------------------------------------------------------------------- Cigarette sales go down in Oregon (According to the Associated Press, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that local sales of cigarettes decreased 11.3 percent from 1996 to 1998, despite a 2.7 percent increase in Oregon's population. The CDC says a tax increase of 30 cents to 68 cents a pack, passed by voters in November 1996, contributed to a 6.3 percent decline in cigarette sales. However, AP doesn't mention the latest state figures showing an increase in tobacco consumption among 11th-graders, or the extent to which cigarette consumers may be boycotting the formal market.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Cigarette sales go down in Oregon Friday February 26, 1999 The Associated Press Two years after imposing a higher cigarette tax and using the additional revenue to pay for an anti-smoking campaign, fewer Oregonians appear to be lighting up, federal health officials said Thursday. The tax increase of 30 cents to 68 cents a pack, passed by voters in November 1996, was used to pay for tobacco-use prevention and education programs and expand insurance coverage. Cigarette sales decreased 11.3 percent - about 10 packs per person - from 1996 to 1998 despite a 2.7 percent increase in Oregon's population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. That translates into 25 million fewer cigarette packs sold in 1998 than in 1996. The tax increase alone contributed to a 6.3 percent decline, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The drop follows a four-year period in which Oregon had a 2.2 percent increase in sales. The decline in cigarette use was first reported by the Oregon Health Division last fall, when state officials said the tax and the anti-smoking campaign cut smoking by 10 percent. Oregon is the third state to report dramatic curbs in smoking as a result of the combined use of stiff cigarette taxes and aggressive anti-tobacco programs, the centers said. Similar findings have been reported by Massachusetts and California, the federal agency said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Group criticizes Oregon's assisted-suicide report (The Associated Press says Americans for Integrity in Palliative Care, a group opposed to physician-assisted suicide that lists former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop among the nine doctors and two lawyers who founded it late last year, criticized an Oregon state report on the Death With Dignity Act Thursday, saying the study's positive conclusions are unfounded. The group said, for example, that just because patients didn't convey cost concerns to their doctors didn't mean that the patients weren't worried about their pocketbooks.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Group criticizes Oregon's assisted-suicide report * The organization, Americans for Integrity in Palliative Care, questions several aspects of the report compiled in Oregon Friday February 26, 1999 WASHINGTON -- A new group opposed to assisted suicide criticized Oregon's report on the Death With Dignity Act, saying Thursday that the study's conclusions are unfounded. Americans for Integrity in Palliative Care called into question the finding that people who died using Oregon's landmark law received adequate pain relief because more than two-thirds of them were enrolled in a hospice. While arguing that high levels of enrollment don't necessarily guarantee adequate care, the group also criticized the report for saying no person who chose suicide expressed a concern about the financial effect of his or her illness. The group said that just because patients didn't convey cost concerns to their doctors didn't mean that the patients weren't worried about their pocketbooks. "There are conclusions here that are based on a lack of information," said Dr. Herbert Hendin, a professor at New York Medical College and a member of the group. "That's the big mistake in the report." Dr. Arthur Eugene Chin, who helped prepare the report for the Oregon Health Division, said the critics "bring up some very interesting points." He said it's true there were better sources for information about the level of care and financial issues. But he said the study's authors didn't pursue that course because of privacy concerns. Chin said the goal of the report was not to conduct a comprehensive study of physician-assisted suicide. The state officials wanted to fulfill a state law that requires them to put out a statistical report on the law and at the same time provide some information about how the law was used in its first year. The group critical of the report lists former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop among the nine doctors and two lawyers who founded it late last year.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prison mistakenly feeds TV reporter a false story (The Associated Press says a public information officer at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton taking part in a drill caused a false story to be broadcast by KATU, Portland's ABC affiliate.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Prison mistakenly feeds TV reporter a false story * An official at a Pendleton institution, thinking she was being tested during a drill, gives details of a fatal "explosion" to KATU-TV Friday February 26, 1999 Prison officials got so wrapped up in a fake emergency drill Thursday at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton that they mistakenly told a Portland television station that a tragedy had occurred. What resulted was a 30-second breaking news story on KATU-TV (2) reporting that an explosion had rocked the prison and that one inmate had died. Oregon prisons routinely hold drills to practice how to respond to emergency situations. Thursday morning, the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution simulated an explosion and inmate death. The explosion was set up, and the inmate death was acted out, fake blood included. So when Kathy Jackson, a prison public information officer, started getting calls from staff members pretending to be reporters trying to confirm details of the tragedy, she did what she was supposed to do: She responded exactly as she would in a real-life disaster. Problem was, one of those who called her to confirm the explosion and fatality wasn't part of the drill, but a KATU-TV reporter, who promptly went on the air with the "confirmed" story. "As soon as we figured out that the reporter was not one of our simulators, we called right back," Jackson said. "But by then it was too late. It was already on the air." KATU News Director Gary Walker acknowledged an apology from Jackson but said the incident should never have happened. "The reason you have public information officers is to get information for the public," he said. "You need to be able to depend on that." Oregon Department of Corrections Communications Manager Perrin Damon said the prison would now change its procedure during such drills, making sure to notify the media in advance.
------------------------------------------------------------------- U.S. to Fight Man's Plea to Use Medicinal Marijuana (The Los Angeles Times describes the plight of Peter McWilliams, the best-selling author, AIDS patient and medical-marijuana activist in Los Angeles who is being killed by the federal government. Prosecutors are preventing him from using marijuana while he awaits trial on marijuana cultivation charges, and will fight his motion for mercy at a pretrial hearing today.)From: "Peter McWilliams" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: DPFCA: LA Times Story About Peter McWilliams Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 11:51:20 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY. *** Los Angeles Times February 26, 1999 U.S. to Fight Man's Plea to Use Medicinal Marijuana Court: Writer facing federal charges says he needs the drug to combat nausea from AIDS medication. Prosecutors say the law leaves them no choice. By MICHAEL LUO, Times Staff Writer No one disputes that Peter McWilliams is dying and that marijuana has helped buy him valuable time. Even the prosecutors who will try him on federal drug charges in September won't contest that in court. But when McWilliams asks a judge today to alter his bail conditions so he can smoke pot while awaiting trial, the prosecutors will be dead-set against it. McWilliams, a 49-year-old Laurel Canyon resident who was diagnosed with AIDS three years ago, says he needs pot to keep him from vomiting his powerful antiviral medications. Federal attorneys argue that the law leaves no room for sympathy. Despite California voters' 1996 passage of Proposition 215, which legalized the medical use of marijuana, the federal government still regards possession and ingestion of marijuana as criminal acts. "Our job is to enforce the law and not to legislate," said Assistant U.S. Atty. Fernando Aenlle-Rocha. "There's no way we could do anything other than oppose this." A federal grand jury in July indicted McWilliams on nine counts of conspiring to possess, manufacture and distribute marijuana. The charges came a year after federal agents raided the Bel-Air mansion of McWilliams' alleged partner, medical marijuana advocate Todd McCormick, and found more than 4,000 marijuana plants, worth several thousand dollars each. McWilliams' plea to liberalize his bail restrictions sets the stage for a confrontation in federal court today that will be watched closely by medical marijuana advocates. Five states recently followed California's lead in legalizing marijuana use for medical purposes. McWilliams, a writer and publisher who faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, insists that he is not a drug kingpin but simply someone interested in conducting medical research on different strains of marijuana. Prosecutors say that when they expanded their investigation of McCormick, they found that McWilliams was financing the drug manufacturing and distribution operation. A month after McWilliams was taken into federal custody, he was freed on $250,000 bond. A federal magistrate, however, forbade him from smoking marijuana as one of the conditions of his bail release. The decree is tantamount to a death sentence, McWilliams and his doctor say. "I just want to be alive to defend myself in September," he said. McWilliams is on the "combination cocktail" of AIDS medications that attacks the deadly virus in his blood but also causes violent fits of nausea. Pot helps him keep the drugs down. Since his release and subsequent denial of pot, McWilliams' viral load has skyrocketed from undetectable to a level that, if it is not reduced, will inevitably lead to the crumbling of his immune system, his doctor says. Dr. Daniel Bowers, an AIDS specialist at Pacific Oaks Medical Center in Beverly Hills, diagnosed McWilliams in March 1996. He initially prescribed a number of other anti-nausea agents, including Marinol, a drug that includes a synthetic form of THC, a medically active ingredient in marijuana. The doctor said he finally recommended marijuana: "Everything else failed." Immediately, McWilliams' viral load went down to undetectable, where it remained for more than two years until his arrest. Now, his doctor says, his life may be slipping away. Even so, prosecutors say that the law is on their side because federal law is deemed supreme in any conflict between state and federal statutes. Legal experts agreed, saying that McWilliams and attorney Tom Ballanco, who will argue that denying McWilliams access to pot constitutes an abridgment of his fundamental right to life, probably will lose their appeal. "California, in passing its medicinal use initiative, only affected state law. It had no impact at all on federal law or federal prosecutions," said professor Clark Kelso of the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. "A federal judge is not going to say I'm going to approve a violation of federal criminal law." Magistrate Andrew Wistrich, who presided over McWilliams' original bail hearing in December, ruled that passage of Proposition 215 did not change marijuana's federal status as an illegal drug. Prosecutors' opposition to McWilliams' plea is the latest in a string of federal assaults on Proposition 215. Last year, federal prosecutors began closing cannabis buyers clubs in Northern California by civil injunction. In addition, federal officials have vowed to prosecute doctors who recommend marijuana to their patients. McWilliams, despite his weakened state, has found the energy to launch a vigorous political and legal campaign. For details on Peter McWilliams case, go to www.petertrial.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- War Against Medical Marijuana Causes Misery (A letter to the editor of USA Today from Peter McWilliams scorns the White House drug czar, General Barry McCaffrey, for abandoning the field while people are still dying from his mistakes.) Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 20:27:43 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: PUB LTE: War Against Medical Marijuana Causes Misery Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: David Hadorn (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: 26 Feb 1999 Source: USA Today (US) Copyright: 1999 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. Contact: email@example.com Address: 1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22229 Fax: (703) 247-3108 Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm WAR AGAINST MEDICAL MARIJUANA CAUSES MISERY Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey's favorite phrase is "at the end of the day." Rumor has it that the end of McCaffrey's day as a drug czar is at hand. McCaffrey knows the drug war can't be "won" and that after he has earned enough purple hearts, it is time for a new assignment ("DEA chief: Drug fight lacks desire," News, Feb, 19). I, too, am at the end of my day. I am an AIDS patient who for two years successfully used medical marijuana to keep down the life-saving, but nausea-producing "combination cocktail" therapy. I was arrested last July on federal medical marijuana charges. Deprived of the only anti-nausea medication that seems to work for me, my AIDS is out of control. Meanwhile, I am facing probable death. McCaffrey's holy war against medical marijuana set the federal tenor. I hope that at the end of his day he reflects on the unnecessary misery his continued opposition to medical marijuana has caused. Peter McWilliams, Los Angeles, Calif.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ann Arbor Hash Bash Days Numbered (UPI says state senators Mike Rogers and Beverly Hammerstrom have introduced a bill intended to end Ann Arbor's annual "hash bash" at the University of Michigan by prohibiting local governments from instituting lower drug penalties than the state imposes. Currently, possesssion of marijuana in Ann Arbor carries a $25 fine while state law mandates a $100 fine and 90 days in jail. A similar proposal over drug penalties was introduced in Michigan in 1998, but got stymied in the Democratically controlled House.) Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 06:13:53 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MI: Wire: Ann Arbor Hash Bash Days Numbered Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International ANN ARBOR HASH BASH DAYS NUMBERED LANSING, Mich., Feb. 25 (UPI) - Michigan lawmakers are proposing a bill that could effectively end Ann Arbor's annual ``hash bash.'' A bill before the state Senate would prohibit local governments from instituting lower drug penalties than the state imposes. Currently, possesssion of marijuana in Ann Arbor carries a $25 fine while state law mandates a $100 fine and 90 days in jail. Bill co-sponsors state Sens. Mike Rogers and Beverly Hammerstrom say the hash bash at the home of the University of Michigan is one reason the bill was introduced. Rogers says U-M is forced to spend more each year on added security for the event. The celebration over the use of pot attracts thousands of participants each year who camp out and smoke their favorite weed. Rogers admits Ann Arbor is the only city in Michigan that would be affected by the tougher legislation. Hammerstrom says, ``To have Ann Arbor impose a lesser penalty and allow an open exhibition that glorifies drug use, sends the wrong message to Michigan residents.'' Hammerstrom says that's especially critical with the state's anti-drug programs, corporate drug testing and a new state mandate to drug-test welfare recipients. Rogers says the bill is necessary because marijuana use is growing among young people and is a ``gateway drug to other narcotics.'' A similar proposal over drug penalties was introduced in Michigan in 1998, but got stymied in the Democratically controlled House.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hash Bash Organizer Fires Back At Critics (According to the Ann Arbor News, James Millard, the organizer of this year's Hash Bash, said an effort by Michigan legislators to toughen up Ann Arbor's relatively lenient marijuana ordinance in an effort to stop young people from coming to Ann Arbor the first Saturday in April only provided publicity for the event. "We can drop all our advertising money" for the Hash Bash because of the news coverage, Millard said.) Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 20:59:55 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MI: Hash Bash Organizer Fires Back At Critics 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: 26 Feb 1999 Source: Ann Arbor News (MI) Copyright: 1999 Michigan Live Inc. Feedback: http://aa.mlive.com/about/toeditor.html Website: http://aa.mlive.com/ Forum: http://aa.mlive.com/forums/ Author: Marianne Rzepka News Staff Reporter HASH BASH ORGANIZER FIRES BACK AT CRITICS Reporter Marianne Rzepka can be reached at 994-6855. Although state legislators want to toughen up Ann Arbor's lenient marijuana law, it won't stop young people from coming to Ann Arbor the first Saturday in April for the annual celebration of marijuana known as the Hash Bash. It's not his fault if children come to Hash Bash, organizer James Millard says. "It's not my fault that people can't control their kids," said James Millard, this year's Hash Bash organizer and owner of Pure Productions, a downtown Ann Arbor store that sells products made from hemp. "If (legislators are) worried about their children, then maybe the parents in the state of Michigan should get together on Hash Bash Saturday and do a universal event for them." The Hash Bash, which started in 1972, was named as the compelling reason behind an attempt by state legislators to force Ann Arbor to toughen its marijuana laws. Wednesday, state Sen. Beverly Hammerstrom, R-Temperance, introduced the legislation that would prohibit municipalities from having more lenient marijuana laws than the state. She was supported by Sen. Mike Rogers, R-Howell. The Hash Bash lures youth from across the state into Ann Arbor for a "tax-subsidized, illegal drug party," Rogers said. This year's Hash Bash is scheduled for April 3 on the University of Michigan Diag. "I would say Senator Rogers should take care of the problems they have in Howell," Millard said. In any case, the publicity for the proposed legislation also is publicity for the event, Millard said. He's gotten calls from national news organizations about the Hash Bash after Hammerstrom announced the legislation, he said. "We can drop all our advertising money" for the Hash Bash because of the news coverage, Millard said. Ann Arbor City Council Member Chris Kolb, D-5th Ward, poined out that the Hash Bash is on U-M property, where the tougher state law already is in effect. "The state law hasn't stopped it," Kolb said. "I think we've learned that ourselves," said Kolb. The city and the University of Michigan tried several times to derail the Hash Bash, but lost in court. "Every time you try to prevent it, it seems to give it more life," Kolb said. Ann Arbor voters changed the City Charter in 1974 to set the fine for marijuana possession at $5. In 1990, they voted to set it at $25 for the first offense. Violators of the civil infraction also must pay $25 in costs in addition to the fine. State law sets a maximum of a $100 fine and up to 90 days in jail for use of marijuana, a misdemeanor criminal offense. In comparison, anyone under 18 who is caught in possession of cigarettes, could be fined up to $50 for each offense and made to perform up to 16 hours of community service for a first offense, up to 32 hours for a second offense and up to 48 hours for a third or subsequent offense. The Hash Bash typically brings out an estimated 5,000 people - mostly young - each year to hear about an hour of speeches on the Diag about decriminalizing marijuana possession. There's also a large amount of marijuana smoking at the gathering and later, as people wander around downtown streets for the rest of the day. >From Millard's perspective, the Hash Bash is about freedom of speech and assembly. "Our group is only 50 strong," he said. "We don't know who these other people are." As for his views on marijuana and drug use, Millard said he's against anyone under 18 using either. But once someone is an adult, he should be able to make his own decisions, Millard said. Since the marijuana law is embedded in the City Charter, voters would have to change it, said City Attorney Abigail Elias. To change the City Charter through a public initiative, a group would have to collect at least 5 percent of the number of people registered to vote, about 4,300 signatures, Elias said. City Council would need seven votes to put the issue on the ballot. Hammerstrom's proposed legislation is not the first time legislators have tried to change Ann Arbor's marijuana law. Rogers sponsored a bill last year that would have cut state revenue sharing dollars for cities with lesser pot laws. The proposal failed in the then-Democratic-controlled House. In February 1990, state Sen. Doug Carl, R-Utica, sponsored a bill that said cities cannot enact local ordinances more lenient than state law on drug law violations. The arguments at that time sound the same as Rogers' reasoning: That the $5 marijuana law sent the wrong messages to young people about drugs, that the law was an embarrassment to the city.
------------------------------------------------------------------- GOP Lawmaker Seeks To Reform Drug Sentencing (The Times Union, in New York, says state senator John DeFrancisco, a conservative from Syracuse, announced Friday he was introducing a bill to reform the state's Rockefeller laws. DeFrancisco's bill would allow more lenient prison sentences for non-violent, low-level drug dealers by doubling the quantity of drugs that would have to be sold or possessed before the tougher terms kicked in.) Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 09:18:24 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NY: Gop Lawmaker Seeks To Reform Drug Sentencing Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Walter F. Wouk Pubdate: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 Source: Times Union (NY) Copyright: 1999, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.timesunion.com/ Author: Lara Jakes - Capitol Bureau GOP LAWMAKER SEEKS TO REFORM DRUG SENTENCING Albany -- Bill would allow judges to reduce prison terms for low-level dealers Non-violent, low-level drug dealers could get more lenient prison sentences under a measure to reform the state's Rockefeller laws announced Friday by a conservative Republican lawmaker. In the most recent effort to change the strict sentencing mandates of the 26-year-old laws, Sen. John DeFrancisco of Syracuse would increase the quantity of drugs that would have to be sold or possessed before the tougher terms kick in. Currently, an offender convicted of selling two ounces or possessing four ounces of a narcotic faces a mandatory minimum term of 15 years to life. DeFrancisco's bill would double the weight minimums before the mandatory term applied. The result: Sentencing judges would not be required to impose lengthy prison sentences on first-time offenders, DeFrancisco said. "Individuals should be sentenced on an individual basis and not be fit into a certain class,'' he said. "Every case is different and every individual is different. This is not 'soft on crime,' and sentencing judges still would have the discretion to give the maximum if the particular case warrants it.'' DeFrancisco is the newest Republican to join the ranks of a growing group of lawmakers, advocates and judges calling for change to the drug laws. For more than a decade, many liberals and conservatives have been pushing for reforms, but 1999 could be the year that the laws -- widely considered a failure at diminishing either the demand or supply of narcotics -- are changed. Many observers believe reforms could be implemented this year if used as a bargaining chip with Gov. George Pataki as he pushes his own legislative agenda in a year when he is gearing up for a possible run at national office. In the beginning of his first term, Pataki called for drug law reforms, but he has failed to address the issue since. His aides, however, believe the governor will revisit the idea of reforms after the budget is passed this year. Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye also made Rockefeller reforms the focus of her State of the Judiciary address earlier this month, proposing that appellate-level judges be given the authority to reduce by up to two-thirds sentences now mandated for high-level drug felonies. She also proposed allowing judges, with the consent of prosecutors, to divert some low-level drug felons to treatment programs. DeFrancisco, however, said Kaye's plan doesn't go far enough and puts too much authority in the hands of appeals judges. "It makes more sense to leave sentencing where it should be: with the sentencing judge,'' he said. "When these laws were imposed, the concept was: 'You throw the key away and the world is rid of drugs.' I don't think anyone would agree that this has happened.'' DeFrancisco's bill is the first piece of legislation on Rockefeller reforms to be filed this session. The Democratic-led Assembly has long supported some kind of change, but a spokesman for Speaker Sheldon Silver said Friday that Pataki must make the first move. "We're waiting to see the governor's program bill,'' said Silver spokesman Charles "Skip'' Carrier, declining to comment further. Likewise, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, is "open'' to reviewing the laws, but most likely only in the context of approving other criminal justice initiatives, said his spokesman, John McArdle. "We will do it in totality, and not just in individual pieces,'' McArdle said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New York Mayor Tilts To Totalitarianism (New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, syndicated in the Standard-Times, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, says New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani likes to push people around. His latest targets are people suspected of driving drunk. The cops have been given the power to seize their vehicles on the spot. Why bother with an annoyance like due process? Hizzoner makes the rules. And he says even if the drivers are acquitted they may not get their cars back. Richard Emery, a local attorney, says "The problem is that Giuliani has a vision of what is essentially an unconstitutional society. He views privacy and the rights of innocent citizens as a far lower value than law enforcement's domination of not only the streets, but also private areas of people's lives. He's doing it for what he believes are good reasons. He wants a civilized society. One understands his vision. It's not new. But it's an idealistic, totalitarian vision that tramples on everything a free society stands for.") Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 01:11:13 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NY: New York Mayor Tilts To Totalitarianism Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 Source: Standard-Times (MA) Copyright: 1999 The Standard-Times Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Author: Bob Herbert, New York Times columnist NEW YORK MAYOR TILTS TO TOTALITARIANISM NEW YORK - It may be that Rudolph Giuliani never has a reflective moment. He just likes to push people around. He's pretty indiscriminate about it. One day it's an indisputably worthy target, like violent criminals, the next day it's jaywalkers. One moment it's the organized thugs at the Fulton Fish Market, the next it's cab drivers and food vendors. Mark Green, Carl McCall, New York magazine -- they've all been targets. Giuliani shut down an entire neighborhood in Harlem and buzzed its residents with police helicopters because he didn't like Khallid Muhammad. Solid citizens trying to exercise their right to protest peacefully have been fought at every conceivable turn. Many gave up, their protests succumbing to fear or exhaustion. Civil rights? Civil liberties? Forget about it. When the mayor gets it in his head to give somebody a hard time -- frequently through his enforcers in the Police Department -- the niceties of the First Amendment and other constitutional protections get very short shrift. The latest targets are people suspected of driving drunk. The cops have been given the power to seize their vehicles on the spot. Why not? Why wait for a more sober mind -- say, a judge -- to assess the merits of the case? Why even bother with an annoyance like due process? Hizzoner -- who would like to be known as His Majesty -- makes the rules. And he says even if the drivers are acquitted they may not get their cars back. Listen to him: "Let's say somebody is acquitted, and it's one of those acquittals in which the person was guilty but there is just not quite enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. That might be a situation in which the car would still be forfeited." Bring on the royal robes and the crown. And get rid of those pesky legislators and judges. Richard Emery, whose Manhattan law firm, Emery, Cuti, Brinckerhoff & Abady, is frequently called on to combat abusive government practices, was blunt in his criticism of the mayor. "The problem," said Emery, "is that Giuliani has a vision of what is essentially an unconstitutional society. He views privacy and the rights of innocent citizens as a far lower value than law enforcement's domination of not only the streets, but also private areas of people's lives. He's doing it for what he believes are good reasons. He wants a civilized society. One understands his vision. It's not new. But it's an idealistic, totalitarian vision that tramples on everything a free society stands for." For the first few years of Giuliani's mayoralty most New Yorkers, enjoying the increased order and the reductions in crime, turned a blind eye to the abuses. But in the wake of the killing of Amadou Diallo, the abuses are being more closely scrutinized. And the extent of the erosion of rights and liberties is coming into much sharper relief. (One example: the thousands upon thousands of innocent young people, most of them black and Hispanic, who are stopped and searched for no good reason by the police.) I asked Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard, why it is important for law-abiding citizens to be concerned about any weakening of civil rights and civil liberties. Speaking generally, and not about the situation in New York, Tribe said, "The character of America and the nature of the society that people have struggled to preserve and died to protect turns on not just the opportunities for material advancement but at least as importantly on the protection of basic aspects of human dignity and personal freedom." He said the apparent increase in security that can follow "the sacrifice of what we tend to describe as civil liberties" is often illusory. But even if there were some gains in security, he said, the price would be too high. "Freedom of speech and freedom of expression," he said, "are important not just to the dignity of the individual who otherwise feels stifled and silenced, but are a critical part of an active and informed electorate without which we really are giving up not just personal freedom but the very ideal of government of the people, by the people and for the people. And that kind of sacrifice essentially amounts to a sacrifice of really the very essence of our whole way of life."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Accountability Comes With Aid (An op-ed by Indiana U.S. Representative Mark Souder in the Cavalier Daily at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, defends the Higher Education Act's ban on student loans to pot smokers. "There are those organizations, though, who work to create controversy and twist common sense principles in order to advance their own agendas. Take the Drug Reform Coordination Network, for example. My office has received calls from college newspapers from all over the country who have been fed propaganda by this group. If their website is any indication - the address includes the manifesto, 'stopthedrugwar' - their primary goal can only be the legalization of drugs.") Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 11:42:15 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US VA: OPED: Accountability Comes With Aid Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: The Cavalier Daily (University of Virginia) Copyright: 1999 The Cavalier Daily, Inc. Pubdate: Fri, 26 Feb 1998 Section: Cavalier Daily University Forum Contact: email@example.com FAX: (804) 924-7290 Mail: Basement, Newcomb Hall; Charlottesville, VA 22904 Website: http://www.cavalierdaily.com/ Author: Mark Souder Note: Mark Souder is a Republican representative from Indiana Also: Information on DRCNet's HEA reform campaign is at http://www.u-net.org/ ACCOUNTABILITY COMES WITH AID LAST FALL, Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law the Higher Education Act, a five-year reauthorization of all federal higher education programs, which will expand college affordability and promote academic quality. The part that seems to stick in the craw of some special interest groups is one of the provisions that increases accountability by temporarily suspending federal financial aid for students convicted of drug possession or sales. But these groups are hard-pressed to explain why taxpayers should subsidize the costs of a college education for students who violate the law and impede their own academic success by using and/or selling drugs. Let's be clear about what the law does. If a student who receives federal financial aid is convicted of drug possession, his or her aid eligibility is suspended for one year for the first offense, two years for the second offense and indefinitely for the third offense. For drug sale convictions, financial aid is suspended for two years for the first offense and indefinitely for the second offense. Students may regain their eligibility before the suspension period expires if they successfully complete a rehabilitation program and test negative for drug use twice without prior notice. It is important to point out that the law is intended to apply only to those students who are convicted of drug offenses while they are receiving aid. In an effort to make implementation of the new provision as smooth as possible, Congress gave the Department of Education wide latitude in determining how to enforce this law. Consider the elements of the Higher Education Act which make college more affordable. The law lowers student loan interest rates to their lowest level in 17 years, raises the per-student maximum amount for Pell Grants to an all-time high, lowers the rate for loan consolidation, promotes college cost cutting measures and restructures student aid delivery. The end result is lower costs to students and a greater commitment of taxpayer dollars to help people obtain a college education. I think most people would be astounded to know that, in the face of all the effort and federal resources that have been put forth to make college more affordable, some students who receive this aid find it insulting that they should be held accountable for using the money wisely. How can you learn if your mind is clouded by drugs? Is the investment in your education--indeed, in your future--going to pay dividends in the form of your contribution to society if your time in college is spent using and selling drugs? Most people respond with a resounding "No!" There are those organizations, though, who work to create controversy and twist common sense principles in order to advance their own agendas. Take the Drug Reform Coordination Network, for example. My office has received calls from college newspapers from all over the country who have been fed propaganda by this group. If their website is any indication - the address includes the manifesto, "stopthedrugwar" - their primary goal can only be the legalization of drugs. In the past, these organizations have used the sick and dying as a front to promote the use of so-called medicinal marijuana in their continual effort to weaken drug laws. Now, they see an opportunity to take advantage of college students who receive financial aid by enlisting them in their doomed campaign. Their latest tactic is to assert that the drug-free student loan provision in the Higher Education Act is racist. Apparently, they believe minority college students who receive financial aid are more likely to use and sell drugs. They cite disparities in drug conviction rates for blacks and whites as a basis for this position, but statistics from the Department of Justice contradict their premise. In 1995, among those arrested for drug abuse violations, nearly 62 percent were white and 37 percent were black. At the same time, approximately 60 percent of defendants convicted of drug offenses were white and 38 percent were black. Gross disparities in conviction rates do not exist. Reducing drug use in America is a compelling national interest. Hiding behind the issue of race to undermine that mission only serves the interest of the small minority of people who would like to use drugs with impunity. The relaxation of attitudes regarding drug abuse has made it easier for the peddlers of this poison to devastate families and ruin lives, particularly among young people, and those who advocate drug use contribute to this destruction. The bottom line, then, is this: Actions have consequences. If you receive taxpayer assistance to pursue your college education, you will be held accountable for investing it wisely. Don't use or sell drugs, and you have nothing to worry about. If you are smart enough to go to college, you must know this makes sense.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Blacks Getting AIDS At Record Rates (The Associated Press says about 1,000 health care providers and activists gathered Thursday in Washington, D.C., for the first medical conference on AIDS among black Americans - almost 20 years into the AIDS epidemic. AIDS in the United States is evolving from a disease that once affected mostly white homosexuals into one largely affecting poor blacks, infected from dirty drug needles or heterosexual encounters. Blacks make up 12 percent of the U.S. population but a devastating 45 percent of new AIDS cases. AIDS is the leading killer of blacks between 25 to 44. Blacks receive poorer care than whites and die faster. One in 50 black men and one in 160 black women are estimated to be infected.) Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 11:04:24 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Wire: Blacks Getting Aids At Record Rates Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer BLACKS GETTING AIDS AT RECORD RATES WASHINGTON - Black Americans are becoming infected with AIDS at record rates, receiving poorer care than whites and dying faster. Now, almost two decades into the AIDS epidemic, about 1,000 health care providers and activists gathered for the first medical conference on AIDS among black Americans a frantic hunt for ways to fight the exploding racial divide. AIDS in the United States is evolving from a disease that once mostly affected white homosexuals into one largely of poor blacks, often infected from dirty drug needles or heterosexual encounters. Blacks make up 12 percent of the U.S. population but a devastating 45 percent of new AIDS cases. AIDS has been the leading killer of blacks between 25 to 44 for most of the decade. One in 50 black men and one in 160 black women are estimated to be infected. "This is an historic event," Phill Wilson of the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum told the conference Thursday. "What we do ... will determine whether or not we make a difference." "This is no less a daunting challenge than we faced in the civil rights movement," added Dr. Stephen Thomas of Emory University. The doctors, social workers and activists sought practical, day-to-day advice on fighting HIV, the AIDS virus, in communities often wracked by poverty and drugs, where a legacy of racism has left distrust of the medical system. How do you get a drug user or a homeless person tested for HIV? How do you treat the hotel maid who can't afford the time off to go to a clinic only open weekdays? You're surprised that the bus driver quit taking the AIDS medicine you prescribed even though the main side effect was diarrhea? "We're talking about reaching ... people who might not have had a meal since noon yesterday, and they're still sitting in the clinic" for four hours because the doctor overbooked, complained Debra Hickman of Baltimore's Sisters Together and Reaching. Then came the thorny issue of preventing and treating HIV in prisons. "Our men are in the jails. They do come home to their wives and girlfriends," warned a California AIDS worker, describing one reason HIV infection is growing fast among black women. Nor do many black doctors specialize in AIDS, complained a Colorado nurse who described herself as the only black AIDS health worker in her town. White doctors "do care, but they don't understand when I say, 'Patients don't trust you."' President Clinton has declared AIDS among minorities a crisis. The administration is spending $156 million this year and seeking $171 million next year to fight back. But Clinton last year refused to use federal money to buy clean needles for drug addicts, one way to prevent HIV's spread. Frustrated at the ban, administration doctors urged local communities Thursday to raise the money themselves for needle exchanges. And critics questioned if the government's work is fair: One new program calls for 35 percent of AIDS research sites to be in minority communities, but two-thirds of new infections now occur in those communities. The conference's main goal was to empower workers on the front lines of AIDS, providing information and resources to help their communities, said Cornelius Baker of the National Association of People With AIDS. He said, "We need to make care more culturally appropriate. Maybe clinics need Sunday hours, or you could give health care at church after Sunday services." And grass-roots doctors who don't often get to the fancy international AIDS meetings hungered for the latest data, questioning experts on which drugs to use. "We can be flexible," said Dr. Joel Gallant of Johns Hopkins University. Not everyone needs that much-publicized but expensive "protease inhibitor" cocktail right away, he said. Newly infected patients with low HIV levels might be all right not starting drugs for a while. Got a patient who won't swallow 15 pills a day? Some new drugs require far fewer. But there were no easy solutions. Take Gallant's advice for doctors to test even newly diagnosed patients' blood to see if their HIV will resist certain drugs. The immediate response: Medicaid and other programs don't pay for those tests, so how can we use them?
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gains Cited In Drug War (The Associated Press says the U.S. State Department today released a massive 733-page annual report on the illicit drug trade worldwide. The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report claims the United States and allied countries made "solid gains" in 1998, citing progress in crop reduction and drug interdiction. Separately, President Clinton was issuing his assessment of the counterdrug performance of 28 countries.) Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 21:41:51 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Wire: Gains Cited In Drug War Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: 26 Feb 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: George Gedda Associated Press Writer GAINS CITED IN DRUG WAR WASHINGTON (AP) The United States and allied countries made "solid gains" in efforts to control narcotics trafficking in 1998, the State Department said today, citing progress in crop reduction, drug interdiction and other areas. In its annual report on the illicit drug trade worldwide, the department said the most encouraging development in 1998 was the continued downward trend in illicit coca cultivation. "The total coca crop remains at its lowest level in 10 years, even factoring in a sharp rise in cultivation in Colombia," the report said. Separately, President Clinton was issuing his assessment of the counterdrug performance of 28 countries considered major sources of illicit narcotics or transit points for narcotics shipments. Clinton has signaled his intention to "certify" Mexico as being fully cooperative with U.S. counternarcotics activities despite a reduction in narcotics seizures and other setbacks in the drug war last year. Countries found not to be fully cooperative are "decertified" and can face economic sanctions. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., indicated there may be a Senate move to overturn Clinton's expected endorsement of Mexico's counterdrug efforts. White House drug policy director Barry McCaffrey said Thursday that refusing to certify Mexico as a fully cooperating partner in the fight against drug trafficking would send an unwise and wrongheaded political message. Jeffrey Davidow, U.S. ambassador to Mexico, said the United States appreciates Mexico's efforts. "Acting alone, we cannot face, we cannot confront and beat the narcotics traffickers. We have to do this in a cooperative fashion," he said. Eight countries were decertified last year: Colombia, Cambodia, Pakistan, Paraguay, Afghanistan, Burma, Iran and Nigeria. The first four were given a presidential waiver on national security grounds and therefore were not subject to sanctions. In December, Iran was removed from the list of drug problem countries because of an ambitious campaign against the opium poppy, from which heroin is produced. The State Department study, titled International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, said overall coca cultivation in the Andean countries fell 17 percent to 471,000 acres last year. "The most dramatic decline was evident in Peru, once the world's largest coca producer," the report said. "Peruvian coca cultivation in 1998 fell 26 percent from the year before, and is now 60 percent below the peak level of 1990," it said. The massive 733-page document also evaluates the illicit narcotics situation country-by-country. It said Colombia remained the world's leading producer and distributor of cocaine and is a major source of heroin and marijuana. A combined U.S.-Colombian eradication program had its best year ever in 1998, successfully spraying over 160,000 acres of coca, an increase of 50 percent over 1997. Nonetheless, overall product increased because of stepped-up cultivation, the report said. According to the report, Mexico continues to be the primary route for northbound South American cocaine and is a major source of marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine. Despite a comprehensive anti-drug strategy, the report said, cocaine seizures were down 35 percent and opium cultivation increased by 25 percent. "Persistent corruption at all levels of the justice sector and frequent changes in personnel have combined to hinder Mexico's ability to meet the goals of its anti-drug strategy," the study said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Violence plagues city's top pot spot (The Vancouver Province, in British Columbia, says the badly beaten body of Allister Irvine Marselje, 21, who made a living by weighing, bagging and delivering one-gram bags of marijuana to sellers at the Cross Town Traffic Cafe at 314 W. Hastings St., was found Dec. 5 in a downtown Vancouver dumpster. Mark Smith, a friend of Marselje's and a pot dealer who now runs a private smoking club off a hallway in the cafe, said last year's shift of power to "ruthless gangsters" dramatically altered the culture in the area.) Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 12:13:16 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Violence Plagues City's Top Pot Spot Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Friday 26 February 1999 Source: Vancouver Province (Canada) Copyright: The Province, Vancouver 1999 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/ Author: Lora Grindlay, Staff Reporter The Province Violence plagues city's top pot spot The badly beaten body of a 21-year-old lay tangled amongst trash in a downtown Vancouver dumpster. In life Allister Irvine Marselje had made a living by weighing, bagging and delivering one-gram bags of marijuana to sellers at the Cross Town Traffic Cafe at 314 W. Hastings St. In death, Marselje was a frightening illustration of the violence brewing on the short block where hemp and pot are celebrated, advocated, sold and smoked. West Hastings between Hamilton and Homer streets is a mecca to pot smokers worldwide. People ranging from Texas lawyers to California surfers make the trek, pay their money and, in numerous cafes in the area, they sit down and get stoned. Vancouver police Det. Rick Crook said that while investigating Marselje's murder he was disturbed at the violence and turf war that has followed the staggering amount of money being made by the trade in B.C.'s most sought-after export. Crook said the Cross Town Traffic Cafe sold three pounds of pot a day last summer, bringing in over $10,000 a day on $10 one-gram bags. "You kind of think of the pot trade as being peaceful and laid back. This is the last group of people you would imagine to be involved in this kind of violence," said Crook. "I want to make sure the street starts helping out. If they want it to be this peaceful, fun-loving place . . . then it has to have that violent element taken away." Marselje's body was discovered Dec. 5 by a dumpster diver picking through bins behind the Cross Town Traffic Cafe. A police raid on the cafe in November caused the then-owner to flee and, one night, the business was vandalized and a new group took control of the sales. "That was a strong message," Crook said. Marselje worked for the new regime. Police allege Marselje was beaten in the back of the cafe after he spoke about a contract on the life of a major player in the cafe's pot business. Whether the contract was real or just an empty threat, Marselje was subjected to a ferocious beating and paid with his life. On Feb. 5 three men were arrested for his murder. Charged with second-degree murder is Alhaj Hadani. The 28-year-old is in custody. Charged with manslaughter are Ross Living, 22, and Jamie Yochlowitz, 25. Both are on bail and all three accused appear in court Monday to set a trial date. Another man was arrested Tuesday in Hull, Que. Roger Jean Caron, 28, is charged with being an accessory to murder after the fact. Vancouver police officers have gone east to bring him here. Crook, who won't speak specifically on Marselje's death because of the pending trial, said the young man isn't the only casualty in the battle for pot profits. A group of about six men associated with the cafe, who call themselves the House of Pain, regularly beat hard-drug users and others who they don't feel belong in the area, he said. Crook said 30 people have been badly beaten since October. Mark Smith, a friend of Marselje's and a pot dealer who now runs a private smoking club off a hallway in the cafe, said last year's shift of power to "ruthless gangsters" dramatically altered the culture in the area. "This was a violence-free zone," said Smith, who pocketed $70,000 in three months of pot sales last summer. "The vibe was good. It was a beautiful place to be." On a wall outside his club, called The Lounge, Smith had a friend paint a