------------------------------------------------------------------- An Oregon initiative - the Innocent Property Initiative (John Flanery, the chief petitioner for a state ballot measure that would require a conviction and prevent forfeiture proceeds from being used by law enforcement, posts the text of the proposed law.) Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 12:03:08 -0800 (PST) From: John Flanery (email@example.com) From: "CRRH mailing list" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: CRRH mailing list (email@example.com) Subject: An Oregon initiative Howdy! I'm the chief petitioner for the Innocent Property Initiative. The initiative will do two things: 1) prevent forfeiture until the owner(s) have been convicted of a crime, and 2) prevent the proceeds from being used by law enforcement. Activists who would like to get involved may e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The text of the initiative follows: Be it enacted by the People of the State of Oregon: Section 1. (a) Neither the State of Oregon nor any political subdivision within the state shall deprive a property owner of that property by In Rem Forfeiture until the owner has been convicted of a crime involving the property. (b) Neither the State of Oregon nor any political subdivision within the state shall deprive a person with an interest in a property of that interest by In Rem Forfeiture until that person has been convicted of a crime involving the property. (c) This section shall not apply to any contraband whose ownership cannot be established. (d) This section shall not prevent the placing of property in protective custody pending forfeiture if there is probable cause that: (A) the property is or will be subject to forfeiture; and (B) the property may disappear or suffer harm if not taken into custody; and (C) seizure of the property would not place an undue hardship on the owner. (e) Law enforcement shall obtain a court order before placing property in protective custody, if at all practical. Section 2. Forfeited assets, and revenues from their sale, lease, or operation, shall neither be used for, nor fund costs associated with, law enforcement or forfeiture; neither shall they be used by, or fund, any agency with agents who are also agents of the seizing agency. Section 3. These sections shall govern all In Rem Forfeiture by the State of Oregon and any political subdivision within the state, including but not limited to forfeitures arising from prohibited conduct described in ORS 475A.005 (11). Section 4. Any seizing agency or forfeiting agency which transfers seized property for forfeiture to any agency not governed by these sections shall remit to the Oregon Treasury an amount equal in value to the transferred property. Monies so remitted shall not fund costs associated with law enforcement or forfeiture. Section 5. These sections shall supersede any other provision of the Oregon Revised Statutes with which they conflict. If any subsection, clause, or part of these sections is held invalid under the United States Constitution or the Oregon Constitution as to any person or circumstance by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining subsections, clauses, and parts shall not be affected and shall remain in full force and effect.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bill would use lottery money to treat addicts (The Associated Press says SB 118, a bill that would dedicate 1 percent of lottery proceeds to programs to help problem gamblers, has cleared the Oregon state senate Trade and Economic Development Committee. The measure would raise $6 million, 50 percent more than the current budget. It would also create a permanent funding source to help gambling addicts.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Mon, Mar 29 1999 Source: The Associated Press (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Associated Press Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: Brad Cain of The Associated Press Associated Press Bill would use lottery money to treat addicts * The measure, which has cleared a committee vote, would increase by 50 percent the funding to help chronic gamblers SALEM -- After cleaning out her bank account, selling her possessions and stealing from her employer to support her video poker habit, Jann knew she had hit bottom. "I had used up all of my resources and abused the trust of everybody around me," she said. "You get very suicidal." For Jann, a Grants Pass woman who asked that her last name not be used, facing up to her gambling addiction was one thing. Finding help was another problem altogether. It took her two months from the time she called the state's gambling addiction hot line to get her first counseling session with a local addiction program. "There's just not enough treatment available," she said. Now it appears the Oregon Legislature is ready to help more of the people who, in the process of making the Oregon Lottery's video poker game a huge financial success, have become addicted to the game's fast-paced action. A bill to dedicate 1 percent of the lottery's proceeds to programs to help problem gamblers has already cleared the Senate Trade and Economic Development Committee. The measure, SB118, would raise $6 million for those programs -- a 50 percent boost above current spending -- but more importantly create a permanent funding source to help gambling addicts. Sen. Avel Gordly, who is a member of the Senate trade panel, said she thinks most lawmakers will feel obligated to support the increase, since it was the Legislature that allowed the lottery to launch video poker. "We created this monster. Now we need to take care of the people who are having problems because of it," the Portland Democrat said. A good deal of the money would go to enable local mental health programs to serve more people whose gambling has gotten out of control. Those programs are serving about 750 people a year, and state officials hope to more than double that number with the new infusion of lottery dollars. There's little doubt about the need for treatment programs. A recent study conducted for the state estimated that 47,200 Oregon adults are suffering from gambling addiction. And calls to the state's gambling hot line have risen to more than 5,200 a year. Although the number of addicts who actually seek help is relatively small, those who do are kicking the gambling habit, said Mike McCracken, director of the Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs. McCracken noted that more than 60 percent of the clients who complete their treatment successfully abstain from gambling. Oregon Lottery officials are supporting the Senate bill because it would enable the state to provide free treatment to any gambling addict who wants it. Lottery spokesman David Hooper said that in the past, some of the local addiction programs have been forced to charge clients for services. "Obviously, if you're a problem gambler, the last thing you need is to get a bill for treatment," Hooper said. "We do not want that to be an obstacle to people receiving treatment." Plus, he said, the state also hopes to begin putting some dollars into treatment of juveniles with gambling problems, an area that currently is getting little attention or funding. A longtime critic of state-sponsored gambling, Ellen Lowe of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, said she's glad to see the Lottery and the Legislature getting serious about helping people who become addicted to video poker and other lottery games. "It's an official acknowledgment of our responsibility," Lowe said. "This revenue producer does have negative effects on the state. We just can't abandon those who've become addicted to the lottery."