Portland NORML News - Monday, February 8, 1999

Virtues Of Hemp Winning Over Fans In Farm-Minded Idaho (A Spokane,
Washington, Spokesman-Review article in the San Luis Obispo County
Telegram-Tribune says Mike Schlepp, president of the Kootenai-Shoshone
chapter of the Idaho Farm Bureau, and a lot of other Idaho farmers like him
are interested in growing industrial hemp. The Idaho Farm Bureau, which
represents 11,300 members, voted in 1996 to "encourage the legalization
of cultivation and production of industrial grade hemp." Pat Takasugi,
the state's director of agriculture, says "Agriculture in Idaho is under
the gun. We're looking for alternative crops.")

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 04:33:03 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US ID: Virtues Of Hemp Winning Over Fans In Farm-Minded Idaho
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Dunbar
Pubdate: Monday, February 8, 1999
Source: San Luis Obispo County Telegram-Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 1999 San Luis Obispo County Telegram-Tribune
Contact: wgroshong@telegram-tribune.com
Address: P.O. Box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406-0112
Website: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/
Section: Nation/World
Author: Cynthia Taggart, Spokesman-Review


COEUR d'ALENE, Idaho - Lynne Hutton was worried by the curly-haired man in
the suit who walked into her store and intently studied hemp products.

It wasn't the first time her hemp purses and hats, air fresheners and oils
had offended someone's sense of propriety.

Since she'd opened nearly two years earlier, Lynne had explained to several
customers the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana. Hemp isn't
a drug.

But Mike Schlepp hadn't wandered into Lynne's store to harass her.

"I was collecting information," he says. "Hemp is a crop there's a demand

Mike's a farmer just like his dad. For 18 years, he and his family have
forced a living from their land along the Coeur d'Alene River near Rose
Lake. This year, they grew oats and alfalfa.

Mike's a 40-something, church-going man working hard to heal his acreage
from contamination left by a century of mining. He's the president of the
Kootenai-Shoshone chapter of the Idaho Farm Bureau.

And he's interested in hemp.

"Not necessarily to grow here," he says, gesturing toward the fields out
his window. "But it would be another alternative crop for Idaho growers to
be able to grow."

He's not alone in his interest. The Idaho Farm Bureau voted in 1996 to
"encourage the legalization of cultivation and production of industrial
grade hemp."

The farm bureau represents 11,300 farmers.

"We aren't advocating civil disobedience," the bureau's Dennis Tanikuni
says with a chuckle. "We just want to make a statement. Our folks are
pretty independent, forward thinkers. We're looked at as conservative, but
we want what works."

Idaho farms need something.

"Agriculture in Idaho is under the gun," say Pat Takasugi, the state's
director of agriculture. "We're looking for alternative crops, but we're
not ready to cross the line into the illegal."

The federal government considers hemp a controlled substance, like its
hallucinogenic cousin marijuana, and bans its cultivation. Several groups,
including the Resource Conservation Alliance, are lobbying the Drug
Enforcement Administration to legalize hemp.

The difference between the two plants is simple. Hemp contains less than 1
percent of the active ingredient, THC, which produces the high. Marijuana
plants contain 10 to 20 percent THC. Unfortunately, the two varieties look

Until the 1950s, hemp was a common crop in the United States. American
colonists were required to grow it to supply sails and ropes for ships.

The government encouraged hemp growth during World War II to supply the
military with ropes, tents and parachute cords.

But by the 1950s, taxes pushed the cost of hemp production out of sight and
the Federal Bureau of Narcotics lumped industrial hemp with marijuana,
banning the cultivation of both.

About 30 other countries still grow hemp. Canada dropped its ban on the
crop last year. Americans are allowed to manufacture hemp products, but
have to import the raw material. That bothers Mike.

"We're importing from Canada and elsewhere when American farmers could
supply the same," he says.

Ads and articles in mainstream agricultural journals sparked his interest
in hemp several years ago. Farm equipment manufactures showed off their
harvesters slicing through the tough plant.

At about the same time, the American Farm Bureau Federation expressed
interest in researching hemp as a crop. It wasn't long before the
organization was pegged as supporting the legalization of marijuana.

"That made the members uncomfortable," says David Christensen, the AFBF's
director of organization. "The next year we took any reference to hemp out
of our policy book."

Misconceptions worry Mike, too. Farming is his first concern. Hemp is a
good crop to grow in rotation with other crops, he says. It breaks weed and
disease cycles. It's a possible alternative to grass on the Rathdrum prairie.

And there's a growing market for it. Legal hemp products number in the

"It probably would work," says farmer and state Rep. Wayne Meyer,
R-Rathdrum. "But it won't happen. I've mentioned the legalization of hemp
down here (Boise) and gotten funny looks."

Which doesn't surprise Mike. Raised eyebrows are the reason he collects his
information quietly. If the DEA ever legalizes the growth of industrial
hemp, he'll be ready to show what the plant can do for Idaho.

"Mike's one of the innovators, a doer," says Jerry Miller of the state farm
bureau. "It's not a good time to be a farmer. Farmers are diversifying out
of necessity. Mike's always looking for new ways to do things."

Escaped Inmate Jailed for 10 Days (The Associated Press notes Circuit Judge
Charles Stone today mercifully sentenced Alfred Odell Martin III, who was
extradited from Michigan to Virginia after leading an "exemplary" life for 25
years while on the lam for selling $10 worth of marijuana to an informant.
Martin is currently serving a one-year jail sentence for his original
marijuana conviction. But he has been held for more than two months and could
be released early for good behavior.)
Link to earlier story
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 22:24:02 -0800 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: US VA: Wire: Escaped Inmate Jailed for 10 Days Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: DAVID REED Associated Press Writer ESCAPED INMATE JAILED FOR 10 DAYS MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) A man who escaped from a jail work-crew 25 years ago and then fled to Michigan, where he led an "exemplary" life, was sentenced today to only 10 additional days in jail. Alfred Odell Martin III, extradited from Michigan after court rulings left that state's governor no choice, had faced up to five years in prison on the escape charge. Martin had pleaded guilty to the charge last month. "You've been looking over your shoulder for long enough," Circuit Judge Charles Stone told Martin today. "Some deterrence is needed but not a great deal in your case." More than 50 friends and relatives broke into applause in the courtroom. Martin, 49, from the Detroit suburb of Livonia, also is serving a one-year jail sentence for his original marijuana conviction. But he has been held for more than two months and could be released early for good behavior. "I did wrong, but I've been good," Martin told the judge. His voice broke as he said, "I am glad to be here today to be relieved of a burden I've carried too long." The judge refused to put Martin on probation after he serves his jail time. Commonwealth's Attorney Joan Ziglar had maintained that Martin should spend more time behind bars to send a message to other inmates that they can't walk away and expect leniency. However, she made no sentence recommendation. Martin was just about two days into his one-year sentence when he left a jail work-crew on Feb. 13, 1974. A prosecutor said Martin likely would have spent only about three months in jail on the conviction, for selling $10 worth of marijuana to a police informant. There is little question that Martin turned his life around. Had he not been caught driving with expired license plates in Michigan last November, and if Virginia had not pressed for extradition, he would still be working at a mortgage company and living with his wife and three children. At the time of his extradition, Martin was praised by a judge in Detroit as being "exemplary." The judge also called his family "a credit to Michigan." But Judge William Cahalan also said he had to honor Virginia's request because recent court rulings prevented a governor from blocking an extradition. Virginia first sought his extradition in 1974, but then-Gov. William Milliken, under old rules, was able, in effect, to grant Martin legal asylum.

Florida Initiative (A list subscriber posts the text of a medical marijuana
ballot measure that would amend the state constitution.)

From: cowboy@jug-or-not.com
From: "CRRH mailing list" (restore@crrh.org)
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 01:38:10 -0500
To: restore@crrh.org (CRRH mailing list)

Below is the full text of the Florida initiative, it has already been seen
by amr who called our initiative "well crafted"

Title: Freedom to Use Medical Marijuana For Specific Certified Medical Purposes

SUMMARY: Establishes a Right of individuals to choose to obtain and use
marijuana for specific Medical Purposes when certified as Medically
Appropriate by a licensed physician; protects physicians and third parties
who recommend or provide medical marijuana and allows Penalties for
Fraudulent Certification or Use.

Full Text of Proposed Amendment: Additional Section is Inserted in Article I
of the Florida Constitution. Freedom to Use Medical Marijuana for Specific
Certified Medical Purposes.

[A] Each Natural Person has the Right to obtain and use marijuana for
medical purposes when a licensed physician has certified:

I.That use of marijuana is medically appropriate for that Person in the
professional judgement of the Physician, and

II.That the Person's Health may Benefit from use of marijuana in the
treatment of Cancer, HIV, AIDS, Anorexia, Glaucoma, Arthritis, Chronic Pain,
Spasticity, Migraine, or Other Specified Medical Condition or Illness.

[B] The legislature is authorized to enact measures implementing
Certification Procedures under this section. Notwithstanding this provision,
no legislation is required for this section to take legal effect.

[C] No physician may be subjected to criminal prosecution, professional
disciplinary regulation, or other legal sanction, based on his or her
certification of marijuana use under this section unless such a
certification is fraudulent and the physician knows or should have known of
the fraud.

[D] No natural person may be subjected to criminal prosecution or other
legal sanction based on his or her cultivation, provision, transportation or
sale of marijuana for, or to, a person who has obtained marijuana for
certified medical use under this section.

[E] If any portion of this section is held invalid for any reason, the
remaining portions of this section, to the fullest extent possible, shall be
served from the void portion and given the fullest possible force and
application on the day after approval by the electorate.

P.O. BOX 290054 FORT LAUDERDALE, FL 33329-0054


For office use only
Serial Number:97-04
Date Approved: 8-28-97

In Jury Rooms, A Form of Civil Protest Grows (A lengthy article in the
Washington Post says jury nullification is increasing to unprecedented
levels - and the newspaper wants to help stamp it out so much that it
completely ignores the legal and constitutional foundations for jury
nullifaction. The most concrete sign of the trend is a sharp increase in the
percentage of trials that end in hung juries. If jurors vote not to convict
because they don't believe drug laws are fair, they may disguise their true
feelings by simply saying the evidence wasn't there or the prosecution didn't
make its case. Otherwise, they risk being ejected from the jury box.)

Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 10:45:43 -0700 (MST)
From: Jury Rights Project (jrights@levellers.org)
To: Jury Rights Project (jrights@levellers.org)
Subject: Wash. Post: In Jury Rooms, A Form of Civil Protest Grows (2/8/99)

Washington Post
1150 15th St., NW
Washington, DC 20071
Phone: 202-334-6000
Fax: 202-334-5451
Web: http://www.washingtonpost.com
Letters to the Editor:
Email the author: biskupic@washpost.com

February 8, 1999

In Jury Rooms, A Form of Civil Protest Grows

* Activists Registering Disdain For Laws With a 'Not Guilty'

By Joan Biskupic
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 8, 1999; Page A01

In courthouses across the country, an unprecedented level of juror activism
is taking hold, ignited by a movement of people who are turning their back
on the evidence they hear at trial and instead using the jury box as a bold
form of civil protest.

Whether they are African Americans who believe the system is stacked
against them, libertarians who abhor the overbearing hand of government or
someone else altogether, these jurors are choosing to ignore a judge's
instructions to punish those who break the law because they don't like what
it says or how it is being applied to a particular defendant.

The phenomenon takes all forms. In upstate New York, an African American
man refused to join 11 other jurors in convicting black defendants of
cocaine charges, saying he was sympathetic to their struggles as blacks to
make ends meet. In rural Colorado, a woman refused to convict in a
methamphetamine case and caused such disruption that she forced a mistrial
and was convicted herself of obstructing justice. And just last year in
Montgomery County, jurors in two separate trials of developer and
politician Ruthann Aron objected to her even being prosecuted on
murder-for-hire charges in the first place.