waterfall in memory of Marselje. At the bottom of the picture, Smith has painted: "The summer of '98 will be in my heart forever, beside the memory of our fallen friend. We know you're safe now. Rest in peace, my brother." Smith defended the House of Pain, who he said policed the street when the police wouldn't. The House of Pain "were never a threat to us. They kept the junkies, the crack heads and the dealers off our streets." "They made it safe for people to be here. It was for the sake of the block. Nobody was hurt down here for the hell of it or for fun." Smith said "hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars" are being made on the block, and as long as the cash is up for grabs and the sale of pot illegal, the hardcore criminal element will be there. "Decriminalize it and privatize it," Smith said of pot. "I would have no problem paying taxes on what I do. The tax money could mean so much. The government should look at the money down here and do something about it." Sister Icee, owner of Hemp BC, was shocked by Marselje's killing but said laws against marijuana use are letting violence fester. "This is what prohibition brings into society," she said. "It creates this black market and, because it is unregulated, it is like the Wild West. Whoever has the biggest stick wins." Smith's memories of Marselje and his brutal end still haunt him. Last summer he wouldn't walk down the street without a gun, a baton, and a can of bear spray. Sitting with him in his club are his pit bull Molly and a Rottweiler puppy. The entrance is behind a metal gate. John Lennon and Bob Marley grace the walls. Smith plays host to his 30-odd members in a room just a staircase away from where his friend was beat to death. He makes no apologies for his line of work, but these days he's not sure he'll stick around. "It [the killing] shouldn't happen again, but I can't say it won't. I'm not going to be the next one who goes," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton OKs Mexico Antidrug Efforts (The Associated Press says that, as expected, the U.S. president on Friday certified Mexico as a fully cooperating ally in America's war on some drug users, even though seizures of illegal drugs along the border decreased in the past year. At the time, Colombia was certified and Haiti was decertified with a national interest waiver, as were Cambodia, Nigeria and Paraguay. Afghanistan and Burma were decertified with no national interest waiver. All told, 22 countries were certified as fully cooperative with American counterdrug efforts. Meanwhile, a 733-page State Department study titled "International Narcotics Control Strategy Report" and released simultaneously with the certification announcement said Mexico continues to be the primary route for northbound South American cocaine and is a major source of marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine.) Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 12:49:46 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Clinton OKs Mexico Antidrug Efforts Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: GEORGE GEDDA Associated Press Writer CLINTON OKS MEXICO ANTIDRUG EFFORTS WASHINGTON (AP) Despite large-scale, cross-border drug smuggling and a decline in drug seizures, President Clinton certified Mexico on Friday as a fully cooperating partner with U.S. counternarcotics efforts. The decision, part of an annual evaluation of drug problem countries, could touch off strong opposition in Congress, where many lawmakers are exasperated by Mexico's inability to stem U.S.-bound narcotics flows. To overturn the president's decision, a two-thirds vote of both houses is required. By law, countries found not to be fully cooperative are "decertified" and can be subject to economic sanctions unless the president grants them a waiver on national interest grounds. "Mexico is cooperating with us in the battle for our lives," Clinton said in a speech in San Francisco. Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo is "working hard to tackle the corruption traffickers headlong," he said, adding, "He cannot win this battle alone. And neither can we." In justifying the Mexico decision, Barry McCaffrey, who heads the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said that last year, Mexico implemented legislative reforms, arrested numerous drug traffickers and sustained massive interdiction and eradication programs. He told a news conference that outright decertification of Mexico would "devastate" efforts to build long-term cooperation. Nonetheless, official figures indicate cocaine seizures in Mexico were down 35 percent last year and that eradication of opium poppy did not keep pace with new cultivation. The overall harvest increased by 25 percent, government figures show. Meanwhile, a group of eight senators, led by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate caucus on drug issues, wrote to Clinton and recommended that in next year's certification process, Mexico be judged more by results instead of efforts. They recommended that the evaluation be measured by strict criteria, including Mexico's willingness to extradite drug chieftains, its ability to arrest and prosecute money launderers and leaders of narcotics syndicates, and its record on drug eradication and seizures. Joining seven Republicans in signing the letter was Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Mexico was one of 28 countries evaluated by Clinton. Colombia was certified as being fully cooperative after being decertified last year. At the time, Clinton waived the economic penalties against Colombia. The country's clean bill of health reflects the close ties the Clinton administration has established with President Andres Pastrana, who took office six months ago. Meanwhile, Haiti, plagued by what officials called a "dysfunctional criminal justice system," was decertified with a national interest waiver. In the same category were Cambodia, Nigeria and Paraguay. Afghanistan and Burma, key opium poppy countries, were decertified with no national interest waiver. All told, 22 countries were certified as fully cooperative with American counterdrug efforts. Meanwhile, a State Department study released simultaneously with the certification announcement said Mexico continues to be the primary route for northbound South American cocaine and is a major source of marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine. "Persistent corruption at all levels of the justice sector and frequent changes in personnel have combined to hinder Mexico's ability to meet the goals of its antidrug strategy," the study said. The report is issued annually and evaluates international narcotics control efforts. It said the United States and its allies made "solid gains" in controlling narcotics trafficking in 1998, citing progress in crop reduction, drug interdiction and other areas. The most encouraging development last year on the drug front, the report said, was the continued downward trend in coca cultivation, saying the total crop "remains at its lowest level in 10 years, even factoring in a sharp rise in cultivation in Colombia." The State Department study, titled International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, said overall coca cultivation in the Andean countries fell 17 percent to 471,000 acres last year. "The most dramatic decline was evident in Peru, once the world's largest coca producer," the report said. "Peruvian coca cultivation in 1998 fell 26 percent from the year before, and is now 60 percent below the peak level of 1990," it said. The 733-page document also evaluates the illicit narcotics situation country-by-country. It said Colombia remained the world's leading producer and distributor of cocaine and is a major source of heroin and marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexico, Colombia Drug Efforts Approved (The UPI version) Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 23:10:26 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Wire: Mexico, Colombia Drug Efforts Approved Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International MEXICO, COLOMBIA DRUG EFFORTS APPROVED WASHINGTON, - President Clinton has decided to fully certify Mexico's and Colombia's cooperation with American anti-drug efforts, a ruling that leaves financial assistance to Washington's southern neighbors intact. Clinton found problems with Colombia's counter-narcotics program, but, acting on the recommendation of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, certified that Bogota was fully cooperating with the war on drugs. Clinton's decision corresponds with the election just less than a year ago of Colombian President Andres Pastrana, whose predecessor, Ernesto Samper, was alleged to have accepted millions of dollars from the Colombian narcotics cartels. Attorney General Janet Reno said the Clinton administration has received good cooperation from Colombia, which has not received the presidential certification in four years. ``From a law enforcement perspective, we are gratified by the early signs of cooperation from Colombia,'' Reno told reporters. Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said decertification of Mexico would have a ``devastating impact'' on President Ernesto Zedillo's willingness to cooperate on counter-narcotics programs. ``We believe it will only be possible to stem the growing power of major drug trafficking organizations if the United States and Mexico cooperate,'' the U.S. drug czar said at the joint news conference. ``Certification will help nurture a positive working relationship with Mexico that is essential as we continue to confront the shared threat of international drug trafficking.'' However, Mexican legislators criticized the certification as ``arbitrary.'' Opposing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) Senator Rosalbina Garavito, who supports legalizing drugs to eradicate illegal trafficking, called the certification process a ``hypocritical procedure.'' The senator said, ``U.S. intelligence organizations know more than we do about the penetration of drug trafficking in Mexico,'' and is using that information as ``blackmail that makes the country's sovereignty vulnerable.'' Conservative National Action Party (PAN) Maria Elena Alvarez said the certification process should be abolished. And PRD deputy Carlos Heredia alleged that ``the American certification extends far beyond drug trafficking war.'' Afghanistan and Burma were the only major drug-producing or drug- transiting nations on which Clinton imposed the full sanctions. Iran, which last year was penalized on the drug front by Washington, was dropped from the entire process since it no longer has enough acreage under cultivation for narcotics to qualify as a major drug-producing nation. Clinton applied the full penalties last year to Nigeria, where a dramatic political transformation has begun to unfold since the death of dictator Gen. Sani Abacha. Reno said the sanctions on Nigeria were waived this year because the Clinton administration is seeing the ``beginning of cooperation'' from the transitional government in Abuja. The 1998 Foreign Assistance Act requires the secretary of state to provide the president with annual recommendations on which major drug- producing or drug-transiting nations are cooperating with U.S. counter-narcotics efforts. Most forms of assistance are suspended for nations found uncooperative, although the president can overrule the secretary of state on national security grounds, and the United States must vote against financing from such multilateral lenders as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Clinton gave full certification to Aruba, the Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, China, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam. Clinton waived the sanctions on national security grounds against Cambodia, Haiti, Nigeria and Paraguay.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexico Engaged In War Vs Drugs, McCaffrey Says (According to a different Associated Press article in the Orange County Register, the White House drug czar on Thursday told the House Government Reform Committee's panel on criminal justice, drug policy and human resources, that it would be a mistake for the U.S. government to decertify Mexico as an ally in the United States' war on some drug users.) Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 20:45:21 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Mexico Engaged In War Vs Drugs, McCaffrey Says Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Pubdate: 26 Feb 1999 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Section: News, page 33 Author: Cassandra Burrell-The Associated Press MEXICO ENGAGED IN WAR VS DRUGS, MCCAFFREY SAYS Congress: The White House is expected to grant certification, but many lawmakers remain skeptical. Washington-Mexico is struggling to rid itself of drug-related corruption, and it would be a mistake for the U.S. government to declare that it is not cooperating in the fight against narcotics trafficking, the White House's drug-policy director said Thursday. "There is massive corruption and violence directed at Mexican institutions in general and law enforcement and the military in particular ...," Barry McCaffrey told the House Government Reform Committee's panel on criminal justice, drug policy and human resources. "We're trying to work in practical cooperation with men and women of good will who share our view that this drug threat is a terrible menace to their own political institutions and their own children," he said. McCaffrey spoke a day before the Clinton administration was scheduled to announce whether it would certify that Mexico was fully cooperating with U.S anti-drug efforts. By law, the president must judge the performance of all foreign countries in which drugs are produced or transported by March 1. Those not certified as fully cooperating - and not given a national security waiver - would be hit with economic penalties. Lawmakers who contend that Mexico has failed to meet its responsibilities have criticized the administration's position. "I'm going to have to ask the Senate, 'Is it time to say no, you do not get recertified?'" Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., said Thursday. "They're not doing what they're supposed to be doing on the drug wars. ... If they would just extradite one drug criminal - just one - that would help my attitude." Only in one minor case has Mexico approved U.S. extradition requests for drug kingpins, Sen. Diana Feinstein, D-Calif., said Wednesday. She has long criticized Mexico's anti-drug efforts. There have been reports that some of Mexico's law enforcement officers, including some trained by the United States, have helped drug traffickers and participated in drug-related violence, said Rep. Joh Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the subcommittee McCaffrey addressed. "Now I'm concerned that the people we're training may be involved in some of the terrorism," Mica said Thursday. "We've gone from corruption to terrorism, and this concerns me." Separately, House Speaker Dennis Hastert contended that McCaffrey's goal of reducing illegal drug use and availability in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2007 is not tough enough. "As Republicans, we have insisted that the nation's drug czar meet achievable performance standards by 2003," Hastert, R-Ill., said in a statement. "Moreover, we need the Clinton-Gore administration to share our commitment to fight to win the war on drugs."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge gets three years in prison for laundering drug money (A Canadian Press article in the Ottawa Citizen says lawyers for Justice Robert Flahiff of Quebec Superior Court, who was found guilty in January of laundering $1.7 million while he was still a lawyer, immediately filed an appeal, paving the way for Flahiff's possible release later Friday.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: Judge gets three years in prison for laundering drug money Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 10:43:17 -0800 Lines: 69 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Ottawa Citizen (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 Author: Jennifer Patterson Judge gets three years in prison for laundering drug money MONTREAL (CP) - Justice Robert Flahiff of Quebec Superior Court was sentenced to three years imprisonment Friday for laundering drug money. But his lawyers immediately filed an appeal of the sentence, paving the way for Flahiffs possible release from prison later Friday. Flahiff was found guilty in January of laundering $1.7 million between 1989 and 1991 when he was still a lawyer. Crown prosecutor Bruno Pateras was satisfied with the sentence handed out by Quebec Court Judge Serge Boisvert. "It shows that is a very serious offence," Pateras said. "The judge said the offence - money laundering - helps drug traffickers." Defence lawyers had sought a suspended sentence, saying Flahiff would be at the mercy of criminal gangs if he were incarcerated. The Crown had made no specific recommendation on sentencing except to say Flahiff, 51, deserved to be imprisoned. Flahiffs case, believed to be the first time a federally appointed judge has been convicted of such a serious crime, is also being investigated by the Canadian Judicial Council. Flahiff was charged with laundering $1.7 million in drug money. He was convicted of laundering more than $1,000; conspiracy to launder the money; and being in possession of more than $1,000 knowing it was drug money. He was sentenced to three years in prison on each of the three counts. He will serve them concurrently. Flahiff, who is appealing the conviction, was acquitted on three other charges. He has been suspended with pay from his $175,800-a-year job for the past two years. He was named to the bench in 1993. The judicial council will begin hearing preliminary motions in his case Monday. The inquiry will proceed March 29. It takes a joint sitting of the Commons and the Senate to fire a federal judge, something that has never happened. Judges have resigned in the past before any such vote. Defence lawyers Christian Desrosiers and Claude Girouard had asked for leniency in the case. They said Flahiff would be in danger in prisons controlled by criminal gangs. Crown prosecutor Bruno Pateras argued that Flahiff made repeated transactions for his client, convicted cocaine dealer Paul Larue. Evidence at Flahiffs trial said he took satchels containing thousands of dollars in cash to a bank purportedly from a client who had sold his business. The bills were converted into bank drafts and ended up in a Swiss bank. Larue became a police informant when he was caught and charged in the United States after a cocaine sting. He is serving a 14-year-sentence. (c) The Canadian Press, 1999
