Portland NORML News - Wednesday, January 13, 1999
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Making a hash of the law (A mean-spirited staff editorial in the Bend,
Oregon, Bulletin, tries to arouse ill will over the Oregon Medical Marijuana
Act by publicizing an empty threat by an ill-mannered medical marijuana
patient in Newport to sue Abby's Pizza for not letting him smoke cannabis -
something the voter-approved initiative clearly does not allow.)

From: cwagoner@bendnet.com
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 15:52:54 -0800 (PST)
Subject: DPFOR: Editorial: Making hash of the law
To: editor@mapinc.org, DPFOR@drugsense.org
Sender: owner-dpfor@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/
Newshawk: Curt Wagoner (cwagoner@bendnet.com)
Source: The Bulletin (bulletin@bendbulletin.com)
Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com
Pubdate: 1-13-99
Section: Editorial
Page A-8

Making a hash of the law

As a White House lawyer might phrase it, the story of Waldport resident
Mike Assenberg, who has threatened to sue Abby's Legendary Pizza in Newport,
might lead some rational people to conclude that the liberal use of marijuana
has substantial unintended side-effects.

On New Year's Eve, Assenberg, who was struck by a baseball bat 14 years
ago, asked the manager of Abby's if he could smoke a joint at his table. Saying
that his accident has left him in constant pain. Assenberg claimed that he can
light up wherever he darned well pleases thanks to Measure 67, the
medical-marijuana initiative that passed at the polls in November. The Abby's
manager denied his request.

Assenberg thereupon flew into a rage and called the local police, claiming
that the restaurant has violated his rights under Measure 67 and the Americans
with Disabilities Act. When he didn't get any satisfaction from the police, he
threatened to sue. He reportedly said he'll seek $1 million, but will settle for
$2,000. (As a hobby, he operates a computer bulletin board to locate lost
children, and he says the two grand will buy him some new equiptment.)

As it so happens, Measure 67 - which in most respects is terribly vaque and
difficult to enforce - has something very specific to say about smoking medical
marijuana in public: You can't do it.

Some laws, apparently, get the supporters they deserve.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

The drug war is a war on people (A letter to the editor
of the Lynnwood Enterprise, in Lynnwood, Washington, from a member
of the Washington Hemp Education Network responds to the yuletide bust
and jailing in Tacoma of a blind man with AIDS and his caregiver mother
for three cannabis plants. The prosecutor's office has reportedly decided
to drop charges, but what about the family's dignity? Does society really
desire protection from the helplessly ill?)

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 21:35:30 -0800 (PST)
From: bc616@scn.org (Darral Good)
To: k_rosemary@hotmail.com, hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: PRINTED:The Drug war is a war on people
Cc: map-talk@mapinc.org
Reply-To: bc616@scn.org
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

printed in the Lynnwood Enterprise
P.O. box 977 Lynnwood wa 98046-0977
e-mail - entopinion@heraldnet.com

01/13/1999

How can the Tacoma police justify the arrest and jailing of a blind man
who lives with AIDS along with his caregiver mother for three cannabis
plants?

What segment of society were the police "serving" by this unfeeling
yuletime bust? Does society really desire protection from the helplessly
ill? What if the stress of this bust adversly affects his health?

I understand that the prosecutor's office has wisely decided to drop the
charges against them both. I applaud that, but what about the family's
dignity? Who will restore that?

What about the invasion of their privacy and the public airing of their
medical conditions and arrest records?

Doctors who know about cannabis as medication would probably reccomend
this herb to treat many more people but, cases like this makes them
fearful that law enforcement will soon be arresting and jailing them.

I thank the voters of Washington state for having the courage and
compassion to allow the use of this valuable herb as medicine and remind
the law enforcement community that the drug war is truly a war on people.

When prohibition was recognized by the people as an exercise in futility,
they banded together and fought for the repeal of the Volstead act. One
of the groups that was intregal to passing of the 21st ammendment was
known as the W.O.N.P.R. - "Women Of National Prohibition Reform"
and they had a large amount of members from our state.

They were ordinary people who realized that fighting a war on "demon rum"
wasn't worth the orginized crime that it created.

During prohibtion the medical use of marijuana was allowed.

Al Capone was once quoted in a newspaper article as saying:
"prohibition has brought nothing but trouble".
But then again it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out!

We need good people like the WONPR today to help reform marijuana laws.

That is why I encourage people to visit our website and compare legal
and illegal drugs: http://www.olywa.net/when

WHEN is a community of volunteer hemp activists providing verifiable
information on cannabis. We counteract disinformation and work to change
cannabis laws that harm all Americans and the environment.

Darral Good,
member of the board of directors:
WASHINGTON HEMP EDUCATION NETWORK
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cannabis Club Exerts Legal Rights (The Oakland Tribune says the city
of Oakland, California, filed a legal brief Monday in support of the Oakland
Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, which is appealing an Oct. 19 order by U.S.
District Judge Charles Breyer to close the club down. The city is banking on
the 9th and 10th amendments to the Constitution in an amicus curiae brief in
the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the Constitution doesn't
allow federal law to automatically trump states' rights.)

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 16:19:13 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: Cannabis Club Exerts Legal Rights
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff
Pubdate: Wed, 13 Jan 1999
Source: Oakland Tribune (CA)
Contact: eangtrib@newschoice.com
Website: http://www.newschoice.com/newspapers/alameda/tribune/
Copyright: 1999 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers
Author: Kathleen Kirkwood

CANNABIS CLUB EXERTS LEGAL RIGHTS

OAKLAND -- The U.S. Constitution doesn't allow federal law to automatically
trump states rights, the city argues in a legal brief filed Monday in
support of the embattled Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative.

In its latest efforts to bolster the 2,000-member club, the city is banking
on the 9th and 10th amendments to the Constitution in an amicus curiae brief
in the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals.

The brief was written pro bono for the city by Linda LeCraw and former
general counsel to the U.S. Federal Drug Administration Peter Barton Hutt,
both of the Washington, D.C., firm Covington and Burling.

"It's an extremely important case," said Hutt, who helped write the
Controlled Substances Act of 1974.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit last January to close the club,
maintaining marijuana is an illegal substance under the Controlled
Substances Act.

The club is appealing an Oct. 19 order in the case, by U.S. District Judge
Charles Breyer, to close the club down.

The city's brief maintains federal laws regarding medical cannabis are
"legislated truths," unsupported by logic, comparable to laws that
persecuted African Americans, declared women unfit to vote and incarcerated
Japanese Americans during World War II.

Hutt argues that California voters, by approving Proposition 215, the
California Compassionate Use Act of 1996, "have deemed the medical use of
cannabis to be a fundamental liberty interest."

Under the 9th Amendment, the burden is on the federal government to show the
necessity of infringing that right, the city's brief argues. And under the
10th Amendment, the federal government may not interfere with a power
"reserved to the states ... or to people."

The 9th Amendment covers rights retained by the people. The 10th Amendment
refers to powers retained by the states and the people.

Given the passage last year in five other states of medical marijuana laws,
the federal government -- particularly the 9th Circuit -- must take a closer
look at the issue, Hutt maintains.

The Oakland club's court fight isn't likely to change the Clinton
administration's stand on medical marijuana overnight, said Dave Fratello,
spokesman for Americans for Medical Rights, which spearheaded the
initiatives in other states last year.

"But it's a fight worth fighting, if at least we can get the feds on the
record," Fratello said.

Since the closure order, the Oakland cannabis club was allowed to reopen by
the court on the condition it not distribute medical marijuana. The club is
holding classes on growing marijuana -- with none on the premises -- and
selling a variety of hemp products, including clothing, and paraphernalia to
help pay $300,000 in legal bills.

"It's been a stressful two years," said Jeff Jones, director of the club.
"There's a lot of fear out there."

Stacie Traylor, a club member with chronic pancreatitis, said the shutdown
is starting to take its toll. "I have some friends who can get it for me,
but it's a gamble," she said.

Traylor, 24, uses marijuana to keep nausea at bay, and to keep food down.
Her weight dips dangerously low if she doesn't.

If club members are too frail to grow it for themselves, or don't know
someone who does, they run the risk of buying marijuana laced with crack or
some other harmful substance, Traylor said.

Councilmember Nate Miley (Eastmont-Seminary) said the city may be aided by
having a new state attorney general, Bill Lockyer, and governor, Gray Davis,
who appear to be more sympathetic than their predecessors, Dan Lungren and
Pete Wilson.

"Someday in the future, society will recognize that cannabis can be used in
controlled settings for medical uses," said Miley, who chairs the council's
public safety committee.

Councilmember John Russo (Grand Lake-Chinatown) agreed, and called the case
a "classic federalism argument."

People will say, "There goes California and Jerry Brown's city," Russo said.

"We're trapped in the cultural wars of 30 years ago," said Russo. "This is
about people getting medicine. Plants are not de facto morally bad or good."

