------------------------------------------------------------------- Tribulations of tobacco trial steel victors for followup (The Oregonian interviews the two Portland attorneys, Ray Thomas and Bill Gaylord, who won an $80.3 million judgment from Philip Morris this week. Thomas harbors dark and deeply personal thoughts about the tobacco industry. A lifelong smoker himself, he has tried numerous times to quit. "I'm not the world's smartest person," he says. "If we can beat 'em, they ought to be worried.") Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Sun, Apr 04 1999 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian Contact: email@example.com Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: Patrick O'Neill of The Oregonian staff Tribulations of tobacco trial steel victors for followup * The two attorneys who won a $80.3 million judgment from Philip Morris revel in their fame even as they face their everyday toils No scraps of confetti, no stray champagne corks litter the offices in the law firms of Ray Thomas and Bill Gaylord. Only a lone bouquet of stargazer lilies and a yellow balloon printed with the word "Congrats" adorn a small table in Thomas' reception area. Everybody is either too tired or too busy to celebrate the stunning news the two Portland lawyers heard shortly after noon Tuesday. The moment Judge Anna Brown read the verdict, Thomas says he thought of his mother. Gaylord recalls a rush of exhilaration: "We did it!" In that instant, Brown's courtroom on the Multnomah County Courthouse's sixth floor became the center of the universe for legal action against tobacco companies. Thomas and Gaylord had won a staggering $80.3 million judgment against Philip Morris Inc., the tobacco giant that makes Marlboro cigarettes, the world's most popular brand. The award, after a five-week trial, is the largest for personal injury in tobacco litigation history. The suit was brought by the family of Jesse D. Williams, 67, a retired Portland school janitor who died of lung cancer on March 17, 1997, after smoking Marlboro cigarettes for 42 years. Philip Morris attorneys from the Kansas City, Mo., firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon promise they will appeal. But the victory brought a sudden flash of fame to the two Portland attorneys who argued the case on behalf of the Williams family. By Thursday, Thomas' office had taken calls from The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the BBC, USA Today, The Associated Press and Reuters. The morning after the verdict, the lawyers appeared with Mayola Williams, widow of Jesse Williams, on NBC's "Today" and ABC's "Good Morning America." Besides the media crush, the ninth-floor suite of Swanson, Thomas & Coon overlooking Pioneer Courthouse Square and the offices of Gaylord & Eyerman nestled above Interstate 405 have been deluged with calls from prospective clients near and far, smokers who have been sickened or loved ones of those killed by cigarettes who want to sue. Wall Street tobacco stock analysts also call: Could they meet to get an idea of the future of tobacco litigation in America? In the mad scramble, the attorneys churn away on their next cases: For Thomas, it's a suit against Ford Motor Co. scheduled for trial on April 26 in Spokane; a Ford Bronco rolled over, injuring the driver. For Gaylord, it's a medical malpractice case that goes to trial Monday. Office attire casual Thomas toils in a black T-shirt and faded jeans, cell phone on his belt, gunslinger style. Tall and angular, he sips coffee from a Starbucks paper cup and munches a panino dolce roll as he paces the length of his firm's claustrophobic law library. "They're very hard, and you can eat them while you work without making a mess." He's talking to a speaker phone on a desk, preparing for his Bronco trial. "We'll need a hard copy and the video," he tells a mechanical engineering professor on the other end. Thomas has compiled 39 pages of exhibits. Some he has; some he still needs. He ends his conversation and gestures at the exhibit list. "That's 100 hours' worth of work," he says, pointing at the pages. A receptionist tells Thomas he has another call. This time it's an old friend, John Cabaniss, an automotive engineer and product liability lawyer from Milwaukee. Cabiniss is calling from Barcelona, Spain, where he and his bride are honeymooning. "I bought a USA Today," Cabiniss says. "I'm drinking a glass of wine, and I turn the paper over, and there you are. All the Spaniards are toasting your victory. They're all smoking, too." "Artillery fire" Thomas accepts