------------------------------------------------------------------- Stealing Newborn Children Due To Cannabis (D. Paul Stanford, a chief petitioner for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, explains how poor expectant mothers who have to use the Oregon Health Plan for their primary health insurance can avoid secret drug testing in the doctor's office and hospital that would incite the state of Oregon to steal their children.) Delivered-To: email@example.com@fixme Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 11:34:18 -0800 To: (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: "D. Paul Stanford" (email@example.com) From: "CRRH mailing list" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: stealing newborn children due to cannabis I am forwarding this e-mail I just received to the email@example.com list because this situation is an all too frequent occurrence these days, the government comes and takes away a women's newborn child because she has tested positive for cannabis. They give the new mother this urine test and the mother doesn't even know she is being screened for cannabis use until a positive comes in. This is happening all over Oregon. I recall a newspaper article last year about a state employee that quoted the state "social" worker about how she had taken a child away from its mother. The state worker ridiculed the mother in the pages of the newspaper when the poor mother said she had only smoked cannabis once, the state worker told the newspaper, "Why only once?" like this was not a mitigating factor. This is reminiscent of the way Native Americans have had their children forcibly stolen and forced into western culture boarding schools. This message includes my comments to her. She now is subscribed to the list so you may want to give her further suggestions. I have taken out her name and other identifying information to protect her. >Dear CRRH, > >I have a problem and was hoping you'd be able to provide me some >information. > >I was president of XXXX and have been very active in petitioning. I have also ran a small >hemp goods retail business,XXXXX, for 5 years. > >I am currently pregnent, and have health insurance through OHP. The >doctor's office that I was recommended to claims that they are required >legally to give me a mandatory UA for marijuana consumption. They did >this after I had given them my urine. They then stated if it is >positive for marijana they will send me to Xan OregonX County Drug >Enforcement agency. She also gave threats about what would happen if I >tested positive at birth. First, my condolences to you and I am sorry that the intrusive arm of our drug war has intruded into your pregnancy. These kinds of things upset me a great deal. I recommend you drop that doctor right now. Change clinics, change health plans and care providers. In making a change, you can pick another physician. My wife and I had a child while we were on the OHP. We decided to have a naturopathic physician help with a home birth, which worked very well for us. OHP covered the naturopathic's fees. No cannabis testing UAs. Actually, as I am sure you are aware, cannabis helps alleviate many of the discomforts of pregnancy and childbirth. Cannabis has an ancient history as a medicine for women's health problems. >I am not against not smoking for the health of my baby, but neither the >doctors office could give me negative effects, nor has my own research >provided any major medical impacts. > >I feel as if I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you have any >information on whether these are fair practices by this office in the >state of Oregon, or have any ideas on where I could go for information >it would be very helpful. > >Thank you, >XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX *** In our case, we knew about this before the pregnancy and made plans so my wife would not be tested for cannabis by the government. We planned in advance to get off the health plan and get back on during the pregnancy, so we could choose our own doctor. If you would like to talk about this on our TV show, we would love to interview you about this situation. We need to expose this to the public. Let me know if you are interested in "going public" on this. Please let me know if we can interview you. Unfortunately, many women have faced this dilemma over the past decade, yet very few are aware it is going on until something like this. Watch out. They can steal your child over this. I recommend that you immediately seek another doctor. Yours truly, D. Paul Stanford *** We are working to regulate and tax adult marijuana sales, allow doctors to prescribe cannabis and allow the unregulated production of industrial hemp! *** To subscribe, unsubscribe or switch to immediate or digest mode, please send your instructions to firstname.lastname@example.org. *** Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp CRRH ; P.O. Box 86741 Portland, OR 97286 Phone: (503) 235-4606 Fax: (503) 235-0120 Web: http://www.crrh.org/ *** From: DonldFitch@aol.com From: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 16:01:34 EST To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: Re: stealing newborn children due to cannabis Reminds me of the "Dirty War" in Argentina. In addition to all the disappeared, taking children from their parents was one of the atrocities. We have a Dirty War going here too, complete with atrocities. Donald Fitch *** Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 22:43:32 -0800 From: Oregonians for Personal Privacy (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: DonldFitch@aol.com CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: stealing newborn children due to cannabis The nazis took children in order to "raise the right in good homes" How far are we away? The War on Drugs is but an Excuse to Wage War for Societal Control END PROHIBITION - RE-LEGALIZE *** Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 11:42:08 EST From: HSL123@aol.com Subject: FWD stealing newborn children due to cannabis This message is so disturbing that all I can say is that you Europeans (and Canadians!) had best be sure your own drug warriors don't come for your children. Howard
------------------------------------------------------------------- CRRH e-mail list, TV show and more (D. Paul Stanford of the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp invites people interested in cannabis-related issues to join the CRRH e-mail list. Plus, find out about CRRH's weekly 30-minute cable television show in Oregon called "Cannabis Common Sense," and the online video library maintained by CRRH.) Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 17:23:36 -0800 To: (email@example.com) From: "D. Paul Stanford" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: [cp] CRRH e-mail list, TV show and more. Dear list subscribers, You may be interested in joining our email@example.com e-mail list. Our list now stands at 730 subscribers. The list is moderated to ensure less spam and list administrative requests. The recent posts to this list also appear on our Usenet newsgroup: alt.hemp.octa. If you would like to get each post to the restore list sent as a separate e-mail as soon as it is posted to the list, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word immediate in the subject or message. If you would prefer the digest, a once-a-day compilation of posts to the list, send your digest instructions to email@example.com. CRRH has a weekly 30 minute TV show here in Oregon on cable TV called "Cannabis Common Sense." In Portland, CCS runs primarily at 10:30 PM on Sunday nights on cable channel 11, but each show runs 3 times each week in Portland. The local schedule can be seen at http://www.pcatv.org/programming/tac.htm#m1038_. Our TV show CCS plays in other communities periodically, when local activists want to take it in and get it scheduled. We've been doing it weekly for two years now. Portland attorney Paul Loney and I are co-hosts. We have guests and read news stories concerning cannabis and the drug war. The show currently generates about 20-30 new potential activist phone calls to our office per week. CRRH has 20 of the older CCS shows currently available for viewing on the web at http://www.crrh.org/hemptv/video_ccs.html. I have a backlog of about 40 more CCS shows to encode now, and I will be updating the page above with more CCS shows soon. If anyone is interested in getting CCS on the public access cable channels in your area, drop us an e-mail and we can do it. If you are going to be in Portland and would like to be a guest, let us know. We need your support. If you can help our campaign, please fill out our volunteer form at http://www.crrh.org/volunteer/form.html. Please make a credit card donation to CRRH at our secure web server https://astro.ssl-servers.com/pantless/octa.htm, or send your check or money order to the P.O. Box below. Thank you and together we will restore hemp and cannabis to our economy. Yours truly, D. Paul Stanford *** We are working to regulate and tax adult marijuana sales, allow doctors to prescribe cannabis and allow the unregulated production of industrial hemp! Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp CRRH P.O. Box 86741 Portland, OR 97286 Phone: (503) 235-4606 Fax: (503) 235-0120 Web: http://www.crrh.org/ *** To subscribe to the Constitutional Cannabis Patriots send a blank message to firstname.lastname@example.org Posting:To post to the Constitutional Cannabis Patriots send e-mail to email@example.com Constitutional Cannabis Patriots http://www.teleport.com/~nepal/canpat.htm
