Portland NORML News - Friday, January 29, 1999
-------------------------------------------------------------------

State's prisons not keeping up with increase in prisoners (The Seattle Times
says prisons account for the fastest-growing chunk of Washington state's
budget, almost $500 million annually. The Stafford Correctional Center
in Aberdeen, opening a year from now, will be swiftly crammed with 1,936
convicts. Another $200 million prison for another 2,000 inmates will be
needed three years later. Washington's prison population has more than
doubled since 1989, to 14,300. An estimated 4,000 people are imprisoned
because of more punitive drug laws passed by the legislature since 1989.
Taking care of one prisoner costs about $23,000 a year. So the new drug
sentences alone are costing the state about $92 million annually.)

From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (when@olywa.net)
To: "HempTalkNW" (hemp-talk@hemp.net)
Subject: HT: WA State's prisons not keeping up with increase in prisoners
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 18:12:31 -0800
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: WA State's prisons not keeping up with increase in prisoners
Newshawk: tom@november.org (Tom Murlowski)
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jan 1999
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
Author: Jim Lynch, Seattle Times Olympia bureau

ABERDEEN - The fastest-growing chunk of the state budget is invisible to
most taxpayers unless they see a massive new prison under construction, like
the Stafford Correctional Center rising from the mud near this gritty Grays
Harbor County city.

Stafford will be finished a year from now and swiftly crammed with 1,936
convicts. Another $200 million prison for another 2,000 inmates will be
needed three years later, and then another, as the state scrambles to keep
pace with a prison population that has more than doubled since 1989.

Today it stands at 14,300, about the same as the population of Tukwila.

Every year, the state's prison system must make room for 700 more inmates.
Prisons are now so swamped that corrections officials are preparing - for
the first time - to pay other states to house the overflow.

Washington's prison network costs almost $500 million annually and consumes
about 5 percent of the state's operating budget. But costs are snowballing
by about 19 percent every two years, twice as fast as the state budget as a
whole.

That trend will continue as long as tough sentencing laws are fashionable in
Olympia.

"We're not likely to see that slow down unless we take the politically
impossible position of cutting back on sentencing," says Richard Van
Wagenen, a top policy adviser to Gov. Gary Locke.

Van Wagenen predicts prison spending eventually will cut deeply into other
state programs. "We will come to a point where we have a stark decision: Are
we going to open up a prison and close a community college to do it?"

Some lawmakers appear to be reconsidering their hard-line stance. One bill
would reduce some sentences, but several others would ultimately increase
prison costs by imposing tougher sentences on mail thieves, car thieves and
other felons.

Since 1989, the Legislature has attacked crime with an assortment of tougher
sentencing laws that locked more people up longer, triggering the need for
more guards and prisons.

-- A 1990 law that lengthened sentences for rapists and other sex offenders
is responsible for 2,000 people in the state's current inmate population who
would have been released by now, according to the Caseload Forecast Council.

-- The "Hard Time for Armed Crime" measure, approved in 1995, which
increased penalties for felonies committed with weapons, is responsible for
an estimated 300 inmates.

-- Tougher drug laws are responsible for some 4,000 inmates.

Taking care of one prisoner costs about $23,000 a year. So the new drug
sentences alone are costing the state about $92 million annually in prison
costs - almost as much as Locke suggests the state invest in rescuing
threatened salmon.

Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, says the Legislature likes longer sentences
because they sell well with voters.

"If politicians want to play to the grandstands, why don't they try to do
something that doesn't cost the public so much money?" Kline says. But he
adds that he risks being labeled "soft on crime" every time he raises the
question.

State prisons now are so overwhelmed, officials are hoping Colorado or some
other state will lock up as many as 700 Washington prisoners until the
Stafford Correctional Center opens next January.

"The day this sucker opens, the intent is to get our inmates back in the
state," said Doug Waddington, superintendent for the Aberdeen prison. "We'll
have them waiting at the door."

The state's newest and most-modern prison is emerging out of view of drivers
cruising along Grays Harbor on Highway 105.

A massive construction crew led by Fluor Daniel, the company overseeing
cleanup at the Hanford nuclear reservation, is working through the winter,
trying to meet a tight deadline, pouring concrete under tents in the rain on
the 93-acre, timber-ringed campus.

Building this prison isn't like constructing an office complex. The concrete
walls and floors are far thicker and more densely packed with steel. There
can be no recessed doors or decorative nooks that might double as hiding
places. And there are 968 tiny rooms to build, mostly 12- by 7-foot concrete
cells with just enough space for two bunks, two desks, a toilet and a sink.

The prison will be ringed with three high-tech fences featuring a
computerized alarm system that alerts guards in roving vehicles when
anything weighing more than 60 pounds tugs on a fence link. The fence will
also plunge 4 feet into the earth to thwart tunnelers.

Stafford will save taxpayers money, prison officials say, because its modern
amenities won't require as big a staff as other prisons, though it will
still need 630 employees.

Locke's latest response to the state's rising corrections costs focuses on
preventing released criminals from returning to prison. The governor's
proposal calls for $15 million over the next two years to get more community
corrections officers to supervise ex-cons in their neighborhoods, as well as
upgrading an agency computer system used to track released offenders.

Joseph Lehman, director of the Department of Corrections, says the heavy
punishments the state has set up in the past decade have helped deter and
imprison violent criminals. But he isn't so sure the prisons should be
filling up with drug users.

Rep. Ida Ballasiotes, R-Mercer Island, whose daughter was murdered by a
convicted sex offender, is perhaps the most respected authority on
criminal-justice matters in the Legislature and has helped shape new
sentencing laws. But now she hopes to save money and free up prison beds by
altering drug laws. A bill she introduced would reduce sentences for drug
offenses not involving weapons or sexual violence.

Ballasiotes, co-chairwoman of the House Criminal Justice and Corrections
Committee, senses a growing awareness among many lawmakers that the state's
penalties are tough enough, in some cases too tough.

"Everybody tries to out-tough each other," she says. "How much more can we
do?"

***

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 18:46:07 -0800 (PST)
From: bc616@scn.org (Darral Good)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: Re: HT: WA State's prisons not keeping up with increase in prisoners

I recently called the legislative hotline 1-800-562-6000 and left a message
for all my reps and the guv as well.

Right away I got a letter back from Rep. John Lovick of the 44th district.
In my hotline message I told him:

"I'm really opposed to the privatization of prisons and shipping felons
out of state because it separates them from their families."

He sent this back:

"Some clarification on the proposal relating to transfering state
prisoners to out of state prisons. The Dept. Of Corr. offender population
growth has exceeded the projections by nearly 400 offenders.

Due to this increase, a need to make adjustments has arisen. In regards
to your concern with separatingprisoners from their families the current
propossed screening process identifies a pool throughvolunteers willing
to move first. If you have further questions please feel free to contact
me again."

So I decided to forward him this article and suggest to him that he
should write a bill to free all cannabis prisoners.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Marvin Chavez Doesn't Deserve Jail Time (A column in the Orange County
Register by senior editorial writer Alan W. Bock pleads for leniency at the
sentencing today of the founder of the Orange County Cannabis Co-op. Marvin
Chavez made some mistakes and may have broken the law, he was engaged in a
good-faith and above-board effort to implement the will of the voters when
they passed Prop. 215. Officials should explain what he did wrong, then work
with him to do things right, not throw him in jail.)

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 05:09:58 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: Marvin Chavez Doesn't Deserve Jail Time
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: The Orange County Register (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jan 1999
Section: The Orange Grove
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Author: Alan W. Bock
Note: Mr. Bock is the Register's senior editorial writer

MARVIN CHAVEZ DOESN'T DESERVE JAIL TIME

I understand that a number of people have written letters to Judge Thomas
J. Borris of the West County Court in Westminster regarding today's
sentencing of Marvin Chavez, who was found guilty on several
marijuana-related counts last November. Here is mine:

Dear Judge Borris:

The jury found Marvin Chavez guilty on some counts. That was virtually
inevitable given the conscientiousness with which the jurors took the
instruction that Proposition 215 (Section 11362.5 of the Health and Safety
Code) was to play no part in their deliberations.

But it would be a gross miscarriage of justice if Mr. Chavez were sentenced
to prison time. You sat through the entire trial, as did I, and saw things
the jury didn't see. You know that while Marvin Chavez made some mistakes
and may have broken the law, he was engaged in a good-faith and above-board
effort to implement the will of the voters when they passed Prop. 215.
Officials should explain what he did wrong, then work with him to do things
right, not throw him in jail. "Buyers' clubs" in other parts of the state
have been closed through civil actions, not criminal charges.

I remember talking with Carl Armbrust, the deputy DA who prosecuted this
case, in the halls of various courthouses. In an informal setting, he was
free with his theory of the case: that Marvin Chavez was a sophisticated
marijuana dealer who cleverly used the Compassionate Use Act to cover his
nefarious and highly profitable dealings. He even bandied about figures --
how much drug cops said large quantities could be bought for and the like
-- to underpin his theory that Mr. Chavez was making a lot of money.

But Mr. Armbrust didn't present that theory in court. True, he said that
under the law Mr. Chavez was nothing but a marijuana seller, but he didn't
try to document his sophistication or vast profits. That's because -- as
Mr. Armbrust knows and probably knew all along -- there was no evidence
that that's what Marvin Chavez was about.

If anything, the evidence is that Mr. Chavez is guilty mainly of an excess
of compassion and naivete when he meets people with a convincing story
about physical suffering. Mr. Chavez should have been more suspicious of
the undercover cops who entrapped him. He probably should have been more
sophisticated in the way he ran his support group. Those shortcomings made
him vulnerable to law enforcement officials more concerned with proving
that Prop. 215 was a mistake than with devising ways to implement it in a
lawful and honorable fashion.

I followed Marvin Chavez's efforts for several years and in the last year
I've gotten to know him reasonably well. I've been to his modest house and
had long talks with him and with other patients. I'm convinced there was no
criminal intent in what he has done. Yes, there's resentment about aspects
of the legal system and public officials who have refused to meet with him
or discuss ways in which he might help to meet the needs of patients who
have a legal right to have access to marijuana. But there's no criminal
intent.

Marvin Chavez tried to address some of the real problems that flowed from
the fact that Prop. 215 (like most laws) was imperfect. The measure gave
bona fide patients (and "primary caregivers," that amorphous term that
still lacks anything resembling a rigorous definition) exemption from laws
against possessing, using and cultivating marijuana. But it doesn't create
an exemption from laws against selling, distributing or transporting
marijuana.

That might call for some wiggle-room in interpreting how those laws apply
to medical patients, as more than one appeals-court judge -- concerned that
a "right" that can't be exercised is an absurdity -- has suggested. But it
definitely creates problems.

Patients can grow marijuana in their homes, but it takes six months for the
plants to mature. And some can't grow it. Where will they get it? In the
absence of action by the state to implement the law -- e.g., allowing
pharmacies to stock it with supplies from government-run plantations -- the
most common answer is the black market. Where but the black market can you
even get seeds?

Marvin Chavez, starting from a limited knowledge base, tried to create a
"white market" for medical marijuana. He contacted law enforcement
officials to seek cooperation and counsel. He received none. He made
mistakes; he may even have broken the law. But he was trying to do the
right thing -- to implement a law passed by the people, which opponents
have not tried to overturn in court because the effort would surely fail --
in the face of failure by authorities to do so.

Sentence him to community service setting up a distribution network that
meets every legal criterion, with the stipulation that no marijuana changes
hands until you or a panel of judges has reviewed it for strict legality.
Or sentence him to strict probation and keep an eye on him. But if Marvin
Chavez serves even a day in prison for trying imperfectly to do the right
thing it will be a grave injustice.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cannabis club founder gets six-year sentence (An Associated Press article
in the Sacramento Bee says Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Borris sentenced
Marvin Chavez, founder of the Orange County Cannabis Co-op, to six years
in a California prison for selling marijuana to undercover officers and
mailing pot to a cancer patient. Prosecutor Carl Armbrust maintained that
Chavez was nothing more than a sophisticated street pusher, using Proposition
215 as a front. Chavez winced on his way to prison as a bailiff cuffed his
hands behind a back brace.)

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 18:51:09 -0600
From: "Frank S. World" (compassion23@geocities.com)
Organization: Rx Cannabis Now!
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/7417/
To: DPFCA (dpfca@drugsense.org)
Subject: DPFCA: US CA SAC BEE: Cannabis club founder gets six-year sentence
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/
Source: Sacramento Bee
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Pubdate: January 29, 1999

CANNABIS CLUB FOUNDER GETS SIX-YEAR SENTENCE

By LARRY GERBER Associated Press Writer

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) -- The founder of an Orange County medical cannabis
club was sentenced today to six years in state prison for selling marijuana
to undercover officers and mailing pot to a cancer patient.

Marvin Chavez, who says he uses marijuana to ease the pain of an old back
injury, was immediately remanded into custody by Superior Court Judge Thomas
J. Borris. He winced as a bailiff cuffed his hands behind a back brace
protruding under his sport coat.

His attorney said he would appeal.

"His motivation is to help others in pain," said defense attorney J. David
Nick.

A jury convicted Chavez in November of two felony counts of selling
marijuana and a felony charge that he mailed 5 ounces to a patient in Chino.
Other charges that he gave the drug to caregivers for patients were reduced
to misdemeanors, and the judge gave him suspended sentences.

However, the six-year term includes two years for flouting the law by
mailing the marijuana while Chavez, 42, was free on his own recognizance.

Prosecutor Carl Armbrust maintained that Chavez, founder of the Orange
County Cannabis Co-op, was nothing more than a sophisticated street pusher,
using Proposition 215, the state's new medical marijuana law, as a front.

The measure, passed in 1996, legalized the possession, cultivation and use
of cannabis for medical purposes, but not its sale. Armbrust acknowledged
that Chavez gave away marijuana, but said he did it only as a come-on for
customers.

"This is good business, no doubt about it," he said. Chavez sold the leaf
for about $55 an ounce, according to Armbrust.

An ounce of high-quality marijuana sells for about $600 in the Los Angeles
area. Westminster is about 30 miles south of the city's downtown.

Chavez said he was trying to create a "white market" for marijuana because
it was so expensive to buy clandestinely.

"I'm here to obey the law as a citizen. I don't endorse no illegal activity
or drug abuse," Chavez said. His attorney said he gave marijuana to cancer
sufferers, AIDS patients and others in need, accepting only donations in
return.

Borris threatened to clear a courtroom filled with at least 20 Chavez
supporters when their grumbles rose at Armbrust's allegations.

"Marijuana is still an illicit drug in the United States, and California is
part of the United States," he told the judge.

"He's from another era," Dion Markgraaff, a San Diego marijuana activist,
said afterward of the prosecutor. "He's from the industrial death era. We're
going into the era that projects life."

Armbrust declined to give his age. He retired shortly after trying the case
and returned to work only for sentencing.

Chavez turned down a deal to plead guilty in return for a sentence of days
rather than years.

"If he was really getting all that money from drug dealing, he would be in a
mansion right now," said his wife, Linda Chavez.

"He doesn't even own a car," she said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Medical Pot Advocate Gets Prison (A different Associated Press version
from America Online)

Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 23:31:20 EST
Originator: friends@freecannabis.org
Sender: friends@freecannabis.org
From: Fraglthndr@aol.com
To: Multiple recipients of list (friends@freecannabis.org)
Subject: Fwd: Medical Pot Advocate Gets Prison
From: AOLNews@aol.com
Subject: Medical Pot Advocate Gets Prison
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 18:21:08 EST

Medical Pot Advocate Gets Prison

c The Associated Press

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) -- The founder of an Orange County medical marijuana
co-op was sentenced Friday to six years in prison for selling marijuana to
undercover police and mailing the drug to a cancer patient.

Asking for lenience, Marvin Chavez, 42, described himself as a casualty of the
war on drugs, using marijuana to ease the pain of an old back injury and
supplying it without profit to people for therapeutic use.

