------------------------------------------------------------------- Democracy overruled (A letter to the editor of the Oregonian urges Oregon residents to contact their state representatives and ask them to oppose Rep. Kevin Mannix's attempt to nullify the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act by voting against HB 3502.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Sun, Mar 14 1999 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian Contact: email@example.com Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: Jayson R. Jones: Junction City, OR LTE: Democracy overruled Rep. Kevin Mannix, R-Salem, does not think the voters of Oregon know what they are doing, or at least that is what his office told me. It seems the Medical Marijuana Act is in danger of being nullified. After my conversation with Mannix's office, I called the office of House Speaker Lynn Snodgrass. I was told that, yes, the will of the voters can be thwarted by the Legislature. Lawmakers can overrule the voters, and it will cost the people the price and effort of another initiative signature gathering, another campaign and another vote, to repeat what they have said once. We can short-circuit this by phoning our representatives and Snodgrass. Whether or not you agree with the Medical Marijuana Act, you should be outraged that the will of the voters can be nullified so easily.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Compassionate Use Benefit - Call 530-272-5333 (A list subscriber publicizes a public gathering featuring speakers with information about medical marijuana, plus music and festivities, April 10 in Grass Valley, California. The NORML Foundation is sponsoring the event.) From: "ralph sherrow" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: COMPASSIONATE USE BENEFIT CALL 530-272-5333 Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 11:06:34 PST ANNOUNCEMENT! (PASS IT ON) COMPASSIONATE USE BENEFIT DATE: APRIL 10th, 1999 TIME: 12:00 NOON TO MIDNIGHT LEARN ABOUT MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND YOUR RIGHTS ADVANCED TICKETS AVAILABLE: CALL 530-272-5333 $5.00 DONATION SPEAKERS FORUM: * DR. STEVE BANNISTER, M.D. * MR. JEFF COWEN - SIERRA FOOTHILL AIDS FOUNDATION * MR. ANGEL BOJORQUSE - DEPARTMENT OF ALCOHOL AND DRUG PROGRAM CHAIR. NATIVE AMERICAN CONSTITUENT COMMITTEE * MR. DALE GIERINGER - CALIFORNIA NORML AUTHOR - MARIJUANA MEDICAL HANDBOOK WITH DR. TOD MIKURIYA AND MR. ED ROSENTHAL * MR. JERRY WILSON - COMMON LAW FREEMAN * OTHER GUEST SPEAKERS TO BE ADDED LIVE MUSIC BY: MYSTAFYA SINNER & SAINT RAFFLE FOOD AND REFRESHMENTS INFORMATION AND FUN FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: 530-292-1725 BOOTH'S AVAILABLE FOR $30.00 OR $50.00 LOCATION: NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR THE ARTS 314 WEST MAIN STREET, GRASS VALLEY, CALIFORNIA SPONSORED BY: NORML FOUNDATION The Info Center: Dedicated to dissemination & posting of articles & news on medical marijuana & related matter. Phone: 510-733-5414 between the hours of 10am & 10pm pst.. Ralph Sherrow (Ralph) chief cook & bottle-washer email: (firstname.lastname@example.org) website: https://home.pacbell.net/katralph/index.html web-site is plain & straight forward. no fancy clicks. To subscribe: Send me an email & ask to be put on my list. To unsubscribe: Send me an email & ask to be taken off.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Due Process Key in Eviction Law (A staff editorial in the Los Angeles Times pans the experimental new California law that mandates fines for landlords in Buena Park who refuse to evict someone the police allege is a drug-law offender, even if that person has not been convicted of anything. A landlord who runs afoul of the law four times in a year can be jailed.)Date: Sat, 20 Mar 1999 18:15:38 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Due Process Key in Eviction Law Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Dunbar Pubdate: Sun, 14 March 1999 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Section: Orange County Perspective Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times. Contact: email@example.com Fax: (213) 237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Forum: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/ORANGE/ DUE PROCESS KEY IN EVICTION LAW Buena Park has become the first city in Orange County to enact a law aimed at landlords who refuse to evict tenants involved in drugs or gangs. The motivation for the law is easily understood, but the ordinance tips too far away from due process. Police and landlords say it is relatively easy to evict tenants on a month-to-month lease without specifying a reason. So the new law that allows for eviction of a tenant suspected of drug or gang activity in or around an apartment is unlikely to provide much extra assistance for a landlord. But a landlord who refuses to evict someone the police has tabbed for illegal activity, even if that person has not been convicted, now can be fined for not complying with the city's orders to evict the suspect. A landlord who runs afoul of the law four times in a year can be jailed. Courts generally have upheld laws requiring a forfeiture of property of an alleged drug dealer or other reputed criminal even without a conviction. To convict someone of a crime, with the possible deprivation of liberty and time in prison, requires a jury to be convinced of the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. But a civil action asking the