Portland NORML News - Friday, March 12, 1999

Re: Making a hash of the law (A letter to the editor of the Bulletin, in
Bend, Oregon, applauds the newspaper for opposing state representative Kevin
Mannix's HB 3502, which would nullify the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. "It's
perhaps most constructive to note that Mannix won his seat in Salem by less
than 300 votes. But old 'Mad Dog' Mannix does serve one good purpose. He is a
prime example of how this 'winner take all' election system fails and why so
many Oregonians have given up on it. Here's a man who got into office by the
skin of his teeth. Yet he is warmly embraced as though he won by a landslide
and appointed by the Republican leadership to the Chair of the very powerful
House Judiciary Committee. Then, the first thing he does is try to overthrow
the will of The People!")

Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 14:26:49 -0800
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: Floyd F Landrath (AAL@inetarena.com)
Subject: Pub lte, Bend OR Bulletin: Making hash of the law
Reply-To: AAL@inetarena.com
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

Floyd Ferris Landrath - Director
American Antiprohibition League
3125 SE Belmont Street
Portland, Oregon 97214
503/235-4524, AAL@InetArena.com

Friday, March 12, 1999

To the Editor, Bend Bulletin

As a full-time anti-drug war activist, and one of many
volunteers who helped the Yes on 67 campaign, I am glad to
see your well stated defense ('Making a hash of the law,'
3/11/99), respecting the will of the voters in opposing Rep.
Kevin Mannix's HB3502; the gutting of the Oregon Medical
Marijuana Act.

Mannix is the obvious front man for a small, yet very
powerful group of corrupt and misguided law enforcement
officials. He is also a good friend to big business like
Corrections Corporation of America, for example. CCA runs
private, non-union and often sub-standard prisons-for-profit.

It's perhaps most constructive to note that Mannix won his
seat in Salem by less than 300 votes.

But old 'Mad Dog' Mannix does serve one good purpose. He
is a prime example of how this "winner take all" election
system fails and why so many Oregonians have given up on it.

Here's a man who got into office by the skin of his teeth.
Yet he is warmly embraced as though he won by a landslide and
appointed by the Republican leadership to the Chair of the
very powerful House Judiciary Committee. Then, the first
thing he does is try to overthrow the will of The People!

One paradox is that anyone even takes this man seriously in
the first place.

The other, much bigger paradox, is adult marijuana
prohibition itself. If I, a rational and competent adult,
need pot for medicine, or just want to get stoned what
business is that of the Bulletin, Mannix or even the voters?
Absolutely none. Indeed it is policy which should be
repugnant to all freedom loving people, rather they smoke pot
or not.

And that's why last November Oregon voters, by a much
greater margin than Kevin Mannix will ever see, made it

I predict that someday soon, perhaps in November 2000,
Oregon voters will throw adult marijuana prohibition along
with Kevin Mannix on to the scrap-heap of history. As far as
I'm concerned that day can't come soon enough.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Floyd Ferris Landrath

Guinea-Pig Kubby (Orange County Weekly gives an update on the prosecution of
Steve Kubby, the medical-marijuana patient/activist and 1998 Libertarian
candidate for California governor who was recently busted on cultivation
charges. "Orange County is leading the way on this issue - the media, the OC
Weekly, the Orange County Register, the OC Libertarians, Marvin Chavez,"
Kubby said. While in Orange County, Kubby will undergo medical examinations
so doctors can try to learn more about why Kubby's use of marijuana seems the
sole barrier between life and death from an incurable form of adrenal cancer.
Kubby has already announced plans to run for governor again in 2002. His
wife, Michele, a UC-Berkeley graduate with degrees in political science and
international studies, is considering a run for the U.S. senate.)

Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 09:51:25 -0500
To: medmj@drcnet.org, friends@freecannabis.org
From: Richard Lake (rlake@mapinc.org)
Subject: DPFCA: US CA: MMJ: Guinea-Pig Kubby
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: Richard Lake (rlake@mapinc.org)
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/
Newshawk: Steve Kubby http://www.kubby.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 1999
Source: Orange County Weekly (CA)
Copyright: 1999, Orange County Weekly, Inc.
Contact: letters@ocweekly.com
Fax: (714) 708-8410
Mail: P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Website: http://www.ocweekly.com/
Author: Victor D. Infante


"God Bless Orange County," proclaims Steve Kubby, the 1998 Libertarian
gubernatorial candidate, as he sits in a friend's OC home, eating a garlic
tofu dip. Although he and his wife, Michele, face 19 criminal charges
between them relating to their medicinal use of marijuana, both seem at
ease and confident. Perhaps it's because they're so far from their Placer
County home and in an area that has proved supportive to their plight.

"Orange County is leading the way on this issue-the media, the OC Weekly,
The Orange County Register, the OC Libertarians, Marvin Chavez," Kubby
says. "The conservatives recognize-the liberals are still out to lunch-but
the conservatives of Orange County understand that if you pass a law,
you're supposed to follow it."

With the arraignment for their court cases not until March 19, the Kubbys
journeyed to Orange County to participate in fund-raisers. While here,
Kubby will undergo medical examinations. Unlike many medical-marijuana
patients, for whom pot smoking alleviates symptoms of disease, Kubby's use
of marijuana seems the sole barrier between life and death from an
incurable form of adrenal cancer, an opinion put forward by USC's Dr.
Vincent DeQuattro, a leading specialist in the field, and recently backed
by Dr. Lester Grinspoon of Harvard University.

In one of the tests, researchers will inject Kubby with a radioactive
metabolite that will allow DeQuattro's staff to see exactly where his
tumors are located. They'll also check his blood and urine.

The threat of prison seems only to have strengthened the Kubbys'
determination to promote enforcement of the Compassionate Use Act-otherwise
known as Proposition 215-and, as Kubby put it, to keep "upping the ante" on
their persecutors.

Kubby has already announced plans to run for governor again in 2002. His
wife is considering a run for the U.S. Senate. A UC Berkeley graduate with
degrees in political science and international studies, Michele Kubby was
extensively involved with the battle to win passage of Prop. 215.

"They've created a monster," she says. "I am not afraid of them anymore.
They have stepped over a line and threatened my family, and that's the most
sacred thing to me. They are going to have to answer for it."

Medical Marijuana Debate Continues In House (The Keene Sentinel says
advocates for marijuana law reform, including Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a Harvard
Medical School professor, testified Wednesday before the New Hampshire House
Criminal Justice subcommittee in favor of two bills sponsored by Rep. Timothy
N. Robertson, D-Keene that would allow the medical use of marijuana and
decriminalize those who possess the herb. Nicholas Pastore, the former police
chief in New Haven, Connecticut, said the nation's war on drugs was a
failure. The jails are full of marijuana smokers who have no history of
violence and pose no danger to society, he said.)

Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 16:10:37 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: MMJ: Medical Marijuana Debate Continues In House
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: March 12, 1999
Source: Keene Sentinel (NH)
Copyright: 1999 Keene Publishing Corporation.
Contact: letters@keenesentinel.com
Website: http://www.keenesentinel.com/
Author: Damien Cave


After more than a two-year battle, legalized marijuana is still far
from a reality, but its advocates continued the fight Wednesday,
speaking before the media and a N.H. House Criminal Justice

Two bills -- one to decriminalize marijuana possession, another to
allow its cultivation and possession for medicinal uses -- are on the
legislative calendar, both sponsored by Rep. Timothy N. Robertson,
D-Keene. Robertson has proposed similar bills in past sessions.

This time, five or six of the full committee's 22 members listened to
a pair of experts in the field. Most of the discussion centered on the
medical uses of marijuana.

Lester Grinspoon, a Harvard Medical School professor and a board
member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana, spoke
at length of the drug's use as a painkiller and nausea panacea. He
also touched on marijuana's underground availability, recounting an
experience in Boston where he saw a group of teenagers trade joints
for a six-pack of beer.

The conclusion: Pot is available to them, though it is illegal, while
alcohol is harder to come by.

Armed with Grinspoon's account, Robertson said after the session that
marijuana should be treated like beer or tobacco, thus keeping it only
in the hands of adults.

Nicholas Pastore, former New Haven, Conn., police chief, said the
nation's war on drugs has a failure. The jails are full of marijuana
smokers who have no history of violence and pose no danger to society,
he said.

Bedford Police Chief David Bailey argued the other way, saying it's
important to fight marijuana for children's sake.

However, Robertson said after the forum that his children were the
ones who taught him about the issue. They told him adults think
marijuana is "the end of the world" when in fact it isn't dangerous
and typically doesn't lead to other drugs.

That was years ago: Robertson's children are all now close to 40.
Then, legalization was a pipe dream, but now, with states such as
California and Arizona allowing marijuana to be used as medicine,
Robertson's viewpoint is growing in popularity.

Still, Robertson is realistic. The bills could be on the House floor
as early as March 18, but their chances of passing are slim. Virtually

"I assume we'll get 30 or 40 votes" in the 400-member House, Robertson
said. "But we'll have educated some people."

Rep. Kathleen M. Flora, R-Bedford, a committee member, said the bill's
chief problem is that it doesn't ensure that only the sick will have
access to the drug. If medicinal marijuana is on the horizon, Flora
said, "it needs to be regulated in such a way that we maintain
controls so it's treated as a medicine."

The bills would allow people to grow marijuana, though obtaining seeds
would violate federal law. But even if these legal snags are
untangled, Flora still had doubts.

"I'm not sure it's right for New Hampshire," she said.

Two Million Prisoners Are Enough (An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by John
J. DiIulio Jr., a professor of public policy at Princeton University, says
the justice system is becoming less capable of distributing sanctions and
supervision rationally, especially where drug offenders are concerned. It's
time for policy makers to change focus and aim for zero prison growth. Five
reforms to aim for include: Repeal mandatory minimum drug laws. Reinvent and
reinvest in probation and parole. Stop federalizing crime policy and modify
federal sentencing guidelines. Study and promote faith-based crime prevention
and restorative justice. And redouble efforts at juvenile crime prevention.)

Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 14:06:00 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Two Million Prisoners Are Enough
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: pmb@multitech.com (Paul M. Bischke)
and tjeffoc@sirius.com (Tom O'Connell)
Pubdate: Fri, 12 Mar 1999
Source: Wall Street Journal (NY)
Copyright: 1999 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Contact: letter.editor@edit.wsj.com
Website: http://www.wsj.com/
Author: John J. DiIulio Jr.


Violent crime has dropped 21% since 1993, and property crime is at a post
l973 low. No one really knows which demographic economic or other factors
explain what fraction of the decrease in crime. But recent studies confirm
that increased incarceration has helped to cut crime. Yet the same research
also suggests that the nation has "maxed out" on the public safety value of

Until recently, increased incarceration has improved public safety. But as
America's incarcerated population approaches two million the value of
imprisonment is a portrait in the law of rapidly diminishing returns. The
Justice system is becoming less capable of distributing sanctions and
supervision rationally., especially where drug offenders are concerned. It's
time for policy makers to change focus aiming for zero prison growth.

Current laws put too many nonviolent drug offenders in prison. A 1997 study
by Harvard economist Anne Morrison Piehl found that in Massachusetts about
half of recently incarcerated drug offenders had previously been charged and
a third had previously been convicted of a violent offense. But most of the
state's drug offenders had no known record of violence while half its
probation population consisted of violent felons.

Drug-Only Offenders

New York state is another example. Since 1973 The Rockefeller laws have
landed legions of nonviolent drug offenders in the state s prisons for
mandatory terms ranging from 15 years to life. I have been calling for the
repeal of the Rockefeller laws since 1995 and the case for repeal is now
stronger than ever. Based on the results of a forthcoming Manhattan Institute
study by Ms. Piehl, criminologist Bert Useem of the University of New Mexico
and me, it appears that at least a quarter of recent admissions to the
state's prisons are "drug only offenders," meaning felons whose only crimes
detected or undetected have been low level nonviolent drug offenses. And we
were able to derive similar drug only estimates for several other state
prison systems. In 1997 as crime continued to decline the prison population
grew by 5.2%. Spending on correctional institutions is crowding out spending
on other proven crime reduction strategies including improved policing. A
study released last month by the Rockefeller Institute of Government found
that in 1913 52% of total U.S. criminal justice spending went to police, 28%
to corrections. By 1995 43% went to pollce.and 37% to corrections. Policy
makers at all levels of government should dedicate themselves to further
public safety gains while keeping the prison population around two million
and even aiming to reduce it over the next decade. The path to zero prison
growth can be paved by five policy steps:

* Repeal mandatory minimum drug laws

Release drug-only offenders and mandate drug treatment both behind bars and
in the community. Between 1980 and 1994, the incarceration rate for drug
arrests increased to 80 per 1,000 arrests from 19. Continued increases in
drug incarceration will yield little or no public safety value. Recent
studies by Yale psychiatrist Sally Satel and UCLA criminologist Mark A.R.
Kleiman indicate that community based coerced abstinence programs tend to
succeed where other approaches fall. The Center for Alcohol and Substance
Abuse has produced persuasive data on the promise of specialized drug courts.
The National Institute for Healthcare Research has collected reams of
reliable data about the efficacy of certain faith based substance abuse

* Reinvent and reinvest in probation and parole.

Currently we spend next to nothing on community based corrections. We get
what we pay for. About a third of all people arrested for violent crimes are
on probation parole or pretrial release at the time of their arrest. A recent
study of Texas probationers found that three years after receiving probation.
44% of first time violent offenders with a prior felony history had returned
to prison. Likewise a 1996 New York state study found that within three years
of their release. 43% of state prison inmates released between 1985 and 1992
had returned to prison half for a new crime half for parole violations.

Most of what ails probation and parole can be fixed by cutting officer
caseloads and spending more on performance driven programs that take
supervision seriously and put public safety first.

Boston's Deputy Probation Commissioner Ronald Corbett has spearheaded a nine
year effort to enter into crime-cutting partnerships with police, community
leaders and clergy. Early on the effort resulting in a quadrupling in the
number of probationers prosecuted for violating the terms of their
conditional release. Even though few of those violations resulted in
incarceration, would-be street felons got the message and Boston has since
had only four gun related youth homicides. Between 1991 and 1997 the number
of probation and parole agents In Michigan Increased by more than hall and
the aver age number of offenders supervised by each agent fell to 63 from
92. Former Michigan Director of Corrections Kenneth McGinnis explains that
these changes resulted in an increase of more than 55% in the number of
parolees charged with violating the terms of their release. But over six
years Michigan prison admissions resulting from probation and parole
violations grew by only 1.6%, demonstrating, Mr. McGinnis says, that
"intensive supervision of offenders in community programs can be accomplished
without a disastrous impact on prison growth."

* Stop federalizing crime policy and modify federal sentencing guidelines

Washington's role in crime control has expanded dramatically since 1968. But
the results have been mixed at best. Too often Congress twists reasonable
ideas developed by local law enforcement (the need to restrain repeat
violent offenders regardless of their age) into grotesque federal policies
(last year's defeated plan to remove federal restrictions on incarcerating
Juveniles with adults). Earlier this year an American Bar Association report
led by former Attorney General Edwin Meese 111 detailed the dangers of
further federalizing crime policy. Federal lawmakers should heed the Meese
report and study "Fear of Judging" a just published book by former federal
prosecutor Kate Stith and Judge Jose A. Cabranes who make a solid case for
reforming federal sentencing procedures. Such changes would undoubtedly
reduce the number of drug only offenders In federal prisons by tens of

* Study and promote faith-based crime prevention and restorative justice.

Scientific studies testify to the efficacy of faith-based efforts. In a 1998
report issued by the Manhattan Institute ciminologist Byron R. Johnson of
Vanderbilt University summarized the results of a systematic review of more
than 400 studies testing the relationship between all sorts of religious
influences (churchgoing being just one) and crime and delinquency. The
report echoed the conclusion of a study published in 1995 in the journal
Criminology, namely, that most of the best available empirical evidence
suggests that religion significantly reduces crime and delinquency. The
remarkable leaders and programs behind these findings know one God but many
religions and ideologies. The liberal New York Theological Seminary recently
launched an antiviolence youth outreach program started by ex-offender
graduates of its historic Sing Sing education ministry advised by leaders of
the American I Can program directed by former football star Jim Brown and
supported financially by both Republican Gov. George Pataki and the Ford
Foundation. The Prison Fellowship Ministry led by Watergate offender Charles
Colson, a religious conservative, recently launched an initiative dedicated to
ministering to the spiritual and material needs of prisonen ex prisoners.
and their families including the over one million youngsters In this country
who have one or both parents in prison or jail. The National Ten Point
Leadership Foundation led by Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III of Boston, a former
Philadelphia gang member has put responsible adults in the lives of
thousands of at risk youths and helped to spark ecumenical interfaith and
public private partnerships dedicated to reducing violence in cities all
across the country. These faith based anti-crime programs and a growing
number of secular ones as well are predicated upon the concept of
"restorative justice," according to which the ultimate purpose of the
criminal law is to restore the "shalom" or peace that crime robs from
victims perpetrators and com munities alike. Restorative justice returns
America to the ethical understanding of those who founded the American
penitentiary to reclaim public order and repair broken hearts. lives and
communities on both sides of the walls.

* Redouble efforts at juvenile crime prevention.

I have argued before and I continue to believe that demographic trends will
exert strong upward pressure on crime rates In the years just ahead unless
we take strong steps to prevent juvenile crime. Most experts seem comforted
that only a fifth of the more than 1.5 million annual delinquency cases in
the mid-1990s involved violent crimes and reassured by statistics showing
that barely 0.1% of all juvenile arrests were for homicide. But in
Philadelphia and many other cities in the mid 1990s homicide was the leading
cause of death for people age 13 to 21. Rosy statistics cannot mask the
travesty of some 2,000 juvenile committed homicides a year a death toll that
would have been higher were it not for vast post-1990 improvements in
emergency medical technology. The statistics cannot hide the reality that
an estimated six out of 10 of the most serious youth offenders are never

Horrific Peak

Juvenile crime has declined from its horrific peak in 1994 but with a record
70.2 million juveniles. In the population the number of 14 to 17 year olds
will be 20% greater in 2005 than It was In 1996. By 2006, America will be
home to some 30 million teenagers, the largest number since 1975. Over the
next decade, all but five states will experience significant growth in the
number of young males entering their most crime prone years. For all the good
news about crime and other social indicators too many of America's children
are still growing up abused. (over a million substantiated cases a year)
impoverished (at least 16%) without a father In the home (at least 40%) or
subject to other influences that researchers have consistently found are
associated with crime and delinquency. In 1997, researchers at the U.S.
Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that if present incarceration rates
were to remain constant 5% of Americans would be imprisoned during their
lifetimes (the rates are 16.2% for blacks 9.4% for Hispanics and 2.5% for
whites). But the rates need not remain constant nor should they. Zero prison
growth is possible. In the end, whether or not we achieve this goal will be a
profound measure not merely of how nimble we are when it comes to managing
public safety cost effectively but also of how decent we are despite our many
differences when it came to loving all God's children unconditionally,
including all those in criminal custody.

Mr. DiIulio is a professor of public policy at Princeton University and a
senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Stop The Prison Madness And Build Schools (Syndicated columnist Carl Rowan
observes in the Grand Rapids Press, in Michigan, that that while bond issues
to build schools often fail, the United States is building a 1,000-bed
jailhouse or prison every week. Millions of Americans, conservative and
liberal, are awakening to the reality that incarcerating 400,000 people on
drug charges has not reduced the curse of drug abuse in America. The uprising
against the current outrageous situation seems great enough that any number
of politicians might take the lead without fear of falling to the old cries,
"soft on crime." Enough Americans seem now to understand that the current
punitive policy has been a failure. Still, both will and courage to admit
error and change policy seems to be in short supply in Washington these days.
Millions of more voices are needed.)