Brown declined comment, on the basis that the suit was pending litigation,
said his press secretary Stacey Wells.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Lockyer On Medical Pot (A letter to the editor of the San Francisco Examiner
says bravo for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer's commitment
to enforce Proposition 215.)

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 04:22:39 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Lockyer On Medical Pot
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Wed, Jan 13, 1999
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Forum: http://examiner.com/cgi-bin/WebX
Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Examiner
Page: A 18
Author: Tom Hawkins Jr.

LOCKYER ON MEDICAL POT

Bravo for Attorney General Bill Lockyer's commitment to enforce
California's Proposition 215, and hats off to you folks for a very
good article on the matter ("Lockyer to back medical marijuana," Dec.
29).

Former Attorney General Dan Lungren was far too heavy into "reefer
madness" and I am glad to have Lockyer replace him. Maybe now the will
of the voters will be done.

Tom Hawkins Jr.
Fresno
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KGB-Ing America (An op-ed in the Anderson Valley Advertiser,
in Boonville, California, by Tony Serra, a San Francisco criminal defense
attorney, says that when he started to practice law in the late 1960s,
he confronted a phenomenon that he hoped would diminish, but which has
instead increased steadfastly - the KGB-ing of America. In every criminal
case in our alleged system of justice, some type of informant or spy
mentality is now present.)

Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 18:03:36 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: KGB-Ing America
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk:- Hopwood
Pubdate: January 13, 1999
Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA)
Copyright: Anderson Valley Advertiser
Contact: ava@pacific.net
Author: Tony Serra

KGB-ING AMERICA

The late 60s, when I started practice, were marked by a great number of
salient political causes, embodied in demonstrations in Berkeley and San
Francisco. I came to represent the White Panthers, the Black Panthers. the
Symbionese Liberation Army, and a number of other groups like the New
Liberation Front. I confronted a phenomenon then, which we hoped would
diminish, but which has instead increased steadfastly. I'll call that
phenomenon "The Secret Police Motif: Orwellian Prophesy Fulfilled" or "The
KGB-ing of America."

Informants

In every criminal case in our alleged system of justice, some
form of spy mentality is now present. There are degrees of
informants. We probably have more nomenclature for informants than
does any other culture. We have citizen informants, confidential
informants, confidential reliable informants, unnamed anonymous
informants, informants who are precipient informants who are
participatory, informants who are merely eye-witnesses, informants who
are co-defendants, informants who precipitate charges by reverse
stings. We are con-fronting informants and cooperating witnesses at
every level: preliminary hearings, grand juries, and state and federal
jury trials. Our system of justice is permeated by the witness or the
provocateur who is paid by government for a role in either revealing
or instigating crime. It's probably the greatest tragedy of my
career, in terms of whether or not justice is really pursued and
whether truth is a foundation for actualizing justice.

I reason: if the defense went out and bought witnesses - paid $10,000
for one witness, $20,000 for another, and $50,000 for another for
their testimony - it would be laughable from the jury's point of view.
They would soundly reject that type of witness; they would be called
obstruction of justice defendants and the lawyers would he prosecuted.

Obviously, you can't do that. On the other hand, in every major case
the informant or cooperating witness gets something far more precious
than money; they get liberty. They get 20 years or 10 years knocked
off their sentences. They get to settle in a new lifestyle with a new
identity and obtain a job or relocating in the federal or state
witness protection program. The government is paying their witnesses
with freedom. The witnesses have to deliver what the government wants
or they don't get that bargain. As a consequence the courts are rife
with false testimony; every cause is polluted by informants. The
adversary system is tainted because everyone rolls or becomes a
government witness and therefore there is no opposition.
Constitutional rights aren't litigated because cases are determined by
how much evidence an informant or corroborating witness can give you.
At every level, the independent judiciary is eroding.

It's something we confront every day. People in the American
sub-culture experience paranoia because they never know who is a spy
or an informant. There's paranoia in he court system because you never
know whether your co-defendant is recording you. There's paranoia
among the lawyers because you never know if your own defendant is
rolling behind your back and recording you. In my opinion, the
singularly unexpected and singularly and singularly aspect of our
system of criminal jurisprudence is the use of the informant.

Grand Juries

Back in the 60's the government used grand juries to some small
degree. Today, every Federal case - 99.9% of all Federal cases -
involves indictment by grand jury. That means no preliminary
hearing, no confrontation, and no lawyer present on the behalf of the
accused. The accused isn't there and doesn't see, hear or confront,
or cross-examine his or her accusers. The grand jury system by its
nature is secretive; it is considered a felony to reveal anything that
occurred or what your testimony was.

We have a kind of misplaced historical procedure. We inherited the
grand jury from English Common Law, where they used it to go after the
lords and persons who were otherwise above the law. In a sense it was
needed and justified then. But in our country, it is used now as an
instrument of terror. Everyone fears it. You have relatives
testifying against one another. With no confidentiality privilege
with respect to family members other than husbands and wives, you have
parents called to testify against their children. Children are called
to testify against their parents, and brother against sister, and so
on. It lacks all due process. It is immoral. It is an instrument of
oppression. It's another secret tool of an expanding executive branch.

Mandatory Sentences

"Three Strikes" types of penal laws are prevalent both in
federal and state jurisdictions. Beyond that, in most federal
cases, at least in drug cases, but spilling over into other arenas,
the sentence is really set by the legislative process and by the
executive-that is, the law enforcement agencies. They mandate what
sentence is going to occur by how they file charges. The judiciary
lacks power or discretion to vary much, if at all, from the mandatory
sentencing and its attendant guidelines. You have a fatal shrinking of
the balance of powers. We're all taught that our constitutional form
of government works because of its tripartite system: executive,
legislative, judicial. When mandatory sentencing occurs, the
legislative, actualized by the executive, has swallowed up the
judiciary. We do not have an independent judiciary. We have a
rubber-stamp judiciary.

We never anticipated in the 60s that one-third of the adult black
population in the United States of America would he either in custody
or on probation or parole. We have eliminated a whole generation of
blacks by incarcerating the youth; the ugly head of racism appears
both as built in ~ implied conditions in the law itself - and in how
people are charged. So you have a revisitation of something that we
thought was eliminated in the 60s: weakening of the judiciary as an
independent body. and the recurrence of racism wedded to mandatory
sentences that lock people away for inordinate periods of time.

We all know the platitude that our country presently has more people
in jails or prisons than any other country in the history of the
world. That was unpredictable in the 60s. We thought things were
getting better. We thought that more freedom was going to occur, more
understanding. more compassion, more brotherhood and sisterhood, more
actualization of constitutional rights, aq more equal division of
resources. Those motifs of the 60s have been sadly aborted. What we
have instead is approaching a police state that is investigated by
undercover officers and informants, with judges' hands tied and
prosecutors obtaining prison sentences that we could never have conceived.

No Bail

The notion of bail is vastly eroding. We have a concept now built into
the law called "preventive detention," a euphemism that probably only
totalitarian states could create. But what that means is that in most
major cases, there's a presumption against bail. They don't have to
give you bail. We're taught as children that in anything other than a
capital offense, reasonable bail must be afforded. A presumption of
innocence underlies our system of criminal jurisprudance; we have a
strong history of not holding people in custody until their guilt or
innocence has been determined. That's not true anymore. Right now,
the custodial status in preconvicted sentences - people who have not
yet been sentenced - is astronomical and the jails are filled not only
with convicted people, but with unconvicted people. We think that
there are laws that establish rights to a speedy trial in both federal
and state cases, people languish in custody one or two years awaiting
trial. It's what I'll call another plot, an agony visited upon
criminal justice. In the 60s, we were naive, we were optimistic, and
we believed that reform and new and enlightened ideas would ventilate
through the judicial system. Instead, in most areas, the system has
clamped down.

Some of us are crying out. The legal profession cries out like the
miner's canary. We're saying, "The government is too strong. Beware!"
'"The jury system is being poisoned by propaganda. They're not fair
and impartial any more. Beware!" "Racism is creeping back into our
system of justice. Beware!" We hope that if we at least keep an eye on
the situation and report it in a dramatic fashion, then another
generation may do what we thought we were doing in the 60s, and swing
the pendulum back. Because if the pendulum doesn't swing-judicially
and courtwise - we are approaching a totalitarian state never before
experienced in this country.

Tony Serra, the author, is a well known North California defense attorney.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Urgent Alert: Oklahoma Gov. Deciding Foster Parole, Calls and Letters Needed
(The Drug Reform Coordination Network asks you to write a letter seeking
mercy for the medical marijuana patient originally sentenced to 93 years
in prison for growing his own medicine.)

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 02:42:40 -0500
To: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (drcnet@drcnet.org)
Subject: URGENT ALERT: Oklahoma Gov. Deciding Foster Parole, Calls and
Letters Needed
Sender: owner-drc-natl@drcnet.org

(To sign off this list, mailto:listproc@drcnet.org with the
line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or
mailto:lists@drcnet.org for assistance. To subscribe to
this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.)