In all of these cases, the jury box turned into a venue for registering
dissent, more powerful than one vote at the polls and more effective at
producing tangible, satisfying results.

Although they still represent a relatively small proportion of the tens of
thousands of jurors who file into courtrooms every day, a striking body of
evidence suggests that their numbers are increasing. Case studies and
interviews with more than 100 jurors, judges, lawyers and academics reveal
a significant pattern of juror defiance. Some go so far as to say jury
nullification -- the term for jurors who outright reject the law --
represents a threat to the foundation of the American court system if it is
not confronted and dealt with effectively.

"There is a real potential danger if this problem goes unchecked," said
former District judge and Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. "I've
seen what happens when ordinary citizens sit on a jury with someone who
nullifies. You hear it in their comments. There is a real loss of faith.
And for those who are regularly a part of the court system, there is a real
cynicism that grows out of nullification."

The most concrete sign of the trend is the sharp jump in the percentage of
trials that end in hung juries. For decades, a 5 percent hung jury rate was
considered the norm, derived from a landmark study of the American jury by
Harry Kalven Jr. and Hans Zeisel published 30 years ago. In recent years,
however, that figure has doubled and quadrupled, depending on location.
Some local courts in California, for example, have reported more than 20
percent of trials ending in hung juries. Federal criminal cases in
Washington, D.C., averaged 15 percent hung juries in 1996 (the most recent
year for which data were available), three times the rate in 1991.

A hung jury is simply one in which the 12 men and women around the table
disagree over whether to convict or acquit. But judges, lawyers and others
who study the phenomenon suspect that more and more, differences are
erupting not over the evidence in these cases but over whether the law
being broken is fair.

Their concerns are supported by a recent nationwide poll by Decision Quest
and the National Law Journal, which found that three out of four Americans
said they would act on their own beliefs of right and wrong regardless of
instructions from a judge to follow the letter of the law.

Because of the secrecy surrounding jury deliberations, it is impossible to
know precisely how often jurors act on those views. Nonetheless, the
evidence is becoming overwhelming that the problem is real.

And its proponents are becoming well-organized, promoting their call for
jury activism in every state and in every form. They've printed bumper
stickers and brochures, rented billboards and subway placards, and created
Web sites and informal clubs urging people to stand up to the system.
"What's different now," says Vanderbilt University law professor Nancy
King, who has tracked the phenomenon, "is that there's an organized,
national movement to change the power of the jury."

Hidden Agendas

It is difficult to tell when a juror is taking the law into his own hands.
The only people in the room deliberating are the 12 who have been picked to
serve, so unless one of them speaks up, no one knows why a jury reaches the
conclusion it does. Nor can anyone know what motivates a particular juror.
If jurors vote not to convict because they don't believe the nation's drug
laws are fair, they may disguise their true feelings by simply saying the
evidence wasn't there or the prosecution didn't make its case. Otherwise,
they risk being ejected from the jury box.

But lawyers across the country are convinced that jurors are rejecting the
law -- in drug possession cases, in trials that lead to "three strikes,
you're out" or other stiff mandatory sentences, and in situations that
invoke evolving social values, such as the "assisted suicide" charges
lodged against Jack Kevorkian.

Prosecutors see it as vigilante justice, but defense lawyers have a
complicated response. Like New York defense lawyer Thomas J. O'Hern, many
do not endorse nullification as a payback for race discrimination or other
social grievances, but they also recognize that, if a juror does hold out
on conviction, that's good for their client. "From my point of view,"
O'Hern said, "there are three potential verdicts, 'guilty,' 'not guilty'
and 'can't decide.' 'Can't decide' is a win for me."

Some of the most sensational cases, or at least most publicized, arise when
the subject of race does.

In the recent case against former agriculture secretary Mike Espy, accused
of accepting illegal gratuities, independent counsel Donald C. Smaltz asked
the judge to specifically instruct jurors not to consider the fact that
Espy is African American. Smaltz said he was making the request because
Espy's lawyer suggested to jurors that Espy was prosecuted because he is
black. Racial arguments, Smaltz said, are "an attempt to encourage the jury
to acquit the defendant regardless" of his guilt. Smaltz was turned down,
but the daring strategy comes as fresh evidence that prosecutors
increasingly believe they need to head off social vindication in the jury
box. (Espy was eventually acquitted in December of all charges by a jury of
11 blacks and one white, and all of the jurors questioned afterward said it
was not race that led to their verdict but their belief that Smaltz's
corruption charges were overblown.)

Nine years ago, also in Washington, the celebrated trial of Marion Barry
brought issues of race and jury nullification to the fore when the mayor's
defense lawyer subtly appealed to jurors to reject the drug charges because
the government had targeted and entrapped the controversial black mayor.
The jury convicted Barry of one count of possessing cocaine, acquitted him
on another count and was unable to reach a verdict on 12 other counts. In
the aftermath, a majority of blacks surveyed in the city said they were
"satisfied" with the verdict and a majority of whites said they were not.

That same racial polarity arose in the case of O.J. Simpson. To much of
white America, polls showed, Simpson's acquittal looked more like the
product of nullification than insufficient evidence. Indeed, it was after
the jurors emerged with their "not guilty" verdict three years ago that the
phrase "jury nullification" burst into the mainstream media. Many
commentators questioned whether the predominantly black jury sided with
Simpson because of his race when they acquitted him of murdering his
ex-wife and her friend. The jurors insisted that there was not enough
evidence to convict, and they had plenty of lingering questions about the
role of the Los Angeles police.

Whatever the motivations, few legal scholars would consider the Simpson
case true nullification, if only because all 12 jurors on the mixed-race
jury moved to acquit. More common is the lone holdout with an ax to grind
who goes against the others, and who can be exposed by his frustrated

In the Albany, N.Y., cocaine case, juror Leslie Davis appeared rebellious
from the beginning. When he was sworn in to hear the case of five siblings
accused of selling drugs out of their mother's house, Davis raised a fist,
rather than simply holding up an open hand. He slapped his leg and
whispered, "yeah, yes," when defense lawyers tried to refute the mound of
evidence: videotapes of late-night visitors to the mother's home, testimony
from informants, records of big-money transfers among the unemployed
brothers and sisters. In deliberations, Davis, the only African American in
the jury box, proclaimed that the government's case wasn't worth "a bag of

He told the white jurors they didn't understand what the neighborhoods were
like where the black defendants lived or the struggles they faced even to
survive. Eventually, the other jurors sent notes to the judge telling him
that Davis wasn't deliberating fairly and that he had turned the case into
a racial referendum: "He thinks that everything we say is against his
race," one said. When U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy began to dismiss
Davis, saying he had become convinced that the juror wouldn't convict no
matter what, Davis was enraged. "Wait a minute. You're going to dismiss me?
And let the other jurors decide?" he complained.

Race also appeared to play a role in a recent case in the District that
ended in a hung jury. The defendant was an African American man charged
with illegal possession of a firearm. And when he took the stand, he told
the jurors that the gun police found in his car was his wife's and that she
carried it for protection in their Southeast neighborhood.

According to a white juror who agreed to discuss the case if his name was
not used, the majority-black jury was ready to find the defendant guilty.
But one juror, a black woman in her forties, told the others it was
perfectly understandable why someone would want to keep a gun for
protection, legal or not. And because the defendant had a prior conviction,
he would probably get a long sentence if convicted. It would serve no one,
particularly not a black man who she believed was trying to keep out of
trouble against the odds in his poor neighborhood, to send him to prison,
she argued.

For a while she was alone in her view, but she kept at it. Then, in a
dramatic reversal, the foreman, also black, adopted her position, and that
irretrievably deadlocked the group.

"The foreman was taking an illegal, but frankly, practical view," the white
juror said. "It put me on edge. But it would have taken a fair amount of
courage to challenge him."

In Oakland, Calif., jurors complained about a member of their panel who
they thought was overly sympathetic to a defendant accused of robbing a
Wendy's restaurant.

James R. Metters Jr. ordered some food and then told the cashier to "give
him all the twenties." His hand was wrapped in cloth and the cashier later
testified that she thought Metters was holding a gun, so she gave him the
money, and he fled. The cashier found the restaurant manager, who
immediately told a police sergeant who happened to be stopped at the
Wendy's drive-through window. The police sergeant caught Metters and found
his coat and $383 in cash nearby.

During his trial, Metters's lawyer brought out that his client was being
pursued by drug dealers whom he owed money. He was afraid for his life.
When the jurors began deliberating, a woman identified as "Juror No. 4"
felt it was wrong to convict him, according to court records. The drug
dealers threatened to kill him and his family, she complained. "Shouldn't
that matter?" asked this juror. Others in the room felt that the man should
be convicted of the crime, whatever his motivations, and took their case to
the judge. In a note, they complained that Juror No. 4 was "unfairly
sympathetic to" Metters, that she had worked in a drug and alcohol
rehabilitation facility and that it was affecting her ability to
objectively view the facts and law in the case.

When the judge questioned the juror, she insisted that she had been
"deliberating in good faith for a day and a half" but felt that there had
been a breakdown in communication. "I'm not willing to deal with what went
on in there yesterday," she said. "They are trying to convince me that I'm

The judge agreed with the other jurors that she was not being open-minded
and dismissed her. An alternate juror was added, and the jury then found
Metters guilty.

Post-Trial Surprises

Sometimes crosscurrents among jurors only become public after the
deliberations. That happened in both trials last year for Ruthann Aron, the
former Maryland politician accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill her
husband and a lawyer.

The first jury deadlocked last March when a lone holdout, Shawn D. Walker
of Silver Spring, said she thought Aron should not be prosecuted because
she hired the killer at a time when she was emotionally overwrought. Better
to let her off and urge her to get counseling than to use the court system
to throw her in prison, Walker felt. Other jurors later complained that
Walker came to the jury box biased in favor of Aron's assertion that she
was too mentally ill to realize that she was committing a crime. Walker had
taught emotionally disabled children and had professional experience with
mental disorders, neither of which Walker revealed during jury selection.

After the second Aron trial ended abruptly last July when Aron agreed to
plead no contest, a juror revealed she also was ready to vote against
conviction. "She clearly did it," said the 40-year-old female juror from
the second trial who asked not to be named. "But she had bottomed out. This
was a mental health issue. And, in the end, no one ended up dead."

This juror said she had never heard of "jury nullification" before that
trial. But afterward, she began telling friends and colleagues about her
experience and they pointed her to Internet sites urging people to take up
the cause, to get on juries to "vote your conscience."

Her reflections are revealing about the process of jury activism: "You
don't go in there and say, 'I don't believe in drug laws or the death
penalty so I'm going to vote to acquit.' It just happens. Suddenly, people
who think of themselves as law-abiding don't like the way the law is being

Encouraging Dissent

When it was first formed in a desolate Montana hamlet 10 years ago, the
Fully Informed Jury Association could conduct its business around a kitchen
table. Today, it claims 6,000 devotees nationwide who help spread the word
-- through the Internet, mass mailings and courthouse leafletting -- that
jurors should act on their own morality. And that clarion call, as well as
the effect of members' work in today's courtrooms, is beginning to gain

"Jurors have an inherent right to veto unjust laws," said Larry Dodge, a
Montana sociology professor turned libertarian activist who heads the
group. Its activists have been arrested for obstructing justice in several
cities where they have passed out leaflets to jurors arriving at

"I don't think we've ever inspired people to just fold their arms and say,
'We're going to stick it to the system.' Rather, we give them ideas for
doubt about the law," Dodge said from his Helmville, Mont., office-trailer
filled with stacks of pamphlets and cassette tapes carrying his message.

Dodge urges callers to his hot line not to reveal any ideological bent if
they are called to serve. "Lying is sometimes the right thing to do," he
says, "because judges shouldn't be asking prying questions in the first

Few of the nation's trial judges have been willing to publicly voice
concerns for fear of giving the movement legitimacy or appearing to tread
on juror independence. But for Colorado circuit Judge Frederic B. Rodgers,
jury nullification is a consuming interest.