forfeiture of a car or money that is supposedly the result of a drug transaction requires only a preponderance of the evidence, even if the defendant is acquitted on criminal charges. Los Angeles two years ago enacted a law that serves as a model for the Buena Park ordinance. Los Angeles city attorneys say the measure has not been challenged in court. Buena Park police say their ordinance was a response to residents' needs and desires. A neighborhood improvement task force reported occasions when a landlord lagged in evicting a problem tenant, which meant problems for other residents frightened by the illegal activity. That's understandable. Residents should be able to live in an apartment complex free from drugs and gangs. Police say they will try to use the law only after a tenant has been convicted. But they said if it appears a trial is delayed and narcotics or gang activity is continuing, they may tell the landlord to evict the tenant immediately. Police said the city does not have a big drug or gang problem. Crime has decreased dramatically in recent years in Buena Park as it has in most other jurisdictions in Orange County. The ordinance allows for eviction of everyone in an apartment where one tenant is the target, but police said in instances where the problem was solved by moving one person out - say by sending a parolee back to prison - innocent tenants could remain. That's a welcome and reasonable interpretation of the law, but it still increases the burden on police to decide who deserves to stay and who should move. It would be better to wait for someone to be convicted of drug or gang activity, not merely arrested or accused, before prosecuting the landlord for failure to evict.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Incarcerated By Illusions? (An op-ed in the Oakland Tribune by Sean Gonsalves, a former Oakland resident who writes for the Cape Cod Times, recalls William James' observation that some people who think they are thinking are really only re-arranging their prejudices. Such "thinking" colors the popular "debate" on race and the American criminal justice system. Whenever Gonsalves writes a column about the numerous studies indicating racism is part and parcel of the criminal "justice" system, some self-proclaimed "conservative" writes to point out the "obvious" reason there are a disproportionate number of blacks behind bars: blacks commit more crime than white people do! It's that kind of thinking that probably led J.S. Mill to say: "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that all stupid people are conservative.") Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 18:22:14 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: Incarcerated By Illusions? Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom O'Connell) Pubdate: 14 Mar 1999 Source: Oakland Tribune (CA) Copyright: 1999 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers Contact: email@example.com Address: 66 Jack London Sq., Oakland, CA 94607 Website: http://www.newschoice.com/newspapers/alameda/tribune/ Author: Sean Gonsalves Page: 10, Local News INCARCERATED BY ILLUSIONS? I think it was the great American philosopher and psychologist William James who said (and I'm paraphrasing): some people think they are thinking when really they are only re-arranging their prejudices. Such "thinking" colors the popular "debate" on race and the American criminal justice system. Whenever I write a column that highlights the numerous studies, indicating that anti-black racism is part and parcel of our criminal "Justice" system, some self-proclaimed "conservative" writes me to point out the "obvious" reason there are a disproportionate number of blacks behind bars: blacks commit more crime than white people do! (Is that so? How enlightening). It's that kind of thinking - if it even deserves to be called thinking - that probably led J.S. Mill to. say: "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that all stupid people are conservative." I think that's a little unfair but the point is well taken. It's easier to follow the status quo than it is to critically examine the ideological assumptions that undergird state-sponsored violence and oppression. Imagine if a white South African, during Apartheid, said the reason there were so many blacks in prison in their country is because the custodians of their legal system were simply doing their job: locking up criminals. Any outside observer, with even a slight sense of history, would at least raise a skeptical eyebrow, understanding that there is a high probability that the numbers are skewed because of a thing called white-skin privilege. Are we to believe white supremicism has been completely wiped out? In 1950, whites accounted for 65 percent of all state and federal prisoners. Nonwhites made up the other 35 percent. Today, nearly 50 percent of all inmates in American prisons are black, even though African Americans are only 13 percent of the U.S. population. Of course people should be protected from violent criminals. What is at issue, as the distinguished sociologist William Chambliss points out, is that police flagrantly focus their crime-fighting resources on black communities, i.e. the "war on drugs." This, in spite of the empirical fact that whites consume far more drugs than do blacks. "Police look for crimes in the ghetto, and that's where they find them," Charnbliss told Boston Globe reporter Louise Palmer. In other words, we have millions of white illicit