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 08:18:26 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Stop The Prison Madness And Build Schools
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Lee T. Neidow
Source: Grand Rapids Press (MI)
Copyright: 1999 Grand Rapids Press
Pubdate: Fri, 12 Mar 1990
Contact: pulse@ccmail.gr-press.com
Website: http://www.gr.mlive.com/
Author: Carl Rowan
Note: Carl Rowan is a columnist for the North America Syndicate. This item
appeared in a large number of newspapers. The titles may not be the same in
all newspapers. It was sent out buy the Syndicate with a title of 'WE'RE


Every now and then the best of societies goes a little crazy and embraces
monstrous social policies that become almost impossible to reverse. The
United States has done that regarding crime, especially drug abuse.

I doubt that one American out of 10 is aware that you and I are spending
$20,000 a year to keep in prison every single kid caught with a couple of
ounces of marijuana -- a per inmate expense equal to what millions of
people are paid for a whole year's work, or a cost well beyond anything we
taxpayers shell out to keep a child in public school or a kid in college.

Are you aware that our states are now spending almost $30 billion every
year to keep locked up triple the number of inmates they had just 20 years
ago? Or that we are incarcerating our people at a rate never known in any
civilized society?

Can you believe that while bond issues to build schools are often failing,
this country is willingly building a 1,000-bed jailhouse or prison every
week? Building prisons has become the great new American cottage industry
or the perceived economic salvation of many rural and other economically
depressed areas. The growth and clout of this industry is such that
California now pays a prison guard of moderate experience $51,000 a year
but paid its public school teachers an average of $43,000 a year in 1996-97.

In politically inspired moves to prove they were not "soft on crime" -- and
in futile and self-defeating efforts to declare "victory" in the "War on
Drugs" -- our lawmakers have disempowered judges and decreed laws and
minimum sentences that have made almost one of every 150 Americans a
jailbird. And for blacks and Hispanics, one out of every five faces the
curse of the lockup because of political madness over "law and order."

Finally, millions of Americans, conservative and liberal, Republicans as
well as Democrats, are awakening to the reality that incarcerating 400,000
people -- most of them small fry -- on drug charges has not reduced the
curse of drug abuse in America. And they are seeing that even as crime has
fallen drastically, the drive for more jails and prisons at mushrooming
costs does not slow down.

So cries are arising for the return to judges of discretion as to when to
give a first-time minor drug offender treatment instead of the full
punitive treatment or to consider probation and other options for those
convicted of other, nonviolent offenses. President Clinton and many
Republican leaders are saying that "better education" must be the American
priority as we enter a new millennium. They and the people know that states
cannot afford to spend $4 billion a year, as California soon will, to run
their prisons and still finance school systems that will meet the needs of
this technological age. But they also know that many people and powerful
forces have a vested interest in the continued expansion of the prison
industry, so a rediversion of resources will be extremely difficult

Fear of crime, and political demagoguery about it, made it easy to devote
unconscionable amounts of tax dollars to jails and prisons. It is
impossible to generate the same kind of fear regarding the need for
schools, hospitals, housing or anything else positively productive for this
society. Barring, that is, some extraordinary political leadership that
reshapes public opinion on a grand scale.

The uprising against the current outrageous situation seems great enough
that any number of politicians might take the lead without fear of falling
to the old cries, "soft on crime." Enough Americans seem now to understand
that the policy of locking up almost forever every little gnat and fruit
fly caught in the web of the drug peddlers has been a failure. Still, both
will and courage to admit error and change policy seems to be in short
supply in Washington these days.

We need millions more Americans shouting, "Stop the prison madness" to
ensure that our political leaders will become bold enough to return to

Feds Rebuff Medical Marijuana Researchers (UPI says the Institute of Medicine
study commissioned in 1997 by the White House drug czar, General Barry
McCaffrey, is scheduled for release on Wednesday, March 17. No original
research has been allowed by the federal government for more than 10 years.
Several cases illustrate how the government has stonewalled would-be
scientists. Researchers who want to conduct clinical trials on the efficacy
of medical marijuana say the government publicly invites such studies, but
privately works to quash them. Ultimately, the researchers tell United Press
International, the federal government unfairly works to end the movement to
legalize the drug as a medicine for seriously ill patients.)

Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 10:07:05 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Feds Rebuff Medical Marijuana Researchers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Dave Fratello (amr@lainet.com)
Pubdate: Fri, 12 Mar 1999
Source: United Press International
Copyright: 1999 United Press International
Feedback: http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_forms/sn_ctact.htm
Author: Ellen Beck


WASHINGTON, March 10 (UPI) -- Researchers who want to conduct clinical
trials on the efficacy of medical marijuana say while the government
publicly invites such studies, privately it works to quash the proposals.

Ultimately, the researchers tell United Press International, the
federal government works to end the move to legalize the drug as a
treatment for seriously ill patients.

The debate is whether the scientific evidence is strong enough to
warrant the federal government reclassifying the drug from Schedule I
and prohibited in all uses, to Schedule II, where, like cocaine, it
would be approved for a select number of medical applications. The
Clinton administration and the Department of Justice oppose the
reclassification, pending more clinical trial evidence of efficacy.

"There have been no government funded studies of marijuana's medical
utility in more than a decade," wrote Drs. Lynn Zimmer and John Morgan
in their 1997 book, "Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts." They said the
battle is political, not medical, and cited a number of anti-drug
organizations as saying it would send the wrong message to teenagers.

Next Wednesday, the Institute of Medicine will release an 18-month, $1
million government-funded report on current scientific evidence
regarding medical uses for marijuana. A 1982 IOM report had looked at
the whole issue of marijuana and its effects.

The latest report was requested by federal drug czar Barry McCaffrey
in 1997 after the 1996 elections in which Arizona and California
passed laws legalizing the medical use of marijuana. Currently, a
number of western states have similar laws legalizing smoked marijuana
when prescribed by a physician for a few select illnesses, such as
nausea from cancer chemotherapy, glaucoma, seizures/spasms, chronic
pain and AIDS.

Physician researchers like Dr. Ethan Russo, of the Western Montana
Clinic in Missoula, Mont., say while the government publicly
encourages clinical trials, its agencies, such as the National
Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the
Food and Drug Administration, find ways to make sure studies don't

"It's very easy for his (Clinton's) hench people, (Health and Humans
Services Secretary Donna) Shalala and McCaffrey to do his bidding and
see that nothing happens," Russo said.

Of the government agencies involved, including NIDA, HHS, NIH and FDA,
only NIH agreed to an interview. The spokesperson declined to comment
on specific grant applications, saying NIH considers it privileged

The spokesperson said NIH is open to medical research projects which
are "well designed clinical trials" that can "go through the peer
review process."

Dr. Paul Consroe, of the Health Sciences Center at the University of
Arizona, has been involved with marijuana research since 1971 and is
collaborating on a study to evaluate the effects of the whole cannabis
plant in stimulating appetite and weight gain in cancer and AIDS
patients. He said he was lukewarm about getting involved in getting
NIH approval.

"I don't like to butt my head up against a wall," Consroe said. "I'm
tired of this. I just want out."

His colleagues include Dr. Robert Gorter, a well-known oncologist from
Berlin who played a major role in the successful effort to get
Marinol, the pill version of the active ingredient in marijuana, FDA
approved for use in cancer and AIDS.

In September 1997 the FDA gave Consroe and colleagues oral approval
for a phase three clinical trial of 360 AIDS patients and 360 cancer
patients. In February 1998, a new chair of the same FDA panel reversed
the decision, saying the group had to go back and do phase one trials
first. In March 1998, during a conference call with the FDA, Consroe
said they were told they could combine phase one and two trials.

In October 1998, the FDA sent a letter saying the clinical trials had
been put on hold. Meanwhile, their grant application to NIH for a
phase three trial ended up at the National Cancer Institute, which
nixed it.

All three physicians met with the FDA in Washington but Consroe said
they didn't get any answers, other than being told, "Since you're
trying to market, you've got to be treated like everyone else."

Finally, the FDA's most recent communication on the matter is that the
group could do a small phase one study in six people while at the same
time gathering data on animal studies for FDA review.

Russo twice applied to the NIH for permission to conduct a clinical
trial on the use of smoked marijuana by migraine sufferers and was
refused. NIH said his application relied on anecdotal evidence and
lacked scientific data, even though the second one was tailored to
meet the recommendations given after the first refusal. He said
repeated requests for "dialogue" with the NIH went unanswered.

He argued history is replete with evidence marijuana has been used to
treat migraines for 1,100 years and was a mainstream treatment in the
Untied States in the mid-1800s.

Russo said as was his right by NIH rules, he requested the NIH panel
reviewing his application include neurologists, but it did not.

"It was mostly psychiatrists on the panel," he said. "They're not
experts in migraines. The objections they were raising, the complaints
they had, portrayed an ignorance of the issue. The desk was stacked,
despite my requests for a certain composition."

NIH critics charge the rules of the game are different for medical
marijuana studies. They contend unlike with other drug applications,
the government requires all medical marijuana clinical trials be
funded by NIH. The only legal source for getting marijuana to use in
clinical trials is the NIDA, which Russo said advised him in one
letter that he could get the drug only with NIH approval and in
another that it would fund a qualified study without NIH approval.

"This is unheard of, a punitive requirement," Consroe said. "No other
drug in the world is subject to that, that I know of. If I had my own
money, and by the way we do have our own money (for research), we
couldn't get the drug in the U.S."

The NIH spokesperson said she was not aware that NIH had such a

In October 1997, NIH awarded a $1 million grant to Dr. Donald Abrams
of the University of California-San Francisco to conduct a two-year
safety study, including 63 patients, of smoked marijuana versus
Marinol. However, when Abrams originally went to NIH in 1992 it was
for funding for a much different study, to compare the effects of
smoked marijuana, a placebo and oral Marinol in HIV-positive male
patients. That request was turned down by NIDA twice.

