------------------------------------------------------------------- Legislators Aim To Tighten Medical Marijuana Law (The Statesman Journal, in Salem, Oregon, says that three months after voters approved medical marijuana at the ballot box, Rep. Kevin Mannix and the Oregon Police Chiefs Association unveiled draft legislation today that would strip some of the measure's provisions. Aspects of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act to be dismantled would include the so-called "affirmative defense" for those who exceeded the three-plant limit; and the mandate that police preserve marijuana seized from someone who claims a medical marijuana defense. "Starting from the assumption that we don't approve of the law, we would generally welcome constructive clarification of the law," said Bob Applegate, a spokesman for Governor Kitzhaber. Follow this link to the Oregon legislature's web site for the email addresses of your state senator and representative - and please send a brief protest note.) Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 00:05:52 -0800 From: Paul Freedom (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots To: Constitutional Cannabis Patriots (email@example.com) Subject: [cp] LEGISLATORS AIM TO TIGHTEN MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAW Contact: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/about/news/deadlines.html#letters Website: http://www.statesmanjournal.com LEGISLATORS AIM TO TIGHTEN MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAW The Statesman Journal Salem, Oregon 2-17-99 by David Kravets Statesman Journal * A Proposal Targets The "Affirmative Defense" For People Who Exceed The Possession Limits Three months after voters approved medical marijuana at the ballot box, lawmakers and police unveiled draft legislation today that would strip some of the measure's provisions. The plan takes aim at the so-called "affirmative defense" for those who exceed legal limits on how much marijuana they can possess. As written, the law gives anybody a defense though not necessarily a winning one, if they are caught with marijuana. "This law allows law enforcement to take appropriate action for people violating the law," said Rep. Kevin Mannix, R-Salem, who is promoting the plan with the Oregon Police Chiefs Association. "I don't think there is anything in this that takes away from the essence of the measure." The measure's sponsors disagree, saying they fear this is the opening salvo and that the Legislature will attempt to dismantle medical marijuana one piece at a time. "This completely unnecessary," said Geoff Sugarman, a key strategist behind the measure's passage. "This is an effort to open the door to wholesale changes to a law the voters passed just a couple months ago." The proposal would also do away with the mandate that police preserve marijuana seized from someone who claims a medical marijuana defense. Measure 67 requires authorities to hold on to it in case a judge rules the person should get it back. But law enforcement officials don't think they should be in the business of keeping marijuana plants alive indefinitely. Oregon's electorate overwhelmingly approved the use of marijuana with a doctor's consent on Nov. 3. Voters in Washington, Arizona, Nevada and Alaska also approved similar measures that day. In Oregon, the law is intended for those with cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and other ailments that cause severe pain, nausea or seizures. They can grow up to three mature plants and four immature plants at one time, and hold at least one smokeable ounce for each mature plant. Qualified patients not growing marijuana on their own can possess no more than one ounce. Under the draft legislation, those complying with the law's limitations could still invoke the measure as an affirmative defense if arrested, but persons exceeding the guidelines could not. Mannix and the police chiefs are targeting marijuana growers or dealers who may try to shield themselves with the law. But medical marijuana supporters argue that those accused of exceeding the limits may have good reason for the affirmative defense: They may simply need more marijuana to combat an ailment. Gov. John Kitzhaber aide Bob Applegate said that facet of the voter-approved measure is worth a second look. "Starting from the assumption that we don't approve of the law, we would generally welcome constructive clarification of the law," governor spokesman Bob Applegate said. As part of measure 67, those under a doctor's care using marijuana must have identification cards issued by the Oregon Health Department. These still have not been issued. "We'll have everything up and running May 1, " said Grant Higginson, Oregon's health officer. "We're still in the process of developing the rules." *** http://www.teleport.com/~nepal/canpat.htm *** 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
------------------------------------------------------------------- Three men stage home-invasion robbery in Vernonia (A cautionary tale in the Oregonian says three men between the ages of 16 and 19 burst into a home in a quiet neighborhood thirty miles northwest of Portland on Monday and held two women at gunpoint, apparently believing they would find a marijuana grow operation. The newspaper doesn't say whether the victims intended to complain to their state legislators for maintaining a public nuisance by perpetuating marijuana prohibition.) 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/ Three men stage home-invasion robbery in Vernonia * The suspects, considered armed and dangerous, apparently look for drugs while holding two women at gunpoint Wednesday February 17, 1999 By Debra Gwartney Correspondent, The Oregonian VERNONIA -- Police are searching for three men who burst into a home in a quiet neighborhood off U.S. 26 on Monday and held two women at gunpoint, apparently believing they would find drugs in the house. The men are armed and are considered dangerous, Vernonia Police Chief Jim Walters said. "We're looking for any leads we can get right now," he said. At midday Monday, witnesses saw the three men emerge from a late-1970s brown and tan Ford pickup truck, then walk down a hill and into the back yard of the house on Sixth Street, Walters said. The three wore black clothing and hooded jackets, and all wore hats, he said. Witnesses described two of the suspects as males between the ages of 16 and 19. The third suspect was described as being between the ages of 16 and 19. Ben Green, 25, said his 25-year-old wife and her cousin, who have asked not to be identified, were in the kitchen of their home when the unlocked sliding glass door flew open and a masked man carrying a semi-automatic pistol jumped into the room. "He started screaming at them," said Green, who was at work in Portland at the time. "He threatened over and over to kill them." In the minutes that followed, Green said, the two other men, also masked, came in the same door. The women were bound with tape and made to lie on the floor while the three ransacked the house. Green said his wife, who recently underwent surgery, was "roughed up" by one man and experienced considerable pain. Green said his wife described the men as agitated because they expected to find a marijuana-growing operation in the basement or one of the bedrooms of the house and found no drugs on the premises. "After they realized they had the wrong house, they thought they'd just take a few consolation prizes," Green said. Among the missing items are his two hunting rifles, Green said. "When they came, one of them was armed," he said. "But all three left armed." The couple have lived in the house for four years and know of no recent drug activity, Green said. He added that there are five middle-class, well-kept homes in the neighborhood, whose residents include a retired police officer and an elderly couple. "Before this, we didn't even lock our doors," Green said. "This is the stuff you read about. It's not the stuff you think is going to happen to you." In late December, an elderly Springfield couple experienced a similar incident when two men burst into their home, just after the couple had finished breakfast, and demanded drugs. Lillian Irene Johansen, 73, and her husband, Arlo V. Johansen, 84, were held at gunpoint while two males, described as being between the ages of 16 and 18, ransacked the house. When the suspects realized they had the wrong address, and that illegal substances were not to be found there, they took cash and several other items and fled the neighborhood on foot. Springfield police, who are continuing the investigation into that break-in, said the suspects had not been caught. Do you have news of inland Douglas or inland Lane counties? You can reach Debra Gwartney at 541-342-7797 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- NewsBuzz: Coveting Their Assets (Willamette Week, in Portland, says state Rep. Jo Ann Bowman of North Portland has drafted a bill that would siphon half of all forfeited "drug" assets away from local police departments and use it to fund programs to help parolees be successful when they finish their mandatory minimum sentences, such as alcohol and drug treatment programs, job-readiness training, child care, and housing. Although Bowman is on the House Judiciary Committee, she's concerned that the police lobby is so powerful her bill will never get a hearing.) Willamette Week 822 SW 10th Ave. Portland, OR 97205 Tel. (503) 243-2122 Fax (503) 243-1115 Letters to the Editor: Mark Zusman - firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.wweek.com/ Note: Willamette Week welcomes letters to the editor via mail, e-mail or fax. Letters must be signed by the author and include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Preference will be given to letters of 250 words or less. Pubdate: February 17, 1999 Coveting Their Assets It's not the cops but former criminals who need money, according to state Rep. Jo Ann Bowman. To that end, the North Portland lawmaker has drafted a bill that will tap into the asset-forfeiture funds of local police departments. Since 1989, cops in Oregon have been seizing cash and property--such as houses, cars, cells phones, TVs and furniture--from people suspected of drug or vice crimes. (The idea is that people involved in dealing shouldn't be allowed to keep the profits from illegal activities.) The property is auctioned off, with assets going to local police budgets. These assets add up. In Portland, for example, the vice squad seized $489,000 in cash, 43 houses and 39 cars in 1996 alone. The forfeiture law is somewhat controversial because the police don't even have to charge the suspects before taking their property. Bowman says she supports the basic law. But her bill would require police to make a better case that illegal activity is occurring before they seize someone's property. Bowman's main focus is on the cash that's generated. Worried about the stream of newly released inmates coming out of the Oregon prison system without community support, Bowman has included in the bill a proposal to take 50 percent of the money and funnel it to local governments. "We have these mandatory minimums," she says, "but we don't have things to help [parolees] be successful when they come back. We need alcohol and drug programs, job-readiness training, child care, housing." Although Bowman is on the House Judiciary Committee, she's concerned that the police lobby is so powerful her bill will never get a hearing. --Patty Wentz
------------------------------------------------------------------- Readin', Writin' and Ritalin (Willamette Week, in Portland, says the state of Oregon released a survey three weeks ago showing that kids' use of marijuana, cocaine and speed had leveled off over the past two years. What the survey didn't show is the extraordinary increase in kids' use of Ritalin, a Schedule II controlled substance. While kids have been learning to say "no" to drugs, their parents have been learning to say "yes" to Ritalin. Drug Enforcement Agency figures show Ritalin use has soared more than 700 percent in the '90s. Experts in Portland estimate that nearly 5 percent of all school-age children take it - more than 4,000 kids in Multnomah County alone.)Willamette Week 822 SW 10th Ave. Portland, OR 97205 Tel. (503) 243-2122 Fax (503) 243-1115 Letters to the Editor: Mark Zusman - email@example.com Web: http://www.wweek.com/ Note: Willamette Week welcomes letters to the editor via mail, e-mail or fax. Letters must be signed by the author and include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Preference will be given to letters of 250 words or less. Pubdate: February 17, 1999 Readin', Writin' and Ritalin * Thousands of kids are taking drugs in Portland schools every day--with the blessing of parents, educators and doctors. By Nigel Jaquiss firstname.lastname@example.org Three weeks ago, the state released a survey showing that kids' use of marijuana, cocaine and speed has leveled off over the past two years. What the survey didn't show is the extraordinary increase in the school-age use of another drug--a stimulant so powerful that, like morphine, it is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. While kids have been learning to say "no" to drugs, their parents have been learning to say "yes" to Ritalin. Drug Enforcement Agency figures show that Ritalin use in this country has soared more than 700 percent in the '90s. Although city-by-city breakdowns aren't available, experts in Portland estimate that nearly 5 percent of all school-age children take Ritalin or similar drugs--that's more than 4,000 kids in Multnomah County alone. The rise in Ritalin use, as many know, is a response to the increasing number of kids--mostly boys--who are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. According to a physician who has seen perhaps more cases of ADHD than any doctor in the city, the boom is far from over. "I think it [ADHD] is under-treated and under-diagnosed," says Dr. David Bell of the HealthFirst Medical Group. Because Ritalin is so effective at treating the symptoms of ADHD, it has come to be viewed as one of the pharmaceutical industry's success stories of the '90s, a drug that, like Prozac and Viagra, has helped millions of people deal with chronic disorders. But in Portland a growing number of psychologists, doctors and educators believe that something more complicated is afoot, that the rapid growth in the diagnosis of ADHD and in the use of Ritalin is masking a far greater problem--a culture that is becoming less tolerant of kids who act like kids. "ADHD is much more a symptom of things that are going wrong with our society," says Dr. Mark Ruggiero, a specialist in developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Oregon Health Sciences University. "We're a medically oriented society that likes simple, quick responses to complex problems." Although ADHD afflicts people of all ages, almost 80 percent of the nearly 5 million Americans who take medication for the disorder are under 18, according to researchers. Of those children, nearly 80 percent are boys. The situation in Portland mirrors national trends. Every year more and more boys are lining up in school offices for their doses of Ritalin. (Although timed-release medication is available, most kids take Ritalin at regular intervals; they aren't allowed to medicate themselves, so nurses and school secretaries dispense the drugs.) In fact, at one westside Portland middle school, the number of kids showing up for their medication every lunch hour so overwhelmed the secretary that she recently demanded a transfer to a high school, where Ritalin is less prevalent. "It was ridiculous," says the secretary, who wishes to remain anonymous. "I spent all my time passing out pills." Ironically, although Ritalin use has soared, there is still no definitive test for ADHD. It's unclear whether its causes are genetic or environmental, and the symptoms look different in each case. "You have to approach each child individually," says Dr. Robert McKelvey, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at OHSU. To make diagnoses, doctors rely on information from families and teachers, as well as their own observations and standardized lists of behavioral patterns. The grab bag of symptoms that now describe the disorder has sometimes led to criticism that ADHD is a catchall for difficult behavior. The mountain of research available does suggest that careful prescription of Ritalin improves concentration and allows children to attack challenges more effectively, particularly when used in concert with various behavioral modification strategies. Nobody has to convince Diana Brown of the benefits of Ritalin. From the time her son was born 12 years ago, it was clear to Brown that he had special needs. "He was extremely difficult," she says. He talked ceaselessly, was highly energetic and distractible and didn't sleep through the night until after his second birthday. As is the case for many children, Brown's son's problems really became an issue when he was exposed to the stimulation of a schoolroom full of students. He was a bright child. In first grade, he barely missed the cutoff for entry into the Talented and Gifted program. But it was his increasingly inattentive and disruptive behavior that got him noticed. One day when her son was in second grade, Brown was summoned to school. She knew something was seriously wrong when she was confronted by a small army of Gresham-Barlow District special-education experts. The assembled group of 12 told Brown that her son needed to see a doctor: He was probably suffering from ADHD, they said. "I was overwhelmed," Brown recalls. "I was just stunned." The family pediatrician made a diagnosis and suggested medication. "Boy, I was not thrilled with that," Brown says. Instead, she and her husband first tried changing their son's eating habits. (Some researchers believe that processed foods exacerbate ADHD symptoms.) "We tried the Feingold Diet," Brown says, referring to a diet of natural foods with no artificial additives. Already a picky eater, the boy could find nothing in the diet he liked, which made life even more difficult. "It was insane," Brown recalls. Next, they tried a series of naturopathic remedies, all the while attempting various behavioral modifications. Nothing worked. Brown's attempts to parent her son seemed increasingly futile. "I felt completely ineffective," she says. "No matter what I did, I couldn't communicate with him." A recent study completed by OHSU researcher Judy Kendall notes that living with a child who suffers from ADHD can be "chaotic, conflictual, and exhausting." One mother Kendall interviewed describes caring for a child with ADHD this way: "It's like death. Nothing is like I expected, nothing is ever the same," she says. "Future dreams and day-to-day life is always disrupted." Desperate for a solution, the Browns finally resorted to medication. Life got a little better. Ritalin enabled the Browns' son to concentrate, and finally he began to learn. Still, reconciling Brown's hopes with her son's reality has been painful. "For me, it's been a major challenge because I have very high expectations," says the 49-year-old mother of two. "This was going to be the child who discovered the cure for cancer or brought world peace. He may still, but he may not." ADHD has taken a toll on Brown's marriage, family and health--and nearly every other facet of her daily life. Brown compares the adjustment to having prepared for years to go on a trip only to wind up in the wrong place. "When