------------------------------------------------------------------- Fugitive arrested in Hood River cache (The Oregonian says Dale Allen "Pappy" Bush, a fugitive since late August, was arrested Jan. 24 at a truck stop in Wilsonville by officers from the FBI and the Hood River County sheriff's office and charged with 20 counts of possessing explosive devices, a machine gun and methamphetamine at his rural home in the Dee area.) The Oregonian Contact: email@example.com 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Fugitive arrested in Hood River cache * A convicted felon is accused of possessing explosive devices, a machine gun and drugs at his rural home in the Dee area Monday, February 1 1999 By Jeanie Senior Correspondent, The Oregonian HOOD RIVER -- A 52-year-old man who had been a fugitive since late August is in custody facing 20 felony drugs, weapons and explosives charges. Dale Allen "Pappy" Bush was arrested Jan. 24 at a truck stop in Wilsonville by officers from the FBI and the Hood River County sheriff's office. He is scheduled to enter a plea today in Hood River County Circuit Court. The sheriff's office issued a nationwide warrant for Bush's arrest in early September after executing a search warrant at his rural Hood River Valley home. Investigators said they found a variety of weapons, drugs, explosives and an apparent methamphetamine lab. The charges against Bush include unlawful possession of a machine gun and a sawed-off shotgun, first-degree theft and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He also is accused of unlawfully possessing destructive devices that included two pipe bombs, an armed military fragmentation grenade, a live anti-tank mortar round, blasting caps and detonators. The grand jury indictment, which is based in part on an inventory of the items police found at Bush's property, also charges him with six counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. One of the guns, according to the indictment, was a stolen fully automatic rifle. The list also includes an Uzi semiautomatic carbine and the short-barreled shotgun. He also is charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance and one count of manufacturing a controlled substance. All of the charges refer to methamphetamine. According to the indictment, police found packaging materials, drug transaction records and customer lists, as well as manufacturing paraphernalia, recipes, chemicals, lab equipment and power-generating equipment. Bush, who was convicted in 1988 of possession of metamphetamine, was carrying a loaded .38-caliber automatic handgun and two loaded ammunition clips for the weapon when he was arrested, said John Sewell, Hood River County district attorney. Bush was not at his home in the Dee area in the hills on the valley's west side when police arrived there to execute the search warrant. He was arraigned on the indictment last week in Hood River Circuit Court, and he is being held on $100,000 bail. The search of the property, which continued for several days, also involved the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the Multnomah County hazardous material team; and the Oregon State Police bomb squad.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Seeing No Offense In Medicinal Marijuana (Newsday, in New York, says the inauguration of Bill Lockyer as California Attorney General means the days are over when state agents beat the feds to the punch in closing down medical marijuana dispensaries. "I can't and won't interfere with an action by a local district attorney," Lockyer says, which means patients such as Steve Kubby and his wife, in socially conservative counties, will get no help, while medical marijuana dispensaries may reopen in such traditionally supportive counties as San Francisco.) Date: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 11:10:32 -0500 From: Scott Dykstra (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Seeing No Offense In Medicinal Marijuana Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org I was hoping with crossed fingers, but knew in the back of my brain, this would be the outcome of the vote of A.G. Lockyer. Say Lavee... *** Seeing No Offense In Medicinal Marijuana Copyright 1999, Newsday Inc. Seeing No Offense In Medicinal Marijuana., 02-01-1999, pp A08. By Thomas D. Elias. SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT San Francisco - It's a brave new world for many medical marijuana users in California, where the days of state agents beating the feds to the punch in closing down medical marijuana outlets are over. The state's new Democratic attorney general promises he won't raid any "responsible" medipot club, although he can't stop local or federal authorities from acting. While some district attorneys are opponents of medical marijuana and some U.S. attorneys have staged raids of their own, San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan is a longtime backer of humanitarian use of the weed. At least in San Francisco, pot clubs won't have to worry about anyone but the feds, who have allowed operation of one outlet. The new attorney general, Bill Lockyer, warned that California's long-running legal war over medical marijuana may still produce conflicts between state and federal lawyers. Lockyer said he wishes he could do more to make a reality of 1996 Proposition 215, which authorized medical use of marijuana by patients with a doctor's recommendation. He's trying to persuade federal officials to reclassify pot as a prescription drug. That stance is