Portland NORML News - Wednesday, February 3, 1999

NewsBuzz: What Are They Smoking In Those Newsrooms? (Willamette Week,
in Portland, says the Oregonian and other local media sensationalized
the results of the 1998 Oregon Public School Drug Use Survey last week,
suggesting the results meant "bad news on teen substance abuse." In fact,
however, marijuana use among eighth- and 11th-graders was down from the
previous survey in 1996, and only tobacco use among 11th-graders showed
a significant increase.)

Willamette Week
822 SW 10th Ave.
Portland, OR 97205
Tel. (503) 243-2122
Fax (503) 243-1115
Letters to the Editor:
Mark Zusman - mzusman@wweek.com
Web: http://www.wweek.com/
Note: Willamette Week welcomes letters to the editor via mail, e-mail or
fax. Letters must be signed by the author and include the author's street
address and phone number for verification. Preference will be given to
letters of 250 words or less.

NewsBuzz: What Are They Smoking In Those Newsrooms?

originally published February 3, 1999

Is Oregon really overrun with booze-guzzling, bong-hitting, glue-sniffing

You might think so based on how the local media treated the release of the
1998 Oregon Public School Drug Use Survey last week. The coverage is
typified by The Oregonian's Jan. 27 headline on page D1: "Data give bad news
on teen substance abuse." A reading of the survey, which polled
eighth-graders and 11th-graders from across the state, showed a far less
alarming story. For example:

* Marijuana use among eighth- and 11th-graders was down from the previous
survey in 1996.

* Alcohol use was down among eighth-graders. It was unchanged for 11th-graders.

* The Illicit Drug Index, which measures students' use of one or more
substances excluding alcohol or tobacco, was also down for eighth-graders
and unchanged for 11th-graders.

In fact, of all the categories surveyed, only tobacco use among 11th-graders
showed a significant increase--a worrisome sign to be sure but hardly the
whole story.

Barbara Cimaglio, who directs the state Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Programs, commissioned the survey. Although she was interviewed for The
Oregonian's story, Cimaglio was surprised at the tenor of most of the
coverage. Charts that accompanied the article graphically displayed the
improved results in some categories, but the text focused on the absolute
numbers of kids using controlled substances.

Although Cimaglio is quick to add that drug and alcohol use is still far too
high among students, she notes that in every major category
eighth-graders--presumably more receptive to anti-substance abuse messages
than 11th-graders--showed improvement over the 1996 survey.

"We're interpreting it as good news that we've stemmed the tide," Cimaglio
says. "The media obviously want to make things more dramatic." - Nigel Jaquiss

Man commits suicide during police car chase (The Associated Press says an
unnamed 18-year-old Portland man wanted on "drug" charges and being chased by
police committed suicide Wednesday, sending his car through a fence and
slamming into a parked vehicle.)

Associated Press
found at:
feedback (letters to the editor):

Man commits suicide during police car chase

The Associated Press
2/3/99 5:20 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- An 18-year-old man being chased by police committed
suicide Wednesday, sending his car through a fence and slamming into a
parked vehicle.

Police said they found the man dead in the vehicle and a .357 Magnum pistol
on the floor.

His name was not released, but police said he was wanted on drug charges.

He fled police in north Portland in the predawn hours after an officer tried
to pull him over for an expired license plate.

The gun had been reported stolen and the car was not registered to him,
police spokesman Henry Groepper said.

(c)1999 Oregon Live LLC

Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Man gets 27 years in prison for killing (The Oregonian says Multnomah County
Circuit Judge Joseph Ceniceros sentenced Bryant Wayne Howard to life in
prison Tuesday with a minimum of nearly 27 years for murdering a rival gang
member. "There is more to life than tattooing yourself, selling drugs and
killing people," said the judge.)

The Oregonian
Contact: letters@news.oregonian.com
1320 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
Fax: 503-294-4193
Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/
Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/
Wednesday February 3, 1999

Man gets 27 years in prison for killing

* A judge sentences Bryant Wayne Howard to life with a minimum of nearly 27
years for murdering a fellow gang member

By David R. Anderson
of The Oregonian staff

Bryant Wayne Howard should stand as a warning to young men thinking about
joining a gang.

That was the closest to a positive message a judge could find Tuesday as he
sentenced Howard to a minimum of nearly 27 years in prison for the murder of
fellow gang member Kevin Jerome Powell.

"There is more to life than tattooing yourself, selling drugs and killing
people," said Multnomah County Circuit Judge Joseph Ceniceros.

Ceniceros challenged Howard to prove him wrong, but the judge lamented that
Howard, who has a tattoo on the back of his neck that reads "Evil Minded,"
might be a lost cause.

"From everything I've seen of Mr. Howard and everything I've seen in the
courtroom, I have very little hope of him being rehabilitated," Ceniceros said.

Ceniceros sentenced Howard, 23, to life in prison with a minimum of 25 years
for murder, three months for being a felon in possession of a firearm and 11/2
years for violating probation on two previous convictions for felon in
possession of a firearm. Ceniceros also ordered Howard to pay $2,000 toward
Powell's funeral expenses and $3,000 to Powell's family for his lost wages.

Howard's attorney had urged Ceniceros to sentence Howard to no more than the
25-year minimum under Measure 11 and not impose restitution.

"He will be released into the community with no skills or contacts and maybe
no family," said Corinne Lai. "I would suggest that is punishment enough."

A jury convicted Howard on Jan. 26. Howard threw himself a going-to-prison
party on Aug. 23, 1997, at his mother's house in the 7400 block of North
Fenwick Avenue. A flier advertised it as a "gangsta party." Powell, who also
was a Crips gang member, showed up at the barbecue. Howard, also known by
his gang nickname of "Stitches Loc," considered Powell a snitch for
testifying at a 1995 gang murder trial. The two men got into a fistfight. As
Howard was losing, he got his 9mm semiautomatic handgun and shot Powell in
the chest. While Powell was on his hands and knees, Howard shot him three
more times.

Ella Powell, Kevin Jerome Powell's grandmother, said Tuesday that nothing
will bring back her grandson, but it was difficult for some of her family to
fight the urge for revenge against Howard.

"May God have mercy on him, because if it was up to some of us, we might act
like he did," Powell said in court. "We hope he won't have the opportunity
to do to another family what he's done to us."

Howard declined Ceniceros' offer to speak.

That typified Howard's attitude, said Tom Edmonds, a senior deputy district

"There has been a complete and utter lack of remorse on the part of the
defendant in this case," Edmonds told Ceniceros, citing an obscene comment
he heard Howard make to Powell's mother during the trial.

Kubbys Prepared For Marijuana Arrests (The Auburn Journal, in California,
describes the prosecution of medical marijuana patients Steve & Michele Kubby
on cultivation-related charges, in spite of Proposition 215. The North Tahoe
Task Force launched its investigation based on an anonymous letter claiming
the 1998 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate was financing his campaign
by selling marijuana.)

Sender: owner-dpfor@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfor@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/
Newshawk: Patrick McCartney
Pubdate: Wed, 3 Feb 1999
Source: Auburn Journal (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Auburn Journal
Author: Patrick McCartney, Auburn Journal City Editor
Contact: ElPatricio@aol.com
Mail: 1030 High St., Auburn, CA 95603
Note: Our newshawk tells us that this story may be on the AP wire Sat, 6
Feb. Also, "The latest news, just learned today, is that the DA is now
going to refer the Kubby arrest to the county's grand jury, which by my
reading may be a search for a face-saving way to get rid of this case. Stay
tuned. Pat McCartney"


OLYMPIC VALLEY -- For six months drug investigators and Steve and Michele
Kubby engaged in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. As investigators of
the North Tahoe Task Force pored over details of the couple's lives for
evidence of marijuana violations, the Kubbys -- tipped off about the
investigation -- tidied up the loose ends of their growing operation.
Launched by an anonymous letter claiming the former Libertarian
gubernatorial candidate was financing his campaign by selling marijuana,
the investigation climaxed Jan. 19 with the arrest of Steve and Michele
Kubby on various marijuana charges.

Now, the Kubbys face charges of cultivating marijuana in their Olympic
Valley home, conspiracy and possession with intent to sell. A preliminary
conference is set for Feb. 22 in Tahoe Superior Court. The case promises to
become the highest-profile test to date of California's Proposition 215,
the initiative voters approved in 1996 authorizing the use of marijuana
with a physician's approval. Steve Kubby, who has adrenal cancer and was
instrumental in qualifying Proposition 215 for the ballot, openly espoused
the use of medicinal marijuana in the governor's race last year. Kubby
finished fourth, receiving 1 percent of the vote.

According to court documents filed by the multiagency North Tahoe Task
Force, the investigation included interviews of Kubby associates,
surveillance of the couple's home, checking their household trash and an
analysis of their utility bills.

But, no sooner than the anonymous letter from Marina del Rey piqued the
interest of the drug task force, then the Kubbys were tipped off an
investigation had begun.

"They underestimated our political contacts, our influence and our friends
in the medicinal marijuana movement," said Michele Kubby during an
interview at the couple's Olympic Valley home.

Producing evidence of the Kubbys' marijuana garden was easy for members of
the task force, which includes law-enforcement officials from Placer
County, the state of Nevada and the federal Drug Enforcement
Administration. Intercepting the Kubbys' household trash, investigators
found stems, seeds, leafy marijuana residue, partially smoked marijuana
cigarettes and packaging for such cultivation supplies as powerful sodium
light bulbs, plant vitamins and diagrams of lighting systems.

Also found in the household trash were flyers addressed to law-enforcement
personnel, advising them of Steve Kubby's use of medicinal marijuana,
maintenance of a garden, possession of no more than 3.5 pounds of pot and
his cancer condition.

Christopher Cattran, a Placer County deputy district attorney assigned to
the Lake Tahoe office, said he was not impressed by the Kubbys' reliance on
Proposition 215.

"My review of 215 is that (they had) more marijuana than necessitated by a
medical condition," Cattran said Tuesday. "And there is some evidence that
they furnished it to another individual observed during the surveillance."
Cattran said he visited the Kubbys' house while the task force searched the
residence to get a feel for the growing operation. Investigators seized 256
plants, about half of which were seedlings, in four different rooms. When
officers knocked on their door on a Tuesday morning, the Kubbys were ready.
As the task force searched the house, seizing plants, lights, their
computer, passports and other items, the Kubbys provided letters from a
physician, attorney and the president of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers
Cooperative, who had inspected their garden.

In the wake of their arrest, the Kubbys insist they are the perfect
defendants to overcome police and prosecutor opposition to Proposition 215.
They deny selling any of the marijuana they harvested, and point to their
modest financial circumstance - $4,800 in savings and a 10-year-old car - as
proof their only income is derived from Steve Kubby's online magazine,
Alpine World. "We think this will be the 'Scopes Monkey Trial' of medical
marijuana," said Steve Kubby. "This entire clash of cultures and ideology
will be on the table." Placer County Undersheriff Steve D'Arcy said he
interprets the Proposition 215 guidelines issued by former Attorney General
Dan Lungren differently.

"I don't think so," D'Arcy said about the Kubbys becoming a high-
visibility test case. "There have been other cases before where marijuana
growers were selling it and used Proposition 215 as a defense." Cattran was
less certain.

"We want to see justice done," Cattran said. "If it turns out ... a jury
decides that 265 plants are all right, then that's justice. But if the jury
decides it's just too much, justice is done then, too."


Also: Please consider sending a Letter to the Editor of the Tahoe World,
which has yet to provide the balanced, in-depth, coverage found in the
above item. See their last story at:


Website: http://www.tahoe.com/world/
Forum: http://www.tahoe.com/community/forum/
Contact: world@tahoe.com
FAX: (530) 583-7109
Mail: P.O. Box 138, Tahoe City, CA 96145


Note: Additional information on this story, to include defense fund
information, may be found at:



Also: Some readers who visited the MAP's popular interactive, web browser
based, chat room last weekend had an opportunity to chat with Steve about
this case. You never know who will drop by to chat. For more details, just
press the CHAT ROOMS button at the bottom of the MAP home page at



The Kubbys write:

Dear Friends,

Your efforts are paying off. The prosecution has become so nervous over
this case that they have decided to call a Grand Jury on February 16th to

indict us, instead of indicting us themselves.

This tactic is intended to make us look worse to the public and to shield
the D.A. from being blamed directly for our indictment. All this does is
show how weak their case is.

Please continue in your efforts. Our attorney believes it could result in
the Grand Jury refusing to indict us, forcing the D.A. to negotiate with us.

Our goal is to force the D.A. and Sheriff to adopt the standards of the
Oakland ordinance and to free the other 8 medical marijuana patients
currently under indictment in Placer county, as well as Pete Brady, who is
just an innocent bystander.

The lines have been drawn--What we do in Placer County will be watched by
D.A.s and Sheriffs across the country.

Michele and I are grateful for your continued support. Together we will
put an end to this war on sick people.

Warmest regards,

Steve & Michele


c/o Dale Wood Attorney at Law
10833 Donner Pass Road
Truckee, CA 96161

(530) 587-3450

Alternately credit card contributions can be made on line at

Be sure to note KUBBY LEGAL DEFENSE FUND in the message box.
DrugSense will act as the intermediary and forward your donation

Hawaiian Medical Cannabis (A press release from the Drug Policy Forum
of Hawai'i provides background information about public hearings on the
medical use of marijuana, scheduled to begin the week of Feb. 8. Senator
Inouye and Governor Cayetano are advocating for patients, and the DPFH is
seeking patients, physicians, and others who will testify to the positive
medical benefits of smoked marijuana.)

