------------------------------------------------------------------- Alaska Law Allows Marijuana Use (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in Wisconsin, notes the medical marijuana law approved last November by nearly 60 percent of voters went into effect last week. Alaska is the sixth state to offer a legal shield to people who smoke the weed for a short list of medical ailments.) Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 17:00:57 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US AK: MMJ: Alaska Law Allows Marijuana Use Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: March 07, 1999 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) 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 ALASKA LAW ALLOWS MARIJUANA USE State Is The Sixth To Legalize Drug To Treat Specified Medical Ailments Juneau, Alaska -- Alaska's medical marijuana law went into effect last week, offering a legal shield to people who smoke the weed for a short list of medical ailments. Nearly 60% of the voters in the November election favored the measure, which allows marijuana use for ailments including cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, chronic pain, seizures and muscle spasms, provided the patient has a doctor's recommendation. The law allows patients to grow limited amounts of marijuana and protects doctors who recommend it. Growing, selling or using marijuana for recreational purposes remains illegal, and marijuana still is classified with heroin and LSD under federal law. However, a bill introduced in Congress last week would set aside the federal ban on marijuana in the states that have approved its use: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona and Nevada. "What we need to do to get marijuana into the hands of people suffering is to set aside the federal controls on marijuana, so the states can determine this issue for themselves," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Frank's legislation would reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug, meaning that it could be prescribed by doctors under certain conditions, just as cocaine and other controlled substances are. Prescriptions for such drugs are subject to federal and state review. Although the Alaska law calls for identification cards that medical marijuana users could show to fend off arrest, the Department of Health and Social Services is not yet accepting applications for a registry of qualified patients. Even without a card, the law will provide a defense if people are arrested for using medical marijuana. Patients will be allowed to keep 1 ounce of marijuana, or grow six plants, including three flowering plants.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Minnesota Legislature Ponders Medical Marijuana Measure (UPI says Austin state senator Pat Piper, who was diagnosed with cancer in 1987, has introduced a bill to permit the limited use of marijuana as medicine.) Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 18:37:15 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MN: Wire: Minnesota Legislature Ponders Medical Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: 7 Mar 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International Note: Headline by MAP Editor MINNESOTA LEGISLATURE PONDERS MEDICAL MARIJUANA MEASURE (Saint Paul) A bill to legalize the medical use of marijuana is before legislators this session. The bill would allow doctors to prescribe small amounts of marijuana to treat diseases such as cancer, HIV, AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn's disease, and cerebal palsy. The bill is sponsored by Austin state Senator Pat Piper...who was diagnosed with cancer in 1987 and while she never used marijuana to help her condition she says she understands how sick people can get. She's now in remission. The conservative Minnesota Family Council opposes the bill, saying the medical benefits of marijuana have never been proven.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Agriculture Chief's Son Arrested In Methamphetamine Raid (An Associated Press story in the Rockford Register Star says Christopher Hampton, the son of the director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, was arrested Friday by state and federal agents who were searching the home of another man accused of manufacturing methamphetamine. Hampton was accused of supplying anhydrous ammonia from the family farm. Joe Hampton, Christopher's father, wept as his handcuffed son was led away.) Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 18:27:21 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US IL: Agriculture Chief's Son Arrested In Methamphetamine Raid Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: M. Simon Pubdate: 7 Mar 1999 Source: Rockford Register Star (IL) Copyright: 1999 Rockford Register Star Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.rrstar.com/ Fax: 815-987-1365 Section: C - Local, Page 6 Author: Associated Press AGRICULTURE CHIEF'S SON ARRESTED IN METHAMPHETAMINE RAID SPRINGFIELD --- A methamphetamine raid has led to the arrest of the son of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, authorities say. Christopher Hampton, 30, of rural Shelby County, was arrested Friday by state and federal agents who were searching the home of another man accused of manufacturing the illegal drug. Hampton was accused of supplying chemicals from the family farm for drug production. Methamphetamine can be made from over-the-counter products such as cold medicine and household cleaners. Anhydrous ammonia - a common though dangerous farm chemical - is another ingredient. Hampton and 43-year-old George Songer, who was also arrested, were brought to U.S. District Court in Springfield, where they were told that federal prosecutors will be seeking felony charges of conspiring to manufacture and the manufacturing of a controlled substance. Joe Hampton, who was appointed state agriculture director in January by Gov. George Ryan, sat with his wife Anne, in the second row of the dourtroom during the half-hour hearing. He wept as his handcuffed son was led away, patting him on the shoulder as he passed. "We love our son very much" Joe Hampton said later. "We don't believe this is happening." He declined further comment. An affidavit supplied by the U.S. attorney's office contends that Christopher Hampton was supplying Songer with anhydrous ammonia from tanks on the Hampton family farm. In exchange for the chemical, Songer would give Hampton an eighth of the methamphetamine produced. Both Christopher Hampton and Songer are scheduled to be in federal court Tuesday morning for a hearing to determine wether they can be released on bail while the case proceeds.