you find out your child has a disability, it's like you think you're going to Holland to see the beautiful tulips," she says. "Instead, you wind up in Italy. It's beautiful there, too, but you can't speak the language, and you don't understand anything anybody says to you." Stories like Brown's explain the surge in Ritalin use as parents have reached for pharmaceutical solutions to their children's problems. At the same time, though, Ritalin's explosive growth in the '90s is a fundamentally different phenomenon than those of other "wonder" drugs. Viagra, for instance, represents a novel treatment of an age-old disorder. Similarly, after its introduction in the late '80s, Prozac filled a gaping need for sufferers of depression. But Ritalin has been used for children's behavioral problems for nearly 50 years. So why the sudden jump in prescription rates? Part of the answer, doctors say, is that only in the last decade has there been conclusive evidence of the drug's effectiveness. Diagnostic techniques and the precision of dosage have also improved. Some experts, however, think that a big part of the Ritalin revolution has to do less with medicine than with society--particularly American society. In this country, according to a 1995 United Nations study, we produce and consume 90 percent of all the Ritalin used in the world. Jeff Sosne is widely recognized by educators and doctors as one of Portland's leading authorities on ADHD. Perhaps no other facility in the metro area sees more ADHD sufferers than the Children's Program, a clinic Sosne and his partners run in Multnomah Village. While Sosne agrees with the conventional wisdom that a combination of medication and behavioral training can help nearly anybody with ADHD, his explanation for the disorder's prevalence is radical--and unsettling. Speaking to a roomful of anxious parents in an airless meeting room at his clinic recently, the 46-year-old child psychologist offered his theory of what's changed since he began seeing patients 20 years ago. Expectations are higher, life is more intense and kids get in trouble for behavior people formerly ignored, he said. The criteria by which children are judged have gotten tougher. "There aren't more people with ADHD," he told the parents. "It's that the bar has been raised." With his blue jeans, disheveled hair and scruffy salt-and-pepper beard, Sosne comes across as pretty laid-back. But when he talks about what's gone wrong for the thousands of children who've been referred to the Children's Program, the soothing cadence of his voice can't hide his profound and harsh criticism of the "sound-bite nation," as he calls modern America. "Expectations have been raised without an increase in resources," he says, referring to the notion that each student will perform brilliantly, go to college and earn lots of money. "As a result, kids on the margin have been affected the most." In Oregon, nowhere has the pressure on kids increased more than in schools. Bigger class sizes, an emphasis on standardized tests and even proposals to link teacher pay to student performance weigh on kids. "The day is gone when marginal kids could just skate along and go get a job in a factory," says Dr. David Bell, who estimates he's treated 1,500 kids with ADHD in his 25 years of practice. School personnel say parents share the blame for the explosion in ADHD. "A lot more kids are coming to schools unprepared," says Ty Okamura, a counselor at Hosford Middle School. Okamura cites several possible causes, ranging from prenatal exposure to toxic substances to broken homes to poor parenting skills. Others point to television, video games and a culture of instant gratification. Kids today are often scheduled from the minute they wake until the time they go to sleep. "[ADHD] has always been there," says Chris Jones, a counselor at Chapman Elementary in Northwest Portland, "but years ago people weren't as busy." William Brant, a psychologist at Gray and Jackson middle schools, thinks the pressure-cooker atmosphere in schools may exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD. Student-teacher ratios continue to worsen, standardized tests are more frequent and everybody is expected to excel. "The school board, superintendent and legislators are acting as though nobody below the 50th percentile exists," Brant says. "If the system ran differently, some kids could cope without medication." But these days, there's little tolerance for kids who learn differently. "If my son has enough time, he can do anything any other kid can do," Diana Brown says, "but that's not acceptable in our society." "More and more," Sosne says, "the question parents ask is not 'How do we understand what a kid needs?' but instead, 'Is he ADHD?'" In fact, parents often want this diagnosis because federal laws include ADHD in the list of disabilities that qualify students for such considerations as extra time on tests and individualized attention. "There's more and more pressure to label kids so they can get support and resources," Sosne says. For Brown, her son's ADHD diagnosis, while traumatic, brought a kind of relief. "Without the label, he wouldn't have any accommodations," Brown says, "and he needs those." Resources range from the high-tech, such as electronic spelling devices, to the homemade. For instance, Brown's son focused better if he couldn't see other kids, so when he was in fourth grade, his mother built cardboard study carrels for him and all the other kids. Extra resources won't help students with ADHD overcome the obstacle posed by Oregon's Educational Act for the 21st Century. Starting this spring each 10th grader must pass a series of tests to earn what's know as a Certificate of Initial Mastery, which is ultimately envisioned to be the true benchmark of an Oregon student's abilities. But if the CIM is modified in any way for kids with learning difficulties, the results don't count. According to state guidelines circulated by Portland Public Schools, "In grade 10 students who take a modified assessment cannot earn a CIM." Parents of children with ADHD are furious at this inflexibility, which they consider blatant discrimination. Not surprisingly, as the educational system has become more Darwinian, many veteran school personnel have begun to embrace Ritalin. "I've changed from being a person who thought drugs were very negative to seeing how they can be the right thing for people," says Kathy Jaffe, principal at Chief Joseph Elementary in North Portland. Chapman principal Bob McAllister shares Jaffe's outlook. "For the most part I'm not favorably disposed toward medication," he says, "but I've seen too many success stories." Some school officials see a dark side to the current emphasis on the drive for higher results. "I think the impact of the business sector on education has become phenomenal," says Brant, a school psychologist with 20 years of experience in the district. "We're spending far too much time getting students to a skill level so they can be of use to companies instead of making them into good citizens, which I thought was the point of education." In Portland, district superintendent Ben Canada is the man who must balance children's varied needs with Salem's demands for measurable results. Just how highly charged the issue of raising standards can be was evidenced at a town-hall meeting last month. Facing a barrage of criticism from parents over plans to increase the requirements for high-school graduation, Canada literally tore a copy of his plan to pieces. In the mania to implement higher standards, Canada concedes that some kids will inevitably suffer. "That's a great concern to all of us," he says. "We're not sure how to handle that." There's another culprit in the rush to label kids and prescribe Ritalin--the managed-care industry. Although drugs have proven effective for a majority of kids with ADHD, research suggests the most beneficial treatment is a combination of medication and behavioral training. But psychologists and psychiatrists are expensive; one 45-minute visit can easily cost more than the $50 that will buy an entire month's prescription of Ritalin for most kids. "Managed care has had a profound impact on medical practice," says OHSU's McKelvey. "The idea is to try to get everything done quickly, use more drugs and use them faster." The president of the Oregon State Pharmacists Association, Mike Douglas, assesses the relationship bluntly: "Doctors write too many prescriptions because HMOs don't want to pay for any other type of treatment." Managed-care officials dispute such criticism. Medication is the most effective therapy for ADHD, says Dr. Joseph Intile, medical director of the Oregon Health Plan; if doctors aren't spending more time on therapy, it's because they think drugs alone are more effective. For the kids themselves, taking medication for ADHD can be fraught with emotional baggage. School officials claim there's little stigma attached to lining up for Ritalin every day, but what doctors see doesn't always correspond to that rosy assessment. Sosne says that for various reasons a large percentage of kids decide to stop taking their medication at some point, although most of them start back up again. Brant believes it's sometimes difficult for the kids to decide whether they like the way Ritalin affects them. "Behaviorally, there's a change," he says. "Kids aren't as wild and crazy or maybe as fun. That may cause some to stop taking the drugs." Just when--if ever--kids can or should stop taking Ritalin nobody knows. The NIH says there's no evidence that careful use of Ritalin and other ADHD drugs is harmful or addictive. But that doesn't mean people aren't dependent on them. Many doctors now believe that for most kids ADHD never goes away. "People increasingly regard ADHD as chronic and think it will last throughout patients' lives," says McKelvey. Many commentators suggest, as did a writer in The New Yorker last week, that the best solution to the ADHD epidemic is simply to just say "yes" to Ritalin. Drugs work, the argument goes, and trying to slow down our better-faster-cheaper culture is futile. That sentiment is implicit in HMOs' strategies and a Legislature hell-bent on standardizing education. But slowing down and embracing kids with different styles of learning doesn't mean a lowering of standards--it means an elevation of consciousness. Labels are everything in our society, convenient boxes that lead to quick fixes but not always the best solutions. OHSU's Ruggiero worries that the current rush to slap the ADHD tag on kids obscures greater disorders that ail us all. "The diagnosis," Ruggiero says, "misses the bigger picture." *** [sidebars:] Although frequently used to treat hyperactivity, Ritalin is a stimulant, essentially a form of speed, not a depressant. Late last year, a National Institutes of Health panel concluded that ADHD is indeed real, though it couldn't conclusively state much about the causes of the disorder. Scientists are not exactly sure how Ritalin works, but most now believe that Ritalin stimulates receptors in the frontal lobes of the brain that allow people to filter various stimuli instead of reacting ceaselessly to each one. Nobody knows why most ADHD sufferers are male. Girls with ADHD often display the reverse of the excessive energy boys exhibit. Rather than being hyperactive, they tend to be withdrawn. Oregonians ranked 19th in the nation in per capita Ritalin consumption in 1997, according to DEA statistics. ADHD has been recognized for 100 years under a variety of names and symptoms. The name of the disorder was changed to ADHD in 1987, but many people still call it ADD. A number of drugs similar to Ritalin, including Dexedrine, Adderall and Cylert, are also used to treat ADHD. Some children experience side effects from Ritalin, such as loss of appetite, insomnia and, in rare cases, stunted growth. Doctors say all are easily corrected if the dosage is adjusted properly. The largest nationwide support group for families of ADHD sufferers is called Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder, or CHADD. CHADD has about 300 active families in the Portland area and can be reached at (503) 294-9504 or chaddpdx@ aracnet.com. KGW News Channel 8 recently aired a three-part story on Ritalin use in Portland.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Backers Wary Of Tinkering (The News Tribune, in Tacoma, Washington, says the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys is already lobbying the legislature to nullify Initiative 692, the state's new medical marijuana law, claiming they only want to improve it, of course. But Senate Bill 5704 would allow the state Department of Health to write rules to flesh out the law. Its primary sponsor, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, who supported the initiative, said the department could clarify the law without encroaching on patients' newfound rights. The really bad bill is SB 5771.) Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 11:10:43 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WA: MMJ: Marijuana Backers Wary Of Tinkering Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Larry Porter Source: The News Tribune (WA) Copyright: 1999 The News Tribune Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Contact: email@example.com Fax: (206) 597-8451 Mail: PO Box 11000, Tacoma, Wa. 98411 Website: http://www.tribnet.com/ Author: Beth Silver, The News Tribune Note: Washington residents can reach their legislators on the state's Legislative Hotine at 1-800-562-6000. LEGISLATURE 1999: MARIJUANA BACKERS WARY OF TINKERING Legislators Trying To Fine-Tune Initiative Granting Medical Patients Access To Drug Legislators are trying to clarify the state's medical marijuana law for police and prosecutors while holding true to the initiative voters passed in November. "We're not trying to repeal the law or handcuff it so bad that it doesn't work," said Tom McBride, lobbyist for the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. "We just need some guidance: 'Look, doc, if you're going to recommend this to a patient, tell me you did it and tell me how much he needs.'" But the initiative's backers are leery of legislative interference with a law that already faces federal barriers. "It's a blind-sided attempt to basically bring the government back into regulation of patients' and doctors' relationships," said initiative supporter Rob Killian, a former Tacoma physician. The law allows patients with certain debilitating illnesses, such as AIDS or cancer, to possess a 60-day supply of marijuana. But it has left the law enforcement community wondering how to determine when a person is using the drug legally and how much constitutes a two-month supply. That confusion played out in Tacoma in December when police arrested a blind AIDS patient and his mother after finding three marijuana plants in their house. Though Kelly Grubbs and his mother, Terry Morgan, had no documentation for the plants, Pierce County Prosecutor John Ladenburg did not file charges against them because, he said, they were following the "spirit" of the law. Grubbs' doctor had advised him to use the marijuana. Senate Bill 5704 would allow the state Department of Health to write rules to flesh out the law. Its primary sponsor, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle), who supported the initiative, said the department could clarify the law without encroaching on patients' newfound rights. Another plan, SB 5771, would go further by spelling out those rules in law. Among other things, it would: * Require the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission to distribute and collect forms logging each medical marijuana recommendation made by a physician. * Require physicians to notify the state every time they advise a patient to try marijuana as a medicine. * Require patients to carry documentation from the physician that states the doctor recommended marijuana. * Require the doctor who recommended the marijuana to determine what a 60-day supply is. * Allow employers to fire employees who use marijuana, even if for medical purposes. "The initiative is nondescript," said SB 5771's primary sponsor, Sen. Jim Hargrove (D-Hoquiam). "There's a real potential for using the whole confusion in this area for trafficking drugs. All we're trying to do is put some definition there so law enforcement can deal with the illegitimate use." Initiative backer Killian said lawmakers should give the measure a chance to work. He said state law already outlaws using marijuana while driving or operating heavy equipment, allows employers to ban its use during work hours and outlaws its use in public. Particularly disturbing, he said, is a provision in SB 5771 allowing employers to fire employees who use marijuana for medical reasons. But Hargrove argued that the initiative never specifically prohibited that provision. He said the issue is not whether an employee is using marijuana but whether the employee's performance is affected by it. "We're trying to be very careful not to do anything that amends the initiative," Hargrove said. Killian said the problem with the medical marijuana law has nothing to do with state government but with distribution of marijuana, which is regulated by the federal government. Patients who suffer from cancer, AIDS and glaucoma can grow their own supply but can't buy it from someone else because federal law prohibits the distribution of it. In addition to Washington, five other states - California, Arizona, Alaska, Oregon and Nevada - allow marijuana for medical purposes. SB 5704 is scheduled for a hearing Feb. 24 before the Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee. A hearing has not been scheduled for SB 5771.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Former Prosecutor Held In Drug Case (The Seattle Times refuses to name the former King County deputy prosecutor who was arrested last night in North Seattle for investigation of possession of methamphetamine residue and paraphernalia. Last year, the former prosecutor, 36, was accused of possessing a crank pipe in the King County courthouse.) Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 05:00:41 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WA: Former Prosecutor Held In Drug Case Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Pubdate: 17 Feb 1999 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ FORMER PROSECUTOR HELD IN DRUG CASE SEATTLE - A former King County deputy prosecutor is one of two men arrested last night in North Seattle for investigation of possession of drug residue and paraphernalia. Last year, the former prosecutor, 36, was accused of possessing drug residue and a drug pipe in the King County courthouse. He was not charged in the earlier case after a roommate told investigators the pipe was his and were left in the deputy's satchel by mistake. That investigation was turned over to the state Attorney General's Office because it is separate from the King County Prosecutor's Office where the deputy had worked for 2 1/2 years. He resigned shortly after the incident. In last night's arrests, King County deputies allegedly found methamphetamine residue and drug paraphernalia after serving a search warrant at a home in the 7800 block of Eighth Avenue Northwest. Sgt. Jerrell Wills, spokesman for the King County Sheriff's Office, said that yesterday's arrests followed a monthlong investigation. The other man is 27 years old, Wills said. Wills said the 36-year-old was accused of four drug transactions with authorities in the past month, and the other man was accused of one transaction.
