------------------------------------------------------------------- Campus weapons violations top 540 (The Oregonian says a report by the state Department of Education shows Oregon public schools also expelled 692 students for violations involving alcohol and other drugs during the 1997-98 academic year.) The Oregonian Contact: email@example.com 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Campus weapons violations top 540 * Statistics from Oregon's public schools show how many students were expelled last academic year for guns and others devices Friday February 12, 1999 By Lisa Daniels of The Oregonian staff Oregon public schools expelled 540 students for taking weapons to school during the 1997-98 academic year, according to a report by the state Department of Education. The figure is culled from statistics sent in from 1,180 schools that make up 95 percent of the schools in Oregon. According to the report, 57 students were expelled for taking handguns to school last year, 10 expelled for rifles or shotguns, 69 for other firearms and 404 for knives and other weapons. In addition, 504 students were expelled for violent behavior, and 692 were expelled for alcohol or drug offenses. The report didn't break down the expulsions by school or by district. About 542,800 students attend public schools in Oregon. John Lenssen, an Education Department specialist who worked on the report, was hesitant to suggest any trend the numbers might reflect because of inconsistent reporting. The year before, 517 students were expelled from schools for taking weapons on campus, based on reporting by 70 percent of schools. But the release of the report itself reflects the interest lawmakers are taking in making schools safer in the wake of the May 21 incident in which Kip Kinkel allegedly shot and killed two students and wounded more than 20 others at Thurston High in Springfield. Oregon has a law mandating a one-year expulsion for students who take a weapon to school. But several bills regarding weapons in schools have been introduced this legislative session in Salem. Bills in the Senate would require districts to offer alternative programs and counseling to students expelled for taking weapons to school and would require schools to report to the county justice system any incidence of firearms in school. A House bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Morrisette, D-Springfield, would require the detention of a youth for a minimum of 24 hours if he or she has a gun at school. Kinkel was released to his father the same day he took a weapon to Thurston. "What I'm trying to do is fix a gap that we recognize, that we had no reason to recognize before," he said. Anti-violence advocates across the nation are doing what they can to decrease the number of weapons on school campuses. They say the most-often mentioned reason students say they take weapons to school is for protection. As a result, they are lobbying states to enact stricter laws and pushing school districts to put more resource officers in schools to make them safer. "As a community we need to provide a school that is safe, secure and free of fear and conducive to learning," said Pamela Riley, executive director of the Center for the Prevention of School Violence. "One gun on a school campus is one too many."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Former California Candidate, Wife to Make First Public Appearance Sunday (A press release on U.S. Newswire announces a news conference to be held in conjunction with the Libertarian Party of California state convention at the San Jose Doubletree Hotel. Steve Kubby, the medical-marijuana patient/activist and 1998 Libertarian candidate for governor, and his wife, Michele, will speak about their recent Prop. 215 arrest for cultivating marijuana.) Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 16:38:12 -0600 From: "Frank S. World" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: Rx Cannabis Now! http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/7417/ To: DPFCA (email@example.com) Subject: DPFCA: U.S. NEWSWIRE: Former Calif. Candidate, Wife to Make First Public Appearance Sunday Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ U.S. Newswire 12 Feb 12:40 Former Calif. Candidate, Wife to Make First Public Appearance Sunday To: State Desk Contact: Steve and Michele Kubby, 530-581-1112 SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 12 /U.S. Newswire/ -- 1998 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby and his wife, Michele, will speak about their recent Prop. 215 arrest here on Sunday. The Kubbys will hold a news conference in conjunction with the Libertarian Party of California State Convention at 5:45 p.m. in the San Jose Doubletree Hotel on Sunday, Feb. 14. After a 20-minute presentation, they will respond to all questions from reporters. At the conference, the Kubbys will provide information, including: -- Outlining the circumstances about their arrest by Nevada, federal, and Placer County officials; -- Their attempts to fully comply with Proposition 215, as approved by voters more than two years ago; -- Their medical need for marijuana, including the release of a letter from Vincent DeQuattro, M.D., FACC, FACP, from the USC School of Medicine, who treated Steve Kubby's cancer several years ago and was surprised to find him still alive today; and -- The political and free speech implications of this week's decision by the Placer County District Attorney to drop the original charges yet move forward with secret grand jury tactics. For more information or to schedule interviews with the Kubbys, call them at their Lake Tahoe area home at 530-581-1112. For more information about the Libertarian Convention running this weekend in San Jose, including directions and room numbers, contact Libertarian Party of California Executive Director Juan Ros at 818-506-0200. -0- /U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/ 02/12 12:40 Copyright 1999, U.S. Newswire
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Sued Over Arrest, Pot Seizure (The Los Angeles Times says Dean Jones of Simi Valley filed a lawsuit Thursday against the city's Police Department, alleging that officers illegally arrested him and seized marijuana plants that he was cultivating for medicinal use. Jones, 62, is seeking an injunction against the department forcing officers to investigate whether a person is allowed by law to cultivate marijuana before making an arrest or seizing pot plants.)Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 15:00:44 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: LAT: Police Sued Over Arrest, Pot Seizure Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Forum: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/DISCUSS/ Author: HOLLY J. WOLCOTT SIMI VALLEY: POLICE SUED OVER ARREST, POT SEIZURE A Simi Valley man filed a lawsuit Thursday against the city's Police Department, alleging that officers illegally arrested him and seized marijuana plants that he was cultivating for medicinal use. Dean Jones, 62, is seeking an injunction against the department forcing officers to investigate whether a person is allowed by law to cultivate marijuana before making an arrest or seizing pot plants. "He is suing to get some accountability by law enforcementto get them to respect a patient's rights under this law," said Andrea Nagy, former owner of the Ventura County Medical Cannabis Center, who is assisting Dean's attorney. Jones has a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana to treat the symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure, migraines, back problems and periodic foot inflammation, Nagy said. He was arrested at his home, and his 13 pot plants were seized on May 27, 1998 a day after he reportedly had gone to the Simi Valley police station, told officers about his condition and gave them his doctor's business card for verification. "Our position is that given the nature of the incident and of the state of the law at the time regarding medical marijuana," police acted appropriately, Simi Valley City Atty. David Hirsch said Thursday. The suit seeks punitive damages for pain and suffering, as well as reimbursement for the value of the plants, which is more than $50,000, Nagy said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Narc Dog Sniffs Out 'Niner Fan (San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler says the money that Christine Clark Fed-Ex'd to a friend in Virginia to pay off a losing bet on the 49ers-Falcons playoff game was delivered by two badge-flashing narcs who thought the package seemed suspicious - maybe because it was the shape and size of a Cheech and Chong doobie.) Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 03:10:44 -0500 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: ltneidow@VOYAGER.NET (Lee T. Neidow) Subject: Narc Dog Sniffs Out 'Niner Fan. San Francisco Chronicle Feb.12, 1999, SCOTT OSTLER Narc Dog Sniffs Out 'Niner Fan. Christine Clark bet on the 49ers-Falcons playoff game with a pal in Virginia. 