Cabiniss' congratulations and gives him the short version of the trial: "It was like being in the foxhole under heavy artillary fire for five weeks." Philip Morris sent an armada of attorneys steaming into Portland on a tide of cash: six to eight lawyers in the courtroom throughout the trial and who-knows-how-many stashed in nearby offices. Each of the company's witnesses had a separate lawyer who acted as a "handler." Against the Philip Morris invasion stood four attorneys: Thomas and Gaylord -- the two lawyers who presented the Williams case to the jury -- along with Jim Coon, Thomas' partner, who handled much of the legal research, and Charles Tauman, of counsel for the Portland firm of Bennett, Hartman, Reynolds & Wiser, who coordinated the flow of witnesses and evidence. Thomas relives for Cabiniss an awful moment when Dr. Victor E. Gould lobbed a grenade into the middle of the Williams case. Gould, testifying for Philip Morris, is a kind of international guru of medical pathology. The tobacco company flew him in from Chicago to testify that, no, Williams didn't die of "adenosquamous carcinoma," as the plaintiffs alleged. He actually died of something called "mucoepidermal carcinoma," practically the only kind of lung cancer that isn't associated with smoking. "They came up with a form of cancer nobody'd every heard of," Thomas says. "It gutted our case . . . ." "Well, congratulations," Cabiniss counters. "Every once in a while, the good guys win." Cabiniss pauses. "It's for your mother, right?" "Yeah," Thomas says. "Yeah." Maggie Thomas, Ray Thomas' mother, is a big reason why Thomas says he got involved in the case. Thomas' mother In 1964, Maggie Thomas became a news reporter at WGEM-TV and Radio in Quincy, Ill. Leo Henning, the station's vice president and general manager, says she was a pioneer among women in the broadcasting industry, probably the first woman to break into the previously all-male world of hard-news reporting in the Midwest. And she was a heavy smoker. Maggie Thomas regarded a pack of cigarettes as essential for blending in with a group of male journalists. "She was a complete addict," Thomas says. He recalls nagging his mother about her smoking. He remembers his mother saying the link between smoking and cancer wasn't proved, that so many substances can cause cancer. In 1990, doctors diagnosed lung cancer, and Maggie Thomas underwent a brutal round of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The cancer seemed to go into remission. Then it reappeared with a vengeance. A popular speaker, she was set to address a Fourth of July gathering in 1991 in Quincy. But two days before, she ended her pain. They found her body in her car in her garage, where she killed herself with carbon monoxide at age 62. "When my mom died, I got to talking about how our office should put together a low-budget run at the tobacco industry," Thomas says. Personal thoughts Thomas harbors dark and deeply personal thoughts about the tobacco industry. A lifelong smoker himself, he has tried numerous times to quit. He recalls a visceral attraction to nicotine when, as a small child, his grandfather smoked cigars around the house. He thinks he was sensitized to nicotine from infancy through his mother's breast milk. Years later, "I saw these tobacco executives stand up in front of Congress and testify that nicotine isn't addictive," he says. "It made me mad." Thomas, in fact, smoked Marlboros off and on until November, when Philip Morris attorneys compelled him to travel all the way to Crockett, Texas, for depositions in the Williams case. Thomas slapped on a nicotine patch and quit. But the stress of the trial drove him back. "They (tobacco company officials) were right," he says, referring to a Philip Morris document presented in evidence. "People do smoke when they're under stress. "I started again when the jury was out," he said. "I just couldn't handle it." This time, it was unfiltered Camels. On Friday, Thomas quit again, but he knows he faces a lifetime of temptation. Although $80.3 million sounds like an awful lot of money, Thomas says there's no telling when, or if, the family or the attorneys will see any of it. Appeals could take a decade or longer. And the tobacco company certainly will try to beat down the amount of the award. Under Oregon law, 60 percent of the $79.5 million in punitive damages goes to a state victim's assistance fund. Thomas says state law would allow attorneys to collect 20 percent of the remaining $31.8 million -- about $6.36 million -- to be shared among the participating firms. But those