Portland NORML News - Saturday, March 13, 1999

Don't Exaggerate (A letter to the editor of the Hood River News, in north
central Oregon, by Sandee Burbank of Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse,
debunks recent assertions about marijuana by Maija Yasui of the state
Commission on Children and Families. 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

From: "sburbank" (sburbank@orednet.org)
To: "DPFOR" (dpfor@drugsense.org)
Subject: DPFOR: Hood River News - Don't Exaggerate
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 16:33:36 -0800
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
Sender: owner-dpfor@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfor@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/
Source: Hood River News
Date: Saturday, March 13, 1999
Page: A-4
Contact: HRNews@eaglenewspapers.com

Don't Exaggerate

I was disturbed by the report on the Public School Drug Survey that was
published in the February 24, 1999 issue of Hood River News. The report
itself gave reason for concern because it shows that the current "war on
drugs" is not being effective in reducing adolescent drug use.

The remarks by Maija Yasui, Commission on Children and Families, were even
more disturbing. While I assume she felt her intentions were in the best
interest of the community, her comments showed extreme ignorance, or else
she is deliberating misleading readers.

Exaggerations like, "marijuana has 4,000 chemicals with negative impacts,"
and her comparisons to tobacco that imply that tobacco is safer than
marijuana, complicate the job of parents that are trying to raise their
children with truth and reason.

In fact the use of exaggerations, lies and scare tactics shows extreme
disrespect for children's intelligence and their natural desire to protect
themselves from harm. Parents who use these tactics put themselves at
tremendous risk of losing credibility and could lead some children to
disregard serious warnings, thinking them more of the same lies.

Our organization, Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse, 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.

Last year MAMA distributed copies of "Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts" to
all Oregon public libraries and their branches, including those of Hood
River and Wasco County. This book by Dr. Lynn Zimmer, a sociologist from
Queens University, and Dr. John Morgan, a pharmacologist, is easy to read
and is heavily documented. I encourage Ms.Yasui and any that are
interested in the truth to read this book and its references. If the book
is not available, contact me and I will loan you my personal copy.

One last point. There is a growing national body of people from all walks
of life, who are advocating for drug policy reform.

This does NOT mean that they are advocating use of any type of drug or that
they would make marijuana seeds and plants available to young people.

Sandee Burbank

Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse
2255 State Road, Mosier, OR 97040
phone or fax 541-298-1031

State failed inmates who had X-rays, judge rules (The Oregonian says
Multnomah County Circuit Judge Michael Marcus ruled Thursday night that the
Oregon Department of Corrections has not followed a state law intended to
protect the health of 69 former inmates exposed to radiation experiments
between 1963 and 1973. Marcus said the state had failed to adequately notify
the former inmates, failed to provide psychological counseling and failed to
conduct a study to determine the long-term effects of the testing. A law
passed in 1987 required the Department of Corrections to provide for any
resulting medical needs of the men. Instead of issuing an injunction, Marcus
ordered the state to make changes and told the two sides to try to come up
with a resolution based on his findings.)

[wonder how many of these guys were in prison for using "dangerous" drugs .
. . - newshawk.]

The Oregonian
Contact: letters@news.oregonian.com
1320 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
Fax: 503-294-4193
Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/
Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/

State failed inmates who had X-rays, judge rules

* Judge Michael Marcus says the men who underwent radiation experiments are
not getting the benefits they are entitled to

Saturday March 13, 1999

By David R. Anderson
of The Oregonian staff

A judge has ruled that the Oregon Department of Corrections has not followed
a state law intended to protect the health of former inmates who underwent
radiation experiments more than 25 years ago.

"There are violations that are substantial and they need to be addressed,"
said Multnomah County Circuit Judge Michael Marcus on Thursday night. "These
guys are entitled to benefits that have never been conveyed to them and for
which they have suffered dearly."

Marcus said the state had failed to adequately notify the former inmates,
failed to provide psychological counseling and failed to conduct a study to
determine the long-term effects of the testing.

Between 1963 and 1973, federal researchers conducted X-ray experiments on an
estimated 69 Oregon inmates. A law passed in 1987 required the Department of
Corrections to provide for any resulting medical needs of the men.

In his ruling, Marcus stopped short of issuing an injunction ordering the
state to make changes. Marcus told the two sides to try to come up with a
resolution based on his findings.

Marcus also did not require the state to set up an advisory committee to
conduct an ongoing epidemiological study of the experiments as lawyers for
the inmates had demanded. A lawyer for the state viewed that as a victory.