***

URGENT ALERT: OKLAHOMA GOVERNOR DECIDING ON WILL FOSTER
PAROLE -- LETTERS AND PHONE CALLS NEEDED NOW

***

Date: January 13, 1998

To: DRCNet Members and Other Advocates of Compassionate
Drug Policy Reform

From: David Borden, Executive Director, DRCNet

Re: Governor Deciding on Will Foster Parole Any Day Now,
Letters and Phone Calls Urgently Needed

Last September, when we asked our readers to call and write
Oklahoma governor Frank Keating, asking him to approve the
Will Foster's parole order, recommended unanimously by the
Oklahoma parole board. Hundreds of you responded to our
call for action, and the governor's office received so many
calls they set up a special voice mailbox just for calls
about Will Foster.

Foster's parole order was sent to the governor's desk late
last month, which means that the governor can make a
decision at any time, and in fact is obligated to make a
decision within 30 days of receiving the paperwork -- which
means very, very soon. If you've called or written on
behalf of Will Foster's parole before, or if you haven't
acted before, please call, fax or write Governor Keating
ASAP to urge him to sign the order and free Will Foster.
Contact information is included below.

Some of you have reported to us receiving responses from the
governor's office, in some cases making points that could be
taken to indicate that the governor could be leaning against
approving the parole board's unanimous recommendation and
granting Will Foster parole.

The governor's staff may have been relying on misinformation
or misinterpretations, however. We have posted letters on
our web site from several personnel, to Governor Keating, in
the correctional facility where Foster is incarcerated,
expressing their support of his parole. Please read their
letters, as well as the letter from the governor's office,
and other background information, and a letter from Foster
himself, at http://www.drcnet.org/foster/.

The governor's letter states that one of the criteria is the
recommendations of "caseworkers and investigators who have
dealt with the inmate's case during incarceration. Five
such people have written letters on Foster's behalf, which
are posted on our site. They are uniform in their
assessment that Will Foster has been a model prisoner and
that he and his family deserve a second chance.

The governor's letter says that another criterion is
"completion of appropriate rehabilitation programs," and
that "Mr. Foster has apparently made no effort to confront
his drug addiction during his incarceration." Our site
links to a scanned copy of Will Foster's "Substance Abuse
Award" for having completed an 18 week course in substance
abuse education. In fact, according to one of the posted
letters, Foster actually helped to update the course
materials while in prison.

The governor's letter says that Foster's case involved
"cultivation of a large amount of marijuana intended for
distribution, far beyond what would be expected for so-
called 'medicinal' uses." In fact, many of Foster's plants
were not of the type that are useable, and the total plant
output was within the quantity shipped every month to the
eight legal medical marijuana patients by the federal
government, under a program started by the Reagan
administration!

The governor's letter claims that Foster has "made public
statements concerning continued drug use in prison." They
are referring to the Dateline report. However, Foster
only actually reported that there was marijuana use in the
prison (as in most prisons), not that he had used
marijuana himself. According to one of the managers whose
letter we have posted, Foster has passed every drug test
while in prison.

According to Keating's letter, "the prosecuting attorney has
already recommended that the parole be denied." But this is
the same prosecutor who at the sentencing told the jury to
"pick any number and add two or three zeroes to it."
Clearly this prosecutor has a very heavy bias against Foster
and does not have an objective viewpoint for purposes of
evaluating the parole board's recommendation. An Oklahoma
appeals court judge found that Foster's original 93-year
sentence "shocked the conscience," and reduced the term to
20 years -- the prosecutor was opposed to that too.

Keating's letter also contains the rather strange statements
that Foster has discussed his plans to "resist anti-drug
laws if he is released," and "While a number of people who
contacted this office have urged Mr. Foster's immediate
release and/or the legalization of marijuana and other
drugs, many others who wrote or called are equally opposed
to legalization and his release."

It is simply untrue that Will Foster has expressed any
intention to "resist anti-drug laws" through anything other
than advocating change of government policy -- activity that
is wholly irrelevant to any parole decision and that is
constitutionally protected by the First Amendment of the
Bill of Rights -- indeed which is at the heart of American
democracy. It is also worrisome that the governor's office
brought up the fact that some who wrote are "opposed to
legalization." If the governor's decision-making is being
colored by the fact that a campaign is being waged on
Foster's behalf, that would be inappropriate at best.

We don't know whether or not the statements made by
Governor's Keating's liaison reflect the governor's views or
intentions, or whether they reflect a deliberate attempt to
mislead or honest misconceptions about Will Foster. Though
it is important that these misinterpretations about Foster's
record be brought to the governor's attention, it is equally
important that all communications be polite.

Please call Governor Keating at (405) 521-2342, send
mailto:governor@oklaosf.state.ok.us (the governor's e-mail
bounces sometimes, so it would be best not to rely solely on
e-mail), fax to (405) 521-3317, 523-4224 or 522-3492, or
write to:

Governor Frank Keating
State Capitol Building, Room 212
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

The decision could come any day now, so please call or fax
if you can. Also important: Please send us copies of your
letters, or send us e-mail letting us know that you have
corresponded -- mailto:alert-feedback@drcnet.org and send us
the text of your letters, or just a note letting us know
that you've called or faxed or mailed a letter or sent an e-
mail. This is very important to us because we are now
reporting these statistics to our major donors on a monthly
basis, and we need to be able to demonstrate our
effectiveness in order to be able to keep their support and
bring in new supporters.

Again, information on the Foster case, including letters
from case workers in the prison where he is incarcerated,
is available online at http://www.drcnet.org/foster/.
And again, make sure your letter or phone call is polite!

***

DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P
St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit
card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html on the web.
Donations to DRCNet are not tax-deductible. Tax deductible
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***

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***

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-------------------------------------------------------------------

A.C. family stands to lose home under forfeiture law
(The Atlantic City Press describes the federal government's plan to forfeit
a family's home in Atlantic City - dispossessing 10 children - because a
marijuana transaction was discussed there. Plus a request from FEAR -
Forfeiture Endangers American Rights - asking you to write a protest letter.)

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 13:46:38 -0500
To: "CRRH mailing list" (restore@crrh.org), cp@telelists.com
From: cheechwz@mindspring.com (A H Clements)
From: "CRRH mailing list" (restore@crrh.org)
Subject: FEAR: action alert - help save family home

[Forwarded from the FEAR announcements list (FEAR-list@mapinc.org),
authored by John Paff (Paff@pobox.com), FEAR secretary.]

To: fear-list@mapinc.org
From: John Paff (Paff@pobox.com)
Subject: FEAR Request - help save family home

Following is an article appearing in January 13th's Atlantic City Press,
detailing the federal government's plan to forfeit a family's Atlantic City
home--and dispossess 10 children--because a drug transaction was discussed
there.

According to Giovanni LoPresti, an advocate for the family's children, the
government is claiming that the house "facilitated" a drug transaction
because an 11-pound marijuana purchase was discussed there. The actual
transaction, however, took place at another location. LoPresti is in favor
of a law that would protect children from homelessness arising out of
forfeiture cases.

The government also claims title to the house as partial settlement of the
parents' "consent" to a $4,000,000 fine/forfeiture. This contention is
being appealed, because neither the parents nor their attorney were aware
of the forfeiture provision until sentence was imposed.

The father, Michael Antonelli, is serving a fifteen-year sentence in
federal prison in Cumberland County, New Jersey, and will be eligible for
parole in 2008. His wife, Diane, was sentenced to a six-month term served
in her home.

At present, the U.S. Marshalls are ready to remove the family from the
home, but their action is stayed pending a hearing before the United States
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on January 29th. Mr. LoPresti
requests that letters be written to the federal prosector, pressuring him
to cease his attempt to take the family home. Write to:

Thomas J. Maroney
United States Attorney General
Northern District of New York
231 James T. Foley Court House
Albany, New York, 12207

and reference U.S. v. Michael Antonelli

Anyone interested in learning more about the case, or who would like to
offer help beyond letter writing, are encouraged to contact Mr. LoPresti at
GLopr93382@aol.com.

John Paff, Secretary
Forfeiture Endangers American Rights, Inc.

***

Wednesday, January 13, 1999

A.C. family stands to lose home under forfeiture law

Michael Antonelli is in prison in Cumberland County, guilty of conspiracy
in a New York State drug-distribution ring. Diane Antonelli served six
months of house arrest and is still on probation.

By BRIAN HICKEY

Staff Writer

ATLANTIC CITY -- Being under house arrest wasn't the easiest way to live,
but Diane Antonelli made do.

That's what happens when you're a convicted drug offender.

Talking to her husband through glass at a prison-visitation room isn't the
way she envisioned spending her days, but the 40-year-old just accepted it
as her new reality.

But now, faced with the prospect of losing her North Massachusetts Avenue
home under the government's property-forfeiture laws, she's frazzled.