"It is a recipe for anarchy . . . [when jurors] are allowed to substitute
personal whims for the stable and established law," said Rodgers, who has
warned other judges in articles that organized activists are "coming to a
courthouse near you."

If a juror dislikes a law, Rodgers and a handful of other outspoken judges
insist, he should press for legislative change, not behave in a random
fashion that lets one criminal off scot-free but sends another -- with a
different jury -- to jail.

"Jury nullification is indefensible," adds D.C. Superior Court Judge Henry
F. Greene, who has become concerned about the number of hung juries in the
District, "because, by definition, it amounts to juror perjury -- that is
jurors lying under oath by deciding a case contrary to the law and the
evidence after they have sworn to decide the case according to the law and
the evidence."

Houston lawyer Clay S. Conrad, author of a new book defending jury
nullification, asserts that it is not "anarchist." For the average citizen,
he says, nullification is an effective way of countering prosecutorial
abuse and limiting the power and intrusiveness of the legislature.

Unlike libertarians Dodge and Conrad, George Washington University law
professor Paul Butler comes at the subject from a different perspective,
and has developed a national reputation by telling black jurors they should
vote against conviction to stop another African American from ending up in

"Jury nullification, for me, is a tool," Butler said. "It's a tool for some
sort of fairness in the criminal justice system, where the situation is
getting worse for blacks." Butler doesn't believe murderers or other
dangerous criminals should be spared from conviction, but in "victimless"
crimes like drug possession, he believes black jurors should protect their

A former prosecutor who keeps at his fingertips statistics about the
disproportionate number of blacks in prison, Butler has espoused his views
on national television, in speeches and in numerous publications. "If
African Americans simply followed the law because whites told them to,
they'd still be slaves," he maintains. "The law doesn't come from God. It
comes from people like Jesse Helms and Newt Gingrich."

A Challenge to the System?

The right to trial by a fair and impartial jury is fundamental in America
and rests on the belief that a jury may be the only shield between an
individual and an overzealous prosecutor or a biased judge.

But if the process is breaking down, if people are using it as a way to
express a personal agenda, should the system be changed? To even address
the question -- which many court officials are reluctant to do -- is to
suggest that there is something wrong with a central component of American

Some states have debated whether to permit non-unanimous verdicts in
criminal cases as a way to shut down rebel jurors who create hung juries.
The rationale is that if one or two jurors fail to consider the evidence,
an agreement among the 10 or 11 others could seal a verdict.

Many judges are also spending more time questioning potential jurors before
they get on a trial in hopes of weeding out those who want to protest the
law. And prosecutors have brought charges against jury "nullification"
activists who pass out leaflets at courthouses encouraging jurors "to vote
your conscience."

And yet, while a growing number of prosecutors and legal scholars believe
the problem needs addressing, there is no consensus on what actions should
be taken when jurors ignore the law.

"You're real hesitant as a judge to go beyond what ought to be a pretty
inviolable shield" protecting jury deliberations, said Holder, a former
Superior Court judge in the District. "But you do have those who go into
the jury room with an agenda: 'I don't want to convict another black guy.'"

Holder thinks officials should be more vigilant in monitoring the movement,
seeing which cases tend to produce nullification, determining whether the
trend is becoming "more dangerous."

Perhaps not surprisingly, prosecutors and defense lawyers are of two minds
on the dangers to the system and what should be done.

"We don't want vigilante justice," said Donald Kinsella, the federal
prosecutor in the Thomas family drug case who at every phase of the trial
had pressed the judge to remove Leslie Davis. But defense lawyers say that
when a jury is hung, it is because the prosecution has failed to make its
case, whatever the reason. Defense lawyers fear that any new effort to
respond to jury activism will intrude on the fairness of the jury system
and ultimately lead to more convictions.

In the end, it could be argued, the system sometimes takes care of itself.

In Albany, the Thomas siblings were found guilty of drug charges by the
remaining 11 jurors after Davis was removed, but the defendants then
appealed the conviction.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, reviewing the whole episode,
said jurors have no right to reject a law simply because they don't like

"Nullification is, by definition, a violation of a juror's oath to apply
the law as instructed by the court," the court said in its 1997 ruling, the
strongest, most recent court decision on the topic. The opinion by Judge
Jose Cabranes said jurors who reject the law should not be allowed to

But the appeals court also ordered a new trial after declaring that only
"unambiguous evidence" of a juror's disregard of the law can justify his

In a retrial, the Thomas siblings were found guilty of selling and
conspiring to sell drugs -- by an all-white jury.

Staff researcher Madonna Lebling contributed to this report.


Over the past several years, reports of jurors ignoring the law and
refusing to convict in the face of overwhelming evidence have grown in this
area and across the country. Because there has been no systematic study of
the practice, The Post set out to measure the degree to which jury activism
permeates the justice system. The research was conducted over four months
and included personal interviews with more than 100 jurors, judges, defense
lawyers and prosecutors, as well as an analysis of academic studies,
polling data and scores of cases.

Jury Defiance

People increasingly are using the jury box as a form of civil protest. Some
studies suggest the actions reflect an overall decline in respect for legal

Measures of displeasure

The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago reports
that public confidence in the courts and the legal system has eroded in
recent years.

Percentage of people surveyed reporting very little or no confidence in the
legal system:

1991 28%

1998 33%

The Gallup Poll has reported a decline in the ratings people give lawyers
for honesty and ethical standards.

Percentage of people who rate lawyers as having "high" or "very high"
ethical standards:

1983 24%

1998 14%

A Decision Quest/National Law Journal poll in October 1998 found that three
out of four Americans eligible to serve on a jury say they would act on
their own beliefs of right and wrong regardless of legal instructions from
a judge.

Percentage of Americans who say they would act on their own beliefs during
a trial: 75%

Nullification or not?


Independent counsel Donald C. Smaltz asked the judge hearing the
illegal-gratuities case against former agriculture secretary Espy to
instruct jurors not to consider that Espy is African American.


Jurors are increasingly rejecting the law, experts say, in situations that
invoke evolving social values, such as the "assisted suicide" charges
lodged against Kevorkian.


In both trials for Aron, the Maryland politician accused of trying to hire
a hit man to kill her husband and a lawyer, evidence of a juror's bias
became public after the end of deliberations.


Many commentators questioned whether the predominantly black jury sided
with Simpson because of his race when they acquitted him of murdering his
ex-wife and her friend.

Legal Cornerstone

Anyone accused of a crime in this country is entitled to a jury trial. It
is a guarantee at the core of the American legal tradition and reflects the
belief that a group of one's peers may be the only protection from a
capricious or unfair prosecutor.

People called to serve are asked a series of questions designed to weed out
anyone who would not be fair or objective. To prevent them from refusing to
carry out the law, individuals are asked whether they can accept a statute
as it is written. That is, can they decide whether a person is guilty of
illegal drug use, for example, and not let their personal feelings about
what the law should say interfere?

The American custom is that jurors decide the facts of the case (whether
the person did what he is accused of) and leave it to judges to interpret
the law. There is no room, in other words, for jurors to say whether they
think the law is a good one, though there have been a few celebrated
exceptions -- notably the 18th-century acquittal of John Peter Zenger of
seditious libel and the 19th-century acquittals for prosecution under the
fugitive slave law.

Before a jury begins deliberating, a judge will typically tell the 12 men
and women that they must apply the law as written. A juror who spurns that
mandate and ignores the evidence can be removed from deliberations.

But knowing when they do that is difficult because the jurors do not have
to explain their votes and, save for a few exceptional situations, a judge
cannot second-guess the verdict.

In the most recent, comprehensive ruling on the subject, the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the 2nd Circuit last year declared that judges may dismiss
jurors who refuse to follow the law. But the New York-based appeals court
said a judge should be certain that the defiant juror is not simply
expressing a reasonable doubt about the defendant's guilt. That May 1997
ruling has since become a touchstone for courts across the country.


Re-distributed by the:
Jury Rights Project jrights@levellers.org

Web page: http://www.lrt.org/jrp.homepage.htm

To be added to or removed from the JRP mailing list,
send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title.

The JRP is dedicated to educating jurors about their right to acquit
people who have been accused of victmless crimes and thereby veto bad
laws. We are separate and distinct from the Fully Informed Jury
Association (www.fija.org), but have the same mission: more justice
through better-educated jurors.

One Juror's Convictions (A sidebar to the Washington Post's article
on the increasing prevalence of jury nullification recounts the prosecution
in Colorado of Laura Kriho. The 34-year-old college research assistant was
convicted of obstructing justice for failing to reveal during the jury
screening process that she had been arrested for LSD possession 12 years
earlier, and for failing to disclose that she was opposed to the enforcement
of some drug laws. The Colorado Court of Appeals is expected to rule on her
case any day.)

Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 11:15:16 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US WP: One Juror's Convictions
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: The Washington Post
Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company
Page: A07
Pubdate: Mon, 8 Feb 1999
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Author: Joan Biskupic, Washington Post Staff
See: also the WP lead front page story "In Jury Rooms, A Form of Civil
Protest Grows" posted separately. Way to go, Laura! Laura is a well known
activist, newshawk, and is also the person behind creating the pages at:


Holdout in Colo. Case Found Guilty of Obstructing Justice

CENTRAL CITY, Colo. -- When the jurors first filed into secluded room to
begin their deliberations, Laura Kriho moved quickly to claim the chair at
the head of the table. It was a signal to the others that she was up to

As it turned out, she was. And over the course of the next two days, the
34-year-old college research assistant would make legal history, becoming
the embodiment of an escalating phenomenon in which jurors refuse to
convict despite the evidence presented at trial -- and in her case being
punished for it. Jury deliberations normally are secret. But because Kriho
herself became the subject of a criminal investigation, her still-evolving
case offers a rare window on the 12 strangers who come together to decide
someone's fate and what can happen when one of those jurors has her own
view of justice.

Court transcripts, as well as interviews with six of the 12 people who
served on the original jury, including Kriho, show how the drama unfolded
two years ago as Kriho and the other jurors argued over the fate of
Michelle Brannon. The 18-year-old defendant had been caught with bags of
white powder that turned out to be methamphetamines, and she soon found
herself up on charges of drug possession.

To prosecutors, her case seemed an easy win: Police had found the drugs in
Brannon's purse. What they couldn't have known were the personal agendas of
those sitting on the jury.

To start their deliberations in the brightly lit confines of the Gilpin
County jury room, they took a preliminary tally on whether Brannon was
guilty of drug possession. The vote was "guilty," "guilty," "guilty,"
"guilty," a "pass" here and there, then one lone voice, Kriho's, saying
"not guilty."

"She's just a kid," Kriho said of Brannon, who was jobless and living out
of her car at the time she was arrested. "She didn't hurt anyone else."
Besides, Kriho said, the drug problems of first-time offenders should be
solved in the family, not the courts.

Foreman Russell Carlson and some of the others explained why they thought
Brannon was guilty: When police stopped her for driving down a narrow
street that had been closed to traffic, she at first resisted turning over
her purse. When the police insisted on looking in it, they found drugs. How
could Brannon not have known the drugs were in there?

Juror Betty Hammock emphasized that the police not only had found the drugs
but also a pipe for smoking drugs in the van Brannon was driving. And,
Hammock noted, at first Brannon had lied to police about who she was.

Kriho was unmoved. Her attitudes and appearance -- waist-length hair and
long, flowing skirts -- left the others thinking Kriho was a throwback to
the 1960s. But she was also poised, and had a certain reserve in presenting
her point of view. She sat with her hands folded neatly on her lap and
spoke softly as she tried to persuade the others that drug problems should
be solved through counseling.

Daniel Cooper, who became one of the most aggressive of the jurors in
attacking Kriho, said it was obvious that Brannon was guilty: "We aren't
trying to change the whole world or change the laws. We're just trying to
decide on this one case." Juror Rose Hosmer was sympathetic to Kriho and
felt sorry for Brannon, too, but kept coming back to the belief that
Brannon was guilty.