"The bottom line is the judge agreed with us that the statute doesn't
require a $1 million program," said David Leith, an assistant attorney general.

But the state will still have to determine the effects of the testing and
tell the men what health effects they might expect.

"Finally, the state is being made to meet its responsibility to these
people," said Richard Yugler, an attorney representing the test subjects.

Class-action suit filed in 1997

Lawyers filed a class-action lawsuit in December 1997 on behalf of Harold
Bibeau and 66 other inmates and former inmates. Bibeau said he was satisfied
with Marcus' ruling, but that was tempered by the legal process that still
lies ahead.

"I'm pleased," he said Friday. "We still have a long way to go. They still
have to set up some kind of a program to take care of these guys."

Bibeau, a Troutdale resident who works as a design draftsman, wonders
whether some of his health problems, including hepatitis C, are because of
the testing he underwent from 1964 to 1969. Bibeau was in prison on a
manslaughter charge for killing a man he said attempted to molest him.
Bibeau said prisoners without money are vulnerable, so he signed up for the
testing, which would pay $5 a week plus $10 for each biopsy and $100 at the
conclusion, when the inmate got a vasectomy.

Part of Marcus' ruling was that the men never knew exactly what they were
getting into.

In what were known as the Heller experiments, researchers bombarded the
testicles of the volunteers with as much as 650 rads. By comparison, a
modern X-ray measures about one rad. Researchers also conducted hormone
testing on about 300 other inmates.

In 1987 the Legislature passed the Medical Monitoring Statute, which
required that subjects of the radiation experiments receive an annual
evaluation of the consequences of the experiments and treatment for any
condition directly related to the experiments. The Department of Corrections
was responsible for paying for the treatments.

That same year, the Legislature rejected a bill that would have paid the men

Marcus made a point of saying that Catherine Knox, the health services
administrator for the Department of Corrections, was well-intended in
carrying out the legislation. She enlisted the help of an expert at the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

But Knox did not follow all of the recommendations from the CDC report she
got back, which would have cost about $147,000 a year to implement.

Inmates who were still in custody received treatment. About eight men have
received regular treatment and the state has spent about $15,000 a year. One
man had surgery for prostate cancer and others have had eye problems and
skin lesions, Knox said.

But the state did not attempt to notify former inmates that they were
eligible for the benefits until 1994. Marcus said that attempt was
inadequate and might have even left the impression with the former inmates
that researchers wanted to conduct more testing on them.

Looking for more former inmates

During the three-day trial this week, the state agreed to pay the plaintiffs
$20,000 for locating 17 former inmates and continue looking for eight more.

State officials introduced House Bill 2322 during this legislative session
that would not require the state to provide psychological treatment or
require the Department of Corrections to notify inmates about their benefits.

The bill is "a sneaky stab in the back," said Stanley Siegel, an attorney
representing the experiment subjects.

But the Department of Corrections supports the bill because it clarifies
what corrections officials think was the intent of the 1987 Legislature,
said Perrin Damon, a department spokeswoman.

However, Rep. Lane Shetterly, R-Dallas, chairman of theHouse Judiciary Civil
Law Committee, said the bill won't even get a hearing and is effectively dead.

Meanwhile, Bibeau still has a $1 million lawsuit for damages against the
state. He says he can't help but think about his future when he hears, for
example, that another former test subject underwent a double mastectomy.

"I try not to think about it," he said. "I have a little bit of worry, but
I'm trying to go on with my life."

You can reach David Anderson at 503-294-7663 or by e-mail at

1 in 4 Oregon high schoolers drops out (The Oregonian says an Oregon
Department of Education report released Friday shows 25.26 percent of Oregon
students who enter high school will drop out before graduating. The four-year
rate projected for Portland Public Schools was 40 percent. If you don't
understand the connection to the war on marijuana users, check out Portland
NORML's "Oregon Services Plundered for Drug War" page.)

The Oregonian
Contact: letters@news.oregonian.com
1320 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
Fax: 503-294-4193
Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/
Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/

Saturday March 13, 1999

1 in 4 Oregon high schoolers drops out

* A new state report says Latinos quit twice as often as other students

By Gillian Gaynair
of The Oregonian staff

More than one-quarter of Oregon students who enter high school will drop out
before graduating, new state figures released Friday show.

The fastest-growing segment of Oregon schoolchildren -- Latinos -- drop out
twice as often as other students, according to the data.

The dropout rate rose slightly to 6.9 percent in 1997-98, prompting Stan
Bunn, Oregon's new superintendent of public instruction, to say the state
needs to devote as much attention to the dropout problem as it does to its
pioneering school reform.