Consroe and others say the government's slant is toward research that
will discredit the medical use of marijuana and even though Abrams had
FDA approval for his initial study, it was only when he changed his
protocol toward a safety study aimed at the toxicology issues, did he
win NIDA approval to receive the drug.

In 1997, a NIH panel looked at medical marijuana and determined there
was not enough scientific evidence on it. The NIH spokesperson said at
that time there was substantial media coverage of the NIH's request
for grant proposals for clinical trials. Since then, the NIH has
received several applications which the spokesperson said are now in
the review process.

In a 1997 fact sheet on medical marijuana, the NIH said such research
poses some challenges. It said the studies need to objectively measure
a positive therapeutic effect which would be difficult in a blind
study in which neither the doctor or patient knows which drug is being
used. Other concerns included the side effects of smoking itself.

Customs Service Reworks Controversial Airport Drug Searches (Florida Today
says new statistics show the number of cocaine and heroin smugglers caught at
airports dropped by one-fourth in 1998, while investigations and lawsuits
alleging abusive tactics have increased. So the Customs Service is retraining
officers who check airline passengers for drugs and trying new technology to
reduce the need for invasive body searches.)

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 06:29:52 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Customs Service Reworks Controversial Airport Drug Searches
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Fri, 12 Mar 1999
Source: Florida Today (FL)
Contact: letters@brevard.gannett.com
Feedback: http://www.flatoday.com/letters.htm
Website: http://www.flatoday.com/
Copyright: 1999 FLORIDA TODAY


Beset by investigations and lawsuits alleging abusive tactics, the
Customs Service is retraining officers who check airline passengers
for drugs and trying new technology to reduce the need for invasive
body searches.

The changes come as new statistics show the number of cocaine and
heroin smugglers caught at airports dropped by one-fourth in 1998.
That poses a two-pronged problem for Customs officials eager to
reverse the decline while tempering public anger over the way
travelers are searched.

"This search authority is crucial for us," Commissioner Raymond Kelly
said. "We're trying to show movement in the right direction so that we
keep the authority but make it a less onerous process."

In pursuit of smugglers who swallow packets of drugs, officers have
subjected passengers to strip searches, taken them in handcuffs to
hospitals for X-rays, and detained some for hours or even days. Almost
100 black women in Chicago are pursuing a joint lawsuit claiming they
were singled out unfairly because of their race.

Nationally, Customs is facing 12 lawsuits over searches of airline
passengers, a spokesman said.

Only a small fraction of the 69 million passengers who pass through
Customs each year are questioned. About 50,000 were subjected to some
level of body search in 1997. Searches usually begin with a frisk or
pat-down and, with reasonable suspicion, can proceed to a strip
search, X-ray or monitored bowel movement.

Drugs were found on about one-fourth of passengers subjected to
partial or full strip searches, the agency says. The rate was close
to 100 percent a decade ago, Kelly said, but smugglers have become
more sophisticated and difficult to recognize.

Kelly acknowledged body searches can be traumatic and have become a
"significant problem" for Customs.

The Senate Finance Committee, the General Accounting Office and the
Treasury Department are all investigating Customs' airport searches.
Illinois senators raised the issue last year after WMAQ-TV reported on
complaints from black women searched at Chicago's O'Hare airport.

In December, the AP reported that travelers across the country were
complaining of abusive searches.

Since then, Customs has taken several steps to defuse the issue:

- An extensive new training program began last month for inspectors at
airports. "It involves both what to look for but also how to handle
people, cultural diversity training, that sort of thing," Kelly said.

- Since Feb. 1, inspectors at Miami International Airport and New
York's Kennedy International Airport have given travelers chosen for a
pat-down the option of standing in front of a body-imaging machine
instead. Twenty-three people have agreed to the low-radiation imaging,
which looks through clothing.

In Miami on Tuesday, one of the machines revealed 3 1/2 pounds of
marijuana in a bicycle tire strapped around a man's waist, officials

Body imaging may be added to other airports if it proves effective and
less objectionable to passengers, a spokesman said. In some cases,
travelers also have been given the option of submitting to an X-ray in
lieu of a strip search.

Gramm and Boxer Sponser Legislation That Would Alter the U.S.
Drug-Certification Process (The Orange County Register says a political odd
couple, conservative Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas and liberal Sen. Babara Boxer
of California, introduced legislation Thursday that would revamp the current
process that causes an annual rift between the United States, Mexico and
other countries battling the illegal international trade in supposedly
controlled substances.)

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 06:29:38 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: CA: Gramm And Boxer Sponser Legislation That Would Alter The
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W. Black
Pubdate: 12 March 1999
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Section: News,page 7
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register
Author: Gary Martin-San Antonio Express-News


Washington - A political odd couple, conservative Sen. Phil Gramm of
Texas and liberal Sen. Babara Boxer of California, introduced
legislation Thursday that would overhaul the controversial process of
certifying other nations as drug-fighting allies.

The senators are heading a bipartisan drive to revamp the current
process that causes an annual rift between the United States, Mexico
and other countries battling narcotics cartels.

By law, the president must evaluate the efforts of 28 countries and
certify them as partners in the drug war by March 1 of each year. The
law requires Congress to approve or reject the administration's
findings within 30 days.

"The requirement that the United States certify Mexico's anti-drug
efforts puts Congress in a position of either certifying something
that is clearly untrue or creating a rupture in U.S.-Mexico relations
that would make drug enforcement even more difficult," said Gramm, a

Said Boxer, a Democrat: "What we have now in some cases is the worst of
both worlds. Either we ignore serious drug problems and vote to certify, or
we vote to decertify countries that are our close allies."

Their proposal would exempt from the certification process countries
that have a bilateral, anti-drug agreement with the United States.

And it would require the administration to report to Congress twice
each year on the progress in meeting mutual goals such as curbing
narcotics production, trafficking and demand.

Under the new proposal, Congress, at any time, could vote to place a
country back in the certification process, Boxer said.

The plan is "particularly important to those of us from border states,
which are hit so hard by the traffic in illegal drugs and want to make
progress, not point fingers," Boxer said.

The current certification process was created by Congress in 1986 and
has prompted protests annually from leaders in Mexico and other
countries whose efforts are judged by this country, the world's
largest consumer of illicit narcotics.

"America would not be certified under the certification process," said
Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., who joined Boxer and Gramm in introducing
the bill.

The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 82 (The Drug Reform Coordination
Network's original publication featuring drug policy news and calls to action
includes - Internet campaign convinces Congress to condemn "Know Your
Customer," battle not yet over; George Bush Jr. hires private eye to dig up
own past; Report: US anti-drug forces corrupted; Alaska bill introduced to
amend state's new medical marijuana law; Drug policy campus activism
conference; Washington state bill would increase judges' discretion in drug
cases; Judge denies California AIDS patient's urgent plea for medical
marijuana; Federal judge allows medical marijuana class action suit to
proceed, questions why government supplies medical marijuana to some
patients, not others; Events; Online petitions)

Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 02:18:23 -0500
To: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (drcnet@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #82
Sender: owner-drc-natl@drcnet.org

The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #82 - March 12, 1999
A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network


(To sign off this list, mailto:listproc@drcnet.org with the
line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or
mailto:kfish@drcnet.org 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/082.html. Check out the DRCNN
weekly radio segment at http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/.


1. Internet Campaign Convinces Congress to Condemn "Know
Your Customer," Battle Not Yet Over

2. George Bush Jr. Hires Private Eye to Dig Up Own Past

3. Report: US Anti-Drug Forces Corrupted

4. Alaska Bill Introduced to Amend State's New Medical
Marijuana Law

5. Drug Policy Campus Activism Conference

6. Washington State Bill Would Increase Judge's Discretion
in Drug Cases

7. Judge Denies California AIDS Patient's Urgent Plea for
Medical Marijuana

8. Federal Judge Allows Medical Marijuana Class Action Suit
to Proceed, Questions Why Government Supplies Medical
Marijuana to Some Patients, Not Others

9. Events

10. Online Petitions


1. Internet Campaign Convinces Congress to Condemn "Know
Your Customer," Battle Not Yet Over

Public outcry against the proposed "Know Your Customer"
banking rules prompted Congress this week to pass
resolutions demanding that the rules be scrapped. In what
has been hailed as an example of the power of the Internet
as a tool for grassroots organizing, the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received more than a
quarter million e-mailed complaints from citizens who
believe the rules would violate their privacy and
Constitutional protections against search and seizure. The
rules would require banks to keep detailed profiles on all
customers, and report unusual or suspicious transactions to
federal law enforcement agencies.

The vast majority of the complaints were lodged through
defendyourprivacy.com, a special web site set up by the
Libertarian Party. But Libertarian Party press director
George Getz told DRCNet that opposition to "Know Your
Customer" spans across all party lines. "I think the
opposition is coming from Libertarians, and from the Left
and the Right," he said. "I was at a press conference on
Capitol Hill the other day, when someone stood up and said,
'We suspect this is just one big special interest effort
behind killing Know Your Customer.' I stood up and said,
'Okay, I confess, I'm a member of a special interest group.
I have a checking account. That's what special interest is
here. If you have a bank account, this affects you. This
'spy on your customer' proposal is reprehensible to every
free-thinking American, even if the politicians and
bureaucrats seem to like it just fine."

As of Thursday, the number of complaints e-mailed through
defendyourprivacy.com and other sites had passed 250,000,
and more were pouring in as the reach of the Internet
multiplied the effectiveness of organizer's efforts. Getz
said the average number of complaints a new regulation
receives is around 200. Politicians are taking notice, as
evidenced by the Senate's 88-0 vote condemning the Know Your
Customer rules. But the resolution is non-binding, and the
FDIC, the Federal Reserve, and other regulatory agencies
involved have not yet backed down. Getz said what's really
needed are laws preventing the regulators from making rules
like Know Your Customer in the first place. "The
Republicans and Democrats on the Hill want to have it both
ways," he said. "They want to pretend that they're outraged
by Know Your Customer, but they don't want to do anything to
really bury it."

Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) is sponsoring two bills that
will place sunset clauses on Know Your Customer and the
Banking Secrecy Act, respectively. Paul's spokesman,
Michael Sullivan, told DRCNet the passage of bills like
these are the only way to protect people's privacy in the
long term. Already, he said, the regulators are considering
simply repackaging Know Your Customer under new euphemisms.
Sullivan said they are missing the point. "Unfortunately,
what the regulators are not admitting is that what people
are complaining about is not the offensive words, you know,
'profiling' and this kind of stuff," he said. "What people
are complaining about is the principle of the thing. If the
FDIC and the Federal Reserve think that simply changing the
title and using different words will make these people
happy, I think they've got another thing coming to them."

Sullivan said that Know Your Customer, intended to thwart
money launderers, is another example of short-sighted
policies with potentially disastrous consequences. "When
the regulators put forward this stuff, it's because we're
trying to fight the drug war, and we're trying to stop money
laundering, and counterfeiting, and all these good reasons.
We all agree that there are bad things out there. But is
the best way to stop them to give these agencies the power
to regulate every aspect of our lives? So that they will
turn us all into criminals? No. Obviously not. So there
has to be, at some point, a modicum of common sense which
says that sometimes great evil is done in the name of doing

Will the Internet play an increasing role in the way
vigilant citizens can make their voices heard? Sullivan
said yes. "If this had been five years ago, six years ago,
these regulations would be in effect now, and no one would
be the wiser. Until people started being arrested, being
investigated. People would not have know about this,
because NBC wouldn't have carried it, ABC didn't carry it,
CBS didn't carry it, CNN didn't talk about it, and on and
on. This just really does show where this new, alternative
source of information is really paying off for people."

George Getz said the Libertarian Party will maintain its web
site. "We intend to keep the defendyourprivacy.com site up
for future government privacy invasions. Whether we're
talking about a national ID card, fingerprints on drivers
licenses, different types of asset forfeiture laws -- we're
going to be updating people through the site for the next
several months."

Thanks to the many DRCNet subscribers who responded to our
alert on Know Your Customer. Your voices made a difference!
The official public comment period on KYC is over, but it's
still worthwhile to drop by http://www.defendyourprivacy.com
to catch up on the latest developments. And of course,
DRCNet will continue to follow the story. Meanwhile, DRCNet
urges its members to ask their Congresspersons to cosponsor
Ron Paul's Know Your Customer Sunset Act and Bank Secrecy
Sunset Act bills.


2. George Bush Jr. Hires Private Eye to Dig Up Own Past

George Bush Jr., eyeing the Republican nomination, has hired
a private detective to dig up dirt on the Texas Governor's
past as a pre-emptive measure designed to lower the
possibility of a mid-race bombshell. Bush, whose prior
troubles with alcohol use is legendary, swears that he has
been a faithful spouse, but has been less than forthcoming
when asked about long-rumored drug use, though he has
pointedly avoided denying such charges.

Asked whether he had ever used cocaine or marijuana by the
British paper "Scotland on Sunday," Bush said only "When I
was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible."
Far from simple youthful indiscretion, however, Bush has
admitted that his "irresponsible" period lasted until his
40th birthday. Adding to the sense that he might not be
truthful about his drug use, Bush also advises that parents
lie to their own children about their experiences.

"The question is, have you learned from your mistakes," he
said. "The answer is yes. If I were you, I wouldn't tell
your kids that you smoked pot unless you want them to smoke
pot. I think it's important for leaders and parents not to
send mixed signals. I don't want some kid saying, 'Well,
Governor Bush tried it'."

Questions about Bush's drug use, his message and the impact
that it will have, both on his campaign and on his image

Rob Stewart, Communications Director for the Drug Policy
Foundation in Washington, DC, wondered how Bush could
maintain the inconsistencies between his own life and the
policies he adopts.

"Assuming that Governor Bush did in fact use illicit drugs,
one has to wonder whether he believes that he would have
benefited from being sent to prison. Judging by his obvious
success in politics, it would be difficult to argue that
prison would have been appropriate. The question, then, is
why he believes that other people, people whose parents are
not oil tycoons, ought to be incarcerated for their own
substance use or abuse. Is he sending the message that drug
use should only result in incarceration for those who get
caught? Or for those whose families don't have the
resources to send them to treatment, or hire expensive

Sandee Burbank, Director of Mothers Against Misuse and
Abuse, takes issue with Bush's admonition to parents to lie
to their children.

"Governor Bush thinks that the way to keep youngsters from
using drugs is to lie to them. This shows extreme
disrespect for children's intelligence and natural desire to
protect themselves from harm. Parents who use lies,
exaggerations and scare tactics put themselves at tremendous
risk of losing credibility. These tactics can lead some
children to disregard serious warnings, thinking them more
of the same lies."

"MAMA thinks it is better to teach children skills to
evaluate the risks of all drug use and provide them with
accurate information about all drugs. This will serve them
far better than lies."


3. Report: US Anti-Drug Forces Corrupted

A soon to be released report from the federal General
Accounting Office (GAO) points to corruption among US forces
along the Southwest border as a serious and growing problem,
according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The number of
such cases investigated by the FBI went from 79 in 1997 to
157 in 1998.

Wayne Beaman, special agent in charge of the McAllen, Texas
field office of the Justice Department's Inspector General's
office, told the Star-Telegram, "It's been overwhelming on
the southwest border."

The release of the study comes at a time when Congress has
been pushing the Clinton Administration to hire 1,000 new
border patrol agents. This week, Attorney General Janet
Reno indicated that they would not, citing the difficulties
in integrating such an influx of inexperienced officers with
concerns over corruption and the inappropriate use of force.

Reno told the congressional appropriations committee on
Tuesday (3/9) that law enforcement experts consider it risky
for more than 30% of any force to be inexperienced. "As of
July, 1998" Reno said, "the percentage of Border Patrol
agents with less than two years of experience or less was
almost 39%."

But that rationale did not temper the criticisms of
proponents of the expansion. In a statement released on
Wednesday, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said, "We have
a White House that wants to surrender in the War against
Drugs and an Attorney General who is waving the white flag."

On Thursday, Allen Kaye, spokesman for Smith, when asked
about the upcoming GAO report and the potential for
corruption among both the existing force of Border Patrol
agents and new recruits, told The Week Online, "We currently
have up to 8,000 agents in the Border Patrol and the
overwhelming majority are hard working, patriotic Americans
who are serving their country and who would never even
consider engaging in corrupt activity. They do a superb job
under very difficult circumstances, and we ought to be proud
of them."

Kaye continued. "We also have to realize what they're up
against. They're facing down the international drug
cartels. According to government figures, 70% of all
illegal drugs come into the country over the southwest
border. With that kind of money involved, there's going to
be some corruption."

Asked whether, given the fact that a single truckload of
heroin or cocaine can supply entire regions of the country
with a year's worth of product, the inevitability of "some
corruption" makes the entire enterprise of enforcement
fruitless, Kaye responded vociferously.

"That's a legalization argument," he said. "And Congressman
Smith rejects that argument out of hand. Our children
deserve better than to have us surrender to the drug
cartels. Congressman Smith speaks often to PTA's and
parents' groups and they consistently urge him to fight
hard, not to give up on our children in the War on Drugs.
We must confront the smugglers everywhere, and the
Congressman believes that we need at least two thousand
additional border agents to do that. Even then, he might
not be satisfied."

Dr. Al Robison, Director of the Drug Policy Forum of Texas,

"Once again, it's getting deep up on the hill" he said.
"It's disheartening that legislators like Mr. Smith insist
upon hiding behind the idea that they're somehow protecting
kids with this madness. Another 2,000 agents and perhaps
we'll get a handle on this $400 billion a year industry.
Hah. We haven't achieved a single drug free community in
the whole country, much less a drug free America. The drug
war itself is what allows our kids access to this stuff.
Giving up on our children? We've long sold out our children
in favor of prison industry profits and the budgets of
countless federal agencies. If we really wanted to keep
drugs out of the hands of children, we'd put the drug trade
in the hands of people we could regulate and control.
Today, despite decades of escalation of the drug war, drugs
are accessible to any American child with a few dollars in
his pocket and the desire to use them. To pretend that more
money for the border patrol is going to protect our kids is
the worst kind of disingenuousness."


4. Alaska Bill Introduced to Amend State's New Medical
Marijuana Law
- Marc Brandl, brandl@drcnet.org

On March 3rd, 1999, Measure 8, Alaska's medical marijuana
initiative, passed by nearly 60% of voters became law. On
March 4th, state senator Loren Leman introduced SB 94, which
would greatly modify several key provisions of the new law.

Two major proposals of the 15 page bill are seen as very
controversial. The first would require patients to register
with Alaska's Health and Human Services and allow broad
access of that registry to law enforcement agencies.
Measure 8 created the registry to be voluntary. The other
key controversial provision is a statement that doctors
would have to sign in order to recommend marijuana for
patients that states, "There is no other legal treatment
that can be tolerated by the patient that is as effective in
alleviating the debilitating medical condition." Also only
AIDS, cancer and glaucoma would be considered legitimate
conditions for which marijuana could be recommended.

"We think the whole process is outrageous that he would try
to amend this initiative into ineffectiveness just as it is
coming into law," said Alaskans for Medical Rights treasurer
David Finkelstein. "His bill sets up a system where law
enforcement officials have access to a list of patients and
all of their medical conditions. This just isn't a matter
of having access to what drugs they are taking. The
documentation necessary to get medical marijuana includes
the doctor's documentation of their conditions, which
includes AIDS. Some AIDS patients are concerned about that
information getting out. It's essentially full disclosure
to patients' medical backgrounds."