Sure, she's not the innocent victim of an uncaring system. The family's
losing the house because she and her husband, Michael, are both convicted
drug offenders.

But still, they say, how can the U.S. Marshal's Service just come in and
take a house that's been in their family for 20 years?

They've unsuccessfully dived through numerous legalistic hoops, mailing
countless letters looking for support.

But support isn't easy to come by and the only thing that will keep them in
the house past this weekend is a last-minute appeal.

If that appeal fails, Deputy Marshal Dominick Russo, of the service's
Newark office, will tell the family -- there are 10 children and
stepchildren, but they don't all live there year round -- to get out of the
$140,000 house already owned by the government.

"This is not like the Gestapo here," Russo said. "She's trying to hold onto
the house and I can understand her position but they were dealing drugs.

"Before asset forfeiture, someone who stole $1 million would do five years
in jail and have the money when they got out. This takes away the fruits of
the crime."

Diane Antonelli, however, sees it differently.

"I'm going absolutely crazy here," Antonelli said.

As she said that, Antonelli was sitting on the same couch where she told a
family friend she would try to get the 11 pounds of marijuana he needed
four years ago.

He was wearing a wire and the authorities were listening.

Antonelli's husband, currenlty held at the Fairton Federal Correctional
Facility, isn't eligible for parole until 2008. He pleaded guilty to
conspiracy in a New York State drug-distribution ring.

Russo said he signed the house away in that plea agreement (Diane said he
signed to save her from any jail time) but the Antonelli family is still
fighting.

Three of the children, a 17-year-old son, a 7-year-old son and 13-year-old
daughter, still call the Atlantic City house home.

"All we want is our home back and not to be another victim of our own
government's communist actions," wrote Mia Antonelli, 23, on behalf of the
family children, ranging in age from 7 to 27.

The national anti-forfeiture lobbying group Forfeiture Endangers Americans'
Rights, or FEAR, has also noticed the case.

"The government is putting children out on the street and they're doing it
out of greed," said Tom Gordon, executive director of FEAR. "And, they'll
get a nice chunk of change for their efforts."

Forfeiture laws first came about in the 1970s and were strengthened with
the war on drugs in 1984.

The government has a right to start forfeiture proceedings against a family
if they say their home or other property is a benefit of criminal activity.

Antonelli said the house was not a fruit of any crime.

Officials consider it a deterrent and reasonable punishment for criminals.
Others see it as over-the-line and unconstitutional.

In criminal cases, law enforcement must prove someone committed a crime. In
forfeiture, the property owner has to convince a judge that the property
wasn't used in the commission of crimes.

On Oct. 30, a chief U.S. District Court judge denied the family's motion to
have ownership transferred to the children so the family could keep
ownership.

But now, they await the outcome of another appeal.

Despite the reprieve, beds and furniture have already been shipped out to
storage.

Saturday, Antonelli and her son sat on the ground watching Winnie the Pooh
on a borrowed television.

"This is ruining me. Mentally, I'm destroyed," she said of the process.
"I'm living in limbo. This is no way to live."

Antonelli said the plan now is to move back to Philadelphia and find a
place near family and friends because she can't afford a new home.

When asked if she's resigned to losing her home, she said, "Yeah, yeah.
With everything else I've lost, there's no winning."

But just minutes later, she rethinks her position.

"I don't know, they just give me nothing but negativity," Antonelli said of
the government. "I firmly belong here and that's why I'm standing my
ground. There's nothing left, but I'm still sitting here."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PBS Frontline's "Snitch" now online (A bulletin from the Media Awareness
Project features the URL for a RealVideo version of the television
documentary aired last night by the Public Broadcasting Service.)

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 13:21:48 -0500
To: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Richard Lake (rlake@mapinc.org)
Subject: PBS Frontline's SNITCH now on line
Newshawk: DrugSense
Source: The Media Awareness Project
Pubdate: Wed, 13 Jan 1998

Dear Friends:

The SNITCH documentary is now available as realvideo at:
http://www.legalize-usa.org/TOCs/video7.htm

If net congestion or your modem speed makes watching the video difficult,
you may listen to it in the lower bandwidth realaudio at:
http://www.legalize-usa.org/TOCs/audio.htm

The website for SNITCH is:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/

You may contact the producers at frontline@wgbh.org
or by mail at Frontline Producer: WGBH 125 Western Avenue Boston, MA 02134

You may contact your local PBS station by email by finding the address at:
http://www.pbs.org/voice/stations.html

There is a discussion forum for the documentary at:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/talk/

Richard Lake
Senior Editor; MAPnews, MAPnews-Digest and DrugNews-Digest
email: rlake@MAPinc.org
http://www.DrugSense.org/drugnews/
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Journal Blasts U.S. Drug Policy (UPI says the lead article in the latest
issue of Public Health Reports, the official journal of the U.S. Public
Health Service, harshly criticizes U.S. drug policy, and reveals how
increased U.S. drug enforcement has fueled overdose deaths and drug-related
emergencies. "From a public health point of view, drug prohibition is a
disaster," said Dr. Ernest Drucker, a professor of epidemiology and social
medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York and the author of the
study. "While our government officials claim success in reducing drug use,
drug-related deaths and diseases have increased sharply. That's the best
measure of the impact of our drug policies - and they are failing.")

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 20:03:09 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Journal Blasts U.S. Drug Policy
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Wed, 13 Jan 1999
Source: United Press International
Copyright: 1999 United Press International

JOURNAL BLASTS U.S. DRUG POLICY

NEW YORK, Jan. 13 (UPI) - The latest issue of Public Health Reports harshly
criticizes U.S. drug policy, arguing that increased U.S. drug enforcement
has fueled overdose deaths and drug-related emergencies.

In its January/February issue, the official journal of the U.S. Public
Health Service, lead article reveals how U.S. policies have led to dramatic
increases in drug-related overdose deaths and emergency room visits.

``From a public health point of view, drug prohibition is a disaster,''
said Dr. Ernest Drucker, a professor of epidemiology and social medicine at
Montefiore Medical Center in New York and author of the study.

``While our government officials claim success in reducing drug use,
drug-related deaths and diseases have increased sharply. That's the best
measure of the impact of our drug policies - and they are failing, ''
Drucker said.

Drucker explained that while whites, Hispanics and African Americans use
drugs at the same rates, African Americans are far more likely to be
arrested for drug-related offenses and to suffer a higher rate of
emergencies and overdose deaths.

``Perhaps the publishing of this article signifies a greater willingness by
the public health establishment to challenge American drug war
strategies,'' said Ethan Nadelmann, founder and director of the Lindesmith
Center.

The study also showed annual state and federal drug enforcement expenses
are estimated at more than $40 billion, compared with less than $8 billion
for all treatment, research and prevention in the U.S. from all government
and private sources.

According to the report from 1978 to 1994, drug-related emergency room
visits rose by 60 percent, from 323,100 annually to 518,500, and overdoses
increased by 400 percent, from 2500 to 10,000.

The report also noted the average purity of street heroin increased
dramatically between 1981 and 1996, from 6.7 percent to 41.5 percent and
from 1981 to 1996, the average price per gram of cocaine fell by 66
percent.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

New Marijuana Strain Boosts Drug Trade (According to USA Today,
U.S. and Canadian prohibition agents say British Columbian indoor cannabis
growers are achieving potency rates of about 25 percent to 30 percent THC.
Police say the herb is so potent it is being traded pound-for-pound for
cocaine in the United States, and the cocaine obtained by Canadian drug
dealers in exchange for the marijuana has begun fueling a fledgling crack
cocaine trade north of the border. However, as documented just yesterday
by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and on page 61 of the January issue of
High Times, and by the Flower Therapy medical marijuana dispensary in San
Francisco before it closed under threat of federal prosecution, it's not
unusual for indoor sinsemilla growers in the United States to achieve similar
potency levels.)

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 20:40:39 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: New Marijuana Strain Boosts Drug Trade
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Wed, 13 Jan 1999
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 1999 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Contact: editor@usatoday.com
Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm
Author: Gary Fields

NEW MARIJUANA STRAIN BOOSTS DRUG TRADE

A new grade of marijuana grown in British Columbia is so potent it is
being traded pound-for-pound for cocaine in the United States, U.S.
and Canadian authorities say.

The drug trade is prompting concerns among law enforcement officials
who have seen drug seizures and arrests soar.

Marijuana smuggling arrests along the border of British Columbia and
Washington state have risen from six people in 1995 to 358 in 1998.
Seizures of the marijuana, nicknamed ''B.C. Bud,'' have risen from
less than 10 pounds to 2,613 pounds during the same period, Customs
officials say.

Although the statistics are modest when compared with other drug
seizures, authorities say they are fearful of the destructive
potential the newly invigorated drug trade could have in the Northwest.

