------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Probation Terms Relaxed (The Oregonian says Multnomah County Circuit Judge Janice Wilson eased the terms of probation Tuesday for Diane R. Densmore, convicted of drug dealing for operating the Alternative Health Center in Portland, which dispensed marijuana for medicinal use. The judge also allowed Densmore to apply to the state Health Division to use marijuana for her own health problems under the voter-approved Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. The paper notes too that in Multnomah County, home-detention prisoners of the war on some drug users are now obliged to fund the system that persecutes them an average of $12 per day just for those earning minimum wage.) From: LawBerger@aol.com Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 14:46:14 EST To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: DPFOR: Oregonian article re: Alternative health Center Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ 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/ Wednesday, January 27 1999 Marijuana Probation Terms Relaxed * A judge drops a requirement for electronic monitoring but issues a stern admonition to a woman convicted of distributing medicinal pot By David R. Anderson of The Oregonian staff A judge eased the probation terms Tuesday of a woman convicted of drug dealing for operating a club that dispensed marijuana for medicinal use. Diane R. Densmore, 51, will no longer have to wear an electronic bracelet to monitor her whereabouts. She will report to a judge instead of a probation officer and she can apply to the state Health Division to use marijuana for her own health problems. "Oh, this is wonderful, wonderful news," said a teary Densmore after the hearing. Densmore's attorney, Leland Berger, argued that voter approval in November of Measure 67, the medical marijuana act, made clubs like the Alternative Health Center unnecessary. In addition, Berger said Densmore could not afford the cost of the electronic monitoring. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office has increased the cost to defendants and convicts, to an average of $12 per day for those earning minimum wage. However, prosecutors said what Densmore had been doing still would be considered illegal under the new law and argued to keep the full sanctions against her. Senior Deputy District Attorney Mark McDonnell argued that Densmore had not even finished a year of her three-year probation. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Janice Wilson said that hindsight does not make what Densmore did right. "You break that law at your own risk until the law does change," Wilson said. Although Wilson did not grant Densmore an end to her probation, she said some modification was appropriate. Densmore pleaded guilty Feb. 3, 1998, to two counts of delivery of a controlled substance. She was arrested after police raided the center at 333 S.W. Park Ave. and confiscated six pounds of marijuana. Police said at the time that undercover officers had bought the drug without showing medical need. *** Only addition/modification I would add is that court's order was not limited to allowing Diane to 'apply' but the court amended the condition of no controlled substances 'to extent [Diane] is entitled to benefit of Med. Marijuana Act.' As we had appended necessary documentation to our motion to terminate probation, the functional result is that she can medicate without violating probation. (And, unlike Phil Smith, she doesn't have to move to California to accomplish this result.) Lee Berger Portland, OR
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Need For Weed (Willamette Week, in Portland, belatedly discovers how the voter-approved Oregon Medical Marijuana Act is so weak that cancer sufferers and other seriously ill patients still have to resort to illegal means to obtain medicine - or go without. Even those who can wait six months to grow plants have to obtain seeds or starts illegally. The free weekly shopper also promotes the myth that some cannabis buyers' clubs in California became "notorious hangouts for recreational users" - a media-generated lie that partly explains why patients in Oregon have to cope with the ridiculous limitations of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.) Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 19:37:52 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OR: MMJ: The Need For Weed Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: D. Paul Stanford (email@example.com) Pubdate: 27 Jan 1999 Source: Willamette Week (OR) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.wweek.com/ Copyright: Willamette Week 1999 Author: Patty Wentz (email@example.com) THE NEED FOR WEED Under Oregon's new medical-marijuana law, some patients can legally use pot. Problem is, there's no way to legally buy it. Doctor's Orders: Where does Measure 67 leave doctors? When she voted to legalize medical marijuana early last November, Nancy didn't know there was a tumor growing in her right breast. A couple of weeks later, though, she found the lump that pushed her into a medical free fall. By early December she learned it was malignant. By Christmas she'd had a mastectomy and was headed for several grueling chemotherapy treatments. The first session in early January left her reeling with nausea. Her doctor prescribed Compazine, which did little to control the nausea but still left her weak and exhausted. She knew she wouldn't be able to endure the next treatment, scheduled for this week, without a better way to control the side effects. Nancy had heard that Zofran worked better, but at 20 bucks a pill she couldn't afford it. So she asked her doctor about marijuana. Nancy's doctor wrote a letter stating that she had chemotherapy-induced vomiting, an acceptable condition for medical use of marijuana. The letter, he explained, should keep her from being arrested for possessing a small amount of the drug until the Oregon Health Department has a system in place for patients to register. But Nancy still has a big problem. Although her doctor in effect wrote her a prescription, he couldn't tell her where to get it filled. Nancy, a Portlander in her early 40s, says she hasn't smoked dope since her teens. She has no idea how to get any now. "I'm not a marijuana user," she says, "and the thought of buying drugs off the street freaks me out." Nancy's story is becoming increasingly common as patients come up against one of the glitches in the medical-marijuana law. Even if they can find a doctor to approve their use of it (see "Doctors' Orders,"), there is no established center that provides marijuana. When California voters approved medical-marijuana use in 1996, cannabis buying clubs sprung up around the state. Although some were genuinely geared toward patients, others became notorious hangouts for recreational users. The Oregon law was written to preclude the establishment of such clubs here. That provision helped garner support for the measure, but it left a gaping hole in the new law. Many patients, like Nancy, are confused. She assumed the passage of Measure 67 meant that there would be a safe and stable supply of marijuana for patients like her. "I didn't grasp that they had no sanctioned way to get it," she says. "I thought there would be some alternative, getting it through a pharmacy or something." Instead, she has learned, in order to follow the letter of the law, she has to grow it herself or be given a supply by another patient. Nancy doesn't know any other medical-marijuana users. As for growing her own, she's not in a position to wait for the plants to mature, even if she could somehow find some seeds. In Nancy's mind she really has only one choice: the street. Because of her physician's letter, she's probably safe from prosecution, but anyone who sells or even gives her pot is in a legal gray area. Where to get marijuana is a common problem, especially for older people who have never even seen a joint, says David Smigelski, spokesperson for Oregonians for Medical Rights. Smigelski, a former WW reporter, says that while Measure 67 allows patients to grow up to six plants, getting the seeds or seedlings to plant is a problem OMR can't help with. "We're getting calls from people who have expertise in growing who are willing to help people," he says, "and we have people who want to know how to get seeds." But OMR won't play matchmaker. Smigelski says he doesn't know of any informal networks of patients that have sprung up to meet the demand. For now, he says, patients are going to have to fend for themselves. Dr. Mary O'Hearn, an AIDS specialist at Oregon Health Sciences University, says doctors at her clinic have written three letters for patients who want to use medical marijuana, which stimulates the appetite and prevents the slow starvation that is a side effect of AIDS. She has no idea where those patients are getting their supply. "I haven't really talked to them about that," she says. "They seem to have access." As much as it unnerves her, Nancy says she'll probably have to buy pot the same way everybody does: through the underground. She says she has a friend who knows someone who might be able to help. Faced with another round of chemotherapy, she doesn't have time to grow her own, and she has nowhere else to turn. *** Nancy did not want her real name to be used for this story because she was worried that her employer would judge her harshly for using marijuana. *** Oregonians for Medical Rights has a toll-free number for people wanting information about the medical-marijuana law: (877) 600-6767. *** Since Oregon's medical-marijuana law kicked in on Dec. 3, the folks at Oregonians for Medical Rights have received more than 400 calls. "The most often-asked question is 'Where do I find a doctor?'" says David Smigelski, spokesperson for OMR, which ran the Measure 67 campaign. Measure 67 doesn't require doctors to prescribe pot in the same way they would prescribe penicillin. All a patient needs to be legal is a note from a physician stating that he or she has a condition that is covered under the medical-marijuana law. Still, most doctors seem to be skittish about signing a letter. Some may fear being labeled as a "pot doctor." Others have legal concerns. Measure 67 did not legalize pot--it simply exempted patients from prosecution. It remains to be seen what consequences doctors may face. The Drug Enforcement Agency has remained silent on Measure 67, but two years ago the feds threatened to yank the drug license of any California doctor recommending marijuana. A group of physicians sued and were able to get a stay order from a federal judge, which protects them from prosecution. Given that, the Oregon Medical Association has recommended that doctors don't do anything until May 1, when the new law requires that the Oregon Health Department have a patient registration system in place.