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Campus Activists Hit Law Stripping Aid From Drug Offenders (The Boston Globe says New Hampshire Youth Mobilization, a group based at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham, that focuses on social justice issues, will work to repeal a provision of the U.S. Higher Education Act of 1998 that denies or delays federal education grants, loans or subsidized job opportunities to any student convicted of possessing or selling "drugs," particularly marijuana. New Hampshire student activists say the law is punitive and discriminates against less affluent students. The Drug Reform Coordination Network, in Washington, D.C., is organizing students across the country to lobby Congress to repeal the provision, charging that it turns the nation's drug war into "a war on student access to higher education.") Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 18:26:46 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NH: Campus Activists Hit Law Stripping Aid From Drug Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dick Evans) Pubdate: 7 Mar 1999 Source: Boston Globe (MA) Copyright: 1999 Globe Newspaper Company. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Author: Clare Kittredge, Globe Correspondent CAMPUS ACTIVISTS HIT LAW STRIPPING AID FROM DRUG OFFENDERS DURHAM - Steven Diamond is no champion of drug abuse. Still, the outspoken University of New Hampshire senior is bothered by a new law that strips federal education dollars from college students convicted of doing drugs. ''I'm not saying people should do drugs,'' said Diamond, a member of New Hampshire Youth Mobilization, a campus group focusing on social justice issues. It's just that taking away a student's aid money isn't the answer, he argued. A provision of the Higher Education Act of 1998 is provoking anger among some New Hampshire student activists who say it is punitive and discriminates against less affluent students. The law denies or delays federal education grant, loan or subsidized job opportunities for any student convicted of owning or selling drugs under federal or state law. The measure, signed into law last fall, is touted by politicians as a way to get tough on drugs. Federal Department of Education enforcement guidelines are expected later this month. But campus critics here contend that it is misguided. And a Washington-based group organizing students across the country to lobby Congress for its repeal charges that it turns the nation's drug war into ''a war on student access to higher education.'' ''We're enforcing the drug war against the poor,'' objects Adam Smith, associate director of the Drug Reform Coordination Network. UNH sophomore Alice Crocker is state student coordinator of Amnesty International, which has six college and 14 high school groups across New Hampshire. ''I'm a `straight-edge' and I don't think anyone needs to take in any foreign substance into their body,'' said Crocker, using slang to describe someone who does not use drugs or alcohol. Careful not to judge her peers, Crocker said: ''Abusing drugs is a sympton of feeling alienated and not understanding yourself, and taking away money is not the solution. The solution is raising kids to understand themselves. All this punishment doesn't focus on the problem. It focuses on making kids pay.'' Diamond accuses some politicians of forgetting their own youthful drug indiscretions. ''Some of the same people who made these laws - Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton, multiple key politicians - have already smoked pot themselves,'' Diamond said. ''Now they want to take away your financial aid so you can't get an education ... It's really hypocritical.'' Just how long the new law deprives a student of federal education money depends on the offense: one year for first-time drug possession, two years for the second-time drug possession or first-time drug sale, and indefinitely from then on. A student can apply for money back earlier by going through a drug rehabilitation program and two random drug tests over six months. But critics say that is too time-consuming and fails to take into account the lack of publicly funded treatment programs, again penalizing students who are not affluent. They also say the new measure doesn't look at circumstances surrounding the offense or even what drug was involved. National statistics show that more than half of high school seniors admit to having used some sort of controlled substance at one time. ''That's a problem we're concerned about,'' said Adam Smith. ''But we don't believe putting obstacles in the way to college is the way to deal with it.'' Marijuana remains the drug of choice among the young, he said. ''The overwhelming majority of young people convicted of drug offenses are found guilty of simple drug possession. Our answer as a society is we'll make it more difficult for young people to educate themselves? And because aid is need-based, the penalty will only apply to poor and moderate-income students.'' Another issue is whether the punishment fits the crime. While some students need drug treatment, Smith said that, for many, ''marijuana possession doesn't mean you need drug treatment any more than an 18-year-old caught with a beer means they're alcoholic.'' Lisa Harrison, a spokeswoman for Senator Bob Smith, points out that the Higher Education Act won near unanimous approval in the Senate because its main thrust was ''to increase higher education funding.'' ''The reason Senator Smith supported the bill is it lowered the student loan rate, increased Pell grants, creates a loan-forgiveness program for students who obtain work in the child-care industry or gain teaching jobs in school districts that serve low-income children, and increased the work-study program,'' she said. But because the senator favors ''a strong antidrug message,'' Harrison said ''this provision is certainly one facet of [the higher education act] which he believes will help get drug use and drug abuse under control.'' Not all New Hampshire college students are up in arms about the new law. A brief check at Dartmouth College, for example, yielded no student activists willing to make public statements about the issue. And