Realizing she was convincing no one, Kriho played what she hoped would be a
trump card. She told the others that the night before deliberations began,
she had looked up Brannon's potential sentence on the Internet. If she had
classified methamphetamine possession correctly according to Colorado
statutes, Brannon could get 4 to 12 years. For Kriho, it was a way of
showing the others that their guilty votes might land Brannon behind bars
for a significant time. Probation, as some had speculated, was not in the

Her fellow jurors were stunned and shoved the judge's instructions in front
of her. At the top of the stack of written instructions was this statement:
"It is my job to decide what rules of law apply to the case. . . . Even if
you disagree or don't understand the reasons for some of the rules, you
must follow them." Another customary rule is that a possible punishment
should not sway whether jurors think the person is guilty or innocent of
the crime.

Cooper then wrote a note to the judge: "Can a juror be disqualified for:
(1) looking up the sentence on the Internet . . . (2) [for saying] "the
court criminal system is no place to decide drug charges . . . that [drug
problems] should be decided by family and community."

Reading the note, Judge Kenneth Barnhill was furious and felt he had little
choice but to declare a mistrial. He summoned the 12 back into the jury box
and began reprimanding them, not knowing which one to single out.

Glaring as he spoke, Barnhill reminded the jurors that he had asked before
the trial began whether anyone had a problem with the drug laws and that no
one had volunteered anything.

They were stone-faced as Barnhill declared the mistrial, and as the
consequences of that sunk in: The defendant was a free woman, unless
prosecutors decided to try her again with a new jury.

After they were dismissed, some of the jurors went to the judge and told
him that it was Kriho who was the instigator.

And Kriho didn't let up. Outside the court building, as the other jurors
milled around in confusion over how quickly everything had come to an end,
Kriho pulled a brochure from her purse and handed it to Ronald Ramsey, a
juror she thought seemed sympathetic. The leaflet carried a simple message:
Jurors should make "the right decision when the law is wrong."

Kriho then approached Michelle Brannon, who was leaving the courthouse with
her mother. "I'm the one who caused this to happen," Kriho told them.
Brannon and her mother expressed their gratitude, and even gave Kriho a
ride home.

Two months later, Kriho received a summons at the Rollinsville home she
shares with her husband. She was being charged with obstruction of justice
for failing to reveal during the juror screening known as voir dire that
she had been arrested and received a deferred judgment for LSD possession
12 years earlier. She was also cited for failing to disclose that she was
opposed to the enforcement of some drug laws.

In the end, Kriho was not punished for what she did in the jury room, but
for what she failed to reveal beforehand. "No juror can be punished for
their vote in deciding a case," Judge Henry Nieto said as he ruled against
Kriho in 1997.

But what Kriho had done was obstruct justice by refusing to speak up before
the trial ever began about her concerns with the law.

"Ms. Kriho's lack of candor about her experiences and attitudes led to the
selection of a jury doomed to mistrial from the start," he wrote.

Kriho was fined $1,200 and appealed. The Colorado Court of Appeals, which
heard arguments in her case last summer, is expected to rule any day.

Pot Fight Unites Clinton Nemesis With The Man Who Didn't Inhale (The
Washington Post notes the constitutionality of the budget resolution
sponsored by Rep. Bob Barr preventing District of Columbia voters from
learning whether they approved a local medical-marijuana ballot measure last
November is being defended in the courts by the Clinton administration's
Justice Department, Barr's nemesis.)

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 18:02:38 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: WSJ: Pot Fight Unites Clinton Nemesis With The Man Who
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Mark Greer
Pubdate: Mon, 8 Feb 1999
Source: The Wall Street Journal (NY)
Copyright: 1999 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Contact: letter.editor@edit.wsj.com
Website: http://www.wsj.com/
Author: Leslie Shaffer, Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

The Orphan


WASHINGTON -- Republican politicians may blame impeachment hawks like Rep.
Bob Barr for disappointing results in the 1998 elections. But residents of
the nation's capital have a different problem: Thanks to Mr. Barr, they
still can't count some of last November's returns.

Specifically, the District of Columbia is barred by law from figuring out
whether city voters want to let ailing neighbors smoke marijuana to ease
their pain, an idea gaining favor elsewhere in the U.S. Mr. Barr didn't
approve of a ballot initiative on medical use of the outlaw weed. So the
combative, conservative Georgia lawmaker prodded Congress, which oversees
and subsidizes the District of Columbia's government, to prohibit city
officials from using federal funds to count the votes.

Three months later, the city and Congress are locked in a bizarre legal
battle costing far more than the $500 Mr. Barr complained would be "wasted"
to tabulate the ballots. The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the
city elections board to force a count on behalf of local AIDS activist
Wayne Turner, the initiative's sponsor. Instead of contesting the suit, the
city has taken the side of the ACLU.

And the Clinton administration -- which doesn't agree with Mr. Barr on much
of anything -- has stepped in to defend the handiwork of a man who was
laboring to get the president impeached even before Monica Lewinsky hit the

It is a "longstanding policy of the Justice Department to defend all laws
passed by Congress," department spokesman Brian Steel says. Three Justice
Department employees -- as well as six employees at the district's
corporation counsel's office -- are working on the case.

Mr. Barr's vote-counting ban lasts only until Sept. 30, the end of the
fiscal year. After that, the city will be able to use fiscal 2000 funds to
execute the simple computer keystrokes needed to count the
medical-marijuana ballots. If exit polls conducted on Election Day last
November are any guide, the initiative passed handily.

Of course, Congress could approve an extension of Mr. Barr's ban. If the
initiative passes, federal lawmakers could also veto it.

Meantime, the initiative's sponsor, Mr. Turner, endures what he calls an
"agonizing" wait to find out how his initiative did at the polls. But he
must first find out from Arthur Spitzer, his lawyer at the ACLU, whether he
has won his court fight, and there is no date for a decision. Every time
the phone rings, he says, "I feel like that '60s song: 'Let it please be
him.' "

Greener Grass (U.S. News & World Report says the White House drug czar,
General Barry McCaffrey, wants out.)

Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 04:56:32 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Greener Grass
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Uncle Hempy unclehempy@hotmail.com
Source: U.S. News and World Report (US)
Website: http://www.usnews.com/
Contact: letters@usnews.com
Copyright: 1999 U.S. News & World Report Inc.
Pubdate: 8 Feb 1999
Author: Paul Bedard
Section: Washington Whispers


Barry McCaffrey, who has seen drug use drop during his stint as President
Clinton's drug czar, appears ready to leave. Insiders say the retired Army
general is mulling two options: a return to uniform or a move to head the
Red Cross. "He is not rejecting a return to duty," says one. Some want him
to take over as either Army chief of staff or head of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff. Word is Defense Secretary William Cohen thinks the "bench" of
candidates stinks.

New Anti-Drug Strategy Announced (An Associated Press article in the Orange
County Register says the Clinton administration is announcing a five-part
plan designed to cut the nation's drug problem in half by 2007, emphasizing
the need for a drug-control strategy that measures success and failure -
apparently so the government can know which statistics to manipulate.)

Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 19:06:06 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: New Anti-Drug Strategy Announced
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W. Black
Pubdate: 8 Feb 1999
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Section: News
Page: 11
Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Author: Pete Yost-The associated press


Government: The plan focuses on accountability in trying to cut the nation's
drug problem in half.

Washington - Hammering home the need for a drug-control strategy that
measures success and failure, the Clinton administration is announcing
a five-part plan designed to cut the nation's drug problem in half by

In a report to Congress, White House drug policy director Barry
McCaffrey said drugs claim more than 14,000 lives in the country
annually, despite a nationwide effort that included almost $18 billion
in 1998 from the federal government.

Such a societal toll is unacceptable, McCaffrey said, and it prompted
the administration's goal: reducing the use and availability of drugs
by 50 percent by 2007, 25 percent by 2002. Realization of the goal
would mean that just 3 percent of the U.S. population 12 and older
would be using illegal drugs. The current figure is 6.4 percent.

With President Clinton attending the funeral of Jordan's King Hussein,
formal presentation of the plan today was being handled by Vice
President Al Gore and McCaffrey. Advance copies were made available
Sunday evening.

A major piece of the drug-control effort: an ad campaign that
generates more than $195 million a year in matching contributions from
media companies.

A cornerstone of the strategy is accountability for the wide array of
current anti-drug programs, with boosts for those that work and a
swift identification and repair process for those that aren't
producing results.


Vice President Al Gore will unveil today a five-part plan to cut drug
use in half in the next five years. Those parts:

Educating children

Decreasing the addicted population

Breaking the cycle of drugs and crime

Securing the nation's borders against drugs

Reducing the supply of drugs

Drug Warriors To Be Held Accountable In 5-Part Plan (The headline
of the Arizona Republic version seems a little optimistic.)

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 19:16:41 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Drug Warriors To Be Held Accountable In 5-Part Plan
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Mon, 08 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


Emphasizing the need for a drug control strategy that measures success and
failure, the Clinton administration is announcing a five- part plan designed
to cut the size of the nation's drug problem in half by 2007.

In a report to Congress, White House drug policy director Barry McCaffrey
said drugs cost more than 14,000 lives annually, despite a nationwide effort
that includes close to $18 billion spent this year by the federal

President Clinton said that while "there is some encouraging progress in the
struggle against drugs . . . the social costs of drug use continue to

In a message to Congress, Clinton said that among the positive signs are a
growing view among young people that drugs are risky and a continuing
decline in cocaine production overseas.

"Studies demonstrate that when our children understand the dangers of drugs,
their rates of drug use drop," Clinton said.

The five parts of the plan are educating children, decreasing the addicted
population, breaking the cycle of drugs and crime, securing the nation's
borders from drugs and reducing the supply of drugs.

The blend of strategies is aimed at reducing the use and availability of
drugs by 50 percent by 2007, half of that by 2002.

A cornerstone of the strategy is accountability for the wide array of
current anti-drug programs, with boosts for those that work.

"In the past, Congress had been critical because there were no specific
measurements for success," said Bob Weiner, a spokesman for McCaffrey.
"There was some real heat in the government" resisting demands for
accountability, but "no longer do we only measure the people working the
issue and the dollars spent on it. Now you've got to prove bang for the

Accountability Promised For Drug Effort (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette version)

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 21:22:59 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Accountability Promised For Drug Effort
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: 8 Feb 1999
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
Copyright: 1999 PG Publishing.
Contact: letters@post-gazette.com
Website: http://www.post-gazette.com/


Hammering home the need for a drug-control strategy that measures success
and failure, the Clinton administration is announcing a five- part plan
designed to cut the size of the nation's drug problem in half by 2007.

In a three-volume report to Congress, White House drug policy director
Barry McCaffrey said drugs cost the country more than 14,000 lives
annually, despite a nationwide effort that includes close to $18 billion
spent this year by the federal government.

President Clinton said that while "there is some encouraging progress in
the struggle against drugs . . . the social costs of drug use continue to

In a message to Congress, Clinton said that among the positive signs were a
growing view among young people that drugs are risky and a continuing
decline in cocaine production overseas.

"Studies demonstrate that when our children understand the dangers of
drugs, their rates of drug use drop," said Clinton.

The five parts of the plan are educating children, decreasing the addicted
population, breaking the cycle of drugs and crime, securing the borders
from drugs and reducing the supply of drugs.

The blend of strategies is aimed at reducing the use and availability of
drugs by 50 percent by 2007 and 25 percent by 2002. Achieving the goal
would mean just that 3 percent of the U.S. household population aged 12 and
over would be using illegal drugs. The current figure is 6.4 percent. In
1979, the rate was near 15 percent.

Vice President Al Gore said, "this strategy takes us into the next century
with a goal of dramatic reductions in the supply and demand for drugs and a
real chance of giving our children drug-free communities in which to grow up."

A major piece of the drug-control effort: an advertising campaign that
would generate more than $195 million a year in matching contributions from
media companies.