------------------------------------------------------------------- $20 million damages against drug company upheld (The Associated Press says the Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld the punitive damages assessed by a jury after Douglas Axen of Multnomah County went blind from taking amiodarone, manufactured by American Home Products' pharmaceutical division, Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, under the brand name Cordarone.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org The Associated Press 2/10/99 7:45 PM By CHARLES E. BEGGS Associated Press Writer SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld $20 million in punitive damages against a pharmaceutical company because a man went blind after taking the firm's heart drug. In the case from Multnomah County, Douglas Axen claimed that American Home Products failed to give adequate warnings about known vision risks linked to the medicine. The drug amiodarone was manufactured by American Home's pharmaceutical division, Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, under the brand name Cordarone. Repeated telephone calls to lawyers for the company about possibly appealing the ruling were not returned Wednesday. Axen began taking the drug in August 1994 and the following month started noticing vision changes. At the time, written material furnished with the drug said an optic nerve inflammation called neuritis was a potential but rare adverse reaction to the medicine. But the material didn't mention optic neuropathy, which afflicted Axen, or that loss of vision was a possible side effect of the drug. Problems were discovered in both of Axen's eyes, and he stopped taking the drug. But his sight continued deteriorating and he eventually was diagnosed as legally blind due to neuropathy, which severely damages the optic nerve. There was sufficient evidence, a three-member appeals court panel unanimously ruled, for the jury to find that American Home knew of the link between Cordarone and the serious eye problem and "made a conscious choice not to warn of optic neuropathy." The court went on to say there was evidence to show that the company's "choice not to warn of optic neuropathy was driven, at least in part, by financial concerns related to its ability to market the product." The jury awarded the damages in 1997 in a Multnomah County Circuit Court trial. Among the evidence admitted in the trial was what company lawyers called a "vitriolic" news release against the company that was issued by U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy in 1990. Kennedy criticized Wyeth-Ayerst's marketing of Cordarone "beyond approved indications for the drug" and possibly putting patients at risk. The drug went on the market in 1985. The company tried to prevent use of the news release in the trial on grounds it was prejudicial and hearsay but was overruled by the low court. The appeals court also rejected the firm's argument that the punitive damage award was unconstitutionally excessive. The damages weren't out of line, the court said, "given the gravity of (the company's) conduct, the extent of the economic and noneconomic damages suffered by plaintiffs and the seriousness with which actions such as those by the company) are viewed." (c)1999 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bill would ban live TV coverage of police tactical events (The Associated Press says the Oregon Council of Police Associations has asked the legislature to ban live television news coverage of tactical police operations, apparently concerned that local news broadcasters showed Portland police trying to kill Steven Dons last winter by trussing his naked bleeding body over a police van and withholding medical care from him for several hours.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Bill would ban live TV coverage of police tactical events The Associated Press 2/10/99 4:45 AM By BRAD CAIN Associated Press Writer SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- A police organization has asked the Legislature to ban live TV news coverage of tactical police operations such as those involving hostage takings and barricaded suspects. Live coverage of those events puts officers at risk because a barricaded suspect, for example, could watch the broadcast and figure out what police are doing and where the officers are located, supporters of the ban said on Tuesday. "If the media is broadcasting my position, a wall or a tree or a car doesn't do me any good. Bullets go right through them," said Liz Cruthers, president of the Oregon Council of Police Associations. Under the proposed legislation, it would be up to the police commander at the scene to determine whether a tactical situation has developed. In that case, TV stations would be informed that no live broadcast could occur. The police officers' proposal also would prohibit news media helicopters from flying within 1,000 feet of such operations and subject stations that violate the law to a $10,000 civil penalty. The Oregon Association of Broadcasters said the proposal encroaches on freedom of the press and is unnecessary because Portland TV stations already have agreed to restrict use of helicopters in such situations. "We're not out there to hurt anybody. We're there to get the story," said Bill Johnstone, executive director of the broadcasters group. In response to questions, Rep. Kevin Mannix, who plans to be the bill's chief sponsor, conceded that no police officers have been killed or injured because of live broadcasts. But he said the issue needs to be addressed. "I would hardly want to wait until we have a dead or injured officer," the Salem Republican said. A Portland police officer, Martin Rowley, recalled an incident last December in which a robbery suspect was holed up in a motel room near the Portland State University campus. Rowley said noise from a news media helicopter made it difficult for him and other tactical officers to communicate with each other by radio and to listen to the man inside the motel. "We were trying to hear if he was doing anything inside, and we couldn't. It was a problem," he said. Last year, Portland television stations voluntarily agreed not to air certain live aspects of police activity and to keep their news helicopters at least a mile away and 1,000 feet high. The agreement followed lengthy negotiations after live coverage of a raid on a suspected drug house in which a police officer was killed. "The agreement is in place," said Johnstone, the broadcasters group spokesman. "It has been tested by subsequent incidents, and both the TV stations and the police agree its procedures work." But Cruthers noted the agreement is only voluntary and doesn't cover TV stations outside the Portland area. The police officers group thinks action is needed now so that no officers are hurt as a result of live broadcasts, she said. "If we educate the crooks about what our tactics are, we're going to get officers killed," she said. (c)1999 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police want to pull plug on live broadcasts (The Oregonian version) The Oregonian Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Police want to pull plug on live broadcasts * Union representatives lobby the Legislature for a ban on live television coverage of tactical operations Wednesday February 10, 1999 By James Mayer of The Oregonian staff SALEM -- Tom Mack was one of the first Portland police officers to crawl into the KOIN Tower after a gunman holed up in the building in January 1996. Mack hid behind a wall -- and noticed a TV camera pointed right at him. Later, watching the videotape, he realized he easily could have been shot if the scene had been broadcast live and the gunman was watching. KOIN chose not to broadcast live, but Mack worries that a TV news director directing coverage of some future police drama might put the story ahead of officer safety. "My fear is someone would not choose to take the high road," he said Tuesday at the Capitol. "I want to go home to my family." Mack, secretary-treasurer of the Portland Police Association, joined other police union representatives Tuesday to lobby the Oregon Legislature for a bill outlawing live TV broadcasts of police tactical operations. The proposed measure, which proponents said would be the first of its kind in the nation, also would ban aircraft from flying within 1,000 feet of such an operation. "We have situations where a suspect is barricaded inside a home and could easily be watching a broadcast of live operations on a television, thus revealing the location of officers and the public to the suspect," said Liz Cruthers, president of the Oregon Council of Police Associations. "My position behind a wall or a tree does me no good," Cruthers said. "Bullets go right through it." Portland television stations worked out a deal with the city after the fatal shooting of Officer Colleen Waibel last year during a drug raid. The intense coverage from news helicopters drew an angry tongue-lashing from Police Chief Charles Moose. After lengthy negotiations, the stations agreed to avoid live broadcasts of tactical police operations and to keep helicopters one mile away. Although no stations signed the agreement, broadcasters said it provides enough protection. "Clearly, legislation is not needed and may well do more harm than good," said Bill Johnstone, executive director of the Oregon Association of Broadcasters. "Legislation would encroach unnecessarily on constitutional protections for freedom of the press." But Cruthers said officers don't want to rely on voluntary agreements. "Officers don't feel comfortable trusting the media," she said. Rep. Kevin Mannix, R-Salem, chairman of the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee, said he would hold hearings on the bill after it is introduced. The measure will include a $10,000 fine for violators and immunity from civil lawsuits for stations that obey. "We have a carrot and a stick for the media," Mannix said. But John Sears, news director of KPTV (12) in Portland, would have none of it. Sears attended the Capitol news conference held by the union and tried to engage Mannix in a debate about the issue, demanding to know why he thought voluntary agreements wouldn't work. Mannix deflected many of Sears' questions, saying that all the issues would be examined in public hearings and that lawmakers might conclude that voluntary agreements are the way to go. But he said some statewide standard is needed. Sears pointed out that only Portland stations have helicopters, and they have all agreed to stay a mile away from tactical police operations, no matter where in Oregon the operations occur. Cruthers said police officers also are concerned about broadcasting taped coverage of their activities. "If you educate the crooks about exactly what your tactics are, that puts us in danger," she said. But Brian DeLashmutt, a lobbyist for the police associations, said the bill was being rewritten to take out language dealing with taping. "We are primarily