UNH sophomore Fred Thornton, student senator for Tau Kappa Epsilon, applauds the measure as ''an attempt to curtail the rising drug problem in the country.'' ''If you're doing drugs, you're not in a situation where you can really learn,'' said Thornton, a member of the university's Drug Advisory Council. ''You need to take time off and find a solution to your problems.'' And realistically, the new law may not affect many students. For example at UNH, there were 36 arrests for drug possession in 1997, said Bill Fischer, UNH associate director of student life. In 1996, the figure was 31. ''We're looking at a relatively small number in relation to a student population of roughly 10,000,'' said Fischer, who runs the UNH Judicial Programs Office. But while the university has a ''zero tolerance'' policy for drug use, most typical first drug possession offenses do not block students from pursuing their education. Fischer said a typical first-time sanction for drug possession in a residence hall could be eviction from the dorms and disciplinary probation, plus a referral to health services. A subsequent offense would most likely lead to separation from the university for a period of time, he said. Critics say the new law is another story. One UNH student said she got a close look at US drug policies a while back when a friend was denied a federally funded environmental job in New Hampshire because of a past drug offense. ''I think it unfairly discriminates against people who might have had problems when they were younger,'' said the student, who did not want to be identified. ''It's a stage. This is obviously a time in most people's lives when they experiment ... Most college students should be taken off campus to a halfway house for their alcohol problem.'' For Diamond, the issue brings to mind famed children's activist Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund. At a rally for the nation's children several years ago, Edelman told a huge crowd: ''Some of our children are tracked for Princeton and Yale, and some of our children are tracked for prison and jail.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Welfare Law May Limit Addiction Recovery (The Standard-Times, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, says a wrinkle in the 1994 federal welfare reform law has prevented some people from receiving substance abuse treatment and may jeopardize the existence of some recovery programs. The law bars states from providing cash assistance and food stamps to anyone convicted of a drug-related felony. But many drug treatment programs depend on benefits such as food stamps and welfare cash payments to help pay for treatment.) Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 18:37:16 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MA: Welfare Law May Limit Addiction Recovery Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: 7 Mar 1999 Source: Standard-Times (MA) Copyright: 1999 The Standard-Times Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Author: Polly Saltonstall, Standard-Times staff writer WELFARE LAW MAY LIMIT ADDICTION RECOVERY A wrinkle in the federal welfare reform law has prevented some drug addicts from receiving substance abuse treatment and may jeopardize the existence of some recovery programs, local drug counselors say. The law bars states from providing cash assistance and food stamps to anyone convicted of a drug-related felony. But many drug treatment programs depend on benefits such as food stamps and welfare cash payments to help pay for treatment, said Kym Barboza-Owens, director of the YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts' Women's Collaborative Project. The YWCA runs a program called Reunion House that reunites recovering addicts with their children. "When someone who wants to get treatment and make something of their life cannot get help, it's like a slap in the face," Ms. Barboza-Owens said. "Folks caught in the cycle of addiction need these benefits to help pay for the roof over their head while they seek help and treatment." The 1994 federal welfare reform law bars states from providing cash assistance and food stamps to anyone convicted for drug offenses after Aug. 22, 1996 -- when the federal bill was signed into law. No one is exempt from the ban, including people participating in drug treatment or pregnant women. The ban applies only to cash welfare assistance and food stamps, not to Medicaid or other federal benefits. Ms. Barboza-Owens and a handful of other local treatment providers raised the issue Friday during a breakfast meeting with state Rep. Antonio F.D. Cabral, who promised to work with the group on finding solutions. Mr. Cabral was the only local legislator who showed up at legislative breakfast in honor of Women's Addiction Week. Although states may choose to drop the drug-felony welfare ban, Massachusetts has not. A spokesman for the Department of Transitional Assistance said he does not know how many people have been affected by the law. Spokesman Dick Powers said the provision depends on clients to provide information about past convictions. Although the state does not do background checks, anyone caught lying might be required to reimburse the state for benefits, he said. As of last summer, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma and Rhode Island had lifted the ban. Another 19 states either had, or planned to modify the ban to exempt some people, such as those enrolled in treatment programs, according to the Legal Action Center, a New York-based advocacy organization. "The ban has had an number of unintended consequences and does not do much to promote recovery among past offenders or help them regain self-sufficiency," said Robb Cowie, the center's director of state policy. "In the end, it denies treatment to a lot of people who need it." The ban could have a huge impact on transitional houses in New Bedford by forcing them to absorb more costs, just at a time when the city needs them most, said Florence Choate, executive director of Project Coach. Ms. Choate's program provides job training and counseling and works with people on probation. Cindy Guy, house case manager at WRAP House, a 14-bed transitional home in New Bedford for women recovering from drug addictions, knows the problem only too well. WRAP House depends on food stamps and welfare payments to help pay for its programs, she said. "We can only have so many women come into the house that are not eligible for food stamps," she said. "If I have six women applying and none are eligible, obviously I cannot take all six." Other area transitional and half-way houses have faced similar dilemmas, she said. Ms. Guy tries to help those she cannot serve by referring them to other programs, but she knows some of those people may end up back on the streets. "There are some women who cannot get treatment because of this," she said. "And these days, it's rare to find anybody with a drug addiction who doesn't have some type of felony conviction. Addicts do a lot of things to get their drugs."