"The strategy seeks to involve parents, coaches, mentors, teachers, clergy
and other role models in a broad prevention campaign," said McCaffrey, head
of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

A cornerstone of the strategy is accountability for the wide array of
current anti-drug programs, with boosts for those that work and the ability
to identify swiftly and repair those that aren't producing results.

"In the past, Congress had been critical because there were no specific
measurements for success," said Bob Weiner, a spokesman for McCaffrey.
"There was some real heat in the government" resisting demands for
accountability, but "no longer do we only measure the people working the
issue and the dollars spent on it. Now you've got to prove bang for the buck."

The goals for the period ending in 2007 are to reduce the rate of crime
associated with drug trafficking and use by 30 percent, and reducing the
health and social costs associated with drugs by 25 percent.

McCaffrey also wants to expand alternatives to jail for drug users - an
approach based on studies showing that prisoners who get treatment are far
less likely to commit new crimes than those who don't.

"Efforts to break the cycle of drugs and crime will pay for themselves
through reduction in prison costs, social costs associated with drugs and
crime and through the money no longer wasted on purchase of drugs,"
according to the new drug-control strategy.

Fact Sheet on 1999 National Drug Control Strategy (A White House
press release announces today's release of the 1999 National Drug Control
Strategy, described as "a comprehensive long-term plan to reduce drug use
and availability to historic new lows.")

Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 08:59:52 -0800 (PST)
From: Leslie Schentag (wy497@victoria.tc.ca)
To: cp@telelists.com
Subject: [cp] 1999-02-08 Fact Sheet on 1999 National
Drug Control Strategy (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 11:30 -0500
From: The White House (Publications-Admin@Pub.Pub.WhiteHouse.Gov)
To: Public-Distribution@Pub.Pub.WhiteHouse.Gov
Subject: 1999-02-08 Fact Sheet on 1999 National Drug Control Strategy


Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release
February 8, 1999

February 8, 1999

Today Vice President Gore will release the 1999 National Drug Control
Strategy, a comprehensive long-term plan to reduce drug use and
availability to historic new lows. The Strategy is backed by a $17.8
billion counter-drug budget--the largest ever presented to Congress.
The Vice President will also highlight the extraordinary efforts of the
private sector to join forces with the successful Youth Anti-Drug Media
Campaign to get the right message on drugs to kids, parents, and

A long term commitment to fight drugs. Year in and year out, the
Clinton-Gore Administration has proposed the largest anti-drug budgets
ever, helping to increase federal counter-drug spending by nearly 40%
between FY 93 and FY 99. Our sustained effort is having an impact:
overall drug use is half the level it was at its peak in the 1970's;
drug-related murders are down by 40 percent since 1992; the first-ever
paid anti-drug media campaign has been launched nationwide; and youth
drug use is on the decline for the second year in a row. The 1999
National Drug Control Strategy builds on this progress and takes the
next steps to reduce drug use and availability across the board.

Keeping kids the number one priority. If our children can make it to
adulthood free of substance abuse, the vast majority will avoid
addiction for the rest of their lives. That is why the first goal of
the Strategy is to educate and enable kids to reject drugs. And while
recent studies show declining youth drug use in 1997 and 1998, we have
more work to do. The Clinton-Gore Strategy and FY 2000 budget reflect
a strong commitment to meeting this challenge:

$195 Million for National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. The
President's budget continues this unprecedented, 5-year campaign
to use the full power of the mass media to educate millions of
young people, parents, teachers and mentors about the dangers of
drugs. In just six months, the private sector has joined our
national effort and made over $165 million in matching
contributions--helping us to reach even more people by creating
their own anti-drug ads, producing shows about drug prevention, and
giving scores of non-profit organizations free air time to run
their drug-related messages.

$590 Million for Safe and Drug-Free Schools. In addition to
calling for increased funds, the President is committed to
reforming the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program to make it even
more effective. The President's proposal will require schools to
adopt rigorous, comprehensive school safety plans that include
tough, but fair discipline policies; safe passage to and from
schools; effective drug and violence policies and programs; annual
school safety and drug use report cards; and links to after school

Breaking the iron link between drugs and crime. A third of state
prisoners and one in five federal prisoners commit their crimes under
the influence of drugs. Nearly 20 percent of state prisoners and
15 percent of federal inmates commit their crimes to buy drugs. The
President's budget provides new resources for states and localities
to break crime-committing addicts of their addictions and reduce

$215 Million for Zero Tolerance Drug Supervision. The President
proposes the most comprehensive drug supervision ever to help keep
offenders drug-and crime-free: $100 million in new funds to help
states and localities to drug test, treat, and sanction prisoners,
parolees and probationers; $50 million to expand innovative drug
courts; and $65 million for residential drug treatment for
prisoners with the most serious drug problems.

Strengthening law enforcement. One of the Strategy's goals is to
increase the safety of America's citizens by substantially reducing
drug-related crime and violence. To help keep crime coming down to
record low levels, the President's budget includes:

$1.275 Billion for a 21st Century Policing Initiative, to help
communities hire, redeploy and retain up to 50,000 law enforcement
officers with an effort to target crime and drug "hot spots"; to
equip officers with the latest crime-fighting technologies; and to
engage entire communities to work together to prevent and fight

$22 Million Increase for DEA Drug Intelligence, including $13
million to assist the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) with its efforts
to automate and improve access to critical law enforcement and
intelligence information, and $9 million to support investigations
to dismantle drug trafficking organizations.

Closing the treatment gap. Dependence on drugs exacts an enormous
toll in individuals, their families, businesses, communities, and the
nation. Treatment can help end dependence on addictive drugs--and
its destructive consequences. To help make treatment available to
more Americans in need, the President's budget provides:

$85 Million to Increase Drug Treatment. The President's budget
provides an additional $55 million in Targeted Capacity Grants to
expand the availability of drug treatment to meet existing or
emerging needs, and $30 million more for the Substance Abuse Block
Grant--the backbone of federal efforts to help states and
localities reduce the gap between those seeking treatment and the
capacity of the public treatment system.

Stopping drugs at the border and breaking foreign sources of supply.
The Strategy will help shield our borders and strengthen
multinational cooperation on drugs by including:

$50 Million Increase for the Southwest Border. The President's
budget includes additional funds for INS to deploy "force
multiplying" technology, such as infrared and color cameras and
ground sensors to aid Border Patrol enforcement and drug
interdiction efforts.

$29 Million More for International Programs to fund the State
Department's International Narcotics Law Enforcement Affairs'
efforts in the Andean countries, and Mexico, and to provide
assistance to enhance multinational cooperation in our anti-drug

Remarks by the Vice President on the 1999 National Drug Control Strategy
(A White House transcript of Al Gore mouthing the obligatory platitudes
and inanities about the purported progress of the war on some drug use.)

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 09:55:05 -0800 (PST)
From: Leslie Schentag (wy497@victoria.tc.ca)
To: IANews.Publish@Syninfo.COM
cc: cp@telelists.com, scottyj@legalize.com
Subject: [cp] 1999-02-08 VP Remarks on 1999 National Drug Control Strategy (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 09:23 -0500
From: The White House (Publications-Admin@Pub.Pub.WhiteHouse.Gov)
To: Public-Distribution@Pub.Pub.WhiteHouse.Gov
Subject: 1999-02-08 VP Remarks on 1999 National Drug Control Strategy


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
February 8, 1999


Presidential Hall
The Old Executive Office Building

11:10 A.M. EST

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. Let's
give Jessica Hulsey another round of applause. You did a great job.
I'm very proud of you. (Applause.)

God bless you, Jessica, and thank you from all of us for your courage
and your eloquence this morning. To General Barry McCaffrey and his
deputy Don Vereen, to Attorney General Janet Reno and Secretary Donna
Shalala, and to the other members of the Administration's team fighting
against drugs, and to all of you ladies and gentlemen, thank you for
your patience, especially these young people here. I'm very impressed.
And incidentally, they're from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and
the DARE program and Chicago's Temple Jeremiah.

I also want to acknowledge specifically some of the other individuals
who have played key roles, Rand Beers, Assistant Secretary of State for
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement matters; Brian Sheridan,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Operations and Low Intensity
Conflict; Anna Maria Salazar, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense; Ray Kelly, Commissioner of the US Customs Service; Sandy
Thurman, of the National AIDS office; Jeffrey Tauber, who has been
mentioned before; Dick Bonnette, president of the Partnership for Drug
Free America, and I want to mention Jim Burke who heads up the
partnership. He is not here, but I want to acknowledge their tremendous
role in these efforts, Gil Gallegos, National President of the Fraternal
Order of Police and all of the law enforcement officials and
representatives of law enforcement organizations who are here. Major
General Arthur Dean, President and CEO of the Community Anti-drug
Coalitions of America, Jerry Komesar from the Narcotics Center -- the
Counternarcotics Center at the CIA, Donnie Marshall Deputy Administrator
of the DEA and others.

And let me again acknowledge my colleague Senator Joe Biden in the
United States Senate, and Congressman John Mica in the House of
Representatives. And what was said by Barry McCaffrey and others about
the bipartisan support for our country's efforts in this field bears
repeating because we really have been able to drain away some of the
partisan poison and put together a national consensus. And we are very
grateful for the partnership that we have had with our colleagues in the
Congress on both sides of the aisle.

I was listening to Jessica sharing her story and trying to imagine, as
I am sure some of you were, what it must have been like for her and her
sister to go through those days and how much courage it took for her to
make of her life what she has now made of it, and to speak and to reach
out and try to save others.

Jessica, your commitment is really an inspiration to all of us and you
also give us a target to shoot for because we know that young people can
grow up free of drugs and feel a sense of mission and feel connected to
our society and be an inspiration to others.

Sadly, we know that the story that we heard from Jessica is not unique.
She actually speaks for many thousands of families who suffer through
the same nightmare of powerlessness and frustration that she and her
sister suffered through.

But one of the most important things that Jessica's story and these ads
that Barry showed from our national media campaign, teach us is that we
do have the power to fight drugs. We can win this struggle.

As Joe mentioned, it was won once before and then we let down our
guard. We can win it again if each of us is willing to take action. If
we take action at every level of government in every community, in every
house of faith, in every family and every home, if we reach out to our
young people as parents, mentors and peers before drug dealers reach
them. If we join forces, united and relentless in our determination to
win this war, we can make our nation stronger than ever in the
twenty-first century.

You know, for years, I remember back, not too many years ago when it
seemed that the struggle against crime was insurmountable. The numbers
kept getting worse. But we came up with an approach that we applied
steadily and relentlessly and the problem has yielded, not fully but
with a smart, tough anti-crime plan that combines more punishment with
more community police and with better prevention, we see six years later
that the strategy is working even beyond our expectations. Around the
country in cities large and small, crime is now down to its lowest rates
in 25 years.

That should give us hope, because as we are beginning to win the war
against crime, we can win this struggle against drugs. By marshalling
the forces and the resources of our nation, monetary, mental, physical,
spiritual. We have to call on the best in ourselves in order to win
this struggle.

Year after year, our Administration has worked with our friends and
allies in the Congress to secure the largest anti-drug budgets in
history with more money for drug enforcement agents for border and
customs control, for education and outreach, for treatment and
prevention. Under the leadership of General Barry McCaffrey at the
Office of National Drug Control Policy our efforts have finally begun to
pay off.

Overall drug use by adults has dropped to more than half of its highest
levels in 1979. Even drug use by our young people, which seemed to be
getting worse every year, has finally begun to decline. But when drug
dealers still roam our streets and rob our children of their dreams,
when drug-related crime still ravages so many of our neighborhoods we
know that we've barely begun. We must do so much more.

With our economy the strongest in a generation, and our national self
confidence rising we have a rare opportunity, and an obligation, to
redouble our efforts in the war against drugs. We must start by
recognizing that our nation's drug problem was not born in isolation and
does not exist in a vacuum. It is an interconnected problem. And so
our solutions must also be interconnected. We must mount an all out
effort to banish crime, drugs, disorder and hopelessness from our
streets once and for all.