concerned about live broadcasts," DeLashmutt said. Larry Campbell, a lobbyist for the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, said the association does not have a position on the issue yet, but he noted that the voluntarily agreements appear to be working. David Fidanque, director of the Oregon chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the proposal amounts to prior restraint of free speech and probably wouldn't pass constitutional muster. "I certainly understand the concern of the police," Fidanque said. "I think there are a lot of people who would like to ban (news) helicopters, period, as a blight on society, and frankly, I'm probably one of them. I just don't think you can do that under our system." You can reach reporter James Mayer at 221-8234 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Take two chocolates and call me in the morning (The Oregonian marks Valentine's Day with a review of what's been learned in recent years about chocolate as a psychoactive substance. One intriguing study about chocolate's chemicals that appeared in the journal Nature nearly three years ago continues to receive attention. Daniele Piomelli of the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego reported chocolate contains substances that might mimic the effects of marijuana.) The Oregonian Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Take two chocolates and call me in the morning * After years with a bad rap, the most delectable treat gets healthier billing Wednesday February 10, 1999 By Richard L. Hill of The Oregonian staff Chocolate. Sweet, velvety, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. Perhaps no food in the world is more desired than the unique substance derived from the tropical cacao tree. Chocolate will be playing its traditional romantic role as a symbol of love and passion on Valentine's Day this Sunday. The pleasure it brings, however, is often followed by feelings of guilt and worry about possible health consequences. But recent studies are melting old notions that chocolate is an unhealthy food. Some research shows that chocolate could be the way to a person's heart in more ways than one. "Eat chocolate, enjoy it, but just don't go overboard," said Penny M. Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University. "Consumers should read the product's nutrition label and watch the fat calories. But chocolate is a food that's not bad for you and could even confer some benefits." Her research has shown that eating milk chocolate does not raise cholesterol levels. Participants in her studies ate foods high in different forms of saturated fat, including milk chocolate. Those who consumed saturated fat in the form of milk chocolate were the only ones who did not have an increase in their blood cholesterol. Kris-Etherton said chocolate also appears to prevent cholesterol from being oxidized, which is an initiating event in the development of atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque that can lead to clogging of the arteries. Research by Dr. Margo Denke, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, supports Kris-Etherton's findings. She and her colleagues found that stearic acid -- a saturated fatty acid found in cocoa butter, a large component of chocolate does not raise cholesterol levels like most saturated fats. "Stearic acid is a unique saturated fat in the sense that if you look at the total saturated fatty acid content of cocoa butter, you definitely would overestimate its cholesterol-raising potential," Denke said. She cautioned, however, that eating chocolate in excess -- like with most foods -- is not good. "The stearic acid finding suggests that chocolate can easily fit into a heart-healthy diet," Denke said, "with the usual stipulations that portion sizes and frequency be limited." Moderation is required because chocolate isn't a completely guilt-free food. It contains other fats and is high in calories. Denke tells patients who are on weight-reduction diets that they can have a small portion of chocolate, such as a couple of Hershey's Kisses, as an occasional treat. "That is a satisfying way of finishing a meal that is pleasurable and doesn't make you feel as deprived as you might feel," she said. "And it always produces a smile." Phenolic levels are high Researchers at the University of California at Davis recently discovered that chocolate contains high levels of phenolics -- the same chemicals that act as anti-oxidants in laboratory tests of red wine. Andrew L. Waterhouse, a wine chemist at UC-Davis, found that a 1.5-ounce piece of milk chocolate contains nearly the same amount of phenolics as a 5-ounce glass of red wine. His research also discovered that the phenolic compounds in chocolate produced an anti-oxidant effect equal to or greater than that of red wine. The anti-oxidant effect is believed to be a factor in the so-called "French paradox," in which Frenchmen who eat lots of saturated fat appear to be protected from heart disease because they drink wine as part of their daily diet. Waterhouse, an associate professor of viticulture and enology, said the theory that dietary phenolics can inhibit atherosclerosis has been widely accepted as a plausible explanation for wine's effects, but it has not been proved. He said other researchers at UC-Davis continue to study chocolate's anti-oxidant effects. "Chocolate isn't a health food," Waterhouse said, "but the main thing is that consuming a reasonable amount of chocolate isn't going to hurt you. There's always a possibility that these phenolics in the chocolate could actually help reduce heart disease, but it's going to be a little while before that's established." In addition to research about the food's possible effects on the heart, other research in the past few years has found that many of the notions about chocolate's impact on a variety of health problems may be incorrect. Recent studies suggest that chocolate: * Does not promote tooth decay. * Does not cause or aggravate acne. * Does not cause hyperactivity in children. * Does not trigger chronic headaches. Why do we crave it? While many researchers are examining the health aspects of chocolate, others are looking into explanations as to why many people crave chocolate. Although the average annual U.S. consumption of chocolate is nearly 12 pounds a person, scientists agree that the substance is not addictive -- there's no withdrawal related to chocolate as with nicotine, caffeine and other drugs. Chocolate contains more than 300 known chemicals. Much of the research into the reason for the substance's pleasurable effects has focused on whether any one or a combination of those chemicals might affect desire for the food. Caffeine is the most well-known of those chemicals, but it is present in only small quantities in chocolate. A 1.5-ounce milk-chocolate bar contains about 9 milligrams of caffeine, compared with 137 milligrams of caffeine in a 5-ounce cup of coffee. Another weak stimulant in chocolate, theobromine -- which causes fatal chocolate poisoning in dogs -- also might provide a "lift," along with an amphetamine-related chemical called phenylethylamine. These stimulants increase the activity of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters that might affect a person's desire for different types of food. Study gets continued attention One intriguing study about chocolate's chemicals that appeared in the journal Nature nearly three years ago continues to receive attention. Daniele Piomelli of the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego reported chocolate contains substances that might mimic the effects of marijuana. Piomelli, now an associate professor of pharmacology at the University of California at Irvine College of Medicine, said chocolate contains small quantities of anandamide, which is also produced naturally in the brain and stimulates the same neural receptors that THC -- the principal active chemical in marijuana -- does. They also found that two ingredients in chocolate inhibit the natural breakdown of anandamide, which might lead to increased levels of anandamide in the brain. Scientists in Italy reported recently, also in the journal Nature, that cocoa contains no more of the suspect chemicals than milk or oatmeal. Vincenzo Di Marzo of the Istituto per la Chimica di Molecole di Interesse Biologico in Naples said most of the marijuana-mimicking chemicals are broken down in the digestive system before they reach the brain. Other skeptical researchers have estimated that a 130-pound person would have to ingest the equivalent of 25 pounds of chocolate in one sitting to get any marijuana-like effect. Adam Drewnowski, a professor of epidemiology and director of the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington, doesn't think there is anything addictive in chocolate. "I don't think there's any evidence that chocolate has any so-called 'love chemicals' or pharamacological activity," said Drewnowski, who has been studying why people crave the candy. "It's what your brain manufactures in response to chocolate. You react with a certain degree of pleasure, and that is expressed at molecular levels -- the brain probably manufactures endorphins (natural opiate-like chemicals) in response to chocolate." Drewnowski said there are "chocoholics," primarily women who identify themselves as binge eaters. He said the binge eaters crave sugar-fat mixtures, "and the perfect, quintessential sugar-fat mixture that we have in our diet is chocolate." Sensory properties figure in Mindy S. Kurzer, an associate professor of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota, says that women who crave chocolate appear to do so because of its sensory properties -- its smell, taste and feel in their mouth, she said. "Women have much more of a relationship with food," Kurzer said, "and that is why they are studied much more than men when it comes to foods' psychological aspects. Men approach food from a much more biological perspective -- 'I'm hungry, it's time to eat, what's in the refrigerator.' The sexes are different in so many ways, it should be no surprise that our food cravings are quite different, too." A new study suggests that culture may play a role in food cravings. Debra A. Zellner, a psychologist at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, led