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Data give bad news on teen substance abuse (The Oregonian says the 1998 Oregon Public School Drug Use Survey of nearly 20,000 students in grades 6, 8 and 11 at 230 schools across the state showed that 43 percent of 11th-graders drank alcohol, nearly one in three smoked cigarettes, and nearly one in four used an "illicit drug" - almost invariably, marijuana - in the month prior to the survey. The state's most complete indicator of drug and alcohol use among young people also indicated that among eighth-graders, one in four drank, one in five used tobacco, and nearly one in five used marijuana. Since there was no increase in marijuana use, according to an accompanying graph, the newspaper tries to sensationalize the non-news that drug use cuts across all socioeconomic groups, while ignoring the startling evidence that current drug policy has more than doubled deaths from hard drugs since 1993. Both the survey takers and the newspaper equate marijuana with heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine, calling it an "illicit drug," while denying that alcohol and tobacco are drugs, and illicit for teens, yet seem to wring their hands about how kids aren't listening.)Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Wed, Jan 27 1999 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: Erin Hoover Barnett, the Oregonian Data give bad news on teen substance abuse * A survey of Oregon students finds "it isn't just the fringe kids. It's the athletes. It's the good students. It's everybody." Lots of kids are trying it. That's the bad news from a survey of alcohol and drug use among young people in Oregon. The 1998 Oregon Public School Drug Use Survey, which included nearly 20,000 students, suggests that drinking, smoking and using illicit drugs cuts across all social groups. "A substantial number of young people are experimenting, and what we hear is it isn't just the fringe kids. It's the athletes. It's the good students. It's everybody," said Barbara Cimaglio, director of the state Office of Alcohol and Drug Programs, which contracted with a firm called Northwest Professional Consortium to do the survey, released Tuesday. Close to half (43 percent) of 11th-graders said they drank, nearly one in three smoked, and nearly one in four used an illicit drug in the month prior to the survey. Eighth-graders didn't do a whole lot better. One in four drank, one in five smoked, and nearly one in five used an illicit drug. "When you're getting percentages that high, you know it crosses over all the groups," Cimaglio said. However, young people have changed in some areas. Alcohol use, for example, has gone down since the first such survey in 1986. That year, nearly 60 percent of 11th-graders reported drinking in the previous month. But Cimaglio takes little comfort. "When we see this early experimentation, it's really frightening because we know that a percentage of these kids are not going to be able to stop," she said. "There will be more people growing into adult life with alcohol problems and maybe other drug problems." The biennial survey, which cost $145,000, is the state's most complete indicator of drug and alcohol use among young people. A total of 19,970 sixth-, eighth- and 11th-graders from 230 schools across the state participated. Professional surveyors -- rather than the students' teachers -- were the primary administrators. Students filled out survey forms anonymously, helping to ensure the data's accuracy. Cimaglio said she hopes the survey data will help Oregonians understand the issue and attempt to help young people avoid or overcome alcohol and drug abuse problems. Cimaglio answered questions about the survey: Q: Why should people care about alcohol and drug use in teens? Isn't it just youthful indiscretion? A: We know that use by young people has a lot of side effects. We know about the car crashes, the violence. Drug and alcohol use also causes health problems and learning problems and causes kids to lose interest in school. All it takes is one bad instance -- it's not worth the risk. And if you look at state services, 60 percent to 80 percent of families with family members in prison or reliant on welfare have alcohol and drug problems. We're starting to see multigenerations of alcohol and drug problems. With young people, we know that cigarettes and alcohol are gateway drugs. If there are 10 students who all drink and party, at least one or two of them will go on to develop a drug or alcohol problem. Q: What illicit drugs besides marijuana are kids using? A: Inhalants. We just had an incident of a death in Salem, an 18-year-old man smoking marijuana and inhaling butane. We also see that inhalants are usually a drug of choice among younger kids because they can get these products -- CO2 canisters, paint. Yet they can be deadly because these can be really toxic substances. (One in 10 sixth-graders reported having used inhalants at least once.) We also see the popularity of heroin in the young adult population, in the counterculture, that has become more chic. The heroin that is on the street now is extremely potent, and the deaths we're seeing are related to that. (Three percent of 11th-graders reported using heroin at some time in their lives.) Q: What is the survey data used for? A: It helps local organizations plan programs focused on helping young people who have these problems and preventing others from getting involved. At the same time we released the survey, we also released profiles of each county, which is helpful on a local level. Q: What can be done to stem drug and alcohol use by young people? A: One of the key factors is parents. We know that in families where parents give strong messages about no drug use, where they talk to their kids about alcohol and other drugs, it's far less likely that their children are going to use these substances. Our office will be doing trainings over the next year -- training others to train parents how to talk to their kids. In Portland, print and TV ads have been used in a federal anti-drug use initiative to raise awareness. Those have been shown to be effective as long as there are local programs to bring home the message. The idea is that students who have a negative attitude about drugs and alcohol are less likely to use them. The governor plans to focus on teen alcohol use this year through his ongoing task force on underage drinking. Q: What can an individual do today to make a difference? A: If you have children or are a mentor or guardian, use this as an opportunity to talk about alcohol and drug use. Let the children know that you're concerned and what your values are about alcohol, drugs and tobacco. And if you know someone who you think has a problem, get help. Alcoholics Anonymous, Portland area, 503-223-8569. Narcotics Abuse 24-hour Helpline and Treatment, 1-800-234-0420. Q: How can people get a copy of the survey or the county profiles? A: Contact Pam McVay at the Office of Alcohol and Drug Programs at 503-945-8865. To look at data matched with prevention programs that treat these problems, try www.unr.edu/educ/cep/casat; go to the CASAT home page, and click on prevention program planning and best practices. Erin Hoover Barnett covers people and health issues for The Oregonian. She can be reached at 503-294-5011, or by fax at 503-294-4150, or e-mail at email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Butane sniffing, called huffing, is a growing health threat (The Associated Press notes prohibition agents are trying to capitalize on the death of an 18-year-old man in Salem, Oregon, who sniffed butane after hearing that it would enhance the high from marijuana. Dave Driscoll, a so-called drug recognition expert for Salem police, said of the fatality that "It sounds like a typical sad end result of typical huffers.")Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Butane sniffing, called huffing, is a growing health threat The Associated Press 1/27/99 12:51 AM SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Health officials say new kind of drug abuse is tempting young Oregonians -- sniffing butane fumes. The practice is called huffing, and it claimed the life of James Mitchell Stolberg, 18, on Sunday. Stolberg and two teen-age friends were filling plastic bags with vapors from disposable lighters Sunday, then inhaling the fumes from the bags, Salem Police Lt. Dan Deitz said. According to authorities, Stolberg had stopped breathing three times before one of the friends called medics. By the time the ambulance arrived, he was already dead. "It sounds like a typical sad end result of typical huffers," said Officer Dave Driscoll, a drug recognition expert for Salem police. "People will try pretty much any chemical. Unfortunately, they may not survive it the first time." Huffing is most common among young people age 11 to 19, Driscoll said. While butane is often used, huffers also seek other cheap inhalents, such as spray paint, air freshener and nonstick cooking spray. Some Salem-area grocery stores have had problems with teens who inhale the propellant from cans of whipped cream. When a buyer tries to dispense the whipped cream at home, nothing but liquid comes out. In Stolberg's case, the teens had heard that the butane fumes would enhance their highs from the marijuana they were smoking. What makes huffing so dangerous is that people inhale substances based on rumors that the practice is safe, said Oregon State Police Lt. Chuck Hayes, who heads the state's Drug Recognition Expert training program. Most inhalants act as depressants that slow down the central nervous system, Driscoll said. The effects kick in almost instantly, often causing the huffer to pass out. Symptoms can include dizziness, drowsiness, distorted vision that may alter shapes and colors, feelings of floating or spinning, distorted spatial perception and nausea. "It varies greatly from inhalant to inhalant, and nobody really goes out and studies these real hard because they are so dangerous," Driscoll said. Some inhalants also coat the inside of the lungs and cause the huffer to suffocate. Often, people who pass out die from choking on their own vomit or on the bag they use to collect the vapors. Just a few uses can cause long-term damage to the central nervous system, as well as decreased memory, concentration and coordination. Police are taught to recognize drivers who may be under the influence of inhalants, but Oregon's laws still do not include inhalants in its definition of driving under the influence of intoxicants despite their prevalence. "Without a doubt, we've had many incidents in the state where people have been driving under the influence of paint, paint thinner, gases," Hayes said. "And yet we cannot charge them with DUII because the law does not cover those offenses." Hayes and Driscoll said huffers' deaths will probably end only through education. Hayes hopes a current radio campaign that warns of the dangers of inhalants will help inform young people. "It's really unfortunate that people have to die to bring this information out," Driscoll said. (c)1999 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Kubbys To Enter Pleas Jan. 28 (U.S. Newswire says recent California gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby and his wife, Michele, will plead not guilty tomorrow morning in Placer County Superior Court to a variety of charges stemming from their marijuana arrest last week. According to Steve Kubby, a medical-marijuana patient/activist, "An anonymous letter with vague accusations - information called 'weak and non-specific' by Det. Don Atkinson of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department - was the 'probable cause' under which four different law enforcement agencies monitored our every move for the past six months.") Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 00:08:47 -0600 From: "Frank S. World" (email@example.com) Organization: Rx Cannabis Now! http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/7417/ To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (firstname.lastname@example.org), DPFCA (email@example.com) Subject: DPFCA: US NEWSWIRE: Kubbys to Enter Pleas Jan. 28 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ KUBBYS TO ENTER PLEAS JAN. 28 U.S. NEWSWIRE 27 JAN 17:40 Kubbys to Enter Pleas Jan. 28 To: National and State Desks Contact: Steve Kubby, 530-581-1112 TAHOE CITY, Calif. /U.S. Newswire/ -- Tomorrow morning at 8:30, Steve and Michele Kubby will appear in the Tahoe City Branch of the Placer County Superior Court to enter pleas of not guilty to a variety of charges stemming from their marijuana arrest last week. The Kubbys are patients who have authorization from licensed physicians and who acknowledged they grew marijuana plants in their basement for their own medicine. Steve Kubby was the 1998 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate and an organizer of the successful Proposition 215 initiative which legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. They were rousted from their home in North Lake Tahoe January 19 by a dozen or so members of the North Tahoe Narcotics Task Force and eventually taken to the Placer County Jail in Auburn. Their bail, originally set at $100,000 each, was reduced to release on their own recognizance during an arraignment Thursday. Mr. Kubby, 52, has been living with terminal adrenal cancer for the past 22 years. Without medication, his blood pressure spikes to dangerous levels. Marijuana works for Mr. Kubby better than conventional medications, and his doctor has authorized it. Today he issued the following statement: "An anonymous letter with vague accusations (information called "weak and non-specific" by Det. Don Atkinson of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department) was the 'probable cause' under which four different law enforcement agencies monitored our every move for the past six months. All evidence being used against Michele and me come from activities that occurred in the privacy of our own home and was obtained by spying through our windows, examining our trash, and monitoring our Internet communications. Something around half of the documentation provided by government officials to our attorneys were political documents surrounding my candidacy for governor last year and the medical marijuana movement. Every aspect of our garden was documented and in compliance with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 that the voters in this state approved overwhelmingly. Absolutely no sales ever took place. Michele and I broke no laws and should have been protected under the law. Instead, we are witness to how the legal rights of seriously ill people are routinely violated. Please help us end this insanity once and for all." -0- /U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/ 01/27 17:40 Copyright 1999, U.S. Newswire
------------------------------------------------------------------- Shasta County Medical Marijuana Meeting Feb. 2 (An action alert from California NORML asks reformers to attend a meeting Tuesday of the county board of supervisors, where the Shasta Patient Alliance will urge supervisors to recognize and honor California's medical marijuana law and respect patients' rights. The meeting was prompted by the busts of medical-marijuana patient/defendants Kim & Rick Levin, charged with cultivating 41 unsexed marijuana seedlings.) Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 21:18:40 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Shasta Co. Med MJ Meeting- Feb 2 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ California NORML Action Alert: Shasta Co. On Tuesday, Feb. 2, 1999, the Shasta Patient Alliance will be addressing the county board of supervisors to urge the county to recognize and honor California's medical marijuana law and respect patients' rights. The Board will be meeting at 9 am at the Shasta County Courthouse, Room 203. The appearance is being organized by Kim Levin, caregiver wife of patient Rick Levin, both of whom have been charged for cultivating 41 (unsexed) marijuana seedlings. Mr. Levin, who is 100% disabled, uses marijuana to relieve a severe back injury. The Shasta Alliance is asking the Board of Supervisors to discuss implementing guildelines for the enforcement of Prop. 215. Friends interested in showing their support are invited to contact the Shasta Patient Alliance at (530) 243-7531 (Redding, Cal.): firstname.lastname@example.org Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- We Thought You Knew (A staff editorial in the Echo, the student newspaper at the University of Central Arkansas, responds to a critic of the newspaper who is angry that it printed a humorous memoir in its opinion section last week, about a staff writer's first experience smoking marijuana. There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for the staff's deviance - the First Amendment, not to mention a famous decision by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.) Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 19:36:41 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US AR: Editorial: We Thought You Knew Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: James Markes Source: The Echo (AR) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://echo.uca.edu/ Author: Justin Petruccelli, Co-Editor Pubdate: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 Note: The Echo is the student newspaper of the University of Central Arkansas WE THOUGHT YOU KNEW We had an interesting visitor here at the office the other day, and boy was he mad. He took issue with a piece which appeared, in the opinions section by the way, in last week's paper. For those of you who don't already know the difference, the opinions section of the paper contains just that -- opinions. In this case, it contained a humorous memoir in which staff writer Michael Ellis described the first time he ever smoked marijuana. Our visitor, who we are allowing to remain nameless for the time being, couldn't believe that the university or our editor would allow us to print such a filthy piece of trash using his tuition dollars. (About a third of The Echo's operating funds comes from a student activity fee.) He couldn't believe that we would ignore all the vicious and violent crime that is caused by marijuana use. You've seen the gruesome headlines: "Man smokes pot, eats donut, passes out." How could we print such socially reprehensible material without at least assuring our readers that we don't all think that way around here? But don't despair. There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for our deviance. You see, a couple of hundred years ago, this guy named James Madison and some of his wig-wearing buddies put together a little ditty we like to call the Constitution. Then, they looked at it a couple of times and decided that it needed a few adjustments. They didn't feel like starting the whole thing over, so they came up with something called the Bill of Rights, which is just a fancy title they came up with for the first 10 amendments (that means changes) that they made to the original Constitution. One of those changes was something they called the First Amendment. It goes like this: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assembler, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Translation: we can and will print anything we so choose (see "Echo Guide to the Apocalypse" below). And there isn't a single thing the administration can do about it. In fact, The University of Minnesota once tried to censor its budding student journalists by cutting its funding. Well, those crazy Gophers sued the Powers That Be. And, wouldn't you know it, Richard S. Arnold of Little Rock, chief judge of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis wrote an opinion in the paper's favor. He explained that a university doesn't have to have a newspaper but, if it does decide to have one, must forever refrain from influencing the content of that newspaper. But don't worry. There's hope for you, too. You see, this wonder we call the First Amendment doesn't just apply to us. It applies to all of you as well. We'll respect your First Amendment rights just as much as we would fight and die for our own. If you want to complain, write a letter. For your convenience, we print our address somewhere in the section every week. Look out for it. It'll be there. Along with whatever else we want. We promise.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Honor Student Charged in Robbery (The Associated Press says a high school honor student and gymnast in the Detroit suburb of Berkley, Michigan, has been charged with armed robbery and is a suspect in several others, allegedly to support a heroin habit. Sarah Plumb, 16, is in a juvenile lockup, awaiting trial as an adult on charges that could land her a life sentence.) Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 08:06:39 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MI: Wire: Honor Student Charged in Robbery Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: David Goodman Associated Press Writer HONOR STUDENT CHARGED IN ROBBERY BERKLEY, Mich. (AP) A high school honor student and gymnast in this Detroit suburb has been charged with armed robbery and is a suspect in several others, allegedly to support a heroin habit. Sarah Plumb, 16, is in a juvenile lockup, awaiting trial as an adult on charges that could land her a life prison sentence. In all of the stickups, the robber said she had a weapon but did not show it, police said. Michigan law requires only the threat of a weapon for an armed-robbery conviction. Defense attorney Howard Arnkoff said Ms. Plumb should have been handled as a juvenile and should have been charged with something less than armed robbery, since no weapon was displayed. "If she gets convicted, its a non-probational offense. She must be incarcerated. She must be sent to prison. And I seriously doubt she could get the help she needs," he said. Police said she had a $200-a-day heroin habit a figure one expert said was significant. "That's a pretty chronic stage of their addiction. Generally, clients buy in $10 increments," said Bruce Goldberg, a therapist at Botsford General Hospital's Eastwood Clinic who said Ms. Plumb likely was sharing the drug with other people. News of her arrest shocked the low-crime community of 16,000 that typically only has a half dozen stickups each year. "This is very scary," said Berkley High School spokeswoman and media instructor Gwen Ahearn. "The kids were surprised about the heroin." "Typically, hard drugs are few and far between," Detective Sgt. Ray Anger said Wednesday. "Possibly a couple other kids are users of serious drugs, but I don't know." Though she denies committing the robberies, Ms. Plumb admits she is a heroin addict. She was arrested Dec. 21. She told police she began using the drug at 14 when a co-worker at a pizza parlor introduced her and her boyfriend to heroin. Last June, she got caught cashing a forged check stolen from the high school and confessed she was using the money to buy heroin, Anger said. The robberies began last month, police said. About 6 p.m. on Dec. 2, wearing a skull Halloween face mask, she allegedly entered an Amoco station next to the high school and told the 17-year-old clerk a fellow student that she had a weapon. Ms. Plumb made off with $300, then went to her gymnastics team practice, police say. She later tried to rob a BP station in Royal Oak on Dec. 14, then robbed a beer and wine store in Berkley the same day, a pizzeria in Clawson on Dec. 15 and another pizzeria in Southfield on Dec. 16, Anger said. She has not been charged in those holdups. A friend tipped police to Ms. Plumb as a suspect in the first robbery. The arrest created such a buzz among Berkley High School's 1,300 students Wednesday that the administration took to the PA system to discourage rumor-mongering about it.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Air Force Drug-Use Program Threatened (The Air Force Print News, an internal Air Force wire service providing copy to service newspapers, says Air Force drug testers have banned the use of hemp seed oil products, claiming they contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology has found some level of THC in all hemp seed and hemp oil products tested, which might seem to counter previous research showing that the human body manufactures THC metabolites from hempseed oil. Lt. Col. Peter Durand of the Air Force Surgeon General's Office, the program manager for the Air Force drug abuse prevention and treatment program, said that without the ban on hemp products, drug users who failed urine tests could hide their crime simply by claiming they ingested a hemp-based dietary supplement.)Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 11:10:45 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Wire: Air Force Drug-Use Program Threatened Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (email@example.com) Author: Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Stanley Pubdate: 27 Jan 1999 Source: Air Force Print News Website: http://www.af.mil/news/ Feedback: http://www.af.mil/news/news_comment.html Note: The source above is an internal Air Force wire service designed to provide stories to Air Base newspapers. AIR FORCE DRUG-USE PROGRAM THREATENED WASHINGTON -- In the mid-'80s, the standard urinalysis testing became an effective weapon in the Air Force war against drugs. Now, the program that has produced a healthy force of drug-free professionals may be compromised by something actually being touted as a healthy dietary supplement. It's called hemp oil. Some health-conscious Air Force body builders and other hemp seed-oil consumers will now have to find alternatives. The Air Force has banned the use of hemp seed oil products because they contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient of the marijuana plant. In urinalysis testing, no distinction can be made between a positive test because of hemp oil ingestion and one caused by the illegal use of marijuana. Such test results pose a real potential to ruin careers. Recent scientific studies at several private research firms and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology show the ingestion of products made with hemp seed oil nearly always produce positive urinalysis tests. The AFIP has also found some level of THC in all hemp seed and hemp oil products tested. This is why the Air Force has amended its alcohol and drug abuse prevention program to forbid use of such products by airmen. Most widely available over-the-counter dietary supplements and a host of other products containing hemp seed and hemp seed oil contain some level of THC. Although tests show the level of THC found in the commercial products is not believed to be significant enough to produce a psychoactive reaction in the body, the levels are indeed high enough to produce positive urinalysis results. "In the interest of military readiness and good order and discipline, active-duty, Reserve and Air National Guard members are now prohibited from consuming any products containing hemp seed oil," said Lt. Col. Greg Girard of the Air Force judge advocate general's office in the Pentagon. Recently, a number of new "hemp" products have appeared on the shelves of many health food stores accompanied by claims they contain high concentrations of essential amino acids and fatty acids. Girard was quick to add that the Air Force is not challenging such claims but rather pointing out that their use by airmen "effectively interferes" with the Air Force's ability to maintain a drug-free force. "We don't want people testing positive and jeopardizing their careers because they swallowed something they may have thought was healthy and good for them," said Lt. Col. Peter Durand of the Air Force Surgeon General's Office. As program manager for the Air Force drug abuse prevention and treatment program, Durand added that without the ban on hemp products, drug users could hide their crime simply by claiming they ingested a hemp-based dietary supplement. Although it is illegal to grow marijuana in the United States, it is perfectly legal to import hemp products into the country. Hemp oil is most often used as a salad dressing or as a dietary supplement in capsule form. It can also be found in many consumer items ranging from cosmetics and soaps to snack bars and other foods. There is even a tofu substitute made with hemp oil. "Service members need not be concerned that they are unwittingly ingesting hemp products in foods and drinks because," Durand said, "most of these products are still expressly marketed and sold in health food stores."