'Niners lost, so Christine owed Jack a loaf of sourdough bread, which she quickly Fed-Ex'd. The suspicious package caught the eye of a state cop at the Fed Ex terminal in Virginia, maybe because it was the shape and size of a Cheech and Chong doobie (kids: Ask your parents). The cop called for drug-sniffing dog Brody, who wouldn't leave the box alone, so a search warrant was issued and an X-ray taken. No dope, just dough, but imagine Jack's surprise when his loaf was delivered by two badge-flashing narcs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Selective Passion For Truth (Arkansas Times columnist Mara Leverett follows up on her call last week for less scrutiny of President Clinton's dealings with Monica Lewinsky and more scrutiny of his connection to Barry Seal's officially sanctioned cocaine smuggling through Mena airport. Republican Arkansas U.S. Representative Asa Hutchinson, the House manager who has been so aggressive in his prosecution of Clinton, expounding repeatedly on his desire only to get at "the truth" of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, was the U.S. attorney for western Arkansas back in the 1980s, when he had a chance to prosecute Seal, the smuggler, and expose the drug trade's connections to Clinton, Bush, and the CIA. But in fact, various witnesses indicate Hutchinson stymied several investigations into alleged drug-trafficking at Mena. At the time, and to this day, Hutchinson casts himself as an anti-drug crusader.) Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 16:44:59 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US AR: A Selective Passion For Truth Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: James Markes Pubdate: Fri 12 Feb 1999 Source: Arkansas Times (AR) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.arktimes.com/ Author: Mara Leveritt - Opinion Columnist Copyright: Copyright 1999 Arkansas Writers' Project, Inc A SELECTIVE PASSION FOR TRUTH Feb. 12, 1999 Last week I suggested that, rather than probing ad nauseum the president's lies about his extra-marital alliance(s), Washington could do us a favor by turning its investigative lights onto a question with some genuine national significance, to wit: Precisely what was the relationship between various branches of the government, particularly the CIA, and this country's super-cocaine kingpins, such as Arkansas's own Barry Seal, during the 1980s? The column did not exactly provoke a stampede to pick up the gauntlet. As I had outlined, there are powerful, bipartisan reasons why the questions about Seal have languished. Republicans don't want to touch them for fear of where the answers might lead. The trail already points to the offices of former presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Likewise, Democrats are not keen on kicking up a lot of dirt about Barry Seal, a major cocaine smuggler who, for reasons that remain a mystery, was allowed to base his multi-million-dollar operation in Arkansas, under the very eye of the Arkansas State Police, for four years while Bill Clinton was governor. What did happen after that column appeared was that a reader called to remind me of the role played in the Seal saga by our own Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson, the House manager who has been lately so aggressive in his prosecution of Clinton in the Senate. Having listened to Hutchinson expound repeatedly on his desire only to get at "the truth" of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, I am struck (as was my caller) by how remarkably unaggressive he was -- in fact, how surprisingly hands-off he was -- back in the 1980s when, as the U.S. attorney for western Arkansas, Hutchinson had the chance to prosecute Seal, the smuggler. We now know that during the time that Seal headquartered his operation at Mena he was being watched by U.S. Customs officials, as well as by agents for the DEA, the FBI, and the IRS. Former IRS agent William Duncan has testified that Hutchinson, who was among the first to know of Seal's arrival in Arkansas, called a meeting in early 1983, at which Duncan was assigned to investigate Seal's suspected money laundering. Duncan did, and he tried to have members of Seal's gang indicted. But when the IRS investigator asked Hutchinson to subpoena 20 witnesses who were prepared to testify about the alleged drug-trafficking at Mena, Hutchinson balked. Only three of the 20 were called, and of those, two later complained that they had not been allowed to present their evidence to the federal grand jury. The grand jury never indicted Seal or anyone else involved with him at Mena. In 1991, five years after Seal was murdered, Duncan testified about his experience. "Are you stating now under oath that you believe that the investigation in and around the Mena airport of money laundering was covered up by the U.S. Attorney in Arkansas," he was asked. "It was covered up," he said. Since then, I have spoken with Paul Whitmore, a former Chief of Criminal Investigation for the IRS, who was Duncan's superior. He oversaw the Seal investigation and concurs with Duncan's assessment that presentation of Duncan's evidence was blocked by Hutchinson's office. At the time, and to this day, however, Hutchinson has cast himself as an anti-drug crusader. In light of that, I wrote to him after his election to Congress. I explained that I have had a Freedom of Information request pertaining to Barry Seal before the FBI for several years -- a request that the FBI has acknowledged should have been filled a long time ago. In light of that, I asked Hutchinson if he would intercede on my behalf to get the records released. I was curious as to how hard Hutchinson would work to bring to light public records about a politically sensitive investigation in which he had played a significant part. As it turned out, he was not helpful at all. He replied that he had contacted the FBI concerning my request and that when he heard back from the agency he would "be back in touch" with me. That was more than a year ago. He has not been "back in touch." By contrast, Rep. Vic Snyder, to whom I placed the same request, has been diligent in his support of my appeal. It seems to matter to Snyder that the Justice Department can flaunt a federal law, delaying by years, if it wants, the release of public information. The agency still hasn't budged on the Seal records, but Snyder's push for their release distinguishes him in this otherwise dark affair. As for Hutchinson? I hope that some day he is held to account, as he would hold Clinton to account, for certain events of the past -- events that even this self-proclaimed seeker of truth might prefer would never come to light.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Public Education With A Twist: Office Of National Drug Control Policy Reaches Youth In Unconventional Ways (A press release on PR Newswire from the White House drug czar's office about your tax dollars at work says ONDCP will spend some of its new $2 billion anti-drug advertising budget on an online concert Feb. 15 by an Australian rock band, Silverchair.) Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 08:59:58 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Policy Reaches Youth In Unconventional Ways Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 Source: PR Newswire Copyright: 1999 PR Newswire PUBLIC EDUCATION WITH A TWIST: OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY REACHES YOUTH IN UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS ONDCP's National Media Campaign Sponsors Live Webcast Of Silverchair Concert WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to reach America's young people with important anti-drug messages, the Office of National Drug Control Policy's (ONDCP) National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign today announced its sponsorship of seven online concerts on the World Wide Web, scheduled to take place over the next several months. The first concert, featuring popular Australian rock band Silverchair, will be held on Monday, February 15th at 8:00 p.m. EST. All of the concerts will be broadcast at http://www.sonicnet.com. "In order to truly be successful in reducing youth drug use in America, we realize that we have to reach children and teens in new and unexpected ways," said John Hale, Deputy Director of ONDCP's Media Campaign. "We recognize that many of the old ways of conducting public education campaigns are no longer effective, and that the Internet is an invaluable tool for reaching people. Today's sponsorship is representative not only of the media campaign's larger interactive strategy but also of our overall dedication to delivering positive messages through all effective mediums. Sponsoring online concerts is just one way we are creatively engaging America's young people and helping them to understand the realities of drug use." In order to maximize the effectiveness of the sponsorship, a online mechanism has been developed exclusively for ONDCP. The mechanism opens a new browser window and serves as the gateway to the concert. It delivers eight different anti-drug messages on a rotating basis. This area also provides a link to ProjectkNOw, ONDCP's teen targeted site, as well as band information and a link to ONDCP's online celebrity musician public service announcements. Once they have passed through the ONDCP gateway, concert goers will be able to watch the band perform live on their computer screens. SOURCE: Office of National Drug Control Policy
------------------------------------------------------------------- McCaffrey: Headed For Red Cross? (According to the Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, today's Washington Times says the White House drug czar will take the helm at the American Red Cross by June 1, and a search for the third Clinton drug czar is underway.) From: GDaurer@aol.com Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 22:08:20 EST To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Goodbye, McC? Barry's new blood drive Reply-To: email@example.com KAISER DAILY HIV/AIDS REPORT A news service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation http://report.kff.org/aidshiv/ Friday, February 12, 1999 #1 MCCAFFREY: HEADED FOR RED CROSS? Today's Washington Times reports that White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey will leave the Office of National Drug Control Policy to take the helm of the American Red Cross. According to an anonymous "official close to the ONDCP," McCaffrey - who has strongly opposed needle exchange programs but supported Methadone treatment for drug addicts - will move to the Red Cross by June 1 and a search reportedly is already underway for his replacement (2/12).