a research team that found about 60 percent of American women crave sweet foods over savory or salty food, while 60 percent of American men craved salty, meat-containing food. The same percentages were found in Spanish men and women. However, when the participants were asked what food they craved, nearly 50 percent of the U.S. women said chocolate along with 20 percent of American men. But only about 25 percent of both Spanish men and women indicated a craving for chocolate. "So it seems that the craving for sweet foods in women might be physiological, but which sweet foods they crave is determined by cultural learning," Zellner said. Scientific research about chocolate -- whether it focuses on cravings or health effects -- is replacing many of the myths and revising the way we view the food, said Susan S. Smith, spokeswoman for the Chocolate Manufacturers Association. "But more research is needed and the jury is still out about whether chocolate affects the body in a good way," Smith said. "We're not going to claim there are any health benefits yet. But as long as it's consumed in moderation -- and that's the key -- we think it can fit into anybody's healthy diet and lifestyle." You can reach Richard L. Hill at 503-221-8238 or by e-mail at email@example.com *** [Sidebar:] The Sweet Facts Source: Cocoa beans from tropical cacao trees. History: The ancient Olmec people of southern Mexico were the first to develop processed chocolate about 3,000 years ago. The later Maya and Aztec civilizations made food and drink from the cocoa beans, and the beans also were a form of currency. Although Christopher Columbus knew about it, the first documented evidence of chocolate's appearance in Europe was when the Maya presented it to Prince Philip of Spain in 1544. It eventually spread throughout Europe, with popular English chocolate houses opening in the late 17th century. U.S. per capita consumption: 11.7 pounds annually. U.S. consumption rank: 8th. The Swiss lead with an average of 20.7 pounds, followed by Austrians at 19.6 pounds. Total U.S. consumption: 3.2 billion pounds annually. Ingredients: Chocolate manufacturers use 40 percent of the world's almonds, 20 percent of the world's peanuts and 8 percent of the world's sugar. They also use 3.5 million pounds of whole milk each day. Valentine's Day: Americans will spend an estimated $800 million on 36 million boxes of chocolate. Givers: Half of American women are likely to give chocolate to a man on Valentine's Day. Dream giver: Women would most like to receive a box of chocolates from Michael Jordan (45.5 percent) or Tiger Woods (40.6 percent). Source: Chocolate Manufacturers Association, National Confectioners Association
------------------------------------------------------------------- DEA Employee Kills Himself in Field Office (The Los Angeles Times says Charles Carlon, a civilian employee of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, suspected of using his computer to download child pornography, shot himself to death Sunday at the agency's Los Angeles field office.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: DEA Employee Kills Himself in Field Office Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 18:56:41 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Wednesday, February 10, 1999 LA Times DEA Employee Kills Himself in Field LOS ANGELES--A civilian employee of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, suspected of using his computer to download child pornography, shot himself to death Sunday at the agency's Los Angeles field office. DEA officials said Tuesday that Charles Carlon, 41, fired a bullet into his head while alone in a room waiting to be interrogated. He apparently died instantly. Federal law makes it a felony punishable by five years or more in prison to download child pornography from the Internet. A spokesman said investigators from the DEA's Office of Professional Responsibility and the head of the agency's Los Angeles office, Michele Leonhart, discovered Carlon's body shortly after 11 a.m. in a training room on the 20th floor of the Roybal federal building. A 45-caliber weapon was found beside him. The gun was Carlon's personal property and registered in his name, the DEA spokesman said. Civilian employees are not authorized to carry weapons. The Los Angeles County coroner's office listed his death as a suicide. Carlon, who lived in Long Beach, had been employed by the DEA since 1992, most recently as a computer technician. The DEA would not comment on the investigation that preceded his suicide, except to say that it is continuing.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Legalize, Then Tax Drugs (A letter to the editor of the Austin American-Statesman, in Texas, says that in order to understand what happened to the unkept promises of progress for racial minorities in the 1960s, one has to consider the history of prohibition and today's illicit drug trade, which was spawned in the '60s. Prohibition is a recipe for disaster, which is what we have. If you want to start healing the damage, by all means teach personal responsibility, but teach by example, by first legalizing, taxing and regulating all drugs, gambling and other vices, so that users, not the purveyor or the state, are solely responsible for the consequences of their behavior.) Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 08:54:18 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: PUB LTE: Legalize, Then Tax Drugs Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 Source: Austin American-Statesman (TX) Copyright: 1999 Cox Interactive Media, Inc. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.Austin360.com/ Author: Carrol J. Wallace LEGALIZE, THEN TAX DRUGS Like the governor, I, too, wondered why the promise of the '60s wasn't fulfilled for minorities. It didn't make any sense until I asked myself what was so different about that time. Then, I remembered my own fierce anger with a government that was sending kids off to die for no good reason, which in turn prompted a rejection of old values, and experimentation with illicit drugs. Now I could start to understand what happened. The illicit drug trade as we know it today, was spawned in the '60s. Now, after 30 years of government intervention which has only made it stronger, that vicious trade lives in the poorest neighborhoods, driven there by more prosperous folks who don't want it in their backyard, and like the worst kind of attractive nuisance, it pulls in young kids who are vulnerable to the lure of easy money and prestige. Add to the mix insane seizure laws and a legion of zealous cops who know where the easiest busts are, and you've got a recipe for disaster. Which, with 50 percent of all young black men and more than 30 percent of young Hispanic men either incarcerated or carrying police records for drug offenses, is just what we have; a disaster that will impact the neighborhoods of these young men, not just now, but for generations to come. So if you want to start healing the damage, by all means teach personal responsibility, but teach by example, by first legalizing, taxing and regulating all drugs, gambling and other assorted vices, so that users, not the purveyor or the state, are solely responsible for the consequences of their behavior. CARROL J. WALLACE Belton
------------------------------------------------------------------- DEA Bust Leads To School Bus Crash (According to UPI, the Drug Enforcement Administration says a car containing 50 kilograms of cocaine and a special agent's unmarked car both hit a school bus in Yonkers, New York, during a chase, sending 28 children and the driver to the hospital.) Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 23:11:49 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NY: Wire: DEA Bust Leads To School Bus Crash Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International DEA BUST LEADS TO SCHOOL BUS CRASH NEW YORK, - The Drug Enforcement Agency says a car containing 50 kilograms of cocaine and a special agent's unmarked car both hit a school bus in Yonkers during a chase, sending 28 children and the driver to the hospital. A DEA spokeswoman says the children suffered bumps, bruises and minor scrapes, and 24 of them were released on Thursday evening. She says the driver was fleeing from a bust that occurred at 262nd Street and Broadway in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. One suspect was arrested at the scene, and the other fled up Broadway in his car, hitting a Yonkers police sergeant in the leg. The sergeant fired three shots. The spokeswoman says the two cars crashed into the school bus at Southport Way and Cayrl Avenue in Yonkers. Both suspects will be arraigned in Manhattan federal court Thursday. The sergeant's leg is bruised and possibly sprained. The bus driver was taken to the hospital with a sore neck.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lemmy Motorhead Frontman Lemmy Wants Drugs Legalised (According to World Entertainment News Network, the hard rock icon said, "I can't understand why people are so stupid as to put kids in jail for smoking a few joints." However, Lemmy draws the line at decriminalising heroin.) Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 08:17:25 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Lemmy Motorhead Frontman Lemmy Wants Drugs Legalised Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 Source: World Entertainment News Network Copyright: 1999 The World Entertainment News Network. LEMMY MOTORHEAD FRONTMAN LEMMY WANTS DRUGS LEGALISED The outspoken rocker says people will always want to take drugs and legalising them will prevent youngsters going to prison for what he sees as minor offences. Lemmy says, "If you put a kid in jail for smoking dope, he's gonna learn how to be a real criminal 'cos prison's a school for crime. "I can't understand why people are so stupid as to put kids in jail for smoking a few joints. They come out as fully-fledged safe- breakers." However, Lemmy draws the line at decriminalising heroin. He says, "It should be like it was when you could get it on prescription if you really needed it." He adds, "People should stop persisting with this terrible bogeyman of drugs in the public eye, 'cos if every they wanted to legalise it the public outcry would stop them. It's very, very foolish. Even the generation who are making all these laws did drugs. "Yeah, right. BILL CLINTON didn't inhale and he had a bw job and didn't come. He's got a good record for not doing things."