You know, to revisit briefly the analogy to the crime problem, some of
the leading experts on crime taught all of us about what they called the
broken windows theory. If a potential criminal comes into a
neighborhood and sees broken windows and litter on the sidewalk and
graffiti on the walls and a general sense of disorder and lack of self
respect then the powerful unspoken message is: If you're looking for a
place to commit a crime this might be just the place to do it.

If, on the other hand, there is a neighborhood where the windows are
fixed and there is no litter and the graffiti has been cleaned up and
the shopkeepers and grandparents and community leaders are all helping
to exude an atmosphere of order and self-confidence in a neighborhood
that takes pride in itself, then the powerful but unspoken message is,
don't even think about committing a crime here.

I think something like that theory applies to the challenge we face
with drugs. I have always believed that along with all the other
dimensions of this problem, this is a spiritual problem and if young
people have emptiness in their lives, if they have a lack of respect for
the larger community of which they are a part, if they don't find ways
to feel connected to the adults who are in the community, if they feel
there is phoniness and hypocrisy and corruption and immorality, then
they are much more vulnerable to the drug dealers, to the peers who
tempt them with messages that are part of a larger entity of evil.

If, on the other hand, they feel they live in a country that makes
sense, that is proud of itself, that is moving toward the future that we
are destined to enjoy in America, if they feel like they are part of
something larger than themselves, that makes them feel that their lives
do have purpose and will have even larger purpose, then they're less
vulnerable, less likely to succumb to the temptations that are always

And so to deal with the drug problem, we have to do more to expand
opportunity, to create jobs for our young people, especially in
communities that have too often been passed by in good times; that
higher rate of drug abuse in minority communities and impoverished
communities. I think -- personally I think comes about partly because
you have a higher vulnerability to feeling that sense of being
disconnected and alienated and not a part of what can be possible in our

We've worked on empowerment zones, we've worked on all manner of
initiatives to try to deal with those problems. And incidentally, last
Friday the unemployment rate in the African-American community, in the
Hispanic Community reached the lowest levels in the history of the
United States of America. So, we're making some progress in that
dimension of the problem as well.

To deal with the drug problem we need to do much more to improve our
schools and help all of our students achieve high standards and empower
themselves with the trained minds that make them stronger in their
ability to understand what's going on around them. Therefore, we need
more after-school programs so that vulnerable period between 3:00 p.m.
and 7:00 p.m. is filled with opportunity instead of remaining a time
when idle hands become the devil's workshop. We need summer school
programs to keep young people learning in the classroom in the hours
after the school bell rings, the hours when young people are likely to
fall prey to the drug problem.

We also of course, need to put all of these pieces together in this
National Drug Control Strategy which is, of course, being formally
released today. And I want to compliment General McCaffrey's staff and
those staffs of the other departments that have worked on this as well.
He was kind to mention my role in this, it was very small. But one
thing that I noticed when we started this and when President Clinton
prevailed upon General McCaffrey to take this position was that one
difficulty in implementing this law which I supported so strongly in the
Congress was that Barry's office is new and relatively small and, as a
pivot point or lever dealing with the Defense Department and the Justice
Department and Health and Human Services and all of -- and Education and
all of the others, very difficult. And just because of human nature and
the various laws of bureaucratics, it wasn't working that well.

But I want to give the credit where it's due and that is to the members
of President Clinton's Cabinet. Attorney General Reno and Secretary
Shalala, chief among them, Secretary Riley, Secretary Cohen, the others,
who have brought a spirit of collegiality to focus on the task at hand
and not on the process and move closer together by moving jointly closer
to our common goal, which is outlined in this document and which is
going to be -- and our progress toward it is going to be measured. They
have really been remarkable in their commitment and I am so pleased that
this strategy results from such teamwork.

So I am pleased to formally release our drug control strategy. It is
not a short-term plan designed to produce short-lived results; it is a
comprehensive long-term strategy. It has more money for drug testing
and treatment, it has better drug law enforcement in our communities and
better drug control on our borders. It has better anti-drug education
for young people, including this outstanding media campaign. And I want
to compliment all who have been involved in that -- and that is born of
a bipartisan movement in the Congress with the Administration to support
this as well.

And our plan is backed by the largest anti-drug budget ever presented
to the Congress. Our Administration's balanced budget for 2000 includes
nearly $18 billion to keep drugs away from our borders, off of our
streets and out of our children's reach. And this anti-drug media
campaign aimed at youth is beginning to create lots of conversations
around the country.

I know that all of you have seen these ads. They are terrific and the
young people are getting the message. We have reached literally
millions of them with the powerful message that drugs are illegal, drugs
are wrong, drugs can kill you. Although it is too early to fully
measure our success, we really are seeing evidence that this anti-drug
message is getting through. And the multicultural aspect of it that
Barry talked about is extremely important.

One big reason for the success is the remarkable response of the
private sector to our challenge to join this fight against drugs. I
want to mention that in six months, our campaign has generated more than
$165 million in matching contributions for paid anti-drug ads.
Virtually every major network has produced high-profile, anti-drug
public service announcements with their best-known celebrities -- and
you saw just a few of them, and donated air time to scores of nonprofit
organizations for their own anti-drug PSAs.

I am so proud of all our efforts, especially at the ONDCP to fight
drugs. But making this strategy work really does require a continuation
of the teamwork that I complimented a moment ago.

We have asked Education Secretary Riley to build on our efforts to keep
our schools safe by strengthening the Save and Drug-Free Schools
initiative and encouraging more school districts to start after-school
programs. We've asked Health and Human Services Secretary Shalala here
on stage here to help our young people stay off drugs by increasing our
efforts to promote drug treatment and prevention programs around the
country. And she has already begun doing so. We've asked Attorney
General Reno to push forward with more drug testing of prisoners and
parolees and more police on the streets of our communities to break the
deadly cycle between crime and drugs. We've also asked her to redouble
our efforts against drug traffickers by organized crime groups. And she
is already doing all of those things.

We've asked Transportation Secretary Slater to maintain the vigorous
maritime interdiction operations against drug traffickers that are such
an important part of our supply side anti-drug strategy. We have asked
Secretary of the Treasury Rubin to step up anti-money laundering efforts
and work harder than ever, along with the Justice Department, to keep
drugs from crossing our borders. We've asked Defense Secretary Cohen to
intensify his ongoing efforts to use the unique capabilities of our
military to support our drug law enforcement efforts, especially along
our southwest border. And we have asked Secretary of State Albright to
continue our partnership with other nations, particularly in the western
hemisphere drug alliance to fight the global drug problem.

President Clinton, as all of you know, is at the funeral of King
Hussein and would have been here to present this and release this
personally. He has been so deeply involved in leading our nation's
efforts. And next week President Clinton will travel to Mexico, a
critical partner in the fight against drugs. A major portion of the
drugs that come into our country come through Mexico across the 2,000
mile border we share. This illegal drug trade endangers Mexicans as
well as Americans and it is in our nations' mutual interests to work
together to shut it down.

The alliance against drugs that President Zedillo and President Clinton
adopted in 1997 is making progress. And we are committed to building on
that progress. And I bring you the personal commitment of President
Clinton to implement this drug control strategy. And I'm very pleased
that last Thursday, because of the President's efforts, the Mexican
government announced it will be spending $400- to $500 million over
three years to buy new planes, ships, radar and law enforcement
equipment. By sharing resources, information and experience we can
secure a safe future for both of our nations.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, in closing, our battle against drugs is a
fight to the finish and it is not a job for government alone. It will
take all of our efforts and energy, all of our courage and our
compassion. It will take every one of us looking ahead to a day when
the scourge of drugs no longer threatens our children, our communities
or our collective future. I believe that we are destined to reach that
day. We can reach that day.

I look forward to working with all of you to building a stronger nation
for the twenty-first century.

Thank you very much.

(Applause.) -END- 11:42 A.M. EST


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Briefing by Donna Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and
General Barry McCaffrey, Director of the Office of National Drug Control
Policy (A White House transcript of the official spin on the drug strategy
just announced by the Vice President.)

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 09:58:46 -0800 (PST)
From: Leslie Schentag (wy497@victoria.tc.ca)
To: cp@telelists.com
Subject: [cp] 1999-02-08 Briefing by Secretary Shalala
and General McCaffrey (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 10:39 -0500
From: The White House (Publications-Admin@Pub.Pub.WhiteHouse.Gov)
To: Public-Distribution@Pub.Pub.WhiteHouse.Gov
Subject: 1999-02-08 Briefing by Secretary Shalala and General McCaffrey

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
February 8, 1999


The Briefing Room
The White House

12:02 P.M. EST

MR. TOIV: Good morning, everybody. We have here to brief today on the
drug strategy that was just announced by the Vice President, General
Barry McCaffrey, who is the Director of the Office of National Drug
Control Policy and Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna

GENERAL McCAFFREY: The Attorney General, Janet Reno, unfortunately had
to go on to another responsibility.

Let me just, if I can, summarize the results of about an hour where we
pulled together the Vice President, the Attorney General, Secretary
Shalala and the key people that have helped build the national drug
strategy to formally release it and to do so with bipartisan
representation from Congress. Specifically Senator Joe Biden and Mr.
John Mica in the House.

The strategy is now complete. It is mandated by law. The central
volume provides the conceptual outline to what has become almost an $18
billion a year program with a 10-year set of objectives that's based on
coordination not only between the 50 federal agencies involved but also
state and local government and NGOs. So we are pretty proud of what we
have achieved.

There are three other volumes you should be aware of, arguably the most
important of which is now mandated by law, is a five-year drug budget
projection. So each year the person with my responsibility has to
build, in coordination with the 14 Cabinet officers involved in this
effort, a five-year projection so that we can start to get a debate
organized around investment and prevention and treatment to save
downstream drug abuse costs.

We've also got what last year was a pretty contentious volume. We
called it performance measures of effectiveness. And this volume now
articulates 99 specific variables that we are trying to build a database
for each one by which we will hold ourselves accountable for achieving
results and reducing drug abuse and its consequences in America. And
this is going to be the report card that each year we go down to
Congress and say what we did with the funds. The 1999 report attempts
to start this building the base line.

Finally, one that will not be released to the press, is a classified
annex to the strategy where for the first time we have pulled together
classified conceptual guidance to law enforcement, defense, state and
intelligence collections. Let me, if I may, ask Secretary Donna Shalala
to say some words. Without meaning to embarrass her, the heart and soul
of what we're doing is Donna Shalala, Janet Reno and Dick Reilly, that's
it; it's prevention, it's treatment. Donna in particular, and Attorney
General Janet Reno have been at this for years and their thinking is
really embodied in everything we've tried to achieve. Thanks very much.

SECRETARY SHALALA: Thank you, General McCaffrey. I'm one of the
Cabinet members that is being cheerfully coordinated by General
McCaffrey. Let me say, what difference does all of this make? Two
months ago General McCaffrey and I reported that teenage drug use is
either stabilizing or, in some cases, coming down. That's exactly what
we want to see. And it can't be done by any single agency. It requires
an integrated approach. And obviously my Department is intimately
involved in the research, in the prevention, and in the services that
are being provided.

And the President has asked for an increase in drug treatment money.
That's going to be particularly critical as we try to bring down the
last welfare numbers, which tend to be a hard-core group that often have
substance abuse problems. That's an expensive population that requires
substance abuse money being integrated with welfare services to get
people first, off drugs, and then into training and into jobs.

So, we very much are part of this national drug control strategy. I
congratulate General McCaffrey. He's been a pleasure to work with.

GENERAL McCAFFREY: And we're open to your questions or comments.

Q I have two questions. What are you doing new this year, what's
outlined new this year and how soon will you know whether this long-term
strategy outlined last year is working?