------------------------------------------------------------------- Using Diet To Combat Addiction (The Toronto Star says that when Kathleen DesMaisons, the head of Radiant Recovery, an addiction centre in New Mexico, seriously delved into the research about sugar, brain chemistry, mood disorders and alcoholism, there was a lot to review. Besides scores of scientific papers and journals linking sugar and brain chemistry to alcoholism, there were many books published. Her research became the basis for a diet program with an unheard of 92 per cent recovery rate for alcoholics. This has stayed at 85 per cent in a five-year follow-up. Recovery rates for alcoholism programs vary from as low as 25 per cent to about 50 per cent, depending on the support available and how recovery is defined. Today she believes that even people who are not addicted to alcohol or other drugs can have a skewed body chemistry that plunges them into a type of sugar sensitivity that leads to what has often been labelled "an alcoholic personality" - prone to mood swings, poor impulse control, and excess in many aspects of living. Her research became her doctoral thesis, then a book, "Potatoes Not Prozac," now being released in paperback.) Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 08:00:51 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Using Diet To Combat Addiction Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Haans Pubdate: 12 Feb 1999 Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Copyright: 1999, The Toronto Star Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Pages: F1, F2 Author: Robin Harvey, Toronto Star Life Writer USING DIET TO COMBAT ADDICTION Counsellor's research focuses on changing the way we eat For years, Kathleen DesMaisons lived with mood swings and what she calls a ``Jekyll and Hyde'' personality. On the outside she looked successful - she was a high-achieving counsellor for addicts and alcoholics - but inside she felt a like a fraud. ``By the time I was 40, I was highly successful, but I was coping with mood swings and I was seriously overweight,'' she says. ``I tended to get depressed and never knew whether Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde was going to show up. ``I thought I was going to be a bag lady,'' says DesMaisons, now the head of Radiant Recovery, an addiction centre in New Mexico. Then in her early 40s, DesMaisons read an article that linked alcoholism to irregular sugar metabolism. Her interest in addiction treatment stemmed from her childhood - her father had been an alcoholic. Alcoholics Anonymous, the granddaddy of treatment programs for addictions, had long suggested recovering alcoholics ingest some form of sweet - a candy, doughnut or sugary substance - to ward off cravings for alcohol. ``I was intrigued by that, and somehow I knew I responded to sugar strangely,'' she says. ``I craved it.'' About the same time, DesMaisons tried yet another diet to lose the excess pounds. The number on her bathroom scale was by then reaching almost 240. This new diet emphasized protein and vegetables. ``That got my attention because when I was eating that way, my self-esteem went up, I was not moody or scared about the future,'' she says. ``This was not feeling better because I was losing weight. It was a fundamental change. And I knew it must be biological because I'd tried therapy, was a therapist myself, and never been able to achieve those results.'' DesMaisons suspected she had inherited her father's biochemistry. She had stopped drinking at the age of 26 after a bout with mononucleosis damaged her liver. However, she did binge on sugar and refined carbohydrates and felt she used food compulsively and addictively. ``I decided I responded to sugar alcoholically,'' she says. She started on a quest to solve her own problems and possibly help others. Today she is of ``normal'' weight, feels confident, happy and centred and attributes this to a sensible but substantial change in her eating habits. It started when she began quizzing her addiction clients about their diet and found most ate the same way she did - skipping meals and bingeing on sugars and refined carbohydrates. That was when she seriously delved into the research about sugar, brain chemistry and mood disorders and alcoholism. There was a lot to review. Besides scores of scientific papers and journals linking sugar and brain chemistry to alcoholism, there were many books already published. As far back as about 40 years ago, health food guru Adele Davis had advocated eating protein at each meal to regulate mood through blood sugar. Sugar Blues, published in 1975, suggested addiction to sugar caused a host of emotional problems. And in the mid 1980s, Seven Weeks To Sobriety outlined a diet and vitamin approach to addiction that aimed to stabilize blood sugar and rebalance brain chemistry to fight addiction. ``There is a whole body of knowledge that talks about carbohydrate sensitivity (in addiction),'' she says. ``We don't know what causes it - it is not something that has been studied intensively, but it has been recognized in the alcoholism literature.'' DesMaisons found a wealth of studies that, when linked together, all pointed to the same thing - some people reacted to alcohol and sugar differently that others. Alcohol creates a rush of beta-endorphins similar to sugar. And alcoholic drinks like beer and wine have high levels of sugar in them, she noted. Her research, on the similarities in the affects of alcohol and sugar consumption in alcoholics and people who have alcoholic relatives, became the basis for a diet program with an unheard of 92 per cent recovery rate for alcoholics. This has stayed at 85 per cent in a five-year follow-up. Recovery rates for alcoholism programs vary from as low as 25 per cent to about 50 per cent depending on the support available and how recovery is defined. Today she believes that even people who are not addicted to alcohol or drugs can have a skewed body chemistry that plunges them into a type of sugar sensitivity that leads to what has often been labelled ``an alcoholic personality'' - prone to mood swings, poor impulse control and excess in many aspects of living. After gathering her research she wrote her doctoral thesis on the subject that she turned into a book, Potatoes Not Prozac, (Fireside, Simon & Schuster, $17.75). Now being released in paperback, the book sets out a seven-step program for recovery from what she calls sugar sensitivity and addictions to alcohol. The title was conceived because DesMaisons believes many people with sugar sensitivity are placed on antidepressants in a bid to help their moods. She believes her seven-step program can bring well-being to a huge chunk of the population, addicted or not. Step one is to keep a food journal to identify how your eating patterns affect the way you feel physically and mentally. By increasing your awareness of how food affects you, it is easier to adjust your diet, she says. Step two is very basic - eat three meals a day at regular intervals. Step three is take vitamins as recommended. DesMaisons is not a believer in megavitamin therapy and believes it is best to get nutrients from your diet wherever possible. However, she does suggest vitamin C, a B complex and zinc, because they have been documented to help alcoholics in withdrawal. Eating protein at each meal is step four. DesMaisons suggests people eat 0.4 to 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight over the day. This helps stabilize blood sugar, she says. Step five is to eat more complex carbohydrates because they are broken down less quickly into sugar. Step six is to reduce or eliminate sugars and alcohol. And step seven is to create a plan to maintain your new eating habits. The program is not rigid. In fact, DesMaisons encourages people to take it ``at their own pace. ``Don't try to do it all at once or you will fail,'' she says. Take it in sequence and adjust gradually, she cautions. People with the sugar sensitivity syndrome, and alcoholics, often have several distinct biological traits, she says. The first is an abnormally reactive blood sugar curve. That means when they eat sugar or refined carbohydrates their blood sugar peaks rapidly and goes higher than other people, causing a massive release of insulin to counteract the sugar surge. This causes an abrupt fall in blood sugar, bringing on symptoms of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar - shakiness, moodiness, an inability to concentrate among other things. The body then craves sugar to offset these symptoms and the cycle begins again. Years of experiencing such ups and downs wreaks havoc on the body, she says. She also believes many who she deems sugar sensitive have chronic low levels of some important brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Most have chronic low levels of serotonin - a mood regulator, which, when present in insufficient levels, has been linked to depression and poor impulse control. They also have low levels of beta-endorphins - the body's natural opiates, produced to counteract physical and emotional pain. The brains of people with low levels of these chemicals try to compensate. They activate more receptor