------------------------------------------------------------------- Portland jury begins deliberating in case of family vs. Philip Morris (The Oregonian says a jury in Multnomah County is drawing national attention as it begins to decide today whether Philip Morris Inc. is liable in a $101 million lawsuit filed by the family of Jesse D. Williams, who died of lung cancer after smoking Marlboro cigarettes for many years. Much of the medical testimony on both sides tried to show that Williams' cancer arose either before or after 1988. If the jury concludes that Williams' cancer was caused by cigarettes smoked before 1988, Philip Morris can't be held liable under Oregon law.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Fri, Mar 26 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: Patrick O'Neill of The Oregonian staff Portland jury begins deliberating in case of family vs. Philip Morris The panel, after four weeks of technical and conflicting testimony, will decide liability in the death of a loyal smoker A Portland jury is drawing national attention as it begins to decide today whether Philip Morris Inc. is responsible for the lung cancer death of a loyal Marlboro smoker. The family of Jesse D. Williams is suing the company for $101 million, alleging that the company knew that its cigarettes could cause cancer and that company officials lied about the dangers of smoking. The jury, which includes three smokers and four former smokers, will review four weeks of technical and often conflicting testimony from experts in such areas as cancer diagnosis, radiology and the chemistry of tobacco smoke. They'll have to choose which of two nationally known pathology experts to believe. One testified that Williams' cancer was squamous cell carcinoma, commonly caused by cigarette smoking. Another told the jury the cancer was most certainly a rare mucoepidermoid carcinoma, one that is not caused by smoking. They'll have to choose between battling radiologists. One said Williams' tumor, diagnosed in October 1996, was visible on X-ray films in 1991 and probably had begun to grow before Sept. 1, 1988. Another said the tumor didn't appear until 1996 and could have easily started after 1988. The 1988 date is a crucial element. Under Oregon's product liability law, the Williams family can't sue for damages caused by cigarettes that Williams smoked before Sept. 1, 1988. That's because Oregon law allows plaintiffs to seek damages going back only eight years before a product liability suit. Much of the medical testimony on both sides has aimed at showing that Williams' cancer arose either before or after 1988. If the jury concludes that Williams' cancer was caused by cigarettes smoked before 1988, Philip Morris can't be held liable under Oregon law. Williams, a former janitor with Portland Public Schools, died at his home March 17, 1997, at age 67. Trial testimony portrayed him as a dedicated Marlboro smoker for 42 years who believed that the cigarette manufacturer wouldn't sell a harmful product and who was heavily addicted to nicotine. The trial, which began with jury selection Feb. 22 in Multnomah County Circuit Court, has generated national interest. In early February, a San Francisco jury awarded $51 million to a former smoker with inoperable lung cancer. That decision caused a selloff of tobacco stocks by nervous investors, worried that the San Francisco case might be repeated throughout the country. Gary Black, a tobacco analyst with the New York brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said the nation's tobacco investors had their eyes on the Portland jury. "Wall Street is following this trial closely because we have a verdict in San Francisco which many people think is an aberration," he said. "People are watching this trial to see if the tide has turned." Much of the national interest arises from Oregon's product liability laws, which require a plaintiff to be no more than 50 percent at fault to win damages. In California, a plaintiff can be as much as 99 percent at fault and still claim damages. Black said because most states have laws like Oregon's (called "modified comparative fault" laws), the verdict would take on more significance. In their closing arguments on Wednesday and Thursday, attorneys for both sides hammered home their main points: * Raymond Thomas and William Gaylord, Portland attorneys representing the Williams family, cited internal Philip Morris documents to bolster their claim that the company long knew about the cancer-causing potential of cigarettes and chose to hide that information from its customers. * Walter Cofer, a Kansas City, Mo., attorney representing Philip Morris, dismissed as "psychobabble" claims that Williams was addicted to nicotine. As for quitting, Cofer said, Williams "could have done it if he'd wanted to badly enough." Cofer said Williams was well aware that smoking could harm his health and had been warned of that by doctors and family members. The jury of six men and six women will have to decide two specific questions: * Was Philip Morris negligent in manufacturing its cigarettes, and if so, did that negligence cause Williams' death? * Did the company make false representations about the causal link between smoking and cancer, and if so, did those representations contribute to Williams' death? In the negligence issue, the jury must decide whether Williams' own behavior contributed to his death. If so, the jury must decide what percentage of the negligence to assign to Williams. If the jury decides that Williams is more than 50 percent at fault, Philip Morris wins. In each issue, the jury must decide how much money to award for non-economic damages, such as for Williams' pain and suffering and for punitive damages. You can reach Patrick O'Neill at 503-221-8233 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Calaveras Man Convicted Of Cultivating Marijuana (The Modesto Bee says a jury in Calaveras County, California, on Thursday convicted Robert Galambos, a medical-marijuana patient, of cultivating cannabis, but deadlocked on a charge of possession for sale. Galambos was busted in 1997 with 382 plants and about 6 pounds of bagged marijuana at his home in Paloma. He admitted to growing not only for himself, but also for an Oakland cannabis club, under the auspices of Proposition 215. Galambos will be sentenced May 14; he faces a sentence ranging from probation to three years in prison.)Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 10:42:18 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: Calaveras Man Convicted Of Cultivating Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 Source: Modesto Bee, The (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Modesto Bee. Feedback: http://www.modbee.com/man/help/contact.html Website: http://www.modbee.com/ Author: Jim Miller and Ron DeLacy Bee staff writers CALAVERAS MAN CONVICTED OF CULTIVATING MARIJUANA SAN ANDREAS -- A Calaveras County man who claimed he grew marijuana for medicinal purposes was convicted Thursday of cultivating pot, but jurors deadlocked on a charge of possession of marijuana for sale. Authorities arrested Robert Galambos in July 1997, after finding 382 young marijuana plants and about 6 pounds of bagged marijuana at his home in Paloma, western Calaveras County. Galambos claimed his marijuana cultivation was for medical reasons -- to treat lingering pain from a car accident a decade ago that fractured his skull, as well as to supply an Oakland cannabis club under the auspices of Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Initiative. The trial began March 17, and the jury started deliberating Wednesday afternoon and returned with its single verdict about 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Galambos will be sentenced May 14; he faces punishment ranging from probation to three years in prison, prosecutor Seth Mathews said. Mathews said he was pleased with the verdict. He would not say whether the district attorney's office would retry Galambos on the possession for sale count. But defense attorneys said they were "anguished" by the jury's decision because it sets back efforts to legitimize the use of marijuana in treating illness. "We feel that more people are going to be prosecuted because of this," attorney Shari Greenberger said, "especially in areas like Calaveras County where there is zero tolerance." Passed by voters in 1996, Proposition 215 allows people to grow marijuana if they obtain a doctor's recommendation for it. "Primary care givers" can grow it for people who have the doctor's recommendations. Galambos produced a doctor's note justifying his marijuana use -- two months after his arrest. And prosecutors charged he had been supplying the Oakland club for many months before Prop. 215's passage. Moreover, courts have ruled cannabis clubs are not "primary care givers." Defense attorney J. Tony Serra said the argument amounted to "legalizing milk and outlawing the cow." In his closing statement, Serra urged jurors to effectively declare Galambos a care giver, to see him as a compassionate man trying to help people. Serra depicted Calaveras County authorities as anti-marijuana zealots who routinely and joyfully rip out pot plants from anybody, no matter what they claimed or produced as medical reasons. Investigators insisted that isn't the case, that legitimate medical users are left alone. "You can accuse me of being a cop all you want," sheriff's deputy Eddie Ballard said during a court recess, "but you can't accuse me of not being a person." Prosecutors offered Galambos a settlement with a lesser punishment, but it would have required Galambos to accept a felony conviction. He desperately wanted to avoid that because it could wreck his hopes to pursue a career in special education. He had the backing of his own Columbia College child-development teacher, Phyllis Greenleaf, who attended his trial. During a recess, she said Galambos was one of her best students, and had been doing exemplary work with pre-schoolers as part of his training. "He is thoughtful, considerate, sensitive and intelligent," she said. "We need more people like him going into child development, and if he couldn't be a teacher it would be a tremendous loss to society." Greenberger said defense attorneys will argue May 14 that Galambos should be sentenced to home detention or a work-release program. Mathews would not discuss his intentions.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Condemning Dissident Authors To Death (Vin Suprynowicz, a columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, ponders the politically inspired prosecutions of author/publishers Peter McWilliams and Steve Kubby, both California medical marijuana patients charged with growing "too many" plants.) Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 14:39:06 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Condemning Dissident Authors To Death Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Kubby http://www.kubby.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV) Copyright: Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1999 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125 Fax: (702)383-4676 Website: http://www.lvrj.com/ Forum: http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/feedback/ Author: Vin Suprynowicz Vin_Suprynowicz@lvrj.com Note: Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal. CONDEMNING DISSIDENT AUTHORS TO DEATH A well-meaning soul recently asked me, "Vin, why do you have to focus on the loss a few minor rights? This is still the freest nation on earth. Look at your own writings. In what other country would you be allowed to write these things with no fear of repercussions?" I imagine Peter McWilliams may have briefly shared that thought in 1993 when Prelude Press brought out his 800-page opus, "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society." Ditto Steve Kubby when Loompanics of Port Townsend, Washington published his "The Politics of Consciousness" in 1995. Both authors are survivors (so far) of often-fatal diseases, who attribute their survival to the therapeutic use of marijuana. The Associated Press reported on March 20: "Steve Kubby ... has a Feb. 4 letter from Dr. Vincent DeQuattro, a professor of medicine at the University of Southern California, stating that Kubby still has a malignancy, for which the marijuana 'in some amazing fashion ... has not only controlled the symptoms ... but in my view has arrested the growth.'" Mr. Kubby attracted further official attention to his anti-Drug-War beliefs when he ran for governor of California on the Libertarian Party ticket last year. Both writers were proved prescient when California voters decided in 1996 to legalize the many medical uses of marijuana by a whopping 70-to-30 margin. And that should have been the end of that. Except that the kind of morally atrophied weasels who run our current War on Drugs have made a big mistake since the recent legalization votes in California, Nevada and Arizona. They have allowed two of the most cynical lies of modern politics -- that the government only enforces the will of the majority, and that if you want the law changed all you have to do is convince a majority to side with you at the polls -- to be revealed as just that: two of the biggest steaming piles of diarrheal mendacity that ever brought tears to the eyes and bile to the throats of a free people. McWilliams was busted and imprisoned last July. Late last year, drug agents stormed the Olympic Valley house of Mr. Kubby and his wife Michele, after weeks of surveilling the married couple through their bedroom window -- dragging them away in chains for growing a few hundred marijuana plants for medical use, two years after the people of California legalized medical marijuana. Both men had doctors' recommendations. The Fearless Drug Warriors' excuse? They were growing "too many" plants. (I once worked briefly for the publisher of a weekly newspaper who was convinced the photography staff was embezzling film -- he counted no more than 36 photos in each weekly issue, yet the photographer used several 36-shot rolls of film each week. In vain we tried to explain to him that a photographer can burn through several rolls trying to get just one usable sports photo. Similarly, the California narco toadies seem to believe that in horticulture, to produce 30 or 40 mature plants it is only necessary to germinate 30 or 40 seeds.) Anyway, I'm sure the arrests and subsequent medical torture (by depriving them of the only medicine doctors say can keep them alive) of these two authors won't have too great a "chilling effect" on the future willingness of others to challenge the government's wisdom, do you think? Author McWilliams wrote to California state Attorney General William Lockyer on March 18: "Since my dual diagnosis (of AIDS and cancer) in March 1996, I have used medical marijuana under the guidance and supervision of three California physicians to fight the nausea caused by the prescription anti-AIDS and anti-cancer medications I must take. "If I cannot keep down my life-saving medications, I will die. Medical marijuana, in my case, had been 99.9 percent effective in alleviating nausea for more than two years. ... Because I cannot keep down my prescription medications without medical marijuana forbidden me by my bail release my viral load has risen dramatically, from undetectable (under 40) to more than 250,000. AIDS doctors become concerned when the viral load tops 10,000. ... (Please see the letter from my AIDS physician, Daniel Bowers, M.D. at http://www.petertrial.com/doc1.jpg.)" Last week, the court ruled that if McWilliams dies before his trial due to the fact he is forbidden marijuana in the meantime, that's just too bad. Steve Kubby and his wife have been bankrupted -- the magazine business they ran out of their home destroyed when arresting drug goons refused to return their computer. Mr. Kubby wrote on March 22: "Our raid, our bankruptcy and the refusal of the prosecutors or judges to return any of our most basic tools and possessions shows how Drug War laws are increasingly used against ordinary citizens. Law authorizing such unconstitutional searches and seizures were intended originally to be used only against 'drug kingpins.' Today these draconian laws are used as standard procedure to destroy the lives of anyone caught with marijuana, even sick and dying people, all to uphold a corrupt and failed federal drug policy." Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His new book, "Send in the Waco Killers: Essays on the Freedom Movement, 1993-1998," is available at $21.95 plus $3 shipping ($6 UPS; $2 shipping each additional copy) through Mountain Media, P.O. Box 4422, Las Vegas, Nev. 89127-4422. The 500-page trade paperback may also be ordered via web site http://www.thespiritof76.com/wacokillers.html, or at 1-800-244-2224.