SECRETARY SHALALA: Do you want to tell them about the advertising

GENERAL McCAFFREY: Well, one of the things I had mentioned -- what's
new is if you take a three-year snapshot we've increased prevention
dollars by more than 40 percent. If you look at the 2000 budget I think
it's up 56 percent. If you look at drug treatment dollars it's up 17
percent, and the FY 2000 budget continues that. So what we have done
is, we've started to -- Secretary Shalala and others put their money
where their mouth was and invested up front in prevention and treatment.

Now the second thing that is new here is we are starting to link some
big components of the strategy, the drug treatment system and the
criminal justice system we're now trying to hook together. You know,
most of us don't use drugs. But, unfortunately, 4.1 million Americans
are chronically addicted. So Secretary Shalala has got more than $3
billion now total in all the departments involved in drug treatment. We
have to put that together with a $36 billion a year prison system,
local, state and federal.

And then finally, I would argue that the international community
component is now starting to come together. We are getting results not
just in the OAS, the hemispheric cooperation, but out of our dialogue
with the United Nations and other multinational actors.

Q What kind of results?

GENERAL McCAFFREY: Well, for starters, and it's almost hard to believe
for those that have been involved in this before, we have actually
reduced the tonnage of cocaine being produced in the Andean Ridge in the
last three years substantially. The results in Peru are almost hard to
believe. They are down more than 50 percent.

Q How did you do that?

GENERAL McCAFFREY: Well, when I say "we," let me suggest that the
heart and soul of it were Peruvian leadership and Bolivian leadership
but it's a combination of the air bridge campaign, which put pressure on
the growing regions Huallago, a combination of microeconomic alternative
development, not huge projects but a bridge, an aqueduct, new seeds,
community teaching programs and some very vigorous law enforcement by
Peruvian law enforcement. Plus they beat the Sendara Luminoso. So,
police are back into the growing regions. The same thing is happening
now with the Banzer Government in Bolivia in which they've changed the
reward/punishment algorithm so that you're rewarded for getting out of
cocoa production as a community not as an individual. And then they've
got the police back into the Charpare growing regions. So, in both
nations substantial reductions in cocaine production.

We've also got what we would believe is an enormously enhanced
effectiveness in the interdiction effort both in the Caribbean and in
cooperation with Mexico. So, some of these things are starting to pay

Q Can you talk a little about relapse rates, how many people go back on
drugs after they have been through treatment programs?

SECRETARY SHALALA: Well, the answer is it depends on whether they've
gone through the full course of treatment. And that's the key. And
that's the new emphasis. People that go through the full course of
treatment as opposed to leaving the program in the middle have almost no
relapse. The relapse rates are very small. What we've now concentrated
on is getting people into the full course of treatment, supporting them
while they're in the full course of treatment because that's where it
works. And we increasingly have data that shows that the relapse rate
is very small.

The other thing that has helped, obviously, is jobs. That is, it's not
just a matter of treating someone in a prison, for example, which
General McCaffrey and Attorney General Reno and I have been big
supporters of, but it's making sure that people have an opportunity to
get jobs so that there really is an alternative to going back on the
street and either selling drugs or using drugs.

Q And how well is the job program working? Are you finding jobs for
the people who go through the whole treatment program?

SECRETARY SHALALA: In fact, part of the President's initiative, the
Welfare-to-Work Initiative, you will remember that we made an
announcement a couple weeks ago on using some of the resources for men
so that they could, in fact, get into job training programs. This is
particularly important for people coming out of prisons, the
hardest-to-place group, to provide them with opportunities to get jobs
so that they can support their kids and be part of the future, as
opposed to part of the past.

GENERAL McCAFFREY: I wonder if I could add, though, to that question.
We've got some decent studies now that we need to give you access to.
The NTIES and DATOS studies that Secretary Shalala released last year.
We've got a Department of Justice study on the effectiveness of

So this is no longer a speculation. We have some pretty hard data and
it says that drug treatment will work in dramatically reducing not only
drug use rates and recidivism back into the prison system -- but also
the consequences of drug abuse, rearrest rates, felony crimes, illness
-- increases the number of people who actually get jobs and go back to
work. I would like to make that evidence available to you.

I think what is also the case, drug treatment programs don't cure
people; they manage addiction, they get you back with your life under
control, they give you intellectual tools to understand what's happened
to you. And if they are combined with a coercive element, which is what
the Attorney General has been doing, three years ago there were 12 drug
courts; today there are over 400. I hope when we walk out of office,
there will be more than a thousand drug courts. And in that case, you
hold the addicted person in a relationship with a judge, drug testing,
work, social services and therapeutic community.

Q General, you briefly mentioned Mexico. What's your assessment of
this new anti-drug program that they announced several days ago? Is
this the real thing or is it just lip service because the President is
going to be there next week?

GENERAL McCAFFREY: I think the Mexicans are deadly serious about this.
President Zedillo said it's the principle threat to Mexican national
security. Drug abuse problems in Mexico have gone up dramatically,
particularly in the border regions. I think both the United States and
Mexico are keenly interested in confronting the incredibly corrosive
impact of violence and corruption on both of our societies.

Now, I think the La Bastida announcement, which we welcomed, with $400
million plus and a new interdiction effort, particularly down in the
Yucatan area, they're going to try and seal off the Guatemala/Belize
border area, and also the sea access side, they're going to buy boats
and radars and aircraft and try and do a more effective job in
interdiction. But you've also seen a series of other actions in which
they're trying to rebuild an effective counternarcotics drug police
force and building more effective cooperation at sea between the Coast
Guard and the Mexican Navy.

Q So, how much of a problem is corruption? I think you were hinting
at that.

GENERAL McCAFFREY: The figure I use is that the US spends $57 billion
a year on illegal drugs, half of those illegal drugs are sucked into the
United States through Mexico. And so the corrosive impact of this
money, along with US illegal weapons, is a major factor in bringing
Mexican democratic institutions under attack. It is a major problem.

Now, at the same time I always, if you allow me, note there is an
element of creative hypocrisy on the part of the United States to not
remind ourselves that we have a tremendous amount of violence and
corruption and pain that comes out of the drug problem in the United
States. In the US, the way we characterize it is 14,000 dead and $110
billion worth of damages. So this is a problem that affects the two
countries in dissimilar ways but with devastating results.

Yes, sir?

Q General, I understand that your office has already received 1998
statistics of drug crops in Colombia from the US intelligence community.


Q Which I understand they have risen from the previous year.


Q Can you give us the statistics of Colombia?

GENERAL McCAFFREY: We're going to put out a press release here in the
coming days, probably tomorrow if not earlier. I hope I've got this
right. The total hectarage under cultivation has gone up 26 percent in
one year. So it's substantial. And we are seeing not only the total
hectarage under cultivation go up but probably the quality, the alkaloid
content of these plants is also increasing.

Finally, I think we believe we are seeing a tremendous concentration of
drug production in not only new areas but in areas whether they are
clearly under the protection of organized armed resistance to the
national government, whether it is FARC, principally, or paramilitary
or, in some cases, ELN.

So the problem that President Pastrana and his team face is enormous
and it is getting worse.

Q Are you saying that there is increased drug activity in the
demilitarized zone in Colombia?

GENERAL McCAFFREY: No, I didn't say that.

Q Are you concerned that the FARC guerrilla group is increasing or
conducting any drug activity in this demilitarized --

GENERAL McCAFFREY: We'll put this out this week. I sort of hate to
dribble it out. We'll give you maps. They've gone to the Colombian
government last week and we're analyzing -- there are still some aspects
of this evaluation that we need to discuss with them.

But the bottom line is the drug production areas are out in the eastern
part in Guajira province, they're down in Putumayo and Cauca provinces
and if anything there has been a tremendous increase in the south. Now,
we're also looking at some significant opium production in Colombia.

As US consumption of cocaine goes down, which we're sure is going to
happen in the coming years, there appears to be a very deliberate
attempt to -- it's called double-breasted dealing, in which they're
pushing very high purity heroin along with the same criminal
distribution network that distributes cocaine.

Q General?


Q You said earlier about the decrease in cultivation in the Andean
region. But how much of that is just due to the fact that they were at
over capacity before, things like the coca blight that drove some of the
trade out of the Upper Huallago down the river or moving some more of
the cultivation to Colombia?

GENERAL McCAFFREY: Well, we've done a lot of talking about that. I
would suggest, first of all, Peru has made absolutely magical progress.
It is incredible what they have accomplished. And I think a lot of it
is due to local leadership, it's police, it's alternative economic
development. It is basically a population, a compasino population, that
is sick of war and sick of the violence and corruption that drugs bring.
So that is good news for Peru and, therefore, her neighbors.

Now, we're seeing the beginnings -- I think Bolivian total reduction is
over 20 percent as of now, about 22 percent if I remember the number.
That is phenomenal turnaround from three or four years ago. Even given
the explosion of production in Colombia, there is still a substantial
net reduction in cocaine out of the Andean Ridge. Part of that is
because the Peruvian coca production is the richest of the lot.

But the numbers -- well, the overall reduction was over 280 metric tons
in the area so total net reduction of cocaine is almost unbelievable
from the standpoint of somebody like me who has been watching this for
seven years. It is dramatically down.

It started at like 800 metric tons and now it is down to 550, in around
in there.

Q Is the Colombia explosion that you are referring to a more recent
trend than Bolivia and Peru?

GENERAL McCAFFREY: I would argue they are almost independent. The
three countries have very different dynamics as to why these things are
happening. Peru is the most dramatic. That was the dominant
cocaine-producing nation on the face of the earth. It still has a
plurality, if I remember that pie chart, of around 42 percent of total
tonnage of cocaine still comes out of Peru. So, Peru's success has
dominated the whole Andean Ridge. Bolivia is a newcomer. The last two
years the Banzer Administration, some very creative work by Vice
President Quiroga and his interior minister and it's starting to pay
off. So, it was a substantial reduction.

Colombia has increased its production and a lot of it due to the fact
that government is not in control of 40 percent of the country. And the
Bolivians have been running the production facilities out of Bolivia.
There is almost no Colombian's left in the Bolivian criminal
organizations now. So, I think what we're seeing is heroin, cocaine
production labs -- a lot of it showing up in southern and eastern

Q General, on a another subject, what do you make of the controversy
over the ATF approved wine bottle labels that ask people to ask their
doctors about the health effects of wine? Senator Thurmond and some
others are quite upset about this.

GENERAL McCAFFREY: I haven't studied the issue. I really couldn't
comment in a useful way on it. As a general note, I frequently say by
background, the most dangerous drug in America still today is alcohol.
I mean, it kills arguably 100,000 people a year, it's a $150 billion
loss in American society. It's the biggest drug abuse problem for
adolescents. And it's linked to the use of other illegal drugs. So,
from a viewpoint of adolescents we are quite concerned about reducing
alcohol abuse. But labeling wine bottles, I will not comment on it.

Q Have you seen any health effects from drinking wine that are good?

GENERAL McCAFFREY: I really couldn't give you a useful comment. I
think it would be more helpful if the Surgeon General commented and
others who are involved in that issue. But thank you for the question.

Q General, there is two questions. One of them is if Colombia has gone
up probably the United States will be a little bit prevented and certify
Colombia in the next certification list, and second if all the new crops
are going up in the south -- Peru just militarize the zone because of
the argue that is between the peace process -- I don't know if you have
any comment around.

GENERAL McCAFFREY: Argued that it's part of the?

Q Because if you having problems -- President Fujimori here in the
White House said that he was a little bit concerned about guerrillas as
far as -- going down to Peru and affecting the whole process of going
down --

GENERAL McCAFFREY: So what was the question?

Q I don't know if you have any comment about this, the militarized zone
now -- the President Fujimori just put in order.

GENERAL McCAFFREY: Well again, normally I'm reminding American
audiences that Latin American countries are quite different in their
historical legal, cultural, and criminal sort of background. So, the
problem in Colombia is dissimilar to the problem in her neighbors.