------------------------------------------------------------------- THC-Treated Rats Lived Longer, Had Less Cancer (AIDS Treatment News, in San Francisco, summarizes and comments on a 126-page draft report of a major toxicology study of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The study was completed over two and a half years ago, and passed peer review for publication, but has been kept quiet until this month, when someone leaked copies of the draft report. The public apparently has never been told about this research - for example, the drug-reform movement seems not to have known about its existence. It may have been hushed because its findings are not what the drug-war industry wants. "The newly available Federal toxicology study provides the best evidence yet that the risks of THC are small. What other drug would increase life expectancy of rats when given in huge overdoses daily for two years?") Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 19:36:21 -0800 (PST) From: Uzondu Jibuike (email@example.com) To: Undisclosed recipients: ; Subject: AIDS Treatment News: THC-Treated Rodents Lived Longer, Had Less Cancer (fwd) ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 19:00:59 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Paul Wolf (email@example.com) Subject: AIDS Treatment News: THC-Treated Rats Lived Longer, Had Less Cancer 'AIDS Treatment News' Obtains 126-Page Study, 'NTP Technical Report On The Toxicology And Carcinogenesis Studies Of 1-Trans- Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, CAS No. 1972-08-3, In F344/N Rats And B6C3F(1) Mice, Gavage Studies' AIDS TREATMENT NEWS has obtained a 126-page draft report of a major toxicology study of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana. The study was completed over two and a half years ago, and passed peer review for publication, but has been kept quiet until this month, when someone leaked copies of the draft report. As far as we know, the public has never been told about this research -- for example, the drug- reform movement seems not to have known about its existence. This work may have been hushed because its findings are not what the drug-war industry would want. *** The study gave huge doses of THC to rats and mice by stomach tube, and looked for cancers and other evidence of toxicity. First there were small toxicity studies, which used enough THC to kill some of the animals; later, two-year studies were run in both rats and mice, using doses which were still much higher than those of marijuana smokers. The two-year studies tested THC in several hundred rats and several hundred mice. In rats, those given THC had a clear survival advantage over the untreated controls; this effect was statistically significant in all dose groups, and in both males and females. In mice (which were given much larger doses than the rats relative to body weight) there was no survival difference among the groups -- except that those given the highest dose (which was close to the lethal dose for mice) had worse survival. In both mice and rats, in both males and females, "the incidence of benign and malignant neoplasms ... were decreased in a dose- dependent manner" -- meaning that the more THC the animals were given, the fewer tumors they developed. The treated animals weighed less than the controls (even though both ate about the same amount of food); the researchers speculated that the lower body weight may have partly accounted for the increased survival and reduced tumors in the THC-treated animals. The doses were large enough to cause seizures and convulsions in many of the animals, especially when they were dosed or handled. These did not start immediately, but after many weeks, depending on the dose. The researchers looked for brain lesions in animals which had seizures, but found none. No evidence of carcinogenic activity in the rats, but there was "equivocal evidence" of one kind of thyroid tumor in the mice -- with no evidence of a dose-dependent response. Other tumors were less common in the treated animals than in the controls -- except in one case, which the toxicologists believed was due to the fact that the treated animals lived longer, and therefore had more opportunity to develop tumors. The report includes a professionally objective review of the biological effects, possible toxicities, and possible medical uses of THC and marijuana. The title of the report is "NTP Technical Report on the Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of 1-Trans-Delta(9)- Tetrahydrocanna- binol (CAS No. 1972-08-3) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F(1) Mice (Gavage Studies)." Over 35 researchers contributed to this study, and 12 others reviewed their work; several institutions, including the National Toxicology Program and SRI International, were involved. The document we received is report NTP TR 446, NIH Publication No. 94-3362, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ("NTP" stands for National Toxicology Program, which is made up of four Federal agencies within Health and Human Services.) Each page of the draft is stamped "not for distribution or attribution." In addition to the 126-page document we have reviewed here, there are 11 appendices, which we have not seen. According to the draft, the report will be available from NTP Central Data Management, 919/541-1371. AIDS TREATMENT NEWS requested a copy of the final report when it is ready, and also requested a copy of the draft. Now that the existence of the report has become publicly known, we have heard that draft copies are being sent if requested -- despite the notice on each page not to distribute them. Comment It would be wrong to interpret this study as showing a beneficial or protective effect of marijuana. The animals were given very large doses, resulting in substantially lower body weight, which may itself have caused much of the survival and tumor improvements. Also, this study used THC, not marijuana smoke -- which like any smoke contains many chemicals, some of which are likely to be harmful. But the study does provide strong evidence that there is no significant cancer risk (if any at all) from the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana; any such risk would be from incidental substances in the smoke. And if there is such a risk, the modern high-potency marijuana would likely reduce it, by reducing the amount of smoke required to obtain the desired effect. Also, there is no known case of any human death from overdose of marijuana or THC, or from any other acute toxicity of these substances -- a remarkable safety record, compared with alcohol, aspirin, or many other common drugs. (The toxicology report does not say there have been no deaths, but the authors listed none, after doing an exhaustive survey of the literature.) The literature review on the effects of THC and marijuana shows how medical research has been politically skewed (although the paper itself does not state this point). There are almost no studies of possible medical uses of marijuana, but many studies looking for possible harm. Any positive findings, therefore, can be used to support the drug war -- while negative findings (those which fail to show any effect) are usually ignored. Although many doctors and patients have reported important medical benefits, scientific studies of medicinal use have seldom been allowed to happen, since positive findings could challenge the official public-relations tactic of demonization. The drug war itself has controlled the medical research agenda, since it controls legal access to marijuana. Like most permanent wars, it strives for self preservation. The newly available Federal toxicology study provides the best evidence yet that the risks of THC are small. What other drug would increase life expectancy of rats when given in huge overdoses daily for two years? The recent Federal attacks on medical marijuana -- against doctors and desperately ill patients -- are needlessly cruel, and bizarrely inappropriate to scientific and medical understanding. AIDS TREATMENT NEWS Issue #263, January 17, 1997; Published twice monthly Subscription and Editorial Office: P.O. Box 411256 San Francisco, CA 94141 800/TREAT-1-2 toll-free U.S. and Canada 415/255-0588 regular office number fax: 415/255-4659 Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright (c) 1997 - John S. James.
------------------------------------------------------------------- High crimes? Writer faces jail after interviewing medical marijuana activist (The San Francisco Bay Guardian recounts the case of Pete Brady, a medical marijuana patient and freelance journalist whose New Year's Day interview with fellow patient/defendant Steve Kubby may land him five years in a California prison. Brady's arrest for possession of about an ounce of marijuana came on the last day of his five-year probation term for possession.)Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 14:06:46 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Writer Faces Jail After Interviewing Medical Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Kubby http://www.kubby.com Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Source: The San Francisco Bay Guardian Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Bay Guardian Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfbg.com/ Author: Randall Lyman High crimes? WRITER FACES JAIL AFTER INTERVIEWING MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACTIVIST WHEN A FREELANCE WRITER for High Times magazine met with a prominent medical marijuana activist, he thought he was just getting a good story. He might be getting five years in state prison. On New Year's Day, Pete Brady interviewed California Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby at Kubby's house in Olympic Valley, near Lake Tahoe. On Jan. 21 the Chico-based writer was arrested for possession of marijuana by officers of the Butte County sheriff's department, according to information from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the Web site www.marijuananews.com. Two days earlier Kubby and his wife, Michele, had been arrested by a four-agency antidrug task force. Kubby, an outspoken medical marijuana user and activist, told the Bay Guardian that the task force, which had placed him under surveillance for six months, made the two arrests after observing Kubby -- through the window of his home -- showing Brady some marijuana buds. Kubby said he was only showing Brady what he had grown and did not sell Brady any marijuana. Both Kubby and Brady are medical marijuana patients under Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act. Brady's arrest for possession of about an ounce of marijuana came on the last day of his five-year probation term for possession. Consequently his case will not get a regular court hearing -- only a probation revocation hearing, at which his original sentence of five years could be reinstated. The hearing is scheduled for Feb. 22 in Chico. Brady was released after posting $12,000 of his own money as bail. Brady declined to comment for this story, saying his attorney had advised him not to speak to the press. Butte County officials could not be contacted by press time. Details of the Kubby and Brady cases can be found at www.norml.org and www.marijuananews.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical-Marijuana Fight Is About Power, Not Medicine (Sacramento Bee columnist Peter H. King, syndicated in the Orange County Register, discusses the cultivation bust of medical-marijuana patient/activist Steve Kubby, the 1998 Libertarian Party candidate for California governor.) Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 05:21:20 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Column: Medical-Marijuana Fight Is About Power, Not Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Pubdate: 17 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 3 Author: Peter H. King: Mr. King writes for the Sacramento Bee. His "On California" columns appear in this spot in the Register on Sundays and Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, Calif. 95852, or call (916) 321-1892. E-mail: email@example.com. MEDICAL-MARIJUANA FIGHT IS ABOUT POWER, NOT MEDICINE From Olympic Valley One thing government can do is crack down on crime. By making more things a crime, that's how government is able to expand its power. Steve Kubby, Libertarian Party candidate for governor, in an interview in September For more than an hour, the candidate had sat in a Fresno coffee shop, merrily lobbing one rhetorical hand grenade after another. Steve Kubby was against the death penalty and for an open border. He regarded speeding tickets as literal "highway robbery," thought Central Valley farmers should be growing hemp, opposed seat-belt laws and gun-control laws alike. His most passionately held position, however, involved the nation's "war on thugs." For Kubby, a 52-year-old electronic-magazine publisher, this issue was personal. More than 20 years earlier, he had been diagnosed with an extremely rare and typically fatal cancer. To the mystification of medical authorities, Kubby discovered that marijuana alleviated his symptoms and apparently kept the cancer in check. He became a proponent of medicinal marijuana, and in 1996 played a major role in the successful campaign for Proposition 215, which theoretically made pot legal medicine in California. Now, with the interview winding down, the otherwise free-wheeling politician asked to go off the record. Kubby confided that he was concerned about drug-police payback. He had received a tip: A stakeout of his Lake Tahoe residence was under way. Specifically, he had been warned to watch out for a green Jeep Cherokee with tinted windows. He wasn't sure whether to believe this, and he did not want to come across in a campaign interview as a caricature of pot-induced paranoia. Still ... Jump ahead now to a Tuesday morning in mid-January. Kubby's wife Michelle - who also takes marijuana, with a doctor's endorsement, for a chronic stomach ailment - was playing with her 3-year-old daughter. She saw a green Jeep drive by. A few minutes later came the knock on the door. "We have a search warrant," the lead officer announced, and in trooped a dozen or more investigators. They moved to the basement, where Kubby was growing the marijuana that he says keeps him alive. In the well-equipped "growing rooms," the officers found about 130 mature plants and an equal number of seedlings. The discovery should not have come as a surprise; Kubby had not exactly been covering his tracks. In fact, since the tip about the stake-out, he had been placing "attention law enforcement" notes in the trash, explaining his medical condition and acknowledging the cultivation of marijuana. He had guessed - accurately, it turned out - that the garbage would be searched. According to law enforcement files, the investigation was triggered in July by an unsigned letter. It accused Kubby of growing more than 1,000 plants and selling pot to finance his political campaign. Investigators began surveillance, peering through his back windows from the woods behind the house. After they observed Kubby showing a plant to a man they believed to be a customer - he was, Kubby would say, a correspondent for High Times magazine - they obtained the search warrant. Four hours into the search, Steve and Michelle Kubby were handcuffed and loaded into a vehicle for the ride to jail, where they would be booked for investigation of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale. Before they left, Kubby asked if he could take some of his "medicine" with him. No, the investigator said, the jail had a "no-smoking policy." The Kubbys have pleaded not guilty, contending that they never sold marijuana and their crop was not excessive. Among medical-marijuana proponents, there is hope that a trial might shine needed light on what they see as a refusal by law enforcement authorities to accept and abide by Prop. 215. For his part, the Placer County prosecutor handling the case has told reporters that "if a jury decides that 265 plants are all right, then that is justice. But if the jury decides it's just too much, justice is done then, too." While Kubby was in jail, awaiting release on his own recognizance, his original physician urged the judge by letter not to deprive the prisoner of his marijuana. Dr. Vincent DeQuattro of USC Medical Center noted that Kubby's condition - malignant pheochromocytoma, or adrenal cancer - was almost always fatal. In fact, the doctor added, until he received his voter pamphlet last fall, he'd assumed that Kubby, whom he had not seen for more than a decade, was dead. "Faith healers," wrote DeQuattro, "would term Steve's existence these past 10-15 years as nothing short of a miracle. In my view, this miracle, in part, is related to the therapy with marijuana." Unfortunately, the fight over medical marijuana never has seemed to have much to do with medicine. It's more about power, about who gets to make the rules, and the passage of Prop. 215, it would seem, settled nothing.