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colombia's Internal Security (Jane's Defence Weekly gives the more-or-less official US interpretation of Colombia's civil war as a struggle between democratic nationalists with the government against Communist drug traffickers with FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. "It is believed" that FARC charges a 20 percent tax on coca in the regions it controls, adding up to $230 million in 1997. "It is widely believed" that FARC and the cartels can only be dealt with by the police and military acting together. Now, US policy is beginning to warm to this view and as a result greater ties are being formed between the US armed forces and its Colombian counterparts.) Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 07:43:56 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Colombia's Internal Security Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Paul Lewin http://www.csdp.org/ Source: Jane's Defence Weekly Copyright: 1998 Jane's Information Group Limited Pubdate: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 Website: http://jdw.janes.com/ Author: Bryan Bender Note: Bryan Bender is JDW's Washington Bureau Chief COLOMBIA'S INTERNAL SECURITY For more than 40 years, the Colombian government has been in conflict with left-wing guerrilla forces. While some of these groups have withered away or demobilised and joined the mainstream political process, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia's largest rebel group, has become stronger and presents a serious threat to the government. The FARC's success has been attributed in part to the emergence of a new leader, Jorge Briceno, known as 'El Mono Jojoy', partly to the ineffectiveness of the previous administration under President Samper, but mainly to the FARC's links with Colombian drug cartels and the money it receives from protecting cartel operations. The FARC's success against Colombia's armed forces led the new president, Andres Pastrana, to concede the creation of a demilitarised zone in the rebel's heartland. This was a FARC precondition to the holding of peace talks with the government. During negotiations between Pastrana's government and FARC leaders on 11 January, the two sides presented their respective 10-point agendas for a peaceful settlement to the continuing conflict. The FARC proposal calls for a political solution to the conflict. It seeks a military doctrine based on the defence of Colombia's borders rather than internal repression together with a reduction in the size of the armed forces and a greater respect for human rights. As well as a revision of Colombia's military treaties, FARC wants a 10-year moratorium on the country's debt, and insists that a solution must be found to the "phenomenon of production, marketing and consumption of narcotics and hallucinogens". FARC does not want this solution to be exclusively military; instead, one that addresses issues of demand from large states such as the USA. The government's proposals similarly call for the unconditional protection of human rights, highlighting the need for hostage-taking to cease. To eradicate drug trafficking, special legal standards would be needed together with agrarian reforms to help substitute illegal crops. Against this background of negotiations, the FARC's attacks continue and the country's security forces are considering new ways to deal with the dual threats of guerrilla insurgents and drug-trafficking cartels. Bogota has seen insurgent groups such as FARC, and the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN), extend their operations over nearly 40% of the country. Cocaine production in Colombia continues to rise rapidly, even though it is declining in other Andean nations. Both FARC and the drug cartels operate predominantly in the southern regions and have a mutual interest in establishing an autonomous zone in which Bogota cannot realistically interfere. It is believed that FARC charges a 20% tax on coca crops, paste production and transportation through the regions it controls. This is in effect protection money paid by the cartels and it goes towards the arming of FARC with Stinger manportable surface-to-air missiles, mortars, heavy machine guns and night-vision equipment. The FARC's income which is believed to have risen to $230 million in 1997 also goes towards paying good 'wages' to its members: 'wages' that are higher than a farmer could earn and may be more than a Colombian soldier's pay. "I think the connection between the insurgents and the narco-traffickers has been very clearly demonstrated," says US Marine Corps Gen Charles Wilhelm, commander-in-chief of Southern Command which oversees US military activities and assistance in South America. "This is an insurgency that has been sustaining itself for a number of years, so I think the linkage is definitely there." Taking the view that the drug cartels and FARC represent two fronts in the same war, President Pastrana has formulated a new policy to deal with both. Pastrana has been receiving increased aid and support from the USA. In recent years the USA had distanced itself from previous Colombian governments because of their ties to the drug cartels. "A new stage has begun in the relationship between the two countries and clearly we are being treated completely differently than was the case in the previous four years," Pastrana said in December after meeting with US Defense Secretary William Cohen. As in the past, however, US aid, including $230 million in additional funding authorised by the US Congress late last year, has been earmarked only for anti-drug operations conducted by the Colombian National Police. US aid has been forbidden, with few exceptions, from being used by the Colombian Army for counterinsurgency efforts because of concern about human rights abuses. The USA is also determined to avoid being drawn into a political and military quagmire. "We do not have any interest in getting involved in a counter-insurgency programme in Colombia," a senior US Department of Defense official told Jane's Defence Weekly. However, the symbiotic relationship between the FARC and the drug cartels and Pastrana's 'two fronts, one enemy' approach have begun to blur the distinction between counter-insurgency and anti-drugs operations. It is widely believed that FARC and the cartels can only be dealt with by the police and military acting together. Now, US policy is beginning to warm to this view and as a result greater ties are being formed between the US armed forces and its Colombian counterparts. Central to Pastrana's policy is a major effort to co-ordinate the military and police operations, and to lay the ground for a wide-ranging reform of the armed forces. An example of the integration of the police and armed forces is the newly-established Joint Inter-Agency Task Force based at Tres Equinas. Here, air force, army and navy aircraft operate jointly with assets of the Colombian National Police. Colombia, with US funding and training, has also begun to establish the first of several 1,000-strong counter-narcotics battalions within the army. "We have proposed to the US government that it is important to set up a new, special unit within the army in order to give support to this police eradication effort," Defence Minister Rodrigo Lloreda told JDW. "We have to put in army forces first before we come in with the police." Gen Wilhelm says that there has been "remarkable progress in a relatively short time and some very creative thoughts about new directions in restructuring certain portions of the armed forces to make them more effective in this integrated campaign and strategy against the dual threat of the narcotics traffickers and the insurgents". Concluding that the army's human rights record must improve if it is to receive additional US military aid, Pastrana has also put forward a plan to professionalise the armed forces. The aim is to replace 15,000 conscripts with regular troops and to increase human rights training with the aid of US Army Special Forces instructors. Lloreda stresses that much progress has already been made. In 1998 only four charges of human rights abuses were brought against military personnel and Lloreda expects that at least three will prove false: "that's a remarkable achievement when you consider this is a country