------------------------------------------------------------------- Hard Data Trickles In As Scientists Study Marijuana (The San Mateo County Times narrowly summarizes the history and status of research into medical marijuana in the United States. Three studies in particular - the University of California study of AIDS patients led by Dr. Donald Abrams, a completed National Institutes of Health workshop, and a review by the Institute of Medicine expected to be released next month - are anxiously awaited by both sides of the smoldering debate over marijuana's medicinal value. San Mateo County also hopes to launch a $500,000 project next month. New research and political sea changes led the California Medical Association's legal adviser to issue an internal memo last month suggesting the organization could participate actively in a new marijuana distribution structure to ensure patient health and safety.) Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 11:02:18 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Hard Data Trickles In As Scientists Study Marijuana Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom O'Connell) Pubdate: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 Source: San Mateo County Times (CA) Copyright: 1999 by MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers Page: 7 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newschoice.com/newspapers/alameda/smct/ Author: Matthew B. Stannard, Staff Writer Note: Our newshawk writes: "This is the first of several IMPORTANT factual articles on MMJ in CA. They are all from a surprising source: The San Mateo County Times. They dominate the Saturday issue, with 2 appearing on page 1 with pictures." HARD DATA TRICKLES IN AS SCIENTISTS STUDY MARIJUANA Paul Mocko really doesn't like to smoke. But for 25 days, beginning in October, Mocko voluntarily puffed and coughed his way through three marijuana cigarettes every 24 hours as researchers watched for interactions between the cannabis and all the medications the 54-year-old takes to fight AIDS. The data they are gleaning from that ongoing study is valuable, researchers say. Legions of AIDS patients in the Bay Area have been using cannabis for years to whet their appetites, not knowing how it mixes with the 30-odd pills they take every day. But many activists, physicians and research participants say another reason the study is so significant is because it has the blessing and even financial support of a wary U.S. government. "I'm selective about what studies I participate in, but I try to participate in the ones that seem promising," Mocko said, sipping a bowl of soup in his San Francisco home. "This is a study that is sponsored and funded by the federal government.... It's a historic study." A number of new efforts are in the works to assess whether and how marijuana affects ailments and chronic conditions, ranging from glaucoma and AIDS to cancer and multiple sclerosis. Studies range from large-scale surveys by the federal government to a $500,000 project San Mateo County hopes to launch next month. But three studies in particular - the University of California study Mocko joined, a completed National Institutes of Health workshop, and a review by the Institute of Medicine expected to be released next month - are anxiously awaited by both sides of the smoldering debate over marijuana's medicinal value. It's a debate long marked by complaints there isn't enough data to prove either side's assertions. The three studies could lead to a new "gold standard" for physicians and policy makers to follow. Marijuana has been used by humans for centuries, and by Western physicians since at least the mid-19th century as a physical and psychiatric medication. But in 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act drove the first nail into the coffin of medicinal cannabis. The drug's removal from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia in 1942 was the second. Attributing marijuana's murky status to "ignorance based hysteria," Berkeley psychiatrist Dr. Tod Mikuriya has prescribed the drug to treat more than 120 ailments - from alcoholism and AIDS to thyroiditis and motion sickness - between 1994 and 1998. He claims the drug helps his patients. "I keep finding new ones all the time," said Mikuriya, who has served as medical coordinator for cannabis clubs in Oakland and San Francisco, and on medicinal marijuana panels for Oakland and the California Medical Association. "Giving (patients) safe haven with medical status is very like being a conductor at the end of the underground railroad." Marijuana users and some researchers and doctors contend medicinal marijuana is a wonder drug: an antidepressant, anticonvulsant, analgesic and an appetite stimulant that can be smoked, vaporized, eaten or mixed into poultices. While the plant's main psychoactive ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is available legally by prescription in pill form, growers insist the complete plant contains many more ingredients that might be equally important. But even proponents acknowledge marijuana has its problems, most of them linked to the inhalation of smoke from a burning plant into the lungs. The National Institute of Drug Abuse warns that heavy cannabis use can diminish learning ability, driving skills and workplace performance. And natural forms of the drug can contain aspergillus, a mold dangerous to people with damaged immune systems, such as those suffering from AIDS. Nevertheless, Mikuriya wants to see marijuana placed on the 11 required drug lists of all health maintenance organizations, to be tried before medications with more serious side effects. He doesn't expect that to happen soon - not unless significant changes occur at the federal level. "We have a breakdown of the health care delivery system," he said. "Instead of the surgeon general controlling policy, we have the attorney general controlling policy." Dr. Donald Abrams, professor of clinical medicine at University of California, San Francisco, understands that frustration. Beginning in 1993, Abrams submitted a handful of proposals for studies to measure the effectiveness of the cannabis his AIDS patients were using to improve their appetites time after time, his proposals were rejected. "They were perhaps not great proposals," Abrams said, "but I think there were a lot of politics involved." Finally, Abrams proposed a study that would focus on interactions between cannabis and the protease inhibitors many AIDS patients also take. To his surprise, the National Institute of Drug Abuse approved that proposal, doling out $1 million and 1,400 marijuana cigarettes. The next logical step, Abrams said, is more studies measuring the effectiveness of cannabis as a medicine for a range of conditions - the kinds of studies the government rejected before. Similar work has been done from time to time since marijuana was rescheduled in 1942, but those studies just aren't sufficient, Abrams said. Although many users say marijuana helps them cope with everything from multiple sclerosis to migraines, personal endorsements don't constitute pure science. "Anecdote is fine, but it's not data at this point," Abrams said. "If we show that marijuana is not dangerous and may have some positive effects, I think we should pursue additional study." Abrams isn't the only physician coming to that conclusion - nor the most prominent. In August 1997. the National Institutes of Health reviewed the studies of marijuana made to date and concluded more research is needed. That recommendation led the non-governmental Institute of Medicine to spend 18 months reviewing past studies of marijuana. The report won't be released until next month, but doctors and activists already are abuzz about the institute's possible findings. Predictions range from another call for more research to a complete federal reclassification of marijuana. Those possibilities haven't escaped the attention of the California Medical Association, which does not endorse widespread distribution of medicinal marijuana but would favor its availability for medical use if controlled studies prove it is effective. New research and political sea changes led the association's legal adviser to issue an internal memo last month suggesting the organization could participate actively in a new marijuana distribution structure to ensure patient health and safety. "We believe that the distribution of marijuana, medicinal marijuana, should not be dissimilar to that of other pharmaceuticals," said Sandra Bressler, the association's director of professional and scientific policy. "In general, I think we were concerned about quality, consistency and controlled distribution."