Citing two previous firearms violations and a conviction for selling cocaine
in the late 1980s, prosecutor Carl Armbrust called Chavez ``a dope dealer,
pure and simple.''

Chavez faced a maximum sentence of eight years for three felony marijuana
convictions: two of sale and one of transport. He was convicted in November.

Defense attorney J. David Nick said he would appeal.

Nick said Chavez gave marijuana to cancer sufferers, AIDS patients and others
in need, accepting only voluntary donations in return.

The state's Proposition 215, passed in 1996, legalized possession, cultivation
and use of cannabis for medical purposes, but not its sale.

AP-NY-01-29-99 1820EST

Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP
news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise
distributed without prior written authority of The Associated Press.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Medicinal Cannabis Patient Marvin Chavez Sentenced to Six Years
(A local correspondent's version says a tear-filled courtroom of about 30
supporters addressed Judge Borris, to no avail. A man who was a member of the
jury that convicted Marvin told the judge there hasn't been a night he's gone
to bed not thinking about Marvin and the consequences the verdict has had on
his life. Julie Ireland, a caregiver for her terminally ill son who was a
member of the Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group, told the
judge that, as a retired police officer, she could not understand how the
Orange County DA's office would set up a sting on a law abiding citizen
trying to implement Proposition 215. She brought up the case of a Los
Alamitos police officer who was found guilty of stealing methamphetamine
from a police evidence locker and received one year in jail and three years'
probation.)

From: FilmMakerZ@aol.com
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 20:08:55 EST
To: DRCNet Medical Marijuana Forum (medmj@drcnet.org)
Subject: Medicinal Cannabis Patient Marvin Chavez Sentenced to Six Years

Medicinal cannabis patient Marvin Chavez was sentenced to six years in prison
for giving away free cannabis to confirmed medical patients. Before
sentencing, Judge Thomas Borris stated that he considered 26 letters sent
directly to him, including a letter from NORML, and a packet of more letters
submitted by Marvin's attorney, James Silva.

Several people spoke to Judge Borris in support of Marvin amidst a tear-filled
courtroom of about 30 supporters.

A man who was a member of the jury that convicted Marvin addressed the judge
saying there hasn't been a night he's gone to bed not thinking about Marvin
and the consequences the verdict has had on his life.

Julie Ireland, caregiver for her terminally ill son who was a member of the
Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group, addressed the judge. She
said, as a retired police officer, she could not understand how the Orange
County DA's office would set up a sting on a law abiding citizen trying to
implement Proposition 215, the California medicinal cannabis initiative. She
brought up the case of a Los Alamitos police officer who was found guilty of
stealing methamphetamine from a police evidence locker and received one year
in jail and three years probation. She said that Marvin doesn't deserve jail
time for trying to help sick and dying people.

Marvin's mother, wife, and brother also addressed the judge. They said he is
always in a lot of pain and his motive was compassion for others. They said
he never profited from helping patients and lived a humble life.

Defense attorney David Nick gave an emotional speech, saying he hoped Judge
Borris would sow the seeds of mercy to do the right thing in his sentencing
decision. He deconstructed the probation report, which said Marvin wouldn't
be a good candidate for probation, and showed the probation officer's bias
against medicinal cannabis. He also pointed out that Marvin's actions were
all within the way the superior court judge in the Peron case had legally
interpreted Proposition 215 could be implemented.

Next Prosecutor Carl Armbrust spoke. He called Marvin a "drug peddler" and
accused him of trying to hide under Proposition 215. Among many lies Armbrust
spouted, he claimed Marvin didn't really give away free cannabis. He said
Marvin would give away cannabis free the first time in order to hook people
and gain a new "client." He compared Marvin to the free 30-days discs
internet service providers give away to hook people on their service and get
them to pay for more. Armbrust accused Marvin of trying to make his teenage
son a "dope peddler" because he gave him some educational information on
medicinal cannabis and how it benefits disabled people.

Marvin was the last to speak. He spoke about how he served six years in the
Marines and while there, he took an oath to protect and defend the
constitution and that's what he was doing in trying to implement Proposition
215. He said that in his years as a Marine, he never was involved in war, but
as a civilian at home, he has ended up in the front lines of the war on drugs.
Marvin spoke tearfully of patients whom he had helped, but had died after his
arrest when they were unable to get the cannabis their doctors recommended.

Judge Borris cited incidents in Marvin's past, dating to twenty years ago, and
the fact he was arrested a second time for giving away medicinal cannabis
while he was awaiting a court hearing, as the reasons Marvin would not be a
candidate for probation.

For the five misdemeanor furnishing of cannabis convictions, he gave Marvin a
suspended sentence. For the two felony sales convictions, he gave Marvin 3
years for each count (6 is the maximum) to be served concurrently. For the
felony transportation conviction, Judge Borris gave Marvin one year (3 is the
maximum) to be served consecutively. In addition, Marvin received a two year
enhancement for admitting to giving away cannabis while he was awaiting his
court hearing. He will have to serve three years of parole after he is
released from prison. He is also ordered to pay a $200 restitution charge out
of any earnings while in prison. Marvin already has 30 days credit from time
he spent in jail before his trial. He could be eligible for parole in three
to four years.

As soon as Judge Borris read the verdict, he rushed to exit the courtroom full
of disabled people and reporters. When Marvin's attorneys asked permission to
remove any jewelry from Marvin before he was taken in to custody, Judge Borris
said "You'll have to ask the bailiff," as he disappeared out the door as fast
as he could.

As prosecutor Carl Armbrust left the courtroom, he walked through the crowd,
turned around, and smiled a vengeful smile at all of the disabled people.

Marvin has become a political prisoner in the war against medicinal cannabis.
He has given up his freedom so that others who are suffering could have relief
from pain and sickness.

Marvin's attorneys will appeal his conviction. Hopefully he will see justice
there.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Founder of medical marijuana clinic sentenced to six years in prison
(A different Associated Press version)

From: CLaw7MAn@webtv.net (Mike Steindel)
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 18:23:37 -0800 (PST)
To: november-d@drugsense.org, cp@telelists.com
Subject: [cp] Chavez gets 6 YEARS
List-Unsubscribe: (mailto:leave-cp-27149A@telelists.com)

Son-of-a-Bitch the forces of evil have struck again. We excercise
our freedom with the initiative process. We pass the laws to be governed
by and still several hundred men in Washington direct their will upon
us, the masses. True Marvin and the other patriots do the time but in a
sense we are all locked up. They hold us in a prison of FEAR. mike
here is the NEWS....read it and weep....

***

Founder of medical marijuana clinic sentenced to six years in prison

The Associated Press
01/29/99 6:13 PM Eastern

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) -- The founder of an Orange County medical
marijuana co-op was sentenced Friday to six years in prison for selling
marijuana to undercover police and mailing the drug to a cancer patient.

Asking for lenience, Marvin Chavez, 42, described himself as a casualty
of the war on drugs, using marijuana to ease the pain of an old back
injury and supplying it without profit to people for therapeutic use.

Citing two previous firearms violations and a conviction for selling
cocaine in the late 1980s, prosecutor Carl Armbrust called Chavez "a
dope dealer, pure and simple."

Chavez faced a maximum sentence of eight years for three felony
marijuana convictions: two of sale and one of transport. He was
convicted in November.

Defense attorney J. David Nick said he would appeal.

Nick said Chavez gave marijuana to cancer sufferers, AIDS patients and
others in need, accepting only voluntary donations in return.

The state's Proposition 215, passed in 1996, legalized possession,
cultivation and use of cannabis for medical purposes, but not its sale.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Kubbys Enter Plea (A list subscriber says Steve Kubby, the medical-marijuana
patient/activist and 1998 Libertarian candidate for California governor,
together with his wife, Michele, pleaded not guilty in a Superior Court
in Placer County, California, to a variety of charges stemming from their
cultivation bust last week.)

From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Subject: Fwd: Kubbys Enter Plea.
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 19:15:27 PST

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 19:01:47 -0600
From: Arthur Sobey (asobey@ncfcomm.com)
To: Steve Kubby (steve@kubby.org)
Subject: Kubbys Enter Plea.

NEWS RELEASE
January 29, 1999

Kubbys Enter Plea.

(Tahoe City) Steve and Michele Kubby appeared in the Tahoe City Branch
of the Placer County Superior Court and pled 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 a previous arraignment.

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."

***

KUBBY LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
c/o Dale Wood Attorney at Law
10833 Donner Pass Road
Truckee, CA 96161
(530) 587-3450

Alternatively, credit card contributions can be made on line at
http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htm

Be sure to note KUBBY LEGAL DEFENSE FUND in the message box.

DrugSense will act as the intermediary and forward your donation

***

`What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that
they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid
it. When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very
long.' - Thomas Sowell
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Former Gubernatorial Candidate, Wife Plead Innocent To Drug Charges
(The Associated Press version incorrectly describes the Kubbys' plea
of not guilty.)

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 10:07:36 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: MMJ: Former Gubernatorial Candidate,
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis (cohip@levellers.org)
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jan 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press

FORMER GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, WIFE PLEAD INNOCENT TO DRUG CHARGES

TAHOE CITY, Calif. (AP) -- Last year's California Libertarian gubernatorial
candidate and his wife have pleaded innocent to felony charges of growing
and selling marijuana.

Steven Kubby, a supporter of medical marijuana, and his wife, Michele, were
arrested at their Olympic Valley home Jan. 19 by a drug task force after a
six-month investigation. Some 360 marijuana plants were seized.

At their arraignment Thursday, Superior Court Judge James Garbolino
scheduled the couple's preliminary trial for March 2. They remain free on
their own recognizance after spending two days in Placer County Jail.

The Kubbys have said growing their own marijuana is legal under
California's Proposition 215, passed by voters in 1996. Kubby, 52, has had
adrenal cancer since 1975 and his wife has an intestinal disorder.

Kubby finished fourth in the race for governor last fall, receiving about 1
percent of the vote.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Dope Show! Arresting Kubby May Have Been Prop. 215 Opponents' Worst Mistake
(According to the Orange County Weekly, Steve Kubby said of his cultivation
bust: "We set a trap, and they fell for it. We received a tip six months ago
that Dan Lungren had ordered surveillance on us. When the raid came, we were
prepared." Even so, Michelle contracted pneumonia in the unheated jail
and Steve spent the night vomiting and shivering.)

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 18:55:30 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: Arresting Kubby May Have Been Prop. 215 Opponents'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Kubby
Source: Orange County Weekly
Copyright: 1999 Orange County Weekly, Inc.
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jan 1999
Website: http://www.ocweekly.com/
Contact: letters@ocweekly.com
Author: Victor D. Infante

DOPE SHOW!

ARRESTING KUBBY MAY HAVE BEEN PROP. 215 OPPONENTS' WORST MISTAKE

Proposition 215, the medical-marijuana initiative that was passed into law
more than two years ago, has already been beleaguered by active opposition
from former state Attorney General Dan Lungren and haphazard recognition
from police authorities statewide, but it underwent a serious buzz kill on
Jan. 20 with the arrest of Steve Kubby, last year's Libertarian Party
candidate for governor.

Kubby, an outspoken advocate of Prop. 215 and one of the fundamental forces
behind its victory, and his wife, Michelle, were both arrested at their
Lake Tahoe home on suspicion of possessing 260 marijuana plants,
cultivation with intent to sell, possession of hypodermic syringes and
"conspiracy with persons unknown."

"The first thing you should know," says Kubby in an interview with the OC
Weekly shortly after he and his wife were released on their own
recognizance on Jan. 21, "is that these guys walked into a legal land mine.
We set a trap, and they fell for it. We received a tip six months ago that
Dan Lungren had ordered surveillance on us; we were told to watch for a
green-black Cherokee with darkened windows. We spotted it twice. When the
raid came, we were prepared."

Kubby said he was diagnosed with adrenal cancer in 1975 and uses medical
marijuana under his doctor's orders; his cancer is currently in remission.
He also takes medical marijuana to treat his high blood pressure. He said
his wife uses marijuana to treat the symptoms of irritable-bowel syndrome,
the side effects of which include nausea. Neither makes a secret of their
use and has, by all accounts, endeavored to be in compliance with the law.

Although prepared for the raid, neither Kubby could have been prepared for
the sheer slapstick it produced; the police seemed convinced they were in
an episode of COPS.

"My wife and I had been shoveling snow from the driveway," says Kubby, "and
we went to play with our daughter, when a van went racing by. The next
thing I knew, my wife was surrounded by agents. These big fat guys came
running upstairs, shouting, 'You're in trouble now.'"

The commando mission came to a grinding halt when they discovered the
Kubbys' paperwork was all neatly in order.

"It blew their attack," says Kubby. "They wandered around scratching their
heads until the district attorney came."

The district attorney arrested them anyway.

"The police aren't here to protect us," says Brian Cross, chairman of the
Orange County Libertarian Party. "We used to call them 'peace officers'
because their job was to maintain the peace. When things got out of hand,
they were there to address the problem. We have laws and things that we
will not tolerate in society; their job was, when somebody breached one of
those laws, to do something about it. Now we call them 'law-enforcement
officers' because they're there to enforce laws. Which means that they can
go into somebody's house-even if it causes no problem whatsoever, even if
the neighbors have no idea what's going on, and it doesn't harm anybody-we
have the authority to go into that house because we think that something's
going on. That they have something we disapprove of-guns, drugs, ferrets,
whatever."

"I think that it's unfortunate," said Mark Mattern, a Chapman University
political-science professor who organizes the school's biannual
gubernatorial debate, which last year was attended by all the candidates
except Gray Davis and Dan Lungren. "I found Steve Kubby to be a very
credible candidate. I'm not a Libertarian, but I felt he represented that
ideology very intensely and consistently. He was very open about his
marijuana use. I admire his honesty, especially when compared to Bill
Clinton-'I puffed on it, but I didn't inhale.'"

The OC Libertarian Party-already galvanized by the similar persecution of
local medical-marijuana activist Marvin Chavez-was among the many groups
that led a campaign to show the Lake Tahoe police their displeasure by
jamming their inbox so full of e-mails that when the Kubbys were released,
the cops asked that he tell the world how well he was treated.

This is how well he was treated:

"After we were booked," says Kubby, "we were forced to march through a
blizzard to get to a transport truck. We were freezing and miserable. They
took us to Auburn, and that's when it really got bad. I spent the night in
an unheated holding tank next to a pool of vomit. For the first time in
years, I suffered from horrific blood pressure. It was three hours until
they gave my wife a blanket. When they started to process us, I felt so
nauseated I couldn't see what I was signing. They told me to continue or
they would put me in some kind of painful hold. It was a struggle; I spent
the night vomiting and shivering.

"One cop told me, 'Prop. 215 may fly in San Francisco, but not here in
Placer County.'"

The Kubbys say they still suffer aftereffects of the arrest: Michelle
contracted pneumonia, and her husband developed an eye problem. Steve Kubby
has lost 15 pounds in less than a week.

Kubby is enthusiastic about getting his day in court. By his account, there
are no sales whatsoever of the marijuana he has cultivated, and the total
amount of "smokable" weed weighs in at about 3 1/2 pounds -roughly half of
what the federal government provides their seven licensed medical-marijuana
smokers for a year. According to Kubby, police put the "street value," of
his crop at $420,000. If true, that would make it about $120,000 per
pound-"some mighty expensive weed," Kubby joked. As for the needles that
were found, he claims a test will prove that he uses them to load his
ink-jet printer.

In reaction to the Kubbys' arrest, Cross has sent a letter urging new
Attorney General Bill Lockyer to follow through on his promise "to seek
ways for [Prop. 215's] implementation that would be safe both for the
communities and for the patients."

