials (The version in Britain's Guardian) Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 17:34:39 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Secret Farm Harvests Legal Cannabis For Medical Trials 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) Pubdate: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 Source: Guardian, The (UK) Copyright: Guardian Media Group 1999 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ SECRET FARM HARVESTS LEGAL CANNABIS FOR MEDICAL TRIALS Five thousand cannabis plants are being harvested at a secret drug farm for therapeutic research - with the approval of the Home Office. The crop was sown in August at a glasshouse in the south of England. The 8ft tall plants are being cut off just above the stem and hung up to dry before being transferred to a laboratory. The Home Office issued special licences for the cannabis farm to be set up, in the light of evidence that the drug has therapeutic value and could be especially useful as a pain killer and in treating illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Eventually 20,000 plants will be under cultivation at the secret location. Trials on whether cannabis can help multiple sclerosis sufferers begin this spring. Up to 2,000 patients are expected to take part. Geoffrey Guy, chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals, which is growing the crop under high security, said: "We will be using whole plant extracts for delivery by inhalation, since this is far more precise and controllable than the oral route. "The first area of study in patients will concern the relief of nerve damage pain, including for sufferers of MS." The company is growing a potent variety yielding large amounts of chemicals that induce a "high". Because of its potential illegal street value, the crop was guarded round the clock as it reached maturity. GW Pharmaceuticals has two licences, one allowing it to cultivate cannabis and the other allowing the possession and supply of the drug for medical research. It is collaborating with the Dutch company HortaPharm BV, specialists in breeding medicinal cannabis.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Harvest Time For Legally Grown Cannabis (The Scotsman version) Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 17:40:19 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Harvest Time For Legally Grown Cannabis 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) Pubdate: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 Source: Scotsman (UK) Copyright: The Scotsman Publications Ltd Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Forum: http://www.scotsman.com/ Author: Jennifer Trueland, Health Correspondent HARVEST TIME FOR LEGALLY GROWN CANNABIS THE first licensed crop of cannabis plants to be grown in Britain is now being harvested at a secret location, it was revealed yesterday. The initial crop of 5,000 plants will be used for research into medicinal uses of the drug, which campaigners believe can relieve the symptoms of conditions including multiple sclerosis and glaucoma. The 8ft tall plants, which have been growing in a climate-controlled glasshouse at a secure research facility in the south of England, are being cut off just above the stem and hung up to dry before transfer to the laboratory. Eventually as many as 20,000 plants will be cultivated by GW Pharmaceuticals, the company granted a Home Office licence to grow the plant for research purposes. Dr Geoffrey Guy, the chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals, said: "The plants we are harvesting now will be used for prototype further extraction studies and prototype formulations as well as in our initial clinical trials. "By the end of 1999 we intend to be working with pharmaceutical grade extracts from cloned plants rather than growing from seed. We will then be growing and harvesting on a regular basis." The cannabis seeds were sown in August after the company was granted two licences, allowing them both to cultivate the drug and to possess and supply it for medical research. The licences were only granted after extensive consultation with the Home Office and the Department of Health. The move followed a groundswell of opinion backing the use of derivatives of cannabis, known as cannabinoids, for medicinal use. The British Medical Association is among those who have backed trials of cannabinoids in treating the symptoms of illness. After the plants have been dried, they will be processed to produce a thick treacle-like liquid, which will then be thinned so that it can be used in inhalers. Dr Guy said: "Clinical trials will commence in spring 1999 and eventually involve up to 2,000 patients in 18 to 24 months time. We will be using whole plant extracts for delivery by inhalation since this is far more precise and controllable than the oral route. The first area of study in patients will concern the relief of nerve damage pain including sufferers of multiple sclerosis." Hundreds of MS sufferers are known to use cannabis illegally to relieve their symptoms. They tend to buy a product which is rich in THC, the compound which induces the high associated with the drug. GW Pharmaceuticals grew particularly potent plants rich in THC and cannabidiol (CBD), which could provide a treatment for strokes and epilepsy. The plants have been under constant electronic surveillance. A GW Pharmaceuticals spokesman said older staff had been employed deliberately. "It was thought that they would have a more mature attitude and be less mesmerised by the whole thing," he said. "They would be less likely to give in to peer pressure if their friends found out where they were working." As the project progresses, Dr Guy will be able to supply specific researchers with the product for the purposes of research. The licence will be extended to cover those professionals nominated by Dr Guy and approved by the Home Office to perform specific sections of the programme. These will include analytical chemists, clinical investigators, hospital pharmacists and formulation pharmacists. As a Schedule 2 drug, the use of cannabis and its constituents could be restricted, in the same way as morphine, but not banned. Schedule 1 drugs, which include ecstasy, are those with high potential abuse and no therapeutic value. GW Pharmaceuticals was founded solely to operate its Home Office cannabis medical research licences.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs Tsar Accuses Stars Of Arrogance (The Daily Telegraph, in Britain, says Keith Hellawell criticised showbusiness and professional figures yesterday for talking about their use of "drugs" and said they were wrong to think they were not damaging society because they did not have to steal in order to finance their use. Hellawell told the Today programme on Radio 4: "If they are dealing with my pension fund on the dealing floors they could be causing me damage. It isn't a joke, it's deadly serious.") Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 17:38:00 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Drugs Tsar Accuses Stars Of Arrogance Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 Source: Daily Telegraph (UK) Copyright: Telegraph Group Limited 1999 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Author: Jessica Callan, Entertainment Reporter DRUGS TSAR ACCUSES STARS OF ARROGANCE SHOWBUSINESS and professional figures were criticised yesterday for talking about using drugs such as cocaine and accused of being guilty of "intellectual arrogance". Keith Hellawell, the UK Drugs Co-ordinator, said they were wrong to think they were not damaging society because they did not have to resort to theft in order to finance their use. He told the Today programme on Radio 4: "I wish they'd stop it, there is this arrogance - I call it an intellectual arrogance. If they are dealing with my pension fund on the dealing floors they could be causing me damage. It isn't a joke, it's deadly serious." Rock groups such as Oasis, The Verve and Primal Scream have all alluded to drugs in their music and in their private lives. Noel Gallagher, of Oasis, was criticised for saying drug taking was so common it's "like having a cup of tea". In 1997 he told Radio 1 that if he was made Mayor of London he would legalise drugs. The pop star Brian Harvey was temporarily dropped from the group East 17 after calling Ecstasy "safe" and condoning the rave drug in a radio interview. He said: "If it brings out the better in someone and, in the long run, it's a safe pill and it isn't doing you harm, I don't see the problem. I've done pills myself, I've done 12 in one night, loads of them." Richard Ashcroft, the singer from The Verve, who achieved fame with the hit song The Drugs Don't Work, said: "They make me worse. But I still take them. Out of boredom and frustration, you turn to something else to escape." Bobby Gillespie, from Primal Scream, described drugs as an alternative to watching television. He said: "If you're on a council estate what are you going to do? Watch Emmerdale re-runs or get smashed out of your brains? We get really excited when the drugs turn up."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Anti-drugs chief attacks 'arrogance' of substance abuse by professional classes (The Scotsman version notes random drug testing in the financial sector and the City has found that roughly 15 per cent of those tested had taken "drugs," usually cannabis or cocaine. The level was three times the average of other industries.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Anti-drugs chief attacks 'arrogance' of substance abuse by professional Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 19:28:38 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: The Scotsman Online: http://www.scotsman.com/news/ne17well990105.1.html Anti-drugs chief attacks 'arrogance' of substance abuse by professional classes by CONAL URQUHART PROFESSIONAL people who take drugs are as great a threat to society as any other substance abusers, the Government's anti-drugs campaign co-ordinator claimed yesterday. Keith Hellawell said that he was appalled by the arrogance of people who felt they had the right to buy illegal drugs because they could afford it. "There is this arrogance, I would call it an intellectual arrogance, among one group of people. They feel that because they are not causing any damage to other people, which they are, they have a right to take drugs. "Because they do not have to commit crime to feed their habit they also feel they have a right to take drugs. "If they are driving vehicles they could be causing damage, if they are dealing with my pension fund they could be causing damage. "Certainly if they are doing it in the workplace they could be doing damage to themselves and others," he said. Mr Hellawell claimed that there appeared to be an acceptance of drug use in popular culture which manifested itself in celebrities talking openly about their experiences with drugs. "I wish that these people would recognise the danger and the damage that they are causing themselves and to other people. It isn't a joke. It is deadly serious. These substances cause them damage and the consequences of them taking drugs causes other people damage," he said. Random drug testing in the financial sector and the City has found that roughly 15 per cent of people tested had taken drugs, usually cannabis or cocaine. The level was three times the average of other industries. Alistair Ramsay, the chief executive of Scotland Against Drugs, agreed with Mr Hellawell that drug abuse among the professional classes was a social problem. He said: "Drug use spans the community and is not the sole provenance of any one area." Since being appointed to head the Government's campaign against drug use, Mr Hellawell has attacked drug use in a variety of areas. He recently endorsed the sacking of a Blue Peter presenter who was exposed as a drug abuser by the News of the World. Mr Hellawell said the BBC were correct to fire Richard Bacon because it sent the message to children that drug use was unacceptable. Mr Hellawell has attacked certain pop stars for sending out positive messages about drugs saying that were bound to influence the younger generation. Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme yesterday, he said that the United States' Just Say No policy had been effective but the country was now facing similar problems to the UK. "I think that the number of people who use drugs in the US has halved over the last ten years," he said. "The worrying problem that they have is the same as we have, the growing number of young people who are becoming involved in hard drugs. Plenty of them will have their first experience of drugs with heroin and substances of that nature." Mr Hellawell has spent a year in his post as UK Drugs Co-ordinator and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister. He said that he has managed to achieve many of his objectives in raising the level of debate about drug use and succeeded in bringing "the issue out into an open forum, to recognise that there are many social ills that lead to young people getting involved in drugs, to recognise that some of the young adult culture of getting involved with drugs in the recreational context is something that I think has not been brought out into the open before". He added: "There are no simple solutions - legalisation will not resolve the problem." On the same programme, Paul Flynn, the Labour MP for Newport West, renewed his call for the decriminalisation of cannabis. "The most dangerous thing about cannabis is the fact that it's illegal and our young people, the majority of whom are using cannabis, experimenting in some form, have to go to the criminal markets to get it," he said. -------------------------------------------------------------------
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.
Comments, questions and suggestions.Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/
Next day's news
Previous day's news
to the 1999 Daily News index for Jan. 1-7
to the Portland NORML news archive directory
to the 1999 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/ii/990105.html