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Woman Tests D.C.'S Ban On Medicinal Use Of Marijuana (An Associated Press article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer notes multiple sclerosis patient Renee Emry Wolfe is being prosecuted for lighting up a joint in the office of Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla.) Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 18:07:28 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US DC: Woman Tests D.C.'S Ban On Medicinal Use Of Marijuana Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Copyright: 1999 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattle-pi.com/ Author: Catherine Strong, The Associated Press WOMAN TESTS D.C.'S BAN ON MEDICINAL USE OF MARIJUANA Washington - The government's ban on using marijuana for medicinal purposes will be tested in the nation's capital as a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis stands trial for lighting a joint in a congressman's office. Renee Emry Wolfe said taking a few puffs of marijuana is the only way she gets relief when her muscles go into spasm from the disease she has had for two decades. For Wolfe, "having a joint is like an asthmatic having a bronchial inhaler," said her attorney, Jeff Orchard. Last Sept. 15, Wolfe lighted a marijuana cigarette in the office of Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla., to bring attention to the issue of medical marijuana. "This patient has run out of patience," Wolfe, a 38-year-old mother of three from Ann Arbor, Mich., said in an interview. "It's an uphill battle that I'm fighting," she said after Superior Court Judge Anita Josey-Herring set an April 26 trial date. "I feel that if I have to talk to every judge in this country to get things changed, I will." Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office here, said prosecutors are pushing the case because "possession of marijuana is against the law" in the District of Columbia. There is a growing national debate over the use of marijuana for medical reasons. Voters in six states -- California, Arizona, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada and Washington -- have approved measures in the last few years allowing use of marijuana for medical reasons. Congress barred the District of Columbia from counting of voting results from a similar ballot initiative last fall. The New England Journal of Medicine has editorialized in favor of medical marijuana and the American Medical Association, altering its policy, voted to urge the National Institutes of Health to support more research on the subject.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana: Movement Finds Unexpected Ally (The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report says this week's National Journal, published by Kaiser, reports that former Reagan administration aide Lyn Nofziger has penned a laudatory foreword to the new book "Marijuana Rx: The Patients' Fight for Medical Pot." Nofziger writes that he obtained "marijuana illegally to help his daughter ease the effects of the chemotherapy used to treat her lymph cancer.") From: Mireille Jacobson (MJacobson@sorosny.org) To: TLC_CANNABIS (TLCCANNABIS@sorosny.org) Subject: A few words from Kaiser on medical marijuana and Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 10:59:07 -0500 Sender: email@example.com KAISER DAILY HIV/AIDS REPORT A news service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation http://report.kff.org/aidshiv/ Wednesday, February 10, 1999 #2 MEDICAL MARIJUANA: MOVEMENT FINDS UNEXPECTED ALLY This week's National Journal reports that medical marijuana activists are "buoyant" over an unexpected and newfound ally: former Reagan administration aide and self-described "right-wing" GOPer Lyn Nofziger has penned a laudatory foreword to the new book "Marijuana Rx: The Patients' Fight for Medical Pot." Nofziger writes that he obtained "marijuana illegally to help his daughter ease the effects of the chemotherapy used to treat her lymph cancer." The National Journal writes that a "clearly happy" Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said Nofziger's move was "a surprise to most of us" (National Journal, 2/6 issue). *** The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation by National Journal Group Inc. Copyright 1999 by National Journal Group Inc., 1501 M St., N.W., Washington, DC 20005. All rights reserved. Phone: 202-672-5990, Fax: 202-672-5767 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Patricia Miller EDITOR: Amy Paulson ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Rosalee Sanchez STAFF WRITERS: Kathleen Donohue, Jeff Dufour, Rachel Kennedy, Allison Morgan, Adam Pasick
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prison-Industrial Complex Is A Growing Threat (Washington Post columnist Neal R. Peirce, syndicated in the Houston Chronicle, belatedly recounts Eric Schlosser's disturbing report, "The Prison-Industrial Complex," in the December issue of Atlantic Monthly. Noting the violent crime rate in America is at a 25-year-low, Peirce says the idea that crime is declining because of high incarceration rates is reprehensible on three counts: the bestial nature of prison life, a race-based denial of equal rights and civil rights reminiscent of the old South Africa, and a bloated, overwhelmingly white prison-industrial complex making money off the whole. The prison craze besmirches the name of America. In the best of economic times, in a nation dominant on the world stage, it's more intolerable than ever. We need a vigorous political debate: how to build safer communities without incarcerating so many millions of our fellow citizens.) Date: Sun, 7 Feb 1999 11:46:50 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: U.S. Prison-Industrial Complex Is A Growing Threat Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: GALAN@prodigy.net (G. A ROBISON) Pubdate: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Forum: http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html Author: Neal R. Peirce, Washington Post Writers Group THE PRISON CRAZE AND THE CRIME RATE WASHINGTON -- The violent crime rate in America continues to plummet. It's off 21 percent since 1993, 7 percent in 1997 alone. Murders in the country's 10 largest cities declined 12 percent in 1998. Our streets are certifiably the safest they've been in a quarter century. But there's grim news, too, summarized by writer Eric Schlosser in a disturbing report -- "The Prison-Industrial Complex" -- in The Atlantic Monthly. Some 1.8 million Americans are behind bars, in federal and state prisons and local jails. We are imprisoning more people than any other nation on earth, even Communist China. We've achieved the highest incarceration rate in human history for non-political offenses. Among our prisoners are dangerous folks we all want to see locked up -- roughly 150,000 armed robbers, 125,000 murderers, 100,000 sex offenders. But of the people now going to prison, Schlosser reports, less than a third have committed a violent crime. Drug-related cases predominate: "Crimes than in other countries would usually lead to community service, fines or drug treatment -- or not be considered crimes at all -- in the United States now lead to a prison term, by far the most expensive form of punishment." The U.S. actually had a rather steady 20th century rate of imprisonment -- about 110 inmates for every 100,000 people -- until the 1970s. Then New York's Gov. Nelson Rockefeller suddenly suggested every illegal-drug dealer be punished with a mandatory prison sentence of life without parole. Across the country, politicians of both parties emulated Rockefeller, pushing multiple types of mandatory sentencing laws. As battalions of drug offenders got caught, our governments constructed some 1,000 new prisons in 20 years. Virtually all are now filled to the gills, many dangerously overcrowded. California alone now has more inmates than France, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Singapore and the Netherlands combined. Our national incarceration rate is 445 per 100,000. And things may still get worse. Sentencing laws and parole policies in Georgia, for example, are so stiff that the governor's budget office recently predicted Georgia prisons would double in size in a decade. Likely cost: over $4 billion. We've created a self-perpetuating prison boom, what Schlosser labels a "prison-industrial complex" as potent as the "military-industrial complex" President Eisenhower warned of. The active partners in this new complex are politicians using fear of crime to garner votes, low-income rural areas clawing for new prisons as a cornerstone of economic development, private companies angling to share in the lucrative $35-billion-a-year prison industry, and government officials expanding their bureaucratic empires. So now we must ask: Has the prison boom swept up so many criminals it's responsible for dropping crime rates? The answer-- in part, of course. Incarcerated offenders are safely (albeit temporarily) off the streets. Much more is reducing crime, though. Added police, linked with an historic rise in community policing and computer-based crime-tracking and dispatch. The Brady bill and other measures reducing the flow of guns onto the streets. A decrease in the cocaine trade. Good economic times providing alternatives to crime. So could we reduce crime without our obscene prison-building binge? Certainly. Prisons have become a revolving door for poor, highly dysfunctional, often illiterate drug abusers. Our governments are generally too chintzy to offer them drug treatment, behind bars or on the street. Diverting some of the billions now going to the prison-industrial complex for drug treatment and other prevention efforts could start us on a much saner course. Another gnawing issue is race. Black men are five times as likely to be arrested for drug offenses as whites (even though whites and blacks have similar abuse levels). The incarceration rate for black males was 3,096 per 100,000 in 1996, eight times the rate for white men (370 per 100,000) and more than double the rate for Hispanic men. Roughly half our inmates are African-American. One of every 14 black men is now in prison; one of four is imprisoned at some point. The new prisons they get sent to are overwhelmingly in white, rural areas, and their guards rural whites. Nationwide, 1.3 million black men -- 13 percent of black African-Americans -- can't even vote because of their criminal records. So any idea of celebrating our declining crime rates because of high incarceration rates is reprehensible on three counts: the bestial nature of prison life, a race-based denial of equal rights and civil rights reminiscent of the old South Africa, and a bloated, overwhelmingly white prison-industrial complex making money off the whole. The prison craze besmirches the name of America. In the best of economic times, in a nation dominant on the world stage, it's more intolerable than ever. In community-based policing and neighborhood-oriented prevention programs, we've begun to build a better way. Now we need a vigorous political debate: how to build safer communities without incarcerating so many millions of our fellow citizens.