Other responses have been less genteel, including one "open letter to the
powers that be" received by the Weekly. It stated: "Commencing with the
release of Steve Kubby and his wife, you will make a public apology, and
you will face retribution. This is a fate of your own making. The severity
of your retribution is solely predicated upon your willingness to engage
with the response-ability you know I can see in you. An immediate response
by you and yours will be necessary for life to be able to continue to carry
you into the future."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Libertarians 'Disappointed' With Lockyer, Call for Meeting To Discuss Kubby
Case (PRNewswire relays a message from the Libertarian Party of California's
web site responding to a statement by a spokeswoman for California Attorney
General Bill Lockyer, who said Lockyer would not intervene in the prosecution
of Steve & Michele Kubby for growing medical marijuana. State Libertarian
Party Director Juan Ros said, "Placer County law enforcement is ignoring the
will of the voters and harassing two innocent people. It is the Attorney
General's constitutional responsibility to intervene.")

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 21:28:53 EST
Originator: friends@freecannabis.org
From: Tim Perkins (tperkins@pacbell.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list (friends@freecannabis.org)
Subject: US CA PR NEWSWIRE: Libertarians 'Disappointed' With Lockyer,
Call for Meeting

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 18:55:05 -0600
From: "Frank S. World" (compassion23@geocities.com)

LIBERTARIANS 'DISAPPOINTED' WITH LOCKYER, CALL FOR MEETING
TO DISCUSS KUBBY CASE

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders of the Libertarian
Party of California have called for a meeting with state Attorney General
Bill Lockyer to discuss the prosecution of Steve and Michele Kubby, the state
party announced today.

The request for a face-to-face meeting with Lockyer comes in response to a
statement by Lockyer spokeswoman Hilary McLean in which she acknowledged
that Lockyer would not be intervening in the Kubby case despite a deluge of
faxes and emails from concerned Californians.

In a letter faxed to Lockyer today, state party executive director Juan Ros
expressed "great disappointment" with Lockyer's decision. Ros "respectfully
and emphatically" called on Lockyer to "schedule, as soon as possible, a
face-to-face meeting with Libertarian Party state officials and other leaders
of the medical marijuana movement to discuss the Kubby case and other pending
Prop. 215 cases."

"We hope Mr. Lockyer takes this request very seriously," Ros noted. "Placer
County law enforcement is ignoring the will of the voters and harassing two
innocent people. It is the Attorney General's constitutional responsibility
to intervene."

Steve Kubby, the 1998 Libertarian candidate for governor, and his wife
Michele were arrested in a police raid of their Olympic Valley home on
January 19. The Kubbys entered pleas of not guilty to charges of
unauthorized cultivation, harvesting, and processing of marijuana,
possession with intent to sell, and conspiracy yesterday in Tahoe City.

The Kubbys have admitted taking medical marijuana for personal use under
doctor's orders -- Steve for adrenal cancer and hypertension, Michele for
irritable bowel syndrome. They vehemently deny any charges that they were
selling marijuana. Use of medical marijuana for personal use was made legal
after voters passed Proposition 215 in November 1996.

In addition to the meeting, Ros urged Lockyer to establish guidelines so
that medical marijuana patients can know that they are obeying the law and
publish procedures for local law enforcement to avoid any improper police
action such as what the Kubbys experienced.

"Libertarians will continue to put pressure on the Attorney General until he
decides to live up to his oath of office and ensure that the law is being
adequately and uniformly enforced," Ros said. "He expressed his support for
the plight of medical marijuana patients during his campaign. Now it's time
for Mr. Lockyer to show that he meant what he said."

SOURCE Libertarian Party of California Web Site: http://www.ca.lp.org
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Report From the Trenches: Marijuana vs Ondansatron (Don't expect
to read about it in the Journal of the American Medical Association,
since it wasn't paid for by a pharmaceutical company, but a list subscriber
in San Francisco describes his recent scientifically valid single-subject
experiment showing that cannabis controlled his nausea much more effectively
than Zofran, the top-of-the-line pharmaceutical antiemetic administered
intravenously at $400 a pop.)

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 20:15:28 -0800
From: "R Givens" (rgivens@sirius.com)
To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Subject: DPFCA: Report From the Trenches: Marijuana vs Ondansatron
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

Firsthand Comparison of Marijuana and Ondansatron for Nausea Relief

Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances I found myself hospitalized for
an esophageal blockage the last few days.

Part of the diagnosis consisted of doing an x-ray motion picture of
the throat in action. In order to make the esophagus stand out the patient
must swallow an iodide compound of some kind (iso-graphic ?). The iodine
compound flouresces under the x-ray.

PROBLEM: This iodide dye is comparable to chemotherapy. The nausea it
causes is extreme. Consequently they adminster ondansatron (aka Zofran)
beforehand. Ondansatron being the narcs *\*\*answer*/*/* to marijuana.
Ondansatron is considered to be the best legal anti-nausea agent.
Ondansatron is adminstered intravenously and its effects lasted three or
four hours. Each dose of ondansatron costs $400.00.

The ondansatron infusion started about 45 minutes before the procedure
began and continued for about an hour.

The first few sips of the dye weren't too bad, just real foul tasting. You
think, "I can just chug this down, no problem. It's just some bad tasting
medicine." So you suck on the straw they shove in your face and the
technicians do the first scan. "Not too bad." you say. Then the technician
spins you 90 degrees and pushes the straw leading to the iodide tea into
your mouth again.

The second gulp doesn't go down so easy. The foul taste takes on a
distinctly nauseating attitude that combines with and intensifies the bad
taste. With some struggle the second swallow goes down and another scan is
done.

By this time the thought of ingesting any more of this dye is nauseating in
itself. One thing, the ondansatron does seem to suppress the vomiting
reflex for a couple of hours even though you feel sick as hell. Otherwise,
there would have been a hell of a mess on their fancy MRI machine.

So the tech spins you around 180 degrees for back view in case they missed
something and thrusts the iodide brew in your face bidding you drink again!
And drink you do, but it's nearly impossible to get the third swallow down.

When they say something about doing a few extra scans, you say ENOUGH! and
prepare to flee in your hospital gown. The testing ends for the day.

The nausea from the iodide dye lasted several hours after the filming
despite the ondansatron treatment. Deep nausea from way down in the lower
intestine began coming on about an hour after the examination ended and
then came deep vomiting of a brownish-yellow-red fluid that somewhat
resembled my idea of what partially digested iodine antiseptic medicine
might look like, but not so reddish. Pain, diarrhea, vomiting and a general
discomfort lasted several hours. I felt pretty damned sick.

I would rate ondansatron as a poor nausea suppressant at best. Frankly, I
will never allow andansatron to be used on me again. It stopped the
vomiting for a while, but the nausea was extreme.

I would have insisted on using cannabis to begin with, but I was not
adequately warned of the potent nausea production of the dye they used.
"Not too bad," they said. "Nothing to worry about." they assured me. They
acted like the dye would be some kind of milk of magnesia that might not go
down like a milkshake, but was no big deal.

It was a big deal and the ondansatron didn't help much. Ondansatron
prevented vomiting for a while but never relieved any of the nausea.

***

The next day more MRI scans were scheduled with more flourescing dye.

Only this time I had my trusty cannabis sativa and pipe in hand. I inform
my doctor that there will be NO PROCEDURE unless I am allowed to smoke some
marijuana 15 minutes beforehand. "No problem," says the doctor.

So the next day an almost identical procedure was done. The nauseating dye
went down like a chocolate milk shake--- actually it still tasted pretty
awful, but the pot stopped the nauseating effect dead in its tracks. Once I
got the dye down, there wasn't any problem with the after taste making me
feel like retching. In fact, I drank a pint of the witches brew without a
flinch.

I felt good during and after the procedure. I was quite frankly high and it
was a 1000% better than the ondansatron. I was able to engage in friendly
conversation with the techs as adjustments were made between filming and
swallows. In fact, I was able to eat a meal a couple of hours after the
second MRI scan was done. The day before, using ondansatron, I was only
able to sip clear juice after hours of intermittent vomiting.

The difference between the ondansatron/Zofran treatment at $400 a dose and
a couple of dollars worth of high grade Northern California primo bud was
like the difference between riding in an unsprung one horse buckboard and
cruising in a Rolls Royce. Marijuana being sunshine and light and
ondansatron being basically a fraud like the rest of the drug war.

Getting high, the side effect that gets the Reefer Maniacs bent out of all
logic and sanity is a real blessing when you are staring at the inside of
an MRI machine with a sign warning "Do Not Look Into Laser -- Eye Damage
Could Occur." Everything was much easier on everyone, particularly me. The
dye still tasted like hell, but the marijuana cut off the after taste and
any residual nausea. Amazing.

I told every one of the nurses, technicians and doctors involved that
marijuana was a wonder drug and gave them a firsthand comparison rating for
ondansatron and cannabis sativa.

On a scale of 1 to 10, ondansatron gets a -1 and cannabis sativa gets a
solid +15!

R Givens
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Action Alert! Prison Moratorium Bill (The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice
Center provides some interesting background on the bill that would suspend
Colorado's prison-building boom for three years, now under consideration
by the state Senate Judiciary Committee. The group also provides contact
information for committee members, and asks you to lobby them to support
the bill.)

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 22:58:34 -0700 (MST)
From: Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis (cohip@levellers.org)
To: Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis (cohip@levellers.org)
Subject: Hearing on SB95 (Prison Moratorium) - Feb. 1, 1999

ACTION ALERT! PRISON MORATORIUM BILL (Please forward)
Fri, 29 Jan 1999
From: Christie Donner (cdonner2@juno.com)
Prison Moratorium Project - Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center

***

SUPPORT THE PRISON MORATORIUM BILL (SB 99-95)

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing:
Monday, February 1, 1999
1:30 p.m.
Senate Hearing Room - 3rd Floor
State Capitol Bldg., Downtown Denver

* If you want to testify at the hearing, please contact Christie at (303)
444-6981 or cdonner2@juno.com

Reminder: There may (will:) be a Broncos victory parade down Broadway in
Denver starting at 2:00 pm, so plan for chaos. Take public transportation
or call Christie for carpooling options.

***

Dear Allies:

As you may have heard, Senator Dorothy Rupert (D-Boulder) introduced a
Prison Moratorium Bill (S.B.99-95 -
http://www.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/sess1999/sbills99/sb095.htm)
which would suspend prison expansion in Colorado for three years and
establish a legislative task force to evaluate current sentencing policies,
particularly their impact on people of color, people with mental illness,
women, youth, and families. The task force would also research alternatives
to incarceration, reintegration programs for people released from prison,
and the current availability (or lack thereof) of affordable drug and
alcohol treatment in Colorado communities.

WE SUPPORT the PRISON MORATORIUM BILL because we believe that prisons don't
solve the problem of crime. We believe that, rather than reducing crime,
prison expansion diverts public attention and resources from effective
alternative strategies which could address challenges facing communities
such as poverty, racism, unemployment, illiteracy, drug and alcohol
addiction, mental illness, violence, inadequate affordable housing,
inadequate medical and mental health care, and a public education system in
crisis. We hope this campaign will create the potential to redirect
Colorado's priorities toward prevention, treatment, and alternative options
rather than perpetual prison expansion.

CALL OR FAX the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (especially the
Republicans, who have already voiced their opposition to this bill) and ask
them to VOTE YES on Senate Bill 99-95, the Prison Moratorium Bill! If you
live in their district, LET THEM KNOW IT.

SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

SD 18: Dorothy Rupert (D), sponsor of SB 95
Occupation: Counselor/educator
970 Aurora Ave. #F, Boulder 80302
303-402-1999; Capitol 303-866-4872

Judiciary: Chairman Dottie Wham (R)
SD 35: (includes part of Arapahoe)
Occupation: Legislator
2790 S. High St., Denver 80210
303-757-0615; Capitol 303-866-4875

Vice Chairman Ken Arnold (R)
SD 23 (includes part of Boulder)
Occupation: Retired State Patrol major
10187 Julian Way, Westminster 80030
303-466-2666; Capitol 303-866-4876

Mary Ellen Epps, (R)
SD 11 (Colorado Springs)
Occupation: Former business owner
4824 Live Oak Drive, Colorado Springs 80916
719-391-9509; Capitol 303-866-6364

John Andrews (R) - SD 27
Occupation: Small businessman
8547 E. Arapahoe Road #J122, Englewood 80112
303-770-8215; Capitol 303-866-4883
E-mail: andrewsjk@aol.com

John Evans, R-Parker
Occupation: College teacher
19130 E. Molly Ave., Parker 80134
303-840-0252; Capitol 303-866-4881

Ed Perlmutter, D-Wheat Ridge
SD 20: Ed Perlmutter (D)
Occupation: Lawyer
370 17th St. #2600, Denver 80202
303-278-8426; Capitol 303-866-4856

Bill Thiebaut, D-Pueblo.
SD 3: Bill Thiebaut (D)
Occupation: Lawyer
P.O. Box 262, Pueblo 81002
719-544-3822; Capitol 303-866-4878

***

FAX NUMBER FOR ALL REPUBLICANS (303) 866-2012

FAX NUMBER FOR ALL DEMOCRATS (303) 866-4543

***

Senator Dorothy Rupert is also a member of this committee. Please call her
and thank her for taking this progressive and much-needed step (303)
866-4872.

We have developed the attached Fact Sheet for Colorado which demonstrates
the need for a prison moratorium in Colorado. Please help encourage public
debate by submitting letters to the editor of your local paper.


Also, please help us spread the word. We want to wish you the best of luck
for the new year and we are looking forward to a growing alliance for 1999.

In peace and solidarity,

ROCKY MOUNTAIN PEACE & JUSTICE CENTER

Christie Donner, Coordinator
Prisoner Rights Project

***

PRISON MORATORIUM PROJECT

FACT SHEET FOR COLORADO

PREVENTION, TREATMENT, AND ALTERNATIVES WORK:
Prison should be the last resort

***

The goal of the Prison Moratorium Project is to halt prison expansion in
order to pursue the development of alternative sentencing, prevention, and
treatment options. We believe these alternatives could reduce and prevent
crime at a lower economic cost than prison expansion. Prison expansion has
proven to be a very expensive response to crime with inconclusive results
in actually reducing crime. Obviously, prison expansion, itself, does not
provide solutions to community challenges such as; poverty, racism,
unemployment, illiteracy, drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness,
violence, inadequate affordable housing, inadequate medical and mental
health care, and a public education system in crisis. In the long run,
this trend toward increased incarceration may have a destabilizing effect
within our communities since so many resources are directed to prisons at
the expense of education, alcohol and drug treatment, and community
development. We hope this campaign will create the potential to redirect
Colorado's priorities toward prevention, treatment, and alternative options
rather than perpetual prison expansion. We believe the following facts
demonstrate the need to reevaluate the use of prisons in Colorado.

INCARCERATION RATE vs. CRIME RATE

The prison population in Colorado has exploded from 3,586 in 1985 to over
14,000 today. Projections indicate that by 2005 there will be 19,609
prisoners in Colorado, another increase of 43.5% in only 6 years.

Since 1989, the crime index rate in Colorado has dropped 23.8%. This is
largely because of the significant drop in property crimes (burglary,
theft, and auto theft). However, crime rates for specific violent
offenses such as rape and assault are almost as high today as they were in
1980. This raises the question as to what extent incarceration reduces
crime.

COST OF PRISON GROWTH vs. EDUCATION

Corrections currently takes up 1/6 of the entire state budget and is the
fastest growing section. It is estimated that over $400,000,000 will be
spent this year in Colorado on corrections.

By Colorado law, annual overall increases in spending are limited to 6% per
year. When the DOC budget increases more than 6%, money for other
departments must be cut. For example, while prison expenditures have
increased an average of 15% each year for the last 10 years (excluding
construction increases), funding for K-12 education, when adjusted for
inflation, has actually decreased an average of 1.5% per year over the last
10 years.

It currently costs approximately $24,000 per year to incarcerate someone in
Colorado. For the 1998-1999 school year, the state will spend only $4,748
per student for grades K-12, ranking Colorado second lowest in the nation
(49th) for public school funding.