From: CLaw7MAn@webtv.net (Mike Steindel)
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 17:00:00 -0800 (PST)
Cc: cp@telelists.com
Subject: [cp] Hawaiian Med CANNABIS
List-Unsubscribe: (mailto:leave-cp-27149A@telelists.com)

Wednesday, February 3, 1999


Drug Policy Forum of Hawai'i
P.O. Box 61233 o Honolulu, Hawai'i o 96839 top@lava.net
Website: www.drugsense.org/dpfhi




Cayetano Advocating: Hearings Begin Week of February 8


HONOLULU - The Drug Policy Forum of Hawai'i (DPFH) is seeking patients,
physicians, and others who will either write and submit or write and
personally present testimony on the positive medical benefits of smoked
marijuana. Testimony is public and many who use or recommend marijuana
for its medical benefits may be reluctant to participate.

Recognizing this, the Committees are being asked to consider anonymous
testimony; e.g. "Hawai'i resident, Joan L."

House Hearing: date not final, but likely on Feb. 11 at 8:30 a.m. HB
1341, (Rep. Alex Santiago's Bill) & HB 1157 (Governor's Administration

Senate Hearing: Feb. 17, 2:00 p.m.

SB 862 (Senator Chun-Oakland's bill) & SB 1038, (Governor's Administration

Complete bills may be read and printed at

Support for the use of medical marijuana in Hawai'i is gaining momentum,
with Senator Daniel Inouye and Governor Benjamin Cayetano on record in
favor. If Hawai'i should pass medical marijuana legislation, our state
would join Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington
in permitting patients to use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.
In the District of Columbia, voters approved a 1998 medical marijuana
measure according to exit polls - but Congress blocked the ballots from
being counted.

Between 1978 and 1998, 35 states and the District of Columbia passed
legislation recognizing marijuana's medicinal value;

NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, RI, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, and WI.

In recent years, dozens of professional medical organizations have now
either joined the reform effort or have drastically modified their
once-negative public medical-marijuana positions.

The American Medical Association "believes that effective patient care
requires the free and unfettered exchange of information on treatment
alternatives and that discussion of these alternatives between
physicians and patients should not subject either party to criminal
sanctions." Further, the AMA is now advocating "controlled studies" and
"recommends personal possession of insignificant amounts of that
substance [marijuana] be considered a misdemeanor with commensurate
penalties applied...".

NOVEMBER, 1998 - The National Association for Public Health Policy
became the sixty-fourth organization to officially call on the federal
government to reconsider their opposition to the medicinal use of
marijuana. Over half of the organizations on the following 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 medical marijuana and end
it now:

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
American Civil Liberties Union
American Medical Students Association 1993 American Preventive Medical
Association 1997 American Public Health Association 1995 American
Society of Addiction Medicine 1997 Arizona voters 1996 & 1998
Breckenridge, Colorado 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, Colorado 1994
International Cannabis Alliance of Researchers and Educators (I-CARE)
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 1992
MS California Action Network 1996
National Ass. for Public Health Policy 1998 National Association of
Attorneys General 1983 National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National Association of People with AIDS National Nurses Society on
Addictions 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

A popular government without popular information or the means of
acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both.

- James Madison -

Shelby Scott Foster & Associates

The Haleiwa High-Tech Industrial Trailer Park 66-125 E. Awai Lane
Haleiwa, Hawai'i 96712
VOICE 808. 637-9822 * FAX 808.637-1236

Don't Send The Cops (A letter to the editor of the Arizona Daily Star
applauds the recent demise of Pima County's DARE program, citing
several possible reasons why at least one national study has shown
the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program doesn't work.)

Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 17:59:09 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US AZ: PUB LTE: Don't Send The Cops
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Wed, 3 Feb 1999
Source: Arizona Daily Star (AZ)
Contact: letters@azstarnet.com
Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/


I am not sorry to see the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education)
program go (``DARE scrapped'' - Jan. 29). At least one national study
has shown it doesn't work. Why? The answer is open to conjecture. Here
are some possible reasons:

* Because a lot of the information put out by the program is hyped-up,
scare propaganda.

* Equating marijuana with harder drugs just doesn't wash anymore, and
kids know it.

* Because insisting drugs will automatically ruin your life simply
isn't true. The vast majority of people who use drugs do not become
addicted or ruin their lives, and kids know it.

* Because the average, hormone-impaired young person who thinks he or
she has the savvy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the physical skills
of Jackie Chan is inclined to greet inflated threats and intimidation
from police officers with suspicion, if not outright rebellion. It is,
after all, cool to stand up to authority.

* Because in some neighborhoods, where kids have watched cops blow
away a few of their friends (whether justified or not), the
credibility of police officers, regardless of their sincerity,
truthfulness or respectful demeanor, is automatically questioned.

The problem is, drugs are dangerous and kids do need straight
information from credible sources if they're to make the right
choices. Give it to them through their peers, health professionals and
parents, but don't try to make the choice for them by sending in the
cops. It won't work.

Randy Serraglio

INS agents in Nogales indicted (UPI says four current and former Immigration
and Naturalization Service agents were arrested Tuesday. Three were charged
with waving 20 tons of cocaine across the border in exchange for more than

Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999 11:31:29 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US AZ: WIRE: INS agents in Nogales indicted
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Tue, 03 Feb 1999
Source: United Press International
Copyright: 1999 United Press International


TUCSON, Ariz., Feb. 3 (UPI) - U.S. immigration officials hope the
indictments of four current and former agents for allegedly waving
cocaine across the Nogales, Ariz., border in exchange for cash sends a
strong message.

U.S. Attorney for Arizona Jose de Jesus Rivera told the Tucson Citizen
today, ``Corruption will not be tolerated, and violators will be punished.''

The four inspectors will be arraigned Thursday on drug and bribery
charges. Authorities arrested the agents Tuesday. They were each
released on a $50,000 bond following an initial appearance in U.S.
District court in Tucson.

Three of the inspectors are suspected of allowing 20 tons of cocaine
to cross the Nogales border in exchange for more than $135,000. The
fourth suspect was arrested for illegally approving immigration documents.

Authorities have declined to say how the inspectors allegedly were
corrupted, or whether more arrests will be made in Nogales or other
Arizona ports of entry.

Stephen Fickett, INS deputy district director in Arizona, says the
investigation is ongoing. Sixty-seven immigration inspectors work in

He says the INS will use this experience to learn how to prevent
employees from ``turning'' in the future.

Arrested for allegedly accepting bribes to smuggle cocaine were
inspectors Rafael Landa, 50, Robert Ronquillo, 33, and former
inspector Jesus Corella, 41.

Corella and inspector Maria de Los Angeles Albado, 37, face only
bribery charges.

Border Inspectors Held In Drug Case (The Arizona Republic version)

Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 14:22:52 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US AZ: Border Inspectors Held In Drug Case
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Wed, 3 Feb 1999
Source: Arizona Republic (AZ)
Copyright: 1999, The Arizona Republic.
Contact: Opinions@pni.com
Website: http://www.azcentral.com/news/
Forum: http://www.azcentral.com/pni-bin/WebX?azc
Author: Dennis Wagner, The Arizona Republic


Accused of ignoring cocaine hauls into U.S.

TUCSON - Mexican drug lords paid huge bribes to U.S. border inspectors in
Nogales to help smuggle an estimated 20 tons of cocaine into Arizona before
the operation was shut down this week, according to federal investigators.

Three inspectors from the Immigration and Naturalization Service were led
into the U.S. District Court here in shackles, hours after their arrests on
bribery and drug charges. Investigators also arrested a former INS
inspector, along with five people reputedly tied to major narcotics cartels.

"The integrity of the justice system depends on rooting out corruption at
all levels," said Jose de Jesus Rivera, U.S. Attorney for Arizona. "When
people see law enforcement that's corrupt, it affects the whole nation."

Stephen Fickett, district director for the INS, said there are more than
3,000 inspectors in Arizona, "and it is a shame that the actions of a few
will tarnish so many."

Fickett said Border Patrol agents and inspectors are under tremendous
pressure because of the danger inherent to their jobs, but also because of
cash temptation held out by narcotics smugglers.

"There is constant pressure on our employees to take those bribes," Fickett
added. "We will cut out the corruption. We will cut out the rot."

Authorities said the border inspectors operated independently and apparently
were unaware of each others' activities. They said the indictments, after
more than a year of investigations, prove that drug-enforcement efforts are
working, and set an example for other law officers who may be tempted.

Rivera said he believes the case, dubbed "Operation Ghost Boat," puts a
crimp in the cocaine pipeline across Arizona's border. But officials
acknowledged that although 2,500 pounds of cocaine were impounded in a pair
of seizures, an additional 37,500 pounds made it into Arizona.

They also conceded that they have no idea how many other law officers may be
on the take.

The indictments were handed up Jan. 27, but kept sealed until Tuesday. All
nine suspects live in the Nogales area.

The INS inspectors who were arrested are:

Robert Ronquillo-Rojas, 33, accused of taking more than $32,000 in bribes to
allow drug-laden vehicles through a Nogales checkpoint last year. Ronquillo,
who had worked at the border 12 years, is also charged with attempting to
distribute cocaine.

Rafael Landa, 50, faces charges that he collected $30,000 for allowing
vehicles into the country with cocaine in June and September of last year.
But investigators believe his total take was more than $300,000.

Landa, who worked on the Nogales border 21 years, also is accused of
attempting to import and distribute cocaine.

Maria de Los Angeles Alabado, 37, is accused of taking bribes in return for
issuing entry permits to immigrants.

Jesus Corrella, 41, a former INS employee at the Nogales port of entry,
reputedly accepted $75,000 in return for allowing a 1,289-pound shipment of
cocaine through the border in June of 1996.

Although vehicle inspections are the domain of U.S. Customs agents, law
officers along the border are routinely cross-trained. Officials said it was
routine for INS inspectors to check automobiles.

A bribery conviction carries maximum penalties of up to 15 years in prison
plus fines of $250,000. The drug charges could bring maximum penalties of 40
years in prison and $2 million in fines.

In addition to the law enforcement officials, indictments were handed up
against Jose Quiroz-Gonzalez, 48, and Fernando Suarez, 36, for conspiracy to
import and possess 1,200 pounds of cocaine; Theresa Estrada-Portillo, 35,
for conspiracy to possess cocaine; and Roberto Terrazas-Aviles, 40, and
Victoria Perez Abreu Sepulveda, 34, for conspiracy to possess marijuana and
the importation of 275 pounds of marijuana in 1998.

Investigators said those suspects have ties to the Rafael Caro Quintero and
Amado Carillo Fuentes cartels, two of Mexico's narcotics syndicates.

Border Inspectors Face Constant Temptation (The Arizona Daily Star
says agents for the federal Office of the Inspector General have arrested
18 employees of the Immigration and Naturalization Service on drug-related
corruption charges in the past five years, apparently including four Nogales
inspectors indicted yesterday. But 27 other INS workers have been arrested
for alleged corruption related to immigration documents.)

Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 23:16:56 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US AZ: Border Inspectors Face Constant Temptation
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Wednesday, 3 February 1999
Source: Arizona Daily Star (AZ)
Contact: letters@azstarnet.com
Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/
Author: Tim Steller, The Arizona Daily Star


The inspectors in the booths at Nogales aren't tense just because of
traffic jams. Temptation also troubles them, Immigration and
Naturalization Service official Stephen Fickett said.

``There is constant pressure on our employees to take bribes. They are
always being subjected to the possibility of being blackmailed,'' said
Fickett, deputy director of the INS' Phoenix office.

While Fickett insists the vast majority of INS employees are
law-abiding, he and others acknowledge the temptation is great.

One drug trafficker on the California border offered an INS employee
$45,000 for a permanent residency card last year, said T.J. Bondurant,
the assistant inspector general for investigations. For an inspector
who makes a base salary of $23,000 the first year, that's a huge temptation.

A retired Drug Enforcement Administration official, Phil Jordan, said
corruption is a ``necessary ingredient'' for smuggling drugs across
the Mexican border.

``It's part of the master plan that the cartels have,'' said Jordan,
former director of the DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center.

The Office of the Inspector General, which investigates wrongdoing
within the Justice Department, investigates many corruption
allegations each year along the Mexican border, Bondurant said.

In the past five years, OIG agents along the border have arrested 18
INS employees charged with drug-related corruption. Twenty-seven more
were arrested for alleged corruption related to immigration documents.

In a task-force effort along the California border, federal
prosecutors indicted seven allegedly corrupt agents in 1995 and 1996.

Bondurant said his office is concerned about the increasing number of
Justice Department hires along the border.

``You have a large influx of inexperienced people assuming very
responsible positions along the border,'' he said. ``That makes them
more vulnerable.''

That is more true of the Border Patrol, which is increasing by 1,000
agents per year nationally, than of the INS. The number of immigration
inspectors along the Arizona border more than doubled in 1996, from
102 to 208. But in the two years since, their number has grown only by
eight to 216.

New inspectors earn about $23,000 per year but often make $10,000 or
more in overtime pay, said INS spokesman Bill Strassberger. The base
salary may increase by $5,000 the next year.

To get the job, applicants must either have a bachelor's degree or a
high school diploma and three years' work experience. They must take
an aptitude test, then, if selected, go through a background

The investigator talks to neighbors, checks fingerprints, and reviews
credit histories and work experiences. Then, after a medical exam, the
applicant attends an 18-week training course in Glynco, Ga.

Fickett is confident the INS' hiring practices root out potentially
corrupt inspectors, partly because hiring was centralized in one
office four years ago.

``In the recent hiring push that we've made, I don't think we've cut
any corners. In fact, if anything, in the last four years the
integrity of the hiring process has improved,'' Fickett said.