at war" he said. Apart from questions of professionalisation and reform, the Colombian armed forces is severely lacking the modern systems it needs to counter the guerrillas. "There are fairly well recognised deficiencies in things like mobility, intelligence collection capabilities, direct attack capabilities and certain aspects of command and control," says Gen Wilhelm. "This is a mobility issue to a large extent, or how to effectively confront the traffickers and insurgents." The armed forces "need direct attack systems and that means attack helicopters of one kind or another. They need improved command and control, better vehicles for intelligence analysis, production and dissemination. They really need to make some overhauls to the riverine mobility requirements. Look at a map of the country ... you see all blue lines. So surface mobility is frequently riverine mobility." Taken together, the integration of military and police forces for anti-drug operations that will involve conflict with insurgents is drawing the USA closer to Colombia's armed forces. Assistance in creating counter-narcotics battalions, help in setting up a new intelligence centre and the sharing of US satellite data on the de-militarised zone constitute steps along a path towards US involvement in Colombia's counter-insurgency, though the USA insists that any military-to-military involvement is restricted to counter-drug operations. The outcome of the current peace talks could be decisive in the future of US policy. If they collapse, as many experts expect, the FARC is certain to continue its relationship with the cartels. If there is a determination to stem the flow of drugs from Colombia to US streets there is little doubt that military aid will need to be increased if the cartels and their FARC allies are to be confronted.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, No. 83 (The original summary of drug policy news from DrugSense opens with a note - About this week's issue. The weekly feature article explains the Significance of the Kubbys' arrest, by Thomas J. O'Connell, M.D. The Weekly News in Review features Medicinal marijuana advocate, wife busted; Outrage in law; Lockyer won't get involved in prosecution of gubernatorial candidate. Recently published letters to newspaper editors include - Medical marijuana and the legal mess; Pot laws and big brother; Maine doctor should look at the facts of marijuana; Lockyer on medical pot; Failed drug policies and the heroin glut; Drug tests a waste; It's time to honestly review drug policy; and Let users get drugs at corner store. The weekly Hot Off The 'Net feattures the Free The Kubbys Web Action page. The DrugSense Tip Of The Week looks at subscribing to and unsubscribing from various services and lists. The Quote of the Week cites Bill Clinton.) Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 15:00:50 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: DrugSense Weekly, January 27, 1999 #083 *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY *** DrugSense Weekly, January 27, 1999, #83 A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org TO SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, DONATE OR UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS PLEASE SEE THE INFORMATION AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS NEWSLETTER This Publication May Be Read On-line at: http://www.drugsense.org/dsw/1999/ds99.n83.html NEW: Reading the DrugSense Weekly on-line allows you to "jump" to any of the items below that interest you with just a mouse click. Try it! Please consider writing a letter to the editor responding to any of the articles below using the E-Mail addresses provided. *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: * About this Week's Issue * Feature Article Significance of the Kubbys' Arrest By Thomas J. O'Connell M.D. * Weekly News in Review (1) Medicinal Marijuana Advocate, Wife Busted (2) Outrage In Law (3) Lockyer Won't Get Involved In Prosecution Of Gubernatorial Candidate * Recently Published Letters (4) Medical Marijuana and The Legal Mess (5) Pot Laws and Big Brother (6) Maine Doctor Should Look at the Facts of Marijuana (7) Lockyer On Medical Pot (8) Failed Drug Policies and the Heroin Glut (9) Drug Tests a Waste (10) It's Time to Honestly Review Drug Policy (11) Let Users Get Drugs At Corner Store * Hot Off The 'Net Free The Kubby's Web Action Page page * DrugSense Tip Of The Week Subscribing to and Unsubscribing From Various Services and Lists * Quote of the Week Bill Clinton *** ABOUT THIS WEEK'S ISSUE *** Mark Greer had planned to do this issue in order to give our senior editor Tom O'Connell a short break. Unfortunately, Mark's electric power and Internet access became uncertain with the arrival of a highly unusual snowstorm on Monday evening, so this will be a rather spontaneous, last minute issue - different in format than usual. The feature is a discussion of the significance of last week's arrest of Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby. In place of the usual COMMENTS on 17 or so excerpted drug news and opinion pieces, we'll print the full text of several recently published letters to editors. *** FEATURE ARTICLE *** Significance of the Kubbys' Arrest Without question, Steve and Michele Kubbys' arrest at their Lake Tahoe home was the most significant news event last week. The Kubbys had known for six months that they were under surveillance; throughout his campaign for governor on the Libertarian ticket, Steve made no secret of his advocacy for medical cannabis, nor of his own use. Their arrest came on the heels of another, less publicized arrest, in San Francisco, of Richard Evans - also a high-profile medical marijuana user and advocate. When taken together and considered in detail, these arrests suggest a pattern of police harassment of otherwise law-abiding citizens for continuing to advocate medical marijuana, a pattern occurring despite recent assurances from newly-elected AG Bill Lockyer that he wants Proposition 215 to work as voters intended. It didn't surprise when local officials, highly supportive of marijuana prohibition, went after distributors of medical marijuana before November 1998. After all, AG Dan Lungren, Governor Pete Wilson, and Drug Czar McCaffrey (despite empty promises to "leave to it science") were openly hostile to the idea; Lungren's office had initiated a series of successful legal actions to narrowly restrict the activities of buyers' clubs. The rulings he obtained allowed maximum local enforcement of those restrictions and culminated in several felony trials and convictions of distributors. Finally, a delayed federal court challenge had all but shut down the few surviving clubs by November 1998. As a result of this feverish combined attack on Proposition 215, California patients unable to grow cannabis had to obtain it from the criminal market. Either way, they were fair game for arrest, just as before passage of the initiative. This should have changed after November, 1998; Lungren was defeated in his bid for governor and Stirling, his hard-line designated successor as AG lost by a wide margin to medical marijuana supporter Bill Lockyer; in the background, several other state initiatives had passed handsomely. Nevertheless, there were signs that local California officials wouldn't accept change readily: the high-profile felony prosecutions of distributors Peter Baez in San Jose and Marvin Chavez in Orange County continued as if nothing had happened; Chavez was convicted and awaits sentencing on Jan 29th; Baez' trial on multiple felony charges continues. Both cases betray extreme police and prosecutorial hostility for the accused; they involved police "stings," with planted "patients" using forged doctor recommendations. They also involve disputed police access to patient records, maximum charges and (in Chavez' case), a blatantly unfair attempt to prevent the jury from even hearing about medical marijuana. Meanwhile, Lockyer had made several well-publicized statements supporting the concept of medical marijuana; however, he cautioned its supporters not to expect miracles and cited continued federal hostility as a problem. The ink on these assurances was hardly dry when Evans and the Kubby's were arrested. Although there is no suggestion that the two are linked by anything more than common police motivation, the similarities are chilling: they both involved long preparation, lavish use of resources, obvious specific targeting of medical marijuana advocates, and use of numerous police personnel to make sudden arrests; both sought maximum humiliation and discomfort for those arrested, and finally, both sought excessive bail. These cases represent a clear challenge to the new AG. A large, well informed activist community in California will be following developments carefully, not only in terms of what happens, but in terms of how fairly and completely they are covered in the media. There is little question that local law enforcement has become used to the "pot bust" as a source of revenue and power, just as the incarceration industry has thrived on a steady stream of marijuana "felons;" their implacable resistance to the idea of medical marijuana reveals their motive, which is clearly not protection of "kids, " but of turf and income. These events have national implications; it was no accident that California, long the birthplace of new national trends, passed the first medical marijuana initiative. Police in states with their own newly passed initiatives will take their lead from events here. So far the Golden State has not