------------------------------------------------------------------- Report says state failing to meet its own goals in many areas (The Associated Press says the Oregon Progress Report, which gauges 92 indicators of the state's economic, social and environmental health, suggests Oregon is flunking its own Year 2000 goals for fighting child abuse, job distribution and halting high-school dropouts. Kay Toran, director of Services to Children and Families, blames an increase in child abuse on an increase in "substance abuse," without clarifying whether she was talking primarily about legal alcoholics, tobacco consumers, people who need coffee in the morning, or just casual pot smokers. "When you have parents that are addicted, they aren't able to provide the care and nurturing children need," she said, without clarifying the role of prohibition in making certain addictions more damaging than others.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Report says state failing to meet its own goals in many areas The Associated Press 3/15/99 7:14 PM SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon is flunking its own Year 2000 goals for fighting child abuse, job distribution and halting high-school dropouts, according to the Oregon Progress Report. The report grades 92 indicators of the state's economic, social and environmental health. The Oregon Progress Board is required to report to the Legislature every two years. The state ranked an overall C-plus. High marks were given to the individual benchmarks of public safety, formation of new companies, air quality and forest land preservation. But the broader categories did not fare so well. In most cases, the state is at least advancing toward the 2000 goals -- just not as quickly as hoped. "The benchmarks are telling us we could be in trouble in the long run if we don't pay attention," said Brett Wilcox, vice-chairman of the board. Grades were calculated by determining how much progress Oregon had made between 1990 and 1998 compared to where the state needs to be to achieve year 2000 targets. "We try not to set goals that are higher than other states," said Executive Director Jeffrey Tryens. "But they are on the high side of those states. They're ambitious but realistic." Among the more critical rankings: --The grade for reaching state child abuse goals dropped from a C in 1997 to an F, reaching a decade-high of 12 abused or neglected children per 1,000 children. The goal was to reduce the number to nine per thousand. -- Oregon's 7 percent high school dropout rate, which has increased since 1993, misses the Year 2000 goal of no more than 5.7 percent per class, the report found in handing out a failing grade. While about 7 percent of students drop out in any single year, 25 percent of all ninth graders will drop out before graduation. --Oregon ranked a D-minus in volunteerism, for which the benchmark is 35 percent of Oregonians serving their communities. After increasing from 30 percent in 1992 to 33 percent in 1996, the percentage of volunteers dropped in 1998 to 29 percent. -- Reducing the number of congested highway miles got an F. The latest data indicated more than 50 percent are congested, with no sign of dropping below the 50 percent goal. --In public safety, the state scored a D-plus. The state got an F for crime and an F for juvenile arrests. -- The report gave environment an overall grade of C-plus. The state got an F for salmon and steelhead restoration, but an A for the number of Oregonians living where air meets government standards and for agricultural, forest and wetland preservation. Bob Applegate, spokesman for Gov. John Kitzhaber, said the areas with low marks already of concern to the governor. "It sounds like the Progress Board discovered the same thing we did in the process of campaigning: that those areas need work," Applegate said. As for child abuse, Kay Toran, director of Services to Children and Families, blames an increase in substance abuse. "When you have parents that are addicted, they aren't able to provide the care and nurturing children need," she said. (c) 1999 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon at its best earns C-plus grades in progress (The Oregonian version) The Oregonian Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Monday March 15, 1999 Oregon at its best earns C-plus grades in progress * Teens, wild fish, commuters and some renters fare poorly in a review a state board will release today By Scott Learn of The Oregonian staff Oregon's babies are doing better. But many of its teen-agers aren't. Neither are wild fish, commuters and poor people who rent. The Oregon Progress Board's fifth report to the Legislature, to be released today, documents Oregon's progress on 92 performance benchmarks that were set in 1989. For the first time, the board gave grades in seven broad categories. The economy and the environment got the best overall grades, but with only C-plus marks. Civic engagement earned the dunce cap, with a D, as voter participation and volunteerism dropped. With overall crime and juvenile arrests up since 1990, public safety got a D-plus, as did community development, thanks to increased traffic congestion, less affordable housing and a collective shrug at mass transit. "Average isn't good enough for Oregon is really the message I think the board wants to give," said Jeffrey Tryens, the board's executive director. "We're making some progress in some areas, but we're not making any in others." The report includes goals for 2000 and 2010. The state has already hit or exceeded its year 2000 goals in some important areas, among them infant mortality, air quality and the state's rank in creating new companies, which now stands at seventh in the nation. But some goals for the millennium appear well out of reach. Oregon's juvenile arrest rate was supposed to fall from 1990 to 2000. It has gone up 27 percent. Nearly half of low-income renters were supposed to be spending less than 30 percent of their income on housing. Less than one-third are. And the state hoped to have 13 percent of its wild salmon and steelhead at target levels in key areas by 2000. The 1997 figure: 2 percent. The goals were first laid out in the state's 1989 strategic plan. The report from the progress board, headed by Gov. John Kitzhaber, is designed to provide information for legislative decisions. Senate Minority Leader Kate Brown, D-Portland, said she expects the progress board's facts to squeeze into debates about juvenile crime prevention, welfare reform and how to spend money from the state's share of the legal settlement with tobacco companies. "I'm certainly disappointed that the results weren't better," Brown said. "I think the reality is it's just going to take longer than we had anticipated" to meet the goals. The report reveals many trends. Among them: * The surging economy hasn't dented poverty or spread equally to rural Oregon. Oregonians with incomes less than the poverty level increased slightly from 11 percent in 1990 to 12 percent in 1998. Employment outside the Willamette Valley is growing at a 2 percent annual clip, Tryens said, but that region's share of total employment in the state has dropped. "That's a big change for Oregon," Tryens said. "The whole idea that rural is not going to do as well as urban is just not in the Oregon psyche." * Many of the benchmarks involving teen-agers are getting worse. Teen pregnancy has dropped. But juvenile arrests, high school dropout rates, and drug and cigarette use among teens are all up. * Oregonians might not be standing up for what makes Oregon stand out. People are driving more miles and creating more trash. And, at 71 percent, the percentage of people driving alone during rush hours hasn't budged. * Oregon's famed civic involvement also seems to be faltering. Voting is less popular, and so is volunteering. Although the state remains a leader in volunteer effort, the percent of people putting in 50 hours or more of volunteer work each year dropped slightly, from 30 percent to 29 percent, from 1992 to 1998. "Family life is at the top of our list of personal values," the report says, "while civic affairs are near the bottom." You can reach Scott Learn at 503-221-8564 or by e-mail at email@example.com. The fax number is 503-294-5023. The mailing address is 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland, Ore. 97201.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medicinal marijuana nears mainstream (USA Today focuses on the experiences of JoAnna McKee of the Green Cross in Washington state in an update on the political battle for medical marijuana. The medicinal use of the herb is now legal all along the West Coast, and more state ballot victories seem likely. On Wednesday the Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, is expected to release a long-awaited study commissioned by White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey on the effectiveness of marijuana as a medicine.) Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 10:27:22 -0600 From: "Frank S. World" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: Rx Cannabis Now! http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/7417/ Subject: DPFCA: USA TODAY: Medicinal marijuana nears mainstream Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: "Frank S. World" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Source: USA Today Website http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm Address 1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22229 Email email@example.com Fax (703) 247-3108 Pubdate: 3/15/99- Updated 12:26 AM ET MEDICINAL MARIJUANA NEARS MAINSTREAM By Patrick McMahon, USA TODAY SEATTLE - JoAnna McKee bustles around her den, handing out pharmacy bottles of marijuana buds and leaves to visitors. They come and go, usually taking away 7 to 10 grams - about a third of an ounce, enough to last a week. Paying is strictly voluntary: Some visitors donate as much as $70 for their weekly supply, but others pay nothing at all. Occasionally McKee will hand out small marijuana plants for home cultivation. The 500 customers McKee serves each week suffer from intractable pain, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy or cancer. Under a new Washington state law, they're entitled to use marijuana to ease their pain or improve their appetites. Medicinal marijuana, highly controversial when it was approved in California and Arizona in 1996, is going mainstream. Five states in the West now allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes. Initiatives to legalize medical marijuana are being put on the ballot in Maine this November and in Nevada and perhaps in Colorado in 2000. They are under consideration in another four states: Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan and Ohio. On Wednesday, the Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, is expected to release a long-awaited study commissioned by White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey on the effectiveness of marijuana as a medicine. Activists hope the report will conclude that at least some uses of medical marijuana have scientific merit. The report will call only for more research. Even in California, where implementation had been impeded because of fierce opposition from former attorney general Dan Lungren, attitudes are loosening up. Bill Lockyer, a Democrat who replaced Lungren in January, has announced that he favors the law and will work to lift all legal obstacles. "Along the entire Pacific Coast, patients are now freed from state laws preventing the medical use of marijuana and discovering its capacity to alleviate pain," says Bill Zimmerman of Americans for Medical Rights. The group, based in Santa Monica, sponsored most of the ballot propositions approved so far. The number of Americans who use medical marijuana is expected to grow at a rapid pace. The states that have adopted laws - California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Alaska - are issuing guidelines and putting their laws into effect. Two of these states are starting to issue identification cards to help patients avoid arrest. Legal limbo The laws explicitly permit patients with specific chronic or terminal diseases to smoke marijuana as long as they have a doctor's recommendation. But the laws say nothing about how such patients can obtain marijuana, except by growing it themselves. Selling or giving away marijuana remains a crime under both state and federal law. So McKee and the Green Cross Patients Co-op she and a partner have run for five years operate in a sort of legal limbo. Local law enforcement officials say they have no plans to shut down the co-op, but McKee is theoretically vulnerable to prosecution. Only a few clinics and co-ops like Green Cross operate openly, here as well as in metropolitan Los Angeles and in the tiny town of Arcata in northern California. Elsewhere, such operations remain underground because of the federal ban on possessing, selling or distributing marijuana or because of opposition from local officials. McKee, 56, is well-known to the Seattle police department as a passionate believer in the medicinal value of marijuana who scrupulously insists that her patients have permission from their doctors. She also uses medical marijuana herself, "for muscle spasms, epilepsy and constant pain caused by trauma," she says. "I've had a 'note' from my doctors since 1987." Whether coasting across the room or down a government corridor in a wheelchair, McKee is easy to spot with her dog, YuYu, who often pulls her along. A distinctive patch covers her right eye. The black patch features a green marijuana leaf extending from a gold medical symbol, the caduceus. McKee has had brushes with law enforcement. In 1987, she was arrested for marijuana possession in Kodiak, Alaska. In May 1995, she was arrested in Washington. The charges were thrown out by a trial judge who ruled that 160 marijuana plants were seized without a proper search warrant. McKee's biggest problem: "I'm having trouble keeping enough on hand," she says. Since voters in Washington state approved the use of medical marijuana last fall, "activity is up 20%. People come from all over." Doctors are permitted by most of the new state laws to "recommend" the use of marijuana for specific categories of chronically ill or dying patients. But under federal drug laws, doctors cannot legally prescribe it. The U.S. Justice Department continues to prosecute marijuana law violators, including some medical users, at a record pace. So far, the government has not prosecuted any doctors who recommend marijuana to patients. "The Department of Justice is committed to upholding and supporting the laws passed by Congress," Justice Department spokesman Brian Steel says. In 1998, as part of the budget process, Congress expressed concern about "the ambiguous cultural messages about marijuana use" that it said contributed to growing acceptance of it among teen-agers. By a 310-93 vote, the House opposed state "efforts to circumvent" federal laws by legalizing marijuana "without valid scientific evidence." The Senate concurred. Far bigger worries Last month, however, McCaffrey signaled a weariness with the issue during a speech at the University of Washington. He repeated his insistence that any change in drug policy should be based on science, not politics, and declared there's no proof marijuana is good medicine. He also said that the true goal for some in the medical marijuana movement is to make marijuana legal for everyone. But frankly, he told the crowd, he has far bigger worries than the debate over medical marijuana. "You'll look deep into my eyes and see a guy who doesn't care. We've got these huge problems out there," he said, citing crack cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines as well as use of marijuana and other illegal drugs by teen-agers. McCaffrey's comments come as medical marijuana seems certain to get renewed attention in the weeks ahead. On Wednesday, the Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, is expected to release the study commissioned by McCaffrey. Next week, attorneys general from across the country will meet in Washington, D.C. Lockyer, the California attorney general, hopes meetings with Attorney General Janet Reno and McCaffrey will include discussion of medical marijuana. In JoAnna McKee's den, patients such as Casey Wilbanks, 44, talk about the importance of marijuana. Wilbanks was a truck driver "before I lost 70 pounds," he says. Diagnosed with AIDS in 1991, he says marijuana has helped him combat depression and improve his appetite. "Cannabis brings me a state of balance," he says. "It helped me wake up and say, 'You're not dead. Now what?'?" About 75% of Green Cross' patients are HIV-positive, McKee says. Margaret Denny, 48, of Maple Valley, a Seattle suburb, was hurt badly in an automobile accident 20 years ago. "I was told I'll never live another moment without pain, and they were right," she says. Able to travel in a wheelchair, the part-time computer programmer says she started using marijuana five years ago for the pain. "It doesn't take the pain completely away, but it does give me the ability to deal with it," she says. Some doctors remain skeptical. The Washington State Medical Association, which opposed the law, issued a sample recommendation form last month for doctors to use. The form says in part: "Not all health care providers believe that medical marijuana is safe or effective, and some providers feel it is a dangerous drug." The trickiest question confronting patients today is how to get medical marijuana legally, other than by growing it. "It's a big issue, but I don't want to leave the impression that people can't find it," says Dave Fratello of Americans for Medical Rights. "We advise patients to just ask around. With 10 million recreational users of marijuana, most patients aren't more than a couple of phone calls away from a source." Until she found Green Cross, "I had to depend on friends of friends of friends," Denny says. "Sometimes I worried about what I was getting." Law enforcement is a concern for organizations like Green Cross. But McKee says that "we have a good relationship with the police. They know we carefully screen patients and require a doctor's recommendation." Seattle law enforcement is "in solidarity that the will of the people will be carried out" concerning medical marijuana, says Dan Satterberg, chief of staff for the King County's prosecutor office. But the law protects patients, not suppliers of any kind, he notes. Law enforcement actions vary from state to state and region to region. Implementation is "going to depend on local district attorneys and law enforcement," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, based in Washington, D.C. Someone allowed to operate a marijuana buyers club in Los Angeles, he says, "would be arrested for it in Needles," a desert town 100 miles east of Los Angeles. "I guarantee it." Perhaps the biggest attitude adjustment on medical marijuana has come this winter in California. Lockyer, the new attorney general, supports the law but recognizes that it is vague and ambiguous in parts. He has appointed a task force to find ways "to make it more effective." Lockyer knows something about the suffering of the terminally ill. "My mom died of leukemia when she was 50; my little sister died of leukemia at 39," he says. "It's always seemed puzzling to me that doctors could prescribe morphine but not marijuana."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Communities Sue Over Crack Epidemic (The Associated Press says two federal civil rights lawsuits were filed in Oakland and Los Angeles today against the CIA and U.S. Justice Department. The lawsuits, which claim the federal government did nothing to stop neighborhood crack-cocaine sales in the 1980s, were partly prompted by last year's disclosure of a 1982 agreement between CIA Director William Casey and former Attorney General William French Smith that the spy agency had no duty to report drug crimes to the Justice Department. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of "mostly black residents whose babies were born addicted to crack, whose relatives died in drug-related drive-by shootings and whose communities were affected by crowded emergency rooms and gutted business districts.") Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 19:15:24 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: WIRE: Communities Sue Over Crack Epidemic Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: David Kligman COMMUNITIES SUE OVER CRACK EPIDEMIC SAN FRANCISCO (AP) City residents who claim the federal government did nothing to stop crack cocaine sales in their neighborhoods in the 1980s sued the CIA and Justice Department on Monday. The complaints were filed on behalf of mostly black residents whose babies were born addicted to crack, whose relatives died in drug-related drive-by shootings and whose communities were affected by crowded emergency rooms and gutted business districts, the lawsuit said. "This is not some sort of litigation lottery ticket," attorney Katya Komisaruk said. "The government contributed to what happened to us, so now we need the government to come and help us." The federal civil rights lawsuits, filed in Oakland and Los Angeles, were partially prompted by last year's disclosure of a 1982 agreement between the late CIA Director William Casey and former Attorney General William French Smith that the spy agency had no duty to report drug crimes to the Justice Department. Komisaruk said she wants a judge to declare the agreement illegal, order the CIA and Justice Department to report crimes they are aware of and issue reparations to cities affected by cocaine sales. Justice Department officials had not reviewed the lawsuit and will not comment on it until Tuesday, spokesman David Slade said. The CIA did not return a telephone message left by The Associated Press. The complaints are the latest result of a 1996 San Jose Mercury News series that claimed a drug ring funneled profits to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels for the better part of a decade. The series traced the drugs to traffickers who were also leaders of a CIA-run guerrilla army in Nicaragua during the 1980s. The executive editor of the Mercury News later acknowledged in a letter to readers that the series had shortcomings. Last summer, an 800-page internal Justice Department report exonerated the department and the CIA.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Senate Considers Marijuana Proposal (The Duluth News-Tribune says Minnesota citizens and legislators who favor a medical-marijuana bill proposed by Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, are counting on the growing support among cancer patients and the popularity of Gov. Jesse Ventura to push their bill through the legislature. The measure will receive its first hearing Tuesday morning in a senate committee. A move to tighten the bill's language appears likely.) Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 04:51:32 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MN: MMJ: Senate Considers Marijuana Proposal Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: 15 Mar 1999 Source: Duluth News-Tribune (MN) Copyright: 1999 Duluth News-Tribune Contact: email@example.com Address: 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802 Website: http://www.duluthnews.com/ Forum: http://krwebx.infi.net/webxmulti/cgi-bin/WebX?duluth Author: Charles Laszewski Saint Paul Pioneer Press SENATE CONSIDERS MARIJUANA PROPOSAL Minnesota citizens and legislators who want to give doctors the authority to recommend marijuana for their patients are counting on the growing support among cancer patients and the popularity of Gov. Jesse Ventura to push their bill through the Legislature. The measure will receive its first hearing Tuesday morning in a Senate committee, and a move to tighten the bill's language appears likely. ``The governor supports helping people deal with pain,'' said Public Safety Commissioner Charlie Weaver, who said he has discussed his concerns over wording with Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, who is sponsoring the bill in the House of Representatives. ``I lost both my mother and my father to cancer, so I sympathize,'' Weaver said. However, he noted, ``The definition on symptoms is too broad. We don't want to make it so drug dealers can say they are using it because they have a bad back or that they are growing it for Mom, who is ill.'' Ventura's spokesman, John Wodele, said the governor supports the concept but would not commit to signing it until he sees what the final bill says. The debate is not new. In the past five years, seven states have passed laws allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to people who are suffering from terminal illnesses or chronic conditions that seem to respond to cannabis and its active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Opponents, such as Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council, and Jeanette McDougal, co-chairwoman of Minnesota Drugwatch, argue that smoking marijuana is harmful and legalizing it, even under a doctor's supervision, sends the wrong message to children. But McDougal conceded she will have a tougher battle this time than in 1995, when a similar bill was defeated. Ventura's support is the reason. McDougal also is aware that she will be fighting sentimentality. She slipped into a weepy impression of an interview in which a woman tells about the pain suffered by her husband and how just before he died she gave him a marijuana joint. ``People resonate to that,'' McDougal said. ``Nobody wants to see people die in pain.'' Sen. Pat Piper, an Austin DFLer and the chief sponsor of the proposal in the Senate, acknowledged that is one of the supporters' tactics. She suffered from breast cancer about 12 years ago and was so ill from chemotherapy that she had to be hospitalized. Vivian Klauber, who has been pushing the bill and lining up people to testify after watching her aunt die a painful death from breast cancer in June, said those who support the bill know the anecdotal evidence for marijuana. ``If I was testifying, I would say, `How many of you suffer from -- or someone close to you suffers from -- cancer?' '' Klauber said. The bill, as it is currently drafted, would allow a doctor to recommend marijuana for patients suffering from glaucoma, appetite loss, severe nausea, spastic conditions, severe pain, seizures and migraines. Those symptoms could occur from cancer, HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis. A patient could not have more than 8 ounces of the drug at any one time or four mature and three immature growing marijuana plants. The bill would protect the patient, the doctor and the patient's primary caregiver from criminal prosecution for recommending or helping the patient obtain the drug for medical reasons. Lori, a 27-year-old southern Minnesota woman who asked that her last name not be used for fear of prosecution, wants the law passed. She suffers from Type II spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that has forced her to use a wheelchair since she was 3. Although she can feed herself and operate her electric wheelchair, she cannot reposition herself in the chair, and sitting in the same position for a very long time causes intense pain. Lori also has battled depression since she was a teen. About four years ago, she was at a party where some friends gave her a joint. She found smoking it relieved some of the pain, so she could focus on other people and what they were saying. It also seemed to lighten her mood, she said. Lori said she carefully monitored her reaction because she was fearful that it might harm her. Instead, after a couple of months, she noticed her skin didn't hurt as much, she slept better, and her mood was so much better that she wants to start looking for a job. Prichard and McDougal, however, said that smoking marijuana is as harmful as smoking cigarettes. They say there are other medicines, including some that are made from the active ingredient in marijuana, that can be prescribed instead. Marijuana contains tar, ammonia, carbon monoxide and other substances that have gotten the tobacco industry in trouble, McDougal said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- He Dares Question Idiocy Of Drug War On College Campus (Columbus Dispatch columnist Steve Stephens reflects on an encounter with Heath Wintz, 21, a clean-cut, well-spoken sophomore studying environmental engineering at Columbus State Community College, in Ohio. Wintz was gathering signatures last week, seeking to reform the U.S. Higher Education Act of 1998, which allows murderers and rapists to obtain federal student aid, but not pot smokers. That idiocy, however, is not what turned Wintz against the drug war. DARE did that, back when he was in middle school. In an earlier attempt to petition, campus officials and security guards forced him to scram. Some students refuse to sign Wintz's petition because they fear government reprisal. One can't fault them. In times of war, there's no such thing as paranoia. Stephens' stand on casual drug use resembles Hillary Rodham Clinton's on casual adultery: He doesn't endorse it, but he tolerates it for the sake of the Constitution.) Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 07:45:51 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US OH: Column: He Dares Question Idiocy Of Drug War On College Campus Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Craig (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 Source: Columbus Dispatch (OH) Copyright: 1999, The Columbus Dispatch Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dispatch.com/ Author: Steve Stephens, Dispatch Columnist Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org HE DARES QUESTION IDIOCY OF DRUG WAR ON COLLEGE CAMPUS Murderers and rapists are eligible for federal student aid. Pot smokers are not. This idiocy, though, is not what turned Heath Wintz into a warrior against the drug war. DARE performed that trick, back when the Columbus State Community College honors student was in middle school. Wintz, 21, a clean-cut, well-spoken sophomore studying environmental engineering, was gathering signatures in the student lounge at Nestor Hall when I met him last week. Wintz would like students to take a stand against the Higher Education Act of 1998. One provision denies aid to students convicted of sale or possession of drugs while another provides money to educate those locked up for non-drug crimes. Wintz noted, correctly, that this makes no sense. "I'm just sorry that I'm one of the few people who find this offensive enough to speak out,'' he said. His efforts at Columbus State yielded 84 signatures last week -- more than in a earlier attempt, when campus officials and security guards forced him to scram. "The student-activities people gave me no flak this time, other than asking me to leave at the time I had printed on my fliers,'' he said. Wintz began to question the drug war 10 years ago when he noticed that only police, not doctors or psychologists, taught his Drug Abuse Resistance Education classes. He'd seen older kids smoking marijuana "and they weren't dying, like they said in DARE.'' "As I got older, I could see that people can smoke pot and still can do well in college, can succeed in life. "So I asked questions. In DARE, though, they wouldn't stray from the rehearsed rhetoric. As you can guess, I wasn't a very popular kid.'' Wintz insisted he's not advocating marijuana use. He's merely sharing his discovery that far more lives are destroyed by drug warriors and their laws than by the pharmacological effects of drugs. Many Columbus State students -- especially those in law-enforcement classes -- took issue with Wintz's efforts. Others refused to sign Wintz's petition because they feared government reprisal. I can't fault them. In times of war, there's no such thing as paranoia. The feds have begun a crackdown in California against supporters of the medical use of marijuana, arresting author Peter McWilliams, 1998 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Steven Kubby, Kubby's wife and others. Forfeiture laws allow police across the country to seize cars, homes and money on the flimsiest of drug-related pretexts. Fortunately, opposition to drug-war madness has arisen across the political spectrum, from Barney Frank to William F. Buckley. On the other hand, Bill Clinton, who prefers not to inhale (I imagine him chewing the ends of his reefers like cigar butts), was a big supporter of the legislation Wintz opposes. My stand on casual drug use resembles Hillary Rodham Clinton's on casual adultery: I don't endorse it, but I tolerate it for the sake of the Constitution. The real battles, though, will fall to the next generation. I've always considered DARE a complete waste of time and money. But if it can help turn the best and brightest into young drug-war cynics, I may just change my mind. Steve Stephens is a Dispatch Metro columnist. He can be reached at 461-5201
------------------------------------------------------------------- Federal Judge OKs Pot Case (UPI briefly notes U.S. District Judge Marvin Katz in Philadelphia has refused to dismiss a class-action lawsuit seeking access to medical marijuana.) Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 18:27:11 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US PA: Wire: Federal Judge Gives OKs Pot Case Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: 15 Mar 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International (PHILADELPHIA) - A federal judge is refusing to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to legalize the medical use of marijuana. U.S. District Judge Marvin Katz says the plaintiffs in the class-action suit deserve the chance to prove the government has no reason to deny the drug to seriously ill people. Justice Department officials say they stand by the fact that marijuana remains an illegal drug, but the lawyer representing the 165 people who are part of the suit says medical research has shown that marijuana can help patients suffering from glaucoma and combats the nausea caused by drugs used to treat cancer and AIDS.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ballplayer Killed In Police Chase (UPI notes police in Tallahassee, Florida, nabbed one man and 28 bags of cocaine early Friday after a high-speed chase ended at an Interstate 10 interchange. The suspect's car crashed into a van carrying a baseball team from Bluefield State College in West Virginia, killing Shannon Stewart, a freshman.) Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 19:23:34 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US FL: WIRE: Ballplayer Killed In Police Chase Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International BALLPLAYER KILLED IN POLICE CHASE TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 12 (UPI) - A baseball player from Bluefield State College in West Virginia died this morning when a school van was hit by a car during a police chase in Tallahassee. The van - one of three Bluefield vehicles nearing Tallahassee before sunrise - was struck by a car driven by drug suspect Albert Lee Williams. Police had been chasing Williams at speeds up to 85 mph when his car hit the van at an Interstate 10 interchange. Freshman Shannon Stewart died of his injuries at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Another student is listed in stable condition. The Bluefield College baseball team was en route to the capital to play a weekend series against Florida A&M University. Officials say 28 bags of cocaine were found in Williams' car. He's been charged with second-degree murder.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Study Links Prenatal Smoking To Offspring's Criminal Actions (The Philadelphia Inquirer publishes the Reuters version of yesterday's news about the study published in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, a subsidiary of the American Medical Association. Researchers looked at the arrest histories of 4,169 men born between 1958 and 1961 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and found that those born to women who smoked during pregnancy ran a higher risk of criminal behavior. The researchers speculated the correlation was caused by central nervous system damage from cigarettes.)Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 19:24:42 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Study Links Prenatal Smoking To Offspring's Criminal Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Pubdate: 15 Mar 1999 Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) Copyright: 1999 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. Contact: Inquirer.Opinion@phillynews.com Website: http://www.phillynews.com/ Forum: http://interactive.phillynews.com/talk-show/ Author: Michael Conlon, Reuters STUDY LINKS PRENATAL SMOKING TO OFFSPRING'S CRIMINAL ACTIONS CHICAGO -- Male children born to women who smoke during pregnancy run a risk of criminal behavior that lasts well into adulthood, perhaps because of central nervous system damage, according to a study published yesterday. The finding was consistent with earlier studies that linked prenatal smoking by women not only to lawbreaking by their offspring but to impulsive behavior and attention-deficit problems, researchers at Emory University in Atlanta said. But they said their study, based on a look at the arrest histories up to age 34 of 4,169 men born between 1958 and 1961 in Copenhagen, Denmark, was the first to show that the impact lasted beyond adolescence into adulthood. The study said the mechanism behind the effect might be damage done by smoking to the central nervous system of the fetus. Lead researcher Patricia Brennan said the effect uncovered in the study persisted even after accounting for such factors as socioeconomic status, parental psychiatric problems, age and the father's criminal history. In the study, women were surveyed during the final trimester of pregnancy about how many cigarettes they smoked daily. The arrest records of their sons were checked by reviewing police records 34 years after the women gave birth. "Our results support the hypothesis that maternal smoking during pregnancy is related to increased rates of crime in adult offspring," said the study, published in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, an American Medical Association publication. "This general finding is consistent with the literature linking behavior problems, conduct disorder and adolescent offending to prenatal maternal smoking," it added. "Our study extended these findings by showing that maternal smoking is related to persistent offending rather than to adolescent-limited of fending." "Compared with males whose mothers did not smoke during the third trimester, males whose mothers smoked more than 20 cigarettes [ a day ] during the third trimester were . . . 1.6 times as likely to be arrested for nonviolent crime . . . 2.0 times as likely to be arrested for violent crime and . . . 1.8 times as likely to be life-course persistent offenders," the researchers found. The study said the findings were in "strong agreement" with a 1992 study in Finland that followed 5,996 men for a shorter period of time. "The fact that similar results were obtained from independent birth cohorts from two differing ethnic national populations suggests that these findings may [ apply ] to other populations," it said. Brennan wrote that although the area needed further research, "our results . . . suggest an additional critical reason to support public health efforts aimed at improving maternal health behaviors during pregnancy."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Doubling Of Prison Population Has U.S. On Track To Be Leading Jailer (According to an Associated Press article in the Chicago Tribune, a Bureau of Justice Statistics report released by the U.S. Justice Department Sunday indicates the number of American adults imprisoned in county, state and federal jails and prisons in mid-1998 was a record 1.8 million, an increase of 4.4 percent from mid-1997. The number of prisoners has more than doubled in the last 12 years. There were 668 inmates for every 100,000 residents in the U.S., compared to 685 out of every 100,000 in Russia. However, a planned amnesty of 100,000 prisoners in Russia and the expectation of continued increases in the U.S. inmate population means the United States will likely become the world's leading jailer in a year or two. Even worse, the wire service neglects to mention the total correctional population is actually more than 7.3 million, much greater than in Russia, which can't afford to supervise 5.5 million people on probation, parole, under house arrest, doing community service and so on, as reported in the latest BOJ figures released at the end of 1996.) Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 08:08:09 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Doubling Of Prison Population Has U.S. On Track To Be Leading Jailer Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young (email@example.com) Pubdate: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Copyright: 1999 Chicago Tribune Company Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ Forum: http://www.chicagotribune.com/interact/boards/ Author: Associated Press DOUBLING OF PRISON POPULATION HAS U.S. ON TRACK TO BE LEADING JAILER WASHINGTON -- The number of American adults imprisoned has more than doubled over the past 12 years, reaching its highest level ever last year, the Justice Department said Sunday. The United States soon may surpass Russia as the country with the highest rate of incarceration. At mid-1998, jails and prisons held an estimated 1.8 million people, according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report. At the end of 1985, the figure was 744,208. Viewed another way, there were 668 inmates for every 100,000 U.S. residents as of June 1998, compared with 313 inmates per 100,000 people in 1985. In Russia, 685 people out of every 100,000 are behind bars, according to The Sentencing Project, a U.S. group critical of the general trend toward tougher sentencing of American criminals. A planned amnesty of 100,000 prisoners in Russia and the expectation of continued increases in the U.S. inmate population means the United States probably will become the world's leading jailer "in a year or two," said Jenni Gainsborough, a Sentencing Project spokeswoman. The number of people imprisoned in the United States has grown for more than a quarter-century, helped by increased drug prosecutions and a general get-tough policy on all classes of offenders. More criminals serving longer sentences led the inmate population to top 1 million in 1990; it has continued to rise. About two-thirds of the nation's inmates are in state and federal prisons; the remaining one-third are in local jails. Prisons generally hold convicted criminals sentenced to terms longer than 1 year, while jails typically keep those awaiting trial and those sentenced to 12 months or less. In the June 1998 Justice Department survey, 1.2 million people were held in prisons, while local jails held about 600,000 men and women. Local jails also supervised more than 72,000 people under various outside work, treatment or home detention programs. The survey showed the total number of people behind bars grew by 4.4 percent from June 1997. Between the end of 1990 and mid-1998, the incarcerated population grew an average 6.2 percent annually, said the report's author, statistician Darrell Gilliard. Although the total growth rate was slower last year, Gilliard said the difference is not statistically significant. "The numbers have been pretty steady throughout the 1990s, with a pretty steady increase every year," he said. Gilliard's report showed the number of inmates in state prisons grew 4.1 percent last year; the number in federal prisons grew 8.3 percent; and the number in local jails grew 4.5 percent. The figures closely track numbers released last summer that showed a 5.2 percent growth rate in federal and state prison inmates by the end of 1997
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prison Population Still Rising, but More Slowly (The Washington Post version notes the federal prison system is growing faster than state prisons and local jails, with drug offenders making up 60 percent of the federal inmate population. Only 23 percent of state prisoners have been convicted of drug-related crimes - but the figures for local jails are omitted. Similarly, the newspaper notes parole violators now account for about 35 percent of inmate admissions, but doesn't say how many of such inmates were violated for failing junk-science urine tests or committing other "non-drug" offenses that were really drug offenses.) Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 13:50:38 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Prison Population Still Rising, but More Slowly Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Copyright: 1999 Creators Syndicate Inc. Page: A02 Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071 Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Edward Walsh, Washington Post Staff Writer Note: Staff writer Bill Miller contributed to this report. PRISON POPULATION STILL RISING, BUT MORE SLOWLY 1.8 Million People Incarcerated in Federal, State or Local Facilities The nation's incarcerated population continues to climb, although at a slower rate than earlier in this decade, and now numbers more than 1.8 million people, the Justice Department reported yesterday. The report, compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, recorded changes in the population of federal and state prisons and local jails between June 30, 1997 and June 30, 1998. It said the overall prison population grew by 4.4 percent. This was less than the average annual increase of 6.2 percent since 1990 but still represented an average of 1,475 new inmates every week during that 12-month period. From 1985 to 1998, according to the report, the nation's prison population more than doubled, from 744,208 inmates to 1.802 million, or one of every 150 Americans. During that same period, the incarceration rate--the number of inmates per 100,000 people--also more than doubled, from 313 to 668. The federal prison system is growing faster than state prisons and local jails, driven by an increasing number of drug-related incarcerations. The report said that from 1997 to 1998 the federal prison population increased by 8.3 percent compared to growth rates of 4.1 percent for state prisons and 4.5 percent for local jails. Still, state prisons, which hold 1.1 million inmates, dwarf the federal prison population of 107,381. Local jails held 592,462 inmates as of last June 30, the report said. Darrell K. Gilliard, a Justice Department statistician who compiled the report, said that in "the federal system, drug offenders make up 60 percent of the prison population. From 1990 to 1996, 72 percent of the growth in the federal system was due to drugs." Only 23 percent of state prisoners have been convicted of drug-related crimes, Gilliard said. The continued growth of the prison population comes amid generally declining crime rates. Michael Rand, chief of the victimization statistics branch of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, said that FBI statistics show that violent crime dropped from a peak of 757 crimes per 100,000 people in 1992 to 610 crimes per 100,000 people in 1997, the lowest rate since the mid-1980s. There has been a similar steady drop in the rate of property crimes such as burglary and theft since the early 1990s, Rand said. Alfred Blumstein, a public policy professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said several factors accounted for this seeming anomaly. He said one is that drug-related crimes are not counted in the FBI statistics or the Justice Department's annual survey of crime victims, which also shows declining crime rates. If more people are being sentenced to prison for drug offenses, which appears to be the case at least in the federal system, they would not be counted in the crime rate statistics. Another factor is that those who are sentenced to prison are staying there longer than in the past. "For the past few years the number of new admissions [to prison] has not been going up, but what has been going up is time served," Blumstein said. "Several factors contribute to that. Judges may be giving longer sentences. Parole boards may be more reluctant to release people when they become eligible. Parole authorities may be more ready to send people back to prison for parole violations." In addition, Blumstein said, the federal government offers financial incentives to states that make their prisoners serve at least 85 percent of their sentences. James Alan Fox, dean of the College of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University in Boston, said that violent offenders have accounted for the largest part of the growth in the number of state prison inmates. "All this really means is that we are sending a higher percentage [of criminals] to prison," he said. "We still have a huge pool. The pool is smaller but the percentage we're sending to prison is higher." Fox said: "There is an eventual downside to this. What happens down the road when the number of ex-cons coming out of prison with poor skills and bad attitudes necessarily increases? Most prisoners don't go there forever. They come out and often times they come out worse because we're spending more money on construction of prisons than on treatment and programs in prisons." The prison report indicated that tougher attitudes by judges and prison and parole authorities contribute to the growth in the number of inmates. Gilliard said that in 1990 about 29 percent of prison admissions were former inmates being returned for parole violations. He said parole violators now account for about 35 percent of admissions. In 1990, prisoners being released for the first time had served an average sentence of 28 months, but by 1996 the average time served by first offenders was up to 30 months, Gilliard said. According to the report, the female prison population is growing faster than the male prison population. Last year there were 82,716 female inmates in state and federal prisons, an increase of 5.6 percent from 1997 while the male prison population grew 4.7 percent to 1.1 million over the year. The report also said that