B.C. Bud is the No. 1 drug being smuggled into the United States from
British Columbia. Authorities in British Columbia say cocaine obtained
by Canadian drug dealers in exchange for the marijuana has begun
fueling a fledgling crack cocaine trade north of the border.

''The real significance of B.C. Bud is this circular pattern it's
created with cocaine,'' U.S. Customs Director Raymond Kelly says.

Cpl. Brian Hall of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's drug awareness
section in British Columbia says the marijuana appeared in the
Vancouver area in the mid-1980s.

Canadian authorities estimate there are 3,500 to 5,000 indoor growing
operations in the Vancouver area alone. They produce an illegal crop
worth $600 million a year.

The marijuana is grown inside with the use of artificial lights. ''You
can control the growing conditions, the nutrients, the lighting and
the temperature,'' says Dave Rodriguez, director of a Seattle-based
task force of state and federal agencies created by the Office of
National Drug Control Policy. ''You can get a much better product.''

The chemical in marijuana that produces the euphoria and sense of
relaxation is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Mexican marijuana,
which is the most common, has a THC level of about 5% in a plant. The
THC level in B.C. Bud is about 25%, and authorities say they have
found plants with levels as high as 30%.

In addition, the British Columbia-grown marijuana costs about $1,500 a
pound in Vancouver and $7,000 a pound in southern California. Mexican
marijuana goes for about $600 a pound.

Hall says the marijuana growing operations are spreading in Canada.
That is causing concern because the border between the United States
and Canada is nearly 4,000 miles long and open, unlike the Mexican
border.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

High on Hemp (The Victoria Times Colonist, in British Columbia,
says hemp seed wholesalers are chipping away at mainstream mores
about marijuana by using its natural seeds in foods neither the health
conscious or health oblivious can ignore. Hemp seed is a highly versatile
natural source of protein, fibre, vitamins, and essential fatty acids and
amino acids. Gone are the days when hemp seed was peddled by hippies
smoking pipes and wearing bad hemp suits, said Viteway's Paul Griffin
and Canadian Hemp Corporation's Richard Plotnikoff.)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: High on Hemp
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 15:25:08 -0800
Lines: 90
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Victoria Times Colonist (Canada)
Contact: timesc@interlink.bc.ca
Pubdate: Jan 13, 1999
Author: Cindy E. Harnett, TC Staff

HIGH ON HEMP

Plant loses its drug image and proves a popular part of food, clothes and
cosmetics.

Hemp seed wholesalers are chipping away at mainstream mores around
marijuana by using its natural seeds in foods neither the health conscious
or health oblivious can ignore.

Chips, bagels, cookies, cheese and pie made with hemp seeds were selling
well at Lifestyle Market on Douglas Street throughout the Christmas
season, said managing partner Carmine Sparanese.

All of the hemp-based food products look and taste like the real thing.
That's because, according to suppliers and wholesalers, products made
form hemp are the real thing - a highly versatile natural source of
protein, fibre, vitamins, and essential fatty acids and amino acids.

Gone are the days when hemp seed was peddled by hippies smoking pipes and
wearing bad hemp suits, said Viteway's Paul Griffin and Canadian Hemp
Corporation's Richard Plotnikoff.

Hemp products can be found in everything from baked goods to body creams.
Sparanese said most of Lifestyle's clientele is educated about health
issues and hemp products.

The marijuana plant thriving in B.C. fields and basement grow operations
contains THC levels, a hallucinogenic ingredient, of 15 to 40 per cent.

Hemp is a genetically engineered hybrid of of the marijuana plant which
contains no more than 0.3 per cent THC. Engineers devised a way to get
rid of THC without losing the plant's high nutritional value.

"The biggest question or concern from people is about how hemp is grown,
whether it's organic. They take it to the next level all the time," said
Sparanese.

It's that kind of broad acceptance that will move hemp products from
shelves, he predicts.

Griffin and Marryianne Chalmers of Viteway Natural Foods went into
business together to create Uncle Paul's Whole Foods that sells bagels
and hemp-seed corn chips.

According to Plotnikoff, the chips are expected to be sold through
Thrifty Foods in the next two months.

Griffin said the challenge now is to convince the over-40 set that hemp
is not a hippie trend. Also, Griffin said those who tasted the
porridge-like dishes produced from hemp in the early days, have to
re-educate their taste buds.

Plotnikoff said hemp seed supporters such as Nell Newman - actor Paul
Newman's daughter who works for her father producing his personal line
of salad dressings - will help bring hemp products into the mainstream.

Plotnikoff is confident that in five years he'll be sitting on a
billion-dollar industry. Already he's sold all of his seeds for the year.
As more Canadian farmers pick up on the crop's advantages, he said the
industry is bound to take off across North America.

Because so many clients are looking for hemp seed and hemp seed cake -
the residue from hemp seed after it is pressed for oil - Plotnikoff
said 27,215 kilograms of the stuff will be shipped to the U.S. in the
next two months.

Hemp produces 250 per cent more fibre than cotton and 650 per cent more
fibre than flax. It takes only 90 days to grow and produces four times
more paper than trees.

The Canadian Hemp Farmers Association is on target for a hemp seed
processing plant to open in Chilliwack in time for this year's harvest.

According to Plotnikoff the association has already contracted 10,000
acres in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan to grow hemp. Almost 50 per
cent of the crops are organic.

Hemp bagels and corn chips in health-food stores are slightly more
expensive than no-name brands. A bag of hemp-seed corn chips costs
$3.25, a six-pack of bagels rings in at $3.30 and hemp-pot
vegetarian pies are $2.25 apiece.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Hustler's Hitlist - The other trial? Politicians v Larry Flynt
(The Morning Herald, in Sydney, Australia, mischaracterizes the muck
raked up against Rep. Bob Barr, the nemesis of Washington, D.C.'s
medical marijuana ballot measure, claiming Barr did not perjure himself.)

From: "Ken Russell" (kenbo01@ozemail.com.au)
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: The other trial? Politicians v Larry Flynt
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 17:14:09 +1100
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

In today's Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

HUSTLER'S HITLIST

The other trial? Politicians v Larry Flynt
Date: 13/01/99

By JENNIFER HEWETT

The rumours about what would be in Larry Flynt's exposť of politicians' sex
lives are getting wilder by the day. When the publisher of Hustler magazine
finally announced his latest target, the result was more remarkable for its
absurd triviality.

Flynt revealed that Republican Mr Bob Barr - admittedly an abrasive,
conservative and moralising critic of President Clinton - had refused to
answer legal questions about his relationship with the woman who later
became his third wife.

This was during a bitter divorce proceeding from his second wife in his home
state of Georgia where refusing to answer such questions on legal advice is
permitted.

Flynt also said Mr Barr had paid for his wife to have an abortion despite
describing abortion as "murder" on the floor of the House.

In a statement, Mr Barr denied Flynt's allegations and said he was "deeply
saddened" by them.

The best news about this particular "outing" is that the nonsense may help
ease the frenzy about the potent mix of political and private lives.

Hustler has already received more mainstream publicity than it has in
decades, particularly after last month's abrupt resignation of Mr Bob
Livingston, the Republican nominee to become Speaker of the House. This
followed the magazine's investigation of Mr Livingston's affairs, the
details of which have yet to be published.

Flynt, who has declared war on the moral hypocrisy surrounding the
impeachment and trial of Mr Clinton, said the latest revelations meant Mr
Barr's moral and ethical conduct was inconsistent with his public position.

"The people have a right to know when their elected officials do this," he
said.

Given the intense anti-abortion sentiment in the Republican Party and the
sensitivity of the issue in the US, the allegation could be damaging.

But the general sense of revulsion at Flynt's tactics may prove stronger
still.

He first revealed the Barr story on a tabloid cable TV show run by Geraldo
Rivera - two hours ahead of his scheduled news conference.

However, Flynt said Mr Barr was not the "big fish" he had evidence on.

He said he may reveal the names of other lawmakers in his exposť of
hypocrisy on Capitol Hill depending on how the impeachment trial turns out.

The traditional US media had been agonising about how to cover the Flynt
material and whether they were justified in using it.

C-Span, which runs just about every political event live and without
comment, had announced it would run Flynt's press conference.

After viewing the Rivera show, the station management decided the press
conference could be too defamatory and unfair.

It promptly switched instead to a story on a botanical gardens in Florida.
By comparison, this seemed light relief.

Mr Barr, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, will be one of the House
prosecutors during the Senate trial and was the first to publicly call for
Mr Clinton's impeachment.

His aggressive style has certainly made him plenty of enemies, including
some in his own party. There will be plenty on both sides happy to see him
embarrassed.

Given the avenging morality of the religious and conservative Right in the
Republican Party, there may even be some criticism of his earlier adulterous
behaviour.

But given Flynt's supposedly exhaustive investigation and his limited
findings, it hardly seems Mr Barr has made a reckless habit of adultery.

As the congressman angrily pointed out to Flynt in a letter, he did not lie
under oath.