In the last five years, the Colorado legislature has appropriated
$404,225,806 to build more prison cells, but only $280,356,834 for
construction projects at all 7 state colleges and 5 University of Colorado
campuses combined. This is true despite the fact that we have ten times
more people in four-year colleges in Colorado (140,000) than we do in
prison (14,000).

IMPACT ON PEOPLE OF COLOR

In Colorado people of color are disproportionately represented in prisons.
Even though African Americans make up only 4.3% of the general population
of Colorado, they comprise 22.9% of the adult prison population.
Similarly, Latina/os are 13.4% of the general population, but 29.5% of the
prison population. Anglos are 79% of the general population but only
43.5% of the prison population.

In Colorado, African Americans are ten times more likely than Anglos to be
incarcerated. Latina/os are four times more likely than Anglos to be
incarcerated.

People of color comprise 56.5% of the prison population, but comprise only
18.6% of the entering freshman at four-year colleges in Colorado.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE & CRIME

70% of men and 80% of women who entered Colorado prisons in 1997 were
convicted of nonviolent offenses. Drug offenses constitute the largest
single type of crime for which people are sent to prison. In 1997, 21.9% of
men and 34.8% of women were imprisoned for drug offenses.

The Colorado Department of Corrections reports that 77% of people entering
prison are in need of drug and alcohol treatment. Unfortunately,
preventative options like community-based drug and alcohol treatment are
not sufficiently available nor affordable despite its benefit to the
individual and the community. In 1998, the Colorado Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Division conducted a survey of people who completed community-based drug
and alcohol treatment. They found that, 6-11 months after completing
treatment, 78.3% of patients reported no substance use; 80.3% who had been
arrested prior to treatment reported no arrests of any type since
discharge, and among the population surveyed, unemployment dropped 41%.

INCARCERATION OF THE MENTALLY ILL

The Colorado Department of Corrections has recently expressed concern over
the dramatic increase in the number of people being incarcerated who have a
major mental illness. Currently, 1,200 people or almost 10% of the prison
population have a major mental illness. This is twice the number reported
in 1996 and six times the number reported ten years ago. The Department of
Corrections has recommended that early intervention, community-based
treatment, and community- based diversion programs can reduce the necessity
for expensive criminal justice intervention. The Department of Corrections
also reported that there are an insufficient number of mental health
programs in the community despite research that has consistently
demonstrated that treatment of mental illness is effective.

WOMEN IN PRISON AND IMPACT ON CHILDREN

The increase in the number of women in prison in Colorado has grown 648%
since 1983, almost twice the rate as for males. In Colorado, 80% of women
sentenced to prison in 1997 were convicted of nonviolent crimes, 34.8% for
drug offenses.

More than two-thirds of women incarcerated in the U.S. are mothers of
children under 18 years of age. These children end up in foster care or in
an informal foster care system made up of extended family members. They
are frequently separated from their siblings and shuttled from one living
situation to another with little sense of stability.

A 1993 study of children of incarcerated mothers in Ohio found the
following effects on the children:

+ 40% of the male children between 12-17 years of age had been adjudicated
delinquents;
+ 60% of the female teenagers were or had been pregnant;
+ 33.3% of all the children experienced severe school behavior problems;
and
+ 57% of the children were perceived to be in need of counseling.

Children of women prisoners have been found to be 5 to 6 times more likely
to become incarcerated than other children who live in poverty but whose
mothers are never incarcerated.

Detailed citation list available upon request.
Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center
P.O. Box 1156
Boulder, CO 80306-1156
Phone: (303) 444-6981
Fax: (303) 444-6523
Email: cdonner2@juno.com

***

Re-distributed by:
Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis
P.O. Box 729
Nederland, CO 80466
Phone: (303) 448-5640
Email: cohip@levellers.org
Web: http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html
-------------------------------------------------------------------

DARE is scrapped - Anti-drug effort goes down drain in budget squabble
(The Arizona Daily Star says Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik yesterday
made good on his threat to dump the supposedly popular Drug Abuse Resistance
Education program to cut his $2 million deficit. Elimination of DARE is
expected to put 10 officers back in service and save about $234,000 allegedly
expended on 21,000 schoolchildren, which would be about $10 each.)

From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (when@olywa.net)
To: "_Drug Policy --" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: AZ DARE is scrapped
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 18:08:22 -0800
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

Friday, 29 January 1999
DARE is scrapped

Ben Kirkby
The Arizona Daily Star

[photo caption:]

A sheriff's deputy helps Ethel Lopez, 10, with her model plane on the last
day of the DARE program at Los Niņos Elementary School. Sgt. Lisa Sacco,
Sheriff's Department DARE supervisor, right, watches.

***

Anti-drug effort goes down drain in budget squabble

By Hipolito R. Corella
The Arizona Daily Star

Sheriff Clarence Dupnik yesterday made good on his threat to dump a popular
anti-drug program for youths to cut his $2 million deficit.

Elimination of the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program this
Sunday is expected to save the Pima County Sheriff's Department about
$234,000.

It also is leaving more than 21,000 schoolchildren in the cross fire of
clashes between Dupnik and the Board of Supervisors over the county's fiscal
crisis.

Dupnik said yesterday that he was forced to cut the program and make other
budget adjustments because he's desperate to comply with a supervisors'
mandate to keep spending within a budget he says is too small.

But supervisors yesterday accused the sheriff of trying to generate a public
outcry to pressure them into finding $1.9 million for his department.

Dupnik says he needs to add that money to his $54 million budget to make it
through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Chris Richards, The Arizona Daily Star

[photo caption:]

Sheriff Clarence Dupnik says he had to cut the DARE program because he's
desperate to comply with a supervisors' mandate to keep spending within a
budget he says is too small.

***

The county estimates that current spending by all departments will result
in at least a $6 million deficit in its $747 million budget.

``It's sad,'' Supervisor Raul Grijalva said of losing DARE. ``I really don't
like using children as cannon fodder for what is essentially a budget fight
between the sheriff and the board.''

DARE was started in the county in 1987. The program teaches children to
avoid substance abuse and violence.

``This is very painful for us to have to do this,'' Dupnik said of cutting
the program.

He said he chose to suspend DARE because it won't affect public safety.

The 10 deputies who teach it to elementary and middle school pupils will be
reassigned to patrol or security for county courts.

Corrections officers currently assigned to court security will return to the
jail.

Dupnik said the shift will save the amount the department is spending on
overtime for overworked corrections officers.

Two other changes Dupnik said he hopes will help control spending are:

* Reassigning two deputies each from Green Valley and Avra Valley to urban
areas. That is expected to lower the amount of overtime the department pays
to officers in busier urban patrol areas.

* Shortening by two weeks a class of corrections officer recruits to get
them working in the jail sooner. Dupnik said the 35 new officers will help
reduce overtime beginning in April.

Dupnik said other actions have already been taken to save money.

For example, he said the Search and Rescue and Hazardous Materials team was
disbanded and those deputies were put back on patrol.

He also is relying more heavily on volunteers for prevention programs and
more non-emergency crime reports are being handled by phone.

Dupnik said the refusal by the board to adequately fund the department is
tantamount to ``dismantling'' it ``piece-by-piece.''

He said he's not prepared to make the only cut he and his commanders know
will save $2 million - layoffs.

He said he would pursue legal action against the board if it makes layoffs
the only option he has.

News of the DARE termination for the remainder of the school year spread
quickly after the Sheriff's Department notified school administrators this
week.

Desiree Orantez, 10, said she knew nothing of the budget squabble that put
an end to DARE at Los Niņos Elementary School, 5445 S. Alvernon Way.

But on the final day of a model-building class with 14 schoolmates yesterday
she said she's sorry it ended.

``It teaches us not to do bad things,'' Orantez said as she glued together a
model of a 1950 Chevrolet pickup. ``I liked it.''

Maria Arce said the program has helped her 10-year-old daughter, Janet, to
be more active in school activities and opened the door at home for
discussions about drugs and other issues.

``This is sad,'' Arce said after arriving at a DARE class for Los Niņos
fifth-graders.

Supervisor Dan Eckstrom, who represents the southside district that includes
Los Niņos, said no one is to blame for cutting DARE but the spendthrift
Sheriff's Department.

``We never told Dupnik to overspend his budget,'' Eckstrom said. ``We never
told him what to cut. Dupnik knows he's supposed to live within the means he
was given.''

Supervisor Chairwoman Sharon Bronson said the uproar Dupnik's budget cuts
have caused are unlikely to push the board to take immediate action.

She said the board will continue with its plans to discuss the Sheriff
Department's budget woes when it tackles the overall county fiscal crisis on
Feb 9.

Supervisor Ray Carroll said last night that he was upset the Sheriff's
Department chose to make budget cuts that will impact children and the
elderly.

``It's unfortunate that these programs will be the first to come before the
knife,'' he said. ``I'm not going to micro-manage and suggest other cuts.''

Still, Carroll said he trusts Dupnik's reassignment of deputies in his
district's Green Valley area will not impact public safety there.

Jud Richardson hopes so too.

``We're not pleased about it,'' said Richardson, president of the Green
Valley Community Coordinating Council.

He said the 12 deputies who will remain assigned to patrol the Green Valley
District will have a hard time covering the area seven days a week.

Sgt. David Valencia said the district covers 1,200 square miles, from Pima
Mine Road south to the Santa Cruz County line between Sasabe and Sahuarita.

``We're a small district to begin with,'' Valencia said of the number of
deputies. ``We're hoping response time isn't affected.''

Lt. Terry Parrish, of the Foothills District, refused to say how many of the
51 deputies he oversees are currently assigned to patrol Avra Valley.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Pentagon Changes Policy On Use Of Troops In Drug War On Border (The Houston
Chronicle says that well over a year after Esequiel Hernandez Jr., a high
school sophomore, was shot and killed by camouflaged U.S. Marines near
Redford, Texas, the Pentagon has "all but" ended the use of ground troops
along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a Defense Department spokesman.)

Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 19:03:35 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Pentagon Changes Policy On Use Of Troops In Drug War On
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: GALAN@prodigy.net (G. A ROBISON)
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jan 1999
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/
Forum: http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html
Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle
Author: THADDEUS HERRICK

PENTAGON CHANGES POLICY ON USE OF TROOPS IN DRUG WAR ON BORDER

SAN ANTONIO -- The Pentagon has all but ended the use of ground troops
along the U.S.-Mexico border, issuing new rules that require special
permission for armed anti-drug efforts there.

Permission must come from the secretary of defense or his deputy, said
Lt. Col. Mike Milord, a Defense Department spokesman.

The policy change comes well over a year after a high school sophomore
was shot and killed by Marines in the small town of Redford, a hamlet
that straddles the Mexican border just west of Big Bend National Park.

That incident, which claimed the life of 18-year-old Esequiel
Hernandez Jr., prompted Defense Secretary William Cohen to suspend
similar missions.

Troops continue to carry out other anti-narcotics duties along the
border as part of a joint task force with federal authorities,
including civil engineering projects, air reconnaissance and
intelligence analysis.

"The policy change really gives the secretary of defense oversight for
these missions," Milord said. The decision was made in October, Milord
said, but never officially announced.

Hernandez was killed on May 20, 1997, while herding his family's goats
near the Rio Grande. He was armed with a vintage .22-caliber rifle,
which he carried for protection and fired twice in the direction of
four heavily camouflaged Marines.

Marine Cpl. Clemente Banuelos fired the fatal shot from about 200
yards away after he said Hernandez raised his rifle to fire a third
time.

Twice, Presidio County grand juries refused to indict Banuelos and his
fellow Marines. A civil rights probe by the Justice Department also
failed to bring charges against the troops, in part because they had
received permission to fire by radio.

But a Marine Corps inquiry cited "systemic failures at every level"
during the mission. Lamar Smith, a congressman from San Antonio, also
issued a scathing report, saying the Justice and Defense departments
undermined criminal investigations into the incident.

Smith's report concludes that the Justice and Defense departments
withheld information about the inadequate training of the Marines.

The new policy will make the deployment of ground troops along the
border very unlikely, said Timothy Dunn of El Paso, author of the
Militarization of the U.S-Mexico Border. He said that neither the
defense secretary nor his deputy were likely to authorize such missions.

"This is as significant a policy change as we're going to have without
changing the law," Dunn said. But, he added, "It should never have
taken a boy's life to bring that about."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Son Killed When Used As 'Shield' (According to the Associated Press,
police say an Indianapolis, Indiana crack addict who used his children
as "shields" when he bought drugs in dangerous neighborhoods was charged
with murder Friday after his 6-year-old son was fatally shot Jan. 4
during a $20 deal gone bad.)

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 18:56:19 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US IN: WIRE: Son Killed When Used As `Shield'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jan 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press
Author: Amy Forliti

SON KILLED WHEN USED AS `SHIELD'

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) A crack addict who police say used his children as
"shields" when he bought drugs in dangerous neighborhoods was charged
with murder Friday after his 6-year-old son was fatally shot during a
deal gone bad.

Authorities say an argument over $20 worth of drugs led to the Jan. 4
shooting of Michael Kile's son William, who was shot in the back of
the head when a bullet pierced a window of his father's car. The boy
died at a hospital eight days later.

Authorities said Kile, 37, used his children as human shields,
assuming their presence would protect him from violence.

"He definitely used his son as he was dying as almost a shield, too,"
Detective Thomas Sarfaty said.

"What we have here is a tragedy of one guy who is willing to kill over
$20, and another person so addicted to crack cocaine that he put his
own son in harm's way," Prosecutor Scott Newman said.

In addition to murder, Kile was charged with two counts of child
neglect and supplying false information to police. He remained at
large Friday. If convicted, he faces up to 89 years in prison.

The alleged gunman, Donnell L. Hughley, 21, was arrested Monday. He
was charged Friday with murder.

Newman said witnesses have told police Kile is a crack cocaine addict
who frequented a high-traffic drug area just north of downtown. He
was such a common fixture that dealers gave him the street name
"White Mike."

On the morning of Jan. 4, Kile went to the area and bought crack
cocaine, Newman said. He had about $100 in his pocket at the
beginning of the day, but ran out of money.

Kile left the area, then showed up later that afternoon with a new
power drill. With him were his sons, William and 12-year-old Michael,
who has Down syndrome.

Kile then allegedly drove to the street where he met up with
Hughley.

A witness told police he saw a struggle in which Kile, seated in his
car as Hughley stood outside, tried to take the dealer's drugs. Kile
drove off, and Hughley was dragged for several yards.

Hughley got up and fired shots toward Kile's car, Newman said.

After the shooting, Kile had told police he was driving with his boys
in another part of town, looking for a puppy. He said he heard a
gunshot and saw his son was hurt.

"A man has got to be a slave to crack cocaine (to do this)," Sarfaty
said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Million Marijuana March (A list subscriber forwards a program and schedule
of events for the mass reform rally March 5-7 in New York City.)

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 20:19:41 -0500
From: ARON KAY* (pieman@pieman.org)
From: "CRRH mailing list" (restore@crrh.org)
To: CroneSpeak@aol.com
CC: webmaster@terracore.com, restore@crrh.org
Subject: million pot march news

MILLION MARIJUANA MARCH

Program & Schedule of Events

Friday Evening, March 5

5 - 7 pm Reception (13 Laight St, NYC - 3rd floor, apt 10

Saturday Morning, March 6

10 -12 Morning Session:
Mainstream Outreach - Ann Northrop, etc.
"Linking up with unions, churches, democrats

12 - 1 pm Lunch Break

Saturday Afternoon, March 6

1 - 2:30 Celebrity Outreach - Aton Edwards & Robbie
Robinson - "Getting the Stars to Come out for
Marijuana"

2:30 - 4 pm Emergency Response - Forming a Team for
Lead-up Demonstrations in the City.

4 - 4-30 pm Tea Time

4:30 - 6 pm Fundraising - Paul Cornwell - Tea shirts,
Sponsors, Literture, Ideas.