------------------------------------------------------------------- County To Seek Federal Approval (The San Mateo County Times says county officials will file an application March 1 seeking permission from the federal government to carry out a $50,000 study to see whether marijuana can ease the suffering of critically ill people. A reply is expected by April 1. Officials hope to use the study eventually to receive federal permission to distribute marijuana for medicinal uses.) Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 15:23:16 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: County To Seek Federal Approval Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom O'Connell) Pubdate: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 Source: San Mateo County Times (CA) Copyright: 1999 by MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers Page: 8 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newschoice.com/newspapers/alameda/smct/ Author: Rebecca WaIlace, Staff Writer Note: Two other items on this edition featuring medical marijuana are at: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n137.a06.html http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n137.a02.html COUNTY TO SEEK FEDERAL APPROVAL REDWOOD CITY - County of officials plan to apply to the federal government March 1 for permission to study whether marijuana can really ease the suffering of the critically ill. In May 1998, the Board of Supervisors voted to spend $50,000 designing the three-year study. Officials said they hope it will give scientific proof to supplement anecdotal evidence that marijuana can aid those with diseases such as AIDS, cancer and glaucoma. They also hope to use the study to eventually receive federal permission to distribute marijuana for medicinal uses. Officials expect to find out by April 1 if they will be allowed to proceed with the clinical study, said Supervisor Michael Nevin, who made it his mission in 1997 to put Proposition 215 into play by having The County distribute the drug. Prop. 215, passed by state voters in 1996, allowed use of marijuana for medical purposes. "It's the correct thing to do, no matter what the political view is," Nevin said. The study is designed to include between 500 and 1,000 patients. Last year, it was estimated that 175,000 people in The County qualify for medical marijuana as defined in Prop. 215. Officials estimate the study will cost $500,000 over three Years and will be conducted in San Mateo County under the auspices of the federal government, Nevin said. County officials will be applying for permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Nevin also has been named to a subcommittee of state Attorney General Bill Lockyer's task force on Prop. 215. His committee is looking into the possible source and distribution of medical marijuana. Implementation of Prop. 215 has proven difficult. Former state Attorney General Dan Lungren closed down cannabis clubs, saying they didn't meet the qualifications for a "primary caregiver" defined in Prop. 215. An earlier County proposal met with the same fate. County Health Services Director Margaret Taylor has said this clinical study is the only way The County will be able to provide marijuana for the ill. Supervisor Jerry Hill said he was "excited" about the possibility of the clinical trials. "I think it's a wonderful idea. I hope we can make some headway," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Is Marijuana Medicine? California Focuses On Legal Distribution Of Pot To Patients (The San Mateo County Times discusses the prospects for medical marijuana reform in California. Attorney General Bill Lockyer has formed a task force to figure out how the herb can be distributed. State senator John Vasconcellos, cochairman of a legislative task force on medical marijuana, intends to introduce a bill, as yet unwritten, which would create a legal framework for distribution. Meanwhile, the California Medical Association, recognizing that the state's new administration "appears to have quite a different attitude toward Prop. 215," might position itself to play a key role in distributing medical marijuana.) Date: Sun, 07 Feb 1999 00:39:46 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Peter Webster
Subject:  California Focuses On Legal Distribution Of Pot To Patients Pubdate: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 Source: San Mateo County Times (CA) Copyright: MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newschoice.com/newspapers/alameda/smct/ Author: Josh Richman, Staff Writer Page: 1 IS MARIJUANA MEDICINE? California Focuses On Legal Distribution Of Pot To Patients Big Shift In Attitude Could Clear The Smoke Over Proposition 215 A progressive attorney general and a veteran South Bay lawmaker are taking steps that could result in a major victory for Californians who long have struggled to use medicinal marijuana with legal protection. State Attorney General Bill Lockyer has formed a task force to figure out how medicinal marijuana can be distributed under voter-approved Proposition 215 without running afoul of federal laws. And state Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, cochairman of a task force whose members include medical experts, federal officials and state law enforcement representatives, intends to introduce two bills this month to bolster that mission. Their efforts could pick up considerable momentum if a couple of soon-to-be-released reports recommend a federal reclassification of marijuana to make it more accessible for research and prescription. Meanwhile, the influential California Medical Association, recognizing that the state's new administration "appears to have quite a different attitude toward Prop. 215," might position itself to play a key role in the drugs distribution. "If some sort of medical marijuana distribution is likely in Cali- fornia ... in order to minimize any harm to patients and/or public health, CMA should actively Participate in creating the structure under which such distribution takes place," suggests an internal medical association memo dated Jan. 11. Officials of the association, which has two members on the task force, have not yet taken that position. But if the association does so later, the position would be consistent with its "damage control" approach in other medical controversies, such as endorsing needle exchanges for drug addicts. 