proven a very good model, unless you are against patients and all for cops and prisons. Tom O'Connell *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** COMMENT: Three wire services and multiple California newspapers carried the story of the Kubby's arrest; the Orange County Register was the first to weigh in with a strong editorial denunciation, one which also offered an opinion on what the AG should be doing. What the AG proposes to do is covered in the last item: exactly nothing. One wonders at his mental gymnastics: "I didn't campaign for this measure, therefore I don't have to restrain sheriffs and prosecutors who oppose it, even when they flout laws I'm charged with upholding." *** (1) MEDICINAL MARIJUANA ADVOCATE, WIFE BUSTED OLYMPIC VALLEY -- Gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby, an outspoken supporter of marijuana legalization, and his wife were arrested Tuesday after narcotics agents found about 300 marijuana plants in their home. Kubby, 52, a Libertarian Party candidate who received more than 65,000 votes and finished fourth in his bid for governor in November, and his wife, Michele, 32, were arrested at their Olympic Valley home following a search by a narcotics task force. Investigators found four growing rooms in the residence from which they confiscated the plants with an estimated street value of about $420,000. The couple were being held at the Placer County Jail in Auburn, where they were booked on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, marijuana cultivation and conspiracy. They remained jailed Wednesday night on bail of $100,000 each. Arraignment was set for today at Tahoe Municipal Court in Tahoe City. [snip] Source: Sacramento Bee Copyright: 1999 Sacramento Bee Pubdate: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Contact: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html Forum: http://www.sacbee.com/voices/voices_forum.html Author: Barbara Barte Osborn, Bee Correspondent http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n079.a03.html *** (2) OUTRAGE IN LAW Steven Kubby, the Libertarian Party candidate for governor and an acknowledged medical marijuana patient, and his wife Michele were arrested Tuesday .. [snip] The real outrage is that Mr. Kubby was arrested at all. As Robert Raich, an attorney who is a member of the city of Oakland's medical marijuana working group, told us, "I can't think of anybody to whom Prop. 215 more directly applies than Steve Kubby. [snip] Bill Lockyer's press representative, Hilary McLean, told us that the attorney general's policy is usually not to intervene in local decisions on prosecution and she knew of no plans to intervene in Mr. Kubby's case. It should be the attorney general's job to make sure that law enforcement officials abide by the statewide law. California voters passed Prop. 215 more than two years ago. The proposition itself hasn't been challenged in court and has not been overturned -- although various law enforcement agencies have nibbled at its edges in the way they have treated patients. It's time for law enforcement and the courts to respect that law. Source: Orange County Register (CA) Pubdate: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Contact: email@example.com URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n079.a02.html *** (3) LOCKYER WON'T GET INVOLVED IN PROSECUTION OF GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE (01-26) 17:29 PST TAHOE CITY, Calif. (AP) -- Attorney General Bill Lockyer won't intervene in the prosecution of the 1998 California Libertarian candidate for governor and his wife, who are accused of growing marijuana plants at their home. [snip] "Mr. Lockyer voted for Prop. 215 and supported it, but he did not go out and campaign for the measure," press secretary Hilary McLean said. [snip] PubDate: Jan. 26,1999 Source: AP Wire Tuesday, January 26, 1999 URL:http://www.sfgate.com/ (included too late for a MAP URL, click DrugNews at http://www.mapinc.org) *** RECENTLY PUBLISHED LETTERS *** COMMENT: In planning this issue, Mark and I wanted to recall that long before the Drug News archives were established, the original purpose of MAP had been to generate LTEs in an effort to educate and influence the media on drug policy. One of the unfortunate side effects of the growth of our archives has been to crowd LTEs out of the newsletter. The following are but a few of the diverse comments on drug policy published in the past few weeks.They reflect a steady stream of information and opinion tending to balance the self-serving dogma editors receive from official sources every day. This stream will have to become a torrent before we can ever prevail. A large and ever-growing archive of the impressive array of published LTEs resulting from the DrugSense MAP (Media Awareness Project) effort can be reviewed and searched at: http://www.mapinc.org/lte/ The "ad value" of this collection currently tops $1.3 million *** (4) MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND THE LEGAL MESS It sickens me to think that the voters of this state passed Proposition 215,only to have law enforcement and our courts thwart the will of the people and do everything possible to keep medical marijuana from those in need ["Chavez faces prison," Opinion, Nov. 20]. Instead of prosecuting those in need, it's time the law makers of this state find a means of providing marijuana to the sick and dying instead of turning them and the doctors into criminals. We have enough criminals without having to create a new class of criminals. Look at how it's set up and then try to find a legal way of getting marijuana to those in need. You can't sell or give it away; you can't buy it legally; you can grow it with a doctor's prescription, but if a doctor prescribes it, he/she could lose his or her license. And if you grow too much you could face charges of cultivation with intent to sell. In other words, those in need aren't able to get marijuana through any legal channels and are forced to get it through the black market. This is what the voters wanted to put and end to. So, in reality, our courts want to keep drug dealers in business and put those in need in jail. This isn't what I voted for when I voted in favor of Prop. 215. And, yes, I did know what I voted for. Why vote at all, if what you vote for won't be implemented. This just makes people more angry at an already poor legal system. William Jameson Laguna Niguel Pubdate: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n093.a08.html *** (5) POT LAWS AND BIG BROTHER To the editor: Pot laws, right or wrong, are here to stay, but five western states demand medicinal marijuana now. So? So, in order to keep our 32 prisons full and correctional officers employed, this unjust prohibition will remain. Yes, Hitler would be proud of the U.S. Remember ... control is Big Brother's way of doing business. Bob Holmgren, Cayucos Source: San Luis Obispo County Telegram-Tribune (CA) Copyright: 1999 San Luis Obispo County Telegram-Tribune Website: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/ Contact: email@example.com Section: Letters to the editor Pubdate: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 Author: Bob Holmgren http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n096.a09.html *** (6) MAINE DOCTOR SHOULD LOOK AT THE FACTS OF MARIJUANA To the editor: Your 1/11/99 article "Mainers likely to vote on medical use of marijuana" included some very questionable comments about marijuana and glaucoma by Dr. Dora Ann Mills, director of Maine's Health Bureau, that require a response. Dr. Mills claims that the research on how much marijuana helps glaucoma is "very weak," and "There is no medical efficacy in marijuana for treating glaucoma." She also quotes the American Academy of Ophthalmology as saying that although it appears marijuana can provide possibly short-term relief of intraocular pressure from glaucoma, there are no long-term benefits. In a chronic illness like glaucoma, all medication-derived relief is short-term. There is no medication that will cure glaucoma. Once the effects wear off, symptoms return. In my case, the long-term benefit is that I can still see after a lifetime of glaucoma. I was born with glaucoma nearly 44 years ago. I have been using marijuana medicinally to treat my glaucoma for over 25 years, ever since my doctor noted a significant reduction in my eye pressure after I smoked marijuana. I am currently on four prescription medications for glaucoma that, like marijuana, only provide short-term relief. If marijuana has no medical efficacy in treating glaucoma, why does the federal government provide three of the eight surviving patients in the discontinued Compassionate IND Program with 300 joints per month to treat their glaucoma? When one is faced with serious illness, shouldn't every option be available? I suggest Dr. Smith investigate the facts instead of spouting disinformation that can only deceive and confuse sick people already dealing with the pain and stress of ill health. More information and studies detailing marijuana's medical efficacy can be found at on the Internet at: http://www.lindesmith.org/mmjcsdp.html . Gary Storck Madison, Wis. Source: Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH) Copyright: 1999 Geo. J. Foster Co. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.fosters.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 19 Jan 1999 Author: Gary Storck Related: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n054.a07.html URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n072.a10.html *** (7) 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 Pubdate: Wed, Jan 13, 1999 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.