"If we don't keep kids in school, then these school improvement efforts
won't make a difference," Bunn said.

In the Oregon Department of Education report, the state also found:

* One-third of Oregon's dropouts in 1997-98 were enrolled in their school
district for one year or less.

* Asian American students continued to have the lowest dropout rate.

* Students who dropped out had fallen way behind before dropping out.

* There's a gap between the reasons school personnel and students cite to
explain why kids leave. The adults say students are working too much -- 15
hours or more a week-- and also cite frequent discipline referrals and drug
and alcohol abuse. But the kids say they leave mainly because the schoolwork
is irrelevant, friends pressure them not to achieve, and they don't get any
personal attention in class, among other reasons.

Also documented in the report is that the availability of low-paying jobs in
Oregon contributed to the dropout rate in the last academic year.

"Students need to know there are long-term consequences connected to the
short-term gratification of leaving school to work," Bunn said.

The state defines a dropout as a student who doesn't graduate; has withdrawn
from school; has not received a general educational development certificate,
or GED; or has enrolled, but hasn't shown up at school. (Oregon used to
count students as dropouts even if they earned a GED.)

The state uses data from a single year to project a "synthetic" four-year
dropout rate for the state of 25.56 percent. The four-year rate projected
for Portland Public Schools was 40 percent, although district leaders say
they have taken steps this year to lower the rate.

State officials point to several efforts across the state that are making a
significant difference in schools' dropout rates.

Take Portland's Roosevelt High School, which cut its rate from 11.2 percent
to 8.3 percent. Staff attribute the reduction to a variety of individuals,
programs and community organizations working in concert to keep students in

At Molalla High School, the dropout rate improved from 10.2 percent to 4.7
percent in the 1997-98 academic year.

Principal Michael Nickless attributed the change to innovations and a new
attitude in staff, students and parents. He said key changes focused on
making school more interesting to kids.

For example, students now can gain credits toward graduation by taking
courses on the World Wide Web. It allows them to work at home or wherever
they can get their hands on a computer, and proceed at their own pace.

The school also has established transition classes for students going from
eighth-grade to ninth-grade. Juniors and seniors are paired with freshmen to
ease their transition into high school.

A platoon of peer tutors on campus helps lagging students, Nickless said.

Parents and staff also have taken an active role; teachers and counselors
call the parents of students who are absent without prior permission or

"We have some counselors that really do care," Nickless said. "You have to
make a lot of phone calls."

At Forest Grove High School, which Bunn visited Friday, teachers and
counselors have made a more concentrated effort to track students at risk of
dropping out by calling them directly, giving them options and consistently
monitoring their progress.

Forest Grove also recently contracted with CREATE -- Creating Roads to
Empowerment and Advancement to Education -- an alternative to the
traditional high school setting. It serves a large number of Latino students
and has a bilingual, culturally literate staff, an asset for Forest Grove
High, where 20 percent of the students are Latino.

Administrators directly credit those efforts with improving the school's
dropout rate, down from 11.6 percent to 7.2 percent in the 1997-98 academic

Last summer, each counselor spent an extra two days calling about 200
students who didn't graduate or had dropped out. They learned about each
student's situation, connected them with one of the district's alternative
programs and continued keeping in touch.

The effort is ongoing, with counselors now immediately contacting students
who aren't in school.

"If we're going to impact these kids, we need to have the outreach, and we
need to have programs to put these kids in," said Gordon Garlock, a
counselor at Forest Grove who works strictly with students at risk of
dropping out and monitors those in optional programs.

The school reached Kevin Maller and Aaron Daugherty, now seniors, when they
were on the verge of quitting their sophomore years.

Neither felt like he fit into the high school scene. And both were flat-out

"I just felt that high school had nothing else to offer me," said Maller,
who recently was accepted to the Art Institutes International in Portland to
study computer animation and graphic design. "I felt like I wasn't learning

Both found a niche in Cascade Education Corps, an alternative program in
Forest Grove where students attend class and do environmental work outside
on alternate days. They received personal attention from teachers, who they
considered friends. They earned needed credits. And through the program, the
young men say they developed a stronger work ethic and sense of responsibility.

"I was doing something I wanted to do, not just going to school," Daugherty

He eventually became a leader at Outdoor School and raised his grade point
average from 1.4 to 4.0. Next, Daugherty plans to become a teacher.