Saturday Night, March 6

7:00 pm PARTY, Location TBA

Sunday, March 7, 1999

11-12:30 Morning Session:
Media Committee Report

12:30 - 1:30 Lunch Break

1:30 - 4:30 Afternoon Session:
Mobilizing The People & The Transportation

4:30 - 6pm Alternative scenarios for May 1
Open Discussion

March 5, 6 & 7, 1999, at Calyx, 13-17 Laight St., Apt 10, NYC.

Information can be obtained by calling (212) 677-7180 or emailing
cnw@cures-not-wars.org.

Further information is available at http://www.cures-not-wars.org/mmm/
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Clinton Seeks Drug Prevention Money (The Associated Press
says the Clinton administration's budget proposal, to be outlined Monday,
will include more money for methadone treatment for heroin addicts,
drug courts, and urine-testing of prisoners, all of which the administration
characterizes as drug prevention and treatment efforts. However, some
Republicans would like more focus on eradicating illegal narcotics at their
source.)

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 19:21:31 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Clinton Seeks Drug Prevention Money
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jan 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press
Author: KALPANA SRINIVASAN Associated Press Writer

CLINTON SEEKS DRUG PREVENTION MONEY

WASHINGTON (AP) The White House drug policy office plans to ask Congress
for more money this year to boost its drug prevention and treatment
efforts, even as some Republicans say they would like more focus on
eradicating illegal narcotics at their source.

Methadone treatment of heroin addiction, drug courts and prison testing are
some of the areas that could receive a boost in the Clinton
administration's budget proposal, which will be outlined Monday.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy received $17 billion for the
current fiscal year, up from $13.2 billion in 1995, and expects to request
more for next year, officials said.

"For many years, the prevention side was downplayed," said James McDonough,
chief strategist at the drug policy office. "That's where we're going to
have to grow."

In the last four years, the administration has already expanded its budget
for drug prevention by 40 percent, and for drug addiction treatment by 17
percent. The office says such measures have shown results: this December it
reported that teen drug use was stabilizing after years on the rise,
although it's still much higher than in the early 1990s.

The number of drug-related murders also continues to drop.

"I think we've made some progress in the past year," says Rep. Rob Portman,
R-Ohio. He pointed to a $1 billion, five-year advertising campaign launched
last year that targets young adults as an example of drug prevention efforts.

But some members of Congress say they'll be looking for more concrete
evidence the ads are a worthwhile investment.

"That's one area we are going to carefully look at," says Rep. John Mica,
R- Fla., who heads the Committee on Government Reform's panel on criminal
justice, drug policy and human resources. Mica also said he hopes to
re-start some drug eradication and interdiction programs cut in the mid-1990s.

At Republican urging, Congress authorized $690 million in emergency
spending this summer for illegal drug interdiction, money that has helped
to pay for more coast guard and military personnel to fight drug smuggling.

There has been a sharp drop in coca farming in the two countries that
traditionally supply most of the drug crop Peru and Bolivia. But that
success has been offset by increases in Colombia, the drug office says.

Still, that will allow the administration to focus on one country, rather
than three, in curbing supply, says McDonough. The administration also says
it would like to see more agents patrolling the Southwest border.

Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, would also like to see improved technology
for halting drug traffickers, particularly at border crossings. But Reyes,
a former border patrol chief, says simply halting the supply is not enough:
He also supports such initiatives as drug courts, which allow those
convicted of nonviolent crimes to go into rehabilitation instead of prison.

The drug office also will try to gain support in Congress for treatment
programs, including those using methadone.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

From the Hill, Evidence of Our Decline (An excellent column
in the Washington Post by Judy Mann ponders the significance of President
Clinton's impeachment and trial. While parenthetically condemning the war
on some drug users, Mann suggests the Meaning of It All is that America's
transformation into a banana republic is essentially complete. There was
never a country on Earth so rich as ours in the promise of social justice for
its people, or so powerful in its potential to do good in a tormented world,
that has been so determined to fritter away the opportunity.)

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 10:44:38 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: WP Column: From the Hill, Evidence of Our Decline
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: The Washington Post
Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company
Page: C11
Columnist: Judy Mann, Washington Post Columnist
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jan 1999
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Note: See paragraph twelve below.

FROM THE HILL, EVIDENCE OF OUR DECLINE

Now that Billy Jeff has succeeded so handsomely in his scheme to bait the
Republican Party into self-destructing, it's time to begin the inevitable,
endless process of figuring out the Meaning of It All.

It isn't all bad; there are collateral benefits to be found in the nation's
long ordeal. People of good heart are delighted at the prospect of such
God-awful Neanderthals as Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) trying to live up to their
new-found roles as guardians of the right of women to be legally protected
from sexual harassment.

And surely it will be diverting to witness the manic fratricide among
Republicans driven mad at seeing their hated quarry escape. The carnage
over "Who Lost China?" won't be a patch on the blood that will be shed when
the GOP starts eating itself up over who let Clinton get off the hook.

But, come on, that's the fun stuff. What's the big picture? What dreary
portents will the op-ed heavies be stroking their whiskers over (and most
still have whiskers) for the next decade or so?

A sensible observer might suggest that maybe it just doesn't mean a lot
after all, that the essential obstinate good sense of the American people
will put things to rights and the whole squalid mess will soon be
forgotten. But no one fated to write commentary for a living would fall
into any such trap; the temptation to puree the dismal episode into some
pellucid essence is just too great. If one can't discern great historic
trends before they happen, better one should be selling real estate, which
in this market surely must pay more.

So here is what it is Really All About: The impeachment and trial of the
nation's 42nd president mean that America's transformation into a banana
republic is essentially complete. We're strong and rich, yes, but in every
other particular we are becoming indistinguishable from the most
pestilential backwater ever to be misrepresented in a travel brochure.

Proofs of our decline abound:

Our Congress is a shambles of mean-spirited, impotent partisan bickering,
and our chief executive is what cultivated people once called a blackguard.

There was a time when one had to travel to marginal countries in the
tropics to find state-sponsored gambling, but no more. Our sainted republic
is riddled with lotteries, which prey upon the poor and unwary, and more
and more states are becoming partners in the casino business, once a
monopoly of gangsters.

The debasement of our language is a scandal -- Dale Bumpers using
"decimate" when he means "devastate." Our schools are a disgrace, our
culture is a joke, our media is turning into one loud cable/Internet/talk
show harangue, our children are debauched with television that would cause
revulsion in a Scranton parlor house, and law-abiding motorists are at risk
of murder at the hands of hot-rodders, whose right to bear arms will, with
any luck, be defended to the death by Messrs. Barr and the rest of the Gang
of 13. We are two nations, bitterly divided by race and class, with great
wealth concentrated in the hands of few and great poverty condemning the
lives of many.

Tell me about our great advances in medicine, and I will tell you that no
country that aspires to greatness, or even to civilized mediocrity, could
live with itself when 40 million or so of its citizens were denied medical
care. We spent $40 million proving that Bill Clinton is a donkey (to put it
politely) -- and proving that it takes one to know one. Yet, prenatal care
is a luxury denied many of our penniless teenage mothers-to-be.

Serious historians of the future, if they bother with us at all, will
marvel at the naivete of a country that watched in helpless paralysis as
its monstrous criminal justice system squandered billions of dollars on a
cruel, vindictive and wholly futile "war on drugs," long after civilized
nations had concluded that the only solution was to treat the scourge of
chemical addiction as the socio-medical problem it is.

And it is true enough that we have the prettiest, most telegenic generals
seen in public since the guys got all spiffed up in their saber-rattling
best for the Napoleonic wars. But plainly such tin-pot tyrants as Saddam
Hussein and Slobodan (perfect name here) Milosevic are not impressed by
campaign ribbons. We can build great ships and airplanes, but our military
bureaucrats would make Mr. Lincoln's War Department look like an encampment
of strategic geniuses.

The new currency is an abomination.

Are we truly doomed to suffocate in self-serving, mendacious spinnery from
the arch-cynic in the White House and the pious yokels in Congress? Is the
once-great Republican Party condemned to die at the hands of the nutty right?

A song from a second-rate musical sticks in my mind. It was called
"Whatever Happened to Class?" and I wonder if I was listening to the
requiem for our wonderful land when I heard it.

Trying to describe the trip when you're aboard a train car careering down
the tracks to perdition is beyond the powers of all but the grandest travel
writers. But surely this much can be noted in passing: There was never a
country on Earth so rich as ours in the promise of social justice for its
people, or so powerful in its potential to do good in a tormented world,
that has been so determined to fritter away the opportunity. And that is
sad. Sad beyond words.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Bloc wants to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes (The Canadian Press
says Bernard Bigras, a Bloc Quebecois member of Parliament, has tabled a
motion in the Commons aimed at legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Debate is supposed to begin on Feb. 19 but a Commons subcommittee will decide
Wednesday if it meets the criteria to go to a vote by MPs. The New Democratic
Party also supports the motion, and Bigras said he believes Conservative,
Reform and Liberal MPs are also sympathetic to the cause.)

From: "chuck beyer" (videomon@coolcom.com)
To: "mattalk" (mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com)
Subject: medical marijuana in Canada
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 14:03:31 -0800

Jan 29, 16:34 est

Bloc wants to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes

MONTREAL (CP) - A Bloc Quebecois motion to legalize marijuana for medicinal
and therapeutic purposes is aimed at making life easier for people like
Jean-Charles Parizeau.

Parizeau has AIDS and uses marijuana to ease the pain on the recommendations
of his doctor.

But that has landed Parizeau in legal trouble and he has been arrested twice
for possession of marijuana plants.

Parizeau said marijuana is important to him because it helps his appetite.

``It gives me the munchies, I get hungry, and I eat,'' he said after a news
conference with Bloc MP Bernard Bigras and Dr. Rejean Thomas, an AIDS
specialist who is well-known in Quebec.

Bigras has already tabled a motion in the Commons aimed at legalizing
marijuana for medicinal purposes. Debate is supposed to begin on Feb. 19 but
a Commons subcommittee will decide Wednesday if it meets the criteria to go
to a vote by MPs.

The motion will have the support of the Bloc and the New Democratic Party,
he said. But Bigras, who repesents Rosemont, said he believes Conservative,
Reform and Liberal MPs are also sympathetic to the cause.

Thomas said inhaling marijuana can relieve nausea and boost the appetite of
people who have AIDS, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or who are undergoing
chemotherapy.

``More and more, medical authorities are supporting'' this approach, Thomas
said.

``Right now, people are taking marijuana but they know they can be stopped,
be criminalized and they pay a lot for that.''

Parizeau said he was arrested once by the RCMP, who treated him in a
``gentlemanly'' fashion.

But he has bad memories of the night he was arrested by Ottawa-Carleton
police.

``They came to my house at midnight,'' he said. ``They made me, my wife and
my child put our hands on our heads, just like real criminals.

``I tried telling them I'm handicapped but they just ignored me. They
slapped handcuffs on me and I was tied up against the wall on my knees.

``My son was beside me and was crying and so was my wife.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drug Trafficking Through Cuba on the Rise, Investigators Say (The Miami
Herald says that Cuba, once considered off-limits to drug trafficking, is
confronting a noticeable narcotics problem amid signs that the island has
become a conduit for multi-ton shipments of cocaine. Police in Colombia on
Dec. 3 seized a 7.2-ton load of cocaine packed in shipping containers and
bound for Cuba. Castro accused two Spanish investors of masterminding the
7.2-ton shipment, saying Jose Royo Llorca and Jose Anastasio Herrera fled
Cuba for Spain. But their lawyer told The Herald that neither Spaniard had
anything to do with the cocaine and that Havana may be seeking to confiscate
some $550,000 in assets they invested in a small factory. "Strains had
developed with the Ministry and they were in the process of negotiating the
factory's closure. It's possible this is being used as an excuse by the Cuban
government to seize my clients' assets," he said.)

Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 10:59:56 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Drug Trafficking Through Cuba on the Rise, Investigators Say
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jan 1999
Source: Miami Herald (FL)
Copyright: 1999 The Miami Herald
Website: http://www.herald.com/
Forum: http://krwebx.infi.net/webxmulti/cgi-bin/WebX?mherald
Contact: heralded@herald.com
Author: Tim Johnson

DRUG TRAFFICKING THROUGH CUBA ON THE RISE, INVESTIGATORS SAY

HAVANA -- Cuba, once considered off-limits to drug trafficking, is
confronting a noticeable narcotics problem amid signs that the island has
become a conduit for multi-ton shipments of cocaine.

At first, police in Colombia thought it was an anomaly on Dec. 3 when they
seized a 7.2-ton load of cocaine packed in shipping containers and bound
for Cuba.

But Colombian authorities are now certain that smugglers have utilized Cuba
as a major transshipment point for cocaine before.

"No one dares to send 7 tons at one blow unless they've tested the route,"
said a Colombian law enforcement source who spoke on condition of
anonymity.

He said investigators looking into the Barranquilla, Colombia, shipping
firm that dispatched the drug-laden containers in December found that the
same company had shipped containers via Cuba on seven previous occasions in
1997 and 1998.

"How much cocaine was sent? We don't know," the source said.

In the past, a few senior Cuban military officials have been accused of
helping to facilitate the flow of drugs through Cuban waters or airspace,
but this case is bigger and the drugs involved were touching down on Cuban
soil.

President Fidel Castro, admitting that the latest shipments may have passed
through Havana, recently demanded the death penalty for drug traffickers.

"The harm that this is causing us, that this is beginning to cause, isn't
only a matter of prestige but also the foothold that this mortal poison is
gaining among our youth," Castro said in a tough speech on crime Jan. 5.

Drug arrests increase

Reading from an Interior Ministry report, Castro said drug arrests and
seizures had almost doubled in 1998. Authorities seized 234 pounds of
cocaine in 101 busts, and 177 pounds of marijuana in 978 incidents in the
first 10 months of 1998, he said.

"For possession and trafficking, 1,216 people were arrested, which
indicates the rise in this criminal activity," he read from the report.

Given Cuba's vaunted system of state security, the sale of cocaine and
marijuana was growing surprisingly common in Havana discotheques until
authorities flooded streets with police early this month, residents say.
The presence of narcotics has risen alongside Cuba's booming tourism and
the opening of the economy to foreign investors.

Castro accused two Spanish investors of masterminding the 7.2-ton cocaine
shipment seized in Colombia, saying Jose Royo Llorca and Jose Anastasio
Herrera fled Cuba for Spain because Colombia did not notify his government
quickly enough.

The two men are in Valencia, Spain, and have been notified by a court in
Madrid that they have become part of a criminal inquiry, their lawyer,
Salvador Guillem, told The Herald.

Involvement denied

Guillem said neither Spaniard had anything to do with the cocaine and that
Havana may be seeking to confiscate some $550,000 in assets they invested
in a small factory that makes plastic souvenirs, ashtrays and lamps.

"Strains had developed with the Ministry [of Light Industry] and they were
in the process of negotiating the factory's closure. It's possible this
[drug allegation] is being used as an excuse by the Cuban government to
seize my clients' assets," Guillem said.

The cocaine seized Dec. 3 was packed in compartments hidden in six shipping
containers, police said. The containers were routed to Havana via Kingston,
Jamaica. The Barranquilla shipping company, E.I. Caribe, had sent 20
containers in 1997 and 1998 to Royo's Havana factory, Artesania Caribe
Poliplast & Royo, Colombian authorities said.

Still unclear is any role Cubans may have had in facilitating the drug
shipments.

In his speech, Castro maintained that Cubans were not involved: "No signs
have occurred that implicate Cubans in international narcotics trafficking,
although a few [Cubans] have not followed norms and established procedures,
thus allowing the activity to occur."

Castro said the two Spaniards rented 14 cabanas at Rio Cristal, a
palm-fringed resort near Havana's airport, for months at a time, and
sometimes hosted expensive and unruly parties.