opposite that of Lockyer's predecessor, Republican Dan Lungren, whose agents raided marijuana co-ops that neither local nor federal authorities wanted to touch. "I would like to do what the people want, but we can't do it completely by ourselves," Lockyer said. "As long as the federal government puts marijuana in the same class as heroin as a dangerous narcotic, 215 will never really be law." The first high-profile pot case filed since Lockyer took office demonstrates the limits of his powers. Sheriff's deputies recently raided the home of Steve Kubby, 52, the 1998 Libertarian Party candidate for governor. Kubby and his wife were arrested on charges of growing marijuana with intent to sell, even though Kubby was diagnosed with cancer 23 years ago and has used pot under medical supervision ever since. "I can't and won't interfere with an action by a local district attorney," Lockyer said. His stance doesn't please all medical marijuana activists, but it has some San Francisco medipot advocates planning to open a new therapeutic pot club. "The small outlet operating now is fine, but the level of service they can provide is really minimal," said Jane Weirick, executive director of the San Francisco Patients Resource Center, a group planning to open the new club. It would primarily serve area AIDS victims, but it also would make pot available to terminal cancer patients and others in severe pain. If that club opens, Lockyer said, "I would not raid it as long as they operated responsibly." That wouldn't make any difference in places such as Los Angeles, San Jose and San Diego, where district attorneys and sheriffs are steadfastly against medipot. He is frustrated by federal laws that make it illegal to grow or sell marijuana even for medicinal purposes. "First, we need to find ways to tighten our law to make sure that medical marijuana doesn't become a vehicle for overall legalization," Lockyer said. "And second, the federal government needs to make it a Schedule 2 drug that can be prescribed. If we can give people morphine, why can't we give them this, too? "I watched my mother and sister die of leukemia, and I know they could have used this to ease their pain," Lockyer said. He envisions medical-marijuana clinics around his state, each carefully screening its customers to make sure the use of the weed is according to instructions from a physician. "I've had talks already with the top federal law-enforcement people on this, and they seem fairly receptive," he said. "They know that Alaska, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Colorado have all passed their own medical-marijuana initiatives since we passed 215." But he cautioned activists not to expect his office to help them if local district attorneys or federal authorities make arrests. "If I can think of a theory under which I can defend the state law the people passed, I will," he said. "But my inclination is toward consensus, not confrontation, with the federal policy-makers."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Write/Visit Marvin Chavez (A list subscriber posts instructions on how to cheer up the Orange County Cannabis Co-op founder and medical marijuana martyr just sentenced to six years in prison.) From: FilmMakerZ@aol.com Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 16:57:23 EST To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Write/Visit Marvin Chavez Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Marvin Chavez is in the Santa Ana jail right now. You can write him at: Marvin Chavez Booking #1860728 Santa Ana Jail 550 N. Flower Santa Ana, CA 92703 If you're in Southern California, he can be visited. Visiting hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 8 am -- 5:30 pm. He is only allowed to have two visitors per day, and his wife visits him on Sundays. Fridays are best because she is at work that day. You need to bring your driver's license and Marvin's booking number. They do not allow purses to be brought in.
------------------------------------------------------------------- How you can help Marvin Chavez (A list subscriber seeks donations to pay off more than $4,000 in overdue bail funds and save the home of Marvin's wife.) From: FilmMakerZ@AOL.COM Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 18:54:57 EST To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: How you can help Marvin Chavez Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Marvin Chavez is in jail now, but his bail still needs paying off. $1,816 is overdue to the bail bonds company and, in addition, $2500 is owed to an anonymous patron who loaned the money to help Marvin get out of jail while awaiting trial. Marvin's wife, who is a cosigner and put their house up on the bail, received a letter saying the bail bonds company needs payment now to avoid legal action. This bail bonds company is very supportive of medicinal cannabis patients and has gone out of its way to help Marvin, offering to set up a payment plan because of Marvin's limited disability income. It is important for us to pay off this bill because, if Marvin is able to get out on bail pending his appeal, we would like to use them again. Please send donations of any amount, no matter how small or large, to: The Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group 12762 Brookhurst St. Garden Grove, CA 92840 Checks should be made out to "OCPDNSG" and note it's for Marvin's bail fund in the corner.