All four Nogales inspectors indicted yesterday have at least five
years' experience, and one has about 19. That inspector, Maria de los
Angeles Alabado, is paid a salary of $47,951 per year.

Colleague Rafael Landa, with five years' experience, makes $35,228 per
year. Inspector Robert Ronquillo, with eight years' experience, is
paid $36,329 per year.

No salary information was available for Jesus A. Corella, who resigned
in October 1996, about four months after allegedly receiving a $75,000
cash payment from drug traffickers.


* Gary P. Callahan, a Border Patrol agent based in Bisbee, was
convicted of skimming cocaine from loads he helped seize, then
reselling it, beginning in 1988. After fleeing to New Zealand, he was
extradited, tried and sentenced to 27 1/2 years in prison in May 1993.

Rodolfo ``Rudy'' Molina Jr. conspired to import 1,100 pounds of
cocaine in 1990 and 1991, while working as an Immigration and
Naturalization Service inspector. He was sentenced to 30 years, five
months in prison, in February 1992.

* Donald L. Simpson took part in the same 1990-91 cocaine conspiracy
with Molina while working as a U.S. Customs Service inspector in
Douglas. He was sentenced to life in prison, also in February 1992.

* Ronald M. Backues, a Border Patrol agent based in Douglas, admitted
trafficking marijuana in 1990 and 1991 but was acquitted of
cocaine-related charges. He was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison in
October 1992.

* Jesus B. Pacheco, a U.S. Customs Service inspector in Douglas,
allowed a marijuana-laden pickup truck to pass through his inspection
station in July 1992 in return for a promised payment of $4,000. He
was sentenced to 5 2/3 years in prison in July 1993.

* Jesus B. Teran, an INS inspector at Douglas, conspired to distribute
narcotics in 1992. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1995.

* Jorge L. Mancha, a Border Patrol agent based in Douglas, conspired
to import cocaine and marijuana from 1992 to 1995. He was also
convicted of money laundering. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

* Francisco G. Haro, a Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department deputy,
transported cocaine in his patrol car in 1996 and 1997. He was
convicted of drug and corruption charges and was sentenced to 11 years
in prison in September 1997.]

Gov. Bush 'Very Interested' In White House Run (Reuters says Texas Governor
George W. Bush, son of the former U.S. president, told CNN in an interview
broadcast Tuesday that there was nothing in his background to disqualify him
from running for president, but dodged a question about whether he had ever
used "drugs." The elder Bush told the French daily newspaper, Le Figaro, in
an interview published Wednesday, that "There was a time when he drank a lot,
but for the past 11 years, he hasn't touched a drop. He was never an
alcoholic, it's just he knows he can't hold his liquor," Bush said.)

Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 17:58:04 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Gov Bush 'Very Interested' In White House Run
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: David Hadorn (hadorn@dnai.com)
Pubdate: Wed, 03 Feb 1999
Source: Reuters
Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Texas Gov. George W. Bush said in an interview
aired Tuesday that there was nothing in his background to disqualify
from running for president, but dodged a question about whether he had
ever used drugs.

Bush has not announced whether he will seek the 2000 Republican
presidential nomination, although he said in an interview with CNN:
``I'm very interested.''

Polls indicate that the eldest son of former president George Bush is
the early front runner in the race for the Republican nomination among
politicians who have said they are running or are considering running.

During the CNN interview, Bush acknowledged that he had quit drinking
because ``alcohol began to compete with my energies.''

Asked whether he had ever used drugs, Bush said, ``I'm not going to
talk about what I did as a child. It is irrelevant what I did 20 to 30
years ago. What is relevant is that I have learned from any mistakes I
made. I do not want to send signals to anybody that what Governor Bush
did 30 years ago is cool to try.''

The elder Bush, who served in the White House from 1989-93, told
French daily Le Figaro in an interview published Wednesday that his
son would probably run for president, but it would be understandable
if he declined over worries about how his candidacy would affect his

The former president said journalists already were trying to dig up
damaging revelations from his son's past.

``So my son could tell himself, 'I run the second-biggest state in the
country and I do a good job. Why inflict the pain of a run for the
White House on my family?' and I would understand that he give it
up,'' Bush said.

``But he is honest and strong. I think there is a good chance he will
run,'' he added.

The younger Bush, who has job approval ratings of 87 percent in Texas,
has admitted to youthful indiscretions, saying he used to drink
alcohol heavily.

``He's 53, so he's had time to pull himself together. There was a time
when he drank a lot, but for the past 11 years, he hasn't touched a
drop,'' the former president was quoted as saying. ``He was never an
alcoholic, it's just he knows he can't hold his liquor,'' Bush said.

Asked in the CNN interview about any problems with alcohol, the Texas
governor said, ``Probably no more so than others that you know.'' But
he noted that he had quit drinking ``because I was drinking too much
... Alcohol began to compete with my energies.''

Noting President Clinton's impeachment trial in Washington and the
departure from politics of others who had admitted marital infidelity,
CNN asked Bush if there was a ``lapse in judgement'' in his past.

``No,'' Bush answered. ``I have said many times that there's nothing
in my background that would disqualify me from being governor of
Texas, much less president.''

Bush noted his strong appeal to Hispanic voters and said that could
help him if he decided to mount a campaign for the presidency.

``I think I understand how to talk about the future so that people
feel the future belongs to them,'' he said, adding, ''I've got a
pretty good handle on Hispanic culture.''

Rates For Cirrhosis, Drinking Don't Add Up (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
says a report in today's issue of the Wisconsin Medical Journal
paradoxically shows that Wisconsin has the highest rate of alcohol
consumption in the nation - 69 percent - but one of the lowest death rates
from cirrhosis of the liver. Wisconsin also has the nation's fourth-largest
per-capita alcohol consumption rate, at 3.4 gallons for every man, woman and
child every year. Nationwide 51 percent of Americans consume alcohol, at a
per capita rate of 2.5 gallons per person.)

Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 23:16:54 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US WI: Rates For Cirrhosis, Drinking Don't Add Up
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: February 03, 1999
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Fax: 414-224-8280
Forum: http://www.jsonline.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimate.cgi
Copyright: 1999, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Author: Neil D. Rosenberg of the Journal Sentinel staff


Seemingly contradictory measures in state surprise and puzzle

If drinking were a game of craps, Wisconsinites would be beating the

Much to the chagrin of local researchers, a study has found that while
Wisconsin leads the nation in percentage of drinkers and is among the
leaders in total consumption, the state has one of the lowest death
rates for cirrhosis of the liver.

"Surprised?" said Patrick Remington, one of two authors of the report
in today's Wisconsin Medical Journal. "Yes, we were surprised."

Wisconsin ranked the highest among the 50 states in the overall
percentage of drinkers -- 69%. Nationwide, half the states had an
overall drinking percentage of 51% or higher.

The state's per capita consumption -- the amount of alcohol consumed,
then divided among every man, woman and child -- ranked it fourth in
the country at 3.4 gallons a person. That compares with the national
per capita consumption of about 2.5 gallons a person, or 26% less than

Yet liver cirrhosis causes about 350 deaths a year in Wisconsin,
ranking the state 43rd in the nation for cirrhosis mortality rates
from 1990 to 1994. Cirrhosis of the liver is directly linked to
drinking -- albeit excessive drinking.

Call it the Wisconsin Paradox. It is reminiscent of the so-called
French Paradox, a nation whose diet is among the highest in fat in the
world, yet whose residents have among the lower rates of heart
disease. Part of the answer may lie in France's wine consumption.
Moderate amounts of alcohol consumption, and specifically red wine,
have been linked to lower risk of heart disease.

But the Wisconsin Paradox, as it relates to drinking and cirrhosis,
has left researchers groping for an explanation.

One possibility: Even though in raw numbers the amount of alcohol
consumed here is high, the high percentage of drinkers means that what
each Wisconsin drinker actually consumes is less than drinkers in
other states.

"If you have two states with the same level of drinking but in one
state you have more drinkers, in that state each drinker is not
consuming as much," said Remington.

The risk of cirrhosis increases with chronic heavy drinking, estimated
to be six to 12 drinks daily for men, and four to eight drinks daily
for women, over a period of 15 to 20 years for men and 10 to 15 years
for women, according to the research report.

"The fact that in the U.S. as a whole, 50% of alcohol is consumed by
the 10% of heaviest drinkers, probably does not apply to Wisconsin,"
according to the researchers, Remington and Mari Gasiorowicz.
Remington is an associate professor of preventive medicine at the
University of Wisconsin Medical School. Gasiorowicz is a senior
outreach specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's
department of professional development and applied studies.

That assumption is offered despite the fact that Wisconsin also is No.
1 in the country in the rate of binge drinking and chronic drinking.
But the chronic drinking rate was based on a survey that defined it as
two or more drinks daily.

The takes the report to its final conclusion: "Given the large body of
research indicating that chronic heavy drinking is the primary risk
factor for cirrhosis, finding that chronic heavy drinking as measured
(in Wisconsin) . . . is minimally correlated with cirrhosis mortality
merits further study."

Boogie's Logic (A letter to the editor of the Little Rock Free Press,
in Arkansas, from one Bob "Boogie" Oliver, says "Every issue of the Free
Press that addresses the war on drugs has been right on in their analysis,"
but then paradoxically comes out against the war, saying "the law against
drugs is the main problem.")

Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999 13:06:36 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US AR: PUB LTE: Boogie's Logic
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: James Markes
Pubdate: Wed, 3 Feb 1999
Source: Little Rock Free Press (AR)
Contact: freep@aristotle.net
Website: http://www.aristotle.net/FREEP
Author: Bob "Boogie" Oliver


I am 60 years old. I have traveled the USA for 22 years with a major
corporation. I worked my way through high school picking cotton, mowing
yards, etc. I started working on computers in 1969. That caused me to change
the way I analyse things. I take the input to my brain and come out with the
most logical answer in much the same way as a computer.

I have always called Little Rock home. Every issue of the Free Press that
addresses the war on drugs has been right on in their analysis. In the war
on drugs (or war against the people) there have been many casualities. I'm
sure we all have a friend or relative that has either been killed or had his
or her life ruined in this war.

Now let's apply logic to this situation.

Have all these people including police officers been killed because of drugs
or because of the law against drugs. The only logical answer is the law
against drugs is the main problem. Without the law against drugs, most of
these people would be alive today. The laws have ruined more lives than
drugs ever could.

When a lawmaker tells you the laws are to protect you, that is an absolute
lie. The only purpose for these laws is to give certain people the power to
kill, persecute, prosecute and rob the people. These people can stop you at
any time to search and humiliate you. If any drug substance is found or
planted on you, they have the power to take your car, home and money. They
don't even have to find drugs to take your money. If you have more cash than
they think you should, they can take and keep it. Drug laws have turned
friend against friend and family against family. The laws have undermined
the entire American way of life.They take the scum of the earth and use them
as snitches to put hard working people in prison. Where is the logic of
putting a 20 year old in prison for one joint?

The only logical answer to this problem is to eradicate the laws on drugs
and take the fate of your children out of the hands of the police and courts
and put them back in the hands of family and friends who care.

No wonder the young people in this country don't vote.

Bob "Boogie" Oliver Little Rock

Tobacco, Crack Raise Miscarriage Risk (According to UPI, a study in
tomorrow's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, funded by the
National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Agency on Health Care Policy
Research, found cigarettes to be deadlier than crack cocaine to unborn
babies. Marijuana and alcohol did not have a similar effect, said Roberta B.
Ness, who led the research on 970 pregnant women and who is the director of
the Women's Health Program at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of
Public Health. She points out, however, that a mother's drinking can harm
babies in other ways.)

Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 23:33:58 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Tobacco, Crack Raise Miscarriage Risk
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Wed, 03 Feb 1999
Source: United Press International
Copyright: 1999 United Press International
Feedback: http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_forms/sn_ctact.htm


BOSTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) - Cigarettes deadlier than crack to unborn babies, but
both substances raise the risk that a woman will suffer a miscarriage, says
a new study.

Roberta B. Ness, who led the research on 970 pregnant women, says those who
smoked had 80 percent more miscarriages. Women who had evidence of cocaine
use, identified through hair analysis, had a 40 percent higher risk of
losing their babies. Ness says her work ``is the first study to show that
cocaine use is linked with subsequent risk of miscarriage.''

There were 400 miscarriages among the women, she says.

She says, ``Tobacco smoking is a bad thing to do at any juncture, but it is
extremely bad during pregnancy.'' This is particularly troubling, she says,
because young women are the fastest growing segment of the population taking
up smoking.

Although researchers don't know why these substances appear to kill fetuses,
Ness speculates they might be restricting the flow of oxygen, essentially
choking the baby in its womb. But other mechanisms may also be at work.

She says, ``We do know that tobacco smoke is comprised of many toxic

Marijuana and alcohol did not have a similar effect, says Ness, director of
the Women's Health Program at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School
of Public Health. She points out, however, that a mother's drinking can harm
babies in other ways.

The study appears in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of
Medicine. It was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the
Agency on Health Care Policy Research. Tobacco and cocaine use were measured
by women's own reporting and by urine and hair analysis.

Future research will look at the impact of genetics and domestic violence on
miscarriage, she says.

Ness says national studies show that about 20 percent to 25 percent of women
smoke while pregnant, and in some communities, the rates are higher. In the
low-income group she studied, about one third of the women were smoking
throughout pregnancy.

Cocaine use is harder to pin down, but some scientists estimate that about 5
percent of women of childbearing age have used the drug. In the new study,
about 30 percent of the women had evidence of cocaine use. Ness says the
extremely high rate reflects the study population, which was poor, young,
unmarried women.