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Less Crime, More Criminals (New York Times columnist Timothy Egan ponders America's inability to control its prison-industrial complex. Later this month, the U.S. Justice Department will release new figures showing that 2 million people - one of every 150 people in the United States - is in prison or jail - omitting approximately 5 million additional people under house arrest, or on probation or parole. With the crime rate having fallen for six straight years, by all logic, prisons should be experiencing a few vacancies. But because the war on some drug users has failed to reduce the use of supposedly controlled substances, a prison peace dividend is nowhere in sight. Instead, the guessing game now is: At what point does the world's largest penal system hit a plateau - 2.5 million inmates, 3 million? Cleaning up after a crusade, some lawmakers say, has proven much harder than they anticipated. Edwin Meese, attorney general under President Reagan, has started to look favorably on treatment for low-level offenders rather than jail. "I think mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders ought to be reviewed," said Meese.) Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 18:26:40 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Less Crime, More Criminals Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family and Dick Evans Pubdate: 7 Mar 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: Timothy Egan LESS CRIME, MORE CRIMINALS Later this month, the U.S. government will release new figures showing how many Americans are behind bars, and the numbers will reveal that the bull market for prisons is still charging ahead. Nearly 1 of every 150 people in the United States is in prison or jail, the Justice Department will announce, a figure that no other democracy comes close to matching. Soon, the total number of people locked up in federal and state prisons and local jails will likely reach the 2 million mark, almost double the number a decade ago, as the ranks of prisoners grow enough each year -- to fill Yankee Stadium and then some. For an American born this year, the chance of living some part of life in a correction facility is 1 in 20; for black Americans, it is 1 in 4. Most experts failed to predict that the inmate population would triple from 1980, and now nobody seems to know how to stop the buildup. By all logic, prisons should be experiencing a few vacancies, and the cost of arresting, prosecuting and putting away an army of criminals should be at ebb. After all, the economy could hardly be better, and crime has fallen steeply six years in a row. But a prison peace dividend is nowhere in sight. Instead, the guessing game now is: At what point does the world's largest penal system hit a plateau -- 2.5 million inmates, 3 million? Surely, if crime continues to fall, the number of new prisoners must also fall. Not quite. No matter how much crime plummets, the United States will still have to add the equivalent of a new 1,000-bed jail or prison every week -- for perhaps another decade, federal officials say. Some even believe the prison boom could be permanent, at least for another generation. A big reason is that so many of the new inmates are drug offenders. In the federal system, nearly 60 percent of all people behind bars are doing time for drug violations; in state prisons and local jails, the figure is 22 percent. These numbers are triple the rate of 15 years ago. Americans do not use more drugs, on average, than people in other nations; but the United States, virtually alone among Western democracies, has chosen a path of incarceration for drug offenders. More than 400,000 people are behind bars for drug crimes -- and nearly a third of them are locked up for simply possessing an illicit drug. "America's internal gulag," is what Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the nation's drug czar, calls the expanding mass of drug inmates. Many of those have committed any number of crimes. But a growing number of them have broken no laws other than the ones on drug use. In the 1980s, Congress and the states passed drug laws that required judges to put people in prison -- even first-time offenders, or those caught with small amounts of an illicit substance. Mandatory minimum sentences, as they are called, leave no room for a judge to consider special circumstances, or options such as treatment instead of jail. The idea was that more arrests would lead to more convictions, which would put more people in jail, and the crime rate would fall. That did happen. Another dividend was supposed to be a drop in drug use, but that has not happened. Arrests of people who use drugs just hit an all-time high, the FBI reported. At the same time, drug use has gone up among the young, and for drugs like heroin or methamphetamines. Over all, drug use has not budged for 10 years. For virtually all other crimes, of course, the figures are stunning -- with huge drops in murder, robbery and assault. Whether this is because the United States will soon have 2 million people locked up is subject to much debate. But many of the authorities who argue that the prison boom has taken the worst criminals out of circulation -- and has thus been the biggest factor in reducing crime -- are at a loss to explain the drug-use figures. "I am in favor of the federal government ceasing and desisting the war on drugs," said Dr. Morgan Reynolds, director of the Criminal Justice Center at the Dallas branch of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a free-market think tank. He described himself as being on the conservative side of the debate over prisons and crime; he says the crime drop can be directly attributed to the prison boom. But he is less sure that the federal government's war on drugs has an effect on crime rates and drug use. For liberals and libertarians who