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Schools To Get Tough On Drugs (The Daily Courier, in Kelowna, British Columbia, says that in response to more students showing up stoned and drunk in local classrooms, the school district will unveil an innovative anti-drug program tonight that promises to help teenage drug users kick their habit, curtail distribution and educate students before they start experimenting. The new, improved program is based on an existing anti-drug initiative in schools, but will have a lot more money behind it. Of the 1,300 suspensions of up to 10 days handed to students last year, about 50 were due to drug use or trafficking in school. Of the 68 students suspended for 10 days or more last year, a dozen were drug-related and another dozen showed up drunk.) Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 09:56:06 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Schools To Get Tough On Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Herb Pubdate: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 Source: The Daily Courier (Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada) Copyright: 1999 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers Page: Front Page Website: http://www.ok.bc.ca/dc/ Contact: Ross.Freake@ok.bc.ca Author: Don Plant SCHOOLS TO GET TOUGH ON DRUGS More Showing Up Stoned And Drunk In The Classroom Life won't be the same for high-school druggies starting tomorrow. The school district will unveil an innovative anti-drug program tonight that promises to help teenage drug users kick their habit, curtail distribution and educate students before they start experimenting. The new, improved program is based on an existing anti-drug initiative in schools, but will have a lot more money behind it. "We've taken the one-dollar version and made it the five-dollar version. It's the full meal deal," said Dave Carter, director of instruction for Student Support services. "We've been working on this for five months. I've got a few grey hairs from it." No one is releasing details about the program, but the Rotary Club of Kelowna has promised a chunk of financial support. The RCMP and CrimeStoppers are also involved. The drug and alcohol problem in area schools is no greater than other districts in the province, said Carter. But the problems associated with drug use in a small city are here, "and we've got to deal with it," he said. OUC professor Marvin Krank will open tonight's meeting at Martin Education Centre with results of research study he conducted into drug-use patterns of local children. He surveyed 1,500 students in Grades 7 to 12 in 1997-98, asking them detailed questions about the drugs they used and how often they used them. The students weren't required to reveal their names, ensuring more accuracy in their answers. Their drugs of choice are marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, magic mushrooms and acid, said Carter, but Krank won't announce results of his survey until tonight. The drug problem in area schools is growing. Marijuana is now cheaper than alcohol, and more students are showing up stoned in class than ever. Their behaviour is costing them class time, principals are handling out more suspensions because of drug use. Of the 1,300 suspensions of up to 10 days handed to students last year, about 50 were due to drug use or trafficking in school. Of the 68 students suspended for 10 days or more last year a dozen were drug-related and another dozen showed up drunk, said Carter.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton Faces Thorny Issues In Mexico Visit (Reuters says U.S. President Clinton is set to visit Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo this weekend to discuss the thorny issues of drug trafficking, illegal immigration and border pollution.) Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 23:11:48 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Wire: Clinton Faces Thorny Issues In Mexico Visit Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited. Author: Richard Jacobsen CLINTON FACES THORNY ISSUES IN MEXICO VISIT MEXICO CITY, - U.S. President Bill Clinton is set to travel this weekend to Mexico after his expected acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial to face the thorny issues of drug trafficking, illegal immigration and border pollution. Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, are due to arrive late on Sunday in the Yucatan city of Merida, not far from famous Mayan pyramids at Chichen Itza and the popular Caribbean beach getaway of Cancun. Clinton's visit with Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, scheduled to last about 24 hours, is not expected to produce major bilateral agreements. But it may help smooth Mexican ire over U.S. criticism of Mexico's anti-drugs efforts and the flow of undocumented workers across the two countries' 2,000-mile (3,300 km) border. "I assume this meeting is just another way of showing interest in what happens in Mexico on the part of the U.S.," said Sidney Weintraub, a Washington-based economist at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. "For the Mexicans, to have that interest being shown I assume is their main concern." The Mexican press has been filled in recent days with indignation over the annual U.S. debate on whether to certify that Mexico is doing its part to stem the flow of Mexican marijuana and amphetamines and Colombian cocaine across the border. Clinton has until March 1 to report to Congress on whether Mexico and other countries are worthy of receiving U.S. aid in fighting drug trafficking. Clinton has granted Mexico such certification in the face of strong opposition from some members of Congress every year since taking office in 1993. Mexican Interior Minister Francisco Labastida was in Washington on Wednesday to give U.S. officials details of a Mexican programme unveiled last week for a "total war" on drug trafficking. The $500 million programme includes X-ray searches at border checkpoints for hidden drug stashes. The programme is expected to be highlighted in the Merida meeting among other signs of joint U.S.-Mexico anti-drugs cooperation, helping Clinton sell certification to Congress and Zedillo stress his government's active role in the war on drugs, analysts said. "It will work for President Zedillo by helping him gain legitimacy abroad as well as here in his country," said Joel Estudillo, an analyst with the Mexican Institute for Political Studies. "And it benefits Clinton by forwarding a policy he has defended: that Mexico is doing its (anti-drugs) work." Five years after Mexico joined Canada and the United States in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), border trade, pollution and immigration issues are expected to be addressed in Merida. But few new initiatives are foreseen. Mexico and human rights groups have raised increased concern over the recent surge in deaths from dehydration, exposure and drowning of Mexicans trying to enter the United States since Washington clamped down on illegal immigration hot spots, prompting the migrants to take more dangerous routes. Human rights activists on Wednesday set up 360 white crosses in Mexico City's main square, saying each represented a migrant who had died since 1994 while trying to cross the border into California. "Crossing the border illegally should not be a death sentence," said Claudia Smith, border project director for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. "It is not a question of whether we have a right to control the border. But we must do so in a manner that minimizes, not maximizes, the threat to life." Clinton originally was due to tour reconstruction efforts in Central America following the devastation caused last October by Hurricane Mitch before coming to Mexico. But that leg of the visit was postponed to March 8-11 to allow Clinton to remain in Washington for Thursday's expected Senate vote on the two articles of impeachment against him.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexico Strains Drug Ally Status (The Washington Post says Mexico has produced such dismal results in combating drug trafficking in the past year that Mexican and U.S. officials say they are braced for an aggressive attempt by the U.S. Congress to decertify its southern neighbor as an ally in the drug war and add it to the "black list" of nations judged failures in the antidrug effort.) Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 15:58:57 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WP: Mexico Strains Drug Ally Status Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Page: A01 - Front Page Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Mail: 1150 15th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20071 Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Authors: John Ward Anderson and Douglas Farah, Washington Post Foreign Service Note: Anderson reported from Mexico, Farah from Washington. Correspondent Molly Moore in Mexico City also contributed. MEXICO STRAINS DRUG ALLY STATUS CONGRESS MAY LIFT CERTIFICATION Mexico has produced such dismal results in combating drug trafficking in the past year that Mexican and U.S. officials say they are braced for an aggressive attempt by the U.S. Congress to decertify its southern neighbor as an ally in the drug war and add it to the "black list" of nations judged failures in the antidrug effort. By almost any measure, Mexico made no significant progress in reducing drug trafficking and corruption in 1998, and in many categories actually showed poorer results than in the previous year, according to U.S. officials and a review of U.S. performance expectations. Even some Mexican officials agreed. "What grade do you give them if they have really done nothing?" said a U.S. official involved in monitoring Mexico's anti-drug efforts. "You would have to give them a D-minus or an F." In Mexico last year, seizures of cocaine, marijuana and heroin fell significantly. Drug arrests declined, and the number of drug investigations either underway or completed dropped 14 percent from 1997. There was a drop in the number of poppy fields destroyed and clandestine drug laboratories that were found and dismantled. Confiscations of drug-carrying cars, trucks and boats also declined. Seizures of ephedrine, the key ingredient in methamphetamine -- commonly known as speed -- and of opium gum, a poppy residue used to make heroin, were just over half the number of 1997. Even worse, in the view of many U.S. officials, was Mexico's failure to show progress in several critical measures that are considered the true gauge of its resolve to combat the illegal drug trade: No major Mexican-born drug kingpin has ever been extradited to the United States; the country's new money-laundering laws have yielded only one conviction; and corruption continues to pervade the government, including within elite units specially trained or vetted by the U.S. military, CIA and law enforcement agencies. The country's two main illegal drug organizations -- the Tijuana and Juarez cartels -- still operate with few restraints. A third, the once dismantled Gulf cartel, is back in business. And even when kingpins were arrested, they often evaded justice. In one recent case, sources said, a top lieutenant in the Juarez cartel allegedly paid millions in bribes to Mexican army officials to be released from jail. Today, drug and money-laundering charges filed against three alleged methamphetamine kingpins who were captured by Mexican police -- the Amezcua brothers of Guadalajara -- were dismissed. One of the brothers is in jail on a weapons conviction; the other two are being held largely on the strength of extradition requests from the United States. On Monday, a federal judge in Mexico City ruled against the extradition of one of the brothers. One of the year's biggest law enforcement disappointments stemmed from a U.S. sting operation that Mexico said was conducted without its knowledge. After U.S. Customs charged 26 Mexican bankers with money-laundering following an undercover operation called the Casablanca sting, some Mexican officials threatened to indict and seek the extradition of the U.S. agents involved on charges that they violated Mexican sovereignty while working undercover in Mexico. On Sunday, Mexico denied a U.S. request to extradite five Mexican bankers charged in the case. Mexican officials said they interpret the record differently. They said, for example, that as a consequence of tougher law enforcement, large plane loads of cocaine no longer traverse Mexico because drug traffickers have switched to safer routes through Caribbean Sea lanes -- a shift that could explain the reduction in Mexican cocaine seizures last year. Mexican officials noted that of the 10 people on Mexico's list of most-wanted kingpins when President Ernesto Zedillo took office, six are in prison and another is dead. Only the three Arellano Felix brothers -- leaders of the Tijuana cartel -- remain at large. "Of course we cannot destroy all the cartels in one day, but we are working in a clean, honest, loyal and especially in a very intensive way, risking our lives, risking everything and working very hard to fight organized crime," said Eduardo Ibarrola, a top official in the Mexican attorney general's office. How well Mexico has done in the drug war is more than an academic debate. Under U.S. law, the president must certify by March 1 of every year whether countries that are major drug producers or transshipment areas are "fully cooperating" in the drug war. If not, those nations lose a host of economic and trade benefits. The White House also has the option of decertifying a country while waiving the sanctions in the national interest. President Clinton, who plans to visit Mexico for meetings with Zedillo on Feb. 14 and 15, is expected to approve Mexico's certification. But administration officials are concerned that Mexico's weak 1998 record will prompt a concerted effort by some members of Congress to overturn that decision. Last year, the list of decertified countries included Iran, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Burma. Members of Congress point to the administration's 12-point checklist for certifying Mexico and say that almost none of the objectives -- such as extraditing Mexican drug traffickers, curbing corruption and prosecuting more drug kingpins -- have been met. Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, has said there would be strong support this year to overturn Mexico's certification. Short of that, he said, Congress might "look very specifically at international trade issues to get leverage to ensure action" by Mexico. "Mexico has made only minimal progress," Mica said. "They have been heavy on the rhetoric and light on the action." Senior administration officials said they know they are facing a hard sell on Capitol Hill. "Opponents of certification require more than good faith efforts from Mexico -- they want results, including extraditions of Mexican nationals, more prosecutions of corrupt officials and more than paper agreements about cooperative law enforcement arrangements," said an internal White House document obtained by The Washington Post. "Without strong statistical evidence, our supporters [in Congress who back certification] may very well become opponents," the document warned. "They have made it known to us that they . . . need more and better evidence of cooperative efforts. By this, they mean evidence of outcomes." That could come soon, following a well-established pattern in which Mexico delivers a sensational arrest around the time of certification. According to another White House document, the Mexican government is "reportedly working out final details before taking action against Quintana Roo Gov. Mario Villanueva for drug-related crimes." Villanueva, a member of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, is the focus of a joint U.S.-Mexico drug investigation for his alleged role as the chief protector of the Juarez cartel on the Yucatan Peninsula, which has become one of the principal transit points for shipment of Colombian cocaine to the United States. Mexican newspapers have reported that investigators found millions of dollars in overseas bank accounts tied to Villanueva. Some U.S. officials say acting against a governor would offer a sign that Mexico is willing to tackle high-level drug corruption in the ruling party. Villanueva has repeatedly denied any connection with drug trafficking. Reflecting the same frustration felt by his U.S. counterparts, one Mexican government official said that if the certification decision were based solely on concrete results, even he would have to vote to decertify his country. But, he continued, the decision also should weigh the effort and progress Mexico is making and the potentially disastrous political and economic ramifications for both countries if the United States were to make an international pariah of its southern neighbor and second-biggest trading partner. Barry R. McCaffrey, the Clinton administration's drug-policy director, said he "substantively disagreed" with critics of Mexico's anti-drug efforts, asserting that the country's senior leadership is committed to rooting out corruption and fighting drug trafficking. "They are struggling to deal with the problem," he said. "The struggle can be interpreted as either evidence of the sorry state of affairs or evidence that some people are trying to do the right thing." Not all the news from Mexico was bad last year. It spent about $770 million on counter-drug programs and more than 26,000 soldiers and government employees were involved in the drug battle. The number of acres of marijuana fields destroyed by the army grew by 1.8 percent. More guns and airplanes were seized than in 1997. The amount of drug money confiscated more than doubled. Methamphetamine seizures grew by 72 pounds. Juan Rebolledo, undersecretary for North America and Europe in Mexico's Foreign Ministry, said certification is a "political process" with no "clear criteria." But if Mexico were judged qualitatively, he said, critics would see that it has added reforms and strategies to increase its drug-fighting capacity dramatically. Last week, for instance, Mexico unveiled a three-year, $400 million plan to beef up drug interdiction efforts with new high technology equipment to track the flow of cocaine and heroin and improved vetting and training programs. About two-thirds of the cocaine sold in the United States comes through Mexico. A recent incident demonstrates why U.S. officials sometimes question whether significant progress is really being made. About three months ago, Gilberto Garza Garcia, 39, a top lieutenant in the Juarez cartel, was arrested on drug charges but was then allowed to escape after allegedly paying what sources said was a multimillion-dollar bribe to Mexican army officials. Garza Garcia was apprehended a few weeks ago on an island off the coast of Venezuela and has been returned to Mexican custody, sources said. "We believe we have a narco-state just across the border," said a Republican congressional aide. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich "always bought the Wall Street line that decertifying was bad for business. This year we won't have to worry about that crowd or the NAFTA crowd," he said. He was referring to concerns among some analysts about the impact of threatened economic sanctions on the U.S.-Mexican partnership in the North American Free Trade Agreement.