'The same type of proactive involvement may be appropriate here, especially in light of the fact that five other states have enacted marijuana initiatives similar to Prop. 215 and will be searching for the means to implement their new laws." Already, the shift in attitude since the Nov. 3 election is noticeable. Where former Attorney General Dan Lungren had no qualms about overriding local prosecutors' decisions by calling in federal drug agents and prosecutors, Lockyer has switched to a hands-off policy, "This department should be a support system for local law enforcement and local DAs rather than the top of the pyramid," Lockyer said. "Our policy is to respect the discretion exercised by local elected officials. San Francisco is different from Bakersfield or Redding or some other community." Meanwhile, he is working with attorneys general in the five other states that approved medicinal marijuana initiatives in November to push for changes in federal policy that outlaws marijuana, both medicinal and recreational. And the task force called together for the first time last Tuesday will try to "address gaps and omissions and ambiguities left by Prop. 215. "The basic policy ... is 'clinics, not cults. 'We really need to provide medicine for people that need it, and not be an open door to recreational use," Lockyer said. Long Struggle From the outset, California struggled to implement Prop. 215, or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, because of all the gaps, omissions and ambiguities Lockyer mentioned, and the fact it conflicts with federal law. Like many of the people who had opposed the ballot initiative, Lungren and former Gov. Pete Wilson feared Prop. 215 was a front for those who want to legalize recreational marijuana. Opponents also resented the in-your face attitude some medicinal marijuana providers took to publicize and advance their cause. "The brunt of the reaction pretty much occurred in the autumn of last year, before the election - that was when they pulled out all the stops," said Dale Gieringer, coordinator of California's National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) chapter. "They had their greatest strength then. They had elected officials in California who were supporting the crackdown, and they hadn't the votes from the other states yet ratifying California's decision." A San Francisco cannabis club twice was shut down by the courts; as was Oakland's cooperative once last year, for violating federal drug laws. Despite court-ordered closures, cannabis clubs in San Francisco, Oakland and other cities still are distributing medicinal marijuana while keeping as low a profile as possible, Whether and how hard local law enforcement cracks down on clubs or users depends, to a large extent, on how district attorneys read the law. Alameda County Deputy District Attorney ~ Jeff Rubin said his prosecutors treat marijuana cases like all other - they look at the facts and decide whether a provable crime without a valid defense was committed. To him, Prop. 215 "is no different than any other defense that could be available to a defendant charged with a crime," including claims of self defense, duress or entrapment. San Mateo County District Attorney James Fox takes a similar approach toward users. "Of course ... if somebody has five kilos and! says it's for medicinal purposes, we would tend to disbelieve that," Fox said. But the way Fox interprets the law, neither clubs nor clinics should provide medicinal marijuana. Only a patient or primary care giver has the right to grow it. "That's not to say the law cannot be changed," he said. "But absent a change in the law, we are not going to just wink at distribution centers in San Mateo County." A change in the law is exactly what Vasconcellos has in mind, and he intends to introduce two bills this month to accomplish just that. One bill would establish a $1 million-a-year University of California medicinal marijuana research program, said Vasconcellos' spokesman, Rand Martin. Although Republican opposition sank a similar bill last year, Martin said the senator believes it could pass this year with more Democrats in the Legislature and Democrat Gray Davis as governor. The second bill, as yet unwritten, would create a legal framework for medicinal marijuana distribution. Vasconcellos hopes Lockyer's task force will help him find a way to operate such a system in a manner "that doesn't generate further arrests and law enforcement closing them down and the various other tragic scenarios we've seen play out over the last two years," Martin said. Federal Law Unchanged If Vasconcellos succeeds, there is still federal law to consider. U.S. Justice Department spokesman Brian Steel said federal agencies must uphold laws passed by Congress, and "marijuana possession and distribution, according to the U.S. Congress, is illegal. "We are just as committed to enforcing the laws that Congress has passed, notwithstanding what local law enforcement has done,". Steel said. "There is no sea change. Our policy is the same," Congress passed a bill last October reaffirming that it supports "the existing federal legal process for determining the safety and efficacy of drugs, and opposes efforts to circumvent this process by legalizing marijuana ... for medicinal use without valid scientific evidence and the approval of the Food and Drug Administration." Bad as that may sound for marijuana advocates, it actually is what they wanted to hear because the bill also ordered the Food and Drug Administration to prepare a report on enforcement of a law that would require marijuana to meet "extensive scientific and medical standards" before it is deemed a safe, effective drug. Pro-marijuana forces hope that report will recommend switching marijuana from Schedule I - a federal list of dangerous, illicit, non-medicinal drugs - to a less restrictive schedule subject to research and prescription. Marijuana now is more restrictively scheduled than PCP, cocaine and methamphetamine. The deadline for that report was Jan. 21. "We're still working on the report," agency spokesman Larry Bachorik said last week. As state and federal agencies toiled to shut down the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative last year, the Oakland City Council tried to legally and