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Pot Bill Advances (The Hawaii Tribune-Herald says the Hawaii House of Representatives' Health and Public Safety committees agreed to forward a medical-marijuana bill to the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday following a hearing that lasted more than three hours in which people who were ill or caring for sick people made sometimes eloquent pleas for legislative relief. The committees combined elements of two bills - one submitted by Gov. Cayetano, one crafted by Health Committee Chairman Alex Santiago. If the bill becomes law, Hawaii would become the first state to approve use of medical marijuana through the legislative process.) Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 05:18:11 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US HI: MMJ: Medical Pot Bill Advances Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Roger Christie firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Source: Hawaii Tribune-Herald (HI) Copyright: Hawaii Tribune Herald. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.hilohawaiitribune.com/ Author: Ben DiPietro (AP) MEDICAL POT BILL ADVANCES Advocates Make Impassioned Case In Favor Of Legislation HONOLULU - People with debilitating or terminal illnesses went to the Legislature on Tuesday with a single message: Let us smoke marijuana to alleviate our pain. A bill to allow people in Hawaii suffering from severe illnesses to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes without fear of criminal prosecution was approved by two House committees. The House Health and Public Safety committees agreed to forward the measure to the House Judiciary Committee following a more than three-hour hearing in which people who were ill or caring for sick people made sometimes eloquent pleas for legislative relief. "I am a Marine veteran from World War II. Why should I have to stumble around the streets trying to buy some marijuana?" said Jerry Hunt, a Hilo man who walks with an artificial right leg. "I'm disgusted with it. This is not what I served my country for." After the hearing, Hunt stood outside the Capitol and smoked a marijuana cigarette during a television interview, while at least one other person who testified smoked from a marijuana pipe off camera. Voters in six states have passed initiatives allowing for medicinal marijuana. If the bill becomes law, Hawaii would become the first state to approve use of medical marijuana through the legislative process. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug under federal law, making it illegal for a doctor or caregiver to write a prescription. Doctors who recommend marijuana face the threat of losing their licenses, or of not being allowed to take part in Medicare and Medicaid, but the bill would protect them. The committees combined elements of two bills -- one submitted by the Cayetano administration, one crafted by Health Committee Chairman Alex Santiago -- to allow for patients suffering from debilitating or life-threatening conditions to seek relief through use of smoked marijuana. The bill would allow patients with a recommendation from one doctor to keep a supply of marijuana for their personal use as medicine. It would allow people to grow the plants themselves, or to purchase pot from others. Questions remained about the type of distribution system that would be used, or the licensing that would be needed. Questions about whether patients would have to register with the state, or carry identification cards, were put to the side, and likely will be considered by the Judiciary Committee. Santiago, D-Waialua-Kahuku, said he only wanted to focus on the health aspects of the bills. He thinks the bill won't become law this year, given the complexities of the subject. Santiago expects a more concerted effort by the bill's opponents to fight the measure on legal grounds if a hearing is held by Judiciary, but said after holding the bill the past two years, he was moved by some of the testimony. The majority of people at Tuesday's hearing spoke in favor of the bill, including the state Health Department, the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, Life Foundation, and American Civil Liberties Union. Supporters cited both anecdotal and scientific evidence about people who smoke marijuana regaining their appetities, feeling less nauseous and being better able to handle the side effects of prescription drugs. A state statute enacted in 1977 already allows for legalized use of medicinal marijuana, as long as the user obtained a lawful prescription, said Jonathan Adler a pro-marijuana advocate from Puna. Former University of Hawaii law professor Richard Miller said state law also provides for a "choice of evils" defense in which someone charged with using marijuana can claim they had to break the law to prevent an even more onerous situation from occurring. "It is entirely possible that medical necessity could be asserted as a defense to a cannabis possession charge in a proper case," Miller said. Opponents included the Hawaii County and Honolulu police departments, Coalition for a Drug Free Hawaii and the Hawaii Medical Association, which cited a 1997 National Institutes of Health report saying there wasn't enough scientific evidence to substantiate claims about the medical effectiveness of smoked marijuana. "Physicians cannot in good faith recommend a drug therapy without the clinical evidence to back them up," said the association's Heidi Yeager Singh. "Until such time as physicians know the risks and benefits of medical marijuana, we believe this legislation is dangerous medicine." Supporters also suggested implementing a trial program for use of medical marijuana, similar to the two-year testing the state's needle exchange program went through before it was made permanent. Opponents also claimed allowing medicinal marijuana will eventually lead to legalization of marijuana for all people, and possible increased use of other illegal drugs, a charge called ludicrous by proponents. "I don't think this will result in a flood of drugs coming to Hawaii," said Paul Groesbeck, executive director of the Life Foundation, which provides care for people with HIV and AIDS. "That battle has been long lost."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Authorities Release Account Of Shooting, Say Marijuana Found In House (An Associated Press article in the Topeka Capital-Journal says prohibition agents in Osawatomie, Kansas, shot Willie Heard dead early Saturday when he picked up a .22-caliber rifle in his bedroom after they burst into his house. Police had a warrant to look for crack cocaine but all they found were two or three roaches. Heard's 16-year-old daughter, who was sleeping on the couch when officers burst in, said they never identified themselves.) Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 05:58:06 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US KS: Authorities Release Account Of Shooting, Say Marijuana Found In House Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Source: Topeka Capital-Journal (KS) Copyright: 1999 The Topeka Capital-Journal Contact: email@example.com Website: http://cjonline.com/ Author: The Associated Press AUTHORITIES RELEASE ACCOUNT OF SHOOTING, SAY MARIJUANA FOUND IN HOUSE OSAWATOMIE -- A police raid that left an Osawatomie man dead turned up what appeared to be a small amount of marijuana, investigators said. Willie Heard, 46, was killed early Saturday -- the day before his birthday -- when he picked up a .22-caliber rifle and confronted officers who burst into his house. Relatives said Tuesday that the search warrant authorized officers to look for crack cocaine, crack pipes, scales and other paraphernalia. Officers searched the house with a dog and found two or three remnants of marijuana cigarettes, said Gary Heard, Willie Heard's brother. "That was already smoked marijuana," Gary Heard said. "There were small little cigarettes." William Delaney, a Kansas Bureau of Investigation spokesman, released this account of the raid: Officers from the Osawatomie and Paola police departments and Miami County sheriff's deputies announced themselves and raided Heard's house at 1:25 a.m. Saturday. They found Heard in his bedroom armed with a rifle, and an officer shot him once in the upper body. Heard's 16-year-old daughter, Ashley, said she was sleeping on the couch when officers burst in. She said they never identified themselves and that she knew they were police only when she recognized officers she had seen around Osawatomie. "When they came in, all I heard them say was, 'Get down! Freeze!' " Ashley said. "I screamed, 'Daddy!' and I think he thought his daughter was in danger. He didn't know they were police officers, because he wouldn't have hurt a police officer." The officer who shot Heard is on administrative leave, Delaney said. He wouldn't say which department the officer works for. The KBI is working on a report of the raid that officials hope to send to Miami County Attorney David Miller next week. Miller will decide whether to file criminal charges.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Friend in Oklahoma City (A list subscriber forwards a note explaining why Oklahoma Governor Keating refused to sign the parole papers for Will Foster, the medical marijuana patient originally sentenced to 93 years in prison on cultivation charges. Keating was a member of the DEA under Reagan. His reputation rests largely on his stance against "drugs.") Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 18:34:46 -0800 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Jim Rosenfield (email@example.com) Subject: frind in okc Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com My friend in Oklahoma City responded to my earlier note this way: Gov. Keating was a member of the DEA under Reagan. I believe he was the head of the department. His reputation rests largely on his stance against drugs and crime. Your friend Wil picked the wrong time in Oklahoma history with the wrong Governor to get arrested for a drug offense. There are some grassroots movements on college campuses trying to get the laws changed, but it won't help your friend. His best bet is to get an early release based on overcrowding. I think Oklahoma imprisons more per capita than any other state. This state is very conservative. RUSS *** Jim Rosenfield Insight Web Design http://www.insightweb.com firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 310-836-0926 fax: 310-836-0592 Culver City CA [postal by request] *** [editor's note: As always, Portland NORML would be happy to confirm or correct the information above. Any reader able to forward additional details should please do so to email@example.com. Should a correction be in order, it will be posted here as well as with the news for whichever date the correction may be received.]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Apathy, America's Greatest Vice (An op-ed in the Little Rock Free Press by Jack Page, a veteran of the Proposition 215 campaign in California and now president of NORML Arkansas, faults the apathy that allows marijuana prohibition to continue. "Marijuana has become the symbol of oppression in our country and across the globe. . . . As an insider I'd like to reveal a little known fact about the now historic Prop. 215. . . . Just as we were resigning ourselves to failure, it happened. Someone very rich and powerful in the state got busted buying marijuana for a sick family member.") Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 16:45:07 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US AR: Column: Apathy, America's Greatest Vice Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: James Markes Source: Little Rock Free Press (AR) Pubdate: Wed 17 Feb 1999 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.aristotle.net/FREEP Author: Jack Page (President of NORML Arkansas) APATHY, AMERICA'S GREATEST VICE Marijuana has become more to me than a healthier and more pleasant alternative to alcohol and other drugs. Marijuana has become the symbol of oppression in our country and across the globe. It is the catalyst that has created the healthy skepticism I have concerning our federal government, replacing the blind faith of ignorance. It truly amazes me how so many Americans are content with their government. We Americans have so much money that we don't mind our elected officials wasting millions after millions of our hard earned tax dollars in their own petty partisan quarrels. We don't mind when they spend millions more covering-up their lies and misinformation which were the foundation upon which the war on drugs was created. The problem is that we Americans are inherently selfish to the bone. Why should we care that 2.1 million other Americans were arrested for marijuana under President Clinton's administration alone?! Why should we care that millions of other Americans are suffering from cancer, AIDS and the like and are denied access to the most responsive therapy?! Why should we care that federal agencies are busting-down doors to other Americans' homes and businesses on a daily basis and seizing everything they own and keeping it even after they are proven innocent.?! It didn't happen to us--that's their dumb luck!! I have been involved in the defense of your freedom against the war on drugs for almost four years now. I started in California getting signatures for the petition that birthed Proposition 215 which legalized marijuana for medical use for the state of California. As you should know by now, Prop. 215 pioneered the successful legislation to legalize and decriminalize marijuana that is now sweeping the nation. As it now stands, five states have legalized marijuana for medical use and eleven states have decriminalized possession of marijuana for personal use. This is all fine and dandy except that the federal government is not recognizing these states' sovereignty and has been opposing the will of the people who put them in office and pay their salaries. As an insider I'd like to reveal a little known fact about the now historic Prop. 215. It came very close to never making it past the petition stage. We were at the proverbial brink of failure as the financial support required for such an effort was close to running out halfway into the campaign. For a period of two weeks or so the petition drive came to a halt as we sat on the sidelines anxiously awaiting our fate. Just as we were resigning ourselves to failure, it happened. Someone very rich and powerful in the state got busted buying marijuana for a sick family member. We were never told who it was, but we knew it was somebody big as the money started rolling in better than anticipated and the rest, as they say, is history. And now, as president of NORML Arkansas, I see the same selfish apathy that is the true enemy of freedom. You would be amazed, if not appalled, by how many pot smokers I've talked to about getting involved with the fight for their freedom only to hear the same selfish apathy. The most response I've seen has been from people who are those other Americans -- those citizens whom have personally felt the crushing fist of oppression which is the war on drugs. You would think that we Americans would have learned by now that prevention is half the cure. Has the AIDS epidemic taught us anything?! It will be a little too late to fight for your own freedom from an out-of-touch, self-serving federal government when you have a row of bars between you and the rest of the world. Every 49 seconds an American is arrested for marijuana (according to FBI statistics). Each and every one of you that smoke pot are in extreme jeopardy of being the next casualty of the war on drugs. None of you are safe -- none of you are truly free (unless, of course, your father is the governor). The following is an excerpt from "STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: Marijuana Prohibition, 1937- 1997; A Report Issued by NORML on the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of Marijuana Prohibition." "The 'war on drugs' is not really about drugs; if it were, tobacco and alcohol would be the primary targets. They are the most commonly used and abused drugs in America and unquestionably cause far more harm to the user and to society than does marijuana. Yet neither is illegal. "America tried to prohibit alcohol, but soon discovered that the crime and violence associated with prohibition was more damaging than the evil sought to be prohibited. With tobacco, America has learned over the past two decades that education is the most effective way to discourage use. Americans smoke far fewer cigarettes today than in the past without having the criminal justice system issue a single arrest, administer one drug test, seize any property, or sentence anyone to jail. Yet, the federal government fails to apply these lessons toward a rational and effective marijuana policy. Instead, politicians continue to support and enforce a failed, 60-year old public policy at the expense of rational discourse, billions in misappropriated funds and resources, and many of the founding principles and freedoms that America was built upon. The 'war on drugs' has become largely a war on marijuana smokers, and the casualties of this war are the wrecked lives and the destroyed families of the half a million otherwise law-abiding citizens who are arrested each year on marijuana charges."