Flynt published an advertisement in the Washington Post last October
promising a reward to anyone who could prove they had affairs with members
of Congress or other high-ranking government officials.

This material is subject to copyright and any unauthorised use, copying or
mirroring is prohibited.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Smoke And Mirror (A letter to the editor of the Independent,
in Britain, notes more people in the Third World die from American tobacco
than there are Americans who die from Third World heroin and cocaine.)

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 16:22:16 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UK: PUB LTE: Smoke And Mirror
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie
Pubdate: 13 Jan, 1998
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Copyright: Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.
Author: David Hann

SMOKE AND MIRROR

Sir: So the tobacco barons are to flood the Third World with cigarettes and
kill hundreds of thousands of souls a year (reports, 12 January). Just wait
for the whingeing of Western politicians when the Third World reciprocates
with cocaine and heroin.

David Hann, Liverpool
-------------------------------------------------------------------

DrugSense Weekly, No. 81 (The original summary of drug policy news from
DrugSense leads with a feature article, Anti-drug programs miss mark, by
Marsha Rosenbaum. The Weekly News in Review features several articles about
Drug War Policy, including - Drug war key may lie in past; Clinton to request
funding for prison anti-drug program; Pressured FDA seeks more funds;
Editorial: changing the guard; Marad calls for added private anti-drug
efforts. Articles about Law Enforcement & Prisons include - Treating the
cause; 'Win at all costs': the Justice Department responds; Police keep cash
intended for education; Court reverses ban on leniency for witnesses.
Articles about Drug Use Issues include - Young, rich and strung out; It's
madness not to investigate pot's medical use; What's not to like?
International News articles include - Australia: heroin deaths soar; Alone
and accused in a Nicaraguan prison; 2 dead Mexican police found near
Brownsville; British anti-drugs chief attacks 'arrogance' of professional
classes; Colombian rebels say they might switch, fight coca. The weekly "Hot
Off The 'Net" features Frontline's "Snitch," Ernest Drucker's new article,
and DrugPeace. The DrugSense Tips Of The Week focus on the May DPF Conference
and the FEAR on-line chat group. The Quote of the Week cites Howard Rheingold
telling the digerati to get active. The Fact of the Week - Drug testing a
poor indicator.)

Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999 17:26:49 -0700
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
Subject: DrugSense Weekly January 13, 1999 #081

***

DRUGSENSE WEEKLY

***

DrugSense Weekly January 13, 1999 #081

A DrugSense publication
http://www.drugsense.org/

This Publication May Be Read On-line at:
http://www.drugsense.org/dsw/1999/ds99.n81.html

TO SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, DONATE OR UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
PLEASE SEE THE INFORMATION AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS NEWSLETTER

***

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

* Feature Article

Anti-Drug Programs Miss Mark
By Marsha Rosenbaum

* Weekly News in Review

Drug War Policy-

Drug War Key May Lie In Past
Clinton To Request Funding For Prison Anti-Drug Program
Pressured FDA Seeks More Funds
Editorial: Changing The Guard
Marad Calls For Added Private Anti-Drug Efforts

Law Enforcement & Prisons-

Treating The Cause
'Win at all Costs': The Justice Department responds
Police Keep Cash Intended For Education
Court Reverses Ban on Leniency For Witnesses

Drug Use Issues-

Young, Rich And Strung Out
It's Madness Not To Investigate Pot's Medical Use
What's Not To Like?

International News-

Australia: Heroin Deaths Soar
Alone And Accused In A Nicaraguan Prison
2 Dead Mexican Police Found Near Brownsville
UK: Anti-drugs Chief Attacks 'Arrogance' of Professional Classes

Colombian Rebels Say They Might Switch, Fight Coca

* Hot Off The 'Net

Frontline's "SNITCH"
Ernest Drucker Article
DrugPeace

* DrugSense Tips Of The Week

DPF Conference in May
FEAR On-line Chat group

* Quote of the Week

Howard Rheingold

* Fact of the Week

Drug Testing a poor indicator

***

FEATURE ARTICLE

Anti-Drug Programs Miss Mark
By Marsha Rosenbaum

Note: Marsha Rosenbaum is Director, Lindesmith Center West, San
Francisco http://www.lindesmith.org/about_tlc/west.html and a director
of Family Watch http://www.familywatch.org/

ANTI-DRUG PROGRAMS MISS MARK

Efforts To Curb Heroin Supply Fail To Affect Demand

THERE WAS ANOTHER heroin overdose in San Francisco last week. This time
it was singer Boz Scaggs' 21-year-old son, Oscar. Less than two years
ago, Nick Traina, Danielle Steel's 19-year-old son, overdosed on heroin
and died. In Plano, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, 11 young people recently
died of heroin overdoses.

A natural reaction to these alarming reports is a call for increased
efforts to curb availability. The problem is, we're already trying
this. The federal drug control budget exceeds $17 billion a year. Add
to that state and local budgets for fighting drugs and the figure may
be five times larger. Two-thirds of this money is spent to try to stop
drugs from entering the country and enforcing the drug laws.

So far, (perhaps because the black market for drugs generates $64
billion annually), this effort has been a dismal failure. In fact,
since President Reagan began escalating the War on Drugs, worldwide
production of opium, from which heroin is made, has expanded. The price
of heroin has dropped and its purity has increased. We cannot seem to
make a dent in the supply, so heroin is still with us.

Our efforts to reduce demand have fared no better than our efforts to
reduce supply. Today's young adults were in grade school when Nancy
Reagan first began telling them to ``just say no.'' Again and again, in
the schools and on TV, they have been warned about drugs' dangers. Yet
for nearly a decade now, drug use among adolescents has been rising.
According to government statistics, less than 1 percent have tried
heroin, but experts familiar with drug-use patterns believe its use
among young people is increasing.

More drug education of the sort existing cannot be expected to reverse
these trends. Indeed, study after study shows that current drug
education programs have no effect on drug use. Why? They lack
credibility. Most programs focus on marijuana, which the programs
overly demonize, hoping to frighten young people away from
experimentation. Half of American teenagers try marijuana anyway, and
once they learn the dire warnings are not true, they begin to mistrust
everything about drugs that adults tell them. And why shouldn't they?
Why should they listen at all if they can't believe what we tell them?

The truth about heroin is that it is much more dangerous than
marijuana. Anyone who injects heroin with a used needle risks
contracting a deadly infection, such as hepatitis or HIV. Anyone who
uses heroin steadily for several weeks will begin developing physical
dependence on it and suffer withdrawal symptoms if they stop.

People who occasionally use heroin do not become addicted. However,
compared to the addict, the occasional heroin user who has not
developed tolerance to the drug, is at much greater risk for a fatal
overdose. Still, because heroin is unregulated and uncontrolled, even
the most experienced user cannot know the potency of a batch of
unlabeled white powder.

These are the kinds of warnings we should give young people about
heroin. But first we have to get them to listen by convincing them
they can trust us. They must also trust that they can come to us in an
emergency. ``Zero tolerance,'' another method for deterring young
people from experimentation, has meant that too many have died because
their friends were afraid to call parents or other authorities for
help. Terrified of being detected themselves, teenagers in Plano, for
example, fled the scene, leaving one boy to choke on his own vomit and
die.

Like it or not, we cannot seal our borders or completely eliminate
demand for drugs. Moral indignation will not change that reality. A
more pragmatic approach would be to learn to live with drugs and to
focus on reducing drug-related harm. Our first priority ought to be
gaining the trust of young people. We ought to offer a scientifically
grounded education that allows them to learn all they can about drugs,
alcohol and any other substance(s) they ingest.

Young people will ultimately make their own decisions about drug use.
When they do, they ought to have information from sources they trust to
insure their safety.

***

WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW

***

Domestic News- Policy

COMMENT:

The need for increased "drug treatment" has become a shibboleth of
prohibitionists of all stripes and colorations. Usually the "patients"
they are referring to are victims of our federally created criminal
drug market who have become enmeshed in the criminal justice system.
The latest such expert is Michael Massing whose "Fix" adroitly
rewrites history to make Richard Nixon an unsung colleague of Jaffe, Dole
and Nyswander

As if on cue from the treatment mafia, President Clinton sweetened the
pot for the men in white last week. What the news story doesn't tell
you is that in California, the drug testing of parolees has been a
device for returning more of them to prison where they get to swell
the federal prison subsidy while they kick their habits without
treatment.

DRUG WAR KEY MAY LIE IN PAST

Veteran observer of failing struggle finds Nixon's strategy to treat
addicts worked. Journalist Michael Massing has devoted a decade to
investigating the U.S. war on drugs. He has talked with peasants in
remote coca-growing regions of Colombia. He has combed through dusty
boxes of federal archives. He has documented the heroic struggle of
treatment workers at a drop-in center in Spanish Harlem. He has watched
a heroin addict shoot up in a New York City tenement.