cells - cells that act as sponges to soak up and more efficiently use the brain chemicals. Sugar increases the production of both serotonin and beta-endorphin, DesMaisons says. And, she points out, alcohol acts similarly to a highly refined sugar when ingested. The problem is, though sugar gives a boost and initial rush as the extra ``sponges'' soak up the brain chemicals, after the blood sugar drops the extra sponges are still seeking more, causing further cravings for sugar and alcohol. Since alcohol and sugar affect these brain chemicals in a similar way, the craving for sugar can easily switch to a craving for alcohol, she says. ``There are three legs of the stool - blood sugar levels - beta-endorphin levels and serotonin levels,'' she says. ``If any one is out of whack, things don't work.'' DesMaisons believes that by stabilizing blood sugar levels and trying to balance the brain chemistry, a person with sugar sensitivity or alcoholism can more easily resist their cravings. Her emphasis on the role of the body's natural opiates - which peak in some people when they ingest sugar or alcohol - is what she considers to be the missing piece of the addiction puzzle. Such peaks give susceptible people an irresistible high or rush that sparks addiction, she says. Dr. Christina Gianoulakis, a researcher with McGill University at Douglas Hospital in Verdun, Que., has reviewed DesMaisons' thesis. Gianoulakis studied people who come from families with a strong history of alcoholism and found indications that they do, in fact, produce higher levels of the brain's natural opiates when they ingest alcohol - than people not related to alcoholics. She says there is no dispute that many alcoholics metabolize sugar unusually and there are several studies indicating that alcoholism is linked to a pre-existing skewed brain chemistry. Gianoulakis says DesMaisons' work has ``much merit'' but says it is time to set up controlled clinical trials of her methods. ``Once this is done and if the cure rates (DesMaisons) has seen hold up in a controlled study,'' the academic and medical community will have better reason to use them, she says. However, Trish Dekker, head nutritionist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Donwood Division, cautions against any ``fad cures'' for alcoholism. She finds DesMaisons' approach questionable. ``There is a lot of conflicting information out there,'' she says. ``We caution people against anything too extreme. The idea is to create a balance.'' At Donwood, staff stress eating more complex carbohydrates and following a balanced diet with exercise. Having sugar is all right as long as it is in moderation, she says. But abstinence from alcohol is crucial. DesMaisons says addicted people should not attempt to treat themselves and she also endorses self-support groups such as AA. She also says anyone with serious mood problems should see a doctor. However, if you are struggling with mood swings, compulsive eating and other problems, and are sure you have no other medical problem, she thinks her plan will help - especially if there is a history of alcoholism in your family background.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton To Visit Mexico For Crucial Negotiations (A Knight-Ridder news service article in the Orange County Register says U.S. President Clinton is traveling to Merida, on the Yucatan Peninsula, to meet Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo on Monday for their seventh - and probably most important - summit. The meeting may yield new agreements on fighting drug traffickers.) Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999 20:31:13 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US/Mexico: Clinton To Visit Mexico For Crucial Negotiations Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Pubdate: 12 Feb 1999 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Author: Ricardo Sandoval-Knight Ridder Newspapers Section: News, Page 31 Clinton To Visit Mexico For Crucial Negotiations Summit: He will meet with Zedillo to discuss drug fighting and immigration. Mexico City - Despite appearances, President Clinton is not heading to Mexico's sunny Yucatan Peninsula this weekend for a post-impeachment holiday. He actually has serious work to do in Merida, the whitewashed resort city where he meets Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo on Monday for their seventh - and probably most important - summit. The meeting, which may yield new agreements on fighting drug traffickers and coping with immigration, could alter relations between the United States and its troubled southern neighbor. Since the Cold War, relations with Mexico have not been a top priority for the White House. But U.S. officials are increasingly worried and sputtering economy may directly affect the United States. "There are few worries in this neighborhood, and that allows the United States to pay attention to other problems," said Richard Haass, foreign policy director at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "But imagine Mexico if it were an unstable, failed state." Despite its problems, Mexico is now the second-most important U.S. trade partner. That's why Clinton's trip - part of a recent agreement with Zedillo to meet twice a year - signals a shift in perspective for U.S. leaders. "Maybe the trip means Mexico will be getting the foreign policy respect it deserves," Haass said. Just before the summit, White House and Mexican administration officials were hammering out language on as many as three agreements that could surface from the Clinton-Zedillo meeting. Most important is a new joint effort to fight drug-related violence along the long U.S.-Mexico border. The plan is based on a generally successful border partnership between police in San Diego and Tijuana. Recent talks have also produced a deal aimed at preparing for decisive responses to natural disasters - to head off fresh waves of U.S.-bound migration. A third pact may focus more U.S. attention on its border patrol and growing allegations of mistreatment of migrants, according to Juan Rebolledo, Mexico's deputy foreign minister and its point man on U.S. relations. For all its promise, the latest Clinton-Zedillo summit comes at a time of strained relations between the neighbors. U.S. officials blame Mexico for the cheap crack cocaine and heroin flooding U.S. inner cities and the methamphetamines spreading in rural and heartland communities. And although Mexican workers are the backbone of the U.S. hotel, restaurant and farm sectors, they remain lightning rods for anti-immigrant forces concerned with what they see as taxpayer burdens caused by lowpaid migrants. Mexicans still fume that last year's so-called Casablanca money-laundering sting, which netted several Mexican bankers tied to drug traffickers, violated Mexico's sovereignty, because U.S. law enforcement operated inside their country without its knowledge or consent. Despite the rhetoric, officials in both countries recognize the need to remain friendly. U.S. manufacturers' expansion in this free-trade era has created about 1 million jobs in Mexico and accounts for half of its manufactured exports. Mexico's low labor costs help keep U.S. companies competitive. And as the Asian consumer market shrinks, Mexico is emerging as an important source of export profits for U.S. makers of high-technology and consumer goods. While there is fear in Washington of political instability in Mexico as its presidential selection process becomes more open and competitive, free trade between the two countries is endorsed by each of the major candidates who want to succeed Zedillo next year.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexican official balks at certification (According to UPI, Francisco Labastida Ochoa, Mexico's interior minister, criticized the unilateral American practice of certifying drug-war allies in a radio interview today in Mexico City, in advance of a trip to Mexico by U.S. President Clinton on Sunday and Monday.) Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 10:38:40 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Mexico: Wire: Mexican official balks at certification Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International MEXICAN OFFICIAL BALKS AT CERTIFICATION MEXICO CITY, - Mexico's interior minister says he did not explicitly discuss U.S. certification of Mexico as an ally in the war against drugs on a recent visit to the United States. In a radio interview in Mexico City today, Francisco Labastida Ochoa said the certification issue was ``in the air'' but was not specifically addressed when he met earlier this week with U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Attorney General Janet Reno and drug czar Barry McCaffrey. Most Mexican politicians reject the certification process, saying it infringes on national sovereignty. Labastida is considered a presidential front-runner. ``We do not think it is fair that one country starts certifying others. We have never accepted that, and we never will,'' Labastida said. Labastida's visit to Washington was in advance of a trip to Mexico by U.S. President Bill Clinton on Sunday and Monday. Clinton must decide by the end of this month which countries should be penalized for not cooperating with Washington's counter-narcotics efforts. Clinton certified Mexico last year despite objections in Congress. Countries not certified are denied most forms of bilateral assistance, and the United States is required to vote against financing through such international lending institutions as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Labastida said he did discuss Mexican anti-drug efforts with U.S. officials. They include the planned purchase of $500 million worth of high-technology equipment over the next three years. The minister said his visit was aimed at accelerating the process of obtaining this equipment, which requires export permits.