------------------------------------------------------------------- I Won't Budge On Heroin: PM (The Age, in Melbourne, Australia, says drug experts denounced Prime Minister John Howard last night after he refused to drop his opposition to heroin-maintenance trials despite new statistics showing a sharp increase in drug-related deaths.) Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 23:53:35 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: I Won't Budge On Heroin: PM Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Ken Russell) Source: Age, The (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.theage.com.au/ Copyright: 1999 David Syme & Co Ltd Pubdate: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 Author: Darren Gray and Adrian Rollins I WON'T BUDGE ON HEROIN: PM Drug experts denounced the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, last night after he refused to drop his opposition to heroin trials despite new statistics showing a sharp increase in drug-related deaths. Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Mr Howard condemned proposals such as heroin trials as glib and simplistic, and claimed the Government's Tough on Drugs strategy had been a success. A leading researcher later accused Mr Howard of hypocrisy and attacked him for persisting with failed strategies. "I think Mr Howard is hugely ill-informed," said Dr Nick Crofts, deputy director of the Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research. He said immense scientific research had gone into the heroin trial proposals. "Calling the heroin trial a simplistic solution ... in the face of putting more money into failed strategies strikes me as the height of hypocrisy," he said. Dr Crofts said the community needed to move away from a prohibition stance. He also challenged the Prime Minister to demonstrate that recent well-publicised drug hauls had had an impact on the availability and prices of drugs on the streets. Dr Crofts and other researchers have called for more drug and alcohol workers, more detoxification beds, a broader range of treatment options for addicts and more rehabilitation programs. Mr Geoff Munro, the director of the Centre for Youth Drug Studies, said the spiralling heroin overdose figures represented a major health crisis. "I don't think anyone can claim that the drug strategy is working when the death rate from illegal drug use is climbing," Mr Munro said. The statements follow the release yesterday of a report by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre revealing that Australia's heroin death toll has leapt by 73 per cent over the past decade. Mr Howard told Parliament yesterday that governments needed to tackle the "continuing menace" of drugs in three ways: improved law enforcement, education and effective rehabilitation and detoxification programs. He said the Government had already committed almost $215 million to its Tough on Drugs strategy, including $110 million on customs controls and enforcement, $95 million for treatment programs and $8 million for education. He said record drug seizures in recent months had shown the effectiveness of the Government's approach to the problem. But the success of the seizures in stemming the flow of drugs into Australia has been called into doubt by the Justice Minister, Senator Amanda Vanstone. In an answer to a question on notice to be tabled in Parliament today, she admits "it is not possible to precisely determine the effect of seizures on the prices of street heroin or ecstasy".
------------------------------------------------------------------- Myanmar Raps Britain, U.S. Over Drug Talks (According to Reuters, Myanmar's military government said Wednesday it greatly regretted decisions by the United States and Britain to boycott an Interpol conference on heroin production and trafficking to be held later this month. Yangon said Britain and the United States, as two of the largest markets for heroin, had a "special responsibility" to take part. The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway have also said they will not attend.) Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 21:13:23 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Myanmar: Wire: Myanmar Raps Britain, U.S. Over Drug Talks Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: 10 Feb 1999 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited. MYANMAR RAPS BRITAIN, U.S. OVER DRUG TALKS BOYCOTT YANGON, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Myanmar's military government said on Wednesday it greatly regretted decisions by the United States and Britain to boycott an Interpol conference on heroin production and trafficking to be held later this month. The plan to hold the conference in Myanmar, one of the world's leading heroin producers, raised eyebrows among many diplomats and provoked condemnation by critics of the Yangon government. The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway have also said they will not attend. Yangon said Britain and the United States, as two of the largest markets for heroin in the world, had a "special responsibility" to take part. "The Government of Myanmar greatly regrets the British and American refusal to participate in this important conference and urges them to put politics aside, for the sake of the millions of people around the world whose lives are theatened by the drug trade," it said in a statement. "Their huge markets fuel a global narcotics trade which threatens to infect many countries in the developing world, including Myanmar," it said. On Wednesday a Sydney-based non-governmental organisation criticised Australia's planned participation, saying it would merely serve the propaganda interests of a "brutal, incompetent and corrupt" government. The Australia Burma Council said in a statement seen in Bangkok that most of the heroin sold in Australia orginated in Myanmar. "Australia's attendance and support of this conference will be an obnoxious admission of a softening of national policy and will bring no good to the people or Burma, nor will it aid us in our bid to have a drug-free society," it said. In October last year Australian authorities seized 400 kg (880 lb) of heroin that came from refineries in northern Myanmar. It was one of the biggest hauls ever made. Myanmar has published a slew of rosy drug suppression statistics in recent weeks, but overseas officials working to stem a flood of narcotics from its refineries have expressed doubts about its commitment to eradicating the menace. On Wednesday, newspapers said authorities had destroyed 6,182 acres (2,472 hectares) of opium fields since November. According to official statistics, Myanmar seized 404 kg (890 lb) of heroin, 5,394 kg (12,086 lb) of opium, 381 kg (838 lb) of marijuana and more than 16 million stimulant tablets in 1998. The government says a 1998 survey showed 151,201 acres (60,480 hectares) of poppy plantations produced 665.28 tonnes of opium from which 66.52 tonnes of heroin could be produced. U.S. estimates put production about four times higher.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Scientist's Knife Trick Leaves Testing In Chaos (The Daily Mail, in Britain, says Dr David Brown, a physical chemist, believes he has proved what athletes have long claimed - that the security packs in which their urine samples are transported to laboratories for testing can be opened and resealed without detection. The implications are enormous. In three minutes, with just a kettle of boiling water and a small knife, Dr Brown has so drastically damaged the credibility of drugs testing that sports federations worldwide could be left facing huge claims for compensation from athletes whose careers have been shattered.) Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 23:11:24 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Scientist's Knife Trick Leaves Testing In Chaos Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 Source: Daily Mail (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ Copyright: 1999 Associated Newspapers Ltd SCIENTIST'S KNIFE TRICK LEAVES TESTING IN CHAOS A SCIENTIST has caused meltdown in the credibility of drugs testing with just a kettle of boiling water and a small knife. He has so drastically damaged the authenticity of the system that sports federations worldwide could be left facing huge claims for compensation from athletes whose careers have been shattered. Dr David Brown, a physical chemist, believes he has proved what athletes have long claimed - that the security packs in which their urine samples are transported to laboratories for testing can be opened and resealed without detection. Last night a spokesman for Versapak, the British company which made the security containers, admitted to Sportsmail that one of its products used until the middle of last year could be opened 'given the right tools and the window of opportunity'. The implications are enormous. Paul Edwards, the British Olympic shot-putter banned for life, wants to present his findings to a new hearing of his case which his solicitor yesterday began negotiating with UK Athletics, the sport's new governing body. The news was greeted with jubilation by Peter Lennon, the lawyer of Ireland's triple Olympic swimming champion Michelle de Bruin, who was banned for four years for allegedly tampering with a sample. Edwards and de Bruin are challenging their bans but others whose appeals have been thrown out may claim compensation for lost earnings and damage to reputation. The case of Scottish sprinter Dougie Walker, who has failed a drug test but has not been suspended pending a hearing, is different because the UK Sports Council has since switched to a different product. Urine samples given by Edwards and de Bruin were both transported in containers manufactured by Versapak using the model now alleged to be flawed. Both claim that because the so-called 'chain of custody' documents detailing who was in charge of the container are incomplete, a window of opportunity for tampering was present. Dr Brown, who was an official at Edwards' first club, said that when he realised that the caps on the containers were made of high-density polyethylene of the sort used in washing-up bowls he realised the potential insecurity. 'It didn't take much time at all,' he said. 'With the minimum of practise and the most rudimentary equipment I opened a security seal and resealed it without anybody being able to detect it.' Edwards' solicitor, Dennis Cooper, was shown how it was done in his office using his secretary's electric kettle, a piece of string with which to suspend the container in water and a small knife to raise the lid. The whole exercise took only three minutes and a video of the procedure has been made to use as evidence. Dr Brown said: 'It pops off because it has expanded with the heat without interfering with the ring pulls which are the security device.' He claimed that a secondary security device inside the container which should change in composition if it comes into contact with water or steam failed to detect the intrusion. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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