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Juror's Stand Of Conscience Leads To State High Court (The San Luis Obispo County Telegram-Tribune describes an appeal facing the California Supreme Court involving a man who was convicted of statutory rape because his girlfriend was three months' younger than him - and because the trial judge removed a juror who said voting "guilty" violated his conscience. Nancy King, the author of a major article on jury nullification in a recent issue of the Michigan Law Review, says that what's facing the California court is trying to come up with a rule governing the circumstances in which allegations of nullification may or must be investigated, procedures for investigating them and what proof is required to remove a nullifier from a jury.) Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 04:17:08 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Juror's Stand Of Conscience Leads To State High Court Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Dunbar Source: San Luis Obispo County Telegram-Tribune (CA) Copyright: 1999 San Luis Obispo County Telegram-Tribune Section: State Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/ Pubdate: Monday, February 1, 1999 Author: Claire Cooper, Scripps-McClatchy Western Service JUROR'S STAND OF CONSCIENCE LEADS TO STATE HIGH COURT CASE SACRAMENTO - The girl was 16, legally still a minor, yet her boyfriend, only three years older, was an adult. Under California law, Arashiek Williams committed the crime of statutory rape by having sex with her. But juror 10, retired electronic technician James Kelly, didn't see it that way. The law was wrong, Kelly told the other jurors. Informed by the jury foreman that Kelly had dug in his heels, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Paul Teilh called in the determined juror to find out what was going on. Kelly explained: "I simply cannot see staining a man, a young man, for the rest of his life for what I believe to be a wrong reason." Reminded by Teilh that statutory rape is a misdemeanor, Kelly replied: "I think that is wrong. I'm sorry, judge." "So you're not willing to follow your oath?" asked Teilh. "That is correct," Kelly said. Hearing those magic words, Teilh removed Kelly from the jury and sent in an alternate, who made the guilty verdict unanimous. The case is now before the California Supreme Court, where Williams is challenging his conviction. Kelly's removal, he argues, deprived him of his constitutional right to a trial by an impartial jury. In reviewing the case, California's highest court will address a phenomenon known as "nullification" - a juror's refusal to apply what he or she sees as an unjust law or unfairly apply a just one. Nullification happens all the time. Marijuana laws, the draft during the Vietnam War, the fugitive slave laws before the Civil War, the "three strikes law" when it's applied to minor crimes - all have pro- voked nullifiers to acquit violators or to hang juries. They don't always identify themselves as plainly as Kelly did when he admitted that he wouldn't follow his oath to apply the law. But there may be a subtler tip-off. "Is the defendant part of the three strikes and you're out?" the jury asked in a note to the judge during deliberations in a Contra Costa case in which the charge was driving a stolen car. Inferring that nullification was the motive, the judge refused to answer. Some courts have seen nullification as the invitation to chaos. Others see it as a safety valve that allows jurors to bring the community's conscience to bear. Whatever their views, most recognize that it can't be controlled entirely in a criminal justice system that relies on the integrity of the jury. To protect juries from corruption, their deliberations are cloaked in secrecy, their acquittals are final and they cannot be punished for their verdicts. But jurors also are sworn to evaluate the evidence according to the law as it's explained by the judge. Keeping all those factors in balance can lead to seemingly hair-splitting decisions like those by the lower courts in the Williams case. When Teilh removed Kelly, he acknowledged that "a jury may return a verdict contrary to the law" but said that Kelly went wrong "in refusing to deliberate with other jurors on the case." There are a number of precedents holding that jurors may be removed during deliberations if they refuse to discuss the case with other jurors in an open-minded way. The state Court of Appeal in San Jose cast the issue somewhat differently when it denied Williams' appeal. It, too, acknowledged that Kelly could have voted to acquit. But it said the problem was that he announced his intention to nullify beforehand, and that was tantamount to asking Teilh to instruct the jury that nullification would be OK. Courts generally have agreed that trial judges should not advise juries of nullification. The Supreme Court could adopt the views of the lower courts or go off in another direction. What's facing the California court is trying to come up with a rule governing the circumstances in which allegations of nullification may or must be investigated, procedures for investigating them and proof required to remove a nullifier from a jury, says Nancy King, the author of a major article on nullification in a recent issue of the Michigan Law Review. Her own view is that Teilh was right to remove Kelly - "once a juror says, 'I'm not going to follow my oath,' off he goes." But she adds, "There are plenty of people out there who disagree with me."