------------------------------------------------------------------- Paraguay angry with US decertification in drug war (The Associated Press notes Paraguay reacted sarcastically Friday to the U.S. decision to decertify it as an ally in its war on some drug users, saying it understood the concerns of a nation with such a huge appetite for controlled substances. Paraguay's $10 billion official economy is "dwarfed" by its black market. One study estimated the revenue generated just from smuggling at $12 billion a year.) Date: Sun, 28 Feb 1999 22:51:32 -0800 From: Paul Freedom (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: Oregon Liberatarian Patriots To: Constitutional Cannabis Patriots (email@example.com) Subject: [cp] Paraguay angry with US decertification in drug war Paraguay angry with US decertification in drug war February 26, 1999 Web posted at: 11:25 PM EST (0425 GMT) ASUNCION, Paraguay (Reuters) -- Paraguay reacted angrily Friday to the U.S. decision to decertify it as an ally in the war on drugs, but said it understood the concerns of a nation with a huge appetite for illegal narcotics. The United States said it decertified Paraguay largely over its view that Asuncion was not doing enough to stop the flow of smuggled Bolivian cocaine through its borders. Washington said Paraguay suspended anti-smuggling efforts in 1998 because of presidential elections. However, the Clinton administration waived any penalties against Paraguay to preserve U.S. national interests. "The government of Paraguay doesn't recognize any other state's power to judge or condemn another state although it understands the concerns of the United States for being the largest drug market in the world," a presidential statement said. The statement also rejected the U.S. process of unilaterally certifying countries, saying it: "Flagrantly contravenes the principle of legal equality between nations." Paraguay, a poor Latin American country, is notoriously corrupt. Its $10 billion official economy dwarfed by a black-market economy centered on the smuggling town Ciudad del Este on the border with Brazil and Argentina. One study has valued smuggling in Paraguay at $12 billion a year. However, the United States said Paraguay has had some success in fighting the drug war, particularly in a joint operation with Bolivia last year. Ricardo Villamayor, Paraguay's anti-drugs chief, called Friday's news a "wake up call" for better coordination and harder work in the war on drugs. The government's statement also said the U.S. decision would have no bearing on its continuing efforts to fight drugs. Paraguay, last certified in 1997, fell into the same category as Nigeria, Cambodia and Haiti - judged as uncooperative but not punished. Burma and Afghanistan were decertified and face economic sanctions. Mexico and Colombia were certified as cooperating partners.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Expert Rejects Zero Tolerance Stand (According to the Age, in Australia, Mr John Fogarty, who recently retired from the Family Court and is now a board member of Defence for Children International, a United Nations-affiliated child-welfare group, yesterday condemned the zero-tolerance heroin strategy that the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, is considering. "The idea that deep-seated social and personal issues of young persons leading to drug use can be miraculously overcome by prosecuting and imprisoning is nonsense. It is akin to a reversion to the penal attitude of 200 years ago at the beginning of the establishment of our society," Mr Fogarty said.) Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 03:54:16 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: Expert Rejects Zero Tolerance Stand 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: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 Source: Age, The (Australia) Copyright: 1999 David Syme & Co Ltd Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.theage.com.au/ Author: Caroline Milburn EXPERT REJECTS ZERO TOLERANCE STAND A former Family Court judge yesterday condemned the zero-tolerance heroin strategy that the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, is believed to be interested in learning more about. Mr John Fogarty, who recently retired from the Family Court and is now a board member of a United Nations-affiliated child-welfare group, said the approach harked back to the dark era of Australia's settlement as a penal colony. ``The zero-tolerance approach is an untenable policy which should be removed from public discussion of drug issues,'' Mr Fogarty told a seminar on youth prisons. ``The idea that deep-seated social and personal issues of young persons leading to drug use can be miraculously overcome by prosecuting and imprisoning is nonsense. It is akin to a reversion to the penal attitude of 200 years ago at the beginning of the establishment of our society.'' Mr Fogarty said the Premier, Mr Jeff Kennett, and the Chief Police Commissioner, Mr Neil Comrie, should be commended for their rejection of zero tolerance as a way to deal with the heroin problem. ``Zero-tolerance policing, with its emphasis on hard-hitting and custodial punishment of minor offences, would impact particularly on the types and number of persons sentenced to senior youth-training centres, causing further strain in our justice system and great injustice to the individuals concerned.'' Mr Fogarty said it was not an exaggeration to describe the heroin problem as a community crisis. But he said Mr Kennett's humane policy on heroin contradicted his Government's push for a new privatised youth detention centre, first announced last year. ``I totally support what the Premier has done on the drug issue, but it's totally inconsistent with the handing over of these youth training centres to private organisations when you've got 80 per cent of the inmates drug affected.'' He said young offenders would not get appropriate treatment in a private detention centre. ``They will be worse off yet, at the same time, the Premier is advocating in the wider perspective a very tolerant, preventative process.'' Defence for Children International, the human rights watchdog of which Mr Fogarty is a member, wrote to the Premier about its concerns that Victoria could soon get Australia's first private youth-detention centre. Mr Fogarty said the organisation received a reply from the Premier's Department saying the Government was considering a proposal to build a private centre but that no decision had been made. Mr Fogarty was speaking at a seminar held by Melbourne University's Centre for Public Policy and LaTrobe University's school of law.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dutch Minister Takes High Tone Over Marijuana Jobs (According to Reuters, the Netherlands' social affairs minister, Klaas de Vries, said this week he was astonished at a decision by officials in Leeuwarden to subsidise the work experience of four unemployed people by having them sell marijuana in coffee shops. Municipal officials, citing the law, don't see what the fuss is about.) Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 21:56:27 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Netherlands: Wire: Dutch Minister Takes High Tone Over Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: 26 Feb 1999 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited. DUTCH MINISTER TAKES HIGH TONE OVER MARIJUANA JOBS LEEUWARDEN, Netherlands, Feb 26 (Reuters) - A Dutch local authority has provoked a minor outcry by subsidising work experience for the unemployed in coffee shops selling marijuana. Soft drugs are technically illegal in the Netherlands but their sale in so-called coffee shops is tolerated under strict conditions, such as that marijuana should not be sold to minors. Social Affairs Minister Klaas de Vries said this week he was astonished by Leeuwarden council's decision to pay the wages of four people selling marijuana in some of the city's coffee shops. The council doesn't see what the fuss is about. In a letter to the minister, it noted that his predecessor, Ad Melkert, had imposed no restrictions on the sectors qualifying for work experience subsidies. "If the minister believes the subsidies are not intended for this sector, then the law should be changed (to reflect that)," the letter said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 80 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's original publication featuring drug policy news and calls to action includes - UN drug control board laments reform, urges member nations to tow the drug war line; Iran says executing drug smugglers "unsuitable solution" - but US legislators want to try it here; DEA chief Constantine rips US drug war efforts, bemoans Mexican situation; Jesse "the Governor" Ventura on the drug war; Sen. McCain seeks radical cutbacks in methadone maintenance; California officials comment on medical marijuana; South Carolina mulls making sale of urine a felony offense; American Farm Bureau reverses position on hemp at convention; Canada: terminally ill man will continue to smoke marijuana despite conviction; Author of "Drug Crazy" lecturing in Dallas March 2nd; and an editorial: Mr. Ventura comes to Washington) Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 01:40:33 -0500 To: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #80 Sender: email@example.com The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #80 -- February 26, 1999 A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network -------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- (To sign off this list, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) This issue can be also be read on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/080.html. Check out the DRCNN weekly radio segment at http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/. PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of The Week Online is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: Drug Reform Coordination Network, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Articles of a purely educational nature in The Week Online appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted. ERRATA: Last week, we incorrectly listed the Mothers in Prison, Children in Crisis rally as taking place on Friday, May 9. The correct date is Friday, May 7. See http://www.drcnet.org/wol/079.html#rally for the rest of the information. Please pass this correction along to anyplace your forwarded the original article. NOTE: In issue #77, we provided an 800 number for the American Bar Association, to order copies of their report on the ineffectivess of increased penalties on drug use (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/077.html#abastudy). If you've had trouble getting through on the 800 number, try their direct number at (312) 988-5000. Also check out the ABA's report on the federalization of crime (article at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/079.html#abareport). TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. UN Drug Control Board Laments Reform, Urges Member Nations to Tow the Drug War Line http://www.drcnet.org/wol/080.html#incb 2. Iran Says Executing Drug Smugglers "Unsuitable Solution" -- but US Legislators Want to Try It Here http://www.drcnet.org/wol/080.html#iran 3. DEA Chief Constantine Rips US Drug War Efforts, Bemoans Mexican Situation http://www.drcnet.org/wol/080.html#constantine 4. Jesse "The Governor" Ventura on the Drug War http://www.drcnet.org/wol/080.html#ventura 5. Sen. McCain Seeks Radical Cutbacks in Methadone Maintenance http://www.drcnet.org/wol/080.html#mccain 6. California Officials Comment on Medical Marijuana http://www.drcnet.org/wol/080.html#calmedmj 7. South Carolina Mulls Making Sale of Urine a Felony Offense http://www.drcnet.org/wol/080.html#southcarolina 8. American Farm Bureau Reverses Position on Hemp at Convention http://www.drcnet.org/wol/080.html#afb 9. Canada: Terminally Ill Man Will Continue to Smoke Marijuana Despite Conviction http://www.drcnet.org/wol/080.html#canada 10. Author of "Drug Crazy" Lecturing in Dallas, March 2nd http://www.drcnet.org/wol/080.html#drugcrazy 11. EDITORIAL: Mr. Ventura Comes To Washington http://www.drcnet.org/wol/080.html#editorial *** 1. UN Drug Control Board Laments Reform, Urges Member Nations to Tow the Drug War Line Efforts in some countries to lessen the impact of punitive drug policies came under fire in the annual report from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) released at the UN this week. The report, an overview of UN member states' attempts to implement UN drug control conventions, warns against harm reduction initiatives that threaten to undermine the prohibitionist policies outlined in the conventions. The report stresses the board's concern "over the possible proliferation of heroin experiments" such as the clinical trial soon to be underway in the Netherlands, which will test the feasibility of providing co-prescribed heroin and methadone to hard-core addicts. The board was more critical of Switzerland, which voted in 1997 to continue its own heroin maintenance program after a three year experiment and a national referendum. Referring back to its 1997 report, the board reiterated its earlier concerns about the Swiss government's positive evaluation of its own heroin program, which the INCB said led to "misinterpretations and hasty conclusions by some politicians and the media in several European countries." Similarly, the report expresses the INCB's suspicion of harm reduction strategies such as safe-injection rooms, which some governments have explicitly or tacitly supported as a way to reduce the disease and public disorder associated with hard drug use. Ultimately, the INCB "urges those States to consider carefully all the implications of such 'shooting galleries,' including the legal implications, the congregation of addicts, the facilitation of illicit trafficking, the message that the existence of such places may send to the general public and the impact on the general perception of drug abuse." The report does not elaborate on what it believes such a message to be. Although other sections of the report note the high incidence of AIDS and HIV among injection drug users in the United States, Canada, Ukraine, Estonia, and many other countries, it makes no mention of needle exchange. The report is curiously silent on many countries' efforts to scale back prosecution of the drug war. In mentioning Belgium's decision to make prosecution for minor marijuana offenses the "lowest judicial priority," it comments only that, "It is unfortunate that the directive has been widely misinterpreted as a move towards the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis." Similar reforms on the way in Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and other countries are not discussed in the report. The board was more strident in its dismay over the passage of medical marijuana initiatives in several US states. "The Board trusts that the United States Government will vigorously enforce its federal law... in states that, pursuant to referendums, have authorized the use of cannabis, contrary to the federal law prohibiting the medical and non-medical use of cannabis" reads one section. In another section, widely publicized in US news accounts, the board "renews its call for additional scientific research" on medical marijuana, insisting that "such decisions should have a sound medical and scientific basis and should not be made in accordance with referendums organized by interest groups." But some of those interest groups say the INCB is merely stonewalling. DRCNet spoke with Dave Fratello, a spokesman for Americans for Medical Rights, the California-based group that has sponsored many of the US medical marijuana initiatives. "The UN is taking a position very much like the one the US government has taken, which is that we shouldn't do anything about medical marijuana until some unforeseen time many years down the road when all the science has come in," he said. "What we're seeing from around the country where people are willing to vote yes on medical marijuana initiatives, and our Attorney General here in California is trying to make Prop. 215 work, is