have long claimed incarceration has failed to do anything but run up the bill in the drug war, conservative cover is welcome. Last week, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., introduced a bill to restore discretion for judges in sentencing low-level, nonviolent drug offenders. "We may be getting to the point of diminishing returns -- the more you expand the prison system, the more small fry you put in there," said Marc Mauer, assistant director of the Sentencing Project, a nonprofit group that has been critical of the prison buildup. Even some of the architects of punitive drug policies now argue that stuffing the prisons with ever more drug offenders is not a wise investment. Edwin Meese, who was attorney general under President Ronald Reagan, when most of the drug laws were rewritten, has started to look favorably on treatment for low-level offenders rather than jail. "I think mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders ought to be reviewed," said Meese in an interview. "We have to see who has been incarcerated and what has come from it." Beyond the laws that send drug offenders to prison with reflexive certainty, there are now institutional incentives to keep locking up more people -- a trend that some people call the prison industrial complex. The stock price of the Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's largest private jailer, has increased tenfold since 1994. The company's stock is now privately held. But Corrections Corp. has created a popular real-estate investment fund to get a return on all those new prisons being built at the rate of one a week. Unions representing prison guards are the fastest-growing public employee associations in many states. In California last year, the union was given a raise of 12 percent, which brought the salary for a seasoned prison guard up to $51,000. It is the rare rural community that rejects a new prison in its backyard, with the prospect of permanent, high-paying, benefit-rich government jobs. The prisons in California, as in virtually every other state, are near capacity, even though the state has built 21 new institutions in the last 15 years. Soon, it will cost nearly $4 billion a year to run the state's prison system. Should the Legislature propose some change in the law that might bring down the growth in prisons, they are likely to hear howls of outrage from the union that has most benefited from the growth in prisons. "Once you have a society committed to building new prisons and keeping them, it's very difficult to close them down," said Mauer. "Particularly in rural areas that come to depend on them. It's like trying to close a military base." The states also have an incentive to keep people in jail a long time. A federal law passed in 1994 provides matching funds to states to keep violent criminals in prison longer by denying parole. This act and other so-called truth-in-sentencing laws are reasons why the ranks of prisoners will not soon drop, even as crime levels off. "We've got crime going in one direction, and social policy going in the other," said Dr. Allen Beck, the Justice Department's lead statistician on criminal justice trends. The one thing that may finally slow prison growth, said Beck, are budget concerns. It costs taxpayers $20,000 a year to house and feed every new inmate -- and that does not include the cost of building new prisons and jails. The states are spending nearly $30 billion to keep people in jail -- about double the rate of 10 years ago. Some states are starting to balk. California legislative leaders say they will build no new prisons in coming years, but they have not said what they will do with excess prisoners. In Washington state, a bill that would abolish mandatory minimum prison terms for drug offenders has gained support from judges, prosecutors and tough-on-crime Republicans. Washington was a pioneer state in enacting laws requiring long lockups, with no chance of early release or leeway for judges to consider other options. But prisons now are the state's fastest-growing part of the budget -- even as crime has nearly bottomed out. But it will be difficult to change the pattern, with new prisons rising in depressed rural areas. Cleaning up after a crusade, some lawmakers said, has proven much harder than they anticipated.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana and Herpes (A list subscriber forwards a first-person account testifying to the efficacy of raw cannabis used as a poultice to alleviate symptoms of a herpes outbreak quickly.) To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (CLCIA) From: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) Subject: Cannabis and Herpes Date: Tue, 9 Mar 1999 12:14:30 +0000 Date: Mon, 8 Mar 1999 18:37:05 -0500 (EST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (C. Cross) From: email@example.com Subject: MMJ - herpes Like rosemary, sage and olive oil, herbal cannabis is highly useful in the kitchen, the bath, and the bedroom as well as the sickroom, where it yields a stunning array of effective and practical uses. Here's one you may not have heard of: *** Dear Chris, Riding to work a few months ago I felt the unmistakable, painful announcement of an arriving cold-sore on my lower lip. As the day wore on the pain gradually intensified. Swelling and redness were evident by early afternoon. The throbbing became a persistent distraction. By the ride home, I just wanted to bite the whole damn lip off. I knew from past experience that I had an embarrassing week ahead of me nursing a raw, swollen, painful sore on my lip followed by another week or two of an unsightly scar and redness. I would have chewed mud if I thought it would help. I remembered reading that cannabis was said to be a healing herb with many uses, so I inconspicuously reached into my stash and broke off a small bud which I moistened by chewing and pressed against the sore like a compress. To my amazement, the pain subsided within the first two minutes. It absolutely disappeared within 20 minutes. Within an hour the swelling was completely down. I went home, slept well and had no further symptoms, swelling, redness, pain or sign of that bug since. None! I would like to know of others' experience with healing and cannabis. [name witheld by request] ccross *** To subscribe, unsubscribe or switch to immediate or digest mode, please send your instructions to firstname.lastname@example.org. *** Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp CRRH P.O. Box 86741 Portland, OR 97286 Phone: (503) 235-4606 Fax:(503) 235-0120 Web: http://www.crrh.org/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Smugglers Corrupting U.S.'s Anti-Drug Forces, Study Says (A Knight Ridder news service article in the Seattle Times says the U.S. General Accounting Office is about to release a yearlong study that concludes that drug-related corruption along the U.S.