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cocaine Production Exploding (According to UPI, General Barry McCaffrey, citing previously secret CIA crop estimates that now will be made public periodically, told a group of diplomats and academics at the University of Miami Thursday that coca production rose 26 percent in Colombia last year. He also said that between 1995 and 1998, coca cultivation declined by 56 percent in Peru and 22 percent in Bolivia.) Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 08:55:55 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: WIRE: Cocaine Production Exploding Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International COCAINE PRODUCTION EXPLODING MIAMI, Feb. 12 (UPI) - Although drug production in Latin America is dropping in some locations, the nation's drug czar says the supply of cocaine from Colombia is ``exploding.'' Barry McCaffrey, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, says coca production rose 26 percent in Colombia last year. He says, ``This is a massive, strategic shift of cocaine production out of Bolivia and Peru, and into Colombia.'' He says between 1995 and 1998, coca cultivation declined by 56 percent in Peru and 22 percent in Bolivia. But he says increases in Colombia have offset those declines. McCaffrey says he is using previously secret CIA crop estimates, which now will be made public periodically. McCaffrey spoke Thursday to a group of diplomats and academics at the University of Miami. He said he does not believe the Cuban government is involved in drug smuggling, but he speculated that in a post-Castro era, the island could become a key transit point.
------------------------------------------------------------------- U.S. Rethinks Anti-Drug Aid To Colombia (A Dallas Morning News article in the Orange County Register says a decision by Colombian President Andres Pastrana to halt anti-drug efforts and extend leftist rebel control over a giant demilitarized "peace zone" the size of Switzerland has prompted a potentially serious policy dispute with Washington, putting $289 million in U.S. drug war funding under scrutiny.) Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 06:54:56 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: US Rethinks Anti-Drug Aid To Colombia Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Pubdate: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Section: News,page 31 Author: Tod Robberson-The Dallas Morning News U.S. RETHINKS ANTI-DRUG AID TO COLOMBIA Narcotics: The money might be withheld if foreign officials are turning a blind eye to illegal activity in the'peace zone.' Panama City-A Colombian government decision to extend leftist rebel control over a giant demilitarized zone has prompted a potentially serious policy dispute with Washington, putting $289 million in U.S. counternarcotics aid under scrutiny. The State Department, which manages the U.S. counternarcotics effort, is questioning whether the "peace zone" the size of Switzerland - the central feature of Colombia's fragile, 3-month-old peace process - might be interfering with the "war on drugs." In interviews, U.S. and Colombian drug-enforcement officials said President Andres Pastrana's government has ordered all counternarcotics operations halted in the zone as long as a peace process is under way with leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the nation's largest guerrilla group. The FARC currently controls the 17,000-square-mile zone in south-central Colombia and dominates other jungle areas known to harbor drug laboratories and fields and clandestine airstrips. The deadline for the zone to return to government control expired Sunday. With no progress to report in the peace talks, Pastrana agreed to let the rebels remain in the zone unchallenged until at least May. Spokemen for both the Colombian National Police and the army confirmed this week that their forces are under orders to regard the zone as off-limits. All anti-narcotics missions, including assaults on drug-processing laboratories and aerial eradication of illicit drug crops, have been suspended since the zone's creation in November, they said. The Clinton administration "would have a serious problem if that were the case," said a U.S. official in Washington. "Our understanding from the Colombian government is that counternarcotics operations are not restricted in the zone." He added that extending rebel control of the zone could create an even bigger issue between the two governments. Republican members of Congress are warning that a new $289 million U.S. aid package to Colombia, consisting almost entirely of helicopters and other counternarcotics assistance, could face suspension if the White House verifies that Colombia's government is allowing drug traffickers to operate in the peace zone unchallenged. The U.S. threatened to block the package entirely last year when Pastrana announced plans to create the zone. "No one on Capitol Hill familiar with Colombia and the narco-guerrillas is the least bit surprised that the zone is going to be extended," said a senior staff member of the House International Relation Committee. In approving the $289 million aid package last fall, Congress required the Clinton administration to certify that the zone was not being used as a haven for drug traffickers. That procedure is in addition to a countrywide review, due in March, certifying Colombia as a full partner in the war on drugs. The Colombian National Police estimated last year that 76 tons of coca, the base ingredient for cocaine, are produced annually within the zone, constituting roughly 12 percent of all production in Colombia. A U.S Drug Enforcement Administration agent said officials of both countries have received intelligence reports of ongoing drug-trafficking activities in the zone since the rebels took over. "We know they're operating in the zone. We've identified several labs, but we can't touch them," the DEA agent said. "We were told very clearly by the Colombians: 'Hands off the zone.'" The chief of Colomia's anti-narcotics police, Col. Leonardo Gallego, declined several interview requests. The Colombian president, who took office in September, has declared peace to be his top policy priority and insists that the war on drugs not interfere with the talks. The Clinton administration says fighting drug traffickers and rebels who support them must take precedence, given Colombia's position as the source of most cocaine and heroin sold on U.S. streets. Pastrana inaugurated the peace talks Jan. 7, but his FARC counterpart, commander Manuel Marulanda, failed to attend the opening session. Later last month, the rebels unilaterally suspended the talks.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Peru Army No. 2 Arrested In Drug Case, Sources Say (Reuters says an anti-drugs court in Peru ordered the arrest of Gen. Tomas Marky, the army's second-in-command. Gen. Marky was detained early this month following accusations by an army lieutenant - himself in prison on drug-trafficking charges - that the general failed in 1995 to inform authorities that he had confiscated traffickers' suitcases believed to hold $1 million.) Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 09:01:52 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Peru: WIRE: Peru Army No. 2 Arrested In Drug Case, Sources Say Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited. Author: Saul Hudson PERU ARMY NO. 2 ARRESTED IN DRUG CASE, SOURCES SAY LIMA, Feb 12 (Reuters) - The Peruvian army's second-in-command is under arrest, the highest-ranking soldier ever held during a narcotics probe in this major drug-smuggling nation, a lawyer and military sources said on Friday. They said Gen. Tomas Marky was detained early this month followed accusations by an army lieutenant -- himself in prison on drug-trafficking charges -- that the general failed in 1995 to inform authorities he had confiscated traffickers' suitcases believed to hold $1 million. Marky has denied the allegations, first made three years ago by Lt. Omar Zegarra while he was under the general's command. The general's lawyer declined to comment on reports of the arrest and army spokesmen were unavailable despite repeated calls requesting information on the case. Prison and military sources said an anti-drugs court ordered the general's arrest. They said they had no information of charges against him and it was unclear why Marky had been detained now, three years after the initial accusations. "The Second Court Specialising in Illegal Drug Trafficking has started proceedings (for a case involving Marky)," Zegarra's lawyer, Heriberto Benitez, told Reuters. The court declined to comment on the matter. Peru, the world's largest supplier of coca leaf, the raw material for cocaine, has been praised by the United States as a model drug-fighting nation. Previous arrests involving the military -- including a 1996 case when drugs were found aboard a presidential plane -- have been of middle- ranking or junior officers. "Never in Peru's history has there been a case of such a high ranking military official involved in a drug-trafficking or criminal case," said retired Gen. Jaime Salinas, head of the Latin American Institute of Military- Civilian Studies in Lima. Authorities put Marky in a common criminal prison in Lima's port of Callao but were expected to move him to an army jail for officers under investigation, military and prison sources said. "He is calm and comfortable. He is being treated as befits his rank," a prison source said. In 1995, Marky was in charge of patrolling a dangerous Andean region rife with guerrillas and drug-traffickers. Zegarra claims Marky supervised an army drugs bust and captured a small plane piloted by Colombians, who handed over suitcases that one trafficker said contained $1 million, Benitez said. Zegarra first made his accusations against Marky as a witness in the 1995 trial of the Colombians. Local media have periodically reported them since then as Zegarra maintained his story during a court case against him prompted by allegations made by Marky. The case against Zegarra ended with the lieutenant being sentenced last December to eight years in jail for drug-trafficking, Benitez said. Since 1995 Marky has climbed swiftly through the army ranks, becoming head of the key region around the second city of Arequipa before his January appointment as the army's second-in-command.