"One of the single most important components to keep kids in school," Bunn
said after talking to Daugherty and Maller, "is finding ways to keep them
engaged and excited about what they're doing."

Staff writer Michael Ottey contributed to this story.

Los Angeles Million Marijuana March (A list subscriber publicizes the reform
rally scheduled for Saturday, May 1.)

From: "David Crockett Williams" (gear2000@lightspeed.net)
To: "Drug Policy Foundation list" (dpfca@drugsense.org)
Cc: "Sister Somayah" (hempishep@successnet.net)
Subject: DPFCA: Los Angeles Million Marijuana March
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 22:51:23 -0800
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

The Million Marijuana March event will be taking place on Saturday May 1st
in South Central Los Angeles under the leadership of Sister Somayah who will
be mobilizing folks to attend, following the April 26 rally in South Central
in support of Mumia Abdul Jamar and the April 29 (7th anniversary of the LA
riots) Street March in South Central focusing on ending the CIA complicity
in smuggling hard drugs into our inner cities targeting African American
populations as discussed by former LAPD narcotics investigator and covert
operations expert Michael C. Ruppert in his newsletter "From the
Wilderness". Ruppert believes that the marijuana issue, and the medical
marijuana issue in particular, are the leading issues which can end the drug
war entirely by bringing out the truth and changing national law.

Sister Somayah is a medical marijuana patient whose case is so strong that
after her recent arrest over this issue she was not only acquitted but the
police had to give back her 31 marijuana plants.

The Los Angeles Million Marijuana March event will include a day-long
gathering, starting with her sunrise ceremony, at the lake in Kenneth Hahn
State Park in South Central Los Angeles which is located at La Cienega
Boulevard and Slausen Avenue. Since her health is not so strong she will
not be marching but between now and Mayday others may organize and conduct a
march to the park on that Saturday.

For more information, Sister Somayah may be reached at 323-231-1853,
hempishep@successnet.net PROJECT HEMP IS HEP, 826 WEST FORTIETH PLACE, LOS
ANGELES, CA 90037.

Please help Sister Somayah and the other seriously ill medical marijuana
patients in the Los Angeles Area to make a successful event in South Central
in order to change the Federal laws and drug policies to put cannabis hemp
back into its historically prominent role as the most valuable plant in
human history before it was fraudulently outlawed as marijuana in 1937. She
needs help with outreach to announce the event and with program assistance
to book speakers, musicians, food offerings, etc., to pull off an historic
community gathering in South Central to help end the cynical drug war of the
United States Government.

Million Marijuana March Rallies Scheduled Around the Globe May 1 (A
preliminary press release from Cures Not Wars, in New York, publicizes reform
rallies scheduled in Seattle and elsewhere.)

Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 21:05:14 -0500 (EST)
To: (restore@crrh.org)
From: Dana Beal (dana@cures-not-wars.org)
From: "CRRH mailing list" (restore@crrh.org)
Subject: Re: restore V1 #77

Preliminary Press Release:

In conjunction with Cures Not Wars (www.cures-not-wars.org/mmm/) Seattle
Eevents Inc., producers of Seattle Hempfest, invites you to join Marijuana
Activists around the world to stand up and be counted in demanding an
immediate end to the immoral, unjust and criminal war against Marijuana
users globally. Over 600,000 are aressted for marijuana a year in the U.S.
alone! 10 million arrested. Over one million in jails world-wide!

May 1, 1999, 12 noon, meet at Volunteer Park, Seattle. We will march for
amnesty for all persons incarcerated for marijuana, for persons needing
medicinal marijuana, and for global hemp production and utilization.

Destination will be Westlake Center Square, Seattle. Rally with
amplification and speakers. Street addresses and parade route to be posted
soon. This will be a legal parade and rally and will have police escort.
Proper permits and City approval are in process. Bring signs, banners,
friends, family. Donations of money accepted at rally to offset costs.
Trained, experienced "Peace Keepers" desired.

Vehicular shuttles will be provided for medical patients and elderly.
We ask that you respect our request to asbstain from civil disobediance.
See our website at www.seattlehempfest.com (announcement re: MMM


Initial contact for potential speakers and all media: Vivian McPeak
e-mail: viv@hemp.net
voice mail: 206-781-5734 (allow some turn around time)
postal: 916 N.E. 65Th #269 seattle, washington, 98116-6751

Please forward to all appropriate parties en masse.

International Rally Against Intolerance May 1, 1999

Dear Supporters: Thank you for volunteering to help this year's
Million-Marijuana March!