He also said they had set up a financing office in Panama, GFA Financial
Group, that was offering $12 million in credit lines to Cuban state
companies in an apparent money-laundering scheme.

Not well known

The Spaniards kept a low profile in Havana's small business circles.

A French motorcycle vendor who visits Cuba often and is friends with Royo
and Herrera voiced shock at Castro's allegations.

"They are not guilty. I'm not 100 percent sure, but I am 99 percent sure,"
Jean Louis Honteberi said in a telephone interview from Biarritz, France.
Of Royo, he added: "He doesn't have much money. When I heard what Fidel
Castro said about him, I thought, `This isn't true.' "

The drug seizure in Colombia was the second-largest in that country last
year, slightly surpassed by a bust four months earlier of drugs bound for
Mexico, police said.

Concern about the use of Cuba as a transshipment point led Cuba and
Colombia to sign a drug cooperation accord during a visit to Havana by
Colombian President Andres Pastrana this month. Colombia's national police
chief, Rosso Jose Serrano, told The Herald later that cooperation between
the two countries "is going well."

Charges of complicity in drug trafficking by Cuban officials have surfaced
occasionally. U.S. officials say they believe drug-laden airplanes from
Colombia have dropped cocaine packets in Cuban territorial waters.

In November 1982, a federal grand jury in Miami indicted four Cuban
government officials, including a vice-admiral of the navy, for allegedly
permitting smugglers to use the island as a transshipment point for
Quaaludes, marijuana and cocaine. The accused were never arrested.

In 1989, Cuban authorities ordered the firing squad executions of army Gen.
Arnaldo Ochoa and Interior Ministry Col. Antonio de la Guardia for drug
trafficking and treason.

And just two days before Castro addressed police, in early January, de la
Guardia's 34-year-old daughter, Ileana, filed suit in Paris, where she is
living in exile, charging that Castro knew of cocaine shipments through
Cuba by the Medellin Cartel in the late 1980s.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Police Ready To Pounce On Music Festival Drugs (The Advertiser, in Australia,
describes the efforts of prohibition agents to prepare for today's
Big Day Out music festival. The authorities were allegedly deluged with calls
from alarmed parents after the Advertiser said herbal stimulants
would be on sale at the festival.)

Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 09:02:50 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Australia: Police Ready To Pounce On Music Festival Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: kenbo01@ozemail.com.au (Ken Russell)
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jan 1999
Source: Advertiser, The (Australia)
Website: http://www.advertiser.com.au/
Contact: advedit@ozemail.com.au
Page: 13
Author: Peter Michael and Michael Duffy

POLICE READY TO POUNCE ON MUSIC FESTIVAL DRUGS

Police are expected to receive scientific advice on the legality of
herbal stimulants to be offered for sale at today's Big Day Out music
festival only hours before the event gets under way.

Wayville Showground stall-holders were warned yesterday that if herbal
versions of designer drugs were found to be illegal they would be seized.

Amid the public outcry over the availablity of the herbal stimulants,
it was revealed yesterday that an Adelaide man who sought a
controversial "herbal high" last year died after after drinking a
plant extract.

The State Coroner's office, confirmed that Mr Paul Herrit, 43, died
after he drank "tree tobacco".

"He brewed up leaves from the nicotiana glauca plant that grows as a
weed," said toxicologist, Mr Noel Sims, of the Adelaide Forensic
Science Centre.

"He was experimenting with the herbal high and allegedly told a
neighbour it was giving him a hallucinogenic effect, or some kind of
euphoria.

"But it show if you get the dose wrong, you can die ... and it also
shows it's a very dangerous practice to experiment with these forms of
herbal highs."

Law and health authorities yesterday repeated earlier warnings about
the culture of herbal experimentation.

The authorities were deluged with calls from alarmed parents after The
Advertiser reported herbal stimulants would be on sale at the festival.

A police spokesman said parents could be reassured the event would be
tightly policed.

"We've sought advice over the products and, if they are prohibited,
and if we find it is being sold, we will take the appropriate action,"
he said.

The head of the Therapeutic Goods Administration surveillance unit, Mr
Steve Howells, said sale of the products fell within the jurisdiction
of State health and law authorities.

"I have spoken with the police and I'm satisifed the festival will be
appropriately policed," Mr Howells said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drug Policy Foundation's Network News (Headlines in the monthly publication
from the Drug Policy Foundation, in New York, include - Senate Republicans
push a drug-free century; Rep. Ron Paul to introduce financial privacy
legislation to block intrusive "Know Your Customer" banking rules; Chief
Justice of Supreme Court criticizes over-federalization of crime and
Sentencing Commission's demise; 1998 Higher Education Act targeted by college
students and faculty across the country; New coalition formed to bring drug
policy reform to Congress; DPF to feature congressional visits at drug policy
reform conference May 12-15, 1999; Drug-related legislative activity of the
106th Congress)

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 02:40:58 EST
Originator: dpnews@dpf.org
From: "Drug Policy News Service" (dpf-mod@dpf.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (dpnews@dpf.org)
Subject: DPF's Network News (January 1999)

DRUG POLICY FOUNDATION'S NETWORK NEWS
A Monthly Publication for DPF's Advocacy Network

January 1999

Please Redistribute
Available online at: http://www.drugpolicy.org/html/network_news.html.

Network News will keep you updated on the latest legislative and regulatory
drug policy proposals in Congress and the Administration.

To receive Network News and legislative Action Alerts, sign up with DPF's
Advocacy Network at: http://www.dpf.org/html/listform.html.

To sign off this list, send mailto:listproc@dpf.org with the line "signoff
dpnews" in the body of the message.

To support the Drug Policy Foundation's efforts to create reasoned and
compassionate drug policies, become a member online at:
http://www.dpf.org/html/join.html.

***

Table of Contents:

1) Senate Republicans Push a Drug-Free Century

2) Rep. Ron Paul to Introduce Financial Privacy Legislation to Block
Intrusive
"Know Your Customer" Banking Rules

3) Chief Justice of Supreme Court Criticizes Over-Federalization of Crime
and
Sentencing Commission's Demise

4) 1998 Higher Education Act Targeted by College Students and Faculty Across
the Country

5) New Coalition Formed to Bring Drug Policy Reform to Congress

6) DPF to Feature Congressional Visits at Drug Policy Reform Conference, May
12-15, 1999

7) Drug-Related Legislative Activity of the 106th Congress

***

A new session of Congress began this month, and with it comes the latest
edition of Network News, your source for information on drug policy
legislation. Senate Republicans began the 106th Congress by introducing
various drug-related bills in January, most notably the Drug-Free Century
Act (S. 5). This issue of Network News includes a summary of S. 5, as well
as a list of all the drug policy-related legislation that has been
introduced so far. For continual updates, check DPF's website at
www.drugpolicy.org.

***

Senate Republicans Push a Drug-Free Century

Senate Republicans took time out from the impeachment hearings on January
19, to present their newest plan to create a drug-free America: S. 5, the
Drug-Free Century Act (DFCA). Although the bill's sponsor, Sen. Mike DeWine
(R-OH), describes the bill as being "comprehensive," the bill emphasizes law
enforcement, incarceration, interdiction, and asset forfeiture, at the
expense of innovative or effective demand reduction programs.

The asset forfeiture provisions of the bill would make it easier for federal
law enforcement to seize vessels, even if no drugs are found on board, and
take the assets of persons who go astray of the ever-expanding
money-laundering laws. The bill also seeks to reduce the crack
cocaine/powder cocaine sentencing disparity by making it easier to imprison
more people on longer sentences for powder cocaine. Whereas previously it
would take five kilograms to receive a 10-year mandatory sentence, the DFCA
reduces that amount to 500 grams. It also changes the quantity required to
receive a five-year mandatory sentence, from 500 grams to 50 grams.

Some of the most troubling elements of the bill are contained in the demand
reduction section (Title III). Sec. 3005 prohibits any federal funds from
being "expended, directly or indirectly," on syringe exchange programs
(SEPs). Passage of such language could wipe out many SEPs in the United
States, as many programs depend on federal monies to carry out other parts
of their drug abuse and HIV prevention programs.

The DFCA would also:

* establish a $10 million a-year "incentive grant program" under the
Department of Transportation to make it illegal to drive with "any
measurable amount" of a controlled substance in your body. Persons convicted
of "any criminal offense relating to drugs" would have their license
suspended;

* fund "innovative voluntary random drug testing programs" under the Safe
and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1994; and

* promote closed circuit cameras in schools and the expulsion and reporting
to law enforcement of students who sell drugs on school grounds.

Finally, the DFCA's Drug-Free Families Act attacks "drug legalization
advocates," whose political campaigns, according to the bill, have caused
children to use drugs. The bill also attacks the advocates of hemp, harm
reduction, and controlled drinking.

The Drug-Free Families section of the DFCA would authorize the administrator
of the Drug Enforcement Administration to give the non-profit organization,
Parent Collaboration (a subsidiary of National Families in Action;
http://www.emory.edu/NFIA/about/partners/collaboration.html), $25 million
over five years to reinvigorate the parents' movement of the 1970s. It is
unclear why the legislation singles out the Parent Collaboration for special
treatment by the government, rather than allowing all prevention groups to
have an equal opportunity to compete for the public funds. One possibility
is that National Families in Action is headquartered in Georgia, the home
state of DFCA co-sponsor, Sen. Paul Coverdell.

For a full copy of S. 5, go to http://www.thomas.gov. For a summary of all
drug policy-related legislation that has been introduced in the 106th
Congress, see pages 5-6.

***

Rep. Ron Paul to Introduce Financial Privacy Legislation to Block Intrusive
"Know Your Customer" Banking Rules

The federal government's latest proposed weapon in the war on drugs is the
"know your customer" (KYC) rules, which were proposed by the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and other financial regulators in December, and
are set to go into effect in April 2000. The KYC rules are being promoted as
a way to fight money laundering, much of which is generated by the illicit
drug trade.

According to the FDIC's notice in the Federal Register, "the regulation
would require each nonmember bank to develop a program designed to determine
the identity of its customers; determine its customers' sources of funds;
determine the normal and expected transactions of its customers; monitor
account activity for transactions that are inconsistent with those normal
and expected transactions; and report any transactions of its customers that
are determined to be suspicious, in accordance with the FDIC's existing
suspicious activity reporting regulation." (FR, Dec. 7, 1998, p. 67529-30)
Critics have characterized the new banking surveillance system as "Big
Brother Banking" that effectively deputizes bankers as law enforcement
agents and informers.

One critic is Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who devoted his November 30 weekly
column to the issue. (See "Privacy Busters: Big Bank is Watching" at
http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst98/tst113098.htm.) Dr. Paul is on the House
Banking Committee, and will soon be introducing three pieces of legislation
designed to block implementation of the KYC rules and protect Americans'
financial privacy. Under his "Know Your Customer Sunset Act," the KYC rules
would cease to be effective upon passage. His "Bank Secrecy Sunset Act"
would repeal the Bank Secrecy Act one year after passage. Finally, his
"FinCEN Public Accountability Act" would allow citizens to have access to
their records that are kept by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network,
which is part of the Treasury Department. Dr. Paul believes that, if
citizens can see their FBI files and can correct their credit records, they
should also be able to do the same with their FinCEN records.

The FDIC and other federal regulators are taking public comments on the KYC
rules until March 8. A summary and text of the rules can be viewed online
at: http://www.bankinfo.com/compliance/newkyc.html.

***

Chief Justice of Supreme Court Criticizes Over-Federalization of Crime and
Sentencing Commission's Demise

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist released his 13th year-end report on
January 1, highlighting the excessive federalization of crime and the
memberless U.S. Sentencing Commission as being the top two priorities that
the 106th Congress should address.

The Sentencing Commission was created under the Comprehensive Crime Control
Act of 1984 to reduce disparities in federal sentencing and establish
sentencing policies and practices for the federal courts, most prominently
under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. Currently, there are no commissioners
on the seven-member Commission and no nominations pending, a political
impasse that Rehnquist described as reaching "stunning proportions."

Rehnquist also highlighted the excessive federal caseload - up 15% in 1998 -
as being "one of the most serious problems" facing the federal judiciary
today. What is the cause of the increased federal cases? According to
Rehnquist, "Congress has contributed significantly to the rising caseload by
continuing to federalize crimes already covered by state laws." Although the
Chief Justice did not specifically target federal drug laws, he did question
the trend in Congress "to appear responsive to every highly publicized
societal ill or sensational crime."

According to the report, federal case filings involving drug violations rose
19% in 1998 to a total of 16,281 cases, the highest of any offense category.
Drug cases made up over 28% of new criminal cases filed in federal courts.

Rehnquist's Year-End Report of the Federal Judiciary is located at:
http://www.uscourts.gov.

***

1998 Higher Education Act Targeted by College Students and Faculty Across
the Country

Last October, President Clinton signed the Higher Education Act of 1998
(HEA), a law he claimed would allow "every high school graduate in America,
regardless of income," to afford to go to college. He neglected to mention a
provision in the law that denies loans to students convicted of any drug
offense, a provision that could potentially effect the 54% of high school
seniors who have tried an illegal drug. The law will most likely have a
greater impact on minority students, who are disproportionately targeted by
drug enforcement. African-Americans, who comprise 12% of the population and
13% of drug users, make up 55% of persons convicted for drug offenses.

The provision passed at the urging of Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.), who
introduced the amendment on March 18. Students convicted under any state or
federal law for possession of a controlled substance are ineligible for
student loans, grants, and work assistance for one year after a first
offense, two years after a second offense, and indefinitely after a third
possession offense. Persons convicted of drug sales shall be ineligible for
two years after the first offense and indefinitely after a second offense. A
student's eligibility can be restored if he/she completes a drug
rehabilitation program that must include two unannounced drug tests.

The Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet) is organizing students on
college campuses to bring attention to the issue and encourage student
governments to pass resolutions opposing the provision. Thus far, student
governments at Rochester Institute of Technology, Western State University
(Colorado), and Western Connecticut State University have passed resolutions
opposing the HEA provisions.

For more information, see DRCNet's student activism website at:
http://www.drcnet.org/U-net/.

***

New Coalition Formed to Bring Drug Policy Reform to Congress

There's a new coalition in Washington and its name is the National Coalition
for Effective Drug Policies (NCEDP). The coalition is made up of a broad
array of drug policy, criminal justice, public health, youth, and human
rights groups, and is seeking to refocus emphasis of the federal government's
drug policies, from a criminal justice approach to a public health approach.

If you know of an organization that should be involved in the coalition and
invited to its meetings, please contact NCEDP Coordinator Scott Ehlers at
the Drug Policy Foundation (ehlers@dpf.org; (202) 537-5005).

***

DPF to Feature Congressional Visits at Drug Policy Reform Conference, May
12-15, 1999

The attendees of DPF's 12th International Conference on Drug Policy Reform
will have the opportunity to attend legislative training sessions and visit
with their Members of Congress. Legislative training sessions will be held
on the evening of Tuesday, May 11, and the morning of Wednesday, May 12,
with Capitol Hill visits being scheduled on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

If you plan on attending the conference and if you are interested in
visiting your Member(s) of Congress, please contact Whitney A. Taylor at the
Drug Policy Foundation (taylor@dpf.org; (202) 537-5005). Please let us know
the name of your representative or your zip code.

***

Drug-Related Legislative Activity of the 106th Congress

S. 5 -- Drug-Free Century Act
Sponsor: DeWine (R-OH)
Co-sponsors: Abraham (R-MI); Ashcroft(R-MO); Coverdell (R-GA); Grassley
(R-IA); Hatch (R-UT); LLott (R-MS); McCain (R-AZ)
Introduced: January 19, 1999
Committee: Senate Judiciary

Selected provisions:
Title I: International Supply Reduction - Increases penalties for certain
border offenses; makes it easier to forfeit vessels and increases penalties
for drug offenses at sea; expands extradition power of the Attorney General
for various offenses; and expands seizure and forfeiture power for
money-laundering violations in the U.S. and abroad.