blacks made up 41 percent of the nation's local jail inmates, about the same percentage as white jail inmates. But because blacks make up a smaller percentage of the nation's population, the report said they were six times more likely than whites and nearly 2.5 times more likely than Hispanics to be held in a local jail on June 30, 1998. California, with 158,000 inmates, and Texas, with 143,299 inmates, had the largest state prison populations, while North Dakota, with 883 inmates, and Vermont, with 1,312, had the smallest. The report said the number of people under federal or state jurisdiction, including prison inmates and those serving sentences outside of prisons, was 22,566 in Maryland, 28,681 in Virginia and 8,679 in the District of Columbia. The District's prison population declined by almost 11 percent between 1997 and 1998, the largest drop in the country, while prison populations in Maryland and Virginia remained about the same. D.C. officials said the decline reflects two favorable criminal justice trends. The number of reported crimes has fallen sharply and drug abuse within the District has declined. Crime and the use of crack cocaine peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s, they said, with a corresponding surge those years in the prison population. Officials said, however, that they hadn't seen the Justice Department report and couldn't confirm the exact numbers. The incarceration rate for the District was 1,329 prisoners and others under federal, state or local jurisdiction per 100,000 residents. But Gilliard said this should not be compared to state incarceration rates, which include rural and suburban areas where there is typically less crime than in cities. He said the District's incarceration rate was probably close to that of other large urban areas.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Inmate Population Reaches Record 1.8 Million (The New York Times version) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: US Inmate Population Reaches Record 1.8 Million Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 19:09:16 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org March 15, 1999 New York Times Inmate Population Reaches Record 1.8 Million By FOX BUTTERFIELD The number of inmates in the nation's jails and prisons rose again last year, to a record 1.8 million, though crime rates have dropped for seven straight years, the Justice Department reported Sunday. The number of Americans behind bars increased 76,700, or 4.4 percent, well below the average annual increase of 7.3 percent between 1985 and 1998, suggesting that the dramatic growth in incarceration has at least begun to slow down. But the 1.8 million total means that the incarceration rate has more than doubled since 1985, to 668 inmates per 100,000 residents in 1998, from 313 per 100,000 in 1985, according to the Justice Department. And the total inmate population is almost six times the figure of 330,000 in 1972, before the prison boom started. The report was prepared by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a branch of the Justice Department, and was based on the number of inmates on June 30, 1998. Criminologists and law-enforcement officials generally agree that the substantial growth in the number of inmates has helped reduce crime, at least by keeping more violent criminals off the street. But they believe it is difficult, if not impossible, to measure that impact precisely. There is growing concern that the prison boom has taken on a life of its own, with a built-in dynamic that will keep the inmate population growing for years even if crime continues to fall, forcing cities and states to divert scarce resources to building ever more jails and prisons. In a new study of the factors in the continued expansion of the number of prison inmates, Alfred Blumstein, a criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University, and Allen J. Beck, a prison specialist at the Bureau of Justice Statistics, calculated that 40 percent of the growth was attributable to increases in the number of people actually sent to prison per arrest and 60 percent to longer time served by inmates. The study is to be published this year by the University of Chicago Press. Blumstein said the increase in commitments to prison per arrest was the result of tougher attitudes toward criminals by both prosecutors and judges. The longer time served by inmates, Blumstein said, is the result of several things: tougher sentencing laws, longer sentences, greater reluctance by parole boards to grant early release and the increased likelihood that once prisoners are released they will be re-arrested for parole violations, often technical violations like failing a urine test for drugs. Little of the increase in the number of inmates is the outcome of better police work, making more arrests per crime, or a growth in the number of criminals being sent to prison, he said. An additional factor driving the number of inmates up even as crime seems to fall, Blumstein said, is that drug arrests are not counted as part of the national crime rate reported by the FBI. That rate includes the violent crimes of murder, robbery, rape and assault and the property crimes of burglary, larceny and automobile theft. But drug offenses accounted for the greatest share of the increase -- 29 percent -- in state prisoners of any single crime from 1980 to 1996. By comparison, the crime that produced the next largest increase in state inmates was rape, 11 percent, and then murder and assault, each at 10 percent. But all the violent crimes together were responsible for 43 percent of the growth in state imprisonment. The new Justice Department report found that there were 1,277,866 inmates in state and federal prisons last year, an increase of 4.8 percent from a year earlier, and 592,462 people in local city and county jails, a rise of 4.5 percent. There were wide regional variations in imprisonment, as in crime, with the Southern states generally having the highest rates, and the states in northern New England and the northern Midwest having the lowest. Louisiana had the highest incarceration rate, 709 inmates per 100,000, followed by Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and South Carolina. Minnesota had the lowest rate, 117 inmates per 100,000, followed by Maine, North Dakota, Vermont and New Hampshire. Blacks made up 41.2 percent of the jail inmates in 1998, almost identical to the share by whites, 41.3 percent, the report said. But relative to their proportion of the population, blacks were six times more likely than whites to be held in jail, the report said. The number of women in state and federal prisons in 1998 rose 5.6 percent over 1997, compared with a 4.7 rise in the number of men in prison. But women still accounted for only 6.4 percent of the total of prisoners nationwide in 1998.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prison Population 1.8 Million, Rising (The Oakland Tribune version) Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 18:51:45 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Prison Population 1.8 Million, Rising Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Pubdate: Mon, 15 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: Matthew B. Stannard PRISON POPULATION 1.8 MILLION, RISING Officials Disagree On Causes And Effects If you know 150 people, chances are at least one is doing time in prison, according to a new government report. More than 1.8 million people -- or one out of every 150 U.S. residents -- were in state and federal prisons or local jails in the middle of 1998, according the U.S. Department of Justice report. In other words, there are more people in jail now than there are residents of San Diego. The prison population is more than twice what it was in 1985 and the largest in the nation's history. And it's still growing. There are a lot of reasons for that growth, said statistician Darrell Gilliard, who wrote the report. But with 52 jurisdictions reflected in the final numbers, it's hard to nail down why the numbers continue to climb. Yet, others were eager to share their theories on the causes and effects of the nation's booming prison population. One is Jenni Gainsborough, a spokeswoman for the Campaign for an Effective Crime Policy in Washington, D.C., which is critical of the way the nation now handles criminals. "The main reasons why we have this huge imprisoned population at the moment really is sentencing length," Gainsborough said. "We're not only locking up more people, but we're locking them up for a longer and longer period of time." The problem is particularly evident in California, Gainsborough said. The report found there are more prisoners in California's state and federal prisons than in any other jurisdiction -- 158,742. Gainsborough, said California should consider repealing or modifying its "Three Strikes, You're Out" law. A proposal to modify the law by requiring a third strike to be a felony is already before the state Senate. "I think that would be a huge step forward to do that," she said. "You've reached the frightening situation, if you lock too many people up, that going to prison instead of being a shocking event just become part of the growing-up experience." Morgan Reynolds, director of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Texas, takes the opposite view, Reynolds said get-tough laws and increased jail time have reduced crime by taking criminals off the streets and making potential or repeat offenders think twice before committing more crimes. But Gainborough and Reynolds do see eye-to-eye on at least one issue: how best to reduce the national inmate population. "One of the things that's clearly going on is more hardliners on crime are saying, 'maybe this war on drugs needs to be re-examined,'" Reynolds said. "If we could free up some of the bed space that would be released from drug offender use, we could use that for the predatory crime convictees." That proposal won hearty support for Gainsborough, who also likes Reynolds' suggested replacement for the war on drugs: a policy allowing state and local governments to design their own treatment programs. "Ever the people who have made the argument that locking up a lot of people is making the crime rate go down ... have said we've now gone as far as we can with this," she said. "With drugs, what we need to be focused on is treatment and prevention and not just incarceration."