May 1st 1999 Marijuana Activists around the world will stand up and be
counted. You can make it happen -- a Million Joints alight, held high,
worldwide! If you can't make it to one of the already planned rallies, you
can do your own, locally. One million in the streets in '99! 10 million at
the Millennium March in 2000!


Over 600.000 are arrested for marijuana a year in the U.S. alone! 10
million arrested! Over one million in jails worldwide!


The federal government is spending billions of dollars on slick Madison
Ave. anti-drug commercials on T.V, radio & print ads. It's all LIES. In the
past year, THC has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, and it has been
shown that smoking marijuana causes no long-term loss of pulmonary
capacity. The studies that showed it was similar to heroin have been
rejected as phonies. (the supposed blocker wasn't a blocker!) Best of all,
new evidence that marijuana works against stroke proves that it's more like
ayahuasca or the addiction interrupter Ibogaine than heroin or alcohol.


Six states and the District of Columbia have cast their vote for medical
marijuana. Congressman Bob Barr from Georgia added a rider to the 1999
budget bill that prohibited spending even one cent on marijuana initiatives
that would reduce penalties or legalize cannabis in any way. The voters of
D.C have been gagged for months awaiting a federal judge's ruling.


We should be able to do what we can to ease the suffering of those who face
life-threatening illness. Marijuana has been proven to be valuable as an
anti-nauseate for persons receiving cancer chemotherapy, for relief from
the AIDS wasting syndrome, for glaucoma, for the treatment of pain, for
muscle spasm in multiple sclerosis, for various psychiatric disorders, and
even for stroke! There are over 120 medical conditions that can benefit
from treatment with Marijuana. Here is a list that represents medical
citations from pre-1937 literature: anxiety disorder, panic disorder,
alcoholism, opiate dependence, sedative dependence, cocaine
dependence, Huntington disease, epilepsy, migraine headaches, tic doloroux,
neuropathy, hypertension, arthritis rheumatoid, arthritis post traumatic,
arthropathy degenerative, anorexia, cough, hiccough, and nausea.


A tidal wave of mandatory minimum, "3 strikes and throw-away-the-key" drug
penalties have cranked up U.S. state and federal prison populations to an
all-time high of 40 percent in the U.S.In some localities the percentage of
drug-related incarceration is 65%! It is estimated that by the year 2010, 6
million people will be locked up in the U.S. The overflow going into
private corporate prisons-- involuntary servitude for consensual,
nonviolent conduct!

THIS EVENT needs that extra effort from everyone! Contact your local rally
office and help out. There are many ways that you can get involved. Call us
if you're interested in doing a rally.. We will list your rally on all our
information and our web sites. (www.cures-not-wars.org &
www.millionmarijuanamarch.com) No matter where you are on May 1st, stand up
and be counted! We have posters, flyers, speakers and products. Organize
transportation for you and your friends to a nearby rally - put up posters,
target large gatherings for leafleting between now and May 1. Produce more
posters for you and your friends to copy and hand out.

For your free infopack, with bonus video, just send a request with name and
postal address. Familiarize yourself with the enclosed media package. This
information can be effectively used to put the word out. Call talk shows,
write letters to the editor. Copy and mail our media package to all your
local media.

The key is to get the word out!

New York City, New York
Cures not Wars (212) 677-7180 Web: www.cures-not-wars.org
11 AM Gather in or around Washington Square Park
1 PM March from Washington Square Park to Central Park
2PM Central Park - Speakers & Music

London, England
Contact: Chris Sanders (011) 44 171 6377467
Web: www.schmoo.co.uk/mayday
12 Noon Rally in Brixton
2 PM - 8:30 PM Full day event: Hemp fashion show, hemp products, debate
tent, speakers, food & music

Atlanta, Georgia
Contact: Paul Cornwell (404) 522-2267 (CAMP) Web:
11 AM Gather at City Hall East
12 Noon March from City Hall East to Piedmont Park for speakers & music

San Francisco, California
Julia Carter (415) 971-3573 Web:
www.chrisconrad.com or www.marijuana.org
12 Noon Gather at S.F. Civic Center or Speakers & music
4:20 PM Pot Pride Parade

Chicago, Illinois
Contact: Grace at Chicago mmm-hotline
312-683-5172 Web: cmmm99@hotmail.com
11 AM Gather at the Federal Plaza and march through downtown Chicago

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contact: Alan Amsterdam
11 AM Rally at Noon Coffeeshop 12 Noon Street Procession.