politically protect the group by declaring its leaders officers of the city. Councilman Nate Miley, who helped lead the effort, said he is glad Lockyer is calling the shots now and medicinal marijuana is catching on in other states. "I think that is just great," he said. "If the political scene hadn't changed ... oh boy, I'd feel like we were fighting an uphill battle on a slippery slope. But this is not an issue that's going to go away. Miley said he is banking on Lockyer and Vasconcellos to set things straight. Cities at least should be able to regulate medicinal marijuana clubs through zoning and business licenses, he said. Jeff Jones, president of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, also believes the tide has changed. "The federal government isn't going to come in over the attorney general and say, 'This isn't right,'" he predicted. "If they don't have local ground support, they're going to stay away, I think. They see the handwriting on the wall now, just a little bit, that there is a lot of support for this." Summing up the battle ahead, Jones said "it's the great debate of 1999. I think they're going to come to some conclusions before the end of this year as to what to do with this issue."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Not-So-Secret Farm Keeps Growing (The San Mateo County Times portrays the Lake County Cannabis Cultivation Project operated legally by Dennis Peron and other medical-marijuana activists in northern California. The group cultivates juvenile plants for Proposition 215 patients, who pay only for the group's labor, about $50 per plant. Each plant will yield roughly two ounces of smokeable weed in six to eight weeks, after budding in a patient's bathtub or closet. The article includes rare testimony from a psychiatric patient about marijuana's efficacy for her severe condition.) Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 17:29:22 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: Not-So-Secret Farm Keeps Growing Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom O'Connell) Pubdate: 6 Feb. 1999 Source: San Mateo County Times (CA) Copyright: Feb 6 by MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newschoice.com/newspapers/alameda/smct/ NOT-SO-SECRET FARM KEEPS GROWING MIDDLETON - If the Lake County Cannabis Cultivation Project is difficult to find, it's not because anybody is trying to keep it a secret. A giant red canvas banner proclaiming "Medical Marijuana" beckons motorists, and a World Wide Web site and steady stream of faxed news releases keep everyone - including law enforcement agencies - updated on the 20-acre farm's doings. After all, those growing and providing marijuana to visitors and Bay Area residents believe their operation is completely legal. "We're trying to show what you can do under the law without any trouble or dispute," says John Entwistle, a legislative advocate, spokesman, amateur horticulturist and chief bottle washer for Californians for Compassionate Use, which runs the farm. The distinctive smell of burning marijuana wafts from inside a house where people are smoking in the living room, sitting amid memorabilia of years of pro-marijuana activism. Some are in wheelchairs like Sandi Patrick, who suffers paralysis and other ailments from a car accident. They smoke intermittently all day or !eat cake baked with marijuana-spiked butter. Pam McConnell of Clear Lake says she has struggled with mental illness for many years. During one of her frequent hospital stays, a niece found her too medicated to walk straight. So McConnell quit taking the hospital's medicine and smoked a joint her niece gave her. Nurses and doctors remarked on her rapid improvement and discharged her a few days later.Eighteen years later, she has been hospitalized only once, when she ran out of marijuana for a few days. "I'm functional, I'm sitting here talking to you instead of up in St. Helena with my thumb in my mouth," she says. I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm taking care of myself, keeping myself alive." In two hothouses on the farm, $300 sodium lamps radiate the heat and light the plants crave, while fans blow a constant breeze to strengthen the growing stalks. Entwistle carries the plants onto the porch and tenderly bathes each one with a garden hose, moving stalk by stalk, top to bottom, washing away parasites that could stunt growth. Just before the plants mature, they are sexed. Female plants produce blossoms that are dried and smoked; male plants are ground and used in cooking or poultices. Entwistle says buyers pay only for the labor - about $50 for a plant that will yield roughly two ounces of smokeable weed, after budding in a patient's bathtub or closet. "We're really proud of this. He's not going to have to do anything with this," Entwistle says. caressing the leaves of a plant ready for shipping. "All you need to make this plant into medicine now is one I light." As nine plants are loaded ' into Entwistle speaks of distributing marijuana like an old-fashioned milkman by making weekly deliveries customers along a route. Lake County Sheriff Rod says the farm isn't his highest priority. If he finds farmers overstepping their legal bounds, he will act. Otherwise, he will sit tight. Somebody needs to Say these are the standards," he said. "There is nothing under that law that gives a standard. There is no number of plants, there is no plant-to patient ratio, there is nothing." So the minivan uneventfully passes a few police cars while wending through wine country, and the marijuana-scented group gets only a few odd looks when it stops at a Taco Bell in Napa. Later, on a darkened Berkeley street, Dennis Peron shakes his head at the cloak-and-dagger feel of handing plants over a wooden slat fence to a member of a local ring of medicinal users. "Clandestine meeting in the middle of the night," says the flamboyant former head of San Francisco cannabis club. "I drove 100 miles to hand these over a fence. Something's not right."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Your efforts are paying off! (A list subscriber forwards an update on the prosecution of Steve Kubby, the medical-marijuana patient/activist and 1998 Libertarian candidate for California governor, for growing marijuana. Kubby asks activists to keep up their appeals to the district attorney's office.) From: theHEMPEROR@webtv.net (JR Irvin) Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 12:16:21 -0800 (PST) To: NTList@fornits.com Subject: [ntlist] Your efforts are paying off! Reply-To: theHEMPEROR@webtv.net (JR Irvin) Art Sobey sends this to us. 