Having said that, we have great respect and sympathy for President
Pastrana and this new team who are trying to grapple with the absolutely
overwhelming repugnance of the Colombian people to the suffering caused
by this endless violence. So, he's got to address that. And we're
supportive of his efforts. At the same time all of us understand that
there may be -- $600 million a year is the figure I use, going into
organizations like the FARC, you know 16,000 people with more automatic
weapons and higher pay scales than the Colombian Army. And the terrible
violence of the ELN and destruction of the pipelines and destruction of
the environment.

So, we are solidly behind Colombia's democratic leadership -- they're
trying to struggle with this. The solutions will be not necessarily the
same for the Andean Ridge countries. One final question. I'm going to
have to run.

Q The enormous problem that you mentioned that Colombia has, the
enormous problem now that the figures are going to reflect when they
come out, how much do you think that's really going to reflect in the
decision on certification this year and more, how much do you think
that's going to reflect in the criticism coming from Congress where
there are many who believe that you're not doing enough to stop crops at
the source?

GENERAL McCAFFREY: Well, as Secretary Albright, by law, makes a
decision on certification, she has not arrived at that determination.
We will, prior to 1 March.

What I would say, though, is that all of us who have followed this
issue closely, me included, understand that right now I don't think
there is any question in my mind that President Pastrana and his team
are trying to support the intent of the 1988 Vienna Convention on Drugs
and they are determined to protect Colombian democratic institutions
from this massive internal threat.

I would also add that they are doing it with a tremendous sense of
partnership not just with the United States but there are other
hemispheric partners. They are a key part of this OAS C-CAD community
where we are trying to build some multinational cooperation. So we have
great respect for the level of violence and corruption that they face.
We have a very long-term view of it. We've got to stay with them in the
coming years and that will be the backdrop at least in my own views on
the certification process.

Q How do you think that is going to affect the criticism coming from
Congress now?

GENERAL McCAFFREY: I think Congress has been pretty supportive. That
FY '99 supplemental was a tremendous gift to us of more than $900
million to help with this effort. They put their money where their
mouth was also and have given us enhanced capabilities in the
international community.

Thanks very much.


12:30 P.M. E.S.T


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In A Course For Drug Users, Emphasis Is On Saving Lives (The Province,
in Vancouver, British Columbia, describes Peer Support Training offered
by the Vancouver-Richmond health board. It isn't trying to talk users
out of their drugs. Instead, it offers addicts blunt lessions on how
to survive illegal hard drugs and what to do to revive a friend having
a toxic reaction.)

Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 19:08:59 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Canada: In A Course For Drug Users, Emphasis
Is On Saving Lives
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Pubdate: Monday 8 February 1999
Source: Vancouver Province (Canada)
Copyright: The Province, Vancouver 1999
Contact: provletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/
Author: Canadian Press


Andrew Parker is primed to act if he encounters a drug addict
overdosing on heroin or cocaine.

Parker, 31, is not a paramedic. He's not a social worker. He is an

The tall, friendly man with a gap-toothed grin is also a graduate of a
course teaching addicts how to survive their addictions and what to do
to revive an overdosed friend.

The former fisherman has a taste for cocaine and marijuana that's
sharpened over the 10 years he has been living in Vancouver's downtown
east side.

Parker is part of the Peer Support Training offered by the
Vancouver-Richmond health board, a program that isn't trying to talk
users out of their drugs. Instead, it offers blunt sessions on such
procedures as cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Within weeks, more than a dozen drug users will be in classes at a
drop-in centre in the east side.

Parker is one of 19 graduates of the first session, held late last
year at a cost of $17,000 to the board.

He talks easily about clearing airways, checking pulses and the proper
number of thrusts to the chest in CPR.

Last year, more than 370 people died in Vancouver after overdosing,
continuing an upward trend blamed on a glut of street drugs,
especially cocaine.

Parker's PST classes began in November. Twenty people went through the
14-day course, which cost the health board about $17,000. Participants
paid nothing.

"If it saves one person . . . I will think it was worthwhile," says
Sharon Ritmiller, an emergency-room nurse now employed with the board.

Students are told they should buy from trustworthy dealers so they
know what they're using. They're also taught about the signs of
overdose, and warned not to shoot up alone so a friend can be around
to help if they overdose.

Mexico Rejects Extradition For 5 (According to the Chicago Tribune, Mexico on
Sunday rejected the U.S. request for the men implicated in "Operation
Casablanca," the largest money-laundering case in U.S. history, saying it
would instead try them in Mexico.)

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 11:14:57 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Mexico: Mexico Rejects Extradition For 5
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Young
Pubdate: Mon, 8 Feb 1999
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 1999 Chicago Tribune Company
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/
Forum: http://www.chicagotribune.com/interact/boards/
Author: Tribune News Services


MEXICO CITY -- Mexico on Sunday rejected a U.S. extradition request for five
men wanted in the largest money-laundering case in U.S. history, saying it
would instead try them here.

A government news release said the 1998 Casablanca sting operation that
caught the five men had harmed anti-drug cooperation. In the sting, U.S.
officials lured 40 Mexican and Venezuelan businessmen, bankers and alleged
drug cartel members to the U.S. and arrested them. The five wanted men are
now under arrest in Mexico.

U.S. Offers To Help Mexico Convict Drug Suspects (Reuters says the dispute
between the United States and Mexico over America's "Operation Casablanca"
money-laundering sting continued Monday when the U.S. offered to "help"
Mexico prosecute the five accused bankers it refuses to extradite.)

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 23:22:29 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Mexico: Wire: US Offers To Help Mexico Convict Drug Suspects
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Mon, 08 Feb 1999
Source: Reuters
Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited.


MONTERREY, Mexico, - The United States on Monday
offered to help with the trial of five money-laundering suspects who
Mexico has refused to extradite in part of a long-running dispute
between the two neighbours.

The five bankers were rounded up in Mexico last year after a U.S.
sting operation against suspected money launderers that caused the
most acute strain in U.S.-Mexican relations in recent history.

Mexican officials were outraged because they were never told about the
operation, code-named "Casablanca," and saw it as a violation of their
national sovereignty.

After Mexico ruled out extraditing the suspects to the United States
on Sunday, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Jeffrey Davidow, said on
Monday that U.S. authorities would do all they could to help convict
the men in Mexican courts.

"We are totally disposed to collaborate with the Mexican government to
bring these people to justice in Mexico," Davidow told reporters in
Monterrey, a major city about 450 miles (700 km) north of Mexico City.

The five are wanted in the United States for allegedly helping Mexican
and Colombian drug traffickers "launder" their drug profits by making
them appear legitimate.

They were among those caught up in the three-year undercover U.S.
operation, that linked some of Mexico's leading banks to money laundering.

Most of the suspects were lured to Las Vegas on a fake junket for
bankers and arrested in the United States, but some were picked up by
Mexican authorities.

Mexico's refusal to extradite the five to the United States came just
as the United States was considering whether to "certify" Mexico as an
aid-worthy partner in the war on drugs.

The annual certification also draws howls of condemnation from Mexico,
which considers it a unilateral intervention into Mexican affairs and
a hollow process as long as the U.S. demand for illegal drugs remains

Govt Plans Drugs Debate (The Illawarra Mercury, in Australia, says the New
South Wales Government announced a parliamentary summit on the drugs crisis
yesterday as a Health Department report cleared staff at Redfern's Caroline
Lane exchange of supplying needles to a youth who was pictured in the
Sun-Herald shooting up in the gutter.)

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 17:06:22 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Australia: Govt Plans Drugs Debate
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Russell.Ken.KW@bhp.com.au (Russell, Ken KW)
Pubdate: Mon, 8 Feb 1999
Source: Illawarra Mercury (Australia)
Copyright: Illawarra Newspapers
Contact: editor@illnews.com.au
Website: http://mercury.illnews.com.au/


Needle Exchange Staff Cleared Of Wrongdoing

The needle exchange program which sparked a furore over teenage heroin
addiction was cleared of any wrongdoing yesterday as the NSW Government
announced a parliamentary summit on the drugs crisis.

A Health Department report cleared staff at Redfern's Caroline Lane
exchange of supplying needles to a youth who was pictured shooting up in
the gutter.

Initially, authorities feared the boy was aged 11 or 12 and he had received
needles from the exchange.

The report said he was aged 16-17, had not received needles from the
exchange and had never been seen at Caroline Lane before the day he was

The pictures caused a sensation with a state election only weeks away and
Health Minister Andrew Refshauge immediately suspended the service pending
the report released yesterday.

Dr Refshauge said the Caroline Lane service would not reopen, instead the
Kirketon Rd Centre in Darlinghurst would use a mobile facility to provide a
needle exchange in the troubled Block area, assisted by the Redfern
Aboriginal Medical Service and the local health authority.

Mr Carr also announced MPs, law enforcement and health officials would
attend an unprecedented five-day parliamentary session to find new ways of
tackling drug addiction if Labor was re-elected on March 27.

Mr Carr admitted current anti-drugs policies were not working and promised
a full-blooded debate where experts like Police Commissioner Peter Ryan
could outline their views without fear of political repercussions.

"No holds barred, just an open debate ... forget name calling, forget point
scoring, forget political argument, just get down to looking at how we deal
with this awful problem," Mr Carr said.

Mr Carr - a long-time opponent of heroin trials and legal shooting
galleries - warned against adopting untested solutions to drug problems.

"I've always said that existing policies aren't working, aren't working as
we'd want them to work, I've always said that," he said.

"The difficulty is that some of the new solutions people enthusiastically
promote could be even more disastrous."

He denied the summit was merely a talkfest, saying "... a democracy is to
some extent a continuing debate".

Police Unable To Hinder Youths Narcotics Use (A translation of an article
from Svenska Dagbladet, in Sweden, says a report from the Crime Prevention
Council has concluded that the involvement of police in two drug education
programs appears to have had little effect on pupils' attitudes. The study
investigated VAGA, the Swedish DARE franchise; and the Rave Commission.
Criminal statistics shows that drug use among Swedish youths is on the

Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 22:58:13 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Sweden: Police Unable To Hinder Youths Narcotics Use
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Mike Gray http://www.drugsense.org/crazy.htm
Pubdate: Mon, 08 Feb 1999
Source: Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)
Copyright: 1999 SvD
Contact: brevred@svd.se
Website: http://www.svd.se/svd/ettan/dagens/index.html
Translated: by Lars Hedman


The involvement of the police in narcotic prevention education appears to
have little effect to change pupils' attitudes to narcotics. That is the
conclusion of a report from the Crime Prevention Council (BRA) which has
investigated two of the educational programs, VAGA [a direct translation of
DARE, translator's note] and the Rave Commission have designed as
strategies to stave off drug use.

Criminal statistics shows that drug use among Swedish youths is on the
increase. Material from annual investigations into the drug use habits of
youths also point to an increased drug use according to BRA. In 1997 those
suspected of drug crimes of the ages 15 to 19 years old increased to about
13% of the total cases investigated.

The study of the Rave Commission's work shows that more than half of the
earlier unknown to the police could not be bound to any crime, and that,
therefore the effect of the Commission program is open to discussion
according to BRA.

"To keep youths away from narcotics is an axiom and certainly a central
goal in the fight against the narco trade. But we must also guard against
the methods used, so that they not hurt those innocent. It is urgent to
discuss if not the high number of arrests leading to no further legal
consequence fill our demands of effectivity as well as social justice" says
Ann-Mrie Begler, Director General of BRA.

The second strategy analysed in the report is the drug information programs
conducted by the police in our schools. Since 1993 numerous schools use an
educational package named "VAGA". There is, according to BRA, no evidence
that those pupils engaged in the program, are any less inclined to use
illegal drugs than others. Those pupils are on par with others when asked
about drug use and just as likely to use illegal substances at some time.

"The involvment of the police in drug prevention programs should be limited
to areas of their professional competence. Every year there are around
25,000 reported burglaries and thefts from schools and it's here that the
efforts of the police should be used to a higher degree than at present"
says Ann-Marie Begler.



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