Alan I. Leshner, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse says,
``This research emphasizes that virtually any exposure to illicit drugs is
dangerous for a pregnant woman and her fetus.''

But other scientists are not so sure of the results. In an editorial
accompanying the study, James L. Mills, of the National Institute of Child
Health and Human Development calls the research ``impressive,'' and says
that it ``adds weight to the view that cigarette smoking increases the risk
of spontaneous abortion.''

But he says the findings on cocaine ``do not make an impressive case'' for
the drug's role in fetal death. He says there was no evidence of cocaine in
the urine of women who had miscarriages, only signs of it in hair analysis,
which weakens the conclusion.

Mills says, ``a positive association with both hair and urine tests would
have been more convincing.''

Study links miscarriages to cocaine, tobacco use (The Reuters version)

Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 14:05:47 -0800 (PST)
From: bc616@scn.org (Darral Good)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: study finds tobacco worse for babies than crack
Reply-To: bc616@scn.org
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Wednesday February 3, 10:41 pm Eastern Time

Study links miscarriages to cocaine, tobacco use

By Leslie Gevirtz

BOSTON, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Smoking tobacco and crack cocaine may account
for one-quarter of spontaneous abortions experienced by poor black
inner-city women, researchers report in Thursday's New England Journal of

The link between tobacco and miscarriage has been known for years and the
new study confirms it, showing 80 percent more spontaneous abortions
among women whose urine had evidence of cigarette use.

The connection between cocaine use and miscarriage has been more
controversial and is likely to remain so, even though the new study, led
by Dr. Roberta B. Ness of the University of Pittsburgh, showed a 40
percent increase in the miscarriage risk when cocaine was used during

However, an accompanying editorial by Dr. James L. Mills of the National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development wrote that technical
questions about the Ness study remain and therefore the results ``do not
make an impressive case for cocaine as a cause of spontaneous abortion.''

About 15 percent of clinically recognized pregnancies end in spontaneous
abortions, making it the most common adverse outcome, Ness said in a
telephone interview.

She and her colleagues used hair analysis and urine tests to compare the
drug use of 400 black women who had a miscarriage to the drug use of 570
who had not.

The study ``is really a reflection of women who use the inner-city
emergency department as their primary source of care,'' Ness said in a
telephone interview.

The hair analysis showed 29 percent of the women who miscarried had used
cocaine; urine testing showed 35 percent smoked tobacco. Among women who
did not miscarry, 21 percent had used cocaine and 22 percent smoked tobacco.

Those who used cocaine ``usually smoked it. It was crack use, not
snorting,'' Ness said.

The results suggest that cocaine was responsible for 8 percent of the
miscarriages and smoking caused 16 percent, so researchers said the two
substances ``together would account for 24 percent of the spontaneous
abortions among these inner-city adolescents and women.''

The researchers found no link between miscarriage and marijuana use.

The Nation - Reprising Zero Tolerance (The New York Times,
noting the plan announced this month by New York City Police Commissioner
Howard Safir to seize the vehicles of drunk drivers, interviews Dick Weart,
who, a decade ago, was the ombudsman for the federal government's
zero-tolerance drug crackdown. From his desk in Washington, he fielded
frantic telephone calls from customs inspectors all over the country who had
just turned up a few marijuana seeds or a roach in a car or boat. Within 18
months, the program had been revised three times, evolving into a relatively
lenient approach in which people were cited and released without any
confiscation of their property.)

Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 16:43:25 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US NY: Reprising Zero Tolerance
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: bc616@scn.org (Darral Good)
Pubdate: Wed, 3 Feb 1999
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Forum: http://forums.nytimes.com/comment/


WHEN New York City Police Commissioner Howard Safir announced a tough
new plan this month to seize the vehicles of drunk drivers, he might
have had a talk first with Dick Weart.

A decade ago, Mr. Weart was the ombudsman for the Federal Government's
zero-tolerance drug crackdown. From his desk in Washington, he fielded
frantic telephone calls from customs inspectors all over the country
who had just turned up a few marijuana seeds or the end of a marijuana
cigarette in a car or boat.

''I was on the phone from seven in the morning to seven at night,'' he
recalled. ''There were times when I was pulling my hair out.'' Every
case, it seemed, had extenuating circumstances.

Such crackdowns have been highly popular with politicians and
law-enforcement officials, but after the the klieg-light hype, the
programs are usually quietly dumped or throttled back.

The Federal Government's drug program, a model of the genre, was
announced in 1988 by the Customs Service Commissioner, William von
Raab. ''There will be no mercy,'' he vowed. And for a while, that
seemed to be true. His inspectors, sometimes with the help of the
Coast Guard, confiscated thousands of cars and boats from people
caught with small amounts of drugs, regardless of whether they were
the owners.

But within 18 months, the program had been revised three times,
evolving into a relatively lenient approach in which people were cited
and released without any confiscation of their property. (Federal
agents still use forfeiture laws, but mostly against large-scale drug
dealers and money launderers.)

It was a chaotic time, Mr. Weart recalled. ''The simplest incident
could evolve into something very serious,'' he said. One incident
involved a college student who had driven his father's Ferrari to a
party in Mexico, he recalled. Trying to reenter the United States, the
student realized that the small amount of marijuana in the car might
be enough to get it seized. So he tried to evade inspectors by roaring
through the Customs entry lanes. ''It matured into something very
serious,'' Mr. Weart said, including charges of marijuana possession
and endangering a Federal agent.

When applied to boats, the policy seemed to exaggerate the disparity
between the seriousness of the crime and the severity of the
punishment. Within weeks of the introduction of the policy,
authorities had seized the Ark Royal, a $2.5 million yacht, after
finding less than one-tenth of an ounce of marijuana on board.

NOT long afterward, Federal agents confiscated the country's premier
research vessel, the Atlantis II, owned by the Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution, because a tiny amount of marijuana had been
found in a crew member's shaving kit. The boat was not formally
returned to Woods Hole for two months. And a multi-million-dollar
vessel owned by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California
was seized after dogs found a small amount of marijuana hidden in the
berth of a low-ranking crew member.

Those and other high-profile seizures brought as much attention to
zero tolerance as criticism. But notwithstanding the problems, Mr.
Weart said, the program sent a strong message. It pleased criminal
justice conservatives, but enraged scores of motorists and boat owners
-- not to mention civil libertarians -- who made the same criticisms
that are now being raised about New York's drunk-driver policy. They
complained that such Draconian steps entangle law-enforcement and
court personnel in time-consuming wrangles when they could be better
deployed elsewhere.

Since the nation's earliest years, Federal authorities have used
forfeiture laws to seize the property of people who violated Customs
and tax laws, said Sandra Guerra, a professor at the University of
Houston Law Center. Later, they were used against people who made
liquor during prohibition, she added. But in applying the law to drunk
drivers, she said, officials may be imposing a punishment
disproportionate to the crime.

Other experts said the crackdown might never make it through the New
York courts. ''I think people who drive drunk and hurt people should
be punished,'' said Steven L. Kessler, a New York lawyer and an expert
on asset forfeiture in the state. ''Unfortunately, the Administrative
Code as written doesn't permit it.''

Mr. Safir defended the program, saying that seizing the vehicles of
drunk drivers means taking a weapon out of the hands of potential
criminals. ''I can't tell you how many times I've been to the scene
where somebody was killed, and the drunk driver had been arrested
three or four times before,'' he said. ''Nothing is perfect, nothing
is going to solve the problem totally, but we believe this is a very
good start.''

The policy would be administered ''reasonably,'' he said, and
exceptions will be made when drunk drivers are operating someone else's car.

''I think there are lots of people who will think twice about drinking
and driving if they think they are going to lose their car,'' he said.
''I really do.'' Captioned as: The border crossing at San Ysidro,
Calif., was one of the main targets of the zero tolerance push a
decade ago.

Prison Drug Program Draws Suit (The Philadelphia Inquirer says an inmate
at a New Jersey state prison who was convicted of "drug" use and "drug"
possession has sued the Department of Corrections, saying that when he asked
to be removed from the religion-based Nu Way drug-treatment program, he was
told he would lose his eligibility for a community-release program. Staff
frequently led group meetings in prayer and invoked God's name, but the
inmate was told that if he quit Nu Way, he would be punished with a "failure
to comply" charge.)

Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 16:43:09 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US NJ: Prison Drug Program Draws Suit
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Wed, 03 Feb 1999
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)
Copyright: 1999 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.
Contact: Inquirer.Opinion@phillynews.com
Website: http://www.phillynews.com/
Forum: http://interactive.phillynews.com/talk-show/
Author: Angela Couloumbis


An Inmate In Bridgeton Says The Inpatient Program Offended His
Religious Sensibilities

CAMDEN -- An inmate of a New Jersey state prison has sued the
Department of Corrections, saying that when he asked to be removed
from a drug-treatment program that he asserts is religion-based, he
was told he would lose his eligibility for a community-release
program. In the lawsuit, Walter Corker, who was convicted in May of
drug-use and drug-possession charges, contends that the Department of
Corrections placed him in an inpatient drug-abuse program called Nu
Way whose staff frequently led group meetings in prayer and invoked
God's name. Corker, a prisoner at the South Woods State Prison in
Bridgeton, writes that his "religious sensibilities [were] shocked" by
the mention of God's name during group sessions, and that he felt the
program was "using the Lord's name in vain by connecting 'HIM' to the
ilk of addiction." Corker said he wrote numerous letters to the
program administrator, the prison administration, and officials at the
Department of Corrections, stating his objections, but received either
no response or "the runaround." He also said that Nu Way staff first
became "angry" and then refused his request for transfer out of the

Corker said he was told that if he quit Nu Way, he would be punished
with a "failure to comply" charge, which carries a maximum penalty of
15 days detention and 90 days of segregation; and that the charge
would be forwarded to the state Parole Board and become part of his
permanent record. In the suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court,
Corker said he was "scared to sign out because of the adverse effects
that signing out would have . . . on his future chances of ever being
able to benefit from a community-release program." Julia Campbell,
spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, could not say yesterday
whether Nu Way was prayer-based, or what the penalties were for
withdrawing from the drug-treatment program. But Campbell did say that
Nu Way was part of the state prison system's "therapeutic communities"
-- intensive substance-abuse programs that place inmates outside the
mainstream prison population. She said that 1,267 inmates out of the
state's total inmate population of 24,132 participate in such
communities. Campbell said that on average, inmates stay in those
communities for nine months, but no longer than 12 months.

When they complete the program, inmates are placed in a preparole
program and eventually released to specially trained parole officers.
According to information provided by the Department of Corrections, Nu
Way was launched in September as part of an initiative by Gov. Whitman
to increase the number of treatment programs for addicted offenders.
The $1.3 million program was developed by the state Department of
Corrections' Office of Drug Operations, and is funded through the
federal government. According to Campbell, housing a prisoner in a
therapeutic community costs $81 a day, $8 more than it costs to keep
an inmate behind bars.

Rolling Stone Magazine Being Sued (The Associated Press says the private
corporation in Culver City, California, that administers DARE, the Drug Abuse
Resistance Education program, wants $50 million, alleging it was libeled in a
March 1998 article by freelance writer Stephen Glass, who said the program
tries to "silence critics, suppress scientific research and punish
nonbelievers." Glass later admitted making up an unspecified portion of the
story. The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges that Rolling Stone sought a
derogatory article about DARE to further editor-publisher Jann Wenner's
"ongoing efforts to discredit anti-drug organizations.")
Link to 6/30/98 article, 'Group Sues Writer For Sham Article'
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 16:42:45 -0800 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Rolling Stone Magazine Being Sued Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Wed, 03 Feb 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE BEING SUED LOS ANGELES - D.A.R.E, an anti-drug program used in schools across the country, has sued Rolling Stone magazine for $50 million, alleging it was libeled in an article written by a journalist who admitted making up part of the story. The March 1998 article by freelance writer Stephen Glass said the Culver City-based program tried to "silence critics, suppress scientific research and punish nonbelievers." D.A.R.E. has a separate $10 million libel complaint against Glass. The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges that Rolling Stone managing editor Robert Love requested a derogatory article about D.A.R.E. to further editor-publisher Jann Wenner's "ongoing efforts to discredit anti-drug organizations." Love and Wenner also are named as defendants. "We are taking action against Rolling Stone to defend our reputation and recoup the damages incurred by these libels," said D.A.R.E president Glenn Levant. Love countered that his magazine acted responsibly. "We are confident that the magazine will be vindicated," he said. "We view this libel action as little more than an attempt to intimidate and discourage legitimate debate on the viability of the D.A.R.E program," Love said. Glass was a writer for the New Republic when he confessed to making up stories for that magazine and others where he freelanced, including Rolling Stone. He was fired from the New Republic and is now a law student at Georgetown University. D.A.R.E., or Drug Abuse Resistance Education, was founded by the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1980s during the tenure of former police chief Daryl F. Gates. Under the program, police officers visit elementary school classrooms to explain the dangers of drugs. In recent years, D.A.R.E. has expanded to include lessons on such topics as violence, cigarette smoking and date rape.

Immigration Inspectors Indicted (The Associated Press says three current and
one former inspector for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service have
been indicted on bribery charges in Phoenix, Arizona. The three current INS
agents are accused of allowing suspected cocaine traffickers to pass through
the Nogales port of entry in exchange for cash. The fourth is alleged to have
taken money to approve immigration documents.)

Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 08:28:53 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US AZ: Immigration Inspectors Indicted
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Wed, 03 Feb 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press


PHOENIX (AP) - Three current inspectors and one former inspector for the
Immigration and Naturalization Service have been indicted on bribery
charges, federal officials announced Tuesday.