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 *** KUBBY LEGAL DEFENSE FUND 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 http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htm Be sure to note KUBBY LEGAL DEFENSE FUND in the message box. DrugSense will act as the intermediary and forward your donation *** `What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very long.' - Thomas Sowell *** For help, send a HELP command to: ntlist-Request@Fornits.com To join/leave send join ntlist or leave ntlist More info: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/6443/ntl.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- State's Rights (A letter to the editor of the Sacramento Bee says California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has a responsibility to defend patients protected by Proposition 215 from federal civil rights violations. The federal government's insistence that federal law supersedes state law, even in areas not specifically granted in the Constitution, deserves to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.) Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 19:01:46 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: MMJ: State's Rights Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Sat, 06 Feb 1999 Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Sacramento Bee Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: P.O.Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852 Feedback: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Forum: http://www.sacbee.com/voices/voices_forum.html Author: Gerald Klaas LETTERS State's Rights Re "From governor's race to pot case," Jan. 21: The arrest of 1998 gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby on marijuana charges revives the question of California's right to self-determination as guaranteed by the Ninth and 10th amendments. If Attorney General Bill Lockyer follows his oath of office to enforce the laws of California, then he will recognize that Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative, is the law and that Kubby should never have been arrested. The first move should be for Lockyer to counsel the Placer County district attorney on California law. But the bigger question will be if Lockyer does all Americans a favor by taking the federal Drug Enforcement Agency to task for violating the civil rights of a California citizen. The federal government's insistence that federal law supersedes state law, even in areas not specifically granted in the Constitution, deserves to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Gerald Klaas Carmichael
------------------------------------------------------------------- Corrections Board Approves Prisoner Surtax (The Des Moines Register notes the war on some drug users just got more lucrative Friday as the Iowa Board of Corrections approved plans for state inmates to pay a 6 percent surtax on cigarettes, candy, shampoo and anything else they buy in order to pay more of their cost of incarceration. Collection of the 6 percent surtax already began in November.) Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 19:17:07 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US IA: Corrections Board Approves Prisoner Surtax Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Sat, 06 Feb 1999 Source: Des Moines Register (IA) Copyright: 1999, The Des Moines Register. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dmregister.com/ CORRECTIONS BOARD APPROVES PRISONER SURTAX Inmates will pay an extra 6 percent for candy, cigarettes and other items to help with their keep. Iowa inmates will pay a 6 percent surtax on cigarettes, candy, shampoo and other items to help pay part of their keep under plans approved Friday by the Iowa Board of Corrections. Many prisoners in the past had paid $5 a month for the so-called "incarceration fee." But Iowa Corrections Director W.L. "Kip" Kautzky said some inmates had avoided payments by making sure their prison accounts had a very low balance. The new approach is more equitable because every inmate makes purchases from prison stores, Kautzky said. The 6 percent surtax should generate $300,000 to $310,000 annually, about the same as the $5 per month payment, officials said. However, plans are being made for centralized purchasing of retail products for all of Iowa's prisons, and the savings will be passed on to inmates. That should help offset the effect of the surtax, Kautzky said. Deputy Corrections Director John Baldwin said collection of the 6 percent surtax began in November, but the board's action Friday approves it as a state administrative rule. On other matters, Kautzky told the the state panel: * A new, 100-bed "special needs" prison unit for women will open this month at Mount Pleasant. The inmates, who have problems such as mental illness, mental retardation or social inadequacy, will be transferred from the state prison at Mitchellville, which should help alleviate crowding there. * A "zero-tolerance" policy toward offenders who use illegal drugs in community corrections facilities has had "astonishing" success in curbing drug use. The policy has been used in the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Council Bluffs areas, and will be expanded statewide, Kautzky said. * A plan is being studied by the Iowa Legislature to prevent some probationers who violate rules from being sent to prison. Instead, the offenders would be assigned to drug treatment programs at mental health facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Trooper Says State Police in New Jersey Discriminate (The New York Times says Emblez Longoria, a 10-year veteran of the New Jersey State Police, has filed a lawsuit accusing fellow state troopers of using race-based profiles to stop black and Hispanic drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike in the hope of making drug arrests. Longoria, who is of Puerto Rican descent, alleges he too is the victim of discrimination.