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Project puts 80 inmates to work in woods (The Oregonian says that starting in May, about 80 Oregon prisoners will spend two months in a new work program in a remote area of the Deschutes National Forest, living in tents pitched in the woods about 30 miles outside Bend and working 10 hours a day, six days a week. Creating work for Oregon inmates will have cost the state $34 million by the end of the budget biennium.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Mon, Mar 29 1999 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian Contact: email@example.com Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: Michelle Roberts of The Oregonian staff Project puts 80 inmates to work in woods * The pilot program is an effort to provide training in isolated areas for prisoners who have shown good behavior About 80 Oregon prisoners soon will be behind burlap instead of bars under a new inmate work program being launched in a remote area of the Deschutes National Forest. Starting in May, inmates will spend two months living in tents pitched in the woods about 30 miles outside Bend. The minimum-custody inmates will work 10 hours a day, six days a week, pulling weeds, clearing logs and debris from the forest floor and conducting wetland restoration projects. About 20 inmates will be trained in chain-saw operations and earn certification in the trade. "This will be hard, labor-intensive work," said David S. Cook, Oregon Department of Corrections director. "Now, we can't do these kinds of projects because it takes too long and costs too much to transport inmates to remote areas every day. This will help us be more responsive to the work needs of the state." The pilot project, which will run from May 3 to June 25, is an effort to create work for inmates in places they could not otherwise reach. The Deschutes National Forest is more than 60 miles from the nearest state prison, making a daily commute too costly and time-consuming. In an effort to head off criticism about safety concerns, Michael Taaffe, administrator of Inmate Work Programs, said the department has taken several steps to ensure no problems occur at the camp. The camp's exact location will not be released in an effort to avoid unauthorized visitors, curiosity seekers and people trying to sneak contraband to prisoners. Nor will the makeshift prison be visible from any primary road. "I'm certain there are individuals who will not feel comfortable, but generally we've had a very good working relationship with the community in planning this program," Taaffe said. "Community leaders have not raised any significant negative opinions towards this at all." There will be one corrections officer for every 10 inmates, with more staff members supervising inmates during off-work hours. As with all work crews, camp supervisors will be unarmed. It is not uncommon for inmates to walk away from work crews, but they are usually caught quickly and without incident, corrections officials said. All the inmates selected for the program will have proven records of good behavior, Taaffe said, and most of them will be near release. No sex offenders will be selected for the camp. Prisoners will not be allowed visiting privileges while they are stationed in the forest. Linda Swearingen, chairwoman of the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners, said she supports the program and does not foresee any negative effect on tourism or safety in the small towns that dot the forest edges. "These folks are going to be back in our communities in a short time anyway," she said. "We need to look at other ways to provide restorative justice to our community, and I think this is a positive alternative." Bend Mayor Jim Young said he hadn't been told of the program, but he said that he didn't think it "sounded particularly threatening." "These types of programs go on all around the country," Young said. "I don't foresee any major problems, especially since they'll be so far out." Work sites will be marked The tent site will be posted as an inmate work camp and will be off-limits to all visitors. Work sites also will be marked, and inmates will be identified by their blue jeans stamped with an orange "INMATE" logo. The pilot project is a partnership among the Corrections Department, the U.S. Forest Service and the Oregon National Guard, which will prepare meals but not provide added security. Taaffe said the camp will help the Corrections Department better comply with Ballot Measure 17, passed by a 3-1 ratio by voters in 1994. The measure amended the Oregon Constitution to require every inmate to work a 40-hour week. But nearly five years later, only 60 percent of the state's eligible inmates are working full time. If the pilot program goes well, the department hopes to expand it to other areas in the state. Gov. John Kitzhaber sparked a debate in December when he proposed slashing financing for the program until the Legislature addresses how much and for how long inmate work should be subsidized by state tax dollars. He also expressed concern that inmate work was hurting civilian businesses by creating competition for jobs. Kitzhaber's chief spokesman, Bob Applegate, said Friday he had not heard of the program and could not comment. Creating inmate work in Oregon has required a combination of significant general fund support -- $34 million by the end of the budget biennium -- and the aggressive pursuit of private partnerships and contracts. Kitzhaber and several other legislators are urging that the inmate work law be clarified. You can reach Michelle Roberts at 503-294-5041 or by e-mail at Michelleroberts@news.oregonian.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Heroin Use Booming In Spokane (The Seattle Times says a Washington Department of Social and Health Services report released last week shows the number of Spokane County residents admitted for heroin treatment nearly quintupled between 1992 and 1998, from 78 to 367. Spokane County, in rural Eastern Washington, is the state's per capita leader in treating heroin addicts. Rates exceed those in Seattle during the mid-1990s' heroin boom. Roger Silfvast, head of Community Detox, said heroin prices have fallen to $20 to $25 for a large quarter-gram dose as dealers flood the market.) Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 21:12:30 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WA: Heroin Use Booming In Spokane Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Author: AP HEROIN USE BOOMING IN SPOKANE The Heroin Business Here Is Booming. The number of Spokane County residents admitted for heroin treatment nearly quintupled between 1992 and 1998, jumping from 78 to 367, according to a state Department of Social and Health Services report released last week. Spokane County is the state's per capita leader in treating heroin addicts. Rates exceed those in Seattle during the mid-1990s' heroin boom. Spokane's county-run methadone clinic, the only one in Eastern Washington, is so packed that, for the first time, it's having to turn people away. "It's very similar to the spike we saw in crack cocaine," said Mike Forness, program manager for the Deaconess Chemical Dependency Unit. "Now it's heroin." The full extent of the problem isn't known because good statistics on use of the drug and fatal overdoses aren't available. However, local agencies treating substance abuse say low-cost, high-quality heroin is flooding Spokane. At Spokane's Community Detox, requests for help from heroin addicts have risen sharply in the past eight months. People in the agency's detox unit for heroin addiction outnumber alcoholics 2 to 1. The region is likely being deluged by the same Mexican heroin that's been popular in Seattle, said Ken Stark, head of the state Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. Roger Silfvast, head of Community Detox, said heroin prices have fallen to $20 to $25 for a large quarter-gram dose as dealers flood the market.
------------------------------------------------------------------- San Francisco Million Marijuana March May 1 (A list subscriber posts details about the gathering noon-5 pm at Civic Center Plaza organized in conjunction with reform rallies elsewhere around the world.) From: "ralph sherrow" (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Fwd: Re: Re: EVENTS: My advise Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 14:20:11 PST *** From: MikkiBACH@aol.com To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: Re: Re: EVENTS: My advise Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 14:30:34 EST firstname.lastname@example.org is our list for planning events. Contributions to this list must be on-topic and to the point. To minimize the mail volume, replies should be private unless of relevance to all. *** Come to the SF Million Marijuana March on May 1, from noon to 5 PM at Civic Center Plaza, and tell all your friends to come too. We want this to be a peaceful, dignified event, as we will be asking people to stand together for equal rights for pot smokers, stop the discrimination that drug testing creates, and assert Pot Pride.We want the public to see that a great cross section of the public is interested in justice and equal treatment before the law. We want them to stop the arrest, persecution, and imprisonment of cannabis consumers. Mikki Norris SF Million Marijuana March Committee www.drugpeace.org/mmm www.hr95.org www.chrisconrad.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Taking A Hard Look At State's Jammed Jails (According to a staff editorial in the Orange County Register, one might have imagined that with a Democratic majority in both houses and a Democratic governor, and with prisons filled to the bursting point with some people who have little or no business being there, that the California legislature would be full of bills seeking to reform the prison and criminal justice system. Instead it's a mixed bag - and some of the legislation that in the past might have been viewed as "liberal" is being carried by conservative Republicans. It is time for Californians to take a step back from the urge to incarcerate, and to take a look at the ongoing and projected costs of locking up so many people for non-violent and victimless crimes.) Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 13:46:03 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Taking A Hard Look At State's Jammed Jails Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Pubdate: March 29 1999 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ TAKING A HARD LOOK AT STATE'S JAMMED JAILS One might have imagined that with a Democratic majority in both houses and a Democratic governor, and with prisons filled to the bursting point with some people who have little or no business being there, that the state Legislature would be full of bills seeking to reform the prison and criminal justice system in a relatively liberal direction. Instead it's a mixed bag - and some of the legislation that in the past might have been viewed as "liberal" is being carried by conservative Republicans. For example, Republican Assemblyman Scott Baugh of Huntington Beach has introduced a bill (AB 1247) to carry out a cost-benefit study of California's "three strikes" law that is similar to bill (SB 873) introduced by liberal Democratic state Sen. John Vasconcellos of San Jose. Republican Assemblyman Tom McClintock of Thousand Oaks has co-authored a bill, AB 1440, (along with Democrats Carol Migden, John Burton, Richard Polanco and John Vasconcellos) that would require the Department of Corrections to institute a more liberal policy regarding interviews of prisoners by members of the media - in response to a restrictive policy put in place by former Attorney Gen. Dan Lungren and reaffirmed by the Davis administration. Scott Baugh, of course, has experienced the "business end of government" during his unwarranted criminal prosecution for minor campaign violations, which should have been investigated by the state Fair Political Practices Commission. He told us Friday that he thinks the way is open to study the "three-strikes" law but the Legislature isn't ready to revise it seriously. Democratic state Sen. Tom Hayden's proposal (SB 79) to apply the "three-strikes" provision only to serious and violent felonies rather than enhancing sentences for non-violent felonies such as drug offenses, while a worthy idea, probably has little chance of passage this year. Widely publicized allegations of brutality and abuse of prisoners by prison guards at Corcoran State Prison near Bakersfield (and in other institutions) has spawned SB 12 by Bay-area Republican Sen. Richard Rainey to require and pay for more training for correctional officers. It might help a little but the old syndrome on government programs - if they're succeeding they need more money and if they're failing they need even more money - may be at work here. When government employees make mistakes it always seems to be the taxpayers who get the bills. Several bills (AB 3, AB 34, AB 54) would extend the death penalty to more offenses. One silly proposal would end TV and conjugal visits for state prisoners. Two bills (AB 741, SB 786) would limit the use of habeas corpus rights by prisoners. Orange County legislators should view all these proposals in context. Over the past dozen years the number of Americans in jails and prisons has doubled, and California has led the way with the strictest "three strikes" law in the country and a huge boom in prison construction. The rapid growth in California's prison problem has contributed to lax management and "growing pains" problems that are a factor in abuse by prison personnel. It is time for Californians to take a step back from the urge to incarcerate, take a look at the ongoing and projected costs of locking up so many people for non-violent and victimless crimes, and think about moving in the other direction. The evidence that throwing more people in jail really reduces crime is shaky at best, non-existent at worst - and the cost to taxpayers continues to spiral. It's time to think about ways to reduce the prison population rather than working to increase it.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Congress nothing but trendy (Denver Post columnist Diane Carman observes that the Congressionally mandated loyalty oaths of the '60s and '70s have been replaced by the war on drugs. And once again federal financial aid programs are being manipulated for political gain. A new provision of the Higher Education Act denies financial aid to any student convicted of a drug offense, including marijuana possession. Murderers and rapists, on the other hand, can continue to receive financial aid under the act. Furthermore, the act makes no provision for enforcement. Obviously, Congress doesn't care about the fair and efficient administration of this program - or the justice system in general. Their reality has been completely distorted by the war on drugs and the political high they get from exploiting it.) From: GranVizier@webtv.net From: "CRRH mailing list" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 09:37:39 -0500 (EST) To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: By Diane Carman Content-Disposition: Inline http://www.denverpost.com/news/carman0330.htm Congress nothing but trendy By Diane Carman Denver Post Staff Columnist March 30 - Oh, for the good old days when all Congress obsessed about on college campuses was communists. Back in the 1960s and '70s, to get a National Defense Student Loan you had to be poor, get good grades and sign an affidavit saying you would not become a commie pinko traitor. For most of us then, our favorite Lennon was John, so it was a slam dunk. "I promise to protect and defend ... yada, yada, yada ...'' Sure, where do I sign? But Congress is nothing if not trendy. National Defense Student Loans were replaced by a patchwork of financial aid programs, and before long the loyalty oath went the way of the Smith Corona typewriter. Now it's the war on drugs that has Congress in a wild-eyed frenzy. And once again federal financial aid programs are being manipulated for political gain. A new provision of the Higher Education Act passed last year will deny financial aid to any student convicted of a drug offense. Possession of a controlled substance would cost a student at least one year of aid; sale would result in a minimum of two years' lost financial assistance. It goes into effect in the fall of 2000. Rapists, on the other hand, can continue to receive financial aid under the act. Go figure. A kid could lose financial aid for a year for a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge - a crime, for sure, but c'mon. There already are serious penalties. Meanwhile, aid checks would continue for persons convicted of far more serious offenses. Take your average binge-drinking lunkhead who steals laptop computers and stereo components for fun. Or the hackers who break into the university computer system and falsify grade records. Or the full-ride scholarship athletes who get into a brawl and destroy hotel rooms at out-of-town games. Or a murderer. The act makes no mention of financial aid sanctions against students convicted of these crimes. Furthermore, the act makes no provision for enforcement. In that realm, financial aid officials at the universities are completely on their own. "The act states something like 'If you have been convicted of a drug offense, please contact your financial aid officer,' '' explained Bob Collins, associate director of financial aid at the University of Colorado-Boulder. "It's ludicrous.'' It would be funny if it wasn't so annoying. With more than half of Colorado's college students receiving some form of assistance, financial aid officers have to be vigilant in observing the rules so that they don't risk any interruption in funds. "What are we supposed to do?'' he said. "Say a student goes to Miami over spring break and gets arrested. Who's going to investigate this? Do we have to run monthly criminal background checks on students to comply with the law? "And the act says that aid can be reinstated if a student completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program. How are we supposed to know which drug rehab programs satisfy this requirement?'' Obviously, Congress doesn't care about the fair and efficient administration of this program - or the justice system in general. Their reality has been completely distorted by the war on drugs and the political high they get from exploiting it. Diane Carman's commentaries appear Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. E-mail: email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- 2 Colo Deputies Face Drug Charges (According to UPI, the FBI says Ouray County Undersheriff John Radcliff, his wife, the sheriff's two daughters and a deputy sheriff are among 19 people charged with methamphetamine trafficking in western Colorado.) Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 19:56:53 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CO: Wire: 2 Colo Deputies Face Drug Charges Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International 2 COLO DEPUTIES FACE DRUG CHARGES DENVER, March 29 (UPI) - The FBI says Ouray (u-RAY') County Undersheriff John Radcliff, his wife, the sheriff's two daughters and a deputy sheriff are among 19 people charged with methamphetamine trafficking in western Colorado. Radcliff and deputy Leroy Todd are accused of using their positions to protect the operation, and that three other suspects threatened witnesses called before a federal grand jury probing the case. The undersheriff's wife, 29-year-old Lisa Radcliff, was charged with conspiracy to distribute. Lisa Wakefield Blansett and Laura Wakefield Huddleston, the sheriff's daughters, were also charged with conspiracy. Radcliff and Todd are also charged with using and carrying firearms while commiting a crime. Colorado Bureau of Investigation chief Carl Whiteside says, ``I don't think any law enforcement agency is immune from that type of corruption. Peter Mang of the CBI tells UPI the charges follow a three-year federal and state probe of an operation that imported methamphetamine from California and distributed it in western Colorado. Three of the suspects are also accused of threatening witnesses called before a federal grand jury probing the case in an attempt to influence their testimony. Law officers say the indictments are based on alleged crimes related to the operation of the distribution ring over a three-year period. Three of the suspects are from California. Ouray County is about 250 miles southwest of Denver.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Next Hash Bash May Be Just For Tourists (The Detroit News previews the 28th annual Hash Bash beginning at noon Saturday at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Michigan state Senator Beverly Hammerstrom, a Republican from Temperance - no kidding - has introduced a bill to nullify Ann Arbor's $25 fine for marijuana possession and enforce the state's $100 penalty. Hammerstrom's bill won easy approval in the Senate last week, and is expected to get a receptive hearing in the House.) Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 21:03:40 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MI: Next Hash Bash May Be Just For Tourists Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 Source: Detroit News (MI) Copyright: 1999, The Detroit News Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.detnews.com/ Author: David Coates NEXT HASH BASH MAY BE JUST FOR TOURISTS Ann Arbor's Annual Pot Party Faces A New Legislative Challenge James Millard, left, and Adam Brook have several Hash Bash celebrations between them. Ann Arbor's party is starting to draw more sightseers than smokers. By B.G. Gregg / Detroit News Lansing Bureau LANSING -- Don't look for a haze of marijuana smoke to settle over the University of Michigan's Diag on Saturday, when the 28th annual Hash Bash kicks off at noon. Most of the 5,000 or so who are expected at the Diag will be sight-seers, who won't themselves light up. "Most of the people just want to check it out," said Jason Berckley, 23, of Ann Arbor, a recent U-M graduate and musician. "It's become kind of a tourist thing." Some of those "tourists" will be young teens. And that scares some state lawmakers, who have introduced a bill to erase Ann Arbor's $25 fine for marijuana possession from the books and make it equal to the state's $100 penalty. "When a local unit of government penalizes an individual with a $25 fine, it is in essence making the statement that this is not an important issue, " said its main sponsor, state Sen. Beverly Hammerstrom, R-Temperance. "We need to take action and change the fact that more teen-agers today are using marijuana and it has replaced alcohol as the drug of choice... It is time to send a clear message to our youth that we are serious about the war on drugs and that this is an important issue across the state." Hammerstrom's bill won easy approval in the state Senate last week, and is expected to get a receptive hearing in the House. It prohibits municipalities from adopting local drug ordinances with penalties softer than the state's -- up to 90 days in jail and a $100 fine for possession. Michigan's other big college town, East Lansing, also has a liberal pot law: a $25 fine, plus community service. Hammerstrom and Sen. Mike Rogers, R-Howell, whose districts border Ann Arbor, say the bill targets Ann Arbor and the Hash Bash, an annual spring rally to promote the legalization of marijuana. "It is a mockery of our drug code here in Michigan," said Rogers, a former FBI agent. "Laws in the state need to be consistent." Hammerstrom said she has heard radio announcements aimed at attracting teens to the Hash Bash. "We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars telling young people drug use is bad, and, with something like this, we're sending a message to young people that it is no big deal," she said. Adam Brook, 31, an Ann Arbor resident, says lawmakers shouldn't trash the Bash. "If they're worried about kids under the age of 18 being there, those kids have parents who are responsible for them," said Brook, who has helped organize past Hash Bashes. "I've got a state senator coming after an event I put on because parents can't keep control of their children." Hash Bash started in 1972 as a way to celebrate the change in Michigan's pot law from a felony to a misdemeanor. It has grown to an event that features music and internationally known speakers who lobby for the legalization of marijuana. The event died briefly in the mid-'80s during the height of the nation's war on drugs, but was revived in 1988 by High Times magazine. While there have been a few clashes between police and participants in past years, the event has been largely peaceful. Matt Bauder, an Ann Arbor resident who graduated from U-M last year, said the Hash Bash is not what it used to be. "It is almost white trash that goes," he said. "It's not even Hippies anymore. A long time ago, it meant something. Now it just seems like an excuse to party." In recent years, the Bash has averaged about 40 to 50 citations for drug possession, plus some additional arrests for intoxication, illegal sales of merchandise, and various other offenses. Nearly all the offenders are nonstudents. Jim Smiley, interim director of Public Safety at the University of Michigan, said those who are cited on university property are slapped a $100 fine, but it can be reduced in court. Those who are cited on city property receive a $25 fine. The fine was approved by city voters, and is part of Ann Arbor's city charter. Another referendum would be necessary to reverse it. Ann Arbor Mayor Ingrid Sheldon said city residents voted for a $5 fine for marijuana possession in the early '70s because many young people were being sent to prison for having small amounts of marijuana. In 1990, city residents voted to increase the penalty to $25. Because it would take another vote to change the fine, she said the courts might have to decide what to do if Hammerstrom's bill passes. The mayor has mixed feelings about a state law that would negate what her voters enacted. "I know the benefits to public health and I like a consistent approach, but my main concern is that this was something that was voted on by the people," she said. Some residents agree. "It should be up to local control," said Stuart Segal, 42, a psychologist with U-M's Services for Students with Disabilities. "We've always been comfortable in Ann Arbor with the low fine." There's some support in the state Legislature for leaving Ann Arbor alone. Sen. Alma Smith, D-Salem Township, called Hammerstrom's bill a publicity ploy and an attempt to look tough on an issue that impacts more than one city. Rogers, she said, is "trying to pin it on Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor is not the problem." But some Ann Arbor residents side with lawmakers who say the Hash Bash sends the wrong message to kids. "If marijuana should be legalized -- like maybe for medical reasons or a medical breakthrough -- I don't think getting together and smoking is the way to say it," said Keren Charles, 19, a U-M sophomore majoring in political science. One thing is certain: The proposed legislation has stirred up more publicity than the Hash Bash has seen in years. Brook has been interviewed on radio stations throughout the country and in Canada, and he's talked to reporters from several newspapers. "We cancelled our budget for Hash Bash advertising as soon as Mr. Rogers brought us national attention," he laughed. The debate These arguments surround legislation to prohibit cities from passing drug ordinances with lighter penalties than state law. Bill backers say: * It would make penalties throughout the state uniform. * It would send a message that drug use is not OK. * It may cut attendance at Ann Arbor's annual Hash Bash, which draws several thousand people. Bill critics say: * Municipalities have the right to set their own laws. * The state shouldn't overturn a 1990 vote by Ann Arbor residents to adopt a $25 fine for marijuana possession. * Marijuana is harmless and should be legal. State pot law * Up to 90 days in jail and $100 fine. Ann Arbor's pot law * $25 fine Proposed state law * Cities couldn't pass drug ordinances with softer penalties than state has.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Behind the Blue Wall (An e-mail message publicizes a web site about New York Police Department officer Kenneth Eurell, convicted on federal RICO charges. The site also is said to detail Eurell's cooperation with the DEA against Colombian drug dealers and his former partner, Michael Dowd.) From: "Police Corruption" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 17:19:33 -0500 To: email@example.com Subject: your website Dear webmaster, We are now accepting police and drug related links for our website. All you need to do is send us your; Title: URL: Description: and place a link to our site in exchange. Review our site... Our site's information is as follows: Title: Behind the BlueWall...life of NYPD officer Kenneth Eurell URL: http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/bluewall/main.html Description: True life story of New York police officer Kenneth Eurell convicted of federal RICO charges. From cop to criminal and his cooperation with the DEA against Colombian drug dealers and his former partner Michael Dowd. If you decide to exchange links please let us know where the return link is located. Thank you for your time, webmaster webmaster of Bluewall@rantmail.zzn.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Exclusionary Rule Challenge Fails (The Associated Press says the U.S. Supreme Court today rejected an appeal from a Florida woman, Alishia Pryor, who said her 11-year sentence for possessing and intending to distribute crack cocaine was twice as long as it would have been if authorities hadn't taken into account evidence they seized illegally. In a series of recent rulings, the court has narrowed the exclusionary rule, which, since 1914, supposedly bars evidence obtained by violating the Fourth Amendment. As a result, prosecutors can now use evidence illegally seized by police in deportation cases, grand jury and civil tax hearings and certain other legal proceedings. The justices never ruled that the exclusionary rule doesn't apply to sentencing, but the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did so in rejecting Pryor's first appeal.) Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 18:27:55 -0500 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Paul Wolf (email@example.com) Subject: AP: Exclusionary Rule Challenge Fails Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com AP Exclusionary Rule Challenge Fails March 29, 1999 WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court today rejected a Florida woman's appeal to decide whether a judge-made rule that keeps illegally seized evidence out of criminal trials applies when a convicted criminal is sentenced. The justices, without comment, turned away an opportunity to clarify the reach of the so-called exclusionary rule, which the Supreme Court created in 1914 to deter misconduct by law enforcement officers. The rule bars evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. In a series of recent rulings, the court has narrowed the circumstances in which the rule can be invoked. As a result, prosecutors now can use evidence illegally seized by police in all deportation cases, grand jury and civil tax hearings and in some other legal proceedings. The justices never have ruled that the exclusionary rule does not apply to sentencing, but the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did so in upholding Alishia Pryor's prison sentence for her crack cocaine conviction. Pryor pleaded guilty in 1997 to possessing and intending to distribute the 22.4 grams of crack cocaine police found in her car while arresting her. Police that same day also searched Pryor's home, where they found another 391.3 grams of the illegal drug. But authorities concede that the court warrant police used to enter her home was defective. Court records do not disclose Pryor's hometown, but her federal prosecution took place in the district court based in Tallahassee. As part of a plea bargain, prosecutors agreed not to use as evidence any of the cocaine taken from Pryor's home. But that evidence was used when Pryor was sentenced to 11 years and four months in prison. Her self-authored appeal said federal sentencing guidelines would have yielded a prison term about half that long if her sentence had been based only the cocaine found in her car. ``Evidence obtained illegally ... should not be included in the information at sentencing,'' Pryor's Supreme Court appeal contended. The 11th Circuit court rejected that argument. Asked by the justices to respond to Pryor's appeal, Justice Department lawyers said the appeals court was right. ``In declining to extend the exclusionary rule to sentencing proceedings, the court of appeals ... correctly balanced the competing interests,'' the government lawyers said. ``Extension of the exclusionary rule to sentencing would not likely provide a significant deterrent to illegal searches and seizures,'' they said. ``Police officers already are deterred ... by the knowledge that the direct and indirect fruits of such violations will be excluded at the criminal trial.'' The case is Pryor vs. U.S., 98-7046.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge - Company's Drug Policy Violates ADA (The The Legal Intelligencer says a lawsuit filed on behalf of John A. Rowles, an epileptic, over drug testing in the workplace has led Chief U.S. District Judge Sylvia H. Rambo to rule that employers can be sued for wrongful discharge when their policy requires employees to disclose any prescription drugs they are taking that force them to reveal their medical conditions.) Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 03:21:26 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Judge - Company'S Drug Policy Violates ADA Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 Source: The Legal Intelligencer Copyright: 1999 American Lawyer Media Author: Shannon P. Duffy Website: http://www.palawnet.com/ JUDGE - COMPANY'S DRUG POLICY VIOLATES ADA In an epileptic man's suit over drug testing in the workplace, a federal judge has ruled that employers can be sued for wrongful discharge when their policy requires employees to disclose any prescription drugs they are taking, forcing them to reveal their medical conditions. In her 32-page opinion in Rowles v. Automated Production Systems Inc., Chief U.S. District Judge Sylvia H. Rambo found that while employers have an interest in a productive and drug-free workplace, there must nevertheless be limits to drug testing. "At some point, an individual's privacy interests trump an employer's efficiency concerns," Rambo wrote. "That point is when the invasion of privacy is `substantially and highly offensive to the reasonable person'," she wrote, quoting from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' 1992 decision in Borse v. Piece Goods Shop Inc.. In Borse, the 3rd Circuit envisioned two ways in which an employer's urinalysis program might intrude upon an employee's seclusion -- either by the manner in which the test was conducted, since there are "few activities ... more personal or private than the passing of urine," or because the test could reveal "a host of private medical facts," including whether an employee was epileptic or pregnant. The 3rd Circuit recommended a fact-intensive analysis in wrongful discharge suits based on a drug testing policy's alleged tortious invasion of an employee's privacy. The Borse opinion set forth a balancing test that would pit the employee's privacy interest against the employer's interest in a drug-free workplace. The ultimate question, the court said, was to determine "whether a reasonable person would find the employer's program highly offensive." Rambo found that John A. Rowles presented just such a case and that a jury must now decide whether the drug testing policy at APS was highly offensive. In another significant ruling, Rambo granted partial summary judgment to Rowles' claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a matter of law, Rambo said, APS violated the ADA by having a policy of prohibiting the use of certain prescription drugs -- even if their use has no effect on job performance. Rowles is represented by attorneys Lisa M. Rau of Kairys Rudovsky Epstein Messing & Rau and Thomas H. Earle of the Disabilities Law Project. For his epilepsy, Rowles takes an anticonvulsant, Dilantin, and Phenobarbital to control his seizures. In September 1996, Rowles applied for engineering position at APS and consented to drug tests as a condition of being hired as a machine design engineer. APS immediately gave him a computer so he could begin work on an urgent project, he says, and he was asked to take the drug test when he reported to work in October 1996. But Rowles says that when he finally got the chance to peruse the company's drug policy, he realized that he wasn't being tested only for illegal drugs. Instead, he says, the policy seemed to suggest that he could be fired for taking his Phenobarbital prescription. Rowles says he told his superviser of his epilepsy and prescription, and that he had serious reservations about submitting to a drug test because the company's policy seemed to prohibit the use of any "controlled substance" -- even those prescribed by a physician. When the time came for the drug test, Rowles refused to take it, saying he feared that he would be fired for his use of prescribed Phenobarbital. APS fired him for refusing to take the test and did not offer to rehire him or allow him to take the test. Rau and Earle argued that APS's policy violates the ADA because it requires an employee to disclose any prescription drugs; and because it prohibits the use of legally prescribed drugs without any showing that testing for those drugs is "job related" and a "business necessity." Rambo found that the ADA treats drug testing differently depending on the stage at which the employer conducts the test. No drug testing is allowed before the employer makes an offer, but some testing is allowed post-offer, but pre-employment. After an employee has started working, she said, the ADA gives employers "considerably less latitude" in conducting examinations and drug tests of current employees. Rowles insisted he should be treated as a current employee since his drug test at APS came after he was working there for several weeks. But Rambo agreed with the lawyers for APS who said the test was legally post-offer, but pre-employment since Rowles was given forms that said his employment was conditional upon passing drug test. As a result, Rambo found that Rowles fell into a category of employees who enjoy the lowest level of rights in the drug-testing context. His status as a worker on the threshold of joining the workforce placed him in that unusual window of time in which an employer has the opportunity to do some drug testing. Despite placing his case in that category, Rambo found that APS's drug testing policy had at least one indefensible provision since it prohibited the use of certain drugs, even if they were prescribed by a doctor. APS insisted that its policy was designed only to weed out use of illegal drugs. But Rambo said "the court declines to ignore the text of APS's drug and alcohol abuse policy." Under the clear language of the policy, she said, clearly provides for the firing of an employee who takes Phenobarbital, even if it was prescribed to control seizures. An employee like Rowles, she said, "must take the medication while at work, yet doing so is a direct violation of the policy." But Rambo stressed that her grant of summary judgment was only partial and that Rowles must still show that his termination resulted from the illegal policy.
------------------------------------------------------------------- No Green Light Yet (Newsweek magazine suggests the Institute of Medicine report on medical marijuana was so timid that the White House drug czar, General Barry McCaffrey, decided he didn't have to act on its conclusions that cannabis does not have a high potential for abuse, but does have medical value, conclusions that flatly contradict the rationale for its being a Schedule 1 controlled substance.) From: GranVizier@webtv.net From: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 14:03:35 -0500 (EST) To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: MMJ-No Green Light Yet Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Newsweek Pubdate: March 29, 1999 Online: http://www.newsweek.com/nw-srv/printed/us/na/na0113_2.htm With Pat Wingert and Debra Rosenberg in Washington, Anne Underwood in New York and Joshua Hammer in Los Angeles Special Delivery MEDICINE No Green Light Yet A long-awaited report supports medical marijuana. So now what? By Claudia Kalb For Scott Imler, it was finally time to exhale. Six months ago, Imler feared his Los Angeles Cannabis Center would be shut down by federal authorities. Last week, after the Institute of Medicine released its findings on the medical merits of marijuana, Imler and his staffers were toasting the report with bottles of Chianti: "Sweet vindication," he said. Back at the Office of National Drug Control Policy in Washington, drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey had a very different reason to be relieved. Sources say that if the IOM had given blanket approval to marijuana as medicine, McCaffrey would have supported downgrading the drug from its current Schedule I status (high potential for abuse, no medicinal value) to Schedule II (which would allow doctors to prescribe it). Instead, the general politely thanked the report's investigators. "I think what we will aggressively support," he said, "is continued research." The IOM report, commissioned by McCaffrey in 1997 amid bitter clashes between state "medical marijuana" initiatives and a federal war on weed, had something for everyone. The study concluded that cannabinoids - marijuana's active components - can be useful in treating pain, nausea and appetite loss caused by advanced cancer and AIDS. For very ill patients with no other treatment options, investigators recommended short-term use of smoked marijuana under strict medical oversight. But the IOM in no way gave marijuana a clean bill of health: scientists said the drug's benefits were hampered by the toxicity of smoking. Marijuana's future lay not in the plant, investigators said, but in development of synthetic cannabinoids and in new, smokeless delivery systems-ideally an asthma-type inhaler. "We were asked, 'Is there a medical use for marijuana or cannabinoids?'" said Dr. Stanley Watson, a principal investigator. "Our answer comes out a reserved yes." While the report pleased many, some found the "yes" far too timid. Harvard doctor Lester Grinspoon, a longtime crusader for medical marijuana, called the findings a "political compromise." While praising the IOM for giving the drug legitimacy, Grinspoon says its emphasis on pharmaceutical research will delay treatment and may be wholly unrealistic. R&D for new drugs can cost $300 million - and only about one in five will make it to market. "Drug companies won't get involved," says Grinspoon, "unless they can be sure they'll make money." Stalwart anti-drug warriors, on the other hand, considered parts of the report reefer madness. IOM investigators said that they found no conclusive evidence that marijuana is a "gateway" drug, nor that recommending it medicinally would increase general use-both central tenets of the administration's opposition to legalizing medical marijuana. Rep. Bill McCollum, who last fall introduced a House resolution urging states not to pass marijuana referenda (it passed 310-93) says "nobody, but nobody, who uses heroin or cocaine didn't start out using marijuana." He and others worry that advocating smoking marijuana - even for very sick patients - is "a very, very bad thing." Once the smoke clears, what next? "I don't know," McCaffrey said last week. He says he intends to respect the IOM's report and will ask the National Institutes of Health to "sort it out." Marijuana advocates say they will use it to fuel state initiatives; anti-drug groups promise to continue their war. As for drug development, Unimed Pharmaceuticals - which manufactures the pill Marinol, the only legal cannabinoid synthetic - says it is devising an inhaler. Several other small companies are developing smokeless cigarettes, new pills and even a marijuana suppository. Still, all of that is years away. Patients like Greg Scott, who is battling AIDS, say marijuana helps keep them strong - "I'm living proof," says Scott, "that marijuana is good medicine." But the Feds will need more proof than that. The study concluded that the future of medical marijuana is in its chemical compounds - not in the plant itself. The state of cannabinoid delivery: Smoking: Offers immediate delivery and patients can "titrate" dose as needed. But report deems fumes too dangerous-and smoking's illegal under federal law. Inhaler: Will eliminate toxicity of smoke while maintaining quick entry into the bloodstream. The study encourages development, but product approval is still years away. Pills: Legal and smokeless. But they can take over an hour to enter bloodstream. And some patients can't stomach concentrated dose.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gallup Poll on Medical/Recreational Marijuana Use (A list subscriber forwards the results of a survey of 1,018 adults showing 73 percent would vote for medical marijuana but only 29 percent would vote for "legalization.")Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 11:37:07 -0800 To: email@example.com From: "D. Paul Stanford" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) Subject: Fw: Gallup Poll on Medical/Recreational Marijuana Use From: "G. A ROBISON" (galan@PRODIGY.NET) of the Drug Policy Forum of Texas: Here are some extremely interesting poll results for you to contemplate. It shows that we still have a very long ways to go, as if any of you needed a reminder of this. We commonly say that we have a hard-core opposition of 20%, out in the real world (as opposed to the Internet), but these data suggest that it may be a tad higher than that: -----Original Message----- From: Scott Ehlers (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Tuesday, March 30, 1999 11:55 AM Subject: Gallup Poll on Medical/Recreational Marijuana Use FYI: I couldn't find anything on their website (http://www.gallup.com) about this poll, but the Frontrunner is pretty reliable... Scott *** BNN FRONTRUNNER Majority Favor Medical Marijuana March 29, 1999 - A Gallup poll of 1,018 adults, conducted March 19-21 (+/- 3%) found: -- 73% said they would vote for "making marijuana legally available for doctors to prescribe in order to reduce pain and suffering"; 25% said they would vote against; 2% had no opinion. -- 29% said they would vote for "the legalization of marijuana"; 69% said they would vote against; 2% had no opinion. Source: BNN Frontrunner Providing daily digests of political news from around the nation. (c)1999 Published by Bulletin News Network, Inc. (BNN) All Rights Reserved. *** Scott Ehlers Senior Policy Analyst email@example.com Drug Policy Foundation "Creating Reasoned and Compassionate Drug Policies" 4455 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite B-500 Washington, DC 20008-2328 ph: (202) 537-5005 * fax: (202) 537-3007 www.dpf.org www.drugpolicy.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Net Becomes Battleground In Drug War (The Washington Times admits the two new web sites sponsored by the office of the White House drug czar, General Barry McCaffrey, are just a reactionary response to all the "Web sites put out by people who think drugs should be legalized." But Allen St. Pierre, the director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, says the Internet is dominated by those who want to see drugs legalized because this is the general consensus.) Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 21:15:25 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Net Becomes Battleground In Drug War Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 Source: Washington Times (DC) Copyright: 1999 News World Communications, Inc. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.washtimes.com/ NET BECOMES BATTLEGROUND IN DRUG WAR New Sites Rebut Pro-Pot Messages Children searching the Internet for information about drugs will find about 1 million "hits," many of which tell them how to buy, sell and grow marijuana. Yahoo and Altavista search engines feature Web sites ranging from how to smoke banana peels to passing a drug test with drugs in your system to properly tending a marijuana garden. But the White House and members of Congress hope to combat this message and drug use among youth with the introduction of two innovative Web sites where parents and children can find information on fighting drugs. "We must ensure that this medium of distributing information works for us and not against us," said Rep. Jim Kolbe, Arizona Republican. Mr. Kolbe is one of many representatives who support America Online, ABC/Disney and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy's media campaign for drug prevention, which is now moving into the on-line community with the two Web sites. "Unlike advertising the traditional media outreach, the Internet transcends geographical and economic boundaries and allows new communities to come together in an interactive, substantive way," said Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, director of the White House drug control office and leader of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. The first Web site, ABC/Disney's www.Freevibe.com, is geared toward children ages 10-13 with an interactive, trendy appeal to drug-related information. Questions such as "How to say no" and "Why people take drugs" are addressed and kids will also find games, news and links that discourage drug use. America Online's Parents Drug Resource Center guides parents in recognizing and preventing drug use by their teens. Warning signs for parents are physical changes as well as differences in personality and behavior. They can talk to other parents who have dealt with similar situations. The AOL keyword for the site is "Drug Help." "The Center is . . . reaching into every community, even on-line communities, to help kids learn the truth about drug use so that they can lead clean, healthy lives," Gen. McCaffrey said in a note to parents on the Web site. This is a step in the right direction, said Sue Rusche, director of the National Families in Action. It is unsafe for children even to research the Internet on the subject of drugs, she said. "We are deeply concerned about the Web sites put out by people who think drugs should be legalized and advocate for that, but we are delighted to hear of new Web sites providing good information for parents and kids," she said. The Internet is dominated by those who want to see drugs legalized because this is the general consensus, said Allen St. Pierre, director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "AOL polls show that people are in favor of reform," he said. "These media groups and the government want to put these voices aside." Mr. St. Pierre said the two newly released sites are misleading because they are not based on scientific information. Claims of marijuana as a gateway drug that is addictive are false, according to scientific and governmental research, he noted. Also, he added, this research shows that marijuana does not cause physical withdrawal or hurt the body. "Government is not going to get the desired effect," Mr. St. Pierre said. "The harder they push, the more kids use drugs."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexican Politicians Face Probe (The Associated Press says in the past, men in top business and political positions were allowed to flee abroad until things cooled off in Mexico, but international pressure to clean up Mexico's drug mess has prosecutors cracking down on once mighty members of Mexico's freewheeling elite. The reputation for corruption earned by Mexican law enforcement, however, has helped make it possible for some Mexicans to believe that members of the ruling class are now the victims of a witch-hunt.) Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 21:18:25 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Mexico: Wire: Mexican Politicians Face Probe Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: Mark Stevenson MEXICAN POLITICIANS FACE PROBE MEXICO CITY (AP) In a striking turn, once mighty members of Mexico's freewheeling elite are finding themselves under investigation for fraud, corruption and even murder. Men in top business and political positions were allowed in the past to flee abroad until things cooled off at home, but international pressure to clean up Mexico's drug mess has prosecutors cracking down. The targets, however, are also firing back, waging vocal public campaigns to portray themselves as victims of government persecution and corrupt police. After long shunning publicity, they now file human rights complaints against prosecutors, stage protest rallies and call journalists at home begging for them to write articles about their alleged plight. And with the reputation for corruption that dogs Mexico's law enforcement, many Mexicans are ready to believe that members of the ruling class that long enjoyed government favors are now the victims. Conspiracy charges are increasing as more of Mexico's elite feel legal heat for the first time. The victims of "government witch hunts" are many: a state governor, the brother of a former president, a presidential candidate, a top banker. Raul Salinas, brother of former President Carlos Salinas, claims he was railroaded by his family's political enemies in his conviction for the 1994 murder of a rival. He accused the judge of fabricating charges. "We have been made ... political hostages," he said during an appeals hearing last week. Gov. Mario Villanueva, meanwhile, was questioned last week by prosecutors about allegations of drug smuggling in his Caribbean coast state, Quintana Roo. Villanueva claims the accusations are part of a political campaign to punish him for supporting old-guard presidential candidate Manuel Bartlett. Bartlett, in turn, contends political motives are behind allegations he participated in the 1985 torture-killing of a U.S. narcotics agent. Also last week, Carlos Cabal Peniche, a banker who fled to Australia after being charged in a $700 million fraud case, said from a Sydney jail cell that he is a victim of political persecution because he didn't give President Ernesto Zedillo enough support during his 1994 campaign. He also claimed he is being made the fall guy for Mexico's banking crisis. After decades of bungled cases, preferential treatment for well-connected suspects and corruption in law enforcement, the image of prosecutors is so tarnished that many Mexicans are receptive to conspiracy theories. Hundreds of supporters cheered Villanueva when he emerged from the questioning session in the state capital, Chetumal. A cartoon published by a Mexico City newspaper summed up the public's feelings. It shows a man reading two newspaper headlines: "'Prosecutors say governor involved in drug trafficking.' That could very well be true," he says. "'Governor accuses prosecutors of making false accusations.' That could very well be true."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bin Laden Buys Child Slaves For His Drug Farms In Africa (The Daily Telegraph, in Britain, accuses Osama bin Laden, the world's most wanted terrorist, of buying child slaves from Ugandan rebels and using them as forced labour on marijuana farms in Sudan to fund his international terrorism network.) Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 16:30:34 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Africa: Bin Laden Buys Child Slaves For His Drug Farms In Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Pubdate: 29 March 1999 Source: Daily Telegraph (UK) Copyright: of Telegraph Group Limited 1999 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Author: David Blair in Kampala BIN LADEN BUYS CHILD SLAVES FOR HIS DRUG FARMS IN AFRICA OSAMA BIN LADEN, the world's most wanted terrorist, is buying child slaves from Ugandan rebels and using them as forced labour on marijuana farms in Sudan to fund his international terrorism network. New evidence indicates that bin Laden, who masterminded the bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania last August, has made Sudan the centre of his global empire. Sudan, whose Islamic government has close links with bin Laden, is the long-standing patron of the Lord's Resistance Army rebels who have abducted at least 8,000 children from northern Uganda since 1994 and forced them to serve as soldiers or sexual playthings. Others have been sold into slavery in Sudan in exchange for guns and ammunition. Brig Katumba Wamala, commander of the Ugandan forces fighting the rebels, said: "We know that large numbers of children abducted by the LRA are being sold into slavery in Sudan." Many are bought by bin Laden, via Arab slave traders. "Bin Laden is the main buyer of these children. He has very big marijuana farms in Sudan and he buys the children as slave labourers," said Brig Wamala. Evidence comes from children who have escaped the slave dealers. "We have the testimony of abducted children and we also have intercepted radio conversations," said Brig Wamala. Radio intercepts show that bin Laden pays one Kalashnikov assault rifle for every child he buys. Joseph Kony, the LRA leader, is in desperate need of weapons and has recently complained of being cheated. "It is on the record that Kony was complaining about the exchange rate. Once the Arabs gave him 98 guns for the 100 children he had given them. He complained very bitterly. It is a very lucrative business," said Brig Wamala. Ugandan intelligence sources have tracked the fate of children sold into the Sudanese slave trade. After being abducted, they are forced to march to Jabelin, the LRA's headquarters 34 miles south of Juba, the main city in southern Sudan. "Here a selection is made on the basis of physical appearance," said the source. "The girls and some of the boys are taken away for what is called special training. They are sold into slavery, while the rest are used as soldiers." Many of the girls are taken to Nsitu camp, 15 miles south of Juba, from where they are distributed to Arab slave dealers. Once sold, the children are taken to Juba airport and flown to other regions of Sudan. Both of these camps are supplied by the Sudanese government. According to a source who visited them in July 1997, Nsitu is less than 200 yards from a Sudanese army base. Within the perimeter of Jabelin camp, Sudanese government troops are housed alongside LRA rebels. Ugandan intelligence has monitored the close links between bin Laden and the Sudanese government. "After being expelled from Saudi Arabia, bin Laden lived in Sudan from 1994 until 1996," said an intelligence source. "He has a wide range of business interests there, covering farms, banks, factories and infrastructure. These are used to fund terrorism in Africa and elsewhere." The marijuana farms worked by bin Laden's child slaves are located in the Nile Valley, north of Khartoum. In the same area, he has several large sunflower plantations, where slave labour may also be used. Ugandan intelligence believes that bin Laden has invested UKP30 million in front organisations for his terror network. He has also helped to finance major infrastructure projects in Sudan. Uganda believes that bin Laden's web of terror is aimed at toppling African governments, as well as striking at British and American interests worldwide. "Sudan has offered itself as a training ground for terrorists. We know of 17 terrorist training camps and the target is to install Islamic fundamentalist governments in east and central Africa by 2002," said the source. "That is why bin Laden is helping them to sponsor rebels and kidnap and enslave our children." Children who escape from the rebels have been encouraged to draw and write about their experiences as part of the recovery process. Their work featured in a book, Where Is My Home? Children in War, published by children's charities in Uganda last year. -------------------------------------------------------------------
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.
Comments, questions and suggestions.Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/
Next day's news
Previous day's news
to the 1999 Daily News index for March 26-April 1
to the Portland NORML news archive directory
to the 1999 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/ii/990329.html