-Mexico border is a serious and continuing threat, according to a draft of the report obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Last month the U.S. Customs Service called drug trafficking "the undisputed, greatest corruption hazard confronting all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies today." The number of state and local law enforcement and other public officials convicted for drug corruption has increased from 79 in 1997 to 157 last year. Between 1994 and 1997, there were 46 drug-related indictments in the United States of border law enforcement officials.) Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 18:27:13 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Smugglers Corrupting U.S.'s Anti-Drug Forces, Study Says Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: 7 Mar 1999 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Author: Marisa Taylor and Ricardo Sandoval, Knight Ridder Newspapers SMUGGLERS CORRUPTING U.S.'S ANTI-DRUG FORCES, STUDY SAYS DONNA, Texas - In November 1997, when Miguel Carreon was hired as the police chief of this small town nine miles from the Mexican border, he vowed to restore the integrity of a force whose reputation had been sullied by the indictment of six officers accused of helping to smuggle 1,700 pounds of marijuana into the United States. Within months, however, a local figure approached Carreon and hinted that the police should continue to cooperate with drug smugglers. "He told me that drug smuggling has always been a way of life, and as long as nobody gets hurt, nobody will know the difference," recalled Carreon, 42. "I stopped the conversation before he said, `Let's work together.' " U.S. officials and politicians are blasting the Clinton administration's decision to certify Mexico as an ally in the war on drugs in the face of Mexico's endemic drug corruption. But Carreon's encounter suggests that a growing number of American law enforcement officials are also having trouble staying clean amid the flood of dirty money and drugs across the nation's southern border. From small-town police departments to the expanding ranks of federal anti-drug agencies, American officials say they are alarmed by their own vulnerability to the corrupting influence of the drug trade. In a report to Congress last month, the U.S. Customs Service called drug trafficking "the undisputed, greatest corruption hazard confronting all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies today." The number of state and local law enforcement and other public officials investigated by the FBI and convicted for drug corruption has increased from 79 in 1997 to 157 last year. Between 1994 and 1997, there were 46 drug-related indictments in the United States of border law enforcement officials. `Overwhelming' "It's been overwhelming on the Southwest border," said Wayne Beaman, the special agent in charge of the McAllen, Texas, field office for the Justice Department Inspector General's office, which investigates allegations of corruption along the Texas-Mexico border. "We are woefully understaffed." The congressional General Accounting Office is about to release a yearlong study that concludes that drug-related corruption along the Southwest border is a serious and continuing threat, according to a draft of the report obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The GAO examined 28 convictions between 1992 and 1997 of U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and Customs Service officials for drug-related crimes on the Southwest border, which extends from Brownsville, Texas, to Imperial Beach, Calif. The cases included U.S. officials waving vehicles carrying drugs through ports of entry, coordinating the movement of drugs across the Southwest border, transporting drugs past Border Patrol checkpoints, selling drugs and disclosing drug intelligence information. In one case, a Customs inspector in El Paso, Texas, used a cellular telephone to send a prearranged code to a drug smuggler's beeper, telling him which lane to use at a border crossing and when to use it. In another, an immigration official in Calexico, Calif., agreed to let her boyfriend, a member of a drug-smuggling family, drive a vehicle loaded with marijuana through her lane without inspection. INS detention officers also smuggled drugs past Border Patrol checkpoints in INS vehicles, the report says. The report concludes that both Customs and the INS missed opportunities to provide in-depth anti-corruption training to employees and failed to conduct background investigations that are required every five years. In some cases, the report says, background checks were overdue by as much as three years. The two agencies also failed to require sufficient financial information from their employees, or else did not use what was available to sniff out possible corruption, the GAO found. In one case, the INS did not question a Border Patrol agent who owned a $200,000 house with a five-car garage and an Olympic-size swimming pool housed in its own building. The agent also had six vehicles, two boats, 100 weapons, $45,000 in Treasury bills and 40 acres of land. Because neither INS nor Customs had completed an evaluation of its policies and procedures or corrected internal weaknesses, the GAO concluded, "neither agency can be sure that adequate internal controls are in place to detect and prevent employee corruption." Controls may not be adequate The Customs Service, which is part of the Treasury Department, conceded in its report to Congress last month that it may not have adequate internal controls in place to detect and prevent corruption. Customs Commissioner Raymond Kelly said his agency has begun taking steps to tighten its hiring process, tackle the backlog of personnel investigations and hire former federal prosecutor William Keefer to take over the internal affairs division. INS spokesman Greg Gagne said he would not comment directly on the GAO report because it was still in draft form. But he said the agency is confident that its training practices