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Nazi Comparison (A compelling op-ed in the Rock River Times, in Rockford, Illinois, by Dr. John Beresford, a retired psychiatrist who visited Nazi Germany in his youth, says America's vast network of prisons, boot camps, and jails invites comparisons to the detention machinery of totalitarian regimes. With its war on some drug users, America is treading the same path as Nazi Germany. The War on Drugs and Hitler's war on anyone he took exception to share the same symptoms. Where it all ends depends on reformers' efforts.) Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 12:04:13 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US IL: Column: The Nazi Comparison Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: M. Simon Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Source: Rock River Times (IL) Address: 128 N. Church St., Rockford, Illinois 61101 FAX: (815) 964-9825 Copyright: The Rock River Times 1999 Author: Dr. John Beresford THE NAZI COMPARISON Drug War prisoners that I correspond with call themselves POWs. Some write "POW in America" in the corner of an envelope under the writer's name and prison number. "Political prisoner" and "gulag" are terms that enter conversation. Solzhenitsyn's The First Circle and The Gulag Archipelago are works sometimes referred to. America's vast network of prisons, boot camps, and jails invites comparison with the detention machinery of former totalitarian regimes. The certainty of conviction that an accusation of a drug law violation brings -- through confession (95 percent) or trial and a finding of guilt (the remaining 5 percent) -- matches the idea of automatic conviction that goes with popular belief about the nazi and communist systems. "Nazi" is a term used by Drug War prisoners and non-prisoners alike, as though it were a given that the mentality behind Nazi behavior a half-century ago and the operation of today's Drug War is no different. The comparison is an uncomfortable one, and one's first inclination is to reject it. A US judge has objected that nothing in the conduct of today's Drug War resembles the terror tactics in Nazi Germany where SS troops could storm into a person's home and no one saw or heard of that person again. The objection is understandable, but it rests on a false premise. The Nazis were not a bunch of crooks, operating outside the confines of the law. Everything they did had legal backing, and if on some occasion a law was needed they composed one. Flat out, it will be objected that a world of difference separates a prison from a death camp. Drug War prisoners are not intended for a holocaust. Ominously for our peace of mind, however, until the last minute neither were the people held in concentration camps. They were held there to protect the health of society. Moreover, with the obsession with death that gains ground daily, it is probable that death is in the cards for people accused of drug law violations in the future. A questionnaire is making the rounds in Congress that has Yes and No boxes for questions which include: "Do you favor the death penalty for drug trafficking?" Who in their right mind in Congress, I wonder, will check No to that question, "trafficking" being the loaded term for what most people call dealing? Someone will point to the absurdity of thinking that America would ever tolerate a "Fuhrer," a wild man with a funny mustache and a way of haranguing crowds burlesqued by Charlie Chaplin. The point, though, is that the Nazi comparison refers not so much to rhetoric, inevitably different in two quite different places and at different times, as to the dehumanization and trashing of large numbers of people for lifestyles and practices that violate the norms of mainstream society. For this we do not need a Hitler. We can do it the American way. Myself, I am sympathetic to the Nazi comparison. I was in Nazi Germany as a child. In the summer of 1938, when I was 14, my parents sent me on a two-week vacation with a family in a village in north-west Germany. There were Mr. and Mrs. Otting, their daughter Irmgard, and the youngest son Wolfgang, who wore his Hitler Jugend uniform at Wednesday night meetings. The two older sons I never saw. One was in the army. The other was doing two years of voluntary farm labor, which excused him from army service. Mr. and Mrs. Otting were old-time Christians, and had the family bible on display in the china cabinet in the dining room. On the shelf above the Holy Bible you saw the red and white dust jacket of Mein Kampf, Hitler's version of scripture. No one said anything about it, but there had to be a copy of Mein Kampf on display for two reasons. Every five or six houses or apartments had an informant who could sift through mail, collect gossip, and pay a visit to make sure the householder did not have suspicious material lying around. Also, schoolchildren were taught to report suspicious behavior to the police. There wasn't any TV, but there was plenty of entertainment -- parades, outdoor concerts, Hitler on the radio, sports. The economy was great. Everyone had a job. Germany was strong. Hitler wanted peace. New construction was going up everywhere. The trains ran on time. You didn't see beggars in the street, hanging around. Undesirables had been rounded up, got out of the way. The newspapers were full of praise for the Nazi system. A weekly periodical with pictures showed who the Untermenschen were, the underclass of people who had no place in decent society. In those days the underclass consisted of gypsies, Jews, homosexuals, the wrong sort of artists, trade unionists, and communists. They were described in terms we now call demonization and scapegoating. The universities had their share of academics who endorsed Nazi policy. Doctors, engineers, race specialists, and others spelled out theories which gave the Nazis a green light. At 14 I was barely aware of all this. Yet by the end of my two weeks with the Ottings I had a feeling that to this day remains hard to describe. I took this feeling home to England, where I promptly forgot it. It wasn't the sort of feeling you had there. I didn't have it during the war, which started the next year. I didn't have it when I studied medicine, emigrated to America, became an American citizen, and lived in New York for 20 years. I didn't have it in Canada, where I practiced psychiatry for 15 years. I didn't have it when I retired from practice and spent time in a Buddhist monastery. On and off, I would read about Nazi Germany, but the feeling that I had when I was briefly in Nazi Germany as a child had gone. In the fall of 1992 an ad appeared in the personal column of High Times Magazine, sent in by Brian Adams. Brian wrote that he was 18 years old, just out of high school, when he was arrested and sentenced to ten years of imprisonment for passing out LSD to his friends. If a High Times reader was interested in LSD sentencing methods, the reader could write to Brian and learn something. I wrote to Brian, who introduced me to Tim Dean, who introduced me to other LSD prisoners and soon I was in the thick of a correspondence which has not stopped growing. In 1993 I began to visit Drug War prisoners in prison. I drove to the Canadian border, crossed into the United States, and talked with Pat Jordan in County Jail in Nashville, Tennessee. I drove to Michigan City to talk with Franklin Martz, sentenced to 40 years in the Indiana State Prison in that city. I drove to other prisons to speak with Drug War prisoners, paying attention to the information they provided. That started my Drug War education. One day something happened. I realized that every time I left the monastery and entered the United States I was struck with a weird feeling that left as soon as I re-entered Canada. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it was as real as day. When the meaning of this realization dawned, it hit me like a ton of bricks. The feeling I had acquired in Nazi Germany and forgotten more than half a century before was back. My Drug War education had clicked in. The feeling told me everything. The exponent of democracy had fallen on hard times. America was treading the same path as Nazi Germany. The War on Drugs and Hitler's war on anyone he took exception to -- the symptoms in the two cases were identical. One thing I had to accept was that I could not stay on in the monastery. I could not sit back and watch disaster unfold. I had to get out in the world and become an activist, whatever becoming an activist entailed. Even if no one else saw the War on Drugs in the same light I did, I had to do what might lie in my power to stop it. I won't go into what has happened since, except to mention a friendship with Nora Callahan and a tie to the November Coalition. It is a relief to know that others share the perception that historically we are in big trouble, without their having once glimpsed life in Nazi Germany. Where it will end, no one can say. But there is reason for hope. In 1938 people in Germany did not know the price they would soon pay for subscribing to Nazi policy. We, looking back, do know. With the benefit of hindsight and with concerted effort we may still halt the juggernaut, free Drug War prisoners, reverse an unsalutary policy, and restore meaning to the words "liberty and justice for all." If we don't, we will have no one to blame for the disaster that lies just around the corner but ourselves.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Best Drug Policy Is Straight Ahead (An op-ed in Newsday by Marsha Rosenbaum of the Lindesmith Center West says the Clinton administration's new plan to reduce drug use by half by the year 2007 is a natural response to our country's ongoing struggle with drug use. The problem is that Clinton's plan is just more of the what we've already been trying - and look at the results. More drug education, of the sort existing already, cannot be expected to reverse the trend. Indeed, study after study shows that current drug education programs have no effect on drug use whatsoever. Quite simply, they lack credibility. Our first priority ought to be gaining the trust of young people.) Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 16:52:51 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: OPED: Best Drug Policy Is Straight Ahead Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ty Trippet http://www.lindesmith.org/ Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Source: Newsday (NY) Copyright: 1999, Newsday Inc. Page: A37 Contact: email@example.com FAX: (516) 843-2986 Website: http://www.newsday.com/ Author: Marsha Rosenbaum Note: Marsha Rosenbaum is the director of the Lindesmith Center West, a drug policy institute in San Francisco. She is the author of "Women on Heroin" and "Pregnant Women on Drugs" (with Sheila Murphy). BEST DRUG POLICY IS STRAIGHT AHEAD THE CLINTON administration has just unveiled a major plan to reduce drug use by half by the year 2007. It calls for more drug education for children and tighter security at our borders to stem the supply of drugs. Indeed, as part of that effort, Bill Clinton seems all but certain to certify Mexico's continuing cooperation to curb the export of drugs into this county. Clinton's call to arms is a natural response to our country's ongoing struggle with drug use. The problem is that we're already trying this - and look at the results. The federal drug-control budget exceeds $17 billion per year. Add state and local budgets to fight drugs, and the figure may be nearly five times larger. Two-thirds of this money is used for interdiction, stopping drugs from entering the country, and enforcement - arresting, trying and imprisoning users. So far (perhaps because the black market generates $64 billion per year), this effort has been a dismal failure. In fact, since President Ronald Reagan began escalating the "war on drugs," worldwide production of opium has expanded. The price of heroin has dropped and its purity has increased steadily. We cannot seem to make a dent in the supply, hence availability, of heroin. Our efforts to reduce the demand for drugs have fared no better than our efforts to reduce drug supplies. Today's young adults were in grade school when Nancy Reagan began telling them to "just say no." Over and over, in the schools and on television, they have been warned about drugs' dangers. Yet for nearly a decade now, drug use among adolescents has been rising. According to government statistics, less than 1 percent have ever tried heroin, but those federal researchers familiar with drug-use patterns believe its use among young people is increasing. More drug education, of the sort existing already, cannot be expected to reverse these trends. Indeed, study after study shows that current drug education programs have no effect on drug use whatsoever. Quite simply, they lack credibility. Much of their focus is on marijuana, which they overly demonize, hoping it will frighten young people away from experimentation. Half of American teenagers try marijuana anyway, and once they learn the dire warnings are not true, they begin to mistrust everything about drugs that adults tell them. And why shouldn't they? Why should they listen at all if they can't believe that what we tell them is true? The truth about heroin is that it is much more dangerous than marijuana. Anyone who injects heroin with a needle that was used previously by others risks contracting a deadly infection such as hepatitis or HIV. Anyone who uses heroin steadily for several weeks running, whether it is injected, smoked or snorted, will begin developing physical dependence and face withdrawal symptoms if he stops using it. People who use heroin occasionally do not become addicted. But, compared to the heroin addict, the occasional heroin user has not developed tolerance to the drug. He is at much greater risk of experiencing a fatal overdose. Still, because heroin is illegal, unregulated and uncontrolled, even the most experienced user cannot know the potency contained in a batch of unlabeled white powder. These are the kinds of warnings we should be giving young people about heroin. But first we have to get them to listen by convincing them they can trust us to tell the truth. They must also trust that they can come to us in an emergency. "Zero tolerance" is another method for deterring young people from experimentation. But it has meant that too many have died because their friends were afraid of calling parents or other authorities for help. Terrified of being detected themselves, teenagers in Plano, Texas, for example, fled the scene, leaving one boy to choke on his own vomit and die. Like it or not, we cannot seal our borders or completely eliminate demand for drugs, no matter how much money the government is willing to spend. Moral indignation will not change that reality. A more pragmatic approach would be to learn to live with drugs, as we do with alcohol, and to focus on the reduction of drug-related harm. Our first priority ought to be gaining the trust of young people. We ought to offer thorough, scientifically grounded education that allows them to learn all they can about drugs, alcohol and any other substances they ingest. Young people will ultimately make their own decisions about drug use, and when they do, they ought to have enough accurate information - from sources they trust - to insure their own safety and the safety of others.