Senator Leman had a different perspective when he talked to
the WOL about SB 94. "We're concerned about enforcing drug
laws in the state of Alaska. The initiative was very poorly
worded, it has a lot of loopholes and opportunities for
abuse. What the bill does is correct some of those while
still maintaining the ability of the so called medical
marijuana part to operate." When asked about concerns over
the requirement in SB 94 that all patients participate in
the state registry to be legal users of medical marijuana,
Sen. Leman replied, "Why did the promoters of this
initiative form a state registry? They did it just to
create the ruse that there was going to be a requirement for
registering. But curiously they don't require that the
users or the primary caregivers sign up and register. Our
legislation requires them to register. Does that create an
unnecessary burden on the doctor/patient relationship? No.
Marijuana is not some harmless food supplement, it is a
dangerous drug."

Another source of concern about Sen. Leman's bill raised by
Finkelstein and several recent letters to the editor in the
Anchorage Daily News is that the new law hasn't been given a
chance to work and this legislation is an attempt to thwart
the will of the voters. Senator Leman strongly disagreed,
saying, "That isn't correct. Most the voters of Alaska, I
believe, who voted for this, did so because they believed it
would be limited, require a doctor's recommendation, that
there would be a registry of users maintained by the state
that people would have to sign up for, and that it would be
limited to those who have a debilitating illness. That is
what the voters of Alaska voted for."

The bill has a long road ahead before it becomes law or is
voted down by the Alaskan legislature, and both sides
believe it will be a long fight. "I am not sure of the
outcome," said Finkelstein. "But we are doing all we can to
convince legislators that compassion for patients out to be
their number one concern and they ought to give the new law
a chance to work."


5. Drug Policy Campus Activism Conference
- Marc Brandl, brandl@drcnet.org

On the weekend of March 5-7, over 40 students, representing
10 universities, met to learn more about activism,
leadership, and to discuss ideas. Aaron Wilson, long-time
campus activist and organizer of the conference, said "While
small, as the first ever inter-campus gathering of student
drug policy reform activists it was a significant event.
The level of inter-campus communication and cooperation has
risen quite a bit, with several collaborative projects
already underway. I think the event did a lot to solidify
the participants' commitment to activism on the issue and
provided political skills they need to be more effective. I
am sure the next event will be even better."

The conference, titled "Student Drug Reform Activism: 1999
Advanced Leadership Conference," was held at the University
of Massachusetts, Amherst and was hosted by the nation's
longest running campus marijuana reform group, the Amherst
Cannabis Reform Coalition (UMACRC). The conference focused
on activism, with sessions and panels were held on subjects
such as event organizing, Higher Education Act reform, and
effective political public relations. The focus of all the
conference events was activism and not theory. The
conference also allowed student activists a chance to meet
face to face and share ideas, experiences and plans for the
future long into the morning hours.

Michael Thelwell, one of the original founders of the
Student Nonviolent Campus Coordinators (SNCC), now a
professor of literature in the Afro-American Studies
department at Amherst, was the event's keynote speaker. His
speech inspired activists with memories of the civil rights
movement. "He inspired me to think more about the struggle
and the heart behind what we do instead of simply tactics
and knowledge," said Troy Dayton, who was a communications
and rhetoric trainer at the conference.

Tentative plans are being made to have a similar event in
October at George Washington University in Washington.
Shawn Heller, president of GW Students for a Sensible Drug
Policy (SSDP) said, "Hopefully a conference at GW next
semester will improve upon the trend set up by this
conference, and will bring together all drug policy student
activists in the country." Funding for the conference came,
in part, from a small grant from the Drug Policy Foundation
and several contributions from private donors. Aaron Wilson
would like to thank everyone who made the event possible and
contributed to its success, including Liz Rising (UMACRC),
who did much of the work of reserving hotel rooms, making
arrangements for food and other thankless tasks.


6. Washington State Bill Would Increase Judge's Discretion
in Drug Cases

The Washington State legislature is expected to vote next
week on a bill that would allow judges more discretion in
sentencing nonviolent drug offenders. House Bill 1006,
introduced by Republican Representative Ida Ballasiotes,
enjoys broad support from prosecutors, judges, and other
lawmakers, and is widely expected to pass.

Ballasiotes told DRCNet the bill's popularity stems from a
growing disillusionment with the consequences of harsh
mandatory minimum sentences instituted in 1989. "The 'tough
on drugs' approach has held sway for the last ten years or
so," she said. "It hasn't worked well. And corrections is
the fastest growing part of our budget. So my point is, we
have to work smarter with the resources we have."
Nonviolent drug offenders make up 25 percent of the state's
prison population.

House Bill 1006 will not necessarily lower the penalties for
drug offenses, but it will allow judges to sentence some
offenders to supervised drug rehabilitation programs instead
of jail. Ballasiotes said her bill speaks to practicalities
that beyond the "tough on crime" paradigm. "It's not a
matter of getting tough or being soft on crime. I don't
think that's the issue at all. There are ways to treat
these people that are far less expensive, that will have, I
believe, a positive effect."


7. Judge Denies California AIDS Patient's Urgent Plea for
Medical Marijuana

(reprinted from the NORML Weekly News, http://www.norml.org)

A federal judge refused this week to alter the conditions of
release that bar a California AIDS patient from using
potentially life saving medicine, marijuana, ruling that the
denial is not a violation of his constitutional rights.

"They're just going to let me die," said patient Peter
McWilliams, a New York Times best-selling author who uses
medical marijuana to alleviate side effects of the AIDS
wasting syndrome and the nausea associated with his AIDS
medications. "My doctor and I have tried every [other
medication,] and we made this very clear in the documents
filed with the court," he said. "Medical marijuana was the
only alternative."

McWilliams physician, Dr. Daniel Bowers, an AIDS specialist
at Pacific Oaks Medical Center in Beverly Hills, said that
his patient's viral load has skyrocketed from undetectable
to dangerously high levels since a federal magistrate barred
McWilliams from smoking marijuana. Bowers said that
McWilliams risks permanent damage to his immune system if
his levels are not reduced.

A judge ordered McWilliams to stop smoking marijuana as a
condition of his bail release last fall after a federal
grand jury charged him and eight others with conspiracy to
cultivate marijuana for commercial sale. This week's ruling
by U.S. District Judge George King upholds that ban despite
McWilliams' worsening health.

"We conclude that imposing the aforesaid conditions of bond
does not violate any of the defendant's constitutional
rights," Judge King ruled. "We do not mean to express
indifference to the defendant's situation, [but] we are not
empowered to grant the defendant what amounts to a license
to violate federal law," he said. King made no mention of
California's law legalizing marijuana for medical use.
McWilliams is a California resident.

King also refused McWilliams' request that he be placed in a
federal program that supplies medical marijuana to a handful
of patients with serious diseases. McWilliams said he will
appeal the ruling. 	McWilliams' criminal trial on marijuana
charges is scheduled to begin on September 7, 1999.


8. Federal Judge Allows Medical Marijuana Class Action Suit
to Proceed, Questions Why Government Supplies Medical
Marijuana to Some Patients, Not Others

(reprinted from the NORML Weekly News, http://www.norml.org)

A US District Judge (Philadelphia) ruled this week that a
government program that supplies medical marijuana to a
small group of seriously ill patients, but refuses to enroll
new applicants suffering from similar diseases, may violate
"equal protection of the law" guaranteed by the
Constitution. District Judge Marvin Katz's ruling allows a
federal medical marijuana class action suit launched by
Philadelphia attorney Lawrence Hirsch to proceed forward.
Hirsch filed the suit on behalf of more than 100 patients
who find medical relief from marijuana.

"We are gratified by Judge Katz's decision to recognize the
central equal protection of law claim of the plaintiffs'
class that it is fundamentally unfair, and apparently
irrational for the United States government to supply
therapeutic cannabis to a total of seven or eight Americans
because it is medically necessary for their conditions, [but
deny it to others,]" Hirsch said.

The federal Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND)
program began distributing marijuana cigarettes to select
patients in 1978. The program ceased accepting new
applicants in 1992, but continues to supply 300 marijuana
cigarettes monthly to eight patients suffering from diseases
such as glaucoma and epilepsy. Similar statewide programs
also distributed medical marijuana to approximately 1,000
patients in the 1980s, but are no longer active.

Judge Katz dismissed in his ruling several other
constitutional violations alleged by the plaintiffs. NORML
Legal Committee members Michael Cutler, Esq. of Boston, MA
and William Panzer, Esq. of Oakland, CA have joined as co-
counsel in the suit.


9. Events

March 20-21, Toronto, Canada, The Second International
Conference on Drug War Prisoners, sponsored by the
Curriculum Committee of the Department of Sociology, York
University. For information, contact John Beresford at

March 21-25, Geneva, Switzerland. 10th International
Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm, sponsored
by the International Harm Reduction Association. For info,
call 44 (151) 227 44 23, fax 44 (151) 236 48 29, e-mail
hrc@hit.org.uk or visit http://www.ihra.org.uk/geneve/ on
the web.

March 27-29, Washington, DC. Families Against Mandatory
Minimums workshop. For information, call FAMM at (202) 822-
6700 or e-mail famm@famm.org.

Wednesday, April 7, 4-6pm, New York, NY. Illegal Leisure:
Recreational Drug Use Among 1990s British Youth, seminar
with With Howard Parker, PhD, professor of social work at
the University of Manchester and author of Illegal Leisure:
The Normalization of Adolescent Recreational Drug Use
(Routledge 1998). Parker, director of SPARC, a British
social policy research center, examines the impact of drug
law and policy on British youth. At the Open Society
Institute, 400 West 59th Street (between 9th and 10th
Avenues), 3rd Floor, New York City, free. Call The
Lindesmith Center at (212)548-0695 or e-mail
lbeniquez@sorosny.org to reserve a place.