that you don't have to wait for that science. The science has already been done in many regards. And the cases of individual patients that have been so well publicized to date demonstrate that there's no justification for keeping laws on the books that criminalize these patients. Especially when you've got a situation where it could go on for ten or fifteen years, who knows how long just for the research to be done -- and we're talking in many cases about terminally ill patients." Ethan Nadelmann, director of the New York-based drug policy research institute the Lindesmith Center, agreed. "Remember," he said, "just as we say that Washington, DC is the last place that we're going to see change in the United States, the UN is one of the last places we're going to see change internationally. The UN systems are among the most rigid and ossified -- not all of them, not UNAIDS or UNDP -- but the UN Drug Control Program and the INCB, these are organizations where there is no benefit for anyone in these organizations to advocate for reform." Nadelmann questioned the scientific legitimacy of the board, and said the INCB itself tends to operate as a political, rather than a scientific body. "It's an organization which is always looking for the supposed legalizer behind any harm reduction innovation," he said. "In many respects it seems like a sort of creaky, old Politburo of international drug control." Asked for his reaction to implications in the report questioning the legitimacy of the Swiss heroin experiment, Nadelmann scoffed. "The Swiss did their best to do a legitimate scientific study, and it was one that was inevitably constrained by political circumstances, one in which research designs were adopted to political constraints -- imposed not by reformers, but by those who were opposed to the experiment in the first place." Still, Nadelmann said he was pleased to see that the INCB report was forced to acknowledge at least some of the international movements toward drug reform. "They sense the smell of reform in the air," he said, "whether it's in the United States with the passage of the ballot initiatives and referendums last November, or the current developments in Europe -- especially in Germany, but also in places like France and Belgium and Switzerland and other countries. So it's nice to see that the INCB is actually awakening to the fact that there are serious calls for change out there." While it may be awakening to signs of change, the INCB shows no signs that it will give up its attachment to punitive drug prohibition any time soon. Despite numerous mentions throughout the report of purer, cheaper drugs more widely available than ever, despite its acknowledgment that even the United States, with some of the harshest policies in the world, has done little to ameliorate the condition of hard- core drug addiction, the report insists that "History has shown that national and international control of drugs has proved to be an efficient tool for reducing the development of drug dependence and is therefore the choice to be made." Maybe next year. (The INCB report is available online at http://www.incb.org. The Lindesmith Center web site can be found at http://www.lindesmith.org.) *** 2. Iran Says Executing Drug Smugglers "Unsuitable Solution" -- but US Legislators Want to Try It Here Last Wednesday (2/18), a top aid to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami told Iran's official news agency (IRNA) that that nation's ten year old policy of publicly executing drug smugglers has not and will not achieve its intent of stopping or even slowing the drug trade. Iran has executed more than 2,000 people for drug offenses, many of them publicly, over the past decade. "Executing drug smugglers is not a suitable way to fight drugs and our 10-year experience shows that this has not been a solution" the aid said. Iran's strict code mandated death to anyone caught in possession of 30 grams of heroin or 11 lbs. of opium. Perhaps Iran's experience might be enough to deter US legislators from re-introducing the Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1997. The bill, which called for a mandatory death penalty for anyone convicted for a second trafficking offense, was sponsored by then-speaker Newt Gingrich and attracted a list of 37 co-sponsors, 36 Republicans and 1 Democrat. Though the Act does not specify weight limits, it would be violated whenever someone was caught importing an amount "equal to 100 doses" of any controlled substance. Such a calculation would impose death for a far smaller amount of heroin than did the failed Iranian law. In fact, by that standard it would take the importation of only a small amount (likely well under 2 oz.) of marijuana to violate the act. First-time offenders under the Act would receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Calls placed to the offices of several of the original co-sponsors of the Importer Death Penalty Act by The Week Online were not returned. A Democratic staffer who declined to be identified told The Week Online that although there was no indication as to whether or not the bill would be re- introduced in this session, "It really wouldn't surprise me. Politicians introduce all kinds of crazy legislation, and, if they're willing to work at it, they can get a lot of it passed." *** 3. DEA Chief Constantine Rips US Drug War Efforts, Bemoans Mexican Situation With decisions on the certification of 30 drug producing nations upcoming, rumors of Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey's imminent departure, the arrival in town of New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to testify before the house subcommittee on criminal justice, candid statements by Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, who was attending the annual Governors' Conference, and efforts by the Republican party to gain political traction in the wake of impeachment, Washington has been abuzz this week with talk of the drug war. The voice that cut through the chatter, however, belonged to DEA Director Thomas Constantine, who, in separate appearances, claimed that the United States lacks the "political will" to win the drug war, and that Mexican drug cartels had become so sophisticated and well armed as to be the single greatest threat to American security. "I know one drug mafia in Mexico alone that makes $2 billion every single year selling cocaine and methamphetamine in the United States" Constantine told USA Today, "and it has better technical equipment and countersurveillance equipment and armored cars than we do." It is not uncommon, in Washington, to hear the heads of federal agencies decry the status quo in which the claimed inadequacy of their budget -- in the DEA's case $1.4 billion per year with a force of approximately 8,000 -- is implied as the reason for an apparent lack of success in fulfilling its mission. It must have been jarring to the administration, however, when on Wednesday, Constantine testified before the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control to lay the wood to the drug trafficking situation in Mexico, a nation that the administration clearly would like to certify despite strong congressional opposition. Speaking of Mexican drug traffickers, Constantine told the caucus, "They literally run transportation and financial empires, and an insight into how they conduct their day-to- day business leads even the casual observer to the conclusion that the United States is facing a threat of unprecedented proportions and gravity." Constantine said that the corruption in Mexico is "unlike anything I've ever seen." If Constantine's words grated on the Clinton Administration, they were no more pleasing to the ears of Mexican officials. Mexican Interior Minister Francisco Labastida told reporters that Constantine's remarks "reflect a vision in which the good are on one side and the bad on the other. I deeply lament what he said." Certification recommendations by the President are due in Congress on March 1. *** 4. Jesse "The Governor" Ventura on the Drug War Jesse Ventura, in Washington this week for the annual governor's meeting, came off the top rope and planted a forearm shiver right in the chops of the political establishment. While Ventura's candidacy was largely ignored, and his election treated as a joke by the Washington establishment, Ventura declared his victory "a wake-up call" to the two major parties. After the Governors' meeting, Ventura spoke at the National Press Club and appeared on Meet The Press and CNN. On CNN, Ventura was asked by host Wolf Blitzer what he meant by the statement that, "If someone takes LSD in the privacy of his or her own home, that should be no one's business." Ventura responded by saying that "to me, in the privacy of your own home, that has nothing to do with the government. If you're stupid, and you want to make stupid decisions, and those stupid decisions don't endanger anyone else, then it's none of the government's business. And I don't think the founders of our country had anything like that in mind, that government would intervene in the privacy of your own home." "He had a great time in DC, he really did" a spokesperson for the governor told The Week Online. As to efforts that his administration might undertake to foster a greater understanding of Ventura's drug policy views among Minnesotans and beyond, those plans are on hold. "As soon as we got in, there was the state budget process, which really took a lot of everyone's time and energy, and now the legislature is in session, and so we haven't really had the time to think all that long-term" his aid said. "It's been a very busy couple of months for everyone." *** 5. Sen. McCain Seeks Radical Cutbacks in Methadone Maintenance - Scott Ehlers, Drug Policy Foundation, email@example.com Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introduced S. 423, the "Addiction Free Treatment Act," on February 11, which would significantly reduce the number of methadone patients and the amount of time patients would be allowed to be maintained on methadone. According to Sen. McCain, methadone maintenance is "Orwellian," and "disgusting and immoral," and must be stopped to restore the humanity of the enslaved addict. The bill would require: (1) Medicaid payments for methadone and Levo-Alpha Acetyl-Methadol (LAAM) treatment to be terminated after a maximum of six months; (2) clinics to conduct random and frequent comprehensive drug testing; and (3) the termination of a patient's treatment if he/she tested positive for illicit drugs. Federal funds administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration would also be subject to the same restrictions. In addition to these new federal restrictions, S. 423 would require the National Institute on Drug Abuse to conduct a study within three years to determine: (1) the methods and effectiveness of non-pharmacological, as well as methadone- to-abstinence rehabilitation programs. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment would be required to submit annual reports for five years on the effectiveness of non- pharmacological and methadone-to-abstinence treatment. Sen. McCain's bill is very similar to a plan promoted last year by New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, which would have required methadone patients at city hospitals to be abstinent within 90 days. At the end of five months, only 21 of the 2100 patients were methadone-free, and five of those had relapsed into heroin use. In January of this year the mayor abandoned his plan, saying it was "maybe somewhat unrealistic." Doctors, patients, and patient advocates have derided the McCain bill, and are surprised that he would introduce it after Giuliani's proposal failed so miserably. Dr. Marc Shinderman, medical director of the Center for Addictive Problems in Chicago, mused: "It appears that Giuliani's perfected technique of identifying a stigmatized group and attacking it has become contagious to Republicans outside of New York. McCain is either painfully ignorant of the facts regarding the value of methadone maintenance treatment or is politically motivated to attack it in spite of the overwhelming evidence of its efficacy." He added, "The Institute of Medicine's 1998 Consensus Report on Heroin Addiction called methadone maintenance the 'gold standard' in the treatment of heroin dependence. The abstinence-based treatment advocated by McCain was found to result in relapse rates of 90 percent." Patient advocates are equally upset by the bill. Beth Francisco of the Advocates for Recovery Through Medicine, found the bill to be "horrible," and believed it would result in less people entering methadone treatment, more people relapsing into heroin use, and more diversion of methadone into the black market for persons kicked out of programs. Joycelyn Woods of the National Alliance of Methadone Advocates noted that "the wording of McCain's bill is demeaning and he is obviously operating from a position of bias and misunderstanding. I'm surprised that a senator would be this ignorant about this issue." S. 423 had no co-sponsors at press time and was referred to the Senate Finance Committee. *** 6. California Officials Comment on Medical Marijuana An op-ed by California state senator John Vasconcellos (D- San Jose) in the Los Angeles Times this Thursday (2/25/99) blasted the federal government's opposition to voter- approved medical marijuana initiatives in several states, including California's Prop. 215. Vasconcellos asked, "What kind of a government carries on a crusade against the will of its voters, favors pain and even death for some of its people?" According to the San Jose Mercury News, Vasconcellos is reintroducing a bill to establish a medical marijuana research program at the University of California, and is co- chairing, with Santa Clara County District Attorney George Kennedy, a 20-person task force formulating recommendations to Attorney General Bill Lockyer on Prop. 215 implementation. Both Vasconcellos and Lockyer, formerly Senate President, have energetically advocated availability of medical marijuana to patients. The Mercury also reported that Lockyer told reporters, following his first State of the Public Safety address, "It always amazes me that doctors can prescribe morphine but not marijuana," and stated that Lockyer and attorneys general from other west coast states with medical marijuana laws are planning to meet with federal officials to discuss the reclassification of marijuana as a prescription medicine. A spokesperson for Lockyer, however, told the Week Online that reporters had mistook Lockyer's trip to Washington as being connected with the medical marijuana issue, and that while Lockyer is visiting Washington late next month, for the meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General, there are "no plans, no meetings, no agenda" in the works for meetings on the medical marijuana issue. When asked if Lockyer had plans underway for how to advance the medical marijuana issue after the task force's report is released, the spokesperson answered that there is not. He also said that there has been informal communication between Attorneys General offices in states with voter-approved medical marijuana laws, but no formal committees like California's task force. *** 7. South Carolina Mulls Making Sale of Urine a Felony Offense (reprinted from the NORML Weekly News, http://www.norml.org) February 25, 1999, Columbia, SC: Legislation proposed by Sen. David Thomas (R-Greenville) seeks to crack down on individuals who attempt to skirt a drug test by using someone else's urine. General Bill 277 makes "selling or purchasing urine with intent to defraud a drug screening test a felony" punishable by up to five years in jail. Kenneth Curtis, owner of Privacy Protection Services, a Marietta-based company that markets urine substitution kits, surmises that the measure is in response to the ability of products like his to thwart a urine test. "Lawmakers are trying to shoot the messenger here," he said. "This situation is an example of law enforcement encroachment into what is now mostly a private sector testing business. People should be concerned about government officials that would support over stepping into private sector testing." Thomas argues that his legislation is necessary because "the safety of the public is at stake here." His measure awaits action by the Senate Judiciary Committee. *** 8. American Farm Bureau Reverses Position on Hemp at Convention - Marc Brandl, firstname.lastname@example.org Delegates at this year's American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico withdrew language approved last year opposing research and domestic cultivation of industrial hemp. The issue of industrial hemp has been a contentious one for the Farm Bureau over the past three years. In 1996, delegates endorsed a resolution to, "encourage research into the viability and economic potential of industrial hemp production in the United States... includ[ing] planting test plots." This language was replaced in 1998 by a vote of 198 to 168 after Missouri Farm Bureau president Charles Kruse brought up concerns from law enforcement that hemp and marijuana were indistinguishable. The American Farm Bureau now takes no position in regards industrial hemp. According to a legislative aid with the AFBF in Washington, DC, "The Bureau will not take a position either way on any federal legislation involving hemp, but this in no way precludes state chapters from lobbying elected officials either for or against [hemp]." *** 9. Canada: Terminally Ill Man Will Continue to Smoke Marijuana Despite Conviction A Nova Scotia man with an inoperable brain tumor was convicted of marijuana cultivation this week, but he has vowed to continue smoking because, he said, "its the only thing that controls the headaches." Mark Crossley, a 38- year-old married father of three, suffers from seizures, headaches, and mood-swings, and has been unable to work for two years, his lawyer, Brian English, told the Halifax Herald this week. Crossley was sentenced to four months house arrest and three years probation, as well as 120 hours of community service. As he left the courtroom after his sentencing, Crossley reportedly turned back toward the judge and prosecutor and shouted, "You can't make decisions about my health. I'm the one that's sick, not you." *** 10. Author of "Drug Crazy" Lecturing in Dallas, March 2nd Mike Gray, author of the book Drug Crazy: How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out, will speak as part of the Science and Health Policy Lecture Series of the Department of Pharmacology and Program in Ethics in Science and Medicine of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The presentation is on Monday, March 2nd, noon, in Lecture Hall D1.502, South Campus. UTSW is on Harry Hines Boulevard next to Parkland Hospital. For further information, call (214) 648-2622, fax (214) 648-8694, or send e-mail to email@example.com. Be sure to verify the event with the department before taking a trip out. *** 11. EDITORIAL: Mr. Ventura Comes To Washington Adam J. Smith, DRCNet Associate Director, firstname.lastname@example.org Fifty governors came to Washington last week to meet and to greet, to discuss common issues and to powwow with the president. The annual meeting of the Governor's Association is also an opportunity for those with their eye on national office to get cozy with the national press, and to have their names and their words and, if their lucky, their pictures run in national publications. But despite the presence of both Bush boys, as well as Governor Whitman of New Jersey and Governor Pataki of New York, the man who stole the show, as well as the national media spotlight, was a man whose candidacy was once considered a joke, and whose election has been treated as something of an anomaly: Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota. Ventura displayed a sharp, if somewhat self- effacing wit, a disdain for the ways of the inside-the- beltway set, a manner that oozed honesty and a willingness to state his beliefs without regard for poll numbers or political correctness. After meeting with the governors, Ventura made the rounds, including a speech at the National Press Club and an appearance on CNN with Wolf Blitzer. By the time Jesse "The Governor" Ventura got back on a plane to return to the Gopher State, even the Washington insiders had to know that The Governor is no joke. Jesse Ventura beat overwhelming odds to win the election, and he did it without ducking controversial issues. Even so, the one issue that stands out is Ventura's stance on the drug war. "If someone wants to use marijuana or LSD in the privacy of their own home, it ought to be none of the government's business." Simple as that. The drug war has failed, says Ventura, and besides, people have to be responsible for making their own decisions in life, even if those decisions turn out to be idiotic. Ventura is not "in favor" of drugs, or "pro-drug" as the drug war establishment insists on labeling reformers. "I don't condone the use or abuse of drugs" he told Blitzer, "but I also understand privacy." Which, as has been borne out by recent (and not so recent) events, differentiates him from many in the nation's capitol. The American people are starting to come to terms with this issue. Over the past two election cycles, drug policy reform ballot questions have been approved time and time again. And yet, in Washington the overwhelming response has been to try to figure out ways to thwart the will of the voters, and to introduce harsher and harsher measures in a vain attempt to find the level of violence and terror necessary to make prohibition work. It is a truism in Washington that you can never go wrong by getting "tough," and that the American people will always support an escalation of the drug war "to protect the children." But Jesse Ventura, ex-professional wrestler, ex- Navy SEAL, the big guy with the 22-inch arms at the Governor's conference who was not supposed to be smart enough, or savvy enough, is taking on the truism. He is speaking the truth, and he has gotten himself elected by counting on the voters to understand and respond. Jesse Ventura blew into Washington last week and stole the national stage with straight talk instead of political platitudes and an unflinching confidence that the American people could tell the difference. His performance, or rather his refusal to put on a performance, captured the imagination of the jaded Washington Press corps, so used to the meaningless blather and stock cliches of politicians. Ventura is the only Governor in the land with the courage to state the obvious, that the problem of substance abuse in America will be solved neither by the nanny state, nor by the police state. By speaking the truth, he has shown himself to be neither joke nor politician but rather a man who is trying to lead. The political establishment had better take notice of Ventura and his message on the drug war. The public already has. *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html. Donations to the Drug Reform Coordination Network are not tax-deductible. Deductible contributions supporting our educational work can be made by check to the DRCNet Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax- exempt organization, same address. *** DRCNet *** GATEWAY TO REFORM PAGE http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/ DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, No. 87 (The original summary of drug policy news from DrugSense opens with the weekly Feature Article - Black leaders and public health advocates criticize misinformation by drug czar. The Weekly News in Review features several articles about Drug War Policy, including - DEA chief: drug fight lacks desire; Customs admits its own drug corruption; Border patrol adds high-tech tools to its arsenal; Editorial: ACLU is off base on city drug tests; Bad hair days; Testing the drug test labs; and, Drunken drivers' cars to be seized at arrests. Articles about Mexican Drug Policy include - Mexico greets Clinton like an old friend; Mexico's troubadours turn from amor to drugs; and, Minuet in Mexico. Articles about Law Enforcement & Prisons include - Authorities release account of shooting, say marijuana found in house; Shaking this habit will be tough; Texas inmates tell US judge of abuses; and, The Nazi comparison. Articles about Medical Marijuana include - The politics of pot: a government in denial; AIDS groups plead for 'medical marijuana'; and, Kubbys reassure Libertarians. International News articles include - MP's marijuana motion gathering steam; Addicts fuel 7 bil. Industry; And, Freeh advice on drugs: inject money and political will. The weekly Hot Off The 'Net provides a Happy99.exe Virus Explanation and Fix; and notes the Kubby Web Site has been updated. The Tip of the Week points to some Windows "Tune Up" Hints. The Quote of the Week cites Thomas Carlyle.) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: DrugSense Weekly, February 26, 1999 #087 Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 08:11:12 -0800 Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/ Lines: 965 Sender: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY *** DrugSense Weekly, February 26, 1999 #087 A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org This Publication May Be Read On-line at: http://www.drugsense.org/dsw/1999/ds99.n87.html TO SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, DONATE OR UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS PLEASE SEE THE INFORMATION AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS NEWSLETTER Please consider writing a letter to the editor using the email addresses on any of the articles below. Send a copy of your LTE to MGreer@mapinc.org *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: * Feature Article Black Leaders and Public Health Advocates Criticize Misinformation by Drug Czar * Weekly News in Review Drug War Policy- (1) DEA Chief: Drug Fight Lacks Desire (2) Customs Admits its Own Drug Corruption (3) Border Patrol Adds High-Tech Tools to its Arsenal (4) Editorial: ACLU Is Off Base on City Drug Tests (5) Bad Hair Days (6) Testing the Drug Test Labs (7) Drunken Drivers' Cars to Be Seized at Arrests Drug Policy, Mexican Division- (8) Mexico Greets Clinton Like an Old Friend (9) Mexico's Troubadours Turn From Amor to Drugs (10) Minuet in Mexico Law Enforcement & Prisons- (11) Authorities Release Account Of Shooting, Say Marijuana Found in House (12) Shaking This Habit Will be Tough (13) Texas Inmates Tell US Judge of Abuses (14) The Nazi Comparison Medical Marijuana- (15) The Politics of Pot A Government in Denial (16) AIDS Groups Plead for 'Medical Marijuana' (17) Kubbys Reassure Libertarians International News- (18) MP's Marijuana Motion Gathering Steam (19) Addicts Fuel 7 Bil. Industry (20) Freeh Advice on Drugs: Inject Money and Political Will * Hot Off The 'Net Happy99.exe Virus Explanation and Fix Kubby Web Site updated * Tip of the Week Windows "Tune Up" Hints * Quote of the Week Thomas Carlyle *** FEATURE ARTICLE Black Leaders and Public Health Advocates Criticize Misinformation by Drug Czar Washington D.C. Leading black intellectuals and public health advocates have joined drug policy reform advocates to criticize Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey for "a series of inaccurate and misleading statements" he has made over the last year. The individuals are sending a letter listing the General's misstatements on February 25, 1999, the same day McCaffrey will testify before the House Committee on Government Oversight. The letter signers include Harvard professors Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Dr. Orlando Patterson, and Dr. William Julius Wilson, as well as the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the National Black Police Association, the National Women's Health Network, and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. Kevin Zeese, President of Common Sense for Drug Policy, who circulated the letter, said, "I find it deeply disturbing that the Drug Czar is making these misstatements while spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars urging parents to tell the truth about drugs. General McCaffrey should set a better example." This is not the first time McCaffrey has been criticized for supporting a criminal justice rather than a public health approach to the drug problem. After McCaffrey successfully lobbied President Clinton to block federal funding for needle exchange, several members of the Congressional Black Caucus called for the Drug Czar's resignation. And Common Sense for Drug Policy, an advocacy organization based in Falls Church, Virginia, has been running ads for the last six months in The New Republic criticizing the Drug Czar for making false statements (see http://www.drugsense.org/ads) A recent inconsistency with McCaffrey are his statements and his policies. McCaffrey said on NPR's Talk of the Nation, "I don't think we're going to arrest our way out of this. We've got 1.7 million people behind bars right now" (Feb. 25, 1998). Yet the Drug Czar's funding request for 2000 increases the law enforcement budget by 4.7 percent ($524 million increase for a total of $11.7 billion) while increasing the prevention and treatment budget by 3.6 percent ($210 million for a total of $6 billion). *** February 25, 1999 General Barry McCaffrey Office of National Drug Control Policy Washington, D.C. Dear General McCaffrey, As academics, journalists, public health experts, and community leaders, we are deeply troubled by a series of inaccurate and misleading statements you have made as Drug Czar. In particular, we are concerned by statements you have made on the following: * Needle Exchange Programs In March 1998, you described needle exchange programs as "magnets for all social ills," including violence, drug dealers and prostitution. Yet in study after study, scientific researchers have found that needle exchanges reduce the transmission of HIV without increasing drug use. Also, in April, you claimed that two Canadian needle exchange studies showed that needle exchanges were ineffective in reducing the spread of HIV and may have worsened the problem. Missing from your analysis was the fact that Canada, unlike the United States, allows needles to be purchased without a prescription and as a result the Canadian study did not include more affluent and healthier addicts who were less likely to engage in the riskiest activities. Your statements so disturbed the Canadian scientists that they felt compelled to publish an oped in the New York Times to repudiate the misuse of their findings. * Medical Marijuana On August 15, 1996, you said, "There is not a shred of scientific evidence that shows that smoked marijuana is useful or needed. This is not medicine. This is a cruel hoax." Yet exhaustive research, including numerous studies by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other authoritative institutions, have concluded that marijuana possesses therapeutic value and effectively treats chemotherapy related nausea and appetite loss. Even after the New England Journal of Medicine, which represents the mainstream medical community, editorialized in support of medical marijuana, you have made no statements recognizing the scientific research backing the medicinal value of marijuana. * International Models of Drug Control On July 24, 1998 the Chicago Tribune quoted you as saying: "The murder rate in Holland is double that in the United States...That's drugs." In fact, the Dutch homicide rate is only one fourth that of the United States. The Dutch rate has never approached, much less exceeded, that of the United States. When you claimed that the Dutch murder rate was higher, you blamed Holland's drug policies. Yet when confronted with the facts, you did not suggest that U.S. drug policies are the cause of our higher homicide rate. The media and the public rely on your office to avoid unfounded speculation, to recognize and disseminate scientific consensus when it exists, and to provide, when available, material facts that could help us deal realistically and effectively with our very real problems of addiction. Therefore we urge you and other national leaders to provide the news media and the public with the most accurate scientific findings available. We realize that speaking forthrightly requires leadership and courage in the current ideological atmosphere but, given your distinguished record in the military, the public has reason to expect nothing less. Respectfully, * Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., Chair of Afro-American Studies, Harvard University * Willie L. Brown Jr., Mayor of San Francisco * Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Harvard * Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Professor, Arkansas Children's Hospital, former Surgeon General * Orlando Patterson, Professor, Harvard University * William Julius Wilson, Professor, Harvard University * Dr. David Duncan, Clinical Associate Professor, Brown University Medical School and Chair, Council on Illicit Drugs, National Association for Public Health Policy * Ira Glasser, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union * Rebecca Isaacs, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force * Dr. Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director, Lindesmith Center * Kevin Zeese, Executive Director, Common Sense for Drug Policy * Kathleen Stoll, Center for Women's Policy Studies * Dr. Patricia D. Hawkins, Associate Executive Director, WhitmanWalker Clinic * Glenn C. Loury, Director, The Institute on Race and Social Division * R. Keith Stroup, Executive Director, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws * Ronald E. Hampton, Executive Director, National Black Police Association * Eva Patterson, Executive Director, Layers Committee for Civil Rights * Daniel Maccallair, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice * Pat Christen, Executive Director, SF AIDS Foundation * Regina Aragón, Public Policy Director, SF AIDS Foundation * Cynthia Pearson, Executive Director, National Women's Health Network * Dr. Helen RodriguezTrias, CoDirector, Pacific Institute for Women's Health * Trish Moylan Torruella, Executive Director, Mothers' Voices : United to End AIDS * Craig E. Thompson, Executive Director, AIDS Project Los Angeles * Duane Poe, Executive Director, Black Coalition on AIDS, Inc. * Rob Kampia, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project * Martin Waukazoo, Executive Director, Native American Health Center * Ron Rowell, MPH, Executive Director, National Native American AIDS Prevention Center * Loras Ojeda, Community Relations Director, Mobilization Against AIDS * Dennis deLeon, Executive Director, Latino Commission on AIDS * Lupe Lopez, Executive Director, People of Color Against AIDS Network * Margaret Batchelor White, President, Black Women's Agenda, Inc. * Dr. James T. Black, President, 100 Black Men of Los Angeles * Luz Alvarez Martinez, Executive Director, National Latina Health Organization * Alvan Quamina, Executive Director, African American AIDS Support Services and Survival Institute *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** Domestic News-Policy *** COMMENT: (1-7) Three federal agencies engaged in the drug war made the news last week: DEA chief Constantine was despondent because Mexican cartels have bigger budgets than his agency, the Customs Service was contrite after being scolded for past corruption, and the Border Patrol was pleased to receive some new high-tech gadgets. The likelihood of any of the three interfering with our criminal drug market in any material way remains at or near zero. The Seattle Times has been so reasonable recently, we've come to expect it; thus their endorsement of routine pre-employment drug testing for certain jobs was a bit of a surprise. That such testing is unreliable was confirmed by data from CBS. Finally, New York's Mayor Giuliani seems convinced that the best way to run for president is to embrace fascism under the guise of civic improvement. I certainly hope he's proven wrong. (1) DEA CHIEF: DRUG FIGHT LACKS DESIRE WASHINGTON -- The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration says the nation has neither the will nor the resources to win the drug war. DEA Administrator Thomas Constantine, in an interview Thursday, said that curbing drug use is not a high enough priority with the American people. He also said the nation has not made the financial commitment to curb the flow of illegal drugs into the USA. [snip] Pubdate: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 Source: USA Today (US) Copyright: 1999 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org FAX: (703) 247-3108 Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm Author: Gary Fields URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n187.a08.html *** (2) 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. [snip] 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 CBS Morning News website: http://www.cbs.com/prd1/now/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n176.a03.html *** (3) BORDER PATROL ADDS HIGH-TECH TOOLS TO ITS ARSENAL Surveillance Scopes, Sensors Join Force's War on Smuggling BROWNSVILLE, Tex.--Sitting in front of a small screen in a cramped metal box 20 feet above the ground, senior Border Patrol agent Rey Abrego watches a human form moving through riverbank brush on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. It is pitch dark outside, but the form shows up as white light against the green glow of the monitor, which is connected to a Loris infrared night-vision scope overlooking the river. [snip] The high-tech equipment serves as "force multipliers," increasing agents' productivity, according to a Border Patrol report. "The use of technological resources such as low-light TV, infrared night scopes, sensors and encrypted radios has moved the Border Patrol into the 21st century of law enforcement." [snip] Pubdate: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: William Branigin, Washington Post Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n187.a09.html *** (4) ACLU IS OFF BASE ON CITY DRUG TESTS Although we often share the moral high ground with the American Civil Liberties Union, we part company on the subject of mandatory drug testing for job applicants in the public sector. We're for it, the ACLU is against it. [snip] Pubdate: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Copyright: 1999 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattle-pi.com/ Author: Seattle Post-Intelligencer Editorial Board URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n189.a01.html *** 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. [snip] 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: David Johnston URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n187.a07.html *** (6) 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. [snip] Pubdate: 17 Feb 1999 Source: CBS News Contact: http://www.cbs.com/navbar/feedback.html Website: http://www.cbs.com/ Author: Roberta Baskin URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n179.a08.html *** (7) DRUNKEN DRIVERS' CARS TO BE SEIZED AT ARRESTS NEW YORK -- In what city officials described as the toughest municipal policy against drunken driving in the nation, the New York City Police Department will begin seizing cars from people arrested on charges of drunken driving, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced Saturday. The plan, which is to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, will allow a police officer to seize a suspect's car where it is stopped, regardless of the driver's circumstances. [snip] Pubdate: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Copyright: 1999 Mercury Center Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: PAUL ZIELBAUER New York Times URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n201.a07.html *** Drug Policy, Mexican Division- *** COMMENT: (8-10) Intense coverage of Mexican certification continued through Clinton's whirlwind Mexico trip and an amiable meeting with Zedillo in Herida. Clinton made no bones about his intention to "certify" Mexico, despite its abject failure to reduce participation in the illegal drug market, which continues to expand its influence in both nations. In this context, Matthew Kelly's Washington Post editorial is a fatuous exercise which takes the easy shot at Clinton for hypocrisy, but doesn't suggest a useful alternative. Does he advocate sanctions which would cruelly punish the Mexican people without affecting the drug market, or would he destroy that market by repealing prohibition? Exactly- whatever, yourself, Mr. Kelly. (8) MEXICO GREETS CLINTON LIKE AN OLD FRIEND MERIDA, Mexico - With a new lease on his political life, President Clinton basked in a warm reception Sunday in the tropical capital of the Yucatan, where even raucous pre-Lenten Carnival celebrations were quieted in honor of his arrival. [snip] Pubdate: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 Source: News & Observer (NC) Copyright: 1999 The News and Observer Publishing Company Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.news-observer.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n175.a02.html *** (9) MEXICO'S TROUBADOURS TURN FROM AMOR TO DRUGS SAN LUIS POTOSI, Mexico -- As Mario Quintero steps to the microphone, strums his guitar and begins singing about the pleasures of snorting cocaine after a few drinks, scores of teen-age girls crowd the outdoor stage screaming, "I love you, Mario!" Quintero and his wildly popular band, the Tucanes de Tijuana, or Toucans of Tijuana, follow with a song about a smuggler's love for his rooster, parrot and goat, underworld symbols for marijuana, cocaine and heroin. [snip] The Tucanes are one of the most successful of hundreds of Mexican country bands whose lyrics chronicle traffickers' daily lives and violent routines. The extraordinary popularity of their music here and in the United States underscores the profound roots the drug industry has sunk into North American popular culture, suggesting that millions of fans quietly admire the smugglers' fabled wealth, anti-establishment bravura and bold entrepreneurial skills. [snip] Pubdate: Fri, 19 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: Sam Dillon URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n187.a10.html *** (10) 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. [snip] 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. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Michael Kelly. URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n176.a02.html *** Law Enforcement & Prisons *** COMMENT: (11-14) A news item from Kansas reminds us that people are still being shot in their homes by police who claim to be "protecting" them against the evil influence of drugs. Articles from Wisconsin and Texas tell how our gulag relentlessly continues to grow larger each year, fueled by "tough on drugs" rhetoric. November Coalition's Dr. John Beresford, eloquently made an increasingly apt comparison to Thirties Germany; it should be read in its entirety. *** (11) 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." [snip] 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 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n181.a04.html *** (12) SHAKING THIS HABIT WILL BE TOUGH No more prisons, declares Gov. Tommy Thompson. And it is an admirable vow. But to shake its addiction to prison construction, the state needs the full, 12-step program, not just a vow. Above all, the state needs courage and foresight on the part of politicians - -- qualities in too short a supply to date when it has come to prisons. With the nation's fastest-growing inmate rolls, Wisconsin is hooked bad on prison building. [snip] Pubdate: 22 Feb 1999 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Copyright: 1999, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 414-224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Forum: http://www.jsonline.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimate.cgi Fax: (414) 224-8280 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n197.a03.html *** (13) TEXAS INMATES TELL U.S. JUDGE OF ABUSES AUSTIN, Texas -- For three weeks, doctors, corrections officials and inmates have been describing to a federal judge the conditions in Texas' vast network of prisons, and much of the testimony from the prisoners has been a grim litany of abuses and humiliations. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 Source: San Jose Mercury News Copyright: 1999 Mercury Center Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: Rick Lyman, New York Times URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n174.a03.html *** (14) 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. [snip] 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 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n190.a02.html *** Medical Marijuana *** COMMENT: (15-17) Eric Schlosser did it again; this time a brilliant expose of the scope, duplicity, and dishonesty marijuana prohibition in Rolling Stone. AIDS groups used an interesting ploy against McCzar; response to date; dead silence. Libertarian support for Steve Kubby's case has been important in keeping it in the news. Since the prosecution has shown no inclination to back down, it may prove very interesting. (15) THE POLITICS OF POT - A GOVERNMENT IN DENIAL There is more and more proof that marijuana is NOT A KILLER WEED, and yet in Bill Clinton's America, the number of pot arrests has more than doubled IN THE CLOSING DAYS OF 1998, a number of events exposed the profound irrationality of America's war on marijuana. [snip] Source: Rolling Stone Copyright: 1999 Rolling Stone Pubdate: 4 Mar 1999 Issue: 807 Page: 47 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (212) 767-8214 Mail: 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104-0298 Forum: http://yourturn.rollingstone.com/webx?98@@webx1.html Website: http://www.rollingstone.com/ Author: Eric Schlosser URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n180.a05.html *** (16) 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. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 Source: USA Today 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 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n182.a07.html *** (17) KUBBYS REASSURE LIBERTARIANS SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Steve and Michelle Kubby reassured Libertarians Sunday night that they grew marijuana solely for their own use and had no intent to sell it. [snip] "There was no way economically we could stop growing his medicine," Mrs. Kubby told the crowd at the Libertarian Party's state convention, which ended Monday in San Jose. The worst part of their ordeal , she said, was time in the Auburn jail where she could hear her husband vomiting but was not allowed to see him. "This medicine (marijuana) is what keeps him alive," she said. Without it, "they almost killed him." [snip] Pubdate: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Sacramento Bee Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Feedback: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Forum: http://www.sacbee.com/voices/voices_forum.html Note: Headline by editor URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n174.a04.html *** International News *** COMMENT: (18-20) In Canada, medical marijuana received a powerful push from an MP; something that couldn't happen in Congress. Australia, reeling from record numbers of heroin related deaths also received the economic bill for prohibition; against this backdrop "tough on drugs" PM John Howard ran true to form and sought advice from the FBI- does this mean he thinks America's drug control policy is successful? *** (18) MP'S MARIJUANA MOTION GATHERING STEAM Last spring, Bloc Quebecois MP Bernard Bigras spoke to a constituent suffering from AIDS who risked being jailed for six months every time he smoked marijuana to alleviate his daily nausea, vomiting and pain. Mr. Bigras is now sponsoring a motion in the House of Commons asking the government to study the benefits of marijuana in treating the symptoms of some illnesses. Mr. Bigras is suggesting that Health Canada conduct a three-year research program involving 400 to 600 patients before considering legalizing the substance. Mr. Bigras's motion will force the government to come up with a position on this issue before it comes to a vote in May. [snip] Pubdate: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 Source: Globe and Mail Copyright: 1999 The Globe and Mail Company Contact: email@example.com Forum: http://forums.theglobeandmail.com/ Website: http://www.globeandmail.ca/ Author: Daniel Leblanc, Parliamentary Bureau, Ottawa URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n184.a07.html *** (19) ADDICTS FUEL 7 BIL. INDUSTRY AUSTRALIA'S illegal drug trade rivals the country's biggest industries. The $7 billion illegal drug trade is equal in size to the oil industry and bigger than the tobacco industry. It also represents more money than Australians spend on gas, electricity and fuel each year. Economic analysts said the drug trade could be worth up to $9.6 billion. [snip] Pubdate: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 Source: Herald Sun Copyright: News Limited 1999 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ Author: Glenn Mitchell, John Ferguson and Fran Cusworth URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n185.a02.html *** (20) FREEH ADVICE ON DRUGS: INJECT MONEY AND POLITICAL WILL John Howard may not like everything the director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, has to tell him about how to win the war on drugs. In Mr Freeh's thinking, that fight requires two key ingredients - an abundance of funding and an equally generous amount of political will. [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 Source: Sydney Morning Herald Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Author: Mark Riley, Herald Correspondent in New York URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n201.a10.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET *** Happy99.exe virus Thanks to Peter Webster for the info below. SO WHAT DOES THIS WORM DO? The Happy99.exe virus may be coming to you as an attached file to your Email DO NOT OPEN OR CLICK ON IT. Unlike many of the hoaxes that are regularly announced around the web this one is real. The Happy99.exe is more of a nuisance than a threat. It doesn't delete any files on your computer. It doesn't open a "back door" into your computer. Basically, every time you send an e-mail or post to a newsgroup, you send a copy of the worm to the recipients of your message. And if they run the program, they get infected and then their messages will send out the worm, and so on. For more information, visit the sites below: http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2208275,00.html http://beta.nai.com/public/datafiles/valerts/vinfo/w32ska.htm http://www.anchordesk.com/a/adt0215nk/3093.html http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/3652/SKA.HTM *** KUBBY WEB SITE UPDATED The Steve Kubby for Governor Page, http://www.kubby.com/ has been updated to include the nearly fifty articles that have appeared in print about the Kubby's arrest. *** TIP OF THE WEEK *** Windows "Tune Up" Hints Does it seem that your computer takes forever to boot up? Do your programs open up very slowly? Maybe it's time we use those system tools that are included with Microsoft Window's 95. Here is a list of some of these "Computer Tuning Tools" and a brief description of what they do. Click on the "Start" button, then go into "Programs", then on to "Accessories", and finally "System Tools". For more info See: http://www.charlotte-florida.com/Help/Tuneup.htm *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK *** "I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance" -- Thomas Carlyle *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. TO SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, OR UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS: Please utilize the following URLs http://www.drugsense.org/hurry.htm http://www.drugsense.org/unsub.htm News/COMMENTS-Editor: Tom O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (email@example.com) We wish to thank all our contributors, editors, Newshawks and letter writing activists. NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. REMINDER: Please help us help reform. 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