Three of the indicted are accused of allowing vehicles believed to have
been transporting cocaine to pass through the Nogales port of entry in
exchange for cash. The fourth is alleged to have taken money to approve
immigration documents.

The indictments, along with five others of alleged drug smugglers, were the
result of a special investigation of public corruption by the Southwest
Border Task Force of the Nogales port of entry.

"Corruption will not be tolerated and this case is an example of the
success that cooperative law enforcement can have," said U.S. Attorney Jose
de Jesus Rivera said.

First Do No Harm - An Overview Of Dutch Tolerance (The Little Rock Free
Press, in Arkansas, travels to the Netherlands to study Dutch drug policy.
Tolerance seems to be the official party line, taught in school and church.
The Dutch make it hard not to be ashamed of the United States. "The normal
American citizen has such an idiotic picture of drugs," says Herman-Louis
Matser of Adviesburo Drugs. America's influence on Dutch drug use has been
profound. Oregon and California marijuana growers originally developed the
strains of high-potency pot the Dutch have been perfecting.)

From: Phillip Coffin (PCoffin@sorosny.org)
To: TLC_ACTIVIST (TLCACT@sorosny.org)
Subject: FW: An Overview Of Dutch Tolerance
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 11:51:26 -0500
Sender: owner-tlc-cannabis@mailhost.soros.org

Wed, 3 Feb 1999
Little Rock Free Press (AR)
Note: The Little Rock Free Press is a bi-weekly 'Newspaper for the Rest of

by Will Swagel

A baggy pants Vaudeville comic greets his funny-faced friend. "Just back
from Paris, Pal? How was it?"

"Great!" says the friend. "Eiffel Tower. Left Bank. But what got me the most
was the kids. So smart! Four, five years old and already speaking French!"

It helps to remember this joke when talking to youngsters in the Netherlands
- a place where tolerance seems to be the official party line, taught in
school and church. Some version of harm reduction - the philosophy of
accepting some of society's blemishes so as not to do more damage trying to
stamp them out - is pretty universally accepted in this northern European
country of 15 million.

Remembering the punchline may even be more important when talking to
Amsterdam police officers or Dutch government ministers. Hearing a detective
express sympathy and acceptance of the hard drug addicts in his midst - you
have to remember it's part him, of course, but partly the way he was raised.
The same when you hear a Dutch member of the European Parliament state
proudly that she helped establish cannabis coffeeshops earlier in her
political career.

They make it hard not to be ashamed of the United States, where the
percentage of citizens in prison (approaching 2 million) is the highest in
the developed world - nearly that of Russia, according to figures compiled
by the Sentencing Project. Where politicians advocate draconian Prohibitions
of increasing numbers of behaviors to win elections. And where, despite
these policies (or because of them) rates of youth drug use and abortions

Back in the Cafe Ebeling, I am telling Amsterdam sociologist Bart van
Heerikhuizen that in Alaska, a man was sentenced to life in prison without
the possibility of parole for growing marijuana in commercial quantities. I
tell van Heerikhuizen - the father of a 17-year-old and a 13-year-old - that
in my home town, a teenager was charged with a felony for having residue in
a marijuana pipe on the school grounds - making him have to - at the very
least - answer "yes" to that question on job applications and submit to drug
testing for the rest of his life.

"Shouldn't you include this in your article, too?" van Heerikhuizen all but
cries out. "It is so strange for a Dutch person to hear this kind of thing!"
Later van Heerikhuizen tells me the Dutch have an expression for U.S.-style
Prohibition: "Mopping the floor when the faucet is running."

"The normal American citizen has such an idiotic picture of drugs," says
Herman-Louis Matser, who works with recreational drug users for an Amsterdam
drug policy and service organization, Adviesburo Drugs. "Such a prejudice
has nothing to do with the truth. Because people are told lies, now you have
to act as though the lies are true?"

The Dutch get angry when you question their tolerance - an important part of
a national identity they sometimes claim not to have. Question their beliefs
and you run the risk of hearing criticisms of such "Americanisms" such as
the "24-hour economy"(the Dutch close shops at 6:00 pm and aren't open on
Sundays), welfare "reform" and employee downsizing.

The Dutch themselves say their tolerance and willingness to accept new, and
often disquieting developments, stem from being a small nation, dependent on
trade with often more powerful partners.

"When you have to make a deal with someone, you don't talk about your
political preference or your religious preference," van Heerikhuizen

"The Dutch government is more pragmatic than most governments, they look at
things in a very real way," says Susan LaPolice, a former U.S. Midwesterner
who has spent five years in Holland working with cannabis coffeeshop and
seed companies and is now importing and distributing hemp products in Europe
and the U.S. "They look at harm reduction - what is the least harm to
society and they control things from that. Not from a Puritan attitude. As

I've caught Hedy D'Ancona on a good day, A former Dutch minister of health
and now a Netherlands representative to the European parliament, D'Ancona's
Social Democrats and the liberal Left in general gained substantial ground
in Holland's multi-party election just days before I spoke with her.

"All over Europe, things are liberalizing," D'Ancona says. "Ireland, Greece
and Portugal - traditionally among the most repressive countries in Europe
toward abortion and other moral issues - have loosened their grip. Even
hyper-critical France seems to be coming over to a Dutch-style tolerance in
questions of soft drug use. Now, only Sweden stands out as a bulwark of
Prohibitionist policies."

"In Ireland, homosexuality was forbidden," D'Ancona notes, "and now it is
forbidden also to discriminate."

"(Marijuana decriminalization), you can say they made that more formal in
Belgium and Italy and they are busy doing that in Spain and Portugal," she
says. "You can smoke marijuana and you are not in court. Except Sweden."

D'Ancona has always supported the cannabis coffeeshops, but shares the view
of many other Netherlanders that there was not enough regulation of the
establishments at the beginning and too many opened in too short a time - a
number of them in Amsterdam, catering largely to drug tourists from the
United States and England. But this doesn't make D'Ancona back off from her
long-held beliefs.

"I am in favor of the coffeeshops for harm reduction," she says. "Because on
the street corner today, no marijuana. Only heroin and cocaine. Our deepest
purpose was to separate (hard and soft drugs) and we succeeded in that."

Western societies that wish to follow the Dutch lead may have problems, says
Amsterdam clinical psychologist Andre Tuinier, who could represent the
leading edge of tolerance for drug use. The editor of the psychiatry and
sociology journal, the Deviant, this former member of the 1960's protest
group the Provos, now teaches and works with drug user organizations.

"There is very limited room for the idea that using drugs can be an
expression of curiosity or can be a very legitimate defense against the
invasion of our mind by the dominant culture," he says. "Together with a
number of advanced control mechanisms, the dominant culture that has taken
root in the West includes the idea that you should only have one

"The counterculture is no longer a starting point for unity," Tuinier rues.
"The defense of people who want to use (drugs) is very weak. I always hear
some arguments in terms of harm reduction - that marijuana or heroin is not
harmful. I want to see arguments showing that it can be clearly beneficial.
And the same goes for (psychoactive) mushrooms and tea. We have to defend
the right to (do it) and not just be reactive."

America's influence on Dutch drug use has been profound. Oregon and
California marijuana growers originally developed the strains of
high-potency pot the Dutch have been perfecting. American hard drug users
popularized IV heroin use in a population that had been smoking the drug.
Defending U.S, policies is an easy way to pick a fight with Susan LaPolice.
"Separating hard and soft drugs is the first step," she says. "Bless your
dying day that American youth are smoking marijuana and not taking the
harder stuff."

LaPolice's fear is that the police pressure targeted on marijuana,
psychedelic mushrooms and other soft drugs - along with disinformation
campaigns - make it harder for experimental-minded youth to make wise
choices. Hard drug users and their advocates say the more difficult and
expensive hard drugs are to obtain, the greater the problems with associated
crime, overdoses and increased rates of use. The equation works beyond just
drugs. Arrests of prostitutes, say advocates of "sex workers", only drives
the problem into dark corners where both prostitutes and clients may be

"It's always a game of cat and mouse," says Joep de Groot, a veteran police
officer, who's seen it all in his three-plus decades patrolling Amsterdam's
infamous Red Light District. "The police can't win. You don't want them to

"That's the problem I think with the American police," he says. "They think
they can win. But if you win, you lose. Because if you win, you are causing
more problems."

"Better to have a few drug victims than an intolerant society," says
Adviesburo's Matser. I tell him in the U.S. we're told we need to sacrifice
the few addicts to protect the whole of society from drugs.

"You think you sacrifice the few," Matser counters. "But you sacrifice it
all. Because the whole society gets the sickness."

Bitter Pills: Inside The Hazardous World Of Legal Drugs (The Journal of the
American Medical Association reviews the new book by Stephen Fried, a medical
investigative reporter from Philadelphia who begins by describing his wife's
misfortune with prescription drugs. Over several years he grew aware that
severe complications from use of a medication are widespread. Initially the
book seems a vendetta against drug companies and the US Food and Drug
Administration. Much of the book describes in detail drug research, drug
approval, market forces on drug companies and the medical industrial complex,
and the FDA regulatory process. Criticisms aside, the book is overall
informative and engaging. It serves as an excellent primer and source of
information for consumers of medication and professionals alike.)

Date: Sun, 07 Feb 1999 00:34:25 +0000
From: Peter Webster (vignes@monaco.mc)
Subject: [] JAMA -- Bitter Pills: Inside The Hazardous World Of Legal Drugs
Pubdate: Wed, 3 Feb 1999
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 1999;281:469)
Copyright: 1999 American Medical Association.
Contact: JAMA-letters@ama-assn.org
Website: http://www.ama-assn.org/public/journals/jama/
Reviewer: Robert G. Gillio, MD, Lancaster, Pa
Section: Books, Journals, New Media, Drugs

432 pp, $24.95, ISBN 0-533-10383-0, New York, NY, Bantam Books, 1998.

Bitter Pills is three books in one. The author, a medical investigative
reporter from Philadelphia, describes his wife's misfortune when samples of
a quinolone antibiotic led to neurologic and psychiatric sequelae and his
own reactions and interactions. Over several years he grew aware that his
wife not the only one who had suffered--severe complications from use of a
medication are widespread. These complications included neurological and
neuromuscular problems such as confusion, disorientation, seizures, and
weakness. Initially, dozens and then more than 100 patients were identified
with such problems.

Fried intertwines his wife's story with what initially seems a vendetta
against drug companies and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Much
of the book describes in detail drug research, drug approval, market forces
on drug companies and the medical industrial complex, and the FDA
regulatory process. In the course of the descriptions, which are narrative
and anecdotal rather than analytical, the reader learns about the
pharmaceutical industry and the authors' investigative findings.

The third portion of the book is meant as an aid for the lay reader. It
features a glossary of drug terms, a useful interpretation of the package
insert, and a directory of Web sites for more information. Included are
suggestions for how to make your physician aware of appropriate drug
history information. An example of a personal-medication portion of a
medical history is included for the reader's use.

Bitter Pills is not kind to any of the major players. The public is
portrayed as naive, physicians as defensive, ignorant, or greedy. Drug
detail staff are seen as manipulative salespeople pushing products from
unethical manufacturers, and the FDA is "understaffed, overwhelmed and
unduly bureaucratic." Yet, positive aspects of each are also highlighted.
Readers will be educated as to the history of the FDA, the drug regulatory
process, and recent behind-the-scenes activities in drug withdrawals.
Readers may be chagrined to realize that they have consumed or prescribed
pharmaceuticals with a much higher level of ignorance than they had
imagined. The book does a good job of explaining such terms as "drug detail
person," "FDA approval," "black box warning," "indication," "adverse
reaction," "formulary," and "post-market surveillance." The author recounts
the adventures and misadventures of FDA involvements with thalidomide,
Halcion, Omniflox, Seldane, and Primatene Mist.

I had a lot to learn, despite an unusual level of awareness regarding
medication problems (I am a physician and inventor who has devoted part of
his career to solving drug compliance problems by developing medication
dispensing systems, MedSelect Systems). Nevertheless, I learned a great
deal about the package insert and problems with postmarketing surveillance
for drug complications.

With limited time for reading, I found myself annoyed by the book's format.
It could be considerably shorter had it not been written in the first
person, intertwining the wife's experiences and the investigation into FDA
pharmaceutical issues. I would have made better use of a concise treatise
on the pharmacological industry and its regulation, while the personal
story could stand alone and the guide for consumers be reduced to a
pamphlet for widespread distribution.

Criticisms aside, the book is overall informative and engaging. It serves
as an excellent primer and source of information for consumers of
medication and professionals alike and is well indexed and readable. I
would recommend Bitter Pills to anyone who uses or prescribes pharmaceuticals.

Bitter Pills, by Stephen Fried, Prologue (A list subscriber posts
the prologue to the new book about how and why the pharmaceutical industry
developed into such a deadly but unrecognized disaster.)

Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 09:18:09 -0600
From: davewest 
Reply-To: davewest@pressenter.com
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Bitter Pills by Stephen Fried, Prologue

Good book. Recommended. Here's the Prologue.


C. 1998


It began with a pill. One pill.
My wife's gynecologist gave her samples of a new antibiotic to treat a
urinary tract infection so minor, she didn't even know she had it. The
doctor told her to take this new wonder drug twice a day for three days.

Your doctor gives you a pill, you take it. When I left for work the
next morning, 1 said good-bye to Diane as she swallowed the first pale
yellow oval tablet with breakfast.

Six hours later I was bringing her, delirious, to the emergency
room. Our lives haven't been the same since.

Diane called me at work several hours after she took that pill and said
she felt strange. I knew something was really not right, because my wife
comes from a long line of "it's just a flesh wound" stoics who
underreact to all physical discomfort. She said she was disoriented and
hallucinating. Her mouth was dry, and she felt tingling in her left arm
and hand. She was having trouble talking.