April 20, Oklahoma City, OK. "PROTEST THE WAR"
demonstration at the State Capitol. For information,
contact Norma Sapp at (405) 840-4367 or Michael Pearson at

May 7, New York, NY, 9:00am. RALLY: Mothers in Prison,
Children in Crisis, highlighting the need for in-house drug
rehabilitation as an alternative to prison for mothers with
dependent children, 100 Centre St. Sponsored by the
JusticeWorks Community. For further information, call (718)
499-6704, fax (718) 832-2832, e-mail justicew@interport.net,
or visit http://www.justiceworks.org on the web.

***May 12-15, Bethesda, MD (outside Washington, DC). The
12th International Conference on Drug Policy Reform,
sponsored by the Drug Policy Foundation. (May 11 evening
legislative training session.) For further information,
call (202) 537-5005, e-mail taylor@dpf.org, or visit


10. Online Petitions

Several online petitions on issues of interest to reformers
are currently in progress at http://www.e-thepeople.com.
Visit the "Crime and Public Safety" section to sign and
distribute petitions calling for a moratorium on prison
building, opposing California's three-strikes law, opposing
Michigan's mandatory minimum sentences, calling for
legalization and decriminalization of marijuana, and more.

(DRCNet's weekly editorials will return next week.)


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Deductible contributions supporting our educational work can
be made by check to the DRCNet Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-
exempt organization, same address.

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DrugSense Weekly, No. 89 (The original summary of drug policy news from
DrugSense opens with the weekly Feature Article - How important is the drug
policy reform effort? by Rolf Ernst; The Weekly News in Review features
several articles about Drug War Policy, including - Smugglers corrupting
U.S.'s anti-drug forces, study says; War on drugs needs a new battle plan;
America's misguided drug war; Chronic pain under treated, expert says; and,
Senators join outcry to halt new bank rules. Articles about Law Enforcement
and Prisons include - Less crime, more criminals; Criminal justice system
just plain bizarre; Incarceration won't solve drug problem; and, US criticism
of China rings hollow in US prisons. Articles about Medical Marijuana
include - MP challenges Rock pot move; The Kubby prosecution; Not fit to
print? The medical marijuana class action hearing; and, a letter to the
editor, Medical marijuana. International News includes - another letter to
the editor, Copy successful anti-drugs policy; Expert rejects zero tolerance
stand; Caribbean nations suspend US treaty; and, New drug army rules atop
'Golden Triangle.' The weekly Hot Off The 'Net publicizes a transcript from
the medical marijuana class action lawsuit in Philadelphia; and gives the URL
for a RealVideo episode of television's "Politically Incorrect with Bill
Maher" featuring Joe Califano and singer Dave Matthews. The Fact of the Week
documents that the "Land of the Free" is No. 1 in imprisoning its citizens.
The Quote of the Week cites state senator John Vasconcellos, the Democrat
from Santa Clara, California.)

From: webmaster@drugsense.org (DrugSense)
To: newsletter@drugsense.org
Subject: DrugSense Weekly, March 12, 1999, #89
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 09:20:07 -0800
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/
Lines: 804
Sender: owner-newsletter@drugsense.org



DrugSense Weekly, March 12, 1999 #89

A DrugSense publication

This Publication May Be Read On-line at:


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



* Feature Article

How Important is the Drug Policy Reform Effort?
By Rolf Ernst

* Weekly News in Review

Drug War Policy-

(1) Smugglers Corrupting U.S.'s Anti-Drug Forces, Study Says
(2) War on Drugs Needs A New Battle Plan
(3) America's Misguided Drug War
(4) Chronic Pain Under treated, Expert Says
(5) Senators Join Outcry to Halt New Bank Rules

Law Enforcement & Prisons-

(6) Less Crime, More Criminals
(7) Criminal Justice System Just Plain Bizarre
(8) Incarceration Won't Solve Drug Problem
(9) US Criticism of China Rings Hollow in Us Prisons

Medical Marijuana-

(10) MP Challenges Rock Pot Move
(11) The Kubby Prosecution
(12) Not Fit to Print? The MMJ Class Action Hearing
(13) PUB LTE: Medical Marijuana

International News-

(14) PUB LTE: Copy Successful Anti-Drugs Policy
(15) Expert Rejects Zero Tolerance Stand
(16) Caribbean Nations Suspend US Treaty
(17) New Drug Army Rules Atop 'Golden Triangle'

* Hot Off The 'Net

MMJ Class Action Suit Transcript On-line
Politically Incorrect with Califano/Jackson On-Line

* Fact of the Week

The "Land of the Free" Is Number One in Imprisoning its Citizens

* Quote of the Week

Senator John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara)



How Important is the Drug Policy Reform Effort?
By Rolf Ernst

In a recent conversation with a director of a drug policy organization
I heard the statement that 'What we are dealing with today is the
single most important issue in America. A change in drug policy will
have the most profound effects on American society experienced in the
last 50 years.' I pondered this for a while and then had to agree. Drug
policy is much more than an issue centered on substance abuse.

Its effects are far-reaching and substantial. It has introduced
previously unheard of legislative measures such as civil asset
forfeiture, mandatory minimum sentences and conspiracy laws to name a
few. While they are mostly applied to drug violations today, it is
foreseeable that the same measures will linger on in American
jurisdiction long after the Drug War has ended.

Congress, particularly in the 1980s, has forever changed the way
America deals with crime on the one hand and civil liberties on the

The American justice system has decidedly ruled that in cases of great
perceived threat to society or the health of its citizens, laws that
previously seemed carved in stone can and will be sacrificed.

Constitutional rights and amendments have taken on new interpretations
if not disappeared altogether. The presence of this change in climate
can be felt throughout. School districts favor random drug testing
without regard to search and seizure requiring probable cause; expels
students found under the influence of drugs without any sort of due
process; TV shows glamorize the dedicated investigator that ignores the
necessity of a warrant and breaks into apartments in 'important cases';
commercials broadcast by the Partnership for a Drug Free America urge
'to do anything to keep your children off drugs' - the terrifying
interpretation of this left only to the viewer's imagination.

A prison industry has developed that is blooming and its stock is
trading high. Like every business it depends on growth. Corporations
backed by investors with serious funds prompt the question as to how
far they will lobby Washington and what for? Stock prices as a direct
result of growing incarceration paint a gloomy picture.

All the while America's upper middle class goes about business as
usual. The tremendous changes appear not yet to have taken their toll
in this segment of society, one empowered to judge its ramifications;
the last to take notice. Once this sheltered refuge sees its dreams
shattered America could have changed forever.

When all is said and done it comes down to the price tag we are willing
to attach to the fight of an enemy that is not quite tangible, elusive
and in need of constant pursuit with ever increasing vigor. Already
America pays a dear price for the struggle with a ghost; financially,
culturally and constitutionally. The question is: When is enough enough?

Rolf Ernst




Domestic News- Policy


COMMENT: (1-5)

Another bad media week for the drug war; on the heels of the Mexican
certification hypocrisy came a reminder that American law enforcement
isn't uniquely immune to the corrupting lure of easy drug money.

Editorial denunciations of the drug war are becoming commonplace; the
gloves also seem to be off in dealing with McCaffrey. There was an
overdue, but nevertheless welcome, recognition from within
conservative medical circles that, for years, drug policy has
adversely affected the pain management of ordinary patients.

Finally, the quick Senate abandonment of "know your customer" is a
development we should note; it's explicit evidence that "tough on
drugs" is easily trumped by opposition from middle class
(contributing) voters. Compare this response to the way Congress
treated the (valid) idea that ejection of entire families of
individual drug users from public housing is blatantly unfair.



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.


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."


Pubdate: 7 Mar 1999
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
Author: Marisa Taylor and Ricardo Sandoval, Knight Ridder Newspapers
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n255.a03.html



A motley of would-be drug policy reformers clustered under an umbrella
called the Network of Reform Groups issued a report yesterday in which
they proposed, shockingly, that we stop simply fighting the war on
drugs and start instead aiming actually to win it.

[see http://www.csdp.org/]

They would do that by up-ending current, manifestly failed priorities,
cutting the 66 percent of the anti-drug budget that goes to law
enforcement to 33 percent and splitting the rest evenly between
treatment and strategies against youth drug use.


.....It deserves a hearing. Alas, we seem instead about to go rampaging
off again into more of the same, with the drug czar, the vastly
unimaginative Barry Mccaffrey, telling Congress just last week that by
turning up the heat, he'll cut drug use in half by '07.


Pubdate: Thur, 04 Mar 1999
Source: Arizona Daily Star (AZ)
Contact: letters@azstarnet.com
Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/
Author: Tom Teepen



Attacking suppliers of drugs without addressing the demand guarantees
drug sales will continue

No credible evidence exists showing that stringent enforcement of US
narcotics laws actually reduces drug use in this country. Indeed, the
opposite seems true: Law-enforcement efforts actually promote illicit
drug use.


Pubdate: Mon, 08 Mar 1999
Source: Christian Science Monitor (US)
Copyright: 1999 The Christian Science Publishing Society.
Contact: oped@csps.com
Website: http://www.csmonitor.com/
Forum: http://www.csmonitor.com/atcsmonitor/vox/p-vox.html
Author: Mike Tidwell



Many Americans with chronic pain don't receive the treatment they need
because of "misapplied" fears about addiction, an expert in the field
told an ethics conference Saturday at Creighton University in Omaha.

Those fears include doctors' and patients' concerns that the use of
narcotic painkillers would lead to substance abuse, and doctors'
worries about legal problems, said Dr. Steven D. Passik, a psychologist
who is director of oncology symptom control research at the Indiana
Community Cancer Care Center in Indianapolis.

He said these are major factors in what he described as a "dramatic
under treatment" of chronic pain.


Pubdate: Mon, 08 Mar 1999
Source: Omaha World-Herald (NE)
Copyright: 1999 Omaha World-Herald Company.
Contact: pulse@owh.com
Website: http://www.omaha.com/
Forum: http://chat.omaha.com/



WASHINGTON -- The Senate, joining a torrent of criticism from people
worried about privacy, told the government yesterday to withdraw
proposed anti-money laundering rules that would track bank customers'

By an 88-0 vote, the Senate expressed support for a measure directing
bank regulators to drop the proposed rules, called "Know Your Customer."