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Cop NJ state cops discriminate Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999 22:32:08 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org February 6, 1999 New York Times Trooper Says State Police in New Jersey Discriminate By JENNIFER PRESTON RENTON -- A 10-year veteran of the New Jersey State Police has accused fellow state troopers of using race-based profiles to stop black and Hispanic drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike in the hope of making drug arrests, according to court papers filed Thursday. The trooper, Emblez Longoria, made the allegations in a lawsuit filed in United States District Court here. The suit also says that Longoria, who is of Puerto Rican descent, has been the victim of discrimination, including being denied positions he has repeatedly sought. At a recent assignment, he found a pacifier nailed to his mailbox, along with various "derogatory and offensive statements," the suit said. Longoria's lawyer says he is the first state trooper on active duty who has claimed that members of the state police are involved in racial profiling -- stopping cars for no reason other than the occupants' race or nationality -- which is illegal. In court papers, Longoria said that he had heard about profiling, but that he did not learn firsthand of the practice until a tour of duty on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1997. At that time, Longoria said in court papers, he was required to "stop motorists clearly on the basis of race and/or perceived nationality, so as to interdict drug trafficking, and boost his arrest statistics." The filing of the suit was first reported Friday in The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Star-Ledger of Newark. The state has consistently dismissed allegations of profiling. The most recent furor occurred last year after an April 23 shooting incident on the New Jersey Turnpike in which state troopers stopped a van carrying four New York City residents: three black men and one Hispanic man. The police contend that they stopped the van because it was speeding, and that they began firing shots at the van after it went into reverse, striking one of the troopers. Three of the men in the van were wounded, two seriously. The occupants of the van said that they were not speeding, and that the van went into reverse by mistake. A special state prosecutor is still investigating the case. Last month, the four young men helped state police investigators recreate some aspects of the shooting. In response to Longoria's lawsuit, Col. Carl A. Williams, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said Friday that he could not comment on the specifics of the lawsuit. But he insisted that the state police did not condone the use of racial profiling. "As I have continued to maintain, it is extremely important that state troopers and the public understand that racial profiling -- or any form of discrimination for that matter -- is not, and will not be, tolerated," he said. Philip J. Moran, the lawyer representing Longoria, said his client was ordered by superiors to use the tactics of racial profiling when he began a tour of duty in 1997 on the turnpike to "make his numbers." Moran said Longoria was concerned that he would "not be backed up" if he did not follow the orders. He soon requested, and was granted, a transfer from duty on the turnpike. Longoria's lawsuit also alleges that the state police have discriminated against him, most recently by reassigning him to a position at Fort Dix last year. Moran said his client had been punished for his friendship with another state trooper, Sgt. Vincent Bellaran, who won a racial harassment verdict against the state police in Federal court. Moran also represented Sergeant Bellaran and two other state troopers who have brought discrimination suits against the New Jersey State Police. David G. Ironman, a Staten Island lawyer who, along with Johnnie L. Cochran, represents two of the young men injured in the April 23 shooting incident, said the latest lawsuit was further proof that the troopers routinely engaged in profiling. "I believe, as our investigation has indicated, that it is a pattern and a practice that is encouraged," Ironman said. "I am sure the New Jersey authorities will deny once again that it occurs, but this is one of their own troopers, alleging it in his complaint." *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Agency Curbs Psychosis Tests, Reviews Funding (According to the Boston Globe, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Steven E. Hyman, said yesterday that he had suspended controversial studies that sought to induce psychotic symptoms in mentally ill patients, and had begun to review funding of such research. "We are not going to be funding research that will produce harm," he said. The suspended studies used ketamine, an approved anesthetic drug that also is abused on the streets for its hallucinogenic properties under such names as "Special K.")Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 17:08:06 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: US Agency Curbs Psychosis Tests, Reviews Funding Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Pubdate: Feb 6, 1999 Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Copyright: 1999 Globe Newspaper Company. Author: Dolores Kong, Globe Staff US AGENCY CURBS PSYCHOSIS TESTS, REVIEWS FUNDING BETHESDA, Md. - The National Institute of Mental Health has suspended some Controversial studies that seek to induce psychotic symptoms in mentally ill patients and has begun to review its funding of such research, the institute's director said yesterday. Dr. Steven E. Hyman, who left Boston two years ago to head the nation's mental health research agency, also won approval yesterday for a more stringent review of proposed studies to induce psychosis or withdraw or deny medication from mentally ill volunteers. ''We are not going to be funding research that will produce harm,'' Hyman said at a meeting of the National Advisory Mental Health Council, which unanimously approved his plan to create a new grant review subcommittee. That panel will be composed of council members, outside bioethicists, and people with mental illness or their relatives. The suspended studies used ketamine, an approved anesthetic drug that also is abused on the streets for its hallucinogenic properties under such names as ''Special K.'' ''Those [studies] on our campus have stopped,'' Hyman said in an interview, adding that new subjects had not been enrolled in ketamine studies at the Bethesda institute for about a year. The institute is now reviewing its funding of outside research involving ketamine, Hyman said. Ketamine has been used in people with mental illness and in healthy volunteers to study the biology of psychoses. In a four-part series three months ago, the Globe focused attention on reports of harm done to mentally ill volunteers by studies that involved administering ketamine and other drugs or denying or withdrawing medication for research. Hyman and other officials at the National Institute of Mental Health have said their review of the studies began before the Globe series. But an article two weeks ago in the journal Science cited the ''devastating four-part series full of research horror stories'' as having mobilized the agency to step up its efforts. Other publications also have focused on the issue. Hyman called some accounts sensational, but acknowledged that they highlighted a growing public mistrust of research. ''What will chill and kill clinical research will be the loss of public trust,'' he said in proposing the new review process. Institute officials said their ketamine studies had been suspended for lack of scientific merit following a review last month, but they denied that patients had been harmed. If study designs are improved, that line of research could start up again, said Clarissa Wittenberg, an institute spokeswoman. Hyman said the agency is studying options on how to proceed with outside ketamine research it funds. Yale University, the University of Maryland, and others are among those receiving institute funding for ketamine studies. The agency could do anything from alerting outside researchers of its concerns to suspending funding, Wittenberg said, adding that ''the message is getting out pretty clearly on where the institute is standing on all of this.'' The agency's actions have angered some psychiatric researchers who are concerned that it will have a chilling effect on scientific advancement, but they earned praise from people with mental illness and their advocates. One professional organization, the American Psychiatric Association, put its support squarely behind the new review process yesterday. In a statement, Dr. Steven M. Mirin, medical director of the 40,000-member group, said: ''The issue is how to craft protections for research participants so they do not unnecessarily and inappropriately impinge on the pursuit of new treatments of these devastating disorders. The proposals ... meet this test.'' Some advocates, however, said the institute is not doing enough. Adil Shamoo, a University of Maryland bioethicist, welcomed the suspension of the ketamine studies but added, ''The important question is, are they stopped temporarily or permanently?'' Shamoo and Vera Hassner Sharav, cofounders of the New York-based Citizens for Responsible Care in Psychiatry and Research, have called for a moratorium on studies that induce psychosis or withdraw medications.
------------------------------------------------------------------- To City Hall, Sister Icee is Public Enemy No. 1 (Vancouver Sun columnist Ian Mulgrew says city officials in Vancouver, British Columbia, have resorted to the lowest kind of character assassination in an attempt to keep Shelley Francis, a marijuana-law reform activist also known as Sister Icee, from obtaining a business license for Hemp B.C. and the Cannabis Café. The city's licensing and legal departments have basically argued that Francis is either a puppet of Marc Emery or is following in his scofflaw footsteps. There is scant evidence of that, and more than 10,000 people have signed petitions of support. But it doesn't appear to matter. The city council's egregious conduct of the hearing Thursday night left little doubt about where it stands.) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Column: To City Hall, Sister Icee is Public Enemy No.1 Date: Sun, 07 Feb 1999 09:18:20 -0800 Lines: 98 Newshawk: Sister Icee Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Feb-06-1999 Author: Ian Mulgrew TO CITY HALL, SISTER ICEE IS PUBLIC ENEMY NO.1 A bid to keep the pro pot activist from getting a business license featured the lowest kind of character assassination. I celebrated my birthday stifling laughter and shaking my head at the tactic's of the city's legal department in it's war with Shelley Francis, aka Sister Icee. You'd think the counter-culture entrepreneur was Public Enemy Number one given the venom employed to shut down her hemp emporium and adjoining cafe at 307 West Hastings Street. The fight began last year when the city refused to issue a 1998 business license to Francis because of "bad business management". That prompted a "Show Cause Hearing" at which council reviews the evidence and either upholds or overturns the judgment of civic staff. On Thursday night, city hall rested the case against Francis after four rowdy nights of public evidence that featured the lowest kind of character assassination. In a scene reminiscent of Reefer Madness, the anti-drug film that became a cult classic because of it's self-righteous silliness, city lawyer John Nelson used snippets from a TV interview with Francis to portray her as an unfit mother and a dope fiend. "For your viewing pleasure,"Nelson said with a smile before rolling perhaps six seconds of video tape in which Francis said:"I've smoked pot for 20 years...daily." Snapping the machine off, Nelson quipped: "That's all I wanted you to hear about that!" Everyone knows smoking grass daily prohibits you from getting a business license. Not. Nelson then played another snippet in which Francis said that she had two kids and had "used marijuana medicinally for the children rather than baby aspirin or gripe water." The insinuation provoked an immediate howl of derision from Francis's dozen or so supporters in the public gallery. "Burn her at the stake," mocked one heckler. I'm surprised provincial social workers weren't standing by, although what her parenting skills have to do with selling hemp sweatshirts is beyond me. Councillor George Puil, acting as the hearing's chairman, did a great imitation of former mayor Tom Campbell, who liked to turn the fire hoses on pot smokers. "We do have the authority