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Active Ingredient May Reduce Pain Sensation (The February issue of Anesthesiology News finally gets around to noting the research carried out by Ian Meng at the University of California at San Francisco, as reported in Nature magazine last September. Unfortunately, the magazine inaccurately inserts the word "may.") Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 12:38:39 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Arthur Livermore (email@example.com) From: "CRRH mailing list" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Marijuana Active Ingredient May Reduce Pain Sensation Marijuana Active Ingredient May Reduce Pain Sensation Anesthesiology News, February 1999 Opening the door to possible study in humans, researchers have found in an animal model that the brain stem circuit involved in the pain-suppressive effects of morphine is also at work in producing the analgesic effects of some active components of marijuana. "These results show that analgesia produced by cannabinoids and opoids involves similar brain stem circuitry and that cannabinoids are indeed centrally acting analgesics with a new mechanism of action," wrote Dr. Ian D. Meng and coll- eagues in a letter to Nature (1998;395:381-383). Dr. Meng is Professor, Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. The study supports anecdotal reports that marijauana, and its active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta- 9-THC), may reduce pain sensation. In previous animal studies, the apparent pain-suppressive effects of delta-9-THC were confounded by motor deficits. In Dr. Meng's study, the investigators showed that "cannabinoids produced analgesia by modulating the rostral ventromedial medulla [RVM] neuronal activity in a manner similar to, but pharmacologically dissociable from, that of morphine." "Although this is an animal study, it is good news for pain specialists looking for a novel analgesic," noted Dr. Richard Patt, Director of the Patt Center for Cancer Pain & Wellness in Houston. "Morphine is a very safe drug, but morphine does not work on all people or on all types of pain. Although this study is preliminary and will not change the way I treat my patients, it clears up some of the mock research and suggests that there is something there [in terms of marijuana as a pain medication]," he told Anesthesiology News. - Cornelia Kean [Photo of MJ leaf with caption, "Cannabis produced analgesia in a manner similar to that of morphine."]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Feds Pay Drug Case Witness $2 Million (The Associated Press says attorneys for defendants in the United States' "Operation Casablanca" money-laundering sting against Mexican and Venezuelan bankers argued Friday during a pretrial hearing before U.S. District Judge Lourdes Baird in Los Angeles that the payments to the unnamed informant, believed to be a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Colombia, amounted to government misconduct. The first of four trials in the case is scheduled to begin March 29. Forty bankers have been arrested; 70 are still fugitives.) Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 17:24:46 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Feds Pay Drug Case Witness $2 Million Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (email@example.com) Pubdate: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press FEDS PAY DRUG CASE WITNESS $2 MILLI0N Worked Undercover For Two Years LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The key undercover witness in the nation's biggest drug money laundering case was paid more than $2 million to help prosecutors, according to testimony. The informant, identified in court papers only as CW-1, was involved in Operation Casablanca. About 40 Mexican and Venezuelan businessmen, bankers and alleged drug cartel members were arrested in May following the two-year U.S. Customs undercover operation that spanned several countries. During a pretrial hearing Friday before U.S. District Judge Lourdes Baird, defense attorneys argued that the payments amounted to government misconduct. The payments provided "perverse incentive for the informant to manufacture crime," Michael Pancer, representing defendant Katy Kissel Belfer, argued in a brief filed with the court. Payment defended as reasonable Federal prosecutors said the payments were reasonable given the size of the investigation and the risks taken by the informant. "He worked full time -- he had to be available 24 hours a day -- for the entire length of the investigation," Joseph A. Brandolino said. "For the rest of his life, he has to look over his shoulder," Julie Shemitz said. 40 arrests; 70 more on the run In addition to the 40 arrests, 70 people are fugitives in the case, which alleges tens of millions of dollars in illegal drug profits for the Cali drug cartel of Colombia and Mexico's Juarez cartel were shipped through phony transactions to Mexican-owned banks to conceal their origin. The indicted banks, including prominent Mexican financial institutions Bancomer, Banca Serfin and Confia, have denied any wrongdoing. The first of four trials in the case is scheduled to begin March 29. Four Mexican nationals pleaded guilty to charges last month. According to court documents, CW-1, believed to be a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Colombia, helped undercover customs agents pose as money launderers.