drug users who get "treatment" and widespread sympathy for their drug problem but it's three-strikes-you're-out for the blacks who supply white drug users! When you combine market-morality with the indisputable fact that "the black underclass" has been effectively locked-out of our "booming economy" - as study after study has shown - is it any wonder that drug dealing is so appealing? Largely because of the mental and moral laziness of our politicians and policy-makers, a systematic effort at black disempowerment and disenfranchisement is being carried out. (Continued felons can't vote.) such ethically and intellectually indefensible policies should be opposed by all people of good will if we are to have some semblance of civilization. In their fight to end affirmative action programs, right-wing brothers and sisters love to quote Dr. King (almost always out of context) - individuals should be judged "not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Well, here's another quote from Dr. King worth pondering: "There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of people in that society who feel that they have noththing to lose. People who have a stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don't' have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it." And pundits have the nerve to label my generation stupid and lazy! -Sean Gonsalves, a former Oakland resident, writes for the Cape Cod Times.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prosecutors Turn Their Sights on California's Mexican Mafia (The New York Times says cops in California are turning their sights once again on la Eme, known as the Mexican Mafia, one of California's oldest and most powerful prison gangs, charging its members under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act with waging a brutal campaign for control of Southern California's gangs and drug trade. Those often in harm's way from la Eme are the group's own members. Federal prosecutors hoped to break the gang's power by sprinkling members throughout the larger federal prison system. That somewhat weakened la Eme. But as a result, a truce that was once enforced by the Mexican Mafia is in tatters, and 24 people have been killed on the streets of East Los Angeles in the resulting gang war over the last six months.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Prosecutors Turn Their Sights on California's Mexican Mafia Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 18:10:10 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org March 14, 1999 NYT Prosecutors Turn Their Sights on California's Mexican Mafia By CHRISTIAN BERTHELSEN LOS ANGELES -- As guilty verdicts were read, over and over, in the racketeering prosecution two years ago of the prison gang known as la Eme, a pattern emerged: one defendant, Victor Murillo, was being acquitted of all counts against him. His co-defendants cheered, and ultimately he was the only one of 13 men on trial to be set free. But last month, Murillo's name surfaced again in court papers, as federal prosecutors filed two new indictments against 27 suspected members of la Eme (so named for the Spanish pronunciation of the letter M). This time, however, Murillo is making his appearance as a murder victim. The authorities here have turned their sights once again on la Eme, known as the Mexican Mafia, one of California's oldest and still most powerful prison gangs, charging its members under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act with waging a brutal campaign for control of Southern California's gangs and drug trade. In the latest case, the defendants, said to have stepped in to fill the power vacuum created by the conviction of Murillo's confederates, are charged in connection with four murders and 13 conspiracies to commit murder, and face other counts including attempted murder, assault and drug trafficking. Eleven of the defendants in the new case were in state prison for previous convictions when the indictments were unsealed. "As with what we perceive to be significant criminal problems, we will address them until they are eliminated," said Alejandro Mayorkas, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. "Our first prosecutive effort directed toward the Mexican Mafia had a significant impact upon the organization. It did not, however, eliminate the criminal conduct." La Eme was conceived as a "gang of gangs" by inmates from East Los Angeles at the Deuel Vocational Institution south of Sacramento in the 1950s. Membership is for life -- "blood in, blood out" the oath goes -- and the penalty for breaking rules is death. Its membership is almost exclusively Mexican American, drawn from Southern California gang members who have been incarcerated. As the cases make clear, those often in harm's way from la Eme are the group's own members. Of 12 murders and attempted murders in the previous prosecution, five were of "carnales," or brothers. One suspected member, Mariano Martinez, 41, is listed as a defendant in one of the new indictments, and as the target of a murder plot in the other. While most details of Murillo's death, and life, have remained closely held by the task force that has spent most of the decade investigating the Mexican Mafia, his story illustrates how one's star rises and falls in the gang. Murillo, 51 at the time of his trial, was said by investigators to have joined la Eme in the 1970s during a stay in federal prison for fraud, and to have done brisk business as a supplier of