After we spoke, she found herself wandering around in her small home
office, and when she located her desk, she couldn't figure out how to
turn off the computer she writes on every day. When she went to lie
down, she started shaking uncontrollably and then saw white. She was
sure she was dying.

Then she heard the phone ring. It was me, calling to see if she was
feeling any better. Luckily, she was able to reach over, pick up the
receiver and mumble to me about what was going on. I called her
gynecologist, who told me to take her to the hospital. When the cab got
me home from the office, I found Diane lost in her closet. She stammered
that she wanted to get dressed to go out but couldn't find her white
shirt. I looked down and saw that it was an inch from her hand.

Married people can afford to panic only one at a time, so I
pretended I was not scared as I helped her on with the shirt and took
her to the hospital closest to where we live in Philadelphia, which
happens to be Pennsylvania Hospital, the oldest hospital in America and
one of the very best. As Diane spoke--haltingly, elliptically--to the ER
doctors, more symptoms emerged. Her jaw was terribly sore from clenching
against what we assumed had been a seizure. Her pupils were fixed and
dilated, like blobs of black ink. She said she felt as though something
were "melting" just behind her green eyes.

It was late Friday afternoon at the ER, just before the weekend
rush, so we got a good, slightly private, curtained-off area. An
emergency medicine specialist and several neurology residents tag-teamed
in and out of our space. Each one asked a slightly different version of
the same questions. I worried that we weren't being clear because there
didn't seem to be any accumulation of knowledge taking place. They all
had tests they wanted Diane to perform.

"Spell the word 'world' backwards," one asked. She did it and was
then asked to name the U.S. presidents in reverse chronological order.

"Can you spell 'world' backwards?" the next one asked. Then he
requested that she touch her finger to her nose.
"I'd like you to try to spell--" the next one began.

"--yeah, yeah," Diane said, "'world' backwards." But she was bobbing
in and out of full lucidity. Only seconds after cracking a joke, her
mind would be sluggish again, and she would barely respond when I
stroked her cheek or her shoulder-length brown hair.

After nearly five years of marriage, this was the first medical
emergency we ever had to face. The only thing that kept me from really
losing it was a woman in the next cubicle who already had lost it.
Dragged in by the police in the middle of a major psychotic episode, she
screamed continually in English and Chinese about everything from her
husband's homosexuality to her close personal friendship with the
president of the United States. Her screams pierced the crackly trauma
calls from ambulances all over the area, which were being broadcast on a
loudspeaker system for the ER staff to monitor. The combined noise was
oddly stabilizing, a constant reminder that things could be considerably worse.

After several hours of neurological exams, the word came back-from a
place called the Poison Control Center--that all of Diane's symptoms had
been previously reported as reactions to the antibiotic she took. The
drug is called Floxin. She had, as we now say, been "Floxed." My wife
took a pill. It made her sicker than she was before. World backwards.
Tell me about it.

The ER doctors, however, were not through with us. They still wanted to
run more tests. Even though Diane's symptoms, such as "acute delirium,"
were consistent with a reaction to the Floxin, they could also be caused
by a brain tumor, a stroke or a big horrible infection with larger
neurological implications, like spinal meningitis. They wanted to do a
CT scan.

I got to sit in the CT control room and watch the machinery visually
slice and dice. There is nothing quite so frightening as watching your
loved one's brain being scanned for tumors, especially when you're not
exactly sure what a normal brain looks like. But it is also very moving
to peer directly into your wife's mind. What spouse hasn't at one time
or another wished to be able to do that?

Back in the ER after a clean scan, we were then told the prevailing
wisdom about all adverse drug reactions: that the effects would subside
when the medication left her system. And we were sent home--with a
supply of the milder, cheaper antibiotic she probably should have taken
in the first place for her urinary tract infection (UTI)--to wait for
that to happen. On our way out, we walked past the main ER desk. On the
wall behind it was a light box for reading X-rays, which was still
illuminating pictures from the inside of Diane's brain. To the left of
the viewer was a shiny metal towel dispenser. It was adorned with Floxin
advertising magnets that had been left by some enterprising drug sales rep.

At that moment I thought the Floxinalia would actually make a nice
detail for our emergency room horror story, the recitation of which
would commence as soon as Diane was fine, ostensibly in a couple of
days. But her symptoms did not disappear as promised. Some waned, but
new ones developed. Besides the "melting" and the fixed pupils, she had
really aggressive, buzzy insomnia, visual distortions that made the
world seem six-dimensional and aphasia: she would get halfway through a
sentence and just couldn't get the rest of the words out. For a woman
with a high school trophy for "best negative debater" sitting on a shelf
behind her desk, this was probably the scariest symptom of all.

Over the next two weeks, she endured an electroencephalogram (EEG),
which tests electrical function in the brain; a magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI) of her head, which offers more structural detail than the
CT scan; and a spinal tap, to check the cerebrospinal fluid for
infections, as well as some blood work. All these tests just to rule out
any other possible explanation for her continuing symptoms than an
adverse reaction to the drug--the same drug that was supposed to be long
gone from her system. While the tests themselves were creepy, what they
were testing for was absolutely horrifying. I found myself weighing
which awful result would be most acceptable, watching the life we had
planned to have pass before my eyes.

The tests all came back on a Thursday, one of the most harrowing
days of our lives. As we were read the results over the phone' by our
internist, I found myself mentally checking off all the nightmares that
had been eliminated by the process--"brain tumor, no; stroke, no; AIDS,
no." But Diane still wasn't well. The doctors concluded that the drug
reaction had triggered some genetic predisposition to neurological
illness. Since her body hadn't been able to correct the situation
naturally, she would need to take a combination of heavy-duty drugs,
each with its own possible side effects, to do it. If, in fact, it could
be done at all.

But at least that urinary tract infection had cleared up.

It has now been five years since Diane got Floxed. In that time, we have
learned more than we thought we'd ever want to know about what has been
called "the other drug problem." The one with legal drugs.

Since that day in the emergency room, I have been on a quest. An
investigative journalist and exasperated husband, I am trying to find
out if my wife was the victim of a pharmacological foul-up or just a
statistically acceptable casualty of "friendly fire" in the war on
disease. I am also trying to find meaning in our experience, a married
couple searching for each other through a medical emergency that never
seems to end, the siren never completely quieted.

Along the way, I have met the people behind the studies, the
statistics, the press releases and the lawsuits: heroes, scoundrels,
geniuses and idiots, victims and victimizers, the amorphous "less than
one percent" of the population who have the adverse reactions you read
about in the fine print on your drug labels and even the people who
massage the numbers to get them under one percent. I have seen close up
what happens at that moment when science officially becomes commerce,
when exciting new drugs are handed over from the lab nerds to the
marketing types. I have watched everyone in the pharmaceutical food
chain describe everyone but themselves as unhealthy arrogant. I have
seen the world's top drug cop, the head of the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), excoriated as a "thug," a "bully" and even a
"killer" by an industry-friendly legislator. And I have listened to the
head of one of America's largest drugstore chains turn to me and growl,
"These drug companies always hide under the cloak of 'We're these great
research and development houses and without us there would be no
medications. l think they're full of shit."

The Europeans have a very elegant word for a certain type of drug
safety research. The word is pharmacovigilance, and it refers to
research that is supposed to be done after a drug has been approved and
we're taking it. Because the people who do this work are the sole link
between the pharmaceutical world and the real world and are often the
bearers of unwelcome news, they sometimes seem like pharmacovigilantes.
Over these years, I have been doing my own form of pharmacovigilantism.
I use my press credentials to move effortlessly between the camps
warring for control of your medicine cabinet.

My quest began with tracking down everything I could find about
Floxin. But I realized that the only way to understand what had happened
to Diane was to see beyond one pill and journey to the heart of the
legal-drug culture: the international pharmaceutical industry, the
government drug police in countries large and small, the physicians, the
researchers, the pharmacists, the nurses, the consumer advocates--and
the patients who unwittingly place their blind faith in this system. In
college there was a book we had to read for political science class
called The Dance of Legislation, about how a bill becomes law. Since
Diane's drug reaction, I have been investigating politicized science and
watching "the dance of medication"--how a pill becomes law.

Much to my surprise, I found that the world of legal drugs is
actually far more fascinating than its illicit counterpart, where we
journalists generally focus our attention. It can also be more
dangerous. While pharmaceutical science has made some medical miracles
almost routine, the sheer size of the legal-drug world means that its
problem areas are bigger than the entire illegal-drug problem.

For example, far more people die each year from adverse reactions to
prescription and over-the-counter medications than succumb to all
illegal drug use. Illicit drugs kill anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000
Americans a year. The estimates for U.S. deaths from legal drugs range
from 45,000 to over 200,000 per year, which represents roughly 2 to 9
percent of the 2.3 million Americans who die annually from all causes.
Of course, many people take many medications without experiencing such problems.

Asking questions about what government regulators were doing about
the drug reaction problem also became my way of infiltrating the FDA, an
agency so misunderstood that it is easy to overlook its omnipresence in
our lives. The FDA is responsible for regulating 25 percent of America's
entire gross national product and its policies are the benchmark for
world regulation of drugs and medical devices.

The work done by understaffed national agencies like the FDA has
never been more important, because in all too many cases, the new
economics of health care have transformed drugs from one possible
treatment into the only possible treatment--or at least the only
reimbursable treatment. In the past five years, drug sales in U.S.
pharmacies and outpatient clinics have risen more than 50 percent and
the total number of prescriptions dispensed, more than 2 billion a year,
has risen over 25 percent. The vast majority of those increases are
attributable to managed care's growing use of drugs to avoid hospitalization.

Drugs have become not only the tail that wags the dog but the tail
that feeds the dog, trains the dog and makes the dog do tricks. And the
growing power of the pharmaceutical industry is being controlled by a
shrinking base of owners. Not only are the huge "drug houses" merging
with each other and streamlining, but they are buying the firms that
decide which drugs will be made available to patients in HMOs and other
managed health care organizations. The companies also control the flow
of information about medicines. The drug industry now funds, directly or
indirectly, almost all the research done on drug products and almost all
the drug education doctors get after medical school. Most of the
destigmatizing public-awareness advertising campaigns about illnesses
are paid for by the companies whose drugs are used to treat or in some
cases define those illnesses. And more than ever, drug companies are
end-running physicians' authority by advertising directly to consumers,
which is why your magazines and newspapers are overflowing with
pharmaceutical ads, your favorite TV shows are interrupted by pleas to
"ask your doctor" about drugs and your doctor is quietly wincing every
time he or she is "asked."

It's a situation that can easily turn unhealthy and too often does.
Companies can't always be counted on to do "the right thing" when
they're faced with. a tough choice between profit and public safety.
Experts in the field are growing worried about where the in-house
"conscience" of these companies will be found, especially when firms
with sterling reputations merge with their less high-minded competitors.

While drug therapies grow stronger and more profitable every day,
the system that is supposed to assure the safety of those drugs is
getting relatively weaker, an economic and bureaucratic liability easily
targeted for downsizing. Even as computers and easier international
communication make more drug safety efforts possible, the chasm between
what ca, be done and what is being done to keep us safe grows constantly larger.

Ten years ago, the bottom-line business practices of the
pharmaceutical companies were considered by many to be the dark
underside of health care. Today, all of health care is being run like a
drug company.

It's no wonder that, more than ever, patients and their doctors
feel-well, pillaged.

How unhealthy is the legal-drug culture? I put that question to two of
the world's leading minds in drug research during a big clinical
pharmacology cocktail party. The two disagreed on the extent of the
risks to everyday medicine-takers: one thought patients were too scared,
while the other thought we might not be scared enough. But they shared a
general perspective on the state of the pharmaceutical art.

"The amazing thing about this world," one said, sipping his drink,
"is that everybody in it is really trying to do the right thing. If you
look hard, you won't find many real villains. Yet the whole thing is
still so messed up."

This is a book about how it got so messed up. It is what I wish I had
known about drugs before my wife took that one pill.

In 1979 an international conference that some consider the Woodstock
of drug safety was held in Kyoto, Japan. Its goal was to make some sense
of a legal drug disaster that most people have never heard of, even
though it affected as many patients as thalidomide. It was an outbreak
of an irreversible neurological condition, sometimes leading to
blindness and degeneration of the spinal cord, that was caused by an
over-the counter medication for intestinal disorders and diarrhea so
widely used that some people sprinkled it over their breakfast cereal as
a preventive measure. There were some 10,000 cases in Japan, and smaller
numbers in twenty-five other countries where the drug was sold. It took
nearly fifteen years to finger the drug as the culprit. And even though
the epidemic in Japan stopped almost immediately after the drug was
banned, one of its three manufacturers continues to insist the condition
was caused by a virus.

During the course of this five-day conference, a call went out for a
New International Pharmaceutical Order. Almost twenty years later, with
all our advances in medical treatment, we are still waiting for that New
Order. While pharmaceutical science has obviously made great strides
since 1979, it is amazing and horrifying how many of the complaints
about pharmacovigilance brought up at the conference are just as valid
today. Some are actually more valid, because recent economic pressures
have dramatically narrowed what was once a comfortably broad margin of
error in all matters medical. Back then, fewer illnesses were treated
only with drugs and fewer strong drugs were available over the counter,
allowing people to haphazardly self-medicate.