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Where Pot Activism Grows (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat interviews veteran medical-marijuana activist Dennis Peron at his marijuana farm in Lake County, California. Peron feels vindicated by the Institute of Medicine report released last week that said marijuana effectively counteracts pain, nausea and weight loss. "Even the study said certain patients have to use marijuana. The handwriting is on the wall: Medical necessity is greater than federal law.") Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 06:03:00 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: Where Pot Activism Grows 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: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 Source: Santa Rosa Press Democrat (CA) Copyright: 1999 Santa Rosa Press Democrat Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.pressdemo.com/index.html Forum: http://www.pressdemo.com/opinion/talk/ Author: Andrew LaMar, Press Democrat Staff Writer WHERE POT ACTIVISM GROWS Peron Retreats To Lower Lake LOWER LAKE - In the kitchen of a ranch-style house on the sloping terrain that is southern Lake County, Dennis Peron tells about his great last crusade. This one, he says, is about democracy, about people getting what they want -- marijuana to ease their ailments. With disheveled white hair, wire-rim glasses and a face that wrinkles at the slightest expression, the trim 52-year-old Bronx native looks more like a tortured college professor than a crusader for medical marijuana. For decades, Peron has been a fixture of San Francisco as a gay activist and marijuana proponent, but now he has retreated to rural Lake County to grow the controversial plant and provide it to patients. Except for two raids last year, authorities have left Peron and his friends to their own devices in this remote location south of Lower Lake. The author of California's medical marijuana initiative, which voters approved in 1996, relishes the thought the battle may be nearly over. One positive sign, he said, is a medical study released last week that declared that marijuana effectively counteracts pain, nausea and weight loss. "I have one word for it: vindication," Peron said. "Even the study said certain patients have to use marijuana. The handwriting is on the wall: Medical necessity is greater than federal law." Peron is also encouraged by last fall's election of a new state attorney general. Bill Lockyer, a Democrat who said he voted for Proposition 215, which legalized marijuana use for medical reasons, has appointed a task force to explore the initiative and how to clarify it. In the meantime, Lockyer's official position is to let local agencies decide how to administer the law, a spokesman said. That hands-off approach is a major departure from Lockyer's predecessor, Dan Lungren, who joined with federal authorities to aggressively challenge Peron and the pot clubs that sprouted in the aftermath of the proposition's approval. After a Superior Court judge shut down his San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club last year, Peron and his associates shifted their attention to cultivating marijuana on the 20-acre farm lent to him by a friend stricken with cancer. Instead of providing the dried final product to patients, as the Cannabis Buyers Club did, Peron and the cooperative that runs the farm grow plants from seedlings and then give the plants to patients to harvest themselves. Proposition 215 "has limits," said John Entwistle, who supervises the farm's planting and growing. "We wanted to show what it can do. You have real power in growing marijuana." That is a view shared in part by Dean Pick, the Lake County sheriff's detective in charge of marijuana enforcement. He said he believes the proposition allows sick people to cultivate their own marijuana, but growing for others -- even giving away pot plants to patients who say they need it -- violates the law, he said. Regardless of the terms of Proposition 215, federal law supersedes state law, according to Evelyn James, a spokeswoman for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency's San Francisco office. She questioned why Peron doesn't focus his efforts on pursuing alternatives, like a federally approved pill containing synthetic THC, an active ingredient in marijuana. "I wonder if his motivation is compassion or if it is publicity," James said. DEA agents, with Lake County sheriff's deputies, raided the farm in May and August 1998, confiscating all marijuana on the premises. But Peron and Entwistle praised Lake County Sheriff Rodney Mitchell and the agents who carried out the raids, calling them professional and gentlemanly. No one was handcuffed or led away. "All the patients here had AIDS. One was in a wheelchair. It was a pretty pathetic group," Peron said. "Within an hour of the cops leaving, we were replanting." Undeterred, Entwistle and Peron plan to hold another public celebration this May when they move farm operations from two greenhouses they use in the winter to outside garden beds. And the pair also plans to open a store in San Francisco's Castro District in July to sell marijuana plants to urban-dwelling patients. As it is, the farm supplies 200 people. People like Terri Sunshine of Clearlake inspire Peron and Entwistle to continue increasing production, they said. Sunshine stopped by this week to pick up a plant. The farm charges customers $25 for 2-foot-high plants that produce roughly 2 ounces of harvestable pot, something that goes for $1,000 on the street. The farm charges for the labor, water and electricity used to grow the plant, but the marijuana itself is free, Entwistle said. Entwistle instructed Sunshine to put the plant under light 12 hours a day and water it daily for two weeks before harvesting the buds. Sunshine, 42, said she suffers from intense pain related to hemorrhoids that required surgery and left her bedridden for three years. She has had three surgeries and may need another this year. Without marijuana, she cannot sleep or do basic housework, she said. Buying marijuana on the street is often expensive and dangerous, she said. Sunshine was robbed a few days ago when she approached someone to buy a joint. "With the (cannabis) clubs shut down, you can't go anywhere to get it," Sunshine said. "I love their goal to make it cost-free, or as near cost-free as possible, because a lot of us are on SSI (government assistance) and can't afford it." Peron maintains a sort of halfway house at the farm. People suffering from AIDS or other ailments can stay in one of the home's five bedrooms for up to two weeks. They gather on couches or stools, usually around a table with a Mason jar full of marijuana, and smoke and converse. Outside is a deck and small pond. Country life, Peron readily admitted, is a major change for him. His new home sits at the end of a dirt and gravel driveway, miles from a paved road and surrounded by rolling landscape spotted by rocks and trees. "This is (Proposition) 215," Peron said while looking over the property. "Here it is: a cooperative garden, a bunch of people growing together, with the only motivation to get medicine."
------------------------------------------------------------------- $500,000 Worth of Pot Found Growing in House (The San Francisco Chronicle says police in South San Francisco, in San Mateo County just south of San Francisco, busted Jay Chen for 125 plants supposedly worth $4,000 each. A "concerned citizen" notified police about the marijuana.) Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 19:19:03 -0600 From: "Frank S. World"
Organization: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/7417/ To: DPFCA (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: DPFCA: US CA SFC: $500,000 Worth of Pot Found Growing in House Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: "Frank S. World" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Source: San Francisco Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Friday, March 26, 1999 (c) 1999 San Francisco Chronicle SAN MATEO COUNTY $500,000 WORTH OF POT FOUND GROWING IN HOUSE South San Francisco -- Police arrested a 22-year-old man Wednesday on charges of growing marijuana in his South San Francisco home after finding plants with an estimated street value of about $500,000. Shortly before 8 a.m., South San Francisco detectives served a search warrant at Jay Chen's home at 658 Railroad Ave. and found 125 mature marijuana plants in the home and more than 80 seedlings. They also found hydroponic equipment used to grow and harvest marijuana. Chen was put under surveillance two weeks ago after a concerned citizen notified the department about the marijuana plants. An investigation into Chen's operation is continuing, police said. He remained in the San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City yesterday on $100,000 bond. (c) 1999 San Francisco Chronicle Page D5
------------------------------------------------------------------- Nation's top drug officials not high on Proposition 215 (The Associated Press says California Attorney General Bill Lockyer returned from the nation's capital Friday after failing to persuade U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey to reclassify marijuana. Apparently it hasn't occurred to Lockyer to do the only thing he's really qualified to do and file a lawsuit to uphold the California constitution.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Fed drug officials not high on Proposition 215 Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 20:50:45 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Nation's top drug officials not high on Proposition 215 By NOAH ISACKSON The Associated Press 03/26/99 10:48 PM Eastern SACRAMENTO (AP) -- Attorney General Bill Lockyer returned to California Friday after failing to persuade top law enforcement officials in the nation's capital to reclassify marijuana as a prescription drug. Lockyer, a supporter of California's medical marijuana law, cited last week's government study endorsing the health benefits of pot during his discussions with Attorney General Janet Reno and White House drug adviser Barry McCaffrey. Lockyer and attorneys general from other Western states with similar laws suggested that the federal government could allow prescription marijuana in their states while continuing to fight illegal, recreational use nationwide. "The answer from McCaffrey was emphatically 'No'," Lockyer told reporters via a conference call from Washington. Under current federal law, marijuana is classified as a drug without medicinal value. Other drugs, such as morphine and cocaine, can be prescribed by doctors under tight supervision by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Medical marijuana advocates say a reclassification of marijuana is crucial to implementingreferendums such as Proposition 215, the 1996 initiative Californians approved by a wide margin. After the vote, medical marijuana distribution centers popped up across the state, openly defying federal law. Many were shut down by federal agents and Lockyer's Republican predecessor, Dan Lungren, although about 10 still quietly distribute pot to people who suffer from ailments including cancer, AIDS and spastic muscle conditions. Lockyer, a Democrat who says marijuana might have helped ease the pain his mother and sister experienced while dying of leukemia, has made implementing Proposition 215 one of his top priorities. Just before his trip to Washington, in a 180-degree turnabout from Lungren, he advised San Francisco police to allow the clubs to operate if they do so discreetly. Lockyer knows his position runs counter to federal law -- Reno and McCaffrey told him so personally. "They were both very clear that medical marijuana violated federal law and that California needed to know that the federal law is superior," Lockyer said. "People should not expect any change of federal law or policy in the short term." The study announced last week by an affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences said marijuana's active ingredients can ease pain, nausea and vomiting. Researchers urged the development of a standard way to use the drug, such as an inhaler. The good news from the meeting with Reno and McCaffrey, Lockyer said, was that neither appeared to discourage this research. "The good signs are their understanding that the federal government has dragged its feet in the past on doing adequate medical marijuana research," Lockyer said. Still, McCaffrey warned that such research could cost $200 million to $400 million, and that competition for the money among researchers of other drugs is intense, Lockyer said. Despite federal disapproval, Lockyer has appointed a 20-member task force of prosecutors, medical providers, law enforcement officials and patients to determine how California can make the law work. One of the tasks force's goals is to find ways of preventing one of Reno and McCaffrey's biggest concerns about medical marijuana: that the drug could be prescribed for purely recreational purposes. "Unfortunately, 215 has large gaps and ambiguities," Lockyer said. "A lot needs to be added by the Legislature before there will ever be any serious federal willingness to even consider implementation." The task force hopes to present its plans to legislators before summer, Lockyer said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- California Demos set to endorse industrial hemp (A press release from Chris Conrad, the director of the Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp, says the state Democratic Party Resolutions Committee voted 27-2 today to include a plank supporting industrial hemp on the consent calendar for the party platform at the state convention this weekend in Sacramento.) From: ConradBACH@aol.com Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 03:21:45 EST To: email@example.com Subject: DPFCA: CA Demos set to endorse industrial hemp Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: ConradBACH@aol.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ California Demos set to endorse industrial hemp (March 26, 1999) The California Democratic Party Resolutions Committee today voted 27-2 to include a plank supporting Industrial Hemp on the consent calendar for the party platform at the State Convention this weekend in Sacramento. "Once again, California is showing leadership," said Chris Conrad of the Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp (BACH), who helped write the resolution. "It sends a message to state legislatures across America: if you want to get started in the hemp industry before California does, you'd better act this year to adopt a bill, or get left behind." Californians for Industrial Renewal (CAIR) sponsored the hemp resolution, which distinguishes between the benign industrial varieties of the cannabis hemp plant and the medicinal varieties that produce marijuana. This approach, based on the relative level of THC produced in the plant, is similar to the system already being used around the world; in Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. "It is significant for California Democrats to take this position as the party moves into the millenial election year, but it's not particularly courageous at this point," said Conrad. "The party is just taking the current mainstream position." Estimates published this year place the value of industrial hemp's commerce at $600 million by the year 2001. The magazine US News and World Report recently sang the crop's praise. The California Greens, Peace and Freedom, and Libertarians party platforms have all supported Industrial Hemp in recent years, but this is the first time one of the major parties in California has taken a position on industrial hemp. "The federal government's position has gone from the absurd to the ridiculous," said Conrad. "Even unlikely allies like former CIA Director Woolsey are telling the DEA to change its tune and allow American farmers to cash in on the global hemp boom. California has a huge agricultural base. This could be the sleeping giant awakening." *** Chris Conrad (www.chrisconrad.com) director of Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp director of Family Council on Drug Awareness art director of Human Rights and the Drug War (www.hr95.org) owner of Creative Xpressions, PO Box 1716, El Cerrito CA 94530 USA ph/fax 1-510-215-8326 author of "Hemp, Lifeline to the Future," "Hemp for Health" and co-author of "Shattered Lives: Portraits from America's Drug War" (with Mikki Norris and Virginia Resner); and "Human Rights and the Drug War" (with Norris and Resner) Member and past president: Hemp Industries Association (HIA)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Officer Cleared In Oregon Case (The Houston Chronicle says a jury in Houston took about 70 minutes Thursday to acquit the only police officer charged in connection with the killing of Pedro Oregon Navarro, who was shot 12 times - nine times in the back - during a warrantless entry last July by six prohibition agents who never found the crack cocaine they were looking for.) Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 23:21:22 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Officer Cleared In Oregon Case Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: GALAN@prodigy.net (G. A ROBISON) Pubdate: 26 Mar 1999 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Forum: http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html Author: Steve Brewer Section: Front Page OFFICER CLEARED IN OREGON CASE Slain man's family `was not surprised' A jury took about 70 minutes Thursday to acquit the only Houston police officer charged in connection with the death of Pedro Oregon Navarro, who was killed July 12 in an aborted drug bust that turned sour. James Willis, 29, sobbed after a jury in the courtroom of Harris County Criminal Court-at-Law Judge Neel Richardson acquitted him of misdemeanor criminal trespass. Flanked by relatives and attorneys after the verdict, an elated Willis called the shooting, the resulting investigation and the trial the "worst ordeal of my life." He was the only one of six officers to be charged, although all were fired. "I know the media is going to be the media, and they're going to have to report what they hear, and unfortunately they only heard one side of this story for many, many months," Willis said. "But now it's time to hear the other side, what really happened. It's time that the whole truth comes out. You always have doubts, but I feel in my heart that what happened was, we were right, all along we were right." Defense attorney Brian Benken said public officials and others who have vilified Willis should now back off. A grand jury cleared him of wrongdoing in Pedro Oregon's shooting, Benken said, and now a jury has cleared him of misdemeanor charges of illegally entering the apartment of Pedro's brother. "Jim Willis is not a criminal," an emotional Benken told reporters. "This was simply just crazy." Benken said Willis was a victim of the controversy surrounding the case, stirred up by public officials, who knew nothing about the evidence, trying to curry favor with voters. Attorneys representing Oregon's relatives in a multimillion-dollar federal civil-rights lawsuit against the city, and others who have argued that the shooting was not justified, reacted quickly to the verdict. They said trying Willis on a mere misdemeanor was a farce, and there was no validity to evidence that emerged during the trial that Pedro Oregon and his brothers were dealing drugs. "The Oregon family was not surprised by the verdict today," said attorney Richard Mithoff. "The intent of the district attorney appeared not to be consistent with getting all the facts out." In a news conference, Mithoff said the Oregon brothers were not drug dealers, and evidence that would have proven that claim was not presented by prosecutors. But some of Mithoff's contentions were contradicted by evidence introduced in the trial or could be explained by previous revelations about the case. Mithoff attacked prosecutors for going forward with the misdemeanor case and the way they handled it. He hinted that they tailored their case to tarnish the Oregon family. Aaron Ruby, a member of the Justice for Pedro Oregon Coalition, agreed with Mithoff: "This trial was a dirty campaign of slandering the Oregons. It had nothing to do with prosecuting Willis. It was about turning victims into criminals." Prosecutors said they accepted the verdict, but continued to say that they believed that Willis broke the law when he and the other gang task force officers entered the southwest Houston apartment of Pedro's brother, Rogelio. Willis and the others were at the apartment because of a tip given to them by Ryan Baxter, who was arrested by Willis and his partner on July 11. Baxter, 28, was on probation on drug charges and had been arrested after a night of drinking beer and smoking crack. He later told the officers he would swap his drug dealer's identity for his freedom. Baxter testified that Rogelio Oregon, who did not testify at Willis' trial, was his dealer and had been for three years. Baxter said he bought drugs from Rogelio, Pedro and another Oregon brother at the apartment, and that sometimes the drugs were kept inside and sometimes outside. Two attempts to set up a drug purchase through Baxter failed. A third attempt resulted in a firm deal, Willis and Baxter testified, and the officers went to Rogelio's apartment early July 12. Willis said the officers didn't have enough evidence for a search warrant, so they wanted Baxter to knock on the door, then get down so they could ask Rogelio Oregon for consent to search the apartment. When Baxter went down, Willis said, Rogelio bolted into the dark apartment. Thinking Rogelio was either going to get a gun or destroy evidence, Willis said he followed his partner into the apartment. Benken argued that when Rogelio bolted, it gave Willis and the others all the legal reason they needed to go inside. Prosecutor Ed Porter countered that the officers had not done enough legwork on the drug case, were relying too heavily on Baxter's word and had perhaps staged the raid in such a way as to ensure that Rogelio Oregon would run. While Willis and his partner were in the front of the apartment, the other officers went to the back and confronted Pedro Oregon. That's when one officer accidentally fired his weapon and hit another officer. Thinking Pedro Oregon had fired, the other officers -- but not Willis -- opened fire, hitting Pedro Oregon 12 times, nine in the back. Some of the officers have said Pedro Oregon pointed a gun at them. He did have a stolen gun, but it was not fired and no drugs were found in the apartment. After a lengthy investigation, Harris County grand jurors indicted only Willis, on the misdemeanor charge. When that inquiry ended, the FBI and federal grand jury probe began and the multimillion-dollar federal civil-rights suit was filed. The jury of four women and two men declined to comment after their deliberations, but Porter said members of the panel told him they were convinced that Willis had no choice but to follow his partner into the apartment. Porter said jurors also had an interesting opinion on the media's coverage of the case. "They said after listening to all the evidence here that it bore little resemblance to what has been reported so far," Porter said. Harris County District Attorney John B. Holmes Jr. said some reporters and public officials who had no access to grand jury testimony were on a feeding frenzy that created several misconceptions about the case. Holmes brushed aside comments from the Oregon family's attorneys that the case was only brought to trial to validate his view of the shooting. He said it was simply a "fortuitous byproduct" of the trial that the public now has a clearer picture of the incident. "It would be silly to think that I'm not glad the facts came out in this case," Holmes said. "Of course I'm glad. It's not healthy for people to think you got six cold-blooded killer cops running around."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sole Indictment Of Willis Confounded Many (The Houston Chronicle analyzes the quick acquittal Thursday of fired Houston prohibition agent James Willis, the only one of six police charged in connection with the shooting death of Pedro Oregon Navarro during a warrantless entry. As to why Willis was indicted in the first place, one source said some grand jurors just didn't like Willis, thought he was arrogant and were angry that he would not concede that he and the other officers might have done something improper.) Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 23:21:30 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Sole Indictment Of Willis Confounded Many Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: GALAN@prodigy.net (G. A ROBISON) Pubdate: 26 Mar 1999 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Forum: http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html Author: Steve Brewer Section: Front Page of Metro Section (33A) SOLE INDICTMENT OF WILLIS CONFOUNDED MANY Grand jury may have disliked officer's demeanor Of the six Houston policemen involved in the botched drug raid that led to the death of Pedro Oregon Navarro, James Willis was the only one indicted. That seems to confound prosecutors, Oregon family attorneys, protesters and even Willis' attorney. "That's something that's perplexed everybody," said Brian Benken, who represented Willis. It even perplexed Ryan Baxter, whose tip to police led to the aborted drug raid that led to Oregon's shooting. Earlier this week, during Willis' misdemeanor criminal trespass trial, he testified that Willis was nice to him the night of his arrest and he didn't think the officer had done anything wrong. "I don't know why he was brought up on charges, to tell the truth," Baxter told jurors, to the chagrin of prosecutors. Willis, acquitted of the charge Thursday, already had been fired, as had the five other officers involved in the July 12 raid. But he has been the only one to face any charges so far. Sources familiar with the grand jury probe and the investigation of the Oregon shooting -- requesting anonymity -- told the Chronicle that Willis was charged by angry grand jurors because he came across as "a jerk" while testifying before them. One source said some grand jurors just didn't like Willis, thought he was arrogant and were angry that he would not concede that he and the other officers might have done something improper. Members of that grand jury either couldn't be reached for comment or declined to say anything about the case. Harris County District Attorney John B. Holmes Jr. said he cannot comment on grand jury deliberations or testimony and neither can prosecutor Ed Porter, who handled Willis' case. But, Holmes speculated, Willis' behavior or demeanor in front of grand juror s could have made the difference. "I don't know and I'm just speculating, but I think Willis was absolutely convinced that what they did was in accordance with the law and my guess is that angered the grand jury," Holmes said. Porter said he didn't know why they indicted Willis alone, or why they decided to charge him with criminal trespass. Prosecutors had prepared paperwork on all the officers, ranging from murder to official oppression. But grand jurors apparently picked criminal trespass on their own and singled out Willis. No clear reason was shown during the trial. Evidence showed he wasn't the only one in the apartment. He didn't plan the raid, was not the ranking officer and wasn't the first in the door of the apartment where Oregon was killed. "I think it's a question of perception as to what occurred," Porter said after Thursday's verdict. "They obviously had the benefit of additional testimony that this jury did not have the benefit of." Peter Lewis, an attorney with a doctorate in criminology who teaches at South Texas College of Law, said it is unusual for a grand jury to take such an action. Singling out one person in a case with several potential defendants is strange enough, said Lewis, a former prosecutor and defense attorney, but charging him because of a personal perception is a "fluke." "That almost never happens that they pick one guy because of his demeanor .. but you got to take the good with the bad and I don't think it happens that often." Lewis said the panel could have just as easily indicted all six officers for trespassing, but grand jurors can be unpredictable, though they're generally considered rubber stamps for prosecutors.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Cheech and Chong Medicine' (Arkansas Times columnist Mara Leveritt says the White House drug czar, Barry R. McCaffrey, didn't let a little thing like being debunked by the Institute of Medicine report prompt him to re-examine his position on medical marijuana. After the report's release on March 17, he explained that "the future of marijuana as medicine lies in things like inhalers" and in drugs extracted from the plant - certainly not in the raw vegetation. Development will take years. It has never mattered in the past how many people's lives, how many civil liberties, or how much of the nation's wealth had to be sacrificed to keep marijuana illegal. Nothing appears likely to change that - neither science, nor sense, nor mercy.) Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 11:29:37 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US AR: Column: Cheech and Chong Medicine Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: James Markes Pubdate: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 Source: Arkansas Times (AR) Copyright: 1999 Arkansas Times Limited Partnership Contact: email@example.com Fax: (501) 375-3623 Mail: Post Office Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203 Website: http://www.arktimes.com/ Author: Mara Leveritt - Opinion Columnist 'CHEECH AND CHONG MEDICINE' Barry R. McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, barely missed a beat. The new report on marijuana overturned almost everything that McCaffrey, the White House, and the Washington establishment have been saying about marijuana. But the nation's drug czar didn't let a little thing like being debunked prompt him to re-examine his position. He is the spokesman for the drug war, and to him, marijuana is the enemy and legalization is defeat. His job is to make sure the enemy is seen as dangerous. Thus, for the past three years, McCaffrey has derided the increasingly popular belief that marijuana might be medically useful. He has dismissed the idea as "hooey" and called the notion of medical marijuana "a sham." While voters in a half dozen states have voted to legalize medical marijuana, McCaffrey has mocked the initiatives as "Cheech and Chong medicine." President Clinton has stood behind McCaffrey, suggesting that the voters in Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, where medical marijuana initiatives were approved, must have been confused. Despite the new state laws, the federal government still insists on keeping all forms of marijuana illegal. McCaffrey's problem is that Washington's credibility on the subject is nil. Americans simply do not believe the official line anymore. And increasing numbers of them do believe that marijuana may offer some significant medical relief. Now their common sense has found support in a report that, ironically, was requested and paid for by McCaffrey's own office. Last week, the Institute of Medicine, an affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded in its report that some patients -- particularly those suffering from cancer and AIDS -- could be helped by marijuana. The Institute's analysis follows a 1997 report in which experts brought together by the National Institutes of Health reached essentially the same conclusion. Even though word of a very inexpensive yet highly effective medicine might seem like good news, it's bad news for McCaffrey's White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The drug czar did not hail the latest report's findings that marijuana's active ingredients can ease pain, nausea and vomiting. And there was certainly no audible sigh of relief over the report's equally important conclusion that there is no scientific basis for the oft-repeated claims that marijuana acts as a "gateway" to harder drugs; that marijuana is addictive, or that use of marijuana as a medicine would encourage its abuse either among patients or the general public. But surely, McCaffrey is not surprised. Scientists have been issuing similar reports for years. As far back as 1972, the Shafer Commission, appointed by President Nixon, recommended that marijuana be decriminalized -- and not just for medical use. Nixon ignored the advice. Demagoguery has always beat out science in the marijuana debate. And look at the results: * The crackdown that began with marijuana escalated to a war on drugs. * Judges had their hands tied with mandatory sentences. * Police forces burgeoned. * Families and communities were decimated by incarcerations due to drugs. * Prisons exploded into a blue-chip industry. * Thousands of patients whose suffering might have been relieved endured needless misery. Now that yet another group of scientists has pointed out how marijuana's benefits appear to outweigh its relatively minor liabilities, we might dare hope that Washington would listen. We might dream that our leaders would throw in the towel and be grateful to learn that they can stop trying to fight this ancient non-enemy. But, I'm afraid we will hope and dream in vain. At the same time that support for medical marijuana has swelled, marijuana arrests have been proceeding at a record pace. There were three-quarters of a million of them in 1997, and 90 percent of those were for simple possession. Some of those arrested argued that they used marijuana for pain. But that's a claim that political leaders continue to reject -- science notwithstanding. They say they're protecting us, but the real reason, I submit, is money. Too many people have gotten rich on illegal marijuana to want it legalized, and so far, they have prevailed. But now that the tide is turning and the move to legalize medical marijuana appears unstoppable, the drive will be to keep the drug profitable in a different way -- by routing it through the pharmaceutical industry. McCaffrey has already pointed the new direction. After the report's release, he explained that, "the future of marijuana as medicine lies in things like inhalers" and in drugs extracted from the plant -- certainly not in the raw vegetation. Development will take years. It has never mattered in the past how many people's lives, how many civil liberties, or how much of the nation's wealth had to be sacrificed to keep marijuana illegal. Nothing appears likely to change that -- neither science, nor sense, nor mercy.