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Press Release: Patients Out of Time (The advocacy group for medical marijuana patients says the National Association for Public Health Policy has joined the ever expanding list of organizations opposing current prohibitionist policies in the United States.) Date: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 00:16:18 -0500 To: DRCNet Medical Marijuana Forum (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Miguet (Miguet@infi.net) Subject: PRESS RELEASE: Patients Out of Time [01Feb99] PRESS RELEASE 01 February 1999 Patients Out of Time is pleased to add the National Association for Public Health Policy to the ever expanding list of organizations that are proactive in demanding the federal government abort its failed policy of medical marijuana prohibition. The Council on Illicit Drugs of the National Association for Public Health Policy declared their opposition to the federal policy in their draft submitted and approved by the association on November 15, 1998 in Washington, DC. In their introduction they point out that, "A century of increasing criminal justice efforts culminating in the 'war on drugs' has produced few positive outcomes and many negative sequelae." They emphatically state that the primary drug problems in the US relate to licit drugs, alcohol and tobacco, and that it is time for a paradigm shift in the way the entire approach to personal human relations to drugs of all types are viewed. "Drug addiction should be treated as a public health problem rather than a criminal justice problem and the drug addict as a patient rather than a criminal," states the report. The report further indicates that in order to properly address the circumstances that bring addiction to a patient the broader social issues of poverty, racism, ineffective drug education, limited drug treatment funding and intervention, and governmental corruption at every level due to the enormous sums of money that prohibition sponsors must be considered. The National Association for Public Health Policy is the sixty-fourth group that has joined with Patients Out of Time in publically calling our nations failed drug policy a failure. Over half of the organizations on this list are professional health care organizations, the very groups that our citizens depend upon for counsel in the care of the sick and dying. Their advice is clear - end the prohibition of therapeutic cannabis now. Al Byrne, co-founder of Patients Out of Time and a retired drug warrior, explained the disaster called the war on drugs this way. "The war on drugs is a misnomer in the best traditions of our political class. This war is in reality a war on people as all wars are. In this case, it is the first time in human history a country has actually declared war against a part of its population and to the great disgrace of our country it is attacking its sick and dying. The US states it does so to send a message to our young people. And what message does it send? I'd say it is telling our young people that to be mean and merciless is what the US is all about." Patients Out of Time is proud to be associated with the millions of health care professionals who alongside millions of citizens call their government policy and the officials who prop it up with their vacuous duplicity dead wrong. We can assist your organization in formatting a similar response to our government's horrendous behavior to the ill and dying or help with any media presentation on this issue. Please don't wait too long to speak out we implore because we are Patients Out of Time. Patients@MedicalCannabis.com carl@COMMONLINK.NET Miguet@infi.net
------------------------------------------------------------------- Organizations Supporting Access to Therapeutic Cannabis (An updated bulletin from Patients Out of Time lists 64 supporters in the United States and around the globe.)Date: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 00:14:56 -0500 To: DRCNet Medical Marijuana Forum (email@example.com) From: Miguet (Miguet@infi.net) Subject: Org's supporting access to Therapeutic Cannabis: P.O.T. [1 Feb 99] Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 01 February 1999 Organizations Supporting Access to Therapeutic Cannabis As Compiled by Patients Out of Time e-mail: Patients@ MedicalCannabis.com AIDS Action Council 1996 Alaska Nurses Association 1998 Alaska voters 1998 Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics 1981 American Academy of Family Physicians 1977 American Bar Association (ABA) American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) American Medical Students Association 1993 * American Preventive Medical Association 1997 * American Public Health Association (APHA) 1995 American Society of Addiction Medicine 1997 Arizona voters 1996 & 1998 Breckenridge, CO 1994 British Medical Association 1997 Burlington, VT 1994 California Legislative Council for Older Americans 1993 California Democratic Party 1993 California Medical Association 1994 California Nurses Association 1995 California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church 1996 California Pharmacists Association 1997 California Society of Addiction Medicine 1997 California voters 1996 City of San Diego 1994 * Colorado Nurses Association 1995 Contigo-Conmigo 1997 Cure AIDS now 1991 Episcopal Church of the U.S. 1982 Federation of American Scientists 1994 Florida Governor's Red Ribbon Panel on AIDS 1993 Florida Medical Association 1997 Frisco, CO 1994 International Cannabis Alliance of Researchers and Educators (I-CARE) 1992 Iowa Civil Liberties Union Iowa Democratic Party - 1994 Life Extension Foundation 1997 Lymphoma Foundation of America Marin County Council, CA 1993 Minnesota Democratic Farm-Labor Party 1992 * Mississippi Nurses Association 1995 Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse (MAMA) 1992 Multiple Sclerosis California Action Network (MS-CAN) 1996 National Association for Public Health Policy - 1998 National Association of Attorneys General 1983 National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) National Association of People with AIDS * National Nurses Society on Addictions (NNSA) 1995 Nevada voters 1998 New England Journal of Medicine 1997 * New Mexico Nurses Association 1997 * New York State Nurses Association 1995 * North Carolina Nurses Association 1996 Northern New England Psychiatric Society Oakland City Council, California 1998 Oregon voters 1998 Patients Out of Time 1995 Physicians Association for AIDS Care Preventive Medical Center, Netherlands 1993 San Francisco City Council, CA 1992 Santa Cruz County Council, CA 1993 Stichting Institute of Medical Marijuana, The Netherlands 1993 Virginia Nurses Association 1994 Virginia Nurses Society on Addictions 1993 Washington voters 1998 * Therapeutic cannabis consultation and information provided by: Patients Out of Time Fish Pond Plantation, 1472 Fish Pond Road Howardsville, Virginia 24562 (804) 263-4484, FAX (804) 263-6753 e-mail: Patients@MedicalCannabis.com carl@COMMONLINK.NET Miguet@infi.net
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Cautions Judged A Success (The Age, in Melbourne, Australia, says Victoria's experimental cautioning program for people found possessing illegal substances other than cannabis appears to be working, with new figures revealing that one drug offender a week has been diverted from the criminal justice system to treatment agencies. Police Chief Superintendent Peter Driver, the commander of the district where the trial started, said: "I think the strict law-enforcement approach to illicit drug use has been shown that, in itself, it has not worked. It's good to be able to adopt more of a community-based approach, of harm minimisation, early intervention and treatment.") Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 04:16:50 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: Drug Cautions Judged A Success Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Russell.Ken.KW@bhp.com.au (Russell, Ken KW) Source: Age, The (Australia) Copyright: 1999 David Syme & Co Ltd Website: http://www.theage.com.au/ Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 Author: Darren Gray DRUG CAUTIONS JUDGED A SUCCESS Victoria's experimental drug-user cautioning program appears to be working, with new figures revealing that one drug offender a week has been diverted from the criminal justice system to treatment agencies. First offenders caught using or possessing small quantities of illicit drugs other than cannabis have been cautioned and directed to treatment under the pilot program, now more than halfway through. Possession remains an offence, and those who do not comply with their treatment program, or refuse to be cautioned, are charged. The trial, begun in the Broadmeadows area five months ago, was extended to several western suburbs including Altona North, Footscray, Sunshine and Williamstown. The new figures, released by police, reveal that 18 people have been cautioned about drug use since the trial began. Most were caught with heroin. Fourteen of those put on the program have been male. They have ranged in age from 15 to 38 years. First offenders caught with small amounts of illicit drugs are eligible for the drug diversion pilot if they: Have no prior drug conviction. Admit the offence. Consent to being cautioned. Agree to professional assessment and treatment. No other drug offence is involved. First-time drug offenders pulled over for a minor traffic offence can be fined for the traffic offence but still take part in the program. Chief Superintendent Peter Driver, the district commander of the district where the trial started, said: "I think the strict law-enforcement approach to illicit drug use has been shown that, in itself, it has not worked. It's good to be able to adopt more of a community-based approach, of harm minimisation, early intervention and treatment." He said the pilot program tried to get people out of the criminal justice system and treated, with an element of compulsion, as quickly as possible. He said he was not aware of any novice users who received a caution but then did not attend treatment. The Health Minister, Mr Rob Knowles, said the trial was progressing well. "I think all of the evidence at this stage shows that it's a worthwhile exercise, of trying to get much earlier detection and a diversion out of the criminal justice system into treatment and rehabilitation." He said it was important to help and treat illicit drug users before their drug use became entrenched. The trial - which ends in May but may be extended statewide after it is evaluated - is a police initiative operating under the discretionary powers of the chief commissioner, Mr Neil Comrie. "If he reached the conclusion that this was a better approach and wanted to apply it statewide, then obviously the Government would support that," Mr Knowles said. Many of the people cautioned have been referred to the Youth Substance Abuse Service in Fitzroy. Its manager, Ms Fran Holgate, said most knew little about the dangers of heroin. "Most of them haven't had any significant problem related to their drug use, so this is a bit of a scare for them." -------------------------------------------------------------------
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