If something isn't done, the price we will pay could be far more
than the health of the patients who get the drug reactions listed on the
impenetrable, mind-numbing package inserts that come with our medicines.
A growing number of experts are worried how the casual, often irrational
use of antibiotics will affect our ability to treat infectious disease.
They believe our refusal to take drugs seriously will eventually unleash
untamable viruses that could kill huge numbers of people--perhaps the
planet's entire population. Their fears were recently confirmed with the
discovery of a new strain of staph, one of the first infections ever
conquered by medicine, that is impervious to even our strongest
intravenous anti-infectives. it was caused, researchers believe, by
stupid, unwarranted use of antibiotics.

That's how you spell world backwards, doctor.

Smoking Out The Hypocrites (Deborah Orr, a columnist for the Independent,
in Britain, ponders the fall of Tom Spencer and hypocrisy's role in the drug
war as she recounts the extremely relaxed Sunday she spent last summer with a
prominent but unnamed British member of the European Parliament, sharing a
couple of joints of "skunk" marijuana.)

Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 18:02:13 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UK: Column: Smoking Out The Hypocrites
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: Herb Zachary
Pubdate: Wed, 03 Feb 1999
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Copyright: Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Author: Deborah Orr


I spent an extremely relaxed Sunday with a prominent MEP, sharing a
couple of joints of skunk

There are 87 British MEPs, just 15 of them Conservative, and they all
seem united in their lack of sympathy with Tom Spencer's fall. His
crimes, the law enforcers have made it abundantly clear, do not amount
to very much in their book - a spot fine and no further
questions asked. The politicians, however, take a sterner view and
need nothing less than the ruin of a solid and useful political career.

It's an emerging pattern. The law no longer feels it useful to mete
out serious punishment on some matters - particularly for crimes
involving personal drug use - but employers take up the gauntlet
instead, not just in high-profile cases such as this one, but
routinely as workplace drug-testing becomes ever more prevalent. Why
is it that employers can be judge and jury, while judges and juries
are not considered to be necessary in resolving these matters? Surely
there is something intrinsically unfair and undemocratic in the trend
towards civil punishment.

I for one find Tom Spencer's blanket civil punishment for a ragbag of
crimes and misdemeanours confusing, especially when no guidelines
beyond media speculation are given as to what the sacking offence was.
Everyone's agreed that it's not because he's gay, while the legal
action taken against him suggests that he's not considered to be a
criminal, because he has not been charged. Even the gay videos seem to
have been not porn as such but a memento from a lover who had been
sanctioned by his wife.

It must surely be the gram and a half of cocaine that he told customs
he was also carrying which made his position untenable, but I think
it's important that this should be precisely and publicly stated. We
can't carry on lumping class A and class B drugs in together as
equally heinous, because it's no longer making any sense at all, to
either adults or children.

I'd certainly welcome some clarity on the matter, because there's one
thing I know for sure. Tom Spencer isn't the only MEP who has ever
inhaled cannabis. Last summer I spent an extremely pleasant and
notably relaxed Sunday afternoon with a prominent MEP, with whom the
assembled company shared a couple of joints of skunk weed.

He didn't appear to be a habitual user, nor did he seem to be an
ingenu. Although he of course knew that smoking dope was illegal, his
actions suggested that he was not remotely in agreement with the law
on this matter (despite the fact that his publicly stated views on
drugs have suggested a different view).

Maybe he's forgotten the entire incident, for the drug did have a
minor detrimental effect on his short-term memory. He telephoned us
later in the day and explained jovially that after leaving the party
he had treated himself to a post-prandial nap. Falling asleep to the
sound of Radio 4 paying tribute to William Burroughs, who had died the
previous evening, he awoke to hear some biographical details about
Samuel Taylor Coleridge drifting from the radio.

"Goodness," he thought. "This is a heavy weekend for druggie writers!
They're dropping like flies!" A few moments later, he recalled that in
fact Coleridge had been lost to the world some time before that
weekend, and put his temporary lapse down to the heady substance he'd
partaken of after lunch. His call to share this with us confirmed that
he clearly considered the whole experience to have been an amusing
adventure and nothing more.

Now his memory appears to have failed him again, because he feels no
need to stand up and be counted alongside Tom Spencer as a cannabis
dabbler. Certainly, Spencer has broken the law in using cannabis, but
this gentleman has too. I have no wish to name Pothead MEP number two,
because, along with his penchant for a little blow, he has another
thing in common with Tom Spencer. He is a good and diligent member of
the European Parliament, committed both to Europe and to his British

We certainly can't afford to lose people of his calibre over a crime
such as this one, any more than we can afford to lose Tom Spencer.
Anyway, such a cull, if embarked on, would be massive. A fifth of new
MPs who joined the Commons after the last election admit to having
taken cannabis; Clare Short got herself into hot water for hinting
that some of her ministerial colleagues had taken cannabis, and even
MPs who themselves have never taken cannabis can be no more certain
than Jack Straw that they speak for their nearest and dearest, too.

This is the central reason why the Government's enthusiasm for zero
tolerance for even class B drugs is ill-advised and, in broader terms,
is why the law and and the police appear unwilling to enforce such a
policy. Schools too, have sensibly declared themselves unwilling to
exclude pupils who are caught with cannabis. And even the drugs tsar,
Keith Hellawell, seems reluctant fully to embrace the mantra of his
masters, as he advises that employees failing drug tests should be
offered help and not their P45s. Unappointed guardians of the nation's
moral welfare would be best advised not to apply zero tolerance to
cannabis, either. In a recent survey 53 per cent of the population
admitted to having tried it. They can't all be forced to resign from
their jobs.

And we can't operate sensibly as a society with a degree of hypocrisy
as huge as this and so very plain to see. Just as I have to square the
decent, intelligent MEP with a fat joint in his hand with the man who
won't lift those same fingers to defend his fellow Europhile, children
up and down the country have to square information demonising dope
smokers with glimpses of their upstanding and otherwise law-abiding
parents doing odd things to cigarettes after they're supposed to be in

I'm reminded of my dope-smoking friend who was asked whether she'd be
taking her children on the legalise cannabis march organised by this
paper's sister, The Independent on Sunday, under the editorship of
Rosie "Rizla" Boycott. "God, no," she guffawed. "They'd be absolutely
furious if they found out that that stuff their mother smokes was
actually an illegal substance!"

Like her, I don't particularly want to rock the boat. I don't think
cannabis should be legalised immediately, but I do think that general
attitudes to drugs, and particularly drugs education in schools,
should fully reflect the tolerant attitudes displayed by the legal
profession and the police towards cannabis offences.

I don't even reject links between cannabis and harder drugs. As heavy
drinkers are more likely to smoke, smokers are more likely to be
cannabis users, and cannabis users are more likely to use hard drugs.
We have as much chance of changing this pattern as we have of
achieving prohibition of alcohol.

Legality and illegality has little to do with it, beyond the fact that
pushing people into the black market to obtain something as ubiquitous
as cannabis may not be helpful in breaking the soft drugs-to-hard
drugs chain.

But I do think that we have to be absolutely honest if we are to bring
up our children to understand the true dangers of drugs. Children
don't like being lied to, and the use of cannabis is too widespread
for them to know only what they are told about it at school.

They ought to be told what the New Scientist has told us: alcohol use
is more damaging than cannabis use. Then they'll have far more reason
to believe their teachers when they are told about the very real
dangers of far more dangerous drugs. All the withdrawal of Tom Spencer
from public life has taught them is that we're as unsure about what's
right, what's wrong and what's tolerable as they are. It's not much of
a message.

Edward McMillan-Scott, who led the delegation of Tory MEPs asking for
Spencer's resignation, should now give a clear and unequivocal
statement explaining just exactly why it was that his colleague had to
go, and which of his crimes, if committed by other elected
representatives, would lead inexorably to their own resignation.

Dutch Lawmakers Vote to Lift 1912 Ban on Brothels (The Associated Press says
an overwhelming majority in the Netherlands' lower house of parliament passed
the bill Tuesday, saying officials could better control crime if sex clubs
were legitimate businesses. The legislation still needs to be passed by the
upper house before it can become law. The bill is an attempt to crack down on
the use of underage girls and illegal immigrants, as well as to control
trafficking in illegal drugs and weapons.)

Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999 19:27:20 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Wire: Dutch Lawmakers Vote to Lift 1912 Ban on Brothels
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (mmfamily@ix.netcom.com)
Pubdate: Wed, 3 Feb 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press


AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Dutch lawmakers have passed a bill to overturn a
1912 ban on brothels, saying officials could better control crime if sex
clubs were legitimate businesses.

The legislation sailed through the lower house of parliament Tuesday with
the support of an overwhelming majority of lawmakers. It still needs to be
passed by the upper house before it can become law.

Although prostitution itself is legal in the Netherlands, running bordellos
remains against the law. Still, they have long been allowed to operate in
certain districts as long as they follow strict standards for health and
fire safety.

The bill is an attempt to crack down on the use of underage girls and
illegal immigrants as prostitutes.

There are an estimated 30,000 prostitutes in the Netherlands. Supporters of
the bill say it will lead to tighter regulations that would help the
government make sure only women 18 or older are employed by brothels, and
stop the recruitment of foreign women for the sex industry.

It also aims to control trafficking in drugs and weapons, which often
occurs in the seedy neighborhoods where bordellos tend to flourish.

DrugSense Weekly, No. 84 (The original summary of drug policy news from
DrugSense opens with the weekly Feature Article - Protecting yourself against
overzealous law enforcement, an essay inspired by the arrests of Steve &
Michele Kubby, by Mark Greer. The Weekly News in Review features several
articles about Drug War Policy, including - Pentagon changes policy on use of
troops in war on drugs; Program pays students to snitch on classmates; ACLU
questions aspects of drug search in schools; Balto. County to provide drug
test kits; Senate backs bill to add drug prosecutors; Banks' big brother;
and, From the hill, evidence of our decline. Several articles about Prisons
include - Prison system grows fat from fear and greed; State's prisons not
keeping up with increase in prisoners; and, Prisons aren't answer to drug
problem. Articles about Marijuana include - Medicinal marijuana law leads
needy to distribution impasse; Cannabis club founder gets six-year sentence;
Marvin Chavez doesn't deserve jail time; and, Dope show! arresting Kubby may
have been Prop. 215 opponents' worst mistake. International news articles
include - Jails nearing crisis: report [Canada]; Colombia's internal
security; Drug trafficking through Cuba on the rise, investigators say. The
weekly Hot Off The 'Net alerts you to "Drug Crazy," reviewed in the Los
Angeles Times. The Quote of the Week cites Jay Leno, from a story in the
Washington Post. And a Special Notice proffers thanks to DrugNews Screeners
Don Beck and Kevin Fansler.)

Date: Wed, 03 Feb 1999 14:09:05 -0800
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
Subject: DrugSense Weekly February 3, 1999 #084




DrugSense Weekly, February 3, 1999, No. 84

A DrugSense publication

This newsletter is available on-line at:


NOTE: To better serve our subscribers we will be changing our
publication day to Thursday for the next few weeks. We are also
considering settling on Friday as our publication day. If you have a
preference please let us know by replying to MGreer@mapinc.org



* Feature Article

Protecting Yourself Against Overzealous Law Enforcement
by Mark Greer

* Weekly News in Review

Drug War Policy-

(1) Pentagon Changes Policy on Use of Troops in War on Drugs
(2) Program Pays Students to Snitch on Classmates
(3) ACLU Questions Aspects of Drug Search in Schools
(4) Balto. County to Provide Drug Test Kits
(5) Senate Backs Bill to Add Drug Prosecutors
(6) Banks' Big Brother
(7) From the Hill, Evidence of our Decline


(8) Prison System Grows Fat from Fear and Greed
(9) State's Prisons Not Keeping Up With Increase in Prisoners
(10) Prisons Aren't Answer to Drug Problem


(11) Medicinal Marijuana Law Leads Needy to Distribution Impasse
(12) Cannabis Club Founder Gets Six-year Sentence
(13) Marvin Chavez Doesn't Deserve Jail Time
(14) Dope Show! Arresting Kubby May Have Been Prop. 215 Opponents'
Worst Mistake


(15) Canada: Jails Nearing Crisis: Report
(16) Colombia's Internal Security
(17) Drug Trafficking Through Cuba on the Rise, Investigators Say

* Hot Off The 'Net

(18) Drug Crazy Reviewed in LA Times

* Quote of the Week

(19) Jay Leno - From a story in the Washington Post

* Special Notice

(20) Thanks to DrugNews Screeners - Don Beck and Kevin Fansler




Protecting Yourself Against Overzealous Law Enforcement
by Mark Greer

It saddens me to write this article. It is a profound example of how
far our country has slipped away form our precious Bill of Rights and
Constitutional liberties in our insane attempts to preclude drugs from
even those who desperately need them for medicinal purposes and are
legally entitled to them.

I recently had the privilege of reviewing the actual text of the search
warrant that lead to the arrest of high profile California medical
marijuana patients Steve and Michele Kubby. Kubby was the Libertarian
candidate for governor of California in the recent election. I found
this to be a fascinating read and I gained a good deal of insight into
the thinking of the Sheriff's department and narcotics officers from
this document. This warrant is public record and can be obtained and
read by any interested party.

I learned a number of interesting and possibly useful facts from
reviewing this document. One was that it appears that "No Trespassing"
signs in and around your house can dissuade nosey investigators from
being where they are not welcome. The warrant mentioned twice that
because there were no such signs the investigators considered it
all right to spy through windows and even into bedrooms.

It was also interesting that this entire investigation resulted from an
anonymous letter. The author made wild and inaccurate claims and to
this day the author is unknown by the investigators. I would be very
interested to know if a similar, obviously very expensive,
investigation would ensue if an anonymous letter were received claiming
that say Dan Lungren was raising marijuana and providing it to children.