------------------------------------------------------------------- TV Notes: Bad Hair Days (New York Times television reviewer Lawrie Mifflin praises the CBS Morning News for Roberta Baskin's three-part series this week on hair testing for illegal-drug use. Many experts say the tests are unreliable and possibly racially biased. Testing the testers, Baskin found that different labs came up with widely different results on samples from identical heads of hair. Drug testing labs also came up with different results on hairs of darker or lighter color but exposed to the same level of drugs.) Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 14:03:25 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: NYT: TV Notes: Bad Hair Days 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, 17 Feb 1999 Source: New York Times (NY) Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Forum: http://forums.nytimes.com/comment/ Author: Lawrie Mifflin Note: The website for The CBS Morning News story is currently at: http://www.cbs.com/prd1/now/template.display?p_who=network&p_story=115738 TV NOTES: BAD HAIR DAYS A report on "The CBS Morning News" this week finds a disturbing increase in the use of hair tests to screen job candidates for past drug use -- disturbing because many experts say the tests are unreliable and possibly racially biased. The tests can detect drug use over a longer time period than urine tests (which typically detect back only three days), but they may also register false positives, even from exposure to drug particles in the environment. And, as Roberta Baskin shows in the conclusion to her three-part series Wednesday, different labs came up with widely different results on samples from identical heads of hair and with different results on hairs of darker or lighter color but exposed to the same level of drugs. "It's promising technology when used with other kinds of tests, for forensic purposes," she said. "But used by itself to decide if someone gets or doesn't get a job, or custody of a child, for example, it could be very unfair." Ms. Baskin's report might strike many viewers as something they would be more likely to see on the "CBS Evening News," or a prime-time news magazine. But Al Berman, the executive producer of the "Morning News," wants stories like these to distinguish his show from the other breakfast shows. "We're fortunate to have an investigative team dedicated to this broadcast," Berman said. Ms. Baskin has won many investigative-reporting awards, including two prestigious Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia University silver batons, one of them for revealing serious flaws in the National Football League's drug testing procedures. During the 1998 Winter Olympics, Ms. Baskin got into trouble with Andrew Heyward, president of CBS News, when, in a letter to him that was leaked to the press, she protested some CBS reporters' wearing parkas with a Nike logo and she accused the network of killing a report she had done on Nike. In unusually angry terms, Heyward denounced Ms. Baskin for her letter, which she said she had not leaked. Her on-air appearances dwindled; last July she joined "The CBS Morning News." Asked if she had wanted to work there, she said, "I like to tell good stories wherever I can tell them," and would not comment on her relationship with Heyward or whether it had influenced her move. She did object to the notion that morning programs only do gentler, consumer-oriented reporting. "I hate labels," she said. "I'm interested in stories that affect a lot of people, and I like breaking stories that people haven't heard about yet." Berman has offered her series on hair drug-testing to "CBS Evening News" but has not heard yet whether it will run there as well.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Testing The Drug Test Labs (A CBS news broadcast by Roberta Baskin says she had identical batches of eight hair samples tested by three corporations - Associated Pathologists Laboratories in Las Vegas; United States Drug Testing Laboratories, outside Chicago; Psychemedics' home testing kits. The results showed just how flawed hair testing can be. "Consider this: if drug testing labs were wrong just one percent of the time, it would add up to 250,000 wrong results.") Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 19:43:36 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Testing The Drug Test Labs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: 17 Feb 1999 Source: CBS News Contact: http://www.cbs.com/navbar/feedback.html Website: http://www.cbs.com/ Author: Roberta Baskin TESTING THE DRUG TEST LABS All three labs detected the drug in the African-American user, two failed to find it in the white user. CBS NEW YORK Wednesday, February 17,1999 - 10:13 AM ET (CBS) This week, a series of special reports by CBS This Morning Correspondent Roberta Baskin raised important questions about the reliability of using hair tests to detect drug use. Her three-month investigation concludes with her own exclusive survey, and results that should be of real concern for anyone who's subjected to hair testing. More than 1,500 employers now make hiring and firing decisions based on drug tests that use hair samples. But the concerns of scientists prompted some hair testing of our own. Why a hair test? Because when a person uses drugs, it goes straight into the bloodstream, then into the hair shaft where traces of drug use can remain for months. But how reliably and accurately can those traces be measured in the laboratory? "Very accurately," says Ray Kubacki, president and CEO of Psychemedics, the largest hair testing company in the U.S. "It does a great job of picking up all the drugs," he says. But Dr. Michael Walsh, the former drug adviser to Presidents Reagan and Bush, is one of a number of scientists who question the results coming out of hair testing labs. "There are so many questions yet unresolved about hair testing that it is totally unreasonable to use the results of a hair test to make a decision about whether to hire or fire someone," Dr. Walsh says. So what would he say to the firms using hair testing for drugs? "As P.T. Barnum said, 'there's a sucker born every minute,' and I think a lot of these corporations have been suckered by some good salesmanship and good marketing," he says. We decided to check for ourselves. First, we set up a fictitious company, appropriately named The Strand Group, and found three labs to conduct our hair tests. We used Associated Pathologists Laboratories in Las Vegas; United States Drug Testing Laboratories outside Chicago; and home testing kits made by Psychemedics. We sent identical batches of eight hair samples to each of the three labs. Some contained high levels of cocaine and PCP. Some contained codeine, an opiate. Two samples contained no drugs at all. Each hair sample was prepared by leading scientific experts, their work confirmed with state of the art equipment. We included a sample from a frequent marijuana and cocaine user who asked that we not reveal his identity. We confirmed his use with an old-fashioned urine test. Most of our results came back within 72 hours, and they showed just how flawed hair testing can be. All three labs did a good job detecting the high levels of cocaine in our samples, and correctly identified the cocaine use by our anonymous drug user. But none of the three found the marijuana. All three hair testing labs missed the opiates, and two out of the three labs missed the PCP, even though the levels were about four times higher than those the labs claim they can detect. We also tested scientists' concerns that hair testing might be color-biased. Recent tests on laboratory animals have shown that the concentration of drugs in black hair can be up to 50 times higher than in lighter-colored hair. Sure enough, when we sent hair samples from two people who took the same low amounts of cocaine, all three labs detected the drug in the African-American user, while two failed to find it in the white user. One lab rejected the hair sample as too small to test. Raymond Kelly, head of Associated Pathologists Laboratories, says, "It's really hard to get anything statistically significant out of one sample of each type - that's just a far too tiny population. That's one of the problems I have with these studies that show that there is a hair color bias issue." Finally, we saw how someone can falsely be accused of being a user simply by being around drugs. The hair of an 8-year old child was exposed to low concentrations of cocaine, then washed several times. Psychemedics correctly reported the contamination. But the other two labs reported the child's hair positive for cocaine. They even reported finding a chemical in it which can only be produced through ingestion. Dr. Christine Moore is director of United States Drug Testing Laboratories, one of the two labs that found the 8-year old tested positive for cocaine. She says, "It's difficult, if not impossible, to tell the difference between use and contamination." Dr. Moore adds, "We need to have more blind samples sent and these types of things where people know what's in the samples to test the laboratory. That can only help with us to improve our own work." She says she wants to re-examine her lab procedures to understand why it missed the opiates. To the credit of all three labs, the drug-free samples we sent all came back drug-free. As Dr Michael Walsh puts it, "There are no outside proficiency testing or quality control or certification programs that are providing an oversight over this technology. So the buyer has to beware." Ours was a small sample, not a scientific study. But it raises serious credibility questions about hair testing. Consider this: if drug testing labs were wrong just one percent of the time, it would add up to 250,000 wrong results. By Roberta Baskin
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ex-Officer Found Guilty In Drug Case (The Philadelphia Inquirer says a federal jury yesterday convicted Peter Henry, a former Philadelphia police officer, of using his police credit-union account to help launder the gains of his extended family's illegal marijuana dealings.) Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 18:14:53 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US PA: Ex-Officer Found Guilty In Drug Case Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Pubdate: Feb 17, 1999 Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) Copyright: 1999 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. Contact: Inquirer.Opinion@phillynews.com Website: http://www.phillynews.com/ Forum: http://interactive.phillynews.com/talk-show/ Author: Bill Ordine & Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writers EX-OFFICER FOUND GUILTY IN DRUG CASE A former Philadelphia police officer who prosecutors said used his police credit-union account to help launder the gains of his extended family's illegal marijuana dealings was convicted in federal court yesterday. The jury deliberated about six hours over two days before returning guilty verdicts against Peter Henry, 35, on one count of conspiracy to launder money and two counts of money laundering. Henry was acquitted of the more serious charge of conspiracy to distribute drugs and of three additional money-laundering charges involving a marijuana ring that prosecutors said was headed by his cousin's husband, Corbin Thomas, a Jamaican emigre. Henry faces a possible jail term of 5 to 6 years, according to the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Reed. U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner set sentencing for May 20. Defense lawyer Jack A. Meyerson said he planned to appeal. "You always worry about jury compromise," Meyerson said, referring to the acquittal on the drug charge and the conviction for money laundering. Henry, a Jamaican-born resident of the city's Wynnefield Heights neighborhood, was charged, in a 33-count indictment last September, with being a member of a marijuana ring that operated in the city from 1990 to 1995. The indictment alleged that he helped launder the cash proceeds -- the ring made more than $1 million selling thousands of pounds of marijuana -- by depositing large quantities of cash in his police credit-union account. The 12-year veteran would then withdraw varying amounts and use the cash to make straw purchases of automobiles for Thomas, 36, and others. Also charged in the indictment were Thomas' nephew, Winston "Titos" Thomas, 35, and three other associates as well as Henry's half-brother, Richard Davis, 28, and cousin, Livingston Hall, 28, both of Philadelphia, who allegedly bought and resold marijuana from the drug organization. Davis and Livingston pleaded guilty shortly before the start of Henry's trial. The remaining defendants are fugitives and believed by authorities to be in Jamaica. Authorities said Corbin Thomas apparently fled to Jamaica about a month after the Nov. 14, 1995, murder of his estranged wife, Hope Smith Thomas, 29, a cousin of Henry's. She was fatally shot by a man in a "Wolfman" mask who accosted her and her daughter, Danielle, then 7, outside their Cedarbrook home. When yesterday's verdict was announced, Henry's wife, Lisa, broke into wails of "No! No! No!" and had to be restrained by friends and relatives. As she passed Reed, she kicked at his chair, losing her shoe in the process. She was briefly detained by U.S. marshals, but Joyner allowed her release. After the jury was dismissed, Henry, in appealing to Joyner for his wife's release, said he had turned down plea bargains that would have allowed him to serve six months, followed by probation. Reed said he discussed plea bargains with Meyerson but did not offer a six-month jail term. Meyerson declined comment.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Nighttime Drug Raid - Wrong House (The Miami Herald describes a recent home invasion by prohibition agents in Hallandale, Florida. Wrong apartment. Wrong building. Mixed-up search warrant. Innocent people terrorized. Wrong man arrested, humiliated and jailed in his wife's underwear.) Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 18:00:46 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US FL: Nighttime Drug Raid - Wrong House Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ginger Warbis (Webmistress@Fornits.com) Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Source: Miami Herald (FL) Copyright: 1999 The Miami Herald Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.herald.com/ Forum: http://krwebx.infi.net/webxmulti/cgi-bin/WebX?mherald Author: Arnold Markowitz, Herald Staff Writer NIGHTTIME DRUG RAID - WRONG HOUSE Loretta Bernhardt's Chihuahua growled, detecting something. Uh-oh, Loretta thought, her husband was up. It was a Hallandale Police narcotics raid, deliberately sudden and terrifying to give the raiders the advantage of surprise -- all typical, except for this: Wrong apartment. Wrong building. Mixed-up search warrant. Innocent people terrorized. Wrong man arrested, humiliated and jailed in his wife's underwear. It happened Feb. 9 in Hallandale. Edwin J. Bernhardt, a race horse exercise rider, spent a few hours under arrest for resisting arrest. Sgt. Paul Winters, the raiding party's supervisor, drove Bernhardt home later that night. He apologized and promised to have the door and window repaired. ``We Irish have to stick together,'' he told Loretta Bernhardt, who grew up as a milkmaid in County Galway. Next: Trouble. The Bernhardts' lawyer has notified the city of Hallandale that they intend to sue for false arrest and other offenses. The lawyer, Gary Kollin, advised the Bernhardts not to pose for news photos or give interviews. ``They're both suffering from post-traumatic stress,'' he said. Sgt. Winters and Detective Andrew Raphael, the lead investigator, did not reply to requests for an explanation. Chief Lawrence Farragher would not talk about the case except to say it is under internal investigation. ``We investigate anything when there's a complaint,'' he said. ``I'm not saying this is a complaint here, or if we feel certain procedures are not followed to our liking.'' Some police information was obtained from public-record documents -- the application for a search warrant and the warrant itself -- and other interviews. That Tuesday was a stormy night. The raiders came at 8:45 p.m. Eddie Bernhardt, 46, was asleep. He goes to work at 4 a.m., exercising horses at Gulfstream Park. His wife has a job at a horse-boarding farm. That night she came home about 8. She ate, then settled onto the living-room couch to watch some television. She had a package of M&Ms and a can of Diet Coke. When the Chihuahua growled, Loretta Bernhardt's first thought was to hide the M&Ms from her husband. She has a sugar problem and isn't supposed to eat candy. An assault rifle A window crashed, glass tinkling to the floor. An assault rifle poked through the hole. A shout:``Get down! Get down!'' Something was bang-bang-banging on the door. Now Eddie Bernhardt woke up. Naked, he leaped out of bed and ran into the living room just as the door crashed open. ``Two guys come in first. They push Eddie against the refrigerator, right off the living room,'' Kollin said, reading from a hand-written account by Loretta Bernhardt. ``What the hell's going on?'' Eddie Bernhardt shouted. ``Shut up, shut up,'' the police shouted back. ``One guy grabbed me and pushed me to the ground and handcuffed me and had a rifle pointed at me,'' Loretta Bernhardt wrote. Handcuffed on the floor Her husband was handcuffed on the floor near the refrigerator. About then, he realized these were not robbers, but the police. ``What are you doing?'' he asked. ``You've got the wrong person.'' A detective in street clothes appeared, giving orders: ``Pick him up and put him in a chair.'' Someone did that. ``What are you arresting me for?'' Bernhardt asked. ``Crack cocaine,'' the detective answered. A masked policewoman went to the bedroom, took a pair of boxer undershorts from the laundry bin and pulled them onto Bernhardt's body. The shorts are his wife's. The apartment is small -- living room, kitchenette, bedroom and bathroom -- adequate for a working couple who follow the horse-racing circuit, but pets are allowed so the place is a little crowded. The Bernhardts have the Chihuahua Pippin, a chummy black Labrador named Bow and a fuzzy gray tabby cat called Clyde. When the handcuffed Bernhardts looked around for Bow, he was cowering in a corner. A police officer was holding Pippin. Another was holding Clyde. Trying to count officers Loretta tried to count the police in the place; she lost track at 15. Her address, 611 NE Third St., is five blocks north of Gulfstream and a fraction of a block east of Federal Highway, the name of U.S. 1 in Broward. The building is one of six one-story structures in a row, all 20 by 82 feet, each with four apartments. They look as if they were all built for one original owner, but now there are different owners and -- at least by daylight -- there are obvious differences. The building where the Bernhardts live is white with red trim at the roofline and red brick facing between the windows on their end. It has a barrel tile roof. Their apartment, closest to the street, has a light gray door and a large number 1 on the mailbox. The next building is nearly identical but in disrepair, apparently vacant. These two buildings are called the Cool Breeze, but without a sign. Row of buildings The third building in the row, 619 NE Third St., is painted tan with green trim. The front apartment has a green door with the number 17. This is one of five buildings of the El Morocco Motel and the only one in the row with a roof of plain shingles -- not tile. Four tan buildings over, the El Morocco has a medium-size electric sign on a post. According to Detective Raphael's application for a search warrant, he supervised a controlled purchase of crack cocaine sometime in the first week of February. The buy was made by a person called Confidential Informant #413. The application says Raphael sent CI 413, with $20 in police money, to the door of apartment 17. A black man opened it. Three minutes later the informant returned to Raphael without the money and handed the detective a chunk of crack. Watching and making note of those movements is standard police procedure, intended to prevent mistakes later when a raid is made. But somewhere in the chain of events starting that day, mistakes were made anyway and were not corrected until too late. Descriptions mixed Raphael's affidavit, presented to Broward Circuit Judge Joyce Julian the day before the raid, mixes descriptions of the right place and the wrong place. It mentions the El Morocco and apartment 17 and the shingled roof of the place where the buy was made, and the black man who opened the door. But instead of 619 NE Third St. -- the right address -- it incorrectly says the buy was made at 611, where the Bernhardts live. They are white. The mistake is compounded by a detailed description of 611: the white-painted concrete block construction. The red brick facing on the end wall. The white fence between 611 and DiAnno's, the restaurant at the corner of Federal Highway. One reason for the confusion might be that the police had been active lately in that neighborhood and presumably have seen all the buildings. Twice in January, they made drug raids on different apartments at 614 NE Third St., directly across from the Bernhardts. Hector Miranda, owner of the El Morocco, says they have made a few raids there. He doesn't know anything about Eddie and Loretta Bernhardt, but he has a registration card from the man who rented his apartment #17. The tenant checked in on Dec. 22 as Omar Wilson and paid a week's rent, $175. He gave a North Miami address that used to exist, but is now the parking lot of a Walgreens store. Miranda expected Wilson to stop by the office last Tuesday: ``He was supposed to pay that day. He was behind $60 rent for the previous week, but I didn't see him.'' Last Saturday, he said, Wilson's girlfriend came to the El Morocco office. He let her in the apartment to get Wilson's clothing. ``Where is he?'' Miranda asked. ``He's in jail,'' she said. It's true. Winters, the detective sergeant at the wrong-address raid, had come to the El Morocco at 3 a.m. on Friday and arrested Wilson on 1997 charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest. The Broward County Jail booking sheet doesn't mention cocaine, but it lists the right address: 619 NE Third St., #17.