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 78 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's original compilation of news and calls to action regarding drug policy, including - As certification debate nears, Mexico declares "total war" on drugs; White House releases drug strategy amid criticism from reformers; New York state's top judge calls for rethinking of Rockefeller drug laws; County requests federal okay to conduct medical marijuana study; Impact of the closure of a needle exchange program; an editorial by Adam J. Smith, Young entrepreneurs and the culture of prohibition) Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 01:16:22 -0500 To: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #78 Sender: email@example.com The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #78 -- February 12, 1999 A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network -------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- (To sign off this list, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) (This issue can be also be read on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/078.html. Check out the DRCNN weekly radio segment at http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/.) PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of The Week Online is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: Drug Reform Coordination Network, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Articles of a purely educational nature in The Week Online appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted. TECHNICAL TRAVAILS: Due to some continuing server trouble, our alert of Wednesday night didn't make it through until tonight, except to about 400 of you. We apologize for the two posts in one night, and to the 400 of you who received two copies of the alert. We are close to having these problems resolved, and thank you for bearing with us in the meantime. ALERT! DRCNet's 501(c)(4) lobbying entity is running desperately short of funds. This won't threaten our educational programs, like the DRCNN radio show and most of the articles in the Week Online, which are funded mainly by grants and major gifts to our 501(c)(3) educational foundation. But it will prevent us from issuing important legislative alerts and from pursuing some of our key projects, including the Higher Education Act reform project (see http://www.u-net.org), unless members like yourselves come through. To donate, visit our online registration form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html to print out a form to mail in or submit your credit card info. Or just mail your check or money order to: DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036. Donations to the Drug Reform Coordination Network are not tax-deductible. You can also support DRCNet by participating in the iGive online fundraising program (formerly eyegive). Register to support DRCNet at http://www.igive.com/html/ssi.cfm?CID=1060 (we earn $2 immediately when you do), and visit the iGive home page at http://www.igive.com and point and click up to five times a day to earn much needed funds for the organization! Also, tax-deductible contributions supporting our educational work can be made to the DRCNet Foundation. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. As Certification Debate Nears, Mexico Declares "Total War" on Drugs http://www.drcnet.org/wol/078.html#totalwar 2. White House Releases Drug Strategy Amid Criticism from Reformers http://www.drcnet.org/wol/078.html#amidcriticism 3. New York State's Top Judge Calls For Rethinking of Rockefeller Drug Laws http://www.drcnet.org/wol/078.html#topjudge 4. County Requests Federal Okay To Conduct Medical Marijuana Study http://www.drcnet.org/wol/078.html#sanmateo 5. Impact of the Closure of a Needle Exchange Program http://www.drcnet.org/wol/078.html#programclosure 6. EDITORIAL: Young Entrepreneurs and the Culture of Prohibition http://www.drcnet.org/wol/078.html#editorial *** 1. As Certification Debate Nears, Mexico Declares "Total War" on Drugs As Congress and the President prepare once again to debate certification of the nations of the world regarding their perceived cooperation in America's Drug War, Mexico, the subject of fierce and bitter debate over the past several years has announced a $500 million two-year program to combat drug trafficking. At a briefing last week (2/4), high ranking Mexican officials announced that President Ernesto Zedillo is prepared to put "all the power of the law and the government" behind the effort. Mexico has come under fire in Congress in recent years due to entrenched corruption and the fact that large percentages of the drugs imported into America are transported through that nation. Certification is the process by which the U.S. Government approves or disapproves of a nation's anti-drug efforts. De-certification carries a host of economic consequences including potential trade sanctions and restrictions on U.S. aid. Last year, under pressure from congressional Republicans, President Clinton de-certified Mexico but waived sanctions in the interest of national security. Certification decisions will be made in March. (See The Week Online's coverage of last year's certification debate at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/036.html#mexico and http://www.drcnet.org/wol/032.html#certification -- check our archives at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/archives.html for the recent history on many drug policy topics.) Most of the money from this new initiative will be spent on new, high-tech hardware for the detection of drugs and drug shipments. A spokesperson for Representative John Mica (R-FL), chairman of the house subcommittee on criminal justice and an outspoken opponent of Mexican certification in the last Congress, told The Week Online that the Congressman was taking an open-minded approach to this latest development. "On the one hand, Representative Mica is pleased to hear the Mexican government say that it is committed to implement such an ambitious program and to make use of the technology that's available. On the other hand, however, there have been promises made in the past, when it turned out that the Mexican government was heavy on rhetoric but light on action. The congressman was briefed this morning on the matter and his attitude going into the certification debate is that he wants to wait and see what transpires." Sources on the Hill have told The Week Online that drug policy is an area in which Republicans hope to gain traction against the Clinton administration this year. With rumors circulating about the impending departure of Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, a towering and nearly unassailable figure due to his military record, drug war hawks are likely to feel free to take off the gloves in assailing the administration as insufficiently "tough" with regard to both domestic law enforcement and international interdiction efforts, despite the fact that Clinton has presided over the greatest increases in both interdiction spending and drug arrests in our history. *** 2. White House Releases Drug Strategy Amid Criticism from Reformers Scott Ehlers, Senior Policy Analyst, Drug Policy Foundation, email@example.com The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released its 1999 National Drug Control Strategy this week, calling for $17.8 billion to be spent in FY 2000. The request represents an increase of $735 million (+4.3%) over 1999's regular appropriations, and $1.1 billion (+6.5%) more than the projected FY 2000 budget included in last year's strategy. (See also "Clinton's New Drug Control Strategy Repeats Mistakes of Past," online at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/077.html#strategy in last week's Week Online.) The strategy is seeking to reduce illicit drug use and supply by 50 percent by 2007. Domestic marijuana cultivation should be reduced by 50 percent as well, and the Department of Agriculture will begin conducting annual crop estimates to track the government's progress in its efforts to eradicate the plant. The plan received its usual lashing from reformers and Republicans alike, but drug policy reformers dominated the press coverage of the strategy's release. The Associated Press quoted Ethan Nadelmann of the Lindesmith Center (http://www.lindesmith.org) as saying, "Unfortunately, it's just another example of throwing billions of dollars down the bottomless pits of interdiction and failed prevention programs." The Washington Post quoted the Drug Policy Foundation as characterizing the strategy as being "hypocritical and