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Drug War Has Failed (A New York Times staff editorial in the International Herald-Tribune agrees with the White House drug czar, General Barry McCaffrey, when he says "We have a failed social policy and it has to be re-evaluated." Unfortunately, the newspaper's opinion that that "The drug war was created in reaction to a wave of urban violence triggered by crack cocaine" is so patently ignorant that nobody but a moron would ever look to the New York Times for insight again.) URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n297.a06.html Newshawk: Peter Webster Pubdate: 15 March 1999 Source: International Herald-Tribune Page: OPED Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.iht.com/ Copyright: International Herald Tribune 1999 Author: NY Times THE DRUG WAR HAS FAILED 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- War On Drugs Has Woman In Hiding (The Coast Independent, on the Sunshine Coast, in British Columbia, recounts the case of Renee Boje, 29, an American on the Sunshine Coast who is facing deportation to California, where she's wanted by the federal government on charges related to Peter McWilliams' indictment for conspiracy to cultivate marijuana. Boje says she was hired only to do free-lance artwork for a magazine Todd McCormick was publishing. The B.C. Compassion Club Society is providing two lawyers to help Boje, who faces an April 19 extradition hearing.) Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 14:18:10 EST Sender: email@example.com From: Richard Lake (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Canada: War On Drugs Has Woman In Hiding Newhawk: Chris Clay (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: The Coast Independent (Sunshine Coast, B.C.) Pubdate: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 Contact: email@example.com Fax: (604) 886-4993 Mail: 292 Gower Point Road ,Gibsons, BC V0N 1V0 Author: Darah Hansen Note: Our newshawk and webmaster has set up a website for this WOD victim with more details, including information on her Legal Defense Fund at: http://www.thecompassionclub.org/renee/ WAR ON DRUGS HAS WOMAN IN HIDING An American woman living on the Sunshine Coast says she fears she'll become the next victim in her country's war on drugs if she's forced back south of the border. Twenty-nine-year-old Renee Boje, who is currently keeping a low profile on the Sunshine Coast, is facing deportation to California where she's wanted on several federal charges related to the cultivation of marijuana. But she says she's an innocent pawn caught in a political game between the zero tolerance federal Drug Enforcement Agency and California state where medical pot use is legal, and she's asking for help to mount an expensive legal campaign to win her refugee status in Canada. "I am hoping that Canada will provide me a safe haven, as it did for the conscientious objectors to the Vietnam War," she said in an interview. Troubles began for the soft spoken woman in 1997 when she started work for Todd McCormick, a well-known medical marijuana advocate in California. An artist by trade, Boje said she was hired to do free-lance artwork for a magazine McCormick was putting together to promote his cause. In July of that year she was arrested along with McCormick and seven others at the house in a DEA raid and charged with conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, posession, and intent to distribute. Boje strongly denies all the charges. In October she says her lawyer told her the matters against her had been dropped and she went travelling across Canada, ending up in Roberts Creek last month. There she was again picked up in a pot bust at a house on Leek Road. "I was at the wrong place at the wrong time again," she said. Though she wasn't charged criminally in the Roberts Creek case, police did discover an outstanding warrant against her in California relating to the 1997 charges. She was taken into the custody of Canadian Immigration. She has since been released on a $5000.00 bond and faces an extradition hearing April 19. So far, Boje has received support from friends and sympathizers on the Sunshine Coast. The case has also been taken up by the B.C. Compassion Club Society, a non-profit Vancouver group that supports the leglization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Club founder Hilary Black called Boje a "handy pawn" in the U.S. federal government's bid to bust the likes of Todd McCormick, whom they see as a kind of drug lord. "It's because they're quite keen on Todd, that's why they want her so badly," Black said. The Compassion Club has provided Boje with two lawyers - one to deal with her criminal matters, a second for immigration. And, they are planning some fundraising events to cover the legal costs. *** From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Re: DPFCA: Canada: War on drugs has woman in hiding Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 11:53:15 -0800 Lines: 18 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ There is a picture of Renee at: http://www.thecompassionclub.org/renee/
------------------------------------------------------------------- War On Marijuana Waste Of Time, Money - Critics (The Halifax Daily News, in Nova Scotia, describes the enormous amount of resources spent by Canadian police to detect, prosecute and punish marijuana growers such as Leland Dosch of rural Saskatchewan. Police taped 2,000 hours of his family's phone calls, studied his daily routine and even broke into his home to plant listening devices. Then, in a carefully planned raid of his farmhouse, they found only 30 immature plants and a kilogram of herb. The Dosch case and others like it - as well as the latest statistics showing marijuana accounting for 72 per cent of all drug offences in Canada - have some experts questioning the wisdom of devoting so much time and money to battle a drug that many people regard as harmless and millions of Canadians use. "There's nothing more costly than a drug case for Canadian criminal justice," said Alan Young, a professor at Osgoode Hall law school in Toronto.) Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 04:51:32 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: War On Marijuana Waste Of Time, Money - Critics Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: 15 Mar 1999 Source: Halifax Daily News (Canada) Copyright: 1999 The Daily News. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.hfxnews.southam.ca/ WAR ON MARIJUANA WASTE OF TIME, MONEY - CRITICS REGINA (CP) - For months, RCMP officers had a secret window into Leland Dosch's life. They taped his family's phone calls, studied his daily routine - even broke into his home and planted listening devices. Then, in a carefully planned manoeuvre, they raided his rural Saskatchewan farmhouse and arrested him as a suspected drug trafficker. It was hailed as the successful climax to a long, painstaking investigation - another victory for the good guys in the war on drugs. But after the intense surveillance, thousands of taped conversations, and countless hours on the job, what did police have to show for their Herculean efforts? Thirty immature marijuana plants and less than a kilogram of pot. The Dosch case and others like it have some experts questioning the wisdom of devoting so much time and money to battle a drug that many people regard as harmless and millions of Canadians use. And with the latest statistics showing marijuana accounting for 72 per cent of all drug offences, some suggest it's time to back off. "There's nothing more costly than a drug case for Canadian criminal justice," said Alan Young, a professor at Osgoode Hall law school in Toronto. "When you get to drugs, you find that the cost of enforcing these laws is extraordinary and, in my opinion, it saps the criminal justice system of necessary resources to deal with serious predatory crime." Young estimates authorities across the country spend $1 billion a year to battle the drug trade - 70 per cent of that on marijuana. "People have to start wondering whether this is money well spent," he said. It's not just the cost that bothers Young, it's the consequences for civil liberty. "There are enormous invasions of privacy in the name of intelligence gathering," Young said. "You often come up with diddly-squat and what you have effectively done is invade the privacy of dozens of people at dozens of locations in order to find out that Joe had 200 plants growing in his basement." Mark Brayford, the lawyer who represented Dosch, agrees the intrusion of electronic surveillance is troubling. "The vast majority of people whose voices are on wiretaps don't know it," he said. Brayford pointed to the fact 2,000 hours of tape involving dozens of innocent people yielded just 20 bits of incriminating evidence against Dosch. Brayford questioned the severity of sentences for marijuana offences. He noted in Saskatchewan, trafficking marijuana can net a longer sentence than molesting a child. For Dosch, who was convicted last month, it brought a 16-month jail term. Umberto Iorfida, president of NORML Canada (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), said it's time to end the war against pot. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is against legalization but wants Ottawa to look at decriminalization in some instances.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Financial Notes - The Buying Power Of Illegal Narcotics (An op-ed in the Independent, in Britain, by David Yallop, the author of "Unholy Alliance," says the international market for supposedly controlled substances amounts to $500 billion a year. "Imagine a multi-national company so big that its annual turnover is equal to China's gross national product. A company whose gross turnover for just one financial year is sufficient to buy at current market value the world's three largest public companies, General Electric, Royal Dutch Shell and Microsoft. A company where just 10 days turnover is in excess of the combined assets of the world's top 50 banks.") Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 18:38:49 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Financial Notes - The Buying Power Of Illegal Narcotics Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Mon, 15 March 1999 Source: Independent, The (UK) Copyright: Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Author: David Yallop FINANCIAL NOTES - THE BUYING POWER OF ILLEGAL NARCOTICS IMAGINE A multi-national company so big and powerful that its annual turnover is equal in size to China's gross national product, making that company 11th in the world rankings ahead of the Netherlands, Australia, Russia and India. A company whose gross turnover for just one financial year is sufficient to buy at current market value the world's three largest public companies, General Electric, Royal Dutch Shell and Microsoft. A company that if it dipped into its petty cash could in the same year buy Coca-Cola. A company where just 10 days turnover is in excess of the combined assets of the world's top 50 banks. Its current annual turn-over is $500bn. The cash mountain is derived from just three assets. People, paper and product - illegal drugs. The cartel of cartels - the drugs alliance that sits at the top of the infrastructure of the illegal narcotic world has an inexhaustible quantity of these three assets. They are endlessly available. The product, whether cocaine, opium, heroin, marijuana or the range of chemical drugs such as amphetamine, PCP, LSD, generates the paper, the dollars, the euro, sterling and countless other currencies which feed the machine - the people. If the profits for the cartels are vast, so also are the quantities that they pump into the market. If the annual supply of cocaine were to be packed in 1.5kg bags - the size of a regular bag of flour - the amount supplied to the United States each year would, if stood on top of each other, be four times as high as Mount Everest. If the amount supplied to the entire world were similarly stacked it would be 13 times as high as Everest. The world that this power grouping at the top of the illegal narcotics pyramid inhabits is a world where money by the ton is available for whatever is needed. In Latin America the cartels buy presidents as easily as they buy a customs official or a DEA (Drugs Enforcement Agency) official. Or the technical know-how to create and operate "El Gordo". El Gordo, "the fat one", is the pet name for a computer regarded by its creator as "out of this world". An apt description for a system based on Nasa's computer network. No one makes a phone call, sends a fax, uses a computer, in many a Latin American city, without "sharing" the line with the fat one. The fat one is linked to its brothers in Medellin, Cali, Bogota, Caracas, Lima and La Paz. It has immediate access to every scrap of information contained on police and Intelligence computers in Colombia and Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia: the criminal records, identification data, status of all criminal investigations. A string of hotels, major business centres and industrial companies in Italy. A huge office block on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, another in Rue de Ponthieu and a third in Rue de Berry in Paris. Prestige real estate holdings in Montreal. A marina in Vancouver and large farm holdings near Edmonton in Canada. Farm holdings are something that the drug barons are particularly fond of. They own huge tracts of land in virtually every country in South America. In the United States drugs money has probably been used to buy five huge apartment blocks in Washington, and in New York a residential area of 250 acres situated at Oyster Bay. All of these assets are owned by offshore nominees. In Great Britain profits from the sale of narcotics are rumoured to have been laundered to acquire substantial holdings in Canary Wharf, Belgravia, Mayfair, Hampstead and the City, a piece of the Channel Tunnel, a piece of the Japanese high speed rail network, a piece of Sydney's business centre, two marinas in Auckland . . . The above list of holdings represents less than 20 per cent of the legal assets that have been acquired with dirty money. David Yallop is the author of 'Unholy Alliance' (Bantam, 16 March, UKP9.99)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Weekly Action Report on Drug Policies, Year 5, No. 10 (A summary of European and international drug policy news, from CORA, in Italy) Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 17:29:29 +0100 To: CORAFax EN (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: CORAFax (email@example.com) From: "CRRH mailing list" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: CORAFax #10 (EN) ANTIPROHIBITIONIST OF THE ENTIRE WORLD .... Year 5 #10, March 15 1999 *** Weekly Action Report on Drug Policies Edited by the CORA - Radical Antiprohibitionist Coordination, federated to - TRP-Transnational Radical Party (NGO, consultive status, I) - The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War *** director: Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved *** http://www.agora.it/coranet mailto:email@example.com *** CORA NEWS *** ITALY- The great praises for the Iranian regime that Mr. Pino Arlacchi manifested in an interview to the Corriere della Sera are pure monstrosities. They are generated by his unawareness of how the death penalty is used in that country and how heroin that arrives on the European market passes through Iran. *** NEWS FROM THE WORLD *** 000523 03/03/99 E.U. / FRANCE ADDICTION LIBERATION Dr. Kamel Abdennbi, a cardiologist and expert in diseases related to tobacco smoking, says that cigarettes are just like heavy drugs and that their cost in terms of public health is extremely high. This is why, he says, disintoxication from tobacco should be refunded by the State. *** 000522 04/03/99 E.U. / GERMANY HEALTH FRANKFURTER 04,05,06/03 / DER SPIEGEL 08/03 Methadone is now under the spotlight. The official report on drugs says that in 1998 deaths for methadone overdose have risen. There are two principal causes to this situation: a generalised inexperience of practicioners and the black market. The latter is favoured by permissive rules like the one of multiple dosages or the one that does away with having to keep obligatory lists of patients. *** 000527 08/03/99 E.U. / PORTUGAL INITIATIVE EL PAIS In Portuguese prisons 70 % of the convicts are drug addicts, 11% are positive to the AIDS test, 3% actually have ADIS and 25% have hepatitis. The Defensor del Pueblo, having seen these figures, asks for 'a depenalisation of personal use of drugs inside and outside the prisons'. *** 000528 08/03/99 E.U. / SPAIN INITIATIVE EL PAIS Gonzalo Robles, of the Plan Nacional sobre Drogas, has officially rejected the Andalusian project for controlled distribution of heroin. He says that heroin is not a valid therapeutic alternative, minimizes the results of other experiments in that direction and agrees with the prudent attitude of the OMS. *** 000529 09/03/99 EUROPE / SWITZERL INITIATIVE NEUE ZUERCHER Z. The Government has established very strict criteria for conducting its plan of controlled distribution of heroin. Patients have to be 18 years old or older (up to now the youngest were 20); they must have been heroin addicts for at least two years; they must have tried and failed with other therapies and, finally, show visible signs of physical, psycological or social distress. *** 000520 07/03/99 E.U. / ITALY / SALERNO JUSTICE LA STAMPA Three Carabinieri in civillian clothes entered a classroom without any notice to handcuff and arrest a boy who had been accused of being a drug pusher. *** 000521 03/03/99 E.U. / SPAIN JUSTICE EL PAIS The Tribunal Supremo has established that the crime of drug traffic automatically includes the one of smuggling. Before this decision an investigated person could be tried and condemned for two different crimes. *** 000524 06/03/99 AMERICA / PARAGUAY WAR ON DRUGS THE ECONOMIST In Paraguay the economic situation has been worsened by the Brazilian crisis. At the same time Paraguay remains a major marijuana producer and an important passage point for Bolivian cocaine travelling towards Europe. *** 000525 05/03/99 WAR ON DRUGS FINANCIAL TIMES The UN Global Programme Against Money Laundering, in Vienna, proposes to form a 'league' of offshore centres that should have international recognition and standard ways to control financial flows. *** 000526 05/03/99 E.U. / GB WAR ON DRUGS FINANCIAL TIMES The British Government has asked that more severe rules be adopted to prevent money laundering in its former colonies. In the Virgin Islands 47% of the State balance comes from financial services, but only 3% is spent according to law. In Turks and Caicos only seven people are in charge of about 13 thousand banks and companies. *** 000530 10/03/99 ASIA / IRAN WAR ON DRUGS CORRIERE DELLA SERA During the occasion of President Khatami's visit to Italy, the UN anti-drug delegate Pino Arlacchi said: 'Teheran knows how to change, and it has demonstrated this with its commitment to fight drugs'. 'The Ayatollahs are dependable people, the UN should guarantee fairness for the change of power in Iran'. *** 000519 08/03/99 AMERICA / BOLIVIA WAR ON DRUGS NEWSWEEK Even though Colombia has recieved a 'certificate' from the USA for its commitment to fight drugs, the presence of traffickers and coca plantations is still consistent. US and Colombian agents have arrested 19 members of an organisation worth 100 million Usd and that controled its trafficking via Internet. *** CLIPPINGS ITALY- The new anti drug campaign can start thanks to state funding. 75% of ten billion Lire will be divided between the Regions, while the rest will be spent for Government projects. *** CORAFax 1999 -------------------------------------------------------------------
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