Title II: Domestic Law Enforcement - Increases penalties under the
Sentencing Guidelines for drug offenses commited in the presence of minors
or in homes where minors "habitually reside"; expands the use of pen
registers, trap and trace devices, and clone pagers; (Sec. 2201) increases
mandatory minimums for powder cocaine offenses(reduces quantity from 5 kilos
to 500 grams for a 10-yr mandatory minimum and from 500 grams to 50 grams
for a 5-year mandatory minimum).

Title III: Demand Reduction - Requires the Nat'l Institute on Standards and
Technology to conduct a study on drug testing technologies; (Sec. 3005)
prohibits the use of federal monies to fund syringe exchange programs
"directly or indirectly"; (Sec. 3006) establishes a $10 million-a-year
incentive grant program in the Dept. of Transportation to make it illegal to
drive "with any presence of an illegal drug" in the driver's body and
suspend the license of drivers convicted of any drug offense; (Sec. 3009)
allows funding for "innovative voluntary drug testing programs" under the
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1994; promotes closed
circuit cameras in schools and the expulsion and reporting of students to
law enforcement who sell drugs on school grounds; (Sec. 3101) Drug Free
Families Act - establishes a $5 million-per-year grant program to the Parent
Collaboration, a non-governmental, private organization, for drug
prevention.

***

S. 44 -- Safe Schools Act of 1999
Sponsor: Sen. Helms (R-NC)
Co-sponsors: None
Introduced: January 19, 1999; Placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar

Key Provisions: Requires local education agencies that receive funds under
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to expel students who possess
illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia.

***

S. 146 -- A bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act w/ respect to
penalties for crimes involving cocaine
Sponsor: Abraham (R-MI)
Co-sponsors: Allard (R-CO); Coverdell (R-GA); Enzi (R-WY); Feinstein (D-CA);
Grams, R. (R-MN); Hagel (R-NE); Hatch (R-UT); Helms (R-NC); Hutchinson, T.
(R-AR); Kyl (R-AZ); Thurmond, S. (R-SC)
Introduced: January 19, 1999
Committee: Senate Judiciary

Key Provisions: Increases mandatory minimums for powder cocaine offenses.
Reduces quantity from 5 kilos to 500 grams for a 10-yr mandatory minimum and
from 500 grams to 50 grams for a 5-year mandatory minimum.

***

S. 227 -- A bill to prohibit the expenditure of federal funds to provide or
support programs to provide individuals w/ hypodermic needles or syringes
for the use of illegal drugs.
Sponsor: Coverdell (R-GA)
Co-sponsors: Brownback (R-KS)
Introduced: January 19, 1999
Committee: Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Key Provisions: Prohibits the use of federal monies to fund syringe
exchange programs "directly or indirectly."

***

S. 289 -- Faith-Based Drug Treatment Enhancement Act
Sponsor: Abraham (R-MI)
Co-Sponsors: Coverdell (R-GA); Hutchinson, T. (R-AR); Sessions, J. (R-AL)
Introduced: January 21, 1999
Committee: Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Key Provisions: Amends the Public Health Service Act to permit federal
assistance to religious-based drug treatment centers, to permit individuals
receiving federal drug treatment assistance to select private and
religiously-oriented treatment, and protect the rights of persons from being
required to receive religiously-oriented treatment

***

H.R. 279 -- Federal Employment Applicant Drug Testing Act

Sponsor: Sweeney, E. (R-NY)
Co-sponsors: None
Introduced: January 6, 1999
Committees: House Gov't Reform

Key Provisions: Requires pre-employment drug testing of all applicants for
employment with the federal government

***

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www.drugpolicy.org
-------------------------------------------------------------------

The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 76 (The Drug Reform Coordination
Network's original dispatch of news and calls to action, including - Your tax
dollars at work: U.S. developing fungi to kill narcotics plants; Higher
Education Act student reform effort; Rep. Ron Paul to introduce financial
privacy legislation to block intrusive 'Know Your Customer' banking rules;
Hemp for victory; Israel to set standards for medicinal use of marijuana;
Life for nonviolent juveniles proposed in Virginia; The Lindesmith Center
drug policy seminar series, January through April; Conferences and events;
Harm Reduction Training Institute, winter '99 calendar; Report: militarized
democracy in the Americas; and an editorial by Adam J. Smith, Strange logic,
regarding the the "Drug-Free Century Act" proposed in Congress.)

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 08:19:56 -0500
To: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (drcnet@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #76
Sender: owner-drc-natl@drcnet.org

The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #76 - January 29, 1999
A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network

-------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE --------

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

(This issue can be also be read on our web site at
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/076.html. Check out the DRCNN
weekly radio segment at http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/.)

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the
contents of The Week Online is hereby granted. We ask that
any use of these materials include proper credit and, where
appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If
your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet
requests checks payable to the organization. If your
publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use
the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification
for our records, including physical copies where material
has appeared in print. Contact: Drug Reform Coordination
Network, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036,
(202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail
drcnet@drcnet.org. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in The Week Online
appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise
noted.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Your Tax Dollars At Work: U.S. Developing Fungi to Kill
Narcotics Plants
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/076.html#fungi

2. Higher Education Act Student Reform Effort
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/076.html#hea

3. Rep. Ron Paul to Introduce Financial Privacy Legislation
to Block Intrusive "Know Your Customer" Banking Rules
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/076.html#kyc

4. Hemp for Victory
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/076.html#hempbills

5. Israel to Set Standards for Medicinal Use of Marijuana
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/076.html#israel

6. Life for Nonviolent Juveniles Proposed in Virginia
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/076.html#virginia

7. The Lindesmith Center Drug Policy Seminar Series,
January through April
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/076.html#seminars

8. Conferences and Events
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/076.html#conferences

9. Harm Reduction Training Institute, Winter '99 Calendar
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/076.html#hrti

10. REPORT: Militarized Democracy in the Americas
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/076.html#nacla

11. EDITORIAL: Strange Logic
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/076.html#editorial

***

1. Your Tax Dollars At Work: U.S. Developing Fungi to Kill
Narcotics Plants

As part of the $2.7 billion "Western Hemisphere Drug
Elimination Act" signed into law last fall, researchers at
the USDA's Agricultural Research Services (ARS) will receive
$10 million to develop strains of mycoherbicides, or soil-
borne fungi, that can be used to eradicate opium poppies,
coca, and marijuana in the U.S. and internationally. The
project, part of a $23 million package to enhance
eradication strategies, was sponsored by Mike DeWine (R-OH)
in the Senate and hailed by Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL) as a
potential "silver bullet in the war on drugs."

Mycoherbicides have been used successfully in eliminating
noxious weeds, and environmental groups have encouraged
their development and use as alternatives to chemical
herbicides. But experts warn of the risk of unintended
consequences in unleashing genetically programmed fungi on
the environment.

DRCNet spoke with George Wooten, a chemical ecologist with
the Pacific Biodiversity Institute. "There is no silver
bullet," he said. "Suppose this plan were not successful
enough; we would have spent a lot of money with no results.
But if it were too successful, we could end up with a
situation where it killed the entire gene from the earth.
And then we would no longer have a source of very valuable
narcotics which are used to cure people. The risks are very
high." Crucial pain relievers and anesthetics such as
morphine are derived from the opium plant. Cocaine, which
is derived from the coca plant, also plays an important,
though more limited role in anesthesia.

Indeed, there are more questions than answers when it comes
to the potential risks of enlisting mycoherbicides in the
drug war. For instance, a fungus designed to eliminate only
the target plant may work perfectly well in controlled
experiments, but there seems to be no way to guarantee how
it will behave in nature over time. One fungus deemed
particularly promising in ARS reports is a strain of
fusarium oxysporum, a naturally occurring outbreak of which
has destroyed vast tracts of coca in Peru over the past few
years. But other strains of fusarium are devastating to
dozens of other crops, causing wilt disease in everything
from melons to string beans.

Another concern is just how species-specific these
mycoherbicides will be. Will a fungus have better luck
distinguishing hemp from marijuana than the DEA?

"Because these narcotics plants are defined based on legal
definitions, not biological ones," Wooten noted, "any nation
who has a different concept of what should or shouldn't be a
narcotic drug would be justified in developing such tools to
fight their own particular noxious plants. This might
include coffee, tobacco, or other plants that have a use in
one country but are considered unacceptable in another.
That's the scenario before us, and I don't think we can
necessarily stop it. But for the government to fund it --
it seems to be a money thing. There's probably a USDA
branch that's in dire need of funds, and this was seen as a
positive way to go about solving problems they've recently
had in licensing similar patents to confer herbicide
resistance on plants. This is a way for the government to
fund it, so that companies aren't incurring the financial
risk."

A spokeswoman for ARS did not return calls requesting
information on the status of the project.

DRCNet will continue to pursue this story. Meanwhile, read
Jim Hogshire's "Biological Roulette: The Drug War's Fungal
Solution?" appearing in the Spring, 1998 issue of Covert
Action Quarterly. The Media Awareness Project has the full
text at http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98/n495/a03.html.
ARS publishes research notes on its web site at
http://www.ars.usda.gov/.

***

2. Higher Education Act Student Reform Effort
- Kris Lotlikar

The signing of the Higher Education Act of 1998 has spurred
the beginning of a national student effort for reform.
Across the country, over 70 campuses are already involved in
raising awareness and opposition to the provision in the HEA
that denies or delays federal financial aid to drug
offenders. The student governments at three of those
colleges have already endorsed a resolution calling for the
106th congress to overturn the provision.

"This provision will do nothing to address the real problems
associated with drug abuse, but will instead needlessly
expand the scope of our nation's Drug War into a war on
students' access to higher education," said Chris Maj,
president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Rochester
Institute of Technology, the first college to obtain student
government endorsement. "We are forming a coalition of
groups within the RIT community who see a need for Higher
Education Act reform. This coalition will then be
approaching our college president and Congressional
representatives."

"This law is discriminatory by nature, disproportionately
affecting students of low or moderate income, since federal
financial aid grants and work assistance are need-based
programs," said Peder Nelson, student activist spearheading
the effort that achieved in getting its student government
endorsement at Western State college in Colorado. "We have
also met with the president of our school and he's
expressed support for our efforts. We are planning on
sending out copies of our petition to our congressman and
senators and beginning outreach to other Colorado campuses."

Western Connecticut State College students' association was
the third to endorse the reform resolution. The effort was
spearheaded by WCSU NORML, whose Dave Bonan is a member of
the student senate. The resolution passed 19-2, with one
abstention. (WCSU NORML is the sponsor of the annual Johnes
Fest, taking place April 17 at the Charles Ives Center for
the Arts in Danbury, featuring music and speakers.)

Student activists point to racial disparities in the
enforcement of drug laws and a need for Higher Education Act
reform. "African Americans comprise only 13% of drug users
but make up about 55% of drug convictions, which will result
in them being disproportionately affected by this law,"
comments Lauren Anderson, an officer of Students for
Sensible Drug Policy at George Washington University in
Washington, DC.

DRCNet is coordinating a Congressional lobbying campaign
with the student effort, to get legislation introduced and
passed that would remove the provision. Students will be
taking an active role in the campaign by meeting with their
representatives and building a broad base of support in
their home districts.

To learn how to get involved in the national effort for HEA
reform, call (202) 293-8340 or e-mail Kris Lotlikar at
lotlikar@drcnet.org, or visit http://www.drcnet.org/U-net/
for further information. Also see our original story on the
HEA at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/062.html#noloans.

***

3. Rep. Ron Paul to Introduce Financial Privacy Legislation
to Block Intrusive "Know Your Customer" Banking Rules
- Scott Ehlers, Drug Policy Foundation, http://www.dpf.org

The federal government's latest proposed weapon in the war
on drugs is the "know your customer" (KYC) rules, which were
proposed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
and other financial regulators in December, and are set to
go into effect in April 2000 unless regulators change their
minds or Congress intervenes. The KYC rules are being
promoted as a way to fight money laundering, much of which
is generated by the illicit drug trade.

According to the FDIC's notice in the Federal Register, "the
regulation would require each nonmember bank to develop a
program designed to determine the identity of its customers;
determine its customers' sources of funds; determine the
normal and expected transactions of its customers; monitor
account activity for transactions that are inconsistent with
those normal and expected transactions; and report any
transactions of its customers that are determined to be
suspicious, in accordance with the FDIC's existing
suspicious activity reporting regulation" (FR, Dec. 7, 1998,
p. 67529-30). Critics have characterized the new banking
surveillance system as "Big Brother Banking" that
effectively deputizes bankers as law enforcement agents and
informers.

One critic is Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who devoted his Nov.`30
weekly column to the issue; Rep. Paul's article, "Privacy
Busters: Big Bank is Watching" is available online at
http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst98/tst113098.htm. Also
see Wired Online's story by Decan McCullaugh at
http://www.wired.com/news/news/politics/story/17404.html.

Dr. Paul is on the House Banking Committee, and will soon be
introducing three pieces of legislation designed to block
implementation of the KYC rules and protect Americans'
financial privacy. Under his "Know Your Customer Sunset
Act," the KYC rules would cease to be effective upon
passage. His "Bank Secrecy Sunset Act" would repeal the
Bank Secrecy Act one year after passage. Finally, his
"FinCEN Public Accountability Act" would allow citizens to
have access to their records that are kept by the Financial
Crimes Enforcement Network, which is part of the Treasury
Department. Dr. Paul believes that, if citizens can see
their FBI files and can correct their credit records, they
should also be able to do the same with their FinCEN
records.

The FDIC and other federal regulators are taking public
comments on the KYC rules until March 8. A summary and text
of the rules can be viewed online at
http://www.bankinfo.com/compliance/newkyc.html. Comments
can be sent to the following:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Jennifer J. Johnson, Secretary
Attention: Docket # R-1019
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
20th and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20551

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary
Attention: Comments/OES
RIN 3064-AC19
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
550 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20429
Fax: (202) 898-3838
e-mail: comments@FDIC.gov
http://WWW.FDIC.GOV/banknews/know.html

Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)	
Communications Office
Attention: Docket # 98-15
250 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20219
Fax: (202) 874-5274
email: regs.comments@occ.treas.gov
http://www.occ.treas.gov/ftp/regs/98-55a.txt

Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS)
Manager, Dissemination Branch
Records Management and Information Policy
1700 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20552
Attention: Docket # 98-114
Fax: 202-906-7755
email: public.info@ots.treas.gov (include one's
name and telephone number)
http://www.ots.treas.gov/docs/73062.html

On other financial privacy issues generally:
Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN)		
Mr. William Baity, Acting Director
Financial Crime Enforcement Network
2070 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 200
Vienna, VA 22182
http://www.treas.gov/fincen/

***

4. Hemp for Victory
- Marc Brandl

1999 brings renewed hope and opportunity for beleaguered
farmers in a number of states as hemp activists seek to
score legislative victories in state houses around the
country. Encouraged by success in Canada and the positive
comments of two state governors, Minnesota, North Dakota and
Hawaii already have hemp bills moving through their
legislatures.

In Minnesota, lawmakers introduced hemp bills in both
chambers of the legislature. State senate majority leader
Roger Moe (DFL-Erskine), is the author of SF0122, which if
enacted, would, "Classify hemp as an agricultural crop
subject to regulation and registration by the [MN]
commissioner of agriculture." This would allow people to
apply to the commissioner to grow, "experimental and
demonstration plots of industrial hemp." On the house side,
Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Minneapolis) is the chief sponsor of
HF0064, which is a companion to the Senate bill. Kahn told
The Week Online, "Industrial Hemp is an important issue for
an agricultural state like Minnesota. Minnesota was a large
hemp producer in World War II. We've seen a dying base of
knowledge about hemp -- and that brings an urgency to
passing this bill."