"This is such a broad-reaching regulation that it infringes on our
constitutional rights," Gramm, the chairman of the Senate Banking
Committee, said on the Senate floor.


Pubdate: Sat, 6 Mar 1999
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)
Contact: editpage@seattle-pi.com
Website: http://www.seattle-pi.com/
Copyright: 1999 Seattle Post-Intelligencer.


Law Enforcement & Prisons


COMMENT: (6-9)

Ever since publication of Eric Schlosser's Atlantic Monthly Article in
December, the best op-ed writers in America have been focused on
prisons.If the middle class can be aroused to action by the truth-
prisons have become an unaffordable boondoggle which is wrecking
public education- the recent fate of "know your customer" suggests
that our politicians will listen.

The following were only the best of many devastating criticisms
linking prison expansion to a futile drug policy.



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.


Pubdate: 7 Mar 1999
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Forum: http://forums.nytimes.com/comment/
Author: Timothy Egan
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n255.a01.html



IT's an odd country, really. Our largest growth industries are gambling
and prisons. But as you may have heard, crimes rates are dropping.
We're not putting people into prison for hurting other people. We're
putting them into prison for using drugs, and as we already know, that
doesn't help them or us.


Pubdate: Thu, 04 March 1999
Source: Daily Herald (IL)
Copyright: 1999 The Daily Herald Company
Contact: fencepost@dailyherald.com
Website: http://www.dailyherald.com/
Author: Molly Ivins
Section: Sec. 1
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n242.a01.html



Narcotics: The nation's policy in dealing with violators is irrational,
racist, draconian and hugely expensive.

How long are we going to pretend that the United States is not one of
the major violators of human rights in the world? There are 400,000
people in America's prisons simply because the government claims it
must save them from themselves.


Pubdate: 2 Mar 1999
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times.
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: (213) 237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Forum: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/DISCUSS/
Section: Opinion
Author: Robert Scheer



It will be interesting to see how long the White House can recite
China's abuses when its own moral threads are unraveling to the point
that it has become the schoolmarm scolding the world in exposed


Pubdate: Wed, 03 March 1999
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 1999 Globe Newspaper Company.
Contact: letters@globe.com
Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/
Author: Derrick Z. Jackson, Globe Columnist
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n242.a03.html


Medical Marijuana


COMMENT: (10-13)

Medical marijuana is another issue which unmasks the dishonesty of
American drug policy for middle class citizens who are otherwise well
disposed toward "law & order" issues - precisely because they can
easily imagine themselves as patients.

Demand for medical use is resonating north of the border; a concession
by heretofore resistive Minister of Health Alan Rock drew suspicion
from MMj supporters, but whatever happens, it's clear that the genie
is out of the bottle.

In the US, 3 major court battles over MMj are developing in California
and Philadelphia; sadly, two are currently being ignored by the press,
as is their wont. Most shocking is that a federal judge's imprimatur
on the official murder of Peter McWilliams has been completely ignored
by California media. An out-of-state LTE to the LAT was the sole
referral to Judge King's amazing explanation that although McWilliams
claim to be dying for lack of Mj might be true, it doesn't matter
because marijuana is illegal.

The details are online at: http://www.petertrial.com/



OTTAWA -- A Bloc MP accuses Health Minister Allan Rock of plotting to
derail his Commons motion to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.
"I think it's a minister's campaign to destabilize all the people
working on the proposal," Bernard Bigras said yesterday.

Bigras said he doubts the sincerity of Rock's announcement Wednesday
that he'll launch clinical tests of medical marijuana.

Bigras 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.


Pubdate: Friday, March 5, 1999
Source: London Free Press (Canada)
Copyright: 1999 The London Free Press
Corporation. Contact: letters@lfpress.com
Website: http://www.canoe.ca/LondonFreePress/home.html
Forum: http://www.lfpress.com/londoncalling/SelectForum.asp
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n247.a12.html



Steve Kubby, the Libertarian party candidate for governor in 1998, and
his wife, Michele, had their preliminary hearing on marijuana
cultivation and sales charges in Tahoe City last Tuesday. The two will
face a total of 19 charges. The case is scheduled for arraignment in
Superior Court in Auburn March 19.

The actual trial will take place later, probably sometime in May.


For prosecutors to press forward under such circumstances smacks of
malice or worse - an overt effort to turn a law duly passed by
California voters into a dead letter.


Pubdate: Mon, 8 Mar 1999
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n261.a05.html



Scores of documented medical patients from around the United States
came to Philadelphia last week- many in wheelchairs- to learn exactly
why the federal Department of Justice thinks they should be in prison.

As plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the DOJ, all are
self-admitted "users" of marijuana.

At a hearing on Wednesday, March 3, attorneys for the government
demanded the lawsuit be dismissed out of hand. Judge Marvin Katz,
directing federal attorneys to support their request for dismissal with
more specific evidence, took their motion under submission.


Posted: Mon, 8 Mar 1999

Note: We thought this story would be among top news items last week
but it never made it to print, although there was some local TV
coverage. We thought the matter justified suspending our usual
practice of including only published material in MAP's DrugNews

Web Coverage:




URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n258.a02.html



California state Sen. John Vasconcellos has just touched the tip of
the iceberg of the problems with our national drug prohibition policy
(Commentary, Feb. 25). The dominant puritanical minority that controls
the Congress with coercion, fear and the politics of personal
destruction has also subverted our federal courts.


This is the judicial environment that Peter McWilliams is subjected to.
If the state of California is to save the life of McWilliams, it should
step in and take him into protective custody from the federal
prosecutors and provide to him the lifesaving marijuana that he needs
to stabilize and strengthen his body.


Pubdate: Wed, 3 Mar 1999
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times.
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: (213) 237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Forum: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/DISCUSS/
Related: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n211.a08.html


International News


COMMENT: (14-17)

A recent trend in English-speaking nations from Ireland to Australia
has been for politicians in power to take an unpopular hard-line
'American style" position in opposition to more widely supported harm
reduction policies. This is illustrated by a representative article
from Australia. A recently published LTE by MAP NewsHawk Martin Cooke
summarizes the issue very nicely.

In the Caribbean, an interesting collision between drug policy and
trade demonstrates that economic necessity leads whole nations into
the drug trade, right along with individual people.

For most of us, Myanmar's WA represent a previously unknown factor in
the convoluted system controlling the massive international criminal
drug market. At any moment, WA teens could find themselves killing and
dying for the profits of that market.



WILLIE O'DEA, TD, thinks that we should start imprisoning young people
who experiment with soft drugs like cannabis and ecstasy (The Examiner,
March 2).

He is quoted as saying that "teenagers should be threatened with jail
sentences and criminal records to stop rising recreational drug abuse."


He only has to look at the US, which has the largest proportion of its
population behind bars of any of the developed countries in the world, a
sizeable minority, if not a majority, of them for non-violent drugs
offences. And yet drug use continues to soar in the US.


Mr O'Dea is quoted as saying: "I have no problem borrowing a good idea
that has worked elsewhere."

If this is true, and if he is really concerned about the welfare of our
youth, I would suggest that he would do far better to look at the
Netherlands rather than the UK.


Pubdate: 8 Mar 1999
Source: Examiner, The (Ireland)
Copyright: Examiner Publications Ltd, 1999
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie
Website: http://www.examiner.ie/
Section: Letters to the Editor
Author: Martin Cooke
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n260.a07.html



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.


Pubdate: Fri, 26 Feb 1999
Source: Age, The (Australia)
Copyright: 1999 David Syme & Co Ltd
Contact: letters@theage.fairfax.com.au
Website: http://www.theage.com.au/
Author: Caroline Milburn
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n245.a03.html



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.


Pubdate: 7 Mar 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press
Author: Bert Wilkinson Associated Press Writer



LOI SAM SAO, Myanmar - Cradling an assault rifle, a teenage rebel sits
at a guard post watching trucks hauling consumer goods and construction
material into northeastern Myanmar over the dusty road from Thailand.


The young rebel is the first line of contact between outsiders and the
United WA State Army, one of the numerous ethnic groups not controlled
by the central government of Myanmar, or Burma.


A generation ago,the WA were feared headhunters. Now, they are the
world's largest producers of heroin and a major supplier of
amphetamines in East Asia. But a cozy arrangement with the Myanmar
military government that allowed their rise is fraying, and the WA are
preparing for war.


Pubdate: 3 Mar 1999
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
Author: Don Pathan, The Associated Press
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n239.a10.html




MMJ Class Action Suit Transcript On-line

Carl Olsen has posted the text of the March 3 hearing on the medical
marijuana class suit action at:



Politically Incorrect with Califano/Jackson On-Line

CRRH has posted a RealVideo version of "Politically Incorrect, with
Bill Maher." This March 8, 1999 show is a debate about marijuana.
Singer Dave Matthews and comedienne Elayne Boosler join Bill Maher in
debating in favor of cannabis against Joseph Califano and Earl Jackson.
17 minutes, 19 seconds. The video is located at:




The "Land of the Free" Is Number One in Imprisoning its Citizens

All major Western European nations' incarceration rates are about or
below 100 per 100,000. In the United States, in 1995, the incarceration
rate for African-American women was 456 per 100,000, and for
African-American men 6,926 per 100,000.

Source: Currie, E., Crime and Punishment in America, New York, NY:
Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, Inc. (1998), p. 15; Bureau
of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 1996,
Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office (1997), p. 510, Table

See the entire collection of Drug War Facts at:



"...convince the federal government...that they must abide by the will
of the voters. A tidal wave of support for medicinal marijuana has
begun in the western United States; the future of many federal
officials depends, in large part, on whether they ride that wave into
the future or, standing in the way, are rendered irrelevant by the
voters." --Senator John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara)


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