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bill Toughens Marijuana Laws (The Des Moines Register says that with no discussion and little dissent, the Iowa House on Thursday approved a bill that would make giving away marijuana weighing more than a half-ounce a felony. Under current law, giving away an ounce or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor. Even Democrats were silent as the bill was quickly approved 86-5.) Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 10:42:34 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US IA: Bill Toughens Marijuana Laws Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 Source: Des Moines Register (IA) Copyright: 1999, The Des Moines Register. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dmregister.com/ BILL TOUGHENS MARIJUANA LAWS With no discussion and little dissent, the Iowa House on Thursday approved a significant change in the state's marijuana laws. Under current law, giving another person an ounce or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor. The proposed law would make anything more than a half-ounce a felony. Rep. Steve Sukup, R-Dougherty, said many drug problems begin with marijuana. The use of marijuana should be taken more seriously, he said. The bill was controversial when it was discussed earlier this year in the House Judiciary committee, with Democrats strongly opposing the plan, saying it would add even more people to the state's overcrowded jails. On Thursday, however, Democrats were silent as the bill was quickly approved 86-5.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bensenville Cops Tainted By Charges Of Tampering (The Chicago Tribune says the police department in Bensenville, Illinois, wants to fire William Wassman, an officer charged with stealing cocaine. Meanwhile, Sgt. Joseph DeAnda, who once headed the department's detective division, was put on administrative leave Wednesday after an investigation of evidence taken in drug and gambling cases.) Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 23:21:29 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US IL: Bensenville Cops Tainted By Charges Of Tampering 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: 26 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: Denise Linke and G.J. Zemaitis BENSENVILLE COPS TAINTED BY CHARGES OF TAMPERING The Bensenville Police Department is seeking to fire an officer charged with tampering with evidence and lying about his official conduct. Meanwhile, a sergeant who once headed the department's detective division was put on administrative leave Wednesday after an investigation of evidence taken in drug and gambling cases, police said. Sgt. Joseph DeAnda was reassigned last year to street duty after federal agents raided his parents' Bensenville tavern. Officer William Wassman, who was in charge of storing evidence from 1993 until June 1996, was alleged to have taken cocaine he had said he destroyed and relabeled it for use against drug suspect David Poters, though the cocaine was not related to Poters' case, said Acting Police Chief Craig Grude. The cocaine was used to convict Poters of possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to 2 years' probation in 1996. After a yearlong internal investigation, village officials referred Wassman's alleged actions to the DuPage state's attorney's office for a criminal investigation. He was indicted Feb. 26. "Based on the facts alleged in the statement of charges, it is the village's position that Officer Wassman is unfit to continue as a law enforcement official," Grude said in a written statement. Wassman also is accused of altering other officers' written statements that they had seen him destroy drugs seized in arrests; failing to produce cocaine evidence needed to prosecute a case after being ordered to preserve it; and falsely notarizing the signature of Club Latino owner Jose DeAnda on a liquor license renewal form. The nightclub closed last year after an FBI drug-trafficking investigation. Jose DeAnda is the father of Joseph DeAnda. Wassman has been on paid administrative leave since December. He will be on unpaid suspension until the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners rules on the request to dismiss him. Joseph DeAnda will draw a salary during his leave, police said. The results of an investigation, which were turned over to the DuPage County state's attorney, focus on DeAnda's possible misconduct involving $6,000 connected to drug and gambling seizures, police said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Grass Roots of Teen Drug Abuse (An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by 'Smokin' Joe Califano of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University assails the conclusion of the recent Institute of Medicine report on medical marijuana that "there was no conclusive evidence that marijuana use leads to harder drugs." Califano, a lawyer with no apparent understanding of statistics who has made a career at CASA based on the "gateway" theory, cites the usual illusory correlations, but completely fails to acknowledge why correlation isn't necessarily causation.) Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 19:51:07 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Editorial: The Grass Roots of Teen Drug Abuse Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Tom O'Connell) Pubdate: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 Source: Wall Street Journal (NY) Copyright: 1999 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.wsj.com/ Author: JOSEPH A. CALIFANO JR. THE GRASS ROOTS OF TEEN DRUG ABUSE "FEDS GO TO POT" screamed the New York Post headline last week, after the Institute of Medicine released its report "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base." The Associated Press reported that the IOM had found "there was no conclusive evidence that marijuana use leads to harder drugs." A look at the actual report shows that these press accounts are misleading. Consider these words from the report: "Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana-usually before they are of legal age. In the sense that marijuana use typically precedes rather than follows initiation of other illicit drug use, it is indeed a 'gateway' drug. But because underage smoking and alcohol use typically precede marijuana use, marijuana is not the most common and is rarely the first, 'gateway' to illicit drug use." Those are the words that precede the tentatively worded statement the AP paraphrased: "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs." The report notes, however, that "people who enjoy the effects of marijuana are, logically, more likely to be willing to try other mind-altering drugs than are people who are not willing to try marijuana or who dislike its effects. In other words, many of the factors associated with a willingness to use marijuana are, presumably, the same as those associated with a willingness to use other illicit drugs." And the report recognizes "intensity" of marijuana use as increasing the risk of progression to other drugs. The medical benefits and risks of marijuana-the subjects to which the report devotes most of its attention are matters for doctors, scientists and the Food and Drug Administration. The potential of marijuana as a gateway drug is a matter of concern for teenagers, parents and policy makers. The IOM's brief, three-page discussion of the gateway issue fails to discuss mounting statistical and scientific evidence that children who smoke pot are much likelier than those who don't to use drugs like cocaine, heroin and LSD. And the press coverage has been dangerously deceptive. The Institute of Medicine study fails to discuss mounting scientific evidence that children who smoke pot are much likelier to use drugs like cocaine, heroin and LSD. I have not read or heard in any news report the important finding that "the ... interpretation . . . that marijuana serves as a gateway to the world of illegal drugs in which youths have greater opportunity and are under greater social pressure to try other illegal drugs ... is the interpretation most often used in the scientific literature, and is supported by-although not proven by the available data." The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, which I head, analyzed the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 1995 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 1l, 000 ninth-through 12th graders, adjusting for other risk factors such as repeated acts of violence and sexual promiscuity. The correlations are potent: * Teens who drank and smoked cigarettes at least once in the past month are 30 times more likely to smoke marijuana than those who didn't. * Teens who drank, smoked cigarettes, and used marijuana at least once in the past month are more than 16 times as likely to use another drug like cocaine, heroin or LSD. To appreciate the significance of these relationships, consider this: The first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health found a nine to 10 times greater risk of lung cancer among smokers. The early returns from the monumental Framingham heart study found that individuals with high cholesterol were two to four tirnes as likely to suffer heart disease. Most people who smoke pot do not move on to other drugs, but then only 5% to 7% of cigarette smokers get lung cancer. The point for parents and teens is that those youngsters who smoke pot are at vastly greater risk of moving on to harder drugs. CASA'S studies reveal that the younger and more often a teen smokes pot, the more likely that teen is to use cocaine. A child who uses marijuana before age 12 is 42 times more likely to use cocaine, heroin or other drugs than one who first smokes pot after age 16. The IOM report also fails to discuss findings of recent scientific studies that suggest some of the reasons for this high correlation. Studies in Italy reveal that marijuana affects levels of dopamine (the substance that gives pleasure) in the brain in a manner similar to heroin. Gaetana DiChiara, the physician who led this work at the University of Cagliari, indicates that marijuana may prime the brain to seek substances that act in a similar way. Studies in the U.S. have found that nicotine, cocaine and alcohol also affect dopamine levels. Nor does the IOM report mention studies at the distinguished Scripps Research Institute in California and Cumplutense University in Madrid which found that rats subjected to immediate cannabis withdrawl exhibited changes in behavior similar to those seen after withdrawal of alcohol, cocaine and opiates, Science magazine called this "the first neurological basis for a marijuana withdrawal syndrome, and one with a strong emotional component shared by other drugs." Alan Leshner, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has estimated that at least 100,000 individuals are in treatment because of marijuana use. Most are believed to be teenagers. Our concern should be to prevent teen drug use. We know that someone who gets to age 21 without smoking, using drugs or abusing alcohol is virtually certain never to do so. We have known for some time, as the IOM report confirms that marijuana harms short-term memory, motor skills and the ability to concentrate, attributes teenagers need when they are learning in school. Parents, teachers and clergy need to send teens a clear message: Stay away from pot. The incompleteness of the IOM report and the press's sloppy summaries of it must not be permitted to dilute that message. Mr. Califano is President of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. He was secretary of. health, education and welfare from 1977 to 1979.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana-Like Chemicals Could Treat Disease (Reuters says a report published in the April issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience by researchers from the University of California at Irvine found that anandamide, a marijuana-like chemical in the brain that helps regulate body movement and coordination, might be useful in treating diseases that produce tics and shaking, such as Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. The researchers found that anandamide interferes with the effects of nerve cells that transmit dopamine. Uncontrolled production of dopamine has been blamed for some of the symptoms of schizophrenia and the nervous tics and outbursts associated with Tourette's syndrome. A lack of dopamine is blamed for the shaking and motor hesitation that marks Parkinson's disease.) Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 10:42:28 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Wire: Marijuana-Like Chemicals Could Treat Disease Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Pubdate: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited. MARIJUANA-LIKE CHEMICALS COULD TREAT DISEASE WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A marijuana-like chemical in the brain that helps regulate body movement and coordination might be used to treat diseases that produce tics and shaking, such as Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia, researchers said. University of California Irvine researchers found that the chemical, known as anandamide, acts as a kind of brake on neural activity in the brains of rats, and might be used to treat the side-effects of diseases that cause uncontrollable movements. Writing in the April issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience, they said anandamide interferes with the effects of nerve cells that transmit dopamine, the message-carrying chemical responsible for stimulating movement and other motor behavior in the brain. Uncontrolled production of dopamine has been blamed for some of the symptoms of schizophrenia and the nervous tics and outbursts associated with Tourette's syndrome. A lack of dopamine is blamed for the shaking and motor hesitation that marks Parkinson's disease. ``This shows for the first time how anandamides work in the brain to produce normal motor activity,'' Daniele Piomelli, an associate professor of pharmacology at UCI who helped lead the study, said in a statement. ``Patients with schizophrenia and other diseases have reported that marijuana appears to relieve some of their symptoms, but scientists have never found a physiological reason why. By understanding how the anandamide system works similarly to marijuana, we can explore new ways to treat these diseases more effectively.'' But Piomelli said cannabis itself did not offer any kind of cure. ``Marijuana doesn't provide the regulatory effects on dopamine in the brain that we're looking for,'' he said. Anandamide, named after the Sanskrit word for ``bliss and tranquillity,'' is used by a network of nerve cells in an area of the brain called the striatum, which coordinates body movements and other motor behavior, the researchers said. Normally nerve cells regulate this behavior by releasing anandamides at the same time they release dopamine. The anandamides bind to cannabinoid receptors, which are where tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, docks onto cells. When the team blocked these receptors, rats experienced severe nervous tics and other uncontrolled motor activity. Piomelli said new drugs that mimic the effects of anandamides could offer gentler treatments for some diseases. ``Current drugs certainly halt the actions of dopamine, but the side effects, including sedation and dizziness, are very severe,'' he said. In a commentary, David Self of Yale University said the approach could be used to develop drugs that help Parkinson's treatments, which try to boost production of dopamine in the brain but whose effects wear off after a few years. Drugs that stimulate the cannabinoid receptor might also be used against Huntington's disease, a fatal and incurable disease first marked by jerks and spasms, Self added.