and background checks are thorough. Although Gagne said there is no indication of an increase in corruption in its ranks, he also said the INS is concerned that its growing number of employees along the border are being targeted more often by drug smugglers. By year's end, Gagne said, the INS hopes to have a work force of 29,000, compared to 10,000 in 1992. "It has become perfectly evident that drug smuggling and the use of money to penetrate the border has become a more serious problem," he said. Mexican officials agree. "You read a lot about how drugs make it from South America, through Mexico and to the border," said Juan Rebolledo, the Mexican foreign ministry's undersecretary for North American affairs. "But are the same sources . . . telling the public how it is that these same drugs make it from the border to Chicago? "They don't just magically make it there overnight. Drug dealers spread their money all along the trail from source to consumption, so it's naive to think that it is not spread north of the border as well," said Rebolledo. "It's not good public relations to admit that there could be corruption within law enforcement agencies," said Phil Jordan, a former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's El Paso Intelligence Center. Jordan said he encountered resistance from his superiors when he tried to point out an increase in the number of corruption allegations in the mid-1990s.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Caribbean Nations Suspend US Treaty (According to the Associated Press, Caribbean Community nations have agreed to suspend a treaty of cooperation with the United States to fight drug trafficking, angered by the U.S. position in a trade dispute over banana exports to Europe.) Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 18:37:19 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Wire: Caribbean Nations Suspend Us Treaty Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: 7 Mar 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: Bert Wilkinson Associated Press Writer CARIBBEAN NATIONS SUSPEND US TREATY PARAMARIBO, Suriname (AP) Angered by the U.S. position in a trade dispute over banana exports to Europe, Caribbean Community nations have agreed to suspend a treaty of cooperation with the United States to fight drug trafficking, an official said Sunday. The treaty signed in Barbados by President Clinton in May 1997 calls for cooperation by Caribbean nations in anti-drug trafficking measures and extradition of suspects. But regional leaders have increasingly complained that Washington has ignored its end of the bargain by failing to address economic issues so important to the Caribbean. Leonard Robertson, a spokesman for the 14-member Caribbean Community, known regionally as Caricom, said the decision to suspend the treaty was seen by the Caribbean leaders as the strongest way to send a message to Washington. The United States filed a protest last year with the World Trade Organization over preferences given by some European countries to former colonies in the Caribbean. The trade preferences hurt U.S.-owned producers with huge plantations in Central and South America, the United States contended. Smaller Caribbean producers say they cannot compete with the larger Latin American plantations and need the preferences. The dispute escalated last week as the United States announced plans to impose punitive tariffs on targeted European goods. Caribbean nations joined European Union claims that the sanctions by the United States are illegal. The WTO is holding an emergency meeting Monday to discuss the spreading trade dispute.
------------------------------------------------------------------- ACM-Bulletin of 7 March 1999 (An English-language news bulletin from the Association for Cannabis as Medicine, in Cologne, Germany, focuses on a United Nations report encouraging research into the medical use of cannabis; the Canadian health minister's announcement about clinical trials into medical marijuana; the introduction of a bill in Britain's parliament to allow the medical use of cannabis; and the introduction of a medical marijuana bill in the U.S. congress.) From: "Association for Cannabis as Medicine" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 22:55:32 +0100 Subject: ACM-Bulletin of 7 March 1999 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org *** ACM-Bulletin of 7 March 1999 *** * World: U.N. report encourages research into the medical use of cannabis * Canada: Health Minister orders clinical trials * Great Britain: Introduction of a bill for the medical use of cannabis in Parliament * USA: Introduction of a bill for the medical use of marijuana in Congress *** 1. World: U.N. report encourages research into the medical use of cannabis In-depth and impartial scientific studies should be conducted into marijuana's possible medical benefits, the annual report of the International Drug Control Board (INCB) recommended on 23 February. The INCB stressed that such research must not become a pretext for legalizing cannabis. In his 'Message from the President' Hamid Ghodse said: "The Board has noted with regret how possible medical uses of cannabis have been used to justify the legalization of all cannabis use. The Board welcomes and encourages serious, scientific research on the alleged medical properties of cannabis as well as the wide dissemination of such work, but warns against misusing these research efforts for 'blanket' legalization purposes. Should the medical usefulness of cannabis be established, it will be a drug no different from most narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Cannabis, prescribed for medical purposes, would also be subject to licensing and other control measures under the international drug control treaties." The Vienna-based INCB is the quasi-judicial control organ for the implementation of the United Nations drug conventions, established in 1968 by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. Its 13 members are elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and their work is financed by the United Nations. Three members are elected from a list of candidates nominated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and 10 from a list nominated by Governments. (Sources: Press Release of the INCB of 23 February 1999, Annual Report of the INCB for 1998 on the website of the INCB at: http://www.incb.org) *** 2. Canada: Health Minister orders clinical trials