During the investigation the defendants' trash was routinely intercepted
and meticulously examined. I believe that a supreme court ruling allows
this (even though it's a blatant violation of one's assumption of a
right to privacy). The value of pointing this out is to assure that
those involved in drug policy issues consider taking precautions such
as shredding sensitive documents and ensuring that any contraband be
disposed of in other ways. If you think it can't happen to you then you
are fair game for those who have a fairly loose affiliation with the
Constitution and personal rights and freedoms.

Of course the best protection is to refrain from being involved with
illegal substances in any way and those of us who choose to remain
"squeaky clean" probably have less risk of invasion. In these days of
ever worsening erosion of personal freedoms and the Bill of Rights,
however, no one can consider themselves completely immune from
overzealous law enforcement agencies who have in essence been put on
"commission" due to asset forfeiture laws.

The Kubby's electrical bills were obtained, apparently without a
warrant, and electrical usage comparisons were done on surrounding
houses of similar size. This is a common tactic for discovering indoor
grow operations.

All cash in the home was confiscated. It didn't amount to much but this
could have a negative impact on anyone (particularly those in low
income households) and we should all be aware that such confiscated
cash is difficult to redeem and often is kept by the agency that finds
it. Whether or not it is "drug money" is of little consequence. In this
case the money is guilty unless proven innocent.

The final point of interest was that, upon service of the warrant and
subsequent invasion of the defendants' home, a number of items were
confiscated from the defendants that were clearly not covered by the
search warrant. Items like printers, cameras and scanners contain no
data and could not possibly provide information to the investigating
officers. This raises two points that may have value to others. First
would this confiscation render the warrant and any evidence obtained
invalid? Second the discovery process for this case should force the
officers to explain why these items were confiscated if not to
specifically hamper the defendants ability to communicate. A final
point that should be obvious is that off site back up for your data is
a good precaution and some might even consider "poison pill" software
(nukes your data with a single command) or encryption of the hard rive
to be prudent.

To sum up, anyone who is interested in protecting themselves to the
extent possible should consider the following:

Place numerous "No Trespassing" Signs around your property Be aware of
what your trash contains. It could fall into the hands of others. Take
steps to guard your computer and data against confiscation. All cash
should be very well hidden as it will likely be confiscated by


These sites help insure that you know your rights, are prepared for any
eventuality and to lower your risk of being investigated or indicted
and to improve your chances should the worst happen and you are




Drug War Policy-



Apparently restrained by the Marine Corps inquiry's harsh assessment
of the Esequiel Hernandez shooting, the Pentagon has all but suspended
domestic use combat troops in the drug war. (1)

Not that this should be understood as a reduced commitment to the
notion of a drug free utopia; last week's other headlines suggest that
past failures are provoking an assortment of ever more desperate
assaults on common sense and individual liberty. (2) thru (6)

At odds with the political zealotry, a few notes of sanity were
heard: Judy Mann's thoughtful op-ed in the Washington Post (7) and
three separate warnings on prison excesses by local journalists. (8)
(9) (10)



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.


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
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n110.a01.html



PORTLAND (AP) A new school program will pay students up to $1,000 to
snitch on classmates who tote weapons, drink alcohol or use drugs
around school.

Mayor Vera Katz unveiled the Campus Crime Stopper program Tuesday and
said it will be launched in three school districts around Portland.


Pubdate: Wed, 20 Jan 1999
Source: Columbian, The (WA)
Copyright: 1999 The Columbian Publishing Co.
Website: http://www.columbian.com/
Forum: http://www.webforums.com/forums/trace/host/msa70.html
Contact: editors@columbian.com
Author: Associated Press
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n109.a06.html



DEER LODGE - Students and parents in Deer Lodge thanked school
officials Friday for bringing a drug-sniffing dog into the schools.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union said some aspects of
Thursday's search violated Fourth Amendment protections against
unreasonable searches and seizures.


Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)
Copyright: 1999 The Billings Gazette
Address: P.O. Box 36300, Billings, MT 59101-6300
Fax: 406-657-1208
Website: http://www.billingsgazette.com/
Contact: speakup@bsw.net
Author: KIM SKORNOGOSKI The Montana Standard
Pubdate: Sat, 23 Jan 1999
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n100.a03.html



Results immediate for parents requesting exam for children; 1st
such program in state; Product can identify 6 drug categories, says
abuse agency

Baltimore County is about to unveil its latest weapon in the war on
drugs: instant drug testing for children.


Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 1999 by The Baltimore Sun
Website: http://www.sunspot.net/
Forum: http://www.sunspot.net/cgi-bin/ultbb/Ultimate.cgi?actionintro
Contact: letters@baltsun.com
Pubdate: 25 Jan 1999
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n099.a07.html



ATLANTA -- The state Senate unanimously passed a bill yesterday to
provide additional prosecutors across the state to go after drug


Pubdate: Tue, 26 Jan 1999
Source: Florida Times-Union (FL)
Copyright: The Florida Times-Union 1999
Website: http://www.times-union.com/
Forum: http://cafe.jacksonville.com/cafesociety.html
Contact: jaxstaff@jacksonville.com
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n099.a12.html



Feds make private institutions play snitch on public's financial

So this is what the drug war has come to: Nosing into the bank
accounts of law-abiding people, even tracking the transaction
histories of depositors and developing profiles on them, in search
of behavior deemed suspicious.


Pubdate: Tues, 26 Jan 1999
Source: Gazette, The (CO)
Copyright: 1999, The Gazette
Contact: gtop@gazette.com
Website: http://www.gazette.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n105.a04.html



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

It isn't all bad; there are collateral benefits to be found in the
nation's long ordeal. (but)


Proofs of our decline abound:


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.

Source: The Washington Post
Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company
Page: C11
Columnist: Judy Mann, Washington Post Columnist
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jan 1999
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Note: See paragraph twelve below.
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n106.a05.html





Regular readers will recall that Wisconsin's large prison population
has evoked frequent notice. Last week, Journal-Sentinel writer Eugene
Kane highlighted Eric Schlosser's seminal article on prison growth; he
also added some provocative local details. (8) His entire piece should
be read; excerpts can't do it justice.

Washington is another state where an exploding prison system is on a
collision course with fiscal reality. Jim Lynch's report (9) from the
state capitol provides convincing detail and discloses that Washington
will join the growing list of states shipping prisoners out for

In Iowa, the drug of concern is different (methamphetamine, rather
than heroin)- but the message is exactly the same: prison expansion as
drug policy is not only ruinously expensive - it simply doesn't work


By Eugene Kane Journal Sentinel columnist [Call Eugene Kane at
223-5521 or e-mail him at ekane@onwis.com ]

From time to time, I will get a call or a letter from someone behind


Surprisingly, many of the inmates who call or write these days don't
want to profess their innocence as much as they want to complain about
conditions inside what has come to be described as "the prison
industrial complex."


Doreatha Mbalia, chairwoman of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's
Department of Africology, took a look at the difference in money spent
for prisons and education in Wisconsin for a recent community forum on
the criminal justice system.

She came away shocked at the disparity. The state of Wisconsin spends
$241 million to incarcerate minorities, compared with $81.3 million in
funding grants earmarked for minority students, according to her


Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Copyright: 1999, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Fax: 414-224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Forum: http://www.jsonline.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimate.cgi
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Author: Eugene Kane Journal Sentinel columnist
Pubdate: 26 Jan 1999
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n098.a11.html



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.


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


Source: The Seattle Times
Friday, January 29, 1999
Author: Jim Lynch
Seattle Times Olympia bureau
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n118.a07.html



A front-page article in the Jan. 9 Register stated that "unless Iowa
curtails the growth of its prison population, the state will need to
build at least six news prisons by 2008. They would cost about $175
million to build and cost more than $285 million if the money were
borrowed. The number of our prisoners in Iowa jails will go to more
than 14,000 over the next decade, in which event Iowa will need to
construct the equivalent of six 750-bed prisons simply to maintain a
prison system operating at less than 140 percent of its designed


Roughly 60 percent of the inmates in Iowa prisons are those
arrested for drug offenses - about one-third of whom are there not
for selling, but for simple drug possession. About another third
are there for larceny, robbery and murder in order to get enough
money to buy drugs.

We have an obsession that drug use can be eliminated or curtailed
by putting people in jail. And if this doesn't do it, we extend
the jail terms with mandatory sentences.


Pubdate: Thu, 21 Jan 99
Source: Des Moines Register (IA)
Copyright: 1999, The Des Moines Register.
Website: http://www.dmregister.com/
Contact: letters@news.dmreg.com
Page: 9A
Author: David M. Elderkin
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n097.a08.html





California's dirty little secret is that the state which passed the
first medical marijuana initiative has become a place where patients
toke up at their peril. That fact, and some reasons behind it, became
better known last week. (11)

California activists are still waiting for Lungren's successor to
specify how the new administration will enforce 215, but with the new
guv sounding like McCaffrey and his AG wishing 215 advocates were more
"clinical" and less "cult-like, " things are off to poor start.

In Orange County, a vindictive judge (12) ignored his local
newspaper's plea for mercy (13) and sentenced the founder of the local
buyers' club to six years in prison .

In Lake Tahoe's Placer County, Steve Kubby, (14) entered a not guilty
plea to "conspiracy" charges after a task force raided his home and
discovered: plants. Ironically growing one's own had been touted as
the safe way for patients to possess mj, ever since state courts
narrowly interpreted 215 at Lungren's behest.



MIDDLETOWN -- Ryan Landers didn't plan on being a farmer. Then
again, he never planned on getting AIDS and needing marijuana to
stay hungry enough to keep him from wasting away.

He used to buy pot at the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative.
But that club, like many that opened after a 1996 medical
marijuana initiative passed, has been shut down by federal court


Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, hasn't said whether he'll support
proposed legislation to authorize $1 million annually to study
medical marijuana or a plan to specify or standardize the
enforcement of Proposition 215.

"I believe good science should resolve this issue," Davis has said.


"Unless the federal government changes its policy or adopts a
noninvasive role, the California statute scheme can never be
legally implemented," Lockyer said.

"If our law were tighter and there was more of a clinic -- not cult
structure to the statute -- that might be partially persuasive to
the federal government if they see there is a tight regulatory

Pubdate: Sun, 31 Jan 1999
Source: The Oakland Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 1999 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers
Author: Associated Press
Website: http://www.newschoice.com/newspapers/alameda/tribune/
Contact: eangtrib@newschoice.com
Mail: 66 Jack London Sq. Oakland, CA 94607
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n113.a05.html



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

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


Source: Sacramento Bee
Copyright: 1999 Sacramento Bee
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Webform: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html
Forum: http://www.sacbee.com/voices/voices_forum.html
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jan 1999
Author: Larry Gerber, Associated Press Writer
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n107.a06.html



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.


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
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n106.a02.html



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 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.


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
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n107.a01.html





As usual, overseas news is virtually unanimous in confirming the
failure of American drug policy; the items were so numerous, it was
difficult to pick only 3 or 4. This week, we didn't leave the Western
Hemisphere; Canada (15) and Colombia (16) updated familiar stories;
Cuba's mentions (17) will probably increase as Castro's influence
declines and the Island's commerce and tourism grow.


After a year-long study of Quebec prisons, ombudsman Daniel Jacoby
finds dangerous overcrowding, rampant drug use and a tension-ridden
system that must be fixed immediately.


Pubdate: Tuesday 26 January 1999
Source: Montreal Gazette (Canada)
Contact: letters@thegazette.southam.ca
Website: http://www.montrealgazette.com/
Forum: http://forums.canada.com/~montreal
Copyright: 1999 The Gazette, a division of Southam Inc.
Authors: Sean Gordon and Kate Swoger
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n102.a05.html



For more than 40 years, the Colombian government has been in conflict
with left-wing guerrilla forces. While some of these groups have
withered away. FARC, Colombia's largest rebel group, has become
stronger and presents a serious threat to the government.

The FARC's success has been attributed mainly to links with Colombian
drug cartels and the money it receives from protecting cartel


Copyright: 1999 Jane's Information Group Limited
Pubdate: Wed, 27 Jan 1999
Source: Jane's Defence Weekly
Author: Bryan Bender
Website: http://www.janes.com/
Mail: 1340 Braddock Place, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314-1651 USA
Email: info@janes.com
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n113.a07.html



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.

Police in Colombia seized a 7.2-ton load of cocaine packed in shipping
containers and bound for Cuba.


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
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n112.a08.html




(18) Drug Crazy Reviewed in LA Times

One of the most perceptive reviews of Mike Gray's "Drug Crazy" to date
was written by Robert Sabbag and appeared in the LA Times on January
24th. It compares Gray's book with others on the subject, including
Michael Massing's "the Fix."

The URL is: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n103.a02.html




(19) Jay Leno - From a story in the Washington Post:

"We've reached the point where Congress does not affect anyone's life,
so we look at it as entertainment. They can't fix health care, they can't
fix Social Security, so we look at them to provide a few laughs on a
daily basis."

--- Jay Leno




(20) Thanks to DrugNews Screeners - Don Beck and Kevin Fansler

As the scope and coverage of Drug News has expanded, screening the
weekly submissions to DrugNews (which form the basis for the News &
COMMENTS section of the newsletter) became too much for one person. We
asked for volunteers and have received critical emergency help from Don
Beck and Kevin Fansler under the capable guidance of Editor Richard

Volunteer screening of new items will be an essential feature of the
newsletter from now on. Additional volunteers are needed to provide
coverage for vacations and unexpected emergencies. It is also expected
that screeners will, if desired, have an opportunity to take over some
writing and COMMENTing chores as the Newsletter grows. If you're
interested, please contact Richard, rlake@mapinc.org


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