to clean the place out completely and finish the hearing in camera," he fumed. It was not his or council's finest moment. In fact, the persecution of Francis could not have been handled more incompetently if the B.C. Ferry Corp. were in charge. The acrimonious assault on Hemp B.C. and the Cannabis Cafe is actually a product of the antipathy between Mayor Phillip Owen and Marc Emery, failed mayoralty candidate and former owner of the businesses. So eager last year was Owen to rid the city of this scourge that he told a New York Times reporter Emery and Hemp B.C. would be "toast" by fall. (That commemt by the way, forced the mayor to withdraw from the current hearing because of an appearance of bias.) Emery was a blow-smoke-in-your-face marijuana activist who wanted to turn Vancouver into an Amsterdam of the Pacific, and it's easy to see why he got under Owen's skin. Still, faced with non-stop police harrassment, Emery surrendered and sold out to Francis, who signed an agreement with the city promising not to sell, promote or facilitate the sale of marijuana. The city's licensing and legal departments, however, have basically argued that Francis is either a puppet of Emery or is following in his scofflaw footsteps. There is scant evidence of that. Merchants and local residents say Francis stopped drug dealing in the store. "She's been a very positive influence and part of the rejuvenation and renaissance of the neighbourhood," according to Steve Lippold, who has operated a nearby vintage clothing store for 25 years. As well, more than 10,000 people have signed petitions of support. It doesn't appear to matter. Council's egregious conduct of the hearing left little doubt about where it stands. You may reach Ian Mulgrew at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (604)605-2195, fax (604)605-2323.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ex-Cop Held On Drug Rap (The Toronto Sun reluctantly identifies Abraham Bailey as the former Toronto police constable who was charged yesterday with selling heroin and cocaine in a school district. After receiving community complaints about "drug" trafficking, Toronto Police raided Bailey's Coffee Time store Thursday, seizing heroin, cocaine and marijuana with an estimated value of $14,000, plus $25,000 in Canadian currency, $4,000 U.S. in greenbacks, jewelry worth $10,000, and three video game machines.) Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 22:23:35 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Ex-Cop Held On Drug Rap Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 Source: Toronto Sun (Canada) Copyright: 1999, Canoe Limited Partnership. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoSun/ Author: Ian Robertson, Toronto Sun EX-COP HELD ON DRUG RAP Heroin, coke seized in coffee shop near school Toronto area cops expressed disgust yesterday after a former Toronto Police constable was charged with selling heroin and cocaine in a school district. Since hearing of the charges against the ex-cop and his commonlaw wife at their Vaughan coffee shop, "I've had a number of calls" from colleagues, including Chief David Boothby, Supt. Ron Taverner said. He wouldn't repeat his boss' comments, but said, "It would be fair to say all officers of all ranks feel really saddened that a former police officer for such a long time would (allegedly) get involved with such issues." After receiving community complaints about drug trafficking, Toronto Police on Thursday raided a Coffee Time on Steeles Ave. W., east of Bathurst St., in a joint operation with York Regional Police and the Ontario illegal gaming enforcement unit. Investigators said they arrested the owners and four visitors, seized heroin, cocaine and marijuana with an estimated value of $14,000, plus $25,000 in Canadian currency, $4,000 U.S. in greenbacks, jewelry worth $10,000, and three video game machines. Taverner called the investigation "a quick one," because of the risk to students at nearby schools, who frequent the coffee shop. Since several young people were using the gaming machines when police arrived, investigators are worried some teenagers may have also bought drugs. "We're quite happy this has been stopped," Newtonbrook Secondary School vice-principal William Macdonald said yesterday. No parents or students have sought help since school officials learned of the arrests, "but we'll be monitoring students next week." York Region Insp. Ivar Vittans said the ex-cop was arrested recently on non-drug charges, but would not elaborate, saying the case is before the courts. The accused ex-cop was remembered by former colleagues as a one-time employee of Ponderosa Restaurants, who joined the force in 13 Division during a major 1970s campaign to have two officers in each cruiser. After being transferred to 14 Division, he shot dead a drifter who confronted him with a replica handgun. "When he walked over to the guy and saw it was a fake gun, he dropped his weapon and sat down on the sidewalk and cried," a former colleague told The Saturday Sun. The death on Ossington Ave. in April 1977 of Alexander Misztal, 51, who was known to police as an unemployed, tough, mouthy drunk with a love for guns, sparked a major campaign to ban realistic-looking toy handguns. The ex-cop ended his career as a 31 Division constable in North York, after taking early retirement in 1996. Abraham Bailey, 49, who used the name Chris and was known as "Ace," is charged with trafficking in heroin, cocaine, possessing drugs to traffic, having crime proceeds and keeping a common gaming house. Bailey appeared in a Newmarket court yesterday. He was escorted in wearing handcuffs and was remanded to custody until a bail hearing Monday. Conchita Garcia is charged with keeping a common gaming house, keeping machines for gambling, controlling money tied to gambling and possessing a controlled substance. She appears in Newmarket court March 11. -- With files from Alan Findlay -------------------------------------------------------------------
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.
Comments, questions and suggestions.Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/
Next day's news
Previous day's news
to the 1999 Daily News index for Feb. 5-11
to the Portland NORML news archive directory
to the 1999 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/ii/990206.html