figures are bound to change during appeals, he says. Tested and tried Thomas and Gaylord aren't what you'd call novices in the world of litigation. In 1989, the pair won $5 million in punitive damages against Honda Motor Co. Their client, Karl L. Oberg of Salem, was severely injured when a Honda three-wheeler he was riding flipped over. Honda appealed the verdict, but in 1995 the Oregon Supreme Court upheld it. Honda doesn't sell three-wheelers in the United States anymore. The two have complementary courtroom styles. Thomas, outgoing and emotional, is the showman. He paces and gestures, stabbing the air to emphasize a point. Sometimes he struggles for words in the heat of legal battle. Gaylord, composed and low-key, appeals to the intellectual side of the jury. In a deceptively conversational style, he examines witnesses, wrapping them in python coils of logic. Both stay in good physical condition. Thomas, 47, is a fanatic bicyclist. In good weather, he rides 25 miles to his office in downtown Portland from his 125-acre farm near Cornelius. He recently won an award from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance for lending his legal services to cyclists. Gaylord, 52, is an Alpine skier and a former ski instructor at Mt. Hood Meadows. In rare spare time, he plays "bluegrass and out-of-date folk" on guitar. Pull of addiction Like Thomas, he's felt the pull of nicotine addiction. "I smoked sporadically for 12 or 14 years," Gaylord says. "But I was one of the lucky ones who was never really habituated." Both lawyers acknowledge the value of teamwork in the four-lawyer group that carried the burden in the tobacco trial. But at the outset, neither had high hopes of winning. "We always knew this was a tough case and a long shot," Gaylord says. Thomas is blunter: "I was expecting to lose this case and go to my family and forget about it." Thomas particularly thought they'd lose during the testimony of Gould, the pathologist. "We were devastated by that," he said. "It came out of nowhere." But fast footwork on Tauman's part found a physician -- a videotaped deposition played back to the jury to counter Gould's claims. Fortunately for the Williams family, the jury leaned heavily on confidential Philip Morris documents in which company executives acknowledged the cancer-causing and addictive potential of cigarettes. Thomas worries about the future. "The tobacco industry isn't going to allow this to happen the same way twice," he says. But then, big tobacco should worry, too. "I'm not the world's smartest person," he says. "If we can beat 'em, they ought to be worried." You can reach Patrick O'Neill at 503-221-8233 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Don't Prohibit Guns (A letter to the editor of the Bulletin, in rural Bend, Oregon, compares the prospect of gun prohibition with the realities of drug prohibition. Despite 80 years of drug prohibition, at a cost of billions of dollars, and at great loss to our civil liberties, anybody of any age that has a couple of bucks can buy illegal drugs. They're cheaper, more pure, more diverse and more widely available than ever before. The illicit drug market is an unregulated free market with no age limit and no ID required. As with drugs, gun prohibition would only create more of what gun opponents claim they want to stop.) Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 12:01:13 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OR: PUB LTE: Don't Prohibit Guns Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Curt Wagoner Pubdate: 4 Apr 1999 Source: Bulletin, The (OR) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com/ Section: My Nickel's Worth Page: E-2 Author: Curt Wagoner DON'T PROHIBIT GUNS For those who think that banning firearms--in other words a gun prohibition--is somehow the answer to eliminating our nation's gun violence, think again. Despite 80 years of drug prohibition, at the cost of billions upon billions of dollars, and at a great loss of our precious civil liberties, anybody of any age that has a couple of bucks can buy illegal drugs. They're cheaper, more pure, more diverse and more widely available than ever before. The illicit drug market is an unregulated, free-market with no age limit and no ID required. Gun prohibition would only create more of what gun opponents claim they want to stop. A gun prohibition, like alcohol or drug prohibition, is the formula for crime and violence and guarantees that guns will be available to anybody who wants one with no age limit and no ID required. The major cause of crime and gun violence comes from our nation's prohibitionist drug policy. It doesn't come from the average American gun owner. The Libertarian Party supports your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The party also supports the buying and selling of firearms without the need of Big Brother looking over your shoulder and prying into your personal lives. Senate Bill 700 is just another incremental step toward an all out ban on guns. And, it just goes to show that you can't trust a Republican anymore than you can a Democrat when it comes to protecting your gun rights.