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. URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n051.a04.html *** (8) FAILED DRUG POLICIES AND THE HEROIN GLUT Editor -- Last week, The Chronicle reported breathlessly on the phenomenon of increased heroin use by the "young, middle- and upper-middle class-kids like the 21-year-old son of blues rocker Boz Scaggs" ("Young, Rich And Strung Out," Chronicle, January 9). They also reported that the price of heroin in the Bay Area has fallen so dramatically that a heroin high is not much more expensive than "a six-pack of beer." What they failed to report is that the heroin glut isn't limited to the Bay Area, or even the United States; it's global and occurring despite record budgets for such never-proven concepts as "drug interdiction" and "source country control," or more recently appropriated extra billions to Madison Avenue for "demand reduction" ads. Heroin overdose deaths have been setting records from Sydney to Glasgow and points in between, including Vancouver. B.C., and Plano, Texas, as well as here in San Francisco. The glut should be seen as another convincing indicator of the failure of prohibition; instead it will be cited by demagogues in Washington as an urgent reason for taxpayers to pour more billions down the drug war rat-hole, for beefed-up police forces to send more poor people to prison, and for newspapers like The Chronicle to write more uncritical drug scare stories -- free advertising for the lucrative criminal market created by a witless policy. TOM O'CONNELL, M.D. San Mateo Pubdate: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Chronicle Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Forum: http://www.sfgate.com/conferences/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Tom O'Connell, M.D. URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n057.a05.html *** (9) DRUG TESTS A WASTE TO THE EDITOR: Drug testing in schools is not a panacea that will halt illicit drug use. Drug testing gives a green light to use drugs. After a test is administered, children know it will be weeks or months until the next one. Weekly testing of students would be extremely expensive. Instead of spending money on drug tests, let's spend it on rehab for students with drug problems. Why should we waste money testing the majority of children that don't use drugs? Another reason drug testing isn't a good idea: The least dangerous drug -- marijuana -- is the one that stays in the system the longest. Knowing they may be tested, children might resort to more dangerous substances that aren't detectable after a few days of use, such as methamphetamine and heroin. Also, a "false positive" can occur on any drug screen. Can you imagine what it would be like to be falsely labeled a drug user? The only people who benefit from drug testing are the companies that sell drug test kits. Alan Bryan, Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Dallas Source: Oklahoman, The (OK) Pubdate: 10 Jan 1999 Contact: http://www.oklahoman.com/?ed-writeus Website: http://www.oklahoman.com/ Forum: http://www.oklahoman.com/forums/ Author: Alan Bryan, Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Dallas Note: The DPFT website is at: http://www.mapinc.org/DPFT/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n067.a04.html *** (10) IT'S TIME TO HONESTLY REVIEW DRUG POLICY I agree with almost everything Robert Whitcomb said in his Jan. 1 editorial commentary attacking the "drug war" as a failure. As a father, attorney and elected official (Barnstable town councilor) it has become obvious to me that, like alcohol prohibition before it, the policy of criminalizing drug use, and particularly marijuana use, has created far more harm to the user and society than the use of the substance(s) ever could. I would, however, question Mr. Whitcomb's opinion that mandatory or coercive treatment should be relied upon to wean the users of their drugs. The history of substance abuse treatment programs makes clear that those who are most likely to maintain their sobriety are those who have made the decision themselves that the substance abuse must end. It is especially cruel and indefensible to be incarcerating marijuana users when both the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization have concluded that marijuana is one of the least dangerous drugs, legal or otherwise, and creates less of a public health danger than either alcohol or tobacco. It is time to honestly look at how the present drug policy, with its focus on exaggerated rhetoric and reliance on prohibition over regulation, has failed. Unless we are willing to objectively evaluate our options, including various de-criminalization strategies, we will never find the best solution to the problems of substance abuse. We must change the drug war from a jobs program for the drug warrior bureaucracy to a model of education and treatment - the approaches most of the medical experts (rather than the politicians) tell us are the only truly effective and moral solutions. RICHARD D. ELRICK, Centerville Source: Standard-Times (MA) Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Copyright: 1999 The Standard-Times Pubdate: 9 Jan 1999 Author: Richard D. Elrick, Centerville URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n033.a07.html *** (11) Let Users Get Drugs At Corner Store Editor -- Our heart goes out to Boz and Carmella Scaggs as they try to come to terms with the tragic death of their son, Oscar (Chronicle, January 13). However, as grieving parents of a son who died at 19 years of age after ingesting street heroin back in 1993, we reject completely Mr Scaggs' understandably emotional notion of a ``plague of heroin.'` Heroin is not a poison. Contrary to conventional wisdom and the war on drugs propaganda, there are no known irreversible physical side-effects of opiate drugs. As America's disastrous experiment with the prohibition of alcohol clearly showed, it is the prohibition of various substances that poisons users and spawns murder and mayhem in the streets, not the substances themselves. Today, the prohibition of marijuana, heroin and a other drugs is exerting precisely the same effects, and yet Mr Scaggs and others cannot, or will not, see that the problems will only diminish when we end prohibition and allow all drug users to purchase cheap, clean drugs at the corner store. Piling tragedy upon tragedy, Boz Scaggs' ill-considered comments, together with your one-sided account of them, will increase public support for the disastrous war on drugs and thus condemn even more of our children to die. Oscar and our Peter have seemingly died in vain. ELEANOR and ALAN RANDELL Victoria, B.C. Pubdate: Saturday, 23 January 1999 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Forum: http://www.sfgate.com/conferences/ Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Chronicle Author: ELEANOR and ALAN RANDELL Victoria, B.C. *** HOT OFF THE 'NET *** Free The Kubby's web action page As we send out this edition of the Weekly a "Free The Kubby's!!! National Call/Fax-in Day Wednesday, January 27, 1999" is under way. DrugSense is proud to be one of the sponsors of this effort. We thank all who have already responded. Please consider participating. All the details are at: http://www.levellers.org/sk_callin.htm *** TIP OF THE WEEK *** SUBSCRIBING TO AND UNSUBSCRIBING FROM VARIOUS SERVICES AND LISTS Overworked list managers are constantly inundated with messages requesting to be subscribed or unsubscribed from this list or that but the fact is that in most cases it is much easier and quicker to simply do it yourself. This is an indirect way to help reform as the list managers could often be accomplishing something much more productive than engaging in other folks list management. DrugSense has provided a some links and web pages that will help you accomplish what you want to do simply and easily. http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ for example will enable subscribing to or unsubscribing from numerous popular reform email lists. http://www.drugsense.org/hurry.htm will allow quick and easy sign on for this newsletter, MAP Focus Alerts, and the DrugSense Weekly digest. http://www.drugsense.org/unsub.htm allows easy unsubscribing for the items above. http://www.drugsense.org/lists/ provides a list of web sites and describes many of the varied lists that DrugSense supports such as state focused lists many of these links lead to directions to list subscription as well. Most list managers go to a lot of trouble to insure that getting on or off various lists is very easy. With just a little effort you can help unburden overworked key reform personnel by just doing it yourself. *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK *** "If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees." -- President Bill Clinton *** 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 And http://www.drugsense.org/unsub.htm *** News/COMMENTS-Editor: Tom O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (email@example.com) We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks. *** 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 firstname.lastname@example.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/ *** Mark Greer Executive Director DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.drugsense.org http://www.mapinc.org -------------------------------------------------------------------
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