Edinburgh 11 AM Rally at TBA. March to TBA
12 Noon Speakers & music until 6 PM

Johannesburg, South Africa
11 AM Rally at.TBA. March to TBA. 12 Noon Speakers & music until 6 PM

Auckland, New Zealand
11 AM Rally at TBA March to TBA. 12 Noon Speakers & music until 6 PM

Washington D.C Contact: Brian Murphy 703 378-7906

11 AM Rally & speakers Speakers: Wayne Turner: Yes on 59 Ms Anise
Jenkins: Stand up for Democracy

Hilo Hawaii Contact: Dennis Shields (808) 328-9794

11 AM Rally at S Park 12 Noon Speakers & music until 6 PM
Speakers: Roger Christy /Hawaii Hemp Council/ Rev. Dennis Shields

Seattle, Washington Contact: Vivian McPeak (www.seattlehempfest.com)

Noon Rally Westlake Center

Tuscon, Arizona Contact: Travis Klein (travisk@U.Arizona.EDU)
11 AM Rally & speakers at the University of Arizona Mall; March Downtown

Albuquerque, New Mexico Contact: anthony paul avery (rave@unm.edu)
Noon Rally & Speakers, Central Plaza releasing banner and marching to jail

Austin, Texas Contact: Tracy 512-493-7003 email mmmtexas@hotmail.com
High noon at Congress Bridge, March on the Capitol and Governor's Mansion

Minneapolis, Minnesota
High Noon Rally & speakers 1:30 PM March

Cleveland, Ohio Contact: John Hartman NCNorml@aol.com
High Noon Public Square, Rally & speakers 1:30 PM March on the Justice

Montreal, Quebec Contact: Marc "Boris" St-Maurice boris@grimskunk.com
2 PM Assemble at Sherbrooke metro, "carre St-Louis" on St-Denis. 3 PM
March North on St-Denis, west on Mont-Royal St, south on Park Ave, ending
at Jeanne-Nance Park. Benefit later that evening at World Beat, 1592
St.-Laurent at 8 PM.

SO HELP US WIN THIS WAR! Your donations keep us alive.
Send checks to CURES NOT WARS, #9 Bleecker St., NYC, NY, 10012
or you can join CAMP. Membership is a minimum twenty-five dollars, CAMP
POB 55109, Atlanta, Georgia 30308

Join the Million Marijuana March List!

Visit the MMM Home Page - http://www.cures-not-wars.org/mmm

Drug War Backfires (A staff editorial in the New York Times finds
encouragemnt in a statement by the White House drug czar, General Barry
McCaffrey, in the newspaper's recent article about how the 1986 crack cocaine
scare has created a booming prison-industrial complex. "We have a failed
social policy and it has to be re-evaluated," said McCaffrey, who also
repeated a statement he made after replacing Lee Brown, that "We can't
incarcerate our way out of this problem." Unfortunately, the newspaper fails
to note that such hypocritical statements by McCaffrey have been consistently
contradicted by his budget priorities.)

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 06:29:39 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US NY: OPED: Drug War Backfires
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: steve@advocate.net (Steve)
Pubdate: Sat, 13 Mar 1999
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Forum: http://forums.nytimes.com/comment/
Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company


Almost 70 years after the failure of Prohibition, the much-trumpeted
"war on drugs," begun more than a decade ago, has itself hugely
misfired. "We have a failed social policy and it has to be
re-evaluated," says Barry R. McCaffrey, the four-star general in
charge of national drug control policy.

The boomerang effect of the failed policy was richly detailed in
recent articles by Timothy Egan of The Times. School systems
deteriorate while tax dollars build new prisons. Municipal police
forces have grown so militarized that drug warrants are served in
armored personnel carriers. Young mothers are imprisoned for years for
simple drug possession. Young black males in California are now five
times as likely to go to prison as to a state university.

The drug war was created in reaction to a wave of urban violence
triggered by crack cocaine that ignited fears that crack addiction
might spread widely. Surveys now show, however, that the use of crack,
by about 600,000 people annually, has not changed in 10 years. Nor has
the general level of illegal drug use.

The best hope for controlling illicit drugs lies in treatment.
Unfortunately, as new prisons have gone up, treatment programs within
them have declined. In their obsession to control drug use by making
war on it, Federal and state legislators have turned the world's
greatest democracy into its largest prison system, where young adults
are warehoused and the opportunity to treat them is wasted.

As General McCaffrey says, "we can't incarcerate our way out of this
problem." But we can, he argues, focus punishment on drug dealers, not
drug users, while beginning to treat the hundreds of thousands of
people in prison with drug problems.



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