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Million Marijuana March in Seattle (A press release from Seattle Events Inc., producers of the Seattle Hempfest, publicizes events May 1 organized in conjunction with the worldwide reform rally.) Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 01:01:53 -0800 (PST) From: Vivian (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: Press release: Million Marijuana March in Seattle (fwd) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Press release: Million Marijuana March in Seattle Updated *preliminary* Press Release: In conjunction with Cures Not Wars (www.cures-not-wars.org/mmm/) Seattle Events Inc., producers of Seattle Hempfest, invites you to join justice activists around the world to stand up and be counted in demanding an immediate end to the immoral, unjust and criminal war against marijuana users globally. Over 600,000 are aressted for marijuana a year in the U.S. alone! 10 million arrested total. Over one million in jails world-wide! May 1, 1999, 12 noon, meet at Volunteer Park, Seattle. We will march for amnesty for all persons incarcerated for marijuana, for persons needing medicinal marijuana, and for global hemp production and utilization. Rain or shine. Destination will be Westlake Park, Seattle. Rally with amplification and speakers. Street addresses and parade route to be posted soon. This will be a legal parade and rally and will have police escort. Proper permits and City approval are in process. Bring signs, banners, friends, family. Donations of money accepted at rally to offset costs. Trained, experienced "Peace Keepers" desired. Vehicular shuttles will be provided for medical patients and elderly (pre-registration preferred). We ask that you respect our request to abstain from civil disobediance. See our website at www.seattlehempfest.com (announcement re: MMM forthcoming). In direct coordination with May 1 marches in Auckland, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Glasgow, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Nimbin, San Fransisco, Seattle, Tampa, Vancouver. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT *NOT* TO REMAIN SILENT! WE DEMAND JUSTICE NOW! MEDICINE, FOOD, FUEL, FIBRE, ECOLOGY, ECONOMY, SANITY, DIGNITY NOW! High Pride! Green Power! Initial contact for potential speakers and all media: Vivian McPeak e-mail: email@example.com (contact for personal ph#) voice mail: 206-781-5734 (allow some turn around time) postal: 916 N.E. 65Th #269 seattle, washington, 98116-6751 Please forward to all appropriate parties en masse. "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the opprsssed" -Martin Luther King, 1968 "People should never believe that demonstrations are useless. People power on the streets does change things" - Caroline Coon, Founder of Drug Charity Release UK, 1968 "Prohibition goes against the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes" - Abraham Lincoln, 1800's "Don't ever underestimate your ability to make a difference" - Stephen Gaskin, 1976 *** hemp-talk - firstname.lastname@example.org is a discussion/information list about hemp politics in Washington State. To unsubscribe, send e-mail to email@example.com with the text "unsubscribe hemp-talk". For more details see http://www.hemp.net/lists.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- We're All Prisoners Of Our Incarceration Policies (Seattle Times columnist Jerry Large says everybody knows we've been sweeping something under the rug. The lump is too big not to notice, but until recently few people have had any inclination to clean house. Terry Kupers thinks that is changing. Kupers, an Oakland psychiatrist, says that for too long, mentally ill people have been disappearing into prisons while the rest of us looked the other way. His new book gives his diagnosis and prescription for our penchant for hiding people with whom we do not want to be bothered. "Prison Madness," arriving in book stores this month, provides anecdotes, statistics and a very large pill: