Portland NORML News - Friday, March 26, 1999
-------------------------------------------------------------------

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: letters@news.oregonian.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
poneill@news.oregonian.com.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

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.)
Link to related 5/1/98 story
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 10:42:18 -0800 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: Calaveras Man Convicted Of Cultivating Marijuana Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: 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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Condemning Dissident Authors To Death
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
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: letters@lvrj.com
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: Where Pot Activism Grows
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: letters@pressdemo.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."
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$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 (dpfca@drugsense.org)
Subject: DPFCA: US CA SFC: $500,000 Worth of Pot Found Growing in House
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: "Frank S. World" (compassion23@geocities.com)
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.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." (when@olywa.net)
To: "_Drug Policy --" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Fed drug officials not high on Proposition 215
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 20:50:45 -0800
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

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: dpfca@drugsense.org
Subject: DPFCA: CA Demos set to endorse industrial hemp
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US TX: Officer Cleared In Oregon Case
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: viewpoints@chron.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US TX: Sole Indictment Of Willis Confounded Many
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: viewpoints@chron.com
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US AR: Column: Cheech and Chong Medicine
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: arktimes@arktimes.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US IA: Bill Toughens Marijuana Laws
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Fri, 26 Mar 1999
Source: Des Moines Register (IA)
Copyright: 1999, The Des Moines Register.
Contact: letters@news.dmreg.com
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US IL: Bensenville Cops Tainted By Charges Of Tampering
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Young (theyoungfamily@worldnet.att.net)
Pubdate: 26 Mar 1999
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 1999 Chicago Tribune Company
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Editorial: The Grass Roots of Teen Drug Abuse
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: tjeffoc@sirius.com (Tom O'Connell)
Pubdate: Fri, 26 Mar 1999
Source: Wall Street Journal (NY)
Copyright: 1999 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Contact: letter.editor@edit.wsj.com
Website: http://www.wsj.com/
Author: 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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Wire: Marijuana-Like Chemicals Could Treat Disease
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (mmfamily@ix.netcom.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." (when@olywa.net)
To: "_Drug Policy --" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Widely used diabetes drug linked to liver failure, deaths
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 19:16:35 -0800
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Wire: N.Korea Sponsoring Drug Trafficking
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Fri, 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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: The North Korean Connection
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Richard Lake (rlake@mapinc.org)
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Scotland: National Unit To Wage War On Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: shug@shuggie.demon.co.uk
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: drc-state@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (drcnet@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #84
Sender: owner-drc-state@drcnet.org

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:listproc@drcnet.org with the
line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or
mailto:kfish@drcnet.org for assistance. To subscribe to
this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.)

This issue can be also be read on our web site at
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/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, brandl@drcnet.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 alert-feedback@drcnet.org.

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, brandl@drcnet.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, ajsmith@drcnet.org

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.

***

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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: webmaster@drugsense.org (DrugSense)
To: newsletter@drugsense.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: owner-newsletter@drugsense.org
Reply-To: mgreer@drugsense.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 [1]. 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. [2] 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." [3] 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.

***

[1] $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.

[2] USA Today, March 5, 1996

[3] 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: haisch@starspot.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: letters@sjmercury.com
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: tulsaworld@mail.webtek.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: letters@link.freedom.com
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: letters@capecodonline.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: sgonsalves@capecodonline.com
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: tribletter@aol.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: tctvoice@madison.com
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: oped@csps.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: postedits@cincypost.com
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: edpage@nr.infi.net
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: eangsmc@newschoice.com
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: chronletters@sfgate.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: msnbc.tvsknbc@nbc.com
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: letters@mcall.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: letters@theage.fairfax.com.au
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: letters@guardian.co.uk
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: letters@thecitizen.southam.ca
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: letters@nytimes.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

***

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our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can
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News/COMMENTS-Editor: Tom O'Connell (tjeffoc@drugsense.org)
Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (mgreer@drugsense.org)

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
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REMINDER:

Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug
related issue to editor@mapinc.org

***

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We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. If you
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