disappointing," and Eric Sterling of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation (http://www.cjpf.org) as saying, "This is a betrayal of what the White House says it's doing, promising a balanced strategy when it is lopsided." Sterling was referring to the fact that 66% of the strategy's budget will go to law enforcement, prisons, and other supply reduction efforts, while only 34% goes to drug prevention and treatment. Oddly enough, the only Republican response came from Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who criticized the White House for talking about prevention and treatment, but spending the vast majority of its budget on law enforcment. He told the Orange County Register, "My concern is that the president's budget priorities don't match the rhetoric from the White House." One area of "prevention" that the White House is supporting is "countering attempts to legalize drugs" and "countering attempts to legalize marijuana" (p. 52-54). Much of the anti-legalization section is devoted to attacking harm reduction by mischaracterizing it as a ruse for legalization. According to the strategy, "The real intent of many harm-reduction supporters is the legalization of drugs, which would be a mistake... At best, harm reduction is a half-hearted approach that would accept defeat. Increasing help is better than decreasing harm." Assuming that the current policy is considered to be "increasing help," one might ask how prison, the refusal of college financial aid and education, forced joblessness, and the refusal to fund proven HIV-prevention programs like syringe exchange "increase help?" The strategy failed to address that question. In regard to medical marijuana, the strategy claims that the "U.S. medical-scientific process has not closed the door on marijuana or any other substance that may offer therapeutic benefits," but that process cannot be subverted by state initiatives. The strategy also notes that "hemp cultivation would result in de facto legalization of marijuana cultivation because both hemp and marijuana come from the same plant..." But according to the strategy, a Department of Agriculture review of university studies shows that hemp is unlikely to be a sustainable, economically viable alternative crop, so, according to the government, there really isn't a need to legalize the crop. In order to combat "encroaching efforts to justify legalization," the 1999 Strategy outlines ways to "counter the potential harm such activities pose." The countermeasures include: "informing state and local government as well as community coalitions and civic organizations about the techniques associated with the drug legalization movement" and "working with the international community to reinforce mutual efforts against drug legalization." Will the Clinton administration begin educating community groups on how to counter Steve Forbes' efforts to create a federal flat tax? Will its next target be the National Rifle Association's attempts to allow citizens to carry concealed weapons? Or will changes in drug policy continue to be the only public policy reforms that the Clinton administration actively opposes with Americans' tax dollars? Stay tuned to find out. The 1999 National Drug Control Strategy is online at http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/policy/ndcs.html. The Drug Policy Foundation's press release on the 1999 Strategy is located at http://www.dpf.org/html/prstrategy.html. *** 3. New York State's Top Judge Calls For Rethinking of Rockefeller Drug Laws Judith Kaye, New York State's chief judge, proposed several changes this week to that state's draconian Rockefeller drug laws, which are among the toughest in the country. Enacted in 1973, the laws were among the first mandatory minimum sentences ever enacted, requiring, among other things, a fifteen year minimum for distribution of more than two ounces or possession of more than four ounces of cocaine or heroin. Kaye's proposal would allow appeals court judges to take into account the nature of the offense and of the offender in reassessing sentences handed down under the current scheme. The proposal would give the court of appeals the option of reducing a sentence to a five-year minimum. "We do not presume to take on the larger policy issues," said Kaye. "But we do seek to address aspects of the law that can work unjustly, and to supplement the law with some of the lessons we in the courts have learned over the past decade on effective responses to drug based crime." Robert Gangi, Executive Director of the Correctional Association of New York, told The Week Online that while it was important for Judge Kaye to take a stand on the Rockefeller drug laws, her proposals left something to be desired. "We who have been studying and chronicling the destructive impact of these laws are certainly pleased that Judge Kaye, a public official of great standing and a politically unassailable voice in the state, has called attention to the problems that the Rockefeller laws have caused. Unfortunately, her proposals were fairly weak in that they do not seek to rectify the primary problem with the laws, the fact that the sentencing judge has no discretion in these cases. It is well-known that in New York State, the political force behind the status quo are the upstate Republicans. From here, it looks as if Judge Kaye took politics into account in tempering her criticism. "Judge Kaye, who ought to be speaking in the interests of her constituency -- the judges of New York State -- doesn't address the fact that the sentencing judge is not permitted to decide the threshold question: whether or not to incarcerate a particular defendant. Her proposal for the most serious felonies, in which 4 ounces are possessed of 2 ounces are distributed, is to leave it to the appellate court to decide if an injustice was done, and then to limit the court of appeals in their remedy. As for lower level felonies, she proposes that the sentencing judge have the right to divert an offender to treatment, but only with the blessing of the prosecutor. The problem here is that the prosecutor is still making the determination on sentencing, and this proposal codifies that system, which is an improper role for the D.A., and one that has led to numerous injustices in this state. Given the level of dissatisfaction with these laws among New York's judges, I'm quite surprised that Judge Kaye did not take a more forceful stand on these issues." (See our coverage of the Correctional Association of New York and Justice Policy Institute's recent report -- online at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/069.html#newyork -- on the correlation between prison spending increases and educational spending decreases in that state.) *** 4. County Requests Federal Okay To Conduct Medical Marijuana Study (article appears courtesy of the NORML Foundation, http://www.norml.org) February 11, 1999, Redwood City, CA: San Mateo county officials will apply for federal permission to begin medical marijuana trials on human patients. Officials seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA is the only legal supplier of marijuana for research purposes. Last year, the Redwood City Board of Supervisors appropriated $50,000 to conduct medical marijuana research. The proposed three-year study hopes to include between 500 and 1,000 patients. County officials anticipate a federal response to their request by April 1, 1999. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, NIDA provided medical marijuana to state-sponsored research programs in seven states: California, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, and Vermont. Through these programs, thousands of cancer patients found relief from legal marijuana cigarettes. NIDA discontinued supplying medical marijuana to these programs in the late 1980s, and most recently refused requests from the Massachusetts and Washington Boards of Health to allow those states to permit medical marijuana research. For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751. *** 5. Impact of the Closure of a Needle Exchange Program Social scientists with the University of Connecticut, Storrs, have released the results of an empirical study on the closure of an established needle exchange, and its impact on the risk behaviors of the exchange's injection drug-using clients and the community-at-large. The study was conducted by sociologists Robert S. Broadhead, Ph.D., Yael Van Hulst, M.A. and Douglas D. Heckathorn Ph.D., funded by a multi-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The study was released during a formal presentation by the study's authors at a colloquium series sponsored by the Yale AIDS Program on January 28, 1999. The study also appears in the February 1999 issue of Social Problems, a prestigious social science journal of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Background In April 1998, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala, declared that, "A meticulous scientific review has now proven that needle- exchange programs can reduce the transmission of HIV and save lives without losing ground in the battle against illegal drugs." The Secretary was responding to a 34-member Presidential Advisory Council's review of scores of empirical studies on the effectiveness of needle exchange programs on reducing the risk behaviors of injection drug- using clients. The study released by Broadhead et al. looks at the effectiveness of such programs from a different angle: It is the first empirical study of the impact of an established needle exchange's closure on injection drug users' risk behaviors, and on the community. The