  • [snip] "It would be hard to think of an area of U.S. social policy that has failed more completely than the war on drugs," Massing writes in the book's opening sentence. The answer, he writes later, is a "new public-health approach to the nation's drug problem, one based not on the punitive powers of the law but on the healing powers of medicine."
  • [snip] Pubdate: Saturday, 2 January 1999 Source: Herald, The (WA) Contact: letters@heraldnet.com Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Copyright: 1999 The Daily Herald Co. Author: Ken Fuson, The Baltimore Sun URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n011.a09.html *** CLINTON TO REQUEST FUNDING FOR PRISON ANTI-DRUG PROGRAM President Clinton said Tuesday that 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. [snip] Clinton also announced the release of $120 million under the fiscal1999 budget for drug free-prison initiatives - $63 million earmarked for state prisons to provide tong-term treatment and intensive supervision for prisoners with the most serious drug problems. [snip] Pubdate: Jan 1, 1998 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: letters@link.freedom.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n021.a06.html *** COMMENT: Speaking of the feds, a badly deteriorated FDA infrastructure doesn't bode well for an agency also being looked at as a source of help with such unsettled issues as nicotine regulation and the medical marijuana tar-baby. PRESSURED FDA SEEKS MORE FUNDS WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Clinton administration is seeking to infuse more cash into the agency that monitors the safety of food and drugs because of worries it's losing the ability to fully safeguard Americans' health. The Food and Drug Administration says it's $165 million in the hole because of six years of budgets that didn't keep up with inflation. It's short 500 employees, and needs more specialized scientists to evaluate increasingly complex therapies. Its inspectors can check the safety of only a fraction of medical and food factories every year. And its research, which helps ensure new products are safe, has been slashed. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 9 Jan 1999 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Copyright: 1999 Mercury Center Contact: letters@sjmercury.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n035.a08.html *** COMMENT: Committed to its failed policy of interdiction of illicit drug shipments, the federal government recruits help however it can. The following report from The Journal of Commerce suggests that we may all be paying for the interdiction folly in ways that can't be measured directly. 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. [snip] 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. [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 Source: Journal of Commerce (US) Contact: editor@mail.joc.com Website: http://www.joc.com/ Copyright: Journal of Commerce 1988 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n021.a04.html *** COMMENT: An editorial in the Orange County Register made important points (some implicit): actual policy depends a lot on who's carrying it out; the approval of conservative locals (including the newspaper) is ultimately important; the drug policy climate seems ready for change. CHANGING THE GUARD After a couple of bruising campaigns, after a six month transition period during which not all the wounds from the campaigns have been soothed and after months of speculation, a new era in law enforcement is beginning in Orange County. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Sheriff Mike Carona might have to spend a good deal of time and effort during their first few months in office solidifying support within the departments they have taken over. But it shouldn't be too long before the public begins to see changes in policies. [snip] Those who establish a reputation for impartial enforcement first are in a better position to be credible advocates of necessary reforms than those who are out front too early and too often on political issues. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register Contact: letters@link.freedom.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ *** Law Enforcement & Prisons *** COMMENT: This dated Cincinnati Enquirer editorial was chosen for two reasons: first it illustrates the insidious appeal of "drug court," which is really a federal model for cheaply extending the reach of the prison system under the guise of "treatment." Secondly the easy assumption of reader approval of the term "criminal addicts" speaks volumes about the unstated assumptions which underpin our drug policy. TREATING THE CAUSE Hamilton County's drug court, which emphasizes substance abuse treatment over jail sentences, has changed lives and saved taxpayers money. [snip] It's also become a state model for dealing with criminal addicts.Seventeen other Ohio counties now run drug courts; all are modeled after the one pioneered here three years ago. [snip] Pubdate: 25 Dec 1998 Source: The Cincinnati Post (OH) Copyright: 1998 The Cincinnati Post Contact: postedits@cincypost.com Website: http://www.cincypost.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n011.a05.html *** COMMENT: Here, Eric Holder of the Justice Department responds to reporter Bill Moushey's charges that DOJ prosecutions are overly zealous. Among other things, Holder found them "offensive," apparently never considering that some of us might be offended by his own figures: our federal government has filed criminal charges against an average of 57, 000 people a year for 13 years! 'WIN AT ALL COSTS': THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT RESPONDS Your recent 10-part series by Bill Moushey ("Win At All Costs," Nov. 22 to Dec. 13), criticizing the conduct of prosecutors,relies largely on the allegations of criminals and their defense attorneys. As a result, it wrongly concludes that federal prosecutors and agents "routinely" engage in misconduct [snip] Readers might be interested to know, by comparison, that during the same period federal prosecutors brought approximately 500,000 criminal cases against approximately 750,000 defendants. Even if the facts were as the reporter assumes in each of the nearly 70 cases - and they are not - one could argue that refutes, rather than supports his thesis. NewsHawk: DrugSense Source: (1) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) (2) The Blade (OH) Pubdate: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 Contact: (1) letters@post-gazette.com Webform: (1) http://www.post-gazette.com/contact/letters.asp Website: (1) http://www.post-gazette.com/ Contact: (2) letters@theblade.com Website: (2) http://www.toledoblade.com/ Author: Eric Holder, Deputy Attorney General Note: Links to the entire "Win at all Costs" series may be found at: URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98/n1158/a02.html *** COMMENT: Another major daily ran a series critical of our drug policy; the headlines on Karen Dillon's 5 installments in the Kansas City Star say it all; the lengthy articles supplies details on how local cops team up with feds to exploit forfeiture for their own benefit. POLICE KEEP CASH INTENDED FOR EDUCATION Police and federal agencies have diverted millions of dollars from Missouri schoolchildren. Under state law, money seized in drug cases is supposed to go to public school districts, but some police departments have found a simple way to keep the money for their own use. It works like this: [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 Source: Kansas City Star Copyright: 1999 The Kansas City Star Section: Special Report Contact: letters@kcstar.com Website: http://www.kcstar.com/ Author: Karen Dillon, The Kansas City Star kdillon@kcstar.com Note: This is a 5 part special report: POLICE KEEP CASH INTENDED FOR EDUCATION (#1): URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n013.a01.html THE CASE FILE (#2): URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n013.a03.html SCHOOLS CAN LOSE, EVEN IF THE LAW IS FOLLOWED (#3): URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n013.a04.html FEDERAL AGENCIES, POLICE KEEP PUBLIC RECORDS OUT OF REACH (#4): URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n013.a06.html LAWMAKERS AGAIN HOPE TO TIGHTEN UP LAW ON FORFEITURES (#5): URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.013.a07.html *** COMMENT: In court, where judicial assertion always trumps logic, the 10th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals surprised no one in reversing a lower court ruling that leniency, when used to obtain testimony from an accused felon, is a form of bribery. This particular assertion will hopefully be challenged. COURT REVERSES BAN ON LENIENCY FOR WITNESSES Justice Dept. Feared It Would Block Prosecutions DENVER, Jan. 8-A federal appeals court ruled today that prosecutors can offer plea bargains in exchange for testimony, overturning a court decision that declared the common practice illegal. In a 9 to 3 vote, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the panel's earlier ruling that plea-bargained testimony constituted bribery was "patently absurd." [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 9 Jan 1999 Source: The Washington Post Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Page: A03 Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://washingtonpost.com/ Author: Robert Boczkiewicz, Reuters URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n037.a06.html *** Drugs & Drug Use *** COMMENT: The global heroin glut is perhaps the best single indicator how monumentally American drug policy is failing. Readers of this newsletter know that users of all ages are overdosing around the world in record numbers; a fact that was brought home to San Francisco by the overdose death 21 year old Oscar Scaggs, son of a local rock celebrity. Local news papers fulsomely detailed the heroin surplus but offered nothing that could be confused with insight as to its cause. YOUNG, RICH AND STRUNG OUT Heroin Emerging As Drug Of Choice For Bay Area's Well-Off Kids Oscar Scaggs may not have known it, but he rode a cresting, ugly new wave right to his death when he overdosed in a down-and-outer hotel on New Year's Eve. The wave is heroin addiction -- a familiar horror come back. [snip] Perhaps most sobering of all, San Francisco has the highest rate of heroin-related deaths of any city in the state: One every three days, double the rate of the early '90s, and far more than from any other drug. [snip] Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Forum: http://www.sfgate.com/conferences/ Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Chronicle Pubdate: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 Page: A1 - Front Page Authors: Kevin Fagan, Neva Chonin, Chronicle Staff Writers URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n028.a12.html *** COMMENT: LA Times columnist Robert Scheer is so firmly in our camp that such sentiments from him aren't newsworthy, but his Jan. 3 column nailed recent developments in California's medical marijuana wars so well that everyone should read it from beginning to end. He also comments intelligently on the probable impact of Bill Lockyer on local enforcement policies. IT'S MADNESS NOT TO INVESTIGATE POT'S MEDICAL USE Hung over from all that New Year's revelry and once again promising yourself to abstain? Hah! Maybe