cocaine and speed. He was charged with two racketeering conspiracy counts in the 1995 case, for being present at surreptitiously videotaped Mexican Mafia meetings where votes were taken on murder contracts and drug distribution. On April 4, 1998, less than a year after his acquittal the previous May, Murillo was shot to death in a dirt parking lot outside Visalia, the small farming town where he lived in California's Central Valley. Speaking on condition of anonymity, officials have suggested a number of motives for his death, including his alliance with veteran members of the gang in the face of a generational rivalry and a refusal to share drug proceeds with younger members, or possibly retribution for a perception prompted by his acquittal that he had cooperated with law-enforcement authorities. Charles Woody, 27, a suspected Mexican Mafia member, is charged with Murillo's death in the new case. Woody has pleaded not guilty; his lawyer, William S. Harris, declined to comment on the case. In the early 1990s, la Eme sought to extend its influence beyond prison walls to the street, organizing street gangs in large public meetings to declare a ban on drive-by shootings and requiring gangs to pay "taxes" on drug profits. The gangs mostly cooperated for fear of retribution by la Eme and to protect fellow street gang members in prison. State corrections officials estimate la Eme's ranks at up to 700 members, with thousands more on the street eager to do its bidding for a chance at membership. Federal prosecutors first charged members of the gang in 1995, hoping to break their power by sprinkling them through the larger federal prison system. Although the gang's tax collections continue, probation officers, police officers and one gang member say the prosecution has somewhat weakened la Eme and forced members to adopt a lower profile. But as a result, they say, the old shooting truce that was once enforced by the Mexican Mafia is in tatters, and 24 people have been killed on the streets of East Los Angeles in the resulting gang war over the last six months. "The gang members sense that no one's going to enforce violations of the code," said a probation officer who would only speak on the condition of anonymity. "Who's going to issue sanctions? So there's a lessening of control over the street gangs. It's kind of the yin and yang, you get some good and some bad with it. But if you wait for organized crime to set the standards for our society, it's pretty sorry indeed."
------------------------------------------------------------------- U.S. Medical-Marijuana Movement Awaits Key Report (Reuters says the $1.1 million report on medical marijuana from the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, commissioned by the White House drug czar, General Barry McCaffrey, will be released Wednesday. The U.S. battle over medical marijuana has been waged on the streets, in the courts and at the ballot box. This week the fight focuses on science. The report is supposed to assess claims that marijuana can alleviate suffering associated with everything from AIDS and cancer to glaucoma and chronic pain. While few believe the report will offer specific policy recommendations, marijuana-law-reform activists say that even a suggestion that further research should be conducted would be powerful new ammunition.) Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 18:03:21 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Wire: US Medical-Marijuana Movement Awaits Key Report Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited. Author: Andrew Quinn U.S. MEDICAL-MARIJUANA MOVEMENT AWAITS KEY REPORT By Andrew Quinn SAN FRANCISCO, March 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. battle over medical marijuana has been waged on the streets, in the courts and at the ballot box. This week the fight focuses on science with the release on Wednesday of a government-ordered report assessing claims that marijuana can alleviate suffering associated with everything from AIDS and cancer to glaucoma and chronic pain. At stake, both sides in the debate say, could well be the future of marijuana -- hailed by some as a miracle medicine, condemned by others as a dangerous substance and the first step to hard drugs, addiction and despair. The report was commissioned from the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine by Clinton administration anti-drug chief Barry McCaffrey as a review of all the available research on marijuana. He has said he will carefully weigh the evidence it presents. Many observers expect that evidence to be positive, and while few believe the report will offer specific policy recommendations, pro-marijuana activists say even a suggestion that further research be conducted would be powerful new ammunition in the struggle to make marijuana medically available to people who say they need it. "This gives a scientific basis to the argument," said Bill Zimmerman, director of Americans for Medical Rights, a group that has coordinated campaigns to pass medical marijuana initiatives in a number of U.S. states. "We're hopeful that the government will change its policy in response to this report," Zimmerman said. That hope would have seemed far-fetched just a few years ago. As recently as last October, McCaffrey himself dismissed medical-marijuana advocates as undercover operatives working to weaken America's anti-drug resolve. "Let's have none of this malarkey on marijuana-smoking by cunning groups working to legalise