Canadian Health Minister Allan Rock (Liberal) said on 3 March before the House of Commons he has ordered officials to develop clinical trials for the medical use of marijuana and to determine how to grant safe access to the drug. The minister released few details of the tests, but said officials have been asked to set up the clinical experiments, as well as establish what kinds of patients would participate. Reaction from opposition members was mostly positive, although Reform MP Grant Hill, a medical doctor, warned of risks if the testing was seen as a first step down the road to legalizing the drug for general use. Bloc Quebecois MP Bernard Bigras introduced a motion in Parliament on 4 March urging the government to take every step toward legalizing medical marijuana. Bigras has Tory and NDP support. He accused the Health Minister of plotting to derail his Commons motion. Bigras said he doubts the sincerity of Rock's announcement that he'll launch clinical tests of medical marijuana. He said if Rock honestly plans to move forward with the tests, he has to support the Bloc motion when it comes to a vote in June. Meantime, he said, Rock can prove his good faith by using Health Canada's powers to provide legal access to pot for AIDS and cancer victims. In 1997 an Ontario court called the Narcotic Control Act unconstitutional as it applies to the therapeutic use of cannabis. (Sources: Reuters of 3 March 1999, AP of 3 March 1999, Calgary Herald of 4 March 1999, London Free Press of 5 March 1999) *** 3. Great Britain: Introduction of a bill for the medical use of cannabis in Parliament British members of parliament on 3 March gave a small boost to campaigners for the legalization of cannabis for medical use by allowing MP Paul Flynn (Labour) to introduce a bill making it legal for doctors to prescribe the drug. As an unlicensed medicine, doctors would be allowed to prescribe cannabis, but would have to name the people who would get it, and the amount. Although the bill has virtually no chance of becoming law, such parliamentary moves are seen as a useful way of garnering publicity for contentious issues. It reflects the feeling among some Members of Parliament that Britain lags behind other European nations on the medical use of cannabis. Paul Flynn said many people with diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis were being treated as criminals under the current law. The Government has given permission for cannabis to undergo laboratory tests to see if it could be licensed as a medicine. But Mr Flynn said: "Research will take at least five years and probably longer. The tens of thousands of multiple sclerosis, Aids and cancer sufferers should not have to wait that long for a natural medicine which has been used by millions of people for thousands of years." (Sources: PA News of 23 and 24 February 1999, Reuters of 24 February 1999, Independent of 24 February 1999) *** 4. USA: Introduction of a bill for the medical use of marijuana in Congress Congress should eliminate federal restrictions on states that allow marijuana use for medical purposes, Rep. Barney Frank (Democrat) said. Frank introduced a bill on 2 March, that would reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug, meaning that it could be prescribed by doctors under certain conditions, just as morphine and other controlled substances are. Prescriptions for such drugs are subject to federal and state review. Arizona, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada have permitted medical use of the drug. While persons using marijuana for medical purposes don't face state prosecution in the six states, they could still face federal prosecution. Frank isn't hopeful that the Republican-controlled Congress will pass his bill. Last fall, the House adopted, 310-93, a resolution that said marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for medical use. (Sourcess: AP of 3 and 4 March 1999) *** 5. News in brief *** Switzerland: The Swiss Parliament dismissed a motion of the Greens for the legalization of cannabis by a 65-50 vote. The government wants to discuss this issue only within the planned revision of the narcotics act. The motion got support from the social democrats (SP). Pierre Chiffelle (SP) said, he himself would smoke cannabis regularly. Christine Goll added, hashish would be a part of every days life culture and would cause less harm than alcohol. Other parliamentarians warned of a belittlement of the drug. Prohibition would be reasonable. (Source: Basler Zeitung of 5 March 1999) *** Great Britain: A grandfather was jailed on 23 February after failing to persuade a court to allow him to smoke cannabis to relieve his arthritis. A judge ruled that 56-year-old Eric Mann had not tried a sufficient number of conventional treatments before turning to cannabis. Mr Mann suffered crippling arthritis and became suicidal. Conventional drugs failed to work and he turned to cannabis, which slowly made him virtually pain free. Over the years he cultivated cannabis plants in the attic of his home in west Wales. He was jailed for 12 months. (Source: PA News of 23 February 1999) *** USA: When AIDS patient Peter McWilliams asked a judge on 26 February to alter his bail conditions so he can smoke pot while awaiting trial in September, the prosecutors dismissed it. Federal attorneys argue that the law leaves no room for sympathy. A federal grand jury in July 1998 indicted McWilliams on nine counts of conspiring to possess, manufacture and distribute marijuana. A federal magistrate forbade him from smoking marijuana as one of the conditions of his bail release. 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. (Source: Los Angeles Times of 26 February 1999) *** 6. THE COMMENT ... on the jail sentence of a British man suffering from severe arthritis: "This is an absurdly harsh sentence. Prison should not be used for victimless crimes". Paul Cavadino, Director of Policy of the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (PA News of 23 February 1999) *** Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM) Maybachstrasse 14 D-50670 Cologne Germany Phone: +49-221-912 30 33 Fax: +49-221-130 05 91 Email: email@example.com Internet: http://www.acmed.org If you want to be deleted from or added to the ACM-Bulletin mailing list please send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org -------------------------------------------------------------------
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