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Officer Perjury Not Rare, Observers Say - Indictment May Be a First in Pr. George's (The Washington Post says Cpl. Rickey Rodriguez Davis, a nine-year police veteran in Prince George's County, was indicted on two counts of perjury in connection with his 1994 court testimony that fellow officer Timothy J. Moran did not hit a handcuffed man. Moran later admitted in federal court that he did hit the man. "Officers are more likely to get struck by lightning" than prosecuted for perjury, said Chris Slobogin, a University of Florida law professor. "It's extremely rare for prosecutors to indict what is essentially a co-worker," Slobogin said. In Philadelphia, at least 283 cases of police perjury have been dismissed in the wake of a corruption scandal involving two officers who were convicted of framing suspects and lying on the witness stand.) Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 12:27:42 -0700 (MST) From: Jury Rights Project (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: WP: Police Officer Perjury Not Rare (2/17/99) Washington Post 1150 15th St., NW Washington, DC 20071 Phone: 202-334-6000 Fax: 202-334-5451 Web: http://www.washingtonpost.com Letters to the Editor: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Wednesday, February 17, 1999; Page B01 Police Officer Perjury Not Rare, Observers Say Indictment May Be a First in Pr. George's By Ruben Castaneda Washington Post Staff Writer The indictment of a Prince George's County police officer on perjury charges in connection with testimony regarding whether a fellow officer beat a handcuffed suspect is believed to be the first such charge in county history. But local defense lawyers, and some national researchers, say officers often lie or omit key details in court testimony, especially in serious criminal trials and cases involving allegations of excessive force. The charges against Cpl. Rickey Rodriguez Davis are the latest turn in a case that has rocked all levels of law enforcement in the county and brought the sharp rebuke of a federal judge. Davis, a nine-year veteran, was indicted on two counts of perjury in connection with his 1994 court testimony that fellow officer Timothy J. Moran did not hit a handcuffed Bowie man. Moran later admitted in federal court that he violated the man's civil rights by hitting him when he was handcuffed. During Moran's sentencing last May, U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sharply criticized county officials for not prosecuting the officer themselves, saying they should police the police force and not leave that task to the federal government. In his November 1995 testimony in Prince George's County Circuit Court, Davis said Moran did not hit Peter Peluso. At the time, Peluso was on trial for allegedly assaulting his neighbor and resisting arrest. He was acquitted of both charges. In the subsequent federal investigation of the incident, Davis testified to a federal grand jury that Moran did hit Peluso, according to several sources familiar with the investigation. Although Davis cooperated with the federal investigation, he was not given any immunity for his testimony, according to the police union chief. U.S. Attorney Lynne A. Battaglia forwarded the perjury case to Prince George's County State's Attorney Jack B. Johnson (D). Defense lawyers said they hope last week's indictment of Davis will deter other officers from lying under oath. "It's a common for police officers to lie. It happens every day," Riverdale lawyer Doug Wood said. "They lie on the stand and support each other." "While I think there are officers who take their oaths seriously and don't lie, there is no question in my mind there are officers who without hesitation walk into the courtroom and lie," said lawyer Michael S. Blumenthal, a former county prosecutor. On the other hand, a police spokesman and the president of the county's police union said perjury by officers is rare and exaggerated by critics. But independent researchers said police perjury occurs throughout the country, particularly when evidence is challenged or officers are accused of brutality, though they differed on the frequency of such lying. They said that prosecutions of officers on perjury charges is indeed rare. Veteran lawyers said they could not recall a previous instance in which a county police officer was charged with perjury, a felony punishable by 10 years in prison. "Officers are more likely to get struck by lightning" than prosecuted for perjury, said Chris Slobogin, a University of Florida law professor who has written law review articles about police perjury. "It's extremely rare for prosecutors to indict what is essentially a co-worker," Slobogin said. He said perjury by police officers is most prevalent in urban areas, not because officers there are less honest but because of the high levels of crime and pressures they face. "As a moral matter, police sometimes feel it's okay to lie if it will lead to the conviction of a defendant who is guilty. They can rationalize it," Slobogin said. In recent years, police perjury has been exposed in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, at least 283 cases have been dismissed in the wake of a corruption scandal involving two officers who were convicted of framing suspects and lying on the witness stand. New York's Mollen Commission early this decade documented numerous instances of what has been called police "testi-lying." Some experts said that lying, or remaining silent to protect fellow officers accused of misconduct, is seen as a virtue among some officers. "It's probably the most powerful unwritten rule of police work," Slobogin said. "You never rat on your partner. It's a cardinal sin, the worst thing you can do in the police subculture." Eugene Cromartie, deputy executive director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, said: "There's always been this thing about a code of silence among police officers, and that's unfortunate. A lot of our chiefs have been faced with that problem." Federal prosecutors suspect that they were stymied by the code of silence when they investigated the highly publicized 1995 beating by Prince George's officers of a murder suspect. In April 1995, a squad of tactical officers stormed into the Greenbelt apartment of Jeffrey C. Gilbert and beat him severely. Gilbert was suspected of killing a county police officer and taking the officer's gun. That charge was dropped a month later when another man, killed by police after he fatally ambushed an FBI agent, was found to be carrying the gun of the slain officer. D.C. homicide detectives provided further evidence linking that man, Ralph McLean, to a series of shootings of police officers, including the slaying of the county police officer. The FBI and federal prosecutors investigated the Gilbert beating but did not file charges after none of the officers who participated in the beating would agree to testify. In letters to attorneys for two of those officers, federal prosecutors said they believed those officers were "not completely candid" in their testimony to a federal grand jury. The officers said Gilbert was beaten while resisting arrest. The officers still face a civil suit alleging that they violated Gilbert's federal civil rights. In court papers, attorneys for Gilbert said the officers have "suffered significant memory loss" about the beating. Royce Holloway, a department spokesman, said officials do not tolerate lying under oath and urge officers to step forward to report misconduct. "We take [perjury] seriously. Does it seem to be widespread? No," Holloway said. "If any officers know of any other instances of alleged police perjury, it's their duty to report it." John A. "Rodney" Bartlett, the police union president, said officers would not risk their careers by lying on the witness stand. "There is not a defendant in the world worth losing your job over," Bartlett said. Mark Spurrier, director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Community Policing Institute and a former Baltimore County police officer, said he believes police perjury is diminishing as police departments become more professional and chiefs talk with greater frequency about ethics. "I think the code of silence is being broken down," Spurrier said. But some local lawyers disagreed. They noted that there have been several cases in recent months in which county police officers were found to have abused their power, after having been cleared by the department's internal affairs unit. "The change has to come from within the police department," said Michael V. Statham, a Greenbelt lawyer. *** Re-distributed by the: Jury Rights Project (email@example.com) Web page: http://www.lrt.org/jrp.homepage.htm To be added to or removed from the JRP mailing list, send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title. The JRP is dedicated to educating jurors about their right to acquit people who have been accused of victmless crimes and thereby veto bad laws. We are separate and distinct from the Fully Informed Jury Association (www.fija.org), but have the same mission: more justice through better-educated jurors.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana: AIDS Activists Call On McCaffrey To Intervene (According to the Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, this morning's USA Today says a coalition of 17 AIDS organizations has written a letter to General Barry McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, asking him to speed government approval of marijuana for medical uses, contending that just "as promising AIDS medications have been made available prior to final Food and Drug Administration approval, so too should marijuana, when recommended by a physician." Government officials are waiting for an Institute of Medicine study due out next month before taking further action.) From: Mireille Jacobson (MJacobson@sorosny.org) To: TLC_CANNABIS (TLCCANNABIS@sorosny.org) Subject: FW: Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report on Medical MJ Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 10:17:41 -0500 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org -----Original Message----- From: email@example.com [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 1999 10:12 AM Subject: Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report KAISER DAILY HIV/AIDS REPORT A news service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation http://report.kff.org/aidshiv/ Wednesday, February 17, 1999 POLITICS & POLICY #1 MEDICAL MARIJUANA: AIDS ACTIVISTS CALL ON MCCAFFREY TO INTERVENE AIDS activists are calling on White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey to speed government approval of marijuana for medical uses, but government officials are waiting for a study due out next month before taking further action. In a letter to McCaffrey, director of National Drug Control Policy, a coalition of 17 organizations contend that just "as promising AIDS medications have been made available prior to final Food and Drug Administration approval, so too should marijuana, when recommended by a physician." Noting that "thousands" of patients use marijuana illegally, the letter asserts that "[p]eople should not have to risk their health or jail to receive needed medical care. ... Science and compassion should dictate our nation's policy regarding medical treatment." USA Today reports that the letter reflects "fears that the report will stop short of recommending medical marijuana as suitable for AIDS patients and instead call for more research." The activists argue, however, that "[t]erminally ill patients cannot afford to wait for years of research to prove what they already know: Medical marijuana works." McCaffrey spokesperson Bob Weiner said "his office will defer to the FDA and the National Institute of Drug Abuse." Weiner said, "We've always said that science, not politics, should dictate what is safe and effective medicine in America." He added that McCaffrey wants to see the National Institute of Medicine report before commenting on it. McCaffrey "clearly doesn't know what's going on in the front lines in the fight against AIDS," said Steven Johnson, policy director for the Northwest AIDS Foundation (McMahon, USA Today, 2/17).
------------------------------------------------------------------- AIDS Groups Plead For 'Medical Marijuana' (The original USA Today version) Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 17:36:51 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: USA Today: AIDS Groups Plead For 'Medical Marijuana' Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Fratello and Steve Kubby Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Source: USA Today (US) Copyright: 1999 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. Page: A2 Contact: email@example.com Address: 1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22229 Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm Author: Patrick McMahon Note: Just want to be sure readers understand that when we list two newshawks with an 'and' we mean that we received it from both newshawks as individual posts. Usually the posts do not arrive close enough together for the MAP editors to give credit like this, so the second person to post is simply not recognized. We wish it could be otherwise, because without our super newshawks, there would be no clipping service or researchable archives with close to 20,000 items now. Thanks, Newshawks!!! *** AIDS GROUPS PLEAD FOR 'MEDICAL MARIJUANA' AIDS activists are concerned that a study due out next month may set back for years their hopes that marijuana will be approved for AIDS patients, and they are urging the White House drug czar to intercede. A coalition of 17 organizations across the country fears that the report will stop short of recommending medical marijuana as suitable for AIDS patients, and instead call for more research. "Terminally ill patients cannot afford to wait for years of research to prove something they already know: Medical marijuana works," the activists say. In a letter to be released later this week, they are seeking help from retired Army general Barry McCaffrey, director of National Drug Control Policy, who ordered the study. They are asking McCaffrey to help break a "bureaucratic logjam" and help speed government approval of marijuana for AIDS patients. "Our request is simple," they say in the letter, "Just as promising AIDS medications have been made available prior to final Food and Drug Administration approval, so too should marijuana, when recommended by a physician." "We want to see that study before we comment on it," says McCaffrey spokesman Bob Weiner. As for speeding FDA approval for AIDS patients, he says his office will defer to the FDA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "It's their call," Weiner says. "We've always said that science, not politics, should dictate what is safe and effective medicine in America." The statements from McCaffrey's office drew a frustrated response from Steven B. Johnson, policy director of the Northwest AIDS Foundation in Seattle, the largest AIDS social service agency in the Northwest. "The General clearly doesn't know what's going on in the front lines in the fight against AIDS," Johnson says. At issue is a study reviewing the scientific research that has been done on medical marijuana's effectiveness. It is being conducted by the National Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences. It is due to be released in mid-March. The activists say in a statement that "this is the first time that AIDS groups have come together to call for legal, immediate access to marijuana." The coalition comes together as the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Arizona are implementing ballot measures approved last November allowing physicians to recommend marijuana to treat cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and nausea and seizures. Marijuana is categorized by the federal government as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin. It is not approved for any medical use, and it is against federal law for physicians to prescribe it. The letter to McCaffrey takes note of the FDA approval process that has been streamlined for several medications important to patients living with HIV and AIDS. "Thousands of Americans, many of them living with HIV, use marijuana as a medicine illegally, putting themselves at risk of arrest and prosecution," the letter says. "People should not have to risk their health or jail to receive needed medical care." The letter goes on to say, "Science and compassion should dictate our nation's policy regarding medical treatment."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Body & Mind; Kids Getting More Antidepressants (The Cincinnati Enquirer says dentists are concerned about the rapid increase in children taking antidepressants, because a common side effect of such drugs is reduced saliva production. Children on antidepressants are at increased risk of developing cavities and mouth infections because saliva coats teeth with protective minerals and is a natural bacteria-fighter. According to a 1998 study by IMS, a research company, 800,000 American children were prescribed Prozac, Zoloft or Paxil, three common antidepressants, and another half million were taking anti-seizure drugs.) Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 16:10:21 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Body & Mind; Kids Getting More Antidepressants Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: 17 Feb 1999 Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) Copyright: 1999 The Cincinnati Enquirer Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://enquirer.com/today/ BODY & MIND; KIDS GETTING MORE ANTIDEPRESSANTS The increased use of antidepressants by children is causing concern among dentists. A common side effect of antidepressant use is dry mouth and reduced saliva, and dentists say children on antidepressants are at increased risk of developing cavities and infections in the mouth. Saliva coats teeth with protective minerals and is a natural bacteria-fighter. According to a 1998 study by IMS, a research company, 800,000 American children were prescribed Prozac, Zoloft or Paxil, three common antidepressants, and another half million were taking anti-seizure drugs. Delta Dental, a dental benefits program company, urges parents to alert the dentist if a child is taking antidepressants and to encourage meticulous tooth-care routine. Children should brush after every meal, floss regularly, avoid sticky foods and have teeth cleaned at least twice a year. Children also should drink plenty of water, eat fruits and vegetables with high water content, chew sugarless gum and avoid caffeine drinks and spicy - acidic foods. Talk to the child's doctor or dentist if the child needs to moisten the mouth often, has a dry mouth at night, has less saliva than before taking the drugs and has difficulty swallowing and eating dry foods. Apple or pear? Here's another reason to get chubby kids to slim down, eat and exercise more. Cincinnati researcher Dr. Stephen Daniels has found that children who put on weight around their stomach - so-called apple-shaped - have more risk factors for heart disease than children whose weight is concentrated at the hips and thighs, or pear-shaped. The same phenomenon exists in adults, too. Dr. Daniels, pediatrician and environmental health specialist at Children's Hospital and the University of Cincinnati, found in a study of 127 children 9- 17 that those with more upper-body fat had higher levels of blood fat and triglycerides, higher systolic blood pressure, lower "good" cholesterol levels and more mass on the left side of the heart, which does most of the pumping. Where fat is distributed, he says, seems to have more of an effect on heart disease risks than overall fatness: "You can already see this relationship in children as young as 9 and even in kids who are not necessarily overweight at this stage." Drugs and miscarriage Pennsylvania researchers have verified that cigarette smoking and cocaine use by pregnant women greatly increase their chances of having a miscarriage. Nearly 1,000 pregnant women and teens, predominantly low-income black women, were studied. Of 400 who had miscarriages, 29 percent used cocaine and 35 percent smoked tobacco, compared with 20 and 22 percent, respectively, of pregnant women who did not have miscarriages. University of Pittsburgh doctors pointed out that cocaine and nicotine decrease blood flow to the placenta and uterus; nicotine also contains carbon monoxide, which decreases the amount of oxygen available to the fetus, and cyanide, which depletes Vitamin B-12, necessary for the baby's growth and development. Shelf help: Ritalin Hyped-up children or a hyped-up culture? Vermont psychologist Richard DeGrandpre tears down the notion that millions of American children suffer from attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, instead blaming the problem on a rapid-fire culture filled with growing stress, instant communication and media, speed and fast-paced expectations. Advances in technology, he says in Ritalin Nation (W.W. Norton; $23.95), have made modern-day Americans less able to pay attention, relax and be patient, while drug companies have stepped in to promote their stimulant drugs as quick fixes, he says. It's enlightened reading for parents, teachers, doctors and others.