A similar bill passed in both the Minnesota House and Senate
in the last legislative session, but was vetoed by then-
governor Arne Carlson. Newly inaugurated Governor Jesse
Ventura has made several positive statements about hemp, but
obstacles still remain. "A new hurdle [for the bill] is
that Republicans now control the house," says Rep. Kahn,
"and they voted in their last party caucus to oppose hemp
legislation."

In North Dakota, HB 1256 , which would remove hemp from the
states list of "prohibited noxious weed seeds," has already
been approved unanimously by the Agriculture Committee. The
sponsor of the bill is Rep. Dave Monson (R-Osnabrock) who
has sponsored successful hemp legislation in the past.	
Chris Conrad, author of "Hemp: Lifeline to the Future" told
the WOL, "we expect that legislators in North Dakota will be
raising the issue a lot."

In Hawaii, HB 32 has been introduced on the heels of an
endorsement of hemp by Governor Benjamin Cayetano, who
thinks hemp production may be a boon to the economy. The
bill would take the first step of instructing the University
of Hawaii, Hilo to, "Study the feasibility and desirability
of Industrial hemp production in Hawaii."
	
The most difficult obstacle in the way of any state wanting
to grow hemp is the response of the federal government. "We
obviously need the cooperation of the federal government."
Stated Rep. Kahn, "Right now we are in a Catch 22 -- the
feds won't move until the states move but when states do
act, its somewhat meaningless until the feds come around."

Conrad largely concurs with this sentiment, "The big
question is who is going to plant it in the soil. Whichever
state does this is going to have a lawsuit from the federal
government."

Despite these roadblocks, Conrad is still optimistic about
the future of hemp in America, and expects more political
candidates to be "hemp-friendly" in the next election cycle.
"The more people continue to dislike Congress -- the better
our chances of success in the 2000 elections."

***

5. Israel to Set Standards for Medicinal Use of Marijuana

The Israeli Ministry of Health appointed a six-member panel
last week (1/20) to establish guidelines under which
physicians in that country will be permitted to prescribe
marijuana for medicinal use. The Committee, which will
include physicians, public officials and jurists, will
define conditions for which such prescriptions are
appropriate, as well as safeguards to insure that the policy
is not used as a loophole for recreational users.

***

6. Life for Nonviolent Juveniles Proposed in Virginia

Virginia's whirlwind legislative session has begun. Once
again we are working with Virginians Against Drug Violence
to hold the line against the expansion of the drug war and
steer things in a positive direction. We request that
residents of Virginia fill out our online registration form
at https://www.drcnet.org/cgi-shl/drcreg.cgi so that we can
let you know if you live in a key legislative district where
your letter or phone call would make a special impact. We
ask that all Virginians take a moment to act on this alert,
as Virginia's legislative is very short and will be over
before you know it. Contact information for the state
legislature and places to get more information are included
at the bottom of this article. Please send us a note at
alert-feedback@drcnet.org and let us know what actions
you've taken in response to this alert.

We are supporting the following three GOOD BILLS:

* HB 1524 softens "smoke a joint, lose your license" by
giving judge's discretion as to whether or not to apply it
in a given case.

* HB 1489 would prohibits strip searches of students.

* SB 610 would revise the zero-tolerance policy for grade
school students -- e.g., no more suspensions for Tylenol.

* HJ 94 is a bill for an industrial hemp study.

We are opposing the following BAD BILLS:

* HB 1699, 1808 & SB 880 would provide for life sentences
for juveniles involved in drug sales.

* HB 1796 &1819 would increases marijuana felonies by
adding the weight of seeds and stems to charges.

* HB 1517 would create additional penalties for drug sales
within 100 yards of a bus stop.

* HB1548 would implements asset forfeiture in cases of
selling drugs to inmates.

* HB 1718 would creates additional penalties for drug sales
within 1000 feet of a preschool.

* HB 1896 would provide jail time in certain circumstances
for imitation controlled substances such as oregano and
baking soda.

* SB 820 would deny bail if a firearm (even legal) is
present at the scene of arrest.

* HB 1850 & SB997 would add three new drugs to the list of
those that are illegal.

* HB 2159 would require all felons, and many convicted of
misdemeanors, to undergo substance abuse screening or
urinalysis, even where the offense was not substance-
related.

You can call your legislators via the Constituent's Hotline
at (800) 889-0229. You can fax the House of Delegates at
(804) 786-6310, and fax the state Senate at (804) 698-7651.
Contact info for individual legislators can also be found
online at http://legis.state.va.us/, and information on
the pending legislation is available on the web at
http://leg1.state.va.us/lis.htm. The ACLU of Virginia has
information on drug bills in the privacy section of their
web site at http://members.aol.com/acluva/privacy.htm.

Last but not least, Lennice Werth of Virginians Against Drug
Violence can be reached at (804) 645-7838, or e-mail to
lennice@nottowayez.net. Michael Krawitz of VADV can be
reached at miguet@infi.net. There's lots of work to do,
including opportunities to show your support or even testify
in favor of drug policy reform and against the escalation of
the drug war. Let Lennice or Michael know if you'd like to
get involved!

***

7. The Lindesmith Center Drug Policy Seminar Series, January
through April

100th Seminar! Thursday, Feb. 4, 4-6pm. Methadone in New
York City: Past, Present and Future, Robert Newman, MD,
president and CEO, Continuum Health Partners; Elizabeth
Khuri, MD, associate professor of clinical public health and
pediatrics and director, Adolescent Development Program, New
York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Medical College,
Cornell University; and Peter V., methadone consumer, assess
the evolution of methadone maintenance in New York City,
including efforts to broaden availability, allow physician
prescribing and incorporate harm reduction principles into
methadone provision. Wine and cheese reception to follow.

Thursday, March 4, 4-6pm. Marijuana in Music, John P.
Morgan, MD, co-author of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A
Review of the Scientific Evidence (Lindesmith Center, 1997),
surveys marijuana themes in jazz, blues, rhythm and blues,
country western, rock, reggae, ska, rap, Hawaiian and Tin
Pan Alley music styles. Morgan, professor of pharmacology
at the City University of New York Medical School and
adjunct professor of pharmacology and medicine at Mt. Sinai
School of Medicine, draws on his experience as a disc jockey
and member of the American Society of Ethnomusicology.

Thursday, March 11, 4-6pm, Hepatitis C and Harm Reduction,
Sharon Stancliff, MD, medical consultant, AIDS Institute,
and Dan Bigg, director, Chicago Recovery Alliance, examine
the hepatitis C epidemic and implications for harm reduction
practice. Stancliff reviews characteristics of hepatitis C,
including epidemiology, prognosis, treatment and unanswered
questions. Bigg analyzes the impact of hepatitis C on
prevention work with injecting drug users.

Wednesday, April 7, 1999, 4-6pm, Illegal Leisure:
Recreational Drug Use Among 1990s British Youth, Howard
Parker, PhD, professor of social work at the University of
Manchester and author of Illegal Leisure: The Normalization
of Adolescent Recreational Drug Use (Routledge 1998),
analyzes the contemporary youth drug scene in the United
Kingdom. Parker, director of SPARC, a British social policy
research center, examines the impact of drug law and policy
on British youth.

Seminars are held at the Open Society Institute, 400 West
59th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), 3rd Floor, New
York City. All are welcome. Please call The Lindesmith
Center at (212)548-0695 or e-mail lbeniquez@sorosny.org to
reserve a place. Visit The Lindesmith Center web site,
including an extensive online drug policy library, at
http://www.lindesmith.org.

***

8. Conferences and Events

Feb. 18-19, Washington, DC. National Forum on Restorative
Justice, sponsored by the Justice Fellowship. For
information, visit http://www.justicefellowship.org or call
(888) 870-9473.

March 2, noon, Albany, NY. Protest! Rockefeller Drug Laws,
Capitol Building. For info, contact the William Moses
Kunstler Fund, (212) 539-8441, e-mail vigil@kunstler.org, or
visit http://www.kunstler.org on the web.

March 21-25, Geneva, Switzerland. 10th International
Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm, sponsored
by the International Harm Reduction Association. For info,
call 44 (151) 227 44 23, fax 44 (151) 236 48 29, e-mail
hrc@hit.org.uk or visit http://www.ihra.org.uk/geneve/ on
the web.

April 22-24, Chicago, IL. The 9th North American Syringe
Exchange Convention, sponsored by the North American Syringe
Exchange Network and hosted by the Chicago Recovery
Alliance. For info, call (206) 272-4857, fax (206) 272-
8415, e-mail nasen@seanet.com or visit
http://www.nasen.org/nasecix.htm on the web.

*May 12-15, Bethesda, MD (outside Washington, DC). The 12th
International Conference on Drug Policy Reform, sponsored by
the Drug Policy Foundation. (May 11 evening legislative
training session.) For further information, call (202) 537-
5005, e-mail taylor@dpf.org, or visit http://www.dpf.org.

***

9. Harm Reduction Training Institute, Winter '99 Calendar

Location: The Lindesmith Center/Open Society Institute, 400
West 59th St., New York. For fees and info and to register,
contact Vanessa Brown, Harm Reduction Training Institute,
(212) 683-2334 x30, e-mail hrti@harmreduction.org.

2/8, 10am-5pm, Psychosynthesis, with Bart Majoor, Clinical
Psychologist/Partner, RosaTek, Inc.

2/9, 10am-5pm, Overview of Harm Reduction, with Alessandra
Ross, HRTI Consultant Trainer. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THIS
COURSE BE TAKEN AS A PREREQUISITE TO ANY OTHER COURSES IN
THE PROGRAM.

2/23, 9am-12pm, Harm Reduction Counseling -- A Two Way
Street, with Mark Sehl, PhD, Alcoholism Counseling Service.

***

10. REPORT: Militarized Democracy in the Americas

The November/December 1998 issue of the NACLA Report on the
Americas (North American Congress on Latin America) includes
a special set of articles, "Militarized Democracy in the
Americas: Faces of Law and Order." The "war on drugs"
figures prominently among the forces undermining civilian
supremacy and civil liberties. The trend is affecting the
United States as well as Latin and South America.

The Emergence of Guardian Democracy, by J. Patrice McSherry,
notes that "Since the end of the Cold War, the Clinton
government and the Pentagon's Southern Command (SOUTHCOM)
have aggressively pushed the Latin American militaries to
assume an expansive and multidimensional role in confronting
drug trafficking, terrorism, insurgency, immigration and
refugee flows," as well as other traditionally civilian
functions such as conflict resolution, social welfare and
environmental protection.

In "A Military-Paramilitary Alliance Besieges Colombia,"
Ricardo Vargas Meza examines the impact of coca eradication
programs on the nation of Colombia, including deadly armed
conflict and the environmental impact of chemical fumigation
on the fragile Amazonian ecosystem.

"Deadly Force: Security and Insecurity in Rio," by Steven
Dudley, describes how criminal drug trafficking gangs have
positioned themselves as protectors of law and order and
providers of employment in this city plagued by abject
poverty. "Washington's Addiction to the War on Drugs," by
Peter Zirnite, discusses the consequences and failure of the
Andean source country strategy over the past 28 years.

"Militarizing the Border Patrol," by Carol Nagengast,
discusses the confluence of the drug and immigrant wars at
the US-Mexico border, and the sharp increase in use of the
military and the adoption of military-style equipment and
tactics by the civilian Border Patrol agency. Nagengast's
article takes us from the May 1997 shooting of 18 year-old
Esequiel Hernandez by U.S. Marines in Redford, Texas, to
Amnesty International's documentation of increasing violence
and civil rights abuses by the Border Patrol against men,
women and children, to the American Friends Service
Committee's Immigration Law Enforcement Monitoring Project
in Texas, Arizona and California. The article also
discusses Low Intensity Conflict strategies, the involvement
of the military in peacetime operations at multiple levels
within society, and the adoption of military-style practices
by civilian law enforcement. LIC presents a growing threat
to the traditional separations between civilian and military
institutions -- there is now even a periodical titled "Low
Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement." Anti-drug missions
are an explicit function of LIC military doctrine.

Another article in this issue of the NACLA Report discusses
the wave of deportations, in some cases to dangerous
countries, of low-level nonviolent offenders. Drug
offenders are among the most frequently deported, and there
is no judicial review process or discretion on the part of
any agency.

This issue, Volume XXXII, No. 3, November/December 1998,
might still be available at some newstands or bookstores.
If not, call NACLA at (212) 870-3146, e-mail nacla@nacla.org
or visit http://www.nacla.org for ordering and subscription
information.

***

11. EDITORIAL: Strange Logic

This week, Republicans, led by Representative Mike DeWine
(R-OH), held a news conference to introduce their newest
piece of omnibus drug legislation, "The Drug-Free Century
Act." True to form, the bill proposes more spending on
enforcement, longer sentences and more money for foreign
interdiction efforts. Protecting children was once again a
major theme of the day, as was the Republicans' insistence
on bringing mandatory minimum sentences for crack and powder
cocaine into line by reducing the amount of powder required
for an offender to qualify for a five or ten year vacation
courtesy of the federal government.

The absurdity of creating harsher sentencing schemes in the
name of protecting children, in the face of all evidence
against their effectiveness in limiting kids' access to a
particular substance was lost on legislators, despite the
fact that DeWine himself offhandedly pointed this out. In
discussing the crack vs. powder sentencing disparity, DeWine
said that we must send "the right signals" both to our youth
and to those who sell drugs. He called crack cocaine
extremely dangerous "and frankly, easily accessible" to
kids, but went on in the next breath to state that he and
his colleagues were committed to protecting children by
bringing sentences for powder into line with the tough
penalties for crack.

John Ashcroft (R-MO) followed DeWine and spoke about
methamphetamine, the use of which is exploding in the West
and Midwest. Ironically, the penalties for methamphetamine
already equal those for crack cocaine.

Clearly, we have passed the point where even the drug
warriors are listening to their own rhetoric. DeWine had it
right, crack cocaine, its declining popularity among young
people notwithstanding, is easily accessible despite the
fact that it's possession and sale is punished as harshly as
any other illicit substance. In other words, if the idea is
to keep the drugs away from children, enforcement and
punishment, no matter how draconian, has proven to be an
abject failure. If, on the other hand, the idea is to lock
up as many young, poor, non-violent and mostly non-white
low-level dealers and users as is humanly possible, the
strategy has been a raging success. Today in America, one
in three young black males is under the supervision of the
criminal justice system. It is certain that the booming
prison industry, as well as the prison guards' unions and
the police lobby think that the Drug Free Century Act is
just dandy.

For parents and other taxpayers, however, the time has come
to demand an accounting from our leaders. In the text of
the 1986 crime bill, it was declared that America would be
"drug-free" by 1995. At zero-minus four years, America is
not only far from being "drug-free," but our children have
greater access to drugs, are being used and placed in mortal
danger as informants, are being locked up, and are being
inundated with more useless rhetoric masquerading as "drug
education" than at any time in this nation's history.
Today's phony debate between the Clinton White House and
their "ten-year plan" and the Republican leadership and
their "Drug-Free Century Act" is yet another exercise in
rearranging the deck chairs, while continuing the practice
of lining the pockets of their contributors in drug war-
related industries.

We have been at this drug war for a very long time now. But
hundreds of billions of tax dollars and millions of wasted
lives later, our children, not to mention our Bill of
Rights, are in greater danger than ever before. Unless and
until the American public takes a good hard look at the
Alice in Wonderland nature of our drug policy, there will be
no end in sight. When leaders of Congress can stand
straight-faced in front of the TV cameras and earnestly
state that the drug policy that America needs centers on
increasing penalties for powder cocaine -- or anything else
-- to the same level as we have long required for crack
cocaine, something is seriously wrong. Because in spite of
the hundreds of thousands of years in sentences that have
been handed down to crack offenders over the past decade,
the stuff, in the words of warrior Mike DeWine himself, is
still "easily accessible" to our kids. Listening to this
nonsense makes it abundantly clear that in the war room, the
intellectual cupboard is bare.

***

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