you should have tried pot instead of booze, Just kidding! [snip] Just look at the Gestapo-like tactics employed against those locally and throughout the state who have attempted to exercise their fight to relieve the pain of serious illness with marijuana prescribed by a physician - a right one had presumed was guaranteed by the passage of Proposition 215. [snip] Fortunately, they are about to be challenged by California's new Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who bravely admitted during the campaign that he voted for Proposition 215. He has said since that he wants to cooperate with local officials to make it work. [snip] Pubdate: 3 Jan. 1999 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: letters@latimes.com Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Fax: 213-237-4712 Forum: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/DISCUSS/ Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times. Author: Robert Scheer rscheer@aol.com URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n017.a03.html *** COMMENT: Not only is cannabis safe beyond comparison with any other therapeutic agent; its users seem more satisfied with its therapeutic efficacy than most drugs. WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE? Dr. Kathleen Boyle of the UCLA Drug Abuse Research Center has a problem. The social psychologist began a two-year study last July on the use of medical marijuana by people with AIDS. The university-funded project seeks to document both the satisfaction (or not) of med-mar users and their issues and concerns. The hitch is that Dr. Boyle can't find anyone who's used it and says it doesn't work for them. [snip] Source: LA Weekly (CA) Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Weekly, Inc. Pubdate: 8-14 Jan 1999 Contact: laweekly@aol.com Website: http://www.laweekly.com/ Author: Michael Simmon URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n026.a11.html *** International News *** COMMENT: A familiar theme from Australia which is experiencing record heroin overdoses, yet continues to dither because drug policy remains in the grip of an ardently prohibitionist Prime Minister. HEROIN DEATHS SOAR HEROIN deaths are increasing rapidly, with more than 250 people dying from overdoses last year.And already this year, two heroin users each day have lost their lives after playing Russian roulette with a needle. Chief Insp. John McKoy, head of the drug squad, said while police did not condone heroin use, they were desperate to prevent more fatalities. [snip] Pubdate: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 Source: Herald Sun (Australia) Copyright: News Limited 1999 Contact: hseditor@hwt.newsltd.com.au Website: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ Author: Tanya Giles URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n033.a05.html *** COMMENT: Without question, last week's most fascinating story was the big pot bust in Nicaragua involving the DEA, Danilo Blandon, six Canadians and a hemp crop which has already been destroyed by the Nicaraguan police. Don Wirschafter, appearing as friendly expert, testified that its THC content was well below that associated with recreational use, but we know the DEA refuses to differentiate. Given American clout with the locals, it doesn't look good for the Canadian investors, especially the poor guy caught on the scene. Thus far, English language newspaper coverage has been all Canadian. The failure of the Yankee press to become involved probably says something about the pressure that's being applied. ALONE AND ACCUSED IN A NICARAGUAN PRISON Guelph Man In Hemp Case Talks Of Jail Ordeal MANAGUA - In the visitor room at the La Modelo prison, there are four Boston rocking chairs placed around a coffee table. A small ice box hums in the corner. Ashtrays have been provided. It is all quite civilized. [snip] It has already been admitted, by the American embassy in Managua, that members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency were involved - at Nicaragua's request - in inspecting the property and the crop. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 9 Jan 1999 Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Copyright: 1999, The Toronto Star Contact: lettertoed@thestar.com Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Author: Rosie DiManno URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n035.a04.html *** COMMENT: The stark first paragraph of the next item from the Houston Chronicle is a reminder of the violence our failing policy engenders. 2 DEAD MEXICAN POLICE FOUND NEAR BROWNSVILLE BROWNSVILLE -- The bodies of two Mexican federal police officers,tortured and shot execution style, were found Friday morning on the banks of the Rio Grande, authorities said. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 9 Jan 1999 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle Contact: viewpoints@chron.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Forum:http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html Author: James Pinkerton URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n035.a01.html *** COMMENT: The quotes attributed to the UK drug czar provide an interesting window into the mind set of a prohibitionist; not only quick to see arrogance in others, but completely ignorant of the basics of human motivation.. ANTI-DRUGS CHIEF ATTACKS 'ARROGANCE' OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE BY PROFESSIONAL CLASSES 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. [snip] Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Forum: http://www.scotsman.com/ Copyright: The Scotsman Publications Ltd Pubdate: 5 January 1999 Author: Conal Urqhuart URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n020.a02.html *** COMMENT: This week's story from Colombia is highly improbable. First, our Congress, which is bankrolling the Colombian Government, won't sign on to a deal which cedes the rebels any territorial control; secondly, the rebels won't give up drug profits that easily. COLOMBIAN REBELS SAY THEY MIGHT SWITCH, FIGHT COCA SAN VICENTE DEL CAGUAN, Colombia - Insurgents in Colombia say they might be willing to switch sides in the drug war and actually work to eradicate coca crops, even as one of their leaders yesterday lashed out at U.S. counter drug programs here. [snip] Lopez said the insurgency has asked President Andres Pastrana to give it direct control of one of Colombia's 1,072 townships- an area equivalent to a large U.S. county - to demonstrate that rebels know how to knock the wind out of the drug trade. "We don't need coca crops to survive. We don't need a single peasant farmer to grow coca," Lopez said. [snip] Pubdate: Fri, Jan 8 1999 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: opinion@seatimes.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company Author: Tim Johnson, Knight Ridder Newspapers URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n028.a08.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET Frontline's "SNITCH" aired Tuesday night may be one of the most powerful anti drug war documentaries ever. Thanks to Richard Lake and Rolf Ernst for the following: The SNITCH documentary is now available in RealVideo at: http://www.legalize-usa.org/TOCs/video7.htm The website for SNITCH is: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/ You may contact the producers at frontline@wgbh.org or by mail at: Frontline Producer WGBH 125 Western Avenue Boston, MA 02134 You may contact your local PBS station by email by finding the address at: http://www.pbs.org/voice/stations.html There is a discussion forum for the documentary at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/talk/ *** Ernest Drucker has an excellent report in Public Health Reports. You can view it at: http://www.of-course.com/drugrealities/ The theme of the report is public health vs. prohibition. Ernie takes 25 years of statistics and analyzes them from a public health perspective. He concludes that while Prohibition has escalated with mass arrests and record levels of incarceration, the problems associated with drug abuse, particularly overdose deaths and emergency room mentions has risen dramatically. When a racial analysis of this is added the problems are even worse. Excellent reading in a prominent publication -- by a prominent public health advocate. *** DrugPeace is an excellent site and organization who recently sponsored the San Francisco digital Be in. Check out: http://www.drugpeace.org/ *** TIP OF THE WEEK The DPF conference will beheld in May in Bethesda Maryland. See http://www.dpf.org for more info. Order plane, attendance, and room reservations well in advance and you can save significantly on your costs. *** Forfeiture Endangers American Rights chat forum FEAR now has a free-form discussion forum at http://www.libertyjournal.com/liberty_forums/index.cfm?cfapp=10 courtesy of Patrick Kirkpatrick & the good folk at Liberty Forum *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK "The high-tech industry, from personal computers to Internet entrepreneurs, is full of people who make big bucks, smoke fine weed, and look the other way while thousands continue to be jailed. Tobacco, alcohol, and crack take an enormous toll, but America has been mesmerized by a remarkable propaganda campaign that has demonized the use of soft drugs such as marijuana and psychedelics. The war on some drugs is wrong, and it's wrong to be silent about it. It's time for the digerati to break silence on this issue." -- Howard Rheingold, December 1998. *** FACT OF THE WEEK A positive drug test does not indicate whether an employee was impaired or intoxicated on the job, nor does it indicate whether an employee has a drug problem or how often the employee uses the drug. Thus most tests do not provide information relevant to job performance. Source: Lewis Maltby, Vice President Drexelbrook Controls, Harsham, PA, as cited in Report of the Maine Commission to Examine Chemical Testing of Employees, (1986, December 31). *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. TO SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, OR UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS: Please utilize the following URLs http://www.drugsense.org/hurry.htm http://www.drugsense.org/unsub.htm News/COMMENTS-Editor: Tom O'Connell (tjeffoc@drugsense.org) Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (mgreer@drugsense.org) We wish to thank all our contributors, editors, Newshawks and letter writing activists. NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. REMINDER: Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug related issue to editor@mapinc.org *** NOW YOU CAN DONATE TO DRUGSENSE ONLINE AND IT'S TAX DEDUCTIBLE DrugSense provides many services to at no charge BUT THEY ARE NOT FREE TO PRODUCE. We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. If you are able to help by contributing to the DrugSense effort visit our convenient donation web site at http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htm -OR- Mail in your contribution. Make checks payable to MAP Inc. send your contribution to: The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc. d/b/a DrugSense PO Box 651 Porterville, CA 93258 (800) 266 5759 MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.mapinc.org/ http://www.drugsense.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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