------------------------------------------------------------------- U.S. Customs Admits Its Own Drug Corruption (The New York Times says U.S. Customs Service officials acknowledged Tuesday in a report to Congress that The agency had failed to combat corruption aggressively. In an atmosphere of neglect, internal affairs inquiries languished and were sometimes impeded because of infighting. In addition, the agency announced Tuesday the appointment of William A. Keefer, a former federal prosecutor, to head Internal Affairs. Keefer is replacing Homer J. Williams, a Customs official who was transferred after he became the subject of a federal inquiry in California into whether he told a colleague that she was under scrutiny in a corruption case.) Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 14:07:06 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: NYT: U.S. Customs Admits Its Own Drug Corruption Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Source: New York Times (NY) Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Forum: http://forums.nytimes.com/comment/ Author: David Johnston U.S. CUSTOMS ADMITS ITS OWN DRUG CORRUPTION WASHINGTON -- The front-line role of the Customs Service in the government's war against illegal drugs has left the agency highly vulnerable to narcotics-related corruption, Customs officials acknowledged Tuesday in a report to Congress. The report, which was sent to a House panel with jurisdiction over the agency, admitted that the service had failed to aggressively combat corruption. In an atmosphere of neglect, internal affairs inquiries languished and were sometimes impeded because of infighting, the report said. The report is the service's most extensive and critical examination of how it deals with narcotics-related corruption and other internal affairs issues after years in which sporadic corruption cases have tarnished the image of an agency with 12,000 field inspection employees. "The large amounts of illegal drugs that pass through U.S. Customs land, sea and air ports of entry and the enormous amount of money at the disposal of drug traffickers to corrupt law enforcement personnel place Customs and its employees at great risk to corruption," the report concluded. Once focused on preventing the entry of illegal trade goods and farm products, the service has been thrust in recent years into broad responsibilities in interdicting narcotics, as inspectors monitor more than 300 ports of entry through which marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other illegal drugs flow into the United States. The report was ordered by lawmakers, but Customs officials said that the agency had taken the initiative to review its approach to corruption issues. But the report was sent to Congress at a time when lawmakers in the House and Senate are expected to critically examine the agency's internal affairs performance. The report sought to focus on corrective measures and Customs Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, who is a former New York City police commissioner, said in an interview Tuesday that he had introduced a series of changes. He has elevated Internal Affairs so that it reports directly to him, ordered a tougher recruit screening system and sought to reduce the years-long backlog of periodic personnel investigations. In addition, the agency announced Tuesday the hiring of William A. Keefer, a former federal prosecutor, to head Internal Affairs. Keefer is replacing Homer J. Williams, a Customs official who was transferred after he became the subject of a federal inquiry in California into whether he told a colleague that she was under scrutiny in a corruption case. Referring to his experience as police commissioner in New York, Kelly said in a letter to Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., chairman of an appropriations committee panel that monitors Customs, "I know that questions of integrity can erode public confidence in our law enforcement institutions." The report by the Customs Service's Office of Professional Responsibility sidestepped the issue of the extent to which corruption had already damaged the agency's effectiveness. Although the service opened more than 180 felony or misdemeanor cases against employees in 1997, the last year that statistics were available, Kelly said the Internal Affairs system was unable to precisely define the scope of the problem. The report did not uncover evidence of systematic corruption in its ranks, but did conclude that "individual acts of corruption have occurred and continue to occur" that placed the agency in danger of being undermined by its own employees. In the last decade, eight Customs officers have been convicted of taking payments from drug traffickers. In one case, in El Paso, Texas, two customs inspectors tried to shake down an informer posing as a drug smuggler, one of them demanding more than $1 million to look the other way when cocaine-laden vehicles crossed Juarez, the Mexican border city, into the United Sates. Federal counter-narcotics officials have said the level of corruption might be higher than the numbers suggest based on the frequency of drug intelligence reports indicating that federal agents on the border had been compromised. Moreover, the officials said the number of cases might be higher because the corruption often requires little involvement by an officer whose only overt activity is to turn away when a car carrying drugs pulls up at an inspection lane. Such cases are extremely difficult to detect, given the volume of cross-border traffic. In 1997, the last year statistics were available, the agency processed more than 400 million passengers and 17 million cargo shipments and seized about 400 tons of illegal drugs. One of the most serious issues to emerge in the report was the existence of bitter animosity between the agency's Internal Affairs unit and the Office of Investigations, which conducts criminal inquiries into violations of customs laws. The report found what it called a "long history of strife and infighting" between the two units, an animosity that was based on "the belief of agents from Investigations that agents assigned to Internal Affairs are incompetent, overzealous and spend too much time investigating matters that are unrelated to corruption." Internal Affairs agents who were interviewed during the review said that the hostility had "a debilitating effect on their ability to perform their jobs diligently" and "diminished the importance of their work." Some agents cited instances in which Investigations agents interfered with or compromised investigations. The report did not cite specifics but said that two federal prosecutors had considered excluding Customs agents from corruption cases because of the conflict which the report said had reached "critical proportions."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Minuet in Mexico (An op-ed in the Washington Post by Michael Kelly, the editor of National Journal, ponders the annual certification of Mexico as an ally in the United States' drug war, and finds the Clinton administration hypocritical, but doesn't say whether Mexico should be decertified or the dance should be ended by Congress.) Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 13:43:46 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Mexico: WP: OPED: Minuet in Mexico Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Page: A17 Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071 Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Michael Kelly. Michael Kelly is the editor of National Journal. MINUET IN MEXICO It is fortuitous that President Clinton's first major foreign policy decision after his acquittal in the Senate will be to affirm, once more, that Mexico is "fully cooperating" with the United States in combating narcotics trafficking. This gives the president an opportunity to remind his acquitters that, in his case, dishonesty does not stop at the boudoir's edge. Mexico is one of 30 drug-producing nations that the American president must, under law, annually certify to Congress as cooperating with U.S. interdiction efforts. Under the law, decertifying Mexico would trigger major trade and aid sanctions. That would be awkward, since Mexico is America's second-largest trading partner. So, every year, the same minuet: At some point in the month before the March 1 certification deadline, Mexico unveils what U.S. drug agencies call the "February Surprise," some new program designed to give the president a bit of cover. This February's surprise was a $500 million upgrade of anti-smuggling forces, announced by Mexico's interior minister, Francisco Labastida. That would be the same Francisco Labastida whom the CIA said in a confidential 1998 report "has long-standing ties to narcotics traffickers." And every year, the Clinton administration announces that its searching review has once again found Mexico to be cooperating splendidly, and the president certifies anew. Last year, he did so in the face of a confidential DEA report, which declared, "the Government of Mexico has not accomplished its counternarcotics goals or succeeded in cooperation with the United States Government." Clinton signaled his intention to certify to falsehood once more on Monday, after a one-day summit with Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo at the Hacienda Temozon in Merida, Mexico. "Mexico should not be penalized for having the courage to confront its problems," Clinton said, adding that cooperation between the United States and Mexico "has clearly improved under President Zedillo's leadership." The president should break the glad news to the CIA, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As noted with dry understatement in a New York Times story appearing the day before Clinton spoke: "Officials from each of these agencies challenge the administration's public assertion that the Mexican authorities are trying to do their best." A few facts: The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy reports that 59 percent of the estimated 176 tons of South American cocaine processed in 1998 was smuggled into the United States through Mexico. Mexico is also a leading smuggler of heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and ephedrine, the base ingredient in methamphetamine. Over the past year, Mexico's seizures of all of these drugs have fallen, and in the case of heroin and cocaine, substantially. State Department figures show that Mexico's drug seizures also dropped in the 1996-1997 year: heroin by 68 percent, methamphetamine by 77 percent and ephedrine by 91 percent. Mexico's military anti-drug force, the Center for Anti-Narcotics Information, is often unwilling to even pretend to aid U.S. law enforcement. In one particularly naked example reported by the Times, U.S. narcotics officials gave their Mexican counterparts the home addresses and telephone numbers of two of Cancun's primary traffickers, Ramon Alcides Magana and Albino Qunitero Meraz -- and still, the Mexican officers could not manage to find their quarry. Mexico has never extradited a single major drug trafficker to the United States. Zedillo's government, like Mexican governments before him, refuses to allow U.S. officials to search boats in its waters for illegal drugs, and it refuses to allow U.S. agents to carry sidearms while in Mexico. This latter refusal has wrecked the U.S.-Mexican front-line Bilateral Border Task Forces. Last March, the Times reported that, for more than a year, agents from the DEA, FBI and U.S. Customs assigned to the force refused to cross the border into Mexico. And finally, this tale from the annals of full cooperation: Last May, a U.S. Customs investigation into drug money-laundering smashed Mexico's narco-dollars network, arresting 167 people, including 26 Mexican bankers. The response of the Zedillo government that Clinton praises? It has refused to honor U.S. requests to extradite five suspects in the case. To the contrary, until the looming certification deadline forced it to back down, Zedillo's government threatened to demand the extradition to Mexico of the Customs agents who broke the case. But all of this is perhaps superfluous detail. All you really need to know about Clinton, Mexico and certification is this truth, uttered by a wisely anonymous administration official to the Times: "This is not about what Mexico has done. This is about convincing the Hill that whatever Mexico has done is enough." Exactly. Whatever.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Policeman Tipped Off Friend Over Raid (The Sydney Morning Herald, in Australia, says Senior Constable Christan Bruce, a crewman on a New South Wales police helicopter, admitted to the NSW Police Integrity Commission yesterday that he had tipped off a friend and former police officer that police were about to raid his home for ecstacy and cocaine. The phone was tapped. The hearing continues today.) Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 04:30:08 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: Policeman Tipped Off Friend Over Raid Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Russell.Ken.KW@bhp.com.au (Russell, Ken KW) Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Author: Greg Bearup POLICEMAN TIPPED OFF FRIEND OVER RAID A police crewman from the NSW police helicopter admitted to the NSW Police Integrity Commission yesterday that he had tipped off a friend and former police officer that police were about to raid his home for drugs. Senior Constable Christan Bruce said that on the morning of December 11 last year he arrived at work to be briefed about a job the police helicopter would be involved in that day. Constable Bruce, who is a senior observer on the helicopter, realised the premises they were to observe were the office and home of his friend, Mr Peter Murrant, who left the NSW Police Service last year. Constable Bruce slipped from the briefing and immediately telephoned Mr Murrant and left a coded, nervous message on his answering machine, which was played to the commission yesterday: "G'day Spider [Mr Murrant's nickname] ... apparently I have to help someone get rid of their low-maintenance and high-maintenance bits and pieces from their work and their home ... anyway we have to go now and do a job regarding a search warrant." The pair were to have met that night for a drink. Later that same day he telephoned again and said: "Hopefully you got my message and that there's nothing at home or work that anyone need worry about." Questioned in the commission yesterday, Constable Bruce said the two premises he was sent to observe were Mr Murrant's office, Blue Falcon Security in Bayswater Road, and his home address. He was talking to Mr Murrant in code, he said, with "low-maintenance" referring to ecstasy and "high-maintenance" to cocaine. Asked why he felt he should tip him off, Constable Bruce said: "I considered him one of my best friends and thought it was my duty as a friend to warn him in regards to the cocaine and the ecstasy." It is not known how long the Police Integrity Commission had been taping the telephone calls of Mr Murrant and his serving police colleagues, but yesterday about a dozen tapped calls were played in the hearing room. One, from September 26 last year, was between Constable Bruce, who was in Scruffy Murphy's Hotel, and Mr Murrant, who was at Darling Harbour, in which they talked about "dog", a code for ecstasy or cocaine, the commission alleged. Constable Bruce on the tape: "I mentioned it to him tonight. Oh a dog's bark. I said woof to him and he goes excited." Mr Murrant: "Didn't you bring that dog, that barking dog that was at home?" When Mr Murrant was asked in the commission yesterday about the dog references, he said that it was simply a long-running joke between him and Constable Bruce as he felt Constable Bruce did not give his German shepherd enough to eat. "The dog was 35kg and it should have been 45kg or 50kg." Counsel assisting the commission, Mr Pat Barrett, suggested that he was talking about illegal drugs. Mr Murrant denied this. At one point yesterday, questioning moved away from Mr Murrant's employment of serving police in his security business and onto the alleged use and sale of illegal drugs. When his friend took to the witness stand, Mr Murrant's head slumped into his hands as he listened to the evidence. At the end of the day's proceedings the two men stood near each other at the back of the hearing room but avoided eye contact. Mr Murrant left via the public entrance and Constable Bruce through the "rollover door" and into the commission's offices. The hearing, which is looking into the use and sale of illegal drugs by serving and former police, continues today. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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