study was conducted in Windham, a small city in northeastern Connecticut where a state-sponsored needle exchange operated for several years serving several hundred injection drug users. The exchange was closed in March, 1997 following ten months of tumultuous public debate and controversy. The program's opponents succeeded in placing blame on the needle exchange program for virtually all of Windham's drug-related problems, and even the economic decline of the city itself. While not a perfect program, the exchange became a convenient and ready scapegoat by its opponents. Thus, like a storm, as the controversy began, gained in strength, peaked, and then blew itself and the needle exchange away, virtually all of the problems blamed on the exchange still remain in Windham, including a very large and active illicit drug scene. Design of the Study For three years prior to the closure of the Windham needle- exchange, the Eastern Connecticut Health Outreach (ECHO) project, directed by the researchers, conducted 330 initial and 173 follow-up interviews on HIV risk-related behavior of Windham drug injectors. Following the closure of the exchange in March 1997, the ECHO project began re-recruiting former respondents who remained in the area and continued as active injectors. This resulted in 111 "post-closure initial" interviews and 78 three-month "post-closure follow- up" interviews focusing on any changes in their risk behavior status. The ECHO project also continued the practice, begun many months before the closure of the needle exchange, of systematically surveying several public outdoor areas in Windham where high levels of drug use occur. During these surveys, the project recorded the number of discarded syringes found, as well as dope bags, syringe wrappers and caps, and other injection-related debris. Both as a public service, and to avoid recounting such items during subsequent surveys, the ECHO project collected these materials. Results The results indicate that the closure of the needle exchange profoundly and negatively impacted drug injectors' access to clean syringes, which proportionately increased their risk of using syringes infected with HIV. Before the closure of the exchange, only 14% of Windham drug injectors reported that their primary source of "new" syringes was from family or friends, diabetics or street sources. These are unsafe sources because drug users cannot be sure that such syringes are unused and sterile. At the post-closure initial interview, respondents' rate of obtaining syringes from unsafe sources increased to 36% -- a 165 percent increase, and to 51% at the post-closure follow-up interview -- mostly from street sources -- which nearly quadrupled the pre- closure baseline rate. This change in the number of respondents who obtained syringes from street dealers -- the least safe source -- was more alarming. Whereas before the closure of the exchange, only 4% of respondents obtained their syringes from the street, after the closure the rate increased to 38%. Further, before the closure of the exchange, the respondents reported that they reused syringes 3.52 times on average. This increased to 7.68 times at the post-closure initial interview -- a 118% increase. This findings is especially dramatic because a relationship has been scientifically documented between the amount of time syringes remain in circulation and rates of HIV infection among drug injectors. As reported by Charles Kaplan and Robert Heimer in their highly respected "needle circulation" study of the New Haven needle exchange, a needle exchange reduces the circulation time of syringes, which reduces the probability that they will become infected. After the closure of the Windham needle exchange, there was a sharp increase in the amount of time that dirty syringes remain in circulation, creating a proportional increase in the probability that Windham drug injectors are likely to re-use and share infected syringes. The closure of the needle exchange also significantly increased drug injectors' self-reported syringe sharing. At their last interview before the closure of the exchange, only 16% of Windham drug injectors' reported sharing a syringe within the last 30 days. After the exchange's closure, 34% of the respondents reported in their first interview that they had shared a syringe within the last 30 days, a 100 percent increase. The respondents also reported increases in the sharing of other HIV-related injection materials following the closure of the exchange, such as the sharing of cookers and water used in the preparation of drugs. Lastly, the surveys of public outdoor areas in Windham where high levels of drug use occur found that the closure of the needle exchange had no effect either on the number of improperly discarded syringes and other drug-injection debris, or on the robustness of the Windham illicit drug scene. Conclusion All of the problems blamed on the needle exchange remain in Windham following its closure. In fact, Windham now faces even more problems. First, because of the controversy surrounding the exchange, almost all of Windham's pharmacies no longer sell syringes over-the-counter for fear of being blamed for the city's "needle problem." This forces drug injectors further into re-using and sharing dirty syringes. Second, virtually all of the progress the city made over the last several years in reducing drug injectors' HIV risk behaviors has been lost. Finally, with the closure of the exchange and the campaign against it -- much of it based on assertions now disproved about the exchange causing the city's drug problem and economic decline -- Windham has seriously crippled its ability to protect the community against HIV and other drug-related diseases. *** 6. EDITORIAL: Young Entrepreneurs and the Culture of Prohibition Adam J. Smith, Associate Director, firstname.lastname@example.org This week in Middletown, NY, an 11 year-old boy was charged with selling marijuana (mixed with oregano) and soap shavings (which he passed off as crack cocaine) to his fifth-grade classmates. The boy was charged with criminal sale of marijuana and the sale of an imitation controlled substance and released to the care of his mother pending a court appearance next week. So here we are. Several decades and hundreds of billions of tax dollars spent on the drug war, this moral crusade to "protect America's children" from illicit substances, and we are down to this. 11 year-old children selling drugs to each other, mimicking the actions of the most financially successful young people in their communities and taking part in the one of the most profitable business enterprises on earth. Did "drugs" make this child into a dealer? And a crooked one at that? Or is it the culture of prohibition that has saturated our society and our children's reality? The fact is that during alcohol prohibition, gangsters like Al Capone, his criminal empire built on the sale of illicit booze, were cultural icons. Bootleggers and rum-runners were glamorous men, living life on the edge, and were, for certain economic strata of children, the most outwardly successful role models around. In those days, entire high schools were shut down due to mass drunkenness, and hip flasks were worn by trendy teens. Today, with alcohol legal and regulated, there are no stories of pre-pubescents selling whiskey to their classmates. Today it is drugs. It is an easy mistake to make, really. Drugs are bad for kids, and so we outlaw them. But that doesn't work, and so we pass even tougher laws. The reality, however, is far more complex. Part of that reality is the fact that prohibition does not, cannot control contraband. In fact, what we have done is ceded control to a criminal element, and to our children. Another part of the reality of prohibition is that the markets we have created, and the wares that those markets offer are a magnet for a certain percentage of kids. Not bad kids necessarily, but adventurers. The ones who, in different times, dove off cliffs into the river or who jumped their bikes over rows of garbage cans. In clinging to a policy which assures our children access to these substances, no proof of age required, we have created, in the words of the law, an attractive nuisance. And our children are drawn to that nuisance like flies. In Middletown, NY, an eleven year-old kid sells mostly phony "drugs" to his eleven year-old classmates. He did not, we can be sure, invent the idea himself. He was simply doing something that goes on in every single town and city across our nation, day and night, every single day of the year. Now we must decide what to do with him. Is he the most evil child in his school? Or is he simply the most enterprising? And what will we do with all the others like him, thousands and thousands of them, and most just a few years older than he? This is the fallout from the culture of prohibition. It is a culture that we adults have created. So that now, in the midst of our boondoggle crusade to protect the children, we find that we cannot build the prisons for them fast enough. *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html. Donations to the Drug Reform Coordination Network are not tax-deductible. Deductible contributions supporting our educational work can be made by check to the DRCNet Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax- exempt organization, same address. *** DRCNet *** GATEWAY TO REFORM PAGE http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/ DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html -------------------------------------------------------------------
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