drugs," he told a news conference. "American medicine is the best in the world for pain management." That position has been echoed by a range of conservative, religious and family groups, who scoff at the notion that the rolled marijuana joint should be allowed into America's medicine cabinets. "Morphine is a pure derivative of heroin, and from the poppy. But no doctor tells you to go out and smoke opium for pain relief," said Terry Hensley of the Drug Free America Foundation of St. Petersburg, Florida. "This movement ... is using medical marijuana as a red herring or a Trojan horse to legalise dope because they know they can get it through on the compassion issue," Hensley said. But compassion and the concerted efforts of well-organised AIDS activist groups have carried the day in most of the recent tests of the medical-marijuana issue. California and Arizona in 1996 became the first states in the country to pass voter initiatives legalising certain medical uses of marijuana, and six other states adopted similar measures in last November's election. Efforts to implement the state laws have been messy and ineffectual, however, stymied in large part by federal anti-narcotics laws, which ban marijuana as a Schedule I drug: dangerous, addictive and without medical benefit. Supporters of medical marijuana say this creates a dangerous situation for the sick and infirm who believe they benefit from the drug, forcing them to turn to potentially dangerous street dealers and leaving them in fear of arrest. "The tens of thousands of patients who are right now using marijuana are criminals," said Chuck Thomas of the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington-based group that has lobbied to bring the testimony of medical-marijuana users before the review committee. "This may be a war, but we have got to remove the sick and wounded from the battlefield," Thomas said. Anti-drug groups believe that is easily done, pointing to the fact that the main active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is available in synthetic form in the drug Marinol -- a pill that, like any other, delivers a precise dose of a substance and can be monitored by a doctor. But many marijuana-using patients say Marinol simply does not work as well as a few puffs of a marijuana cigarette. "The fact of smoking a medicine makes it highly unusual, but one has to focus on the bottom line," said Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Lindesmith Centre, a New York-based drug policy think tank funded by financier George Soros, who has backed a number of medical-marijuana initiatives. "There is overwhelming evidence, right in front of our eyes, that this stuff works," Nadelmann said. Whether that evidence will prove equally convincing to the Institute of Medicine panel or McCaffrey is an open question. Officials in his McCaffrey's office said the former general would have no comment on the matter until after the report was released.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Study shows link between smoking during pregnancy, adult crime (The Associated Press says a study published in this month's Archives of General Psychiatry is the first to examine the relationship between mothers who smoke tobacco and their children's adult behavior. The researchers - from Emory University in Atlanta, the University of Southern California and the Institute of Preventive Medicine in Denmark - found that more than a quarter of the men whose mothers had the highest levels of smoking and delivery complications were arrested for a violent crime as an adult. However, David Fergusson, a psychiatric epidemiologist at the Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand, wrote an accompanying editorial saying there is not enough research to add prenatal smoking to the list of established risk factors for adult crimes.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Study shows link between smoking during pregnancy, adult crime Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 15:14:25 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Study shows link between smoking during pregnancy, adult crime By TAMMY WEBBER The Associated Press 03/14/99 6:00 PM Eastern CHICAGO (AP) -- Babies whose mothers smoke during pregnancy could be at a higher risk of growing up to be criminals, new research suggests. Researchers say a study published in this month's Archives of General Psychiatry is the first to examine the relationship between mothers who smoke and their children's adult behavior. The researchers -- from Emory University in Atlanta, the University of Southern California and the Institute of Preventive Medicine in Denmark -- found that more a quarter of the men whose mothers had the highest levels of smoking and delivery complications were arrested for a violent crime as an adult. "Our results support our hypothesis that maternal smoking during pregnancy is related to increased rates of crime in adult offspring," the authors wrote, adding that the results "suggest an additional critical reason to support public health efforts aimed at improving maternal health behaviors during pregnancy." However, David Fergusson, a psychiatric epidemiologist at the Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand, said there is not enough research to add prenatal smoking to the list of established risk factor for adult crimes. Fergusson, who wrote an editorial accompanying the article, said the study did not rule out the possibility that genetics -- not smoking -- caused behavior problems. "Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are often young women who have previous misconduct problems and there is quite an inheritability of misconduct problems," Fergusson said in a telephone interview Sunday. A spokeswoman for Patricia Brennan, the study's lead author and a researcher at Emory's Department of Psychology, did not return a page Sunday seeking comment. The researchers based their findings on data for 4,169 males born in Copenhagen between September 1959 and December 1961. The number of cigarettes their mothers had smoked during the third trimester of pregnancy affected the men's arrests for nonviolent and violent crimes as adults, even after factoring out other possible causes such as alcohol use, divorce, income and home environment, researchers said in the study, which was released Sunday. Only one other risk factor -- delivery complications -- was found to be significant. While stopping short of saying that babies whose mothers smoked while pregnant will become criminals, researchers say their findings are significant. Further study should be aimed at determining the effects of smoking on the brain of developing fetuses and to see if specific agents in tobacco smoke can be more directly linked to antisocial behavior, they said. *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dealer To The Desperate Faces Court (The Province, in Vancouver, British Columbia, says AIDS patient Ernest Stanking faces a trial May 3 in a Port Coquitlam courtroom on a charge of possession for the prupose of trafficking. For the past 15 years, Stanking has been growing a forest of top-notch pot in his Port Coquitlam back yard. He sniffs at the hydroponic stuff grown quickly - and profitably - in basements across the Lower Mainland. "There's only one way you can grow medical marijuana," he insists. "It's in the ground, in clean living soil." Stanking supplies about 130 medical marijuana patients - people who suffer from AIDS or cancer - for $125 an ounce, about one-third the going rate.) Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 18:28:22 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Dealer To The Desperate Faces Court Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Herb Pubdate: 14 Mar 1999 Source: Vancouver Province (Canada) Copyright: The Province, Vancouver 1999 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/ Section: News A4 Author: Peter Clough DEALER TO THE DESPERATE FACES COURT Ernest Stanking says he has nothing to hide. For the past 15 years, he's been growing a forest of top-notch pot in his Port coquitlam back yard -- a crop, he estimates of something like 110 kilograms a year. He sniffs at the hydroponic stuff grown quickly--and profitable--in basements across the Lower Mainland. "There's only one way you can grow medical marijuana," he insists. "It's in the ground, in clean living soil." Ernest is an AIDS patient. He says his special brand of organic marijuana helps to ease the symptoms of his condition. But that's not all. Ernest, who recently moved to east Vancouver, supplies about 130 clients--people who suffer from AIDS or cancer. "If they phone me, I don't care what time of day or night it is," he says. "I'm on the road and gone. My wife and me have almost split up over that." So. Good samaritan? Or drug pusher? That's likely to be a question raised in a Port Coquitlam courtroom May 3 when Ernest stands trial on a charge of possession for the prupose of trafficking. He was stopped in a roadside check last October while driving to a client's house. Ernest says he never drives stoned and, even though his car reeked of pot, he wasn't expecting a problem. He claims his practice has been well known to his neighbours, his doctors and to Tri-cities police for at least three years. His case is being watched closely by advocates of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes -- a move that is being considered by federal Health Minister Allan Rock. "This is a hard one for the courts because I will not, with what I know about HIV and medical marijuana and with my religious convictions, stand by and watch people suffering needlessly," says Ernest. "If they're in pain I can't just walk away and leave them like that." He says his grow operation began shortly after he was diagnosed with HIV 16 years ago. "I got it from a needle on my 18th birthday," he says. Now married with a five-year-old daughter, he says hard drugs have not been part of his life for a long time. He regards his marijuana use as part of a holistic approach to treating his illness. He says his clients, who pay $125 an ounce (about a third of the going rate) report that the marijuana helps them to relax, deal with pain and maintain something of an appetite. "There's no profit margin in what I'm doing," says Ernest. "I am not a drug dealer." He vows to continue his operation regardless of the court's verdict. "I will supply anyone who's in medical need," he says. "It isn't just about HIV or AIDS. This is about medical necessity. Marijuana is not a weed and it is not dope. It's not a drug. It's a plant that was put on this earth the same as every other plant -- for us to use." So. Good samaritan? Or drug pusher? Let me know what you think. TELL ME YOUR STORY: Call 605-2047. Fax:605-2759. Or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). -------------------------------------------------------------------
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