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Widely used diabetes drug linked to liver failure, deaths (According to the Associated Press, officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said today they have linked 38 cases of acute liver failure to the diabetes drug Rezulin and believe the risk of liver problems grows over time as patients take the drug. At the same time, several doctors said Rezulin helps many of their most afflicted diabetes patients, and the benefits outweigh the risk.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Widely used diabetes drug linked to liver failure, deaths Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 19:16:35 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Posted at 12:09 p.m. PST; Friday, March 26, 1999 Widely used diabetes drug linked to liver failure, deaths by Lauran Neergaard The Associated Press BETHESDA, Md. - Federal officials said today they have linked 38 cases of acute liver failure to the diabetes drug Rezulin and believe the risk of liver problems grows over time as patients take the drug. In all, Food and Drug Administration officials have discovered 43 cases of acute liver failure among Rezulin patients, 38 of which were probably caused by the medicine, the officials told a panel of scientific advisers weighing the drug's safety. Of those 43 people, seven had a liver transplant and survived, five survived without a transplant and 28 died. Officials did not know the outcome of the other three cases. At the same time, several doctors told the FDA scientific advisers that Rezulin helps many of their toughest diabetes patients, and the benefits outweigh the risk. "No drug is 100 percent safe," said Dr. Steven Edelman of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Diego. "But diabetes is a serious disease." Only an estimated 45 percent of Rezulin patients are getting the proper liver testing to detect problems in time to treat them, under the best-case scenario, said Dr. David Graham, an FDA epidemiologist. Thus, it's impossible to say if a better job of liver testing would save a significant number. Very few Rezulin patients have used the drug for more than several months, but Graham argued that the longer patients do use it, the greater the risk of liver damage. Using the data that exist, Graham created a model to estimate that among people who use Rezulin for six months, as many as one in 1,800 could have liver failure. "There is no question that individual patients have benefited" from Rezulin, Graham said. But "the longer you stay on troglitazone (Rezulin), the greater the risk of developing acute liver failure." The 16-month debate over the safety of the novel drug, taken by 750,000 Americans, has sharply divided diabetes specialists. Of all the medications sold for type 2 or so-called adult onset diabetes, Rezulin is the only one that targets the disease's underlying cause. It has helped patients for whom other therapies failed and thus are at higher risk of serious complications. But other specialists have stopped prescribing Rezulin because it can attack some patients' livers. On Monday, Britain ruled that Rezulin was too dangerous to sell in that country. The Food and Drug Administration long has warned patients of the liver risk, and urges they get repeated, rigorous liver tests. But the FDA called the highly unusual safety meeting today because of the alarming finding that some patients who took all those precautions still died - from severe liver toxicity that arose just weeks after they had passed a liver test. The panel of scientific advisers is itself under intense scrutiny because some of the scientists have conducted research financed at least indirectly by Rezulin's manufacturer, Warner-Lambert. The same panel enthusiastically backed Rezulin's initial approval in December 1996.
------------------------------------------------------------------- N. Korea Sponsoring Drug Trafficking (According to UPI, today's Washington Post quotes U.S. and international drug officials saying that Korean diplomats have been captured in recent years carrying large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine. South Korean intelligence sources and North Korean defectors confirm North Korea's entry into the illegal drug business.) Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 06:01:31 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Wire: N.Korea Sponsoring Drug Trafficking Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International N. KOREA SPONSORING DRUG TRAFFICKING WASHINGTON, - North Korea, facing famine and short of cash, is turning to state-sponsoring drug-running. The Washington Post is reporting today that U.S. and international drug officials say Korean diplomats have been captured in recent years in several countries bearing large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamines. South Korean intelligence sources and North Korean defectors confirm North Korea's entry into the illegal drug business. ``The state is the Mafia,'' former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea James Lilley told the newspaper, adding that North Koreans routinely use diplomatic pouches - which are immune to customs searches - to transfer drugs across international boundaries. The Congressional Research Service reports that North Korea generated about $71 million from drugs and $15 million from counterfeiting in 1997. The CRS said the figures are ``conservative estimates.'' North Korea's international isolation has created a money crunch and forced it to close most of its diplomatic missions while demanding that those diplomats still in the field somehow earn hard currency and send some of it back to Pyongyang. An official told the Post: ``So these poor guys are sitting there trying to spin gold from straw. I suspect that is where you get some of the drug dealing.'' Some U.S. senators have demanded that North Korea, which they suspect is using the drug money to finance its military, be included in the state Department's annual drug trafficking report. The latest such report says North Korea has as much as 17,300 acres in poppy productions, which could yield as much as 4.5 metric tons of heroin. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, tells the Post: ``We want to know why, with the indications we are getting the North Korean government is implicated in drug production, there is not more of an effort to confront the issue. We have got to stop ignoring drug trafficking and treating North Korea like a 'most favored rogue state' in the hopes they will unilaterally stop producing drugs.'' The newspaper said in January Interpol agents in Moscow searched North Korean diplomats arriving from Mexico and found 77 pounds of cocaine, with a value of some $4.5 million, in the pair's luggage. Last year in Japan police seized about $100 million worth of methamphetamines from a North Korean ship. The North Koreans had labeled the containers ``honey'' and officials were suspicious of a country experiencing a severe famine exporting food.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The North Korean Connection (According to the original Washington Post version, U.S. officials said in 1990 there have been at least 26 documented incidents of North Korean diplomats being arrested on drug trafficking charges, and many more involving other smuggled goods. North Korea has become the largest recipient of U.S. aid in Asia in recent years.) Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 14:41:31 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: The North Korean Connection Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake (email@example.com) Pubdate: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Page: A21 Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071 Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Douglas Farah and Thomas W. Lippman, Washington Post Foreign Service THE NORTH KOREAN CONNECTION U.S. Says Cash-Strapped Pyongyang Sponsors Heroin Production Last January, Interpol officials at Moscow's international airport spotted two North Korean diplomats arriving from Mexico, an unusual event because that impoverished Asian nation had little money for its diplomats to travel. An inspection of their luggage showed the two were carrying 77 pounds of cocaine, worth about $4.5 million, which they hoped to sell in Russia. A few months earlier, Japanese police had seized almost $100 million worth of methamphetamines aboard a North Korean cargo ship. The cargo was discovered, according to a U.S. official familiar with the case, because the containers were labeled "honey," and "officials asked themselves why a country in the midst of a massive famine would be exporting food." Isolated diplomatically, short of resources, facing widespread famine and desperate for hard currency, North Korea is rapidly expanding state involvement in the production and distribution of heroin and methamphetamines, in addition to a host of other criminal enterprises, according to U.S. and international drug officials. U.S. concerns about North Korea's state-sponsored drug trafficking have been overshadowed by the West's preoccupation with North Korea's clandestine development of nuclear arms and its rapidly advancing missile programs. "Everything can't be priority one or priority two or even priority four and five, you know, and narcotics is way down the list," said a U.S. official. U.S. officials admit their information is sketchy because Washington has no diplomatic ties with Pyongyang, and they rely heavily on South Korean intelligence services. But anecdotal evidence such as the sudden jump in the past three years of arrests of North Korean diplomats and the accounts of defectors consistently say the illegal activities are carried out with the direct authorization of the North Korean government. "The state is the mafia," said James Lilley, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, adding that North Koreans routinely use their diplomatic pouch, immune to search, to ship drugs and other contraband. A February report by the Congressional Research Service said "conservative estimates" of North Korea's criminal activity, "carefully targeted to meet specific needs," generated about $86 million in 1997 -- $71 million from drugs and $15 million from counterfeiting. Requests for comment by North Koreans at the United Nations were not answered, but in the past North Koreans have insisted that any criminal activities were the work of individuals, not the state. U.S. intelligence officials said that in about 1994 the government created the Korean Workers Party Bureau 39, a special office to generate hard currency that is under the direct control of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. At about the same time, officials said, North Korea shut down many of its embassies because of the financial crisis, and their remaining diplomats overseas were told they would have to start earning enough hard currency to pay the cost of operating their diplomatic posts and remit some home. "So these poor guys are sitting there trying to spin gold from straw," said one official. "I suspect that is where you get some of the drug dealing." In 1990, U.S. officials said, there have been at least 26 documented incidents of North Korean diplomats being arrested on drug trafficking charges, and many more involving other smuggled goods. U.S. officials said much of the bureau money is channeled through the Kaesong Bank for hard-currency purchases abroad. "These two offices, office 39 and Kaesong Bank, are Kim Jong Il's personal finance secretariat, [and the money is] basically discretionary income for Kim Jong Il to spend it on whatever the heck he wants to spend it on," said a U.S. official. "He can spend it on bicycles or Mercedes or watches." The growing concern that North Korea is using drug trafficking proceeds to fund its weapons program and maintain its military, the fifth largest in the world, is leading many in Congress to question U.S. policy toward North Korea. At the behest of Congress, the Clinton administration asked former defense secretary William J. Perry to review all aspects of U.S. policy toward North Korea. On March 5 senior House Republicans, including international relations committee chairman Benjamin A. Gilman (N.Y.), and Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (Tex.) wrote to Perry, saying, "Your report needs to clearly highlight the reality that North Korea has entered the illicit narcotic production and trafficking business, especially the production of opium and methamphetamine." Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) last year demanded that the State Department include North Korea in its annual worldwide drug trafficking report. This year's report, released March 1, did, concluding that, in North Korea, "estimates of the area under poppy cultivation range from 10,378 acres to 17,300 acres and estimates of opium production range from 30 metric tons to 44 metric tons annually. This would yield from 3 to 4.5 metric tons of heroin, if all the opium were refined into heroin." But Grassley, chairman of the Caucus on International Narcotics Control, said in an interview that the State Department's report was unsatisfactory. "We want to know why, with the indications we are getting the North Korean government is implicated in drug production, there is not more of an effort to confront the issue." Grassley said. "We have got to stop ignoring drug trafficking and treating North Korea like a 'most favored rogue state' in the hopes they will unilaterally stop producing drugs." The greatest concern, according to Barry R. McCaffrey, the Clinton administration's drug policy director, is methamphetamine production, which requires much less expertise and fewer precursor chemicals than heroin production. U.S. officials trace the rise in methamphetamine production to 1997, after rains destroyed much of the opium crop. "The target appears to be Japan and Thailand," McCaffrey said. "Meth is worth their attention as a technique to generate international cash, and it takes no skill." [SIDEBAR] Aid to N. Korea North Korea has become the largest recipient of U.S. aid in Asia in recent years. U.S. aid since 1994: Purpose Amount (in millions) Fuel oil $79.5 Storage of nuclear material 27.0 Food aid 140.0 Tracking down U.S. servicemen 3.1 Total $249.6 In fiscal year 1999, North Korea is slated to receive 300,000 tons of wheat valued at $100 million. Above data from: Congressional Research Service
------------------------------------------------------------------- National Unit To Wage War On Drugs (The Scotsman says Henry McLeish, the Scottish home affairs minister, announced yesterday that a Scottish drug enforcement agency would be in place by the end of the year to "wage war" on the relentless rise in drugs crime. Apparently not satisfied that drugs offences had more than quadrupled in the past decade, from 7,000 to 31,500, the Government promised to invest £36 million more to train and equip 200 extra detectives to catch drug dealers and importers, doubling the specialist police manpower to combat drugs at a national level.) Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 16:58:45 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Scotland: National Unit To Wage War On Drugs 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: Fri, Mar 26, 1999 Source: Scotsman (UK) Copyright: The Scotsman Publications Ltd Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Forum: http://www.scotsman.com/ Author: Jenny Booth, Home Affairs Correspondent NATIONAL UNIT TO WAGE WAR ON DRUGS A SCOTTISH drug enforcement agency will be in place by the end of the year to "wage war" on the relentless rise in drugs crime, Henry McLeish, the Scottish home affairs minister, announced yesterday. The Government promised to invest £36 million in training and equipping 200 extra detectives to catch drug dealers and importers, doubling the specialist police manpower to combat drugs at a national level. Crime figures reveal that drugs offences have more than quadrupled in the past decade, from 7,000 to 31,500. "If you are fighting a war, you have to use tactics commensurate with the enemy and that is what we are doing," Mr McLeish said. "It will be brutal, tough and uncompromising. The national crime squad is already taking out loads of very significant dealers in Scotland, but doubling the number of people on the ground will have an enormous impact on seizures." The Drug Enforcement Agency will grow out of a much-expanded Scottish crime squad, which consists of 100 detectives seconded from Scotland's eight police forces. Nearly 80 of the squad's officers concentrate entirely on drugs. The squad numbers will be doubled from 100 to 200 officers to create the separate, 100-strong DEA, the first of its type in Britain. A further 100 detectives will be recruited to boost drug squads in the eight forces. The costs will come from the=A313 million for Scottish criminal justice allocated by Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, in the Budget. England and Wales is considering setting up its own DEA to fight drugs. Mr McLeish also said that Scotland may introduce drugs courts similar those in Europe and the United States, providing a faster, specialised response to people accused of possessing or supplying drugs. Drugs courts have already been backed by the Scottish National Party, and by Gaille McCann, the spokeswoman for Mothers Against Drugs, from Cranhill in Glasgow whereAllan Harper, 13, became Scotland's youngest heroin victim in January 1998. Mr McLeish added that the Scottish Office was working on ways for the courts to confiscate the assets of suspected as well as convicted drugs dealers. He called on other political parties to support the proposals. They responded with some reservations. Pete Wishart, the SNP's drugs spokesman, said: "I can go along with and even support the Government's line on enforcement. All we would say is that treatment and rehabilitation, and tackling the demand for drugs, must be almost equally important." Marilyne MacLaren, the Scottish Liberal Democrat spokeswoman on drugs, warned of the danger of spending too much on enforcement, which she said only scratched the surface of Scotland's problems with drugs. "We must invest on the ground," Ms MacLaren said. "We have drugs agencies who are doing a marvellous job in our communities but are now scrabbling for money and could do a darn sight more if they had the funds - agencies like Crew 2000." Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Conservatives' spokeswoman on drugs, said: "Any initiative by the Government to deal with this evil is welcome, but unless it is part of a national strategy far more coherent and far more visible than is currently the case, it is merely taking a piecemeal approach which is not giving the sense of national vision and hope which the peopleof Scotland currently need, and which it is overdue to provide." Dave Liddell, the director of the Scottish Drugs Forum, said that the Government was clearly under pressure to be seen to take tough action on drugs. "If an extra £36 million is to be spent on enforcement this should be matched by an equivalent or greater amount on treatment and care services to ensure that there are not considerable knock-on costs in other parts of the criminal justice system - in particular, prison costs," said Mr Liddell. The 1998 recorded crime figures for Scotland, published yesterday, showed that crime rose by 3 per cent, reversing the downward trend of the past seven years. Serious sexual crime, violent crime and speeding offences increased in 1998. Mr McLeish promised tougher action on all three types of crime. The 3 per cent increase in crimes of dishonesty - notably housebreaking and shoplifting - could not be disentangled from Scotland's growing drugs problem, he said, as addicts stole to pay for their habits. The Scottish Office is reconsidering its decision not to create a crime of harassment, unlike England and Wales which has had numerous prosecutions under its anti-harassment laws. The Government previously argued that the common law offence of breach of the peace was perfectly adequate to prosecute such offences. Women's groups say that in practice the Scottish courts are failing to protect the victims of stalkers. "In view of what's happening, I want a consultation to take place in Scotland with a view to strengthening the law on harassment," Mr McLeish said. Roy Cameron, the secretary of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, said: "The association welcomes the continuing thrust in the attack against crime and looks forward to an early meeting with the minister to discuss the proposals."
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 84 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's original publication featuring drug policy news and calls to action includes - New report finds one million Americans incarcerated for non-violent offenses; IOM findings strengthen administrative challenge to repeal marijuana's prohibited status; Alert: support California syringe decriminalization bill; American Pharmaceutical Association adopts syringe deregulation position; Vancouver needle exchange study clarifies previous study's results; Newsbriefs; and an editorial by Adam J. Smith, Rolling back the tide) Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 19:37:21 +0000 To: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #84 Sender: email@example.com The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #84 - March 26, 1999 A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network -------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- (To sign off this list, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) This issue can be also be read on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/084.html. Check out the DRCNN weekly radio segment at http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. New Report Finds One Million Americans Incarcerated for Non-Violent Offenses http://www.drcnet.org/wol/084.html#million 2. IOM Findings Strengthen Administrative Challenge to Repeal Marijuana's Prohibitive Status http://www.drcnet.org/wol/084.html#petition 3. ALERT: Support California Syringe Decriminalization Bill http://www.drcnet.org/wol/084.html#calalert 4. American Pharmaceutical Association Adopts Syringe Deregulation Position http://www.drcnet.org/wol/084.html#apha 5. Vancouver Needle Exchange Study Clarifies Previous Study's Results http://www.drcnet.org/wol/084.html#vancouver 6. Newsbriefs http://www.drcnet.org/wol/084.html#newsbriefs 7. Rolling Back the Tide http://www.drcnet.org/wol/084.html#editorial *** 1. New Report Finds One Million Americans Incarcerated for Non-Violent Offenses - Marc Brandl, firstname.lastname@example.org A report released March 25th by the Justice Policy Institute entitled "America's One Million Nonviolent Prisoners" (http://www.cjcj.org/jpi/onemillion.html) found some startling facts about whom America is imprisoning. According to the report, racial disparities in who gets incarcerated continues to grow while female prisoners continue to grow at the fastest rate. Increasingly those incarcerated are serving time for non-violent, primarily drug related offenses. Vincent Schiraldi, who co-author of the report, spoke at a press conference today and told the reporters, "People think prisons are being built and sentencing laws are being passed to keep the Jack the Rippers of the world off the street, but increasingly, those prisons are being filled with 'the gang that couldn't shoot straight.'" Among some of the more eye-opening statistics the report finds is that the non- violent prison population in the US now exceeds the population of Wyoming and Alaska and three times the size of the violent and nonviolent prisoner populations of the entire European Union, which has a combined population 100 million people larger than the United States. Minority communities continue to be the largest segment of the population locked up for nonviolent offenses. The report finds African Americans are incarcerated at eight times the rate of whites, and Hispanics at three and a half times the rate of whites. Because of the growing number of nonviolent inmates, the number of violent prisoners doing time has declined from 57% of the general prison population in 1978 to 47% in 1997. The report also analyzed the cost of incarceration and found America spent $24 billion dollars last year on the local, state and federal level incarcerating nonviolent offenders. The report puts most of the blame for America having such a large jail population on mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), speaking at a press conference on disparities in sentencing guidelines for crack and powder cocaine stated, "Mandatory minimum sentences are one of the great ills of the criminal justice system. To take away judicial discretion is unfair and works against people on the receiving end of these sentences." The report is the latest in a long line of studies done by the Justice Policy Institute studying the consequences of mass incarceration in the United States, and can be found online at http://www.cjcj.org/jpi/onemillionpr.html. *** 2. IOM Findings Strengthen Administrative Challenge to Repeal Marijuana's Prohibitive Status (reprinted from the NORML Weekly News, http://www.norml.org) March 23, 1999, New York, NY: Determinations released last week by the Institute of Medicine that marijuana holds medical value and has a low potential for abuse supports an administrative petition that seeks to remove marijuana's classification as a Schedule I prohibited drug. Petitioners Jon Gettman, former NORML National Director, and Trans High Corporation, publisher of High Times Magazine, announced last week that the IOM findings back their administrative effort to reclassify marijuana. "The IOM findings support [our] petition to the DEA demanding the reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule I drug like cocaine and heroin to a lower classification consistent with its therapeutic potential and relative harmlessness," said NORML Legal Committee member Michael Kennedy, attorney for the petitioners. By definition, all Schedule I drugs must have a "high potential for abuse" and "no currently accepted medical use in treatment." In contrast, the IOM report found that "few marijuana users develop dependence," and called the drug's withdrawal symptoms "mild and short-lived." IOM researchers further determined that there is no evidence marijuana acts as a gateway to harder drug use, and summarized, "Except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range of effects tolerated for other medications." Gettman and Trans High Corporation filed an administrative petition with the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1995 arguing that marijuana lacks the requirements necessary for classification as a Schedule I or Schedule II drug. Last year, the DEA requested the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct a "scientific and medical valuation of the available data and provide a scheduling recommendation" for marijuana and other cannabinoid drugs. That recommendation is still pending. *** 3. ALERT: Support California Syringe Decriminalization Bill California readers are urged to contact their assemblymembers in support of AB 518. According to the HIV Advocacy Network, the bill, introduced by assemblymembers Kerry Mazzoni (D-Marin) and Kevin Shelly (D-SF), would amend California state law that prohibits distribution of syringes without a prescription in order to provide legal protection to needle exchange projects operating within certain parameters outlined in the bill. Under AB 518, needle exchange programs would be established only in jurisdictions that choose to enact them and would be designed and implemented with input from the communities in which they are established. Syringe prescription laws drive up the spread of HIV by reducing the availability of sterile syringes, thereby increasing syringe sharing among injection drug users. Please fax your letter of support for AB 518 by March 31 to assemblywoman Kerry Mazzoni at (916) 319-2106 and to the assembly Health Committee at (916) 319-2197. Please also fax a copy to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation at (415) 487-3089, and send a copy to DRCNet at (202) 293-8344 (fax) or e-mail to email@example.com. Points for your letter: * Support AB 518 (Mazzoni/Shelley). * Needle exchange is a proven prevention tool that effectively decreases the number of HIV infections among injection drug users without increasing drug use or criminal activity. * Injection drug use continues to be the second leading cause of IV transmission in the state. As of December 1998, over 20,000 AIDS cases had been reported among IDUs in California. * Needle exchange is one of the most cost-effective interventions. The cost of a new syringe is as little as 10 cents while the lifetime cost of treating a person with AIDS is over $119,000. * Needle exchange programs offer an opportunity to provide prevention counseling and make referrals to medical care, drug treatment, HIV testing and other services. *** 4. American Pharmaceutical Association Adopts Syringe Deregulation Position The House of Delegates of the American Pharmaceutical Association adopted the following position at its March 9th meeting this year: "APhA encourages state legislatures and boards of pharmacy to revise laws and regulations to permit the unrestricted sale or distribution of sterile syringes and needles by or with the knowledge of a pharmacist in an effort to decrease the transmission of blood-borne diseases." The position is similar to one adopted by the American Medical Association in 1997. Three articles discussing pharmacies as potential access points for purchase of sterile syringes by injection drug users were published in the January-February 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association: Should Pharmacists Sell Sterile Syringes to Injection Drug Users? T. Stephen Jones and Jennifer Taussig. Pharmacy Access to Sterile Syringes for Injection Drug Users: Attitudes of Participants in a Syringe Exchange Program. Benjamin Junge, David Vlahov, Elise Riley, Steven Huettner, Michele Brown and Peter Beilenson. Attitudes and Practices of Pharmacy Managers Regarding Needle Sales to Injection Drug Users. Thomas A. Farley, Linda M. Niccolai, Marianne Billeter, Patricia J. Kissinger and Marcellus Grace. *** 5. Vancouver Needle Exchange Study Clarifies Previous Study's Results A study involving clients of the needle exchange program in Vancouver, British Columbia, "should take the wind out of the sails of people who have misinterpreted our previously published studies," according to one of the study's authors. Previous research by Drs. Julie Bruneau and Martin Schechter has been touted by opponents of needle exchange programs -- from grassroots prohibitionist activists like the Family Research Council and Drugwatch International to politicians like drug czar Barry McCaffrey and certain members of Congress -- as evidence against needle exchange. NEP opponents point to a finding of the study, that injection drug users who use the needle exchange have higher rates of HIV than injection drug users who don't, and argue that needle exchange programs encourage needle sharing by bringing many injection drug users (IDUs) together. The authors took to the pages of the New York Times last spring, with a letter editor charging that opponents of needle exchange programs had "misinterpreted" their results. Bruneau and Schechter explained that HIV was more prevalent among IDUs who used the program, because the program had succeeded in reaching the population that was the most at risk. The issue came to a climax in April 1998, when District of Columbia Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus called for Barry McCaffrey's resignation, for going behind the back of his colleagues in the administration and misleading President Clinton on this and related points. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala, was reportedly on the verge of lifting a Congressional ban on use of federal AIDS grant monies for needle exchange. Coincidentally, Norton made her call as needle exchange practitioners, researchers and advocates were gathered in Baltimore for the annual North American Syringe Exchange Convention. At a conference in New York City in June 1998, Dr. Schechter described having met with Barry McCaffrey's staff prior to the April incident. Schechter said it was clear that there was an ideological agenda at work and that they weren't truly interested in what the science actually found. According to the Ottawa Citizen, a study published in the Britain-based AIDS journal now confirms the authors' previous conclusions. Clients of Vancouver's needle exchange program are generally younger than other IDUs, spend more time living on the street and are more commonly involved in the sex trade. Dr. Schechter told the Citizen, "What we've been able to show in this study is that people who frequently attend NEPs are higher risk. It is what you'd hope for and what you'd expect and that's why they come to NEPs and why they have higher HIV rates." (Eleanor Holmes Norton's statement calling for Barry McCaffrey's resignation can be found online at http://www.house.gov/norton/apr248.htm. Substantial information on needle exchange can be found on the Lindesmith Center web site at http://www.lindesmith.org. The North American Syringe Exchange Network can be found online at http://www.nasen.org. *** 6. Newsbriefs - Marc Brandl, firstname.lastname@example.org San Diego, CA: Steven McWilliams and Dion Markgraaff, who ran the San Diego Cannabis Caregivers Club (medical marijuana provider), pleaded guilty on Tuesday to maintaining a place of distribution for a controlled substance. In exchange for their pleas, local prosecutors have dropped seven more serious felony charges. If convicted the men will face three years in prison each. The two were busted in January of 1998 with eleven marijuana plants at a checkpoint in eastern San Diego county that searches for illegal aliens and drugs that have made it passed the US-Mexico border checkpoint. Austin, TX: Two drug bills sponsored by state Senator Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) passed the Texas Senate on Tuesday and await consideration in the state House. SB41 mirrors federal legislation that would give dealers a maximum life sentence if use of their illegal products causes loss of life. SB 43 would set up a state wide database of drug overdoses. Two other bills, also sponsored by Shapiro, are expected to come up for consideration in the Senate very soon. SB 42 would allow parents to request drug tests of their children by the public school. SB 44 would prevent 16-17 year olds from checking themselves out of a drug treatment program. The drug legislation is seen as a response to over two dozen young people dying because of heroin overdoses in the affluent community of Plano in the last year. Drug Policy Forum of Texas, http://www.mapinc.org/DPFT/ *** New Zealand: Earlier this year a government selected panel studying the issue of cannabis policy found that the legal status of cannabis in New Zealand should be reconsidered and that cannabis should be on a par with legal products such as as alcohol and tobacco. Last week the government responded to the findings of the panel by announcing that cannabis will not be legalized or decriminalized and that drug paraphernalia will soon become illegal. The government will also be cracking down on doctors who prescribe too many drugs and will make Ecstasy a schedule A drug, the most prohibitive schedule under New Zealand law. New Zealand Drug Foundation, http://www.nzdf.org *** 7. Rolling Back the Tide Adam J. Smith, Associate Director, email@example.com There comes a time in every wrongheaded crusade that a critical mass of opposition is reached. Excesses that just moments earlier were celebrated are suddenly crass, the "all-clear" sign is taken down, and cries of "full-speed ahead" are widely recognized not as leadership, but as zealotry. It is a time of redemption for those who had already been bucking the tide, a time when their ranks are joined by people who give credibility to their lunacy and justification to their efforts. This is such a time. This week, Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY), himself a long-time drug war hawk, held a press conference. Flanked by a dozen of his colleagues as well as representatives of numerous justice organizations, he announced his intention to eviscerate the system of mandatory minimum sentencing at the federal level. Rangel, who is not the type to tilt at windmills, is starting with a bill that will remove first- time crack offenders from the mandatory minimum requirement, and will narrow the sentencing gap between powder and crack cocaine by raising the level at which crack possession merits a five-year prison term. Rangel also added his name this week as a cosponsor of H.R. 1053, Barney Frank's bill which will repeal a provision of the Higher Education Act of 1998 stripping drug offenders of eligibility for federal education aid. It begins like this. For the first time in more than two decades, there are serious efforts afoot to roll back drug war legislation. That the names of the people who are joining the effort are surprising is testament to the fact that there has been a monumental shift in the political zeitgeist. The drug war, so recently regarded as sacrosanct, is beginning to look extremely vulnerable. A couple of hundred miles north of the nation's capital, in New York City, the crowds of people getting arrested in front of One Police Plaza grow larger by the day. Al Sharpton was first, but he has since been joined by ex-mayor David Dinkins, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, a group of Rabbis, social workers, city council members and others. They are protesting police brutality and seemingly random searches of people of color. And while the drug war itself has not been attacked by the protesters, there is no way around the fact that it is the drug war, in which everyone -- in certain neighborhoods -- is considered a suspect, and law enforcement is asked to do the impossible, that leads to such abuses. On March 13, even the venerable New York Times editorialized against the drug war. It is now no longer radical to question the status quo. From this day forward, it will no longer be possible to effectively neutralize the voices of reform by calling them "pro-drug" or by intimating that any excess is justifiable in the name of "sending a message to our children." Because, as it turns out, "our children" was never meant to mean everyone's children. And the people whose children are being harmed, and killed, andincarcerated for terms of years and decades, are coming out of the woodwork, and setting their feet, and joining in the task of turning back the tide. *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html. Donations to the Drug Reform Coordination Network are not tax-deductible. 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------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, No. 91 (The original summary of drug policy news from DrugSense opens with the weekly Feature Article - A Viagra-model solution to the war on drugs, by Bernhard Haisch, Ph.D., who really is a rocket scientist. The Weekly News in Review includes several articles about Drug War Policy, including - High court limits drug testing of students; School drug testing proposal moves through senate; Senators pledge 1,000 more agents for border patrol; and, When a bad policy fails. Articles about Law Enforcement & Prisons include - The prison boom; America, land of prisons; and, Prison policy is both costly and irrational. Articles about Forfeiture include - When can police seize private property?; Stealing by the state; and, Property seizures trample the Constitution; News about Cannabis includes - Study: Marijuana helps fight pain; Let science run marijuana debate; Medical marijuana smoking to remain illegal; Lockyer gives quiet OK to S.F. pot clubs; Judge denies advocate's request to smoke pot; and, Federal judge lets lawsuit on medical marijuana go on. International News includes - Heroin users' starting-up age plummets into teens; Anti-drugs drive fails to stem abuse; RCMP drug raid was dopey; and, Top Mexican off-limits to U.S. drug agents. The weekly Hot Off The 'Net points you to the new Commons Sense for Drug Policy web site at http://csdp.org; and to the full text of the IOM report online. The Quote of the Week cites Thomas Jefferson.) From: email@example.com (DrugSense) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: DrugSense Weekly, March 26,1999, #91 Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 08:59:16 -0800 Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Lines: 833 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY *** DrugSense Weekly, March 26, 1999 #91 A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org This Publication May Be Read On-line at: http://www.drugsense.org/dsw/1999/ds99.n91.html TO SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, DONATE OR UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS PLEASE SEE THE INFORMATION AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS NEWSLETTER Please consider writing a letter to the editor using the email addresses on any of the articles below. Send a copy of your LTE to MGreer@mapinc.org. *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: * Feature Article A Viagra-model Solution to the War on Drugs by Bernhard Haisch, Ph.D. * Weekly News in Review Drug War Policy- (1) High Court Limits Drug Testing of Students (2) School Drug Testing Proposal Moves Through Senate (3) Senators Pledge 1,000 More Agents for Border Patrol (4) When a Bad Policy Fails Law Enforcement & Prisons- (5) The Prison Boom (6) America, Land of Prisons (7) Prison Policy Is Both Costly and Irrational Forfeiture- (8) When Can Police Seize Private Property? (9) Stealing By The State (10) Property Seizures Trample The Constitution Cannabis- (11) Study: Marijuana Helps Fight Pain (12) Editorial: Let Science Run Marijuana Debate (13) Medical Marijuana Smoking to Remain Illegal (14) Lockyer Gives Quiet OK To S.F. Pot Clubs (15) Judge Denies Advocate's Request to Smoke Pot (16) Federal Judge Lets Lawsuit on Medical Marijuana Go On International News- (17) Heroin Users' Starting-Up Age Plummets into Teens (18) Anti-Drugs Drive Fails to Stem Abuse (19) RCMP Drug Raid Was Dopey (20) Top Mexican Off-Limits to U.S. Drug Agents * Hot Off The 'Net New Commons Sense For Drug Policy Web Page http://csdp.org IOM Report full text online * Quote of the Week Thomas Jefferson *** FEATURE ARTICLE Editor's Note: It is well known that most drug warriors are not exactly rocket scientists. Here is an interesting article on reforming drug policies by someone who actually is a "rocket scientist." A Viagra-model Solution to the War on Drugs Bernhard Haisch, Ph.D. Astrophysicist Poorly funded schools. Deteriorating highways. Gang violence. Blame it on the "war on drugs." Drug dealing and enforcement together constitute a several hundred billion dollar per year business worldwide . We are fueling the world's largest black market, creating criminal empires of global drug dealers, and in return our society gets gangs, violence, crime, corruption and a drain on our resources. This robs and threatens every one of us. California, for example, has built only one new university since 1984... thanks to building 20 new prisons. And these prisons are now overflowing with people whose crime is not robbery, rape or murder, but merely private use of a "controlled substance." It costs taxpayers about $30,000 per prisoner per year. There is a way out of this waste of life and money, a "live and let live" compromise we can live with. The function of Prozac and several similar prescription drugs is not to fight sickness, but to make people feel good. Viagra has gone one step further. It is really our first legal recreational drug. This opens a whole new solution to our dangerous, costly war on drugs. Let's challenge pharmaceutical companies to come up with one or more safe, non-addictive, legal recreational drugs, available to adults by prescription. It is futile to try to stamp out something people desire. Throughout history this approach has never worked, but a safe and controlled alternative often has. However the real reason to try this is not just personal freedom. The real reason is that the current war on drugs is the single most corrupting, violence-generating factor in the world today and we've got to stop it. Primarily as an anti-drug offensive, the government has granted itself vast power to seize private property even from innocent people. So if a spouse or a business partner, say, winds up involved in drugs, your share of assets may be taken away from you no matter how innocent you might be. In an amazing ruling the Supreme Court upheld the right of the government to do just that. An innocent wife in Michigan recently lost her share of a seized automobile because her husband had used it in soliciting a prostitute.  That widely-publicized case happened not to involve drugs, but the "war on drugs" is where seizure is more widely used all the time by the government. We consider it outrageous when a repressive foreign regime dictates the private behavior of its citizens. And yet we allow our government to throw our own citizens into prison for doing things in private. On what moral or constitutional grounds can we justify penalizing the mere possession or private use of something? Do we really want to give the government the power to incarcerate its citizens for this? This is barbaric and unconstitutional... and an ominous road to be going down that threatens all of our rights. Prohibition failed. The federal 55 mph national speed limit of the 1970's failed. It looks to me as if our "war on drugs" is failing badly and, worse still, undermining our liberty at the same time. Dare we ask who is profiting from the present situation? I pose that it is time to stop the war mentality rhetoric, start thinking these things through rationally, and even try a radically new approach. Let's win the war on drugs with a new definition of victory that will end the violence, corruption and black market bonanza. According to a piece in the New York Times "A good many Americans, including police chiefs and doctors, believe it is time for a change in our failed drug policy. It is our political leaders who are afraid of change."  Our national "war on drugs" poses a greater danger to our society than the drugs themselves. It is time to rethink our drug policies from square one. Why not authorize the pharmaceutical companies to explore the completely new approach of developing a few safe recreational drugs, with known effects and well-calibrated dosages? If a physician can prescribe Viagra, why not this? We permit adults the use of alcohol. It's time to think outside the box. The mess within the box is intolerable. ***  $53.7 billion was spent on illegal drug purchases in the US alone in 1996 (Assoc. Press). Add to that a similar amount spent on enforcement.  USA Today, March 5, 1996  New York Times, Jan. 5, 1998, piece by Anthony Lewis. Dr. Bernhard Haisch Staff Physicist Scientific Editor, The Astrophysical Journal Dr. Haisch is an astrophysicist in Palo Alto California Email: email@example.com *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** Domestic News- Policy *** COMMENT: (1-4) Although major media attention focused on the IOM report, other drug policy issues also made news; a recent surge in favor of school drug testing seems to have crested- except in predominantly rural states, like Oklahoma. The US Senate, refusing to concede that statistics showing lower crime rates should confer any "drug war benefit" on taxpayers, continued to support a harsh version of the drug war. Finally, Sean Gonsalves, a syndicated columnist who is also African- American, seems to have acquired a very accurate understanding of the drug war. *** (1) HIGH COURT LIMITS DRUG TESTING OF STUDENTS Fourth Amendment Applies To Children As Well As Adults WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, limiting the drug testing of students, refused Monday to allow a school district to test all those who violate its disciplinary rules. While individuals who appear to be under the influence of drugs can be tested at school, officials may not routinely test groups of students, under the ruling that the high court let stand. The Constitution's Fourth Amendment protects students, as well as adults, from unreasonable searches by public officials, the ruling said. [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Copyright: 1999 Mercury Center Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: David G. Savage URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n335.a04.html *** (2) SCHOOL DRUG TESTING PROPOSAL MOVES THROUGH SENATE PANEL OKLAHOMA CITY - A bill approved by a Senate panel Tuesday would give schools legal authority for the first time to administer random drug and alcohol tests to tens of thousands of students. House Bill 1289 by Rep. Dale Smith, D-St. Louis, and Sen. Brad Henry, D- Shawnee, authorizes schools to conduct drug and alcohol tests on students who engage in extracurricular activities. That would include such things as sports, band, debate, choir or any other school-connected activity. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 Source: Tulsa World (OK) Copyright: 1999, World Publishing Co. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n315.a06.html *** (3) SENATORS PLEDGE 1,000 MORE AGENTS FOR BORDER PATROL Several Senate Republicans pledged Tuesday to overrule the Clinton administration and add 1,000 new Border Patrol agents next year. In a hearing to question INS Commissioner Doris Meissner, they accused the White House of raiding immigration enforcement accounts to fund other priorities. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Section: News Page: 9 Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n310.a03.html *** (4) WHEN A BAD POLICY FAILS REMEMBER the so-called welfare reform debate? Politicians, policy-makers and pundits were arguing about "welfare dependency" - the notion that "welfare queens" (doublespeak for poor black women) had become overly dependent on the state for their survival. [snip] Two weeks ago, a report was released titled "The Effective National Drug Control Strategy." The report, co-authored by Kevin Zeese, president of Common Sense for Drug Policy, concluded that the so-called war on drugs "has failed to protect America's children from drug abuse and has failed to reduce the availability of cocaine and heroin." The report was released on the same day that Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey testified before a House subcommittee on his fiscal year 2000 budget request. [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 16 Mar, 1999 Source: Cape Cod Times (MA) Copyright: 1999 Cape Cod Times. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/ Author: Sean Gonsalves Note: Sean Gonsalves is a syndicated columnist for the Cape Cod Times. He is also regularly published in the SF Bay Area. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Network of Reform Groups (NRG) report "The Effective National Drug Control Strategy" is on the web at:http://www.csdp.org/edcs/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n324.a05.html *** Law Enforcement & Prisons *** COMMENT: (5-7) Although also overshadowed by the IOM report, the implications of recently released DOJ prison statistics continued to resonate with editorial writers. The dire fiscal and educational implications of the prison glut are also beginning to dawn on the more thoughtful. *** (5) THE PRISON BOOM Interesting how not only people have their 15 minutes of fame. Issues do, too. A powerful beam of concentrated light has fallen, suddenly, on the astonishing share of our population we've been putting behind bars. In the past dozen years, the number of Americans in jails and prisons has doubled, says a Justice Department survey released this month. At the end of 1985, there were 744,208 people locked up; by mid-1998, 1.8 million. The prison boom -- and the degree to which it is fed by drug-related arrests -- had been generating headlines even before the study. [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Section: OPED, Page A17 Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071 Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Geneva Overholser URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n334.a04.html *** (6) AMERICA, LAND OF PRISONS No doubt there is a connection between America's falling crime rates and its soaring prison populations. It's the nature of that connection that demands scrutiny. Many think the former was purchased with the latter. Lock up more criminals for longer periods and it is inevitable the streets will become safer. And they have.... [snip] But it also can be argued that jailing almost 2 million people is, in the long run, neither a cost-effective nor a humane method of maintaining domestic tranquility. Not when it costs around $30,000 a year to keep someone in a typical prison. And not when our prisons are as likely to harden criminals as rehabilitate them. [snip] Pubdate: Mon, 22 March 1999 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Copyright: 1999 Chicago Tribune Company Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n330.a10.html *** (7) PRISON POLICY IS BOTH COSTLY AND IRRATIONAL When he ran for governor last year, Ed Garvey complained that Gov. Tommy Thompson's vision for Wisconsin's future was one of "big highways connecting big prisons.'' What neither Garvey nor anyone else knew at the time was that the most expensive "highway'' was the one being used to ship Wisconsin prisoners -- and tax dollars -- out of state. [snip] Pubdate: March 21, 1999 Source: Capital Times, The (WI) Copyright: 1999 The Capital Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.thecapitaltimes.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n335.a03.html *** Forfeiture- *** COMMENT: (8-10) The onerous practice of forfeiture also received considerable media attention; there is increasing recognition that what was billed as a tool to punish "kingpins" is increasingly a means for venal cops to steal from America's least affluent and well-connected property owners. *** (8) WHEN CAN POLICE SEIZE PRIVATE PROPERTY? Supreme Court hears case today that tests limits of a powerful crime-fighting tool. It's one of the most contentious areas of American law in the 1990s: allowing police to seize personal property - often in advance of a finding of guilt - if they believe it is linked to criminal activity. Opponents say such police tactics raise basic questions of fairness, privacy, and due process. [snip] Pubdate: 23 Mar 1999 Source: Christian Science Monitor (US) Copyright: 1999 The Christian Science Publishing Society. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.csmonitor.com/ Forum: http://www.csmonitor.com/atcsmonitor/vox/p-vox.html URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n333.a02.html *** (9) STEALING BY THE STATE In January Hamilton County prosecutors spent hours convincing a jury that Michael Nieman was an innocent victim, a jeweler murdered in his own bed by a stripper girlfriend who just wanted his money. As soon as the trial was over, federal prosecutors turned around and launched legal proceedings to seize Nieman's house, vehicles, cash, jewelry and other assets, arguing that he had really been a drug dealer, even though he had absolutely no record of drug crimes. The Hamilton County sheriff helped seize Nieman's estate. An attorney for Nieman's daughter called it legalized stealing. The attorney is right. [snip] Pubdate: Tues, 16 Mar 1999 Source: Cincinnati Post (OH) Copyright: 1999 The Cincinnati Post Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.cincypost.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n302.a01.html *** (10) PROPERTY SEIZURES TRAMPLE THE CONSTITUTION In America, no one can take your property except through a legal process involving a finding of guilt. So says the Constitution of the United States in Articles IV, V and XIV. But don't kid yourself. Today these words all too often ring hollow as the federal government, the states, counties and cities across the land avail themselves of the opportunity to sequester private property - cash, houses, boats- under laws enacted by the Congress in the 1980s as a way to combat the power of major drug lords. [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 Source: Greensboro News & Record (NC) Copyright: 1999 Greensboro News & Record, Inc. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.greensboro.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n301.a05.html *** Cannabis- *** COMMENT: (11-16) We've changed our heading to emphasize that "marijuana" is an enemy term. Cannabis is proper usage for that fraction of the hemp plant employed for its therapeutic or psychic effects. Henceforth, we intend to eschew 'marijuana' in our own prose and urge our readers to do the same. Its continued use in quoted and excerpted articles is, of course, unavoidable. The long-awaited IOM Report - as predicted - proved a disappointing and equivocal document, carefully crafted to provide prohibitionists some cover, but which also was unable to lie about the central truth: cannabinoids are bona-fide therapeutic agents. The most interesting aspects of the report were how avidly it was covered by the media, the extent to which they saw it as far more positive than it really was, and the editorials it generated calling for a more rational policy. Nonetheless, McCzar immediately made clear there will be no move to reschedule and (by implication) urged continued arrests. In California, the McWilliams, Kubby and Lockyer positions remained unchanged while in Philadelphia, a trial date was set for the class-action suit. *** (11) STUDY: MARIJUANA HELPS FIGHT PAIN WASHINGTON (AP) -- The active ingredients in marijuana can help fight pain and nausea and thus deserve to be tested in scientific trials, an advisory panel to the federal government said today in a report sure to reignite the debate over whether marijuana is a helpful or harmful drug. The Institute of Medicine also said there was no conclusive evidence that marijuana use leads to harder drugs. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: Randolph E. Schmid URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n309.a07.html *** (12) LET SCIENCE RUN MARIJUANA DEBATE THIS week's Institute of Medicine report on medical marijuana should send a message to the feds that it's time to start letting science - not politics - steer this debate. [snip] Pubdate: Thur, 18 Mar 1999 Source: San Mateo County Times (CA) Copyright: 1999 by MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.newschoice.com/newspapers/alameda/smct/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n317.a10.html *** (13) MEDICAL MARIJUANA SMOKING TO REMAIN ILLEGAL LOS ANGELES, - White House anti-drug czar Barry McCaffrey said on Wednesday that marijuana would remain on the government's list of illegal drugs despite a report saying smoking it could be beneficial to certain patients. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited. Author: Michael Miller URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n305.a01.html *** (14) LOCKYER GIVES QUIET OK TO S.F. POT CLUBS But Distribution Should Be Discreet And Low-profile California's attorney general told San Francisco authorities yesterday that medicinal marijuana distribution in the city can proceed if it is done discreetly, so that federal authorities do not feel the need to intervene. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 20 Mar 1999 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Forum: http://www.sfgate.com/conferences/ Author: Edward Epstein, Chronicle Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n319.a05.html *** (15) JUDGE DENIES ADVOCATE'S REQUEST TO SMOKE POT LOS ANGELES, March 9 Despite his pleas, medical marijuana advocate and AIDS patient Peter McWilliams won't be puffing pot while awaiting trial on drug charges. A federal judge in Los Angeles denied McWilliams request to smoke Tuesday after he claimed that without the marijuana he cannot keep down the nauseating anti-viral prescription drugs he must take to stay alive. [snip] Pubdate: Tue: 9 Mar 1999 Source: MSNBC KNBC Los Angeles, CA Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.msnbc.com/local/KNBC/ Note: The complete ruling and other related documents are online at http://www.petertrial.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n318.a07.html *** (16) FEDERAL JUDGE LETS LAWSUIT ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA GO ON An Easton man whose wife smoked the drug before she died from AIDS, is a plaintiff in the case. A class-action lawsuit challenging the federal government's refusal to legalize marijuana for medicine can move ahead, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Senior Judge Marvin Katz concluded that the plaintiffs have a right to delve more deeply into the fairness of a federal program that gives marijuana to some ill people but not others. [snip] Pubdate: 18 March 1999 Source: Morning Call (PA) Copyright: 1999 The Morning Call Inc. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.mcall.com/ Author: Elliot Grossman, of The Morning Call URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n317.a05.html http://www.petertrial.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n318.a07.html *** International News *** COMMENT: (17-20) There is an amazing sameness to overseas recent drug news: a heroin glut is engulfing Australia, the UK (and Ireland); Canada is in the throes of a battle over medical use of Cannabis, and Mexico is plumbing the depths (heights) of drug corruption. Nothing changed last week. *** (17) HEROIN USERS' STARTING-UP AGE PLUMMETS INTO TEENS A national report into illicit drug use has revealed a continued fall in the age of first-time heroin users - now on average just 17.5 years old - an alarming increase in multiple drug use among injecting drug users and a gradual increase in heroin purity. The report warned that despite 300kilograms of heroin being seized in 1997-98, the seizures had no real impact on the drug's availability. [snip] Pubdate: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 Source: Age, The (Australia) Copyright: 1999 David Syme & Co Ltd Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.theage.com.au/ Author: Darren Gray URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n313.a06.html *** (18) ANTI-DRUGS DRIVE FAILS TO STEM ABUSE The drive against drug abuse in Britain is proving ineffective with many initiatives overloaded or never even evaluated despite being in place for years, according to unpublished results from the first ever national audit carried out for the drugs tsar. [snip] Pubdate: 22 Mar 1999 Source: Guardian, The (UK) Copyright: Guardian Media Group 1999 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Author: Alan Travis, Home Affairs Editor URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n328.a11.html *** (19) RCMP DRUG RAID WAS DOPEY The sight of AIDS victim Jean-Charles Pariseau crying as he watched RCMP officers smash marijuana-growing equipment outside a Vanier home this week brought the issue of medical marijuana home with a thud. For people like Mr. Pariseau, whose weight dropped to nearly 70 pounds before he began using marijuana to stimulate his appetite and help him gain pounds, the issue is neither political nor ethical. It is simply necessary. [snip] Pubdate: Friday 19 March 1999 Source: Ottawa Citizen (Canada) Copyright: 1999 The Ottawa Citizen Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n317.a02.html *** (20) TOP MEXICAN OFF-LIMITS TO U.S. DRUG AGENTS WASHINGTON - Early last year, as undercover U.S. Customs agents neared the end of the biggest investigation ever conducted into the illegal movement of drug money, bankers working with Mexico's most powerful cocaine cartel approached them with a stunning offer. [snip] Pubdate: Mar 16, 1999 Source: New York Times (NY) Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Forum: http://forums.nytimes.com/comment/ Author: Tim Golden URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n301.a06.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET *** New CSDP web page Common Sense for Drug Policy and DrugSense have collaborated to create a CSDP web page. It is well worth a visit. It includes the full text of the powerful "Effective National Drug Control Strategy" that has been created by Kevin Zeese and many other NRG members. It also includes the "Drug War Facts" collection and many other research and informational tools. Take a look: http://www.csdp.org/ *** - Dave Fratello reports: Now, at last, the IOM has a browsable, but not scanned, version of the entire MMJ report online. Go here: http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/ and click on the report cover on the front page; this leads you to a special medmj page with access to an html or pdf of the exec. summary, and an "image version" of the entire report accessible by page #. With this last one you can read the report page by page, somewhat awkwardly, but it's all there. Ordering printed and bound pre-publication copies costs $44 or so. *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK *** "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day." - Thomas Jefferson *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. TO SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, OR UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS: Please utilize the following URLs http://www.drugsense.org/hurry.htm http://www.drugsense.org/unsub.htm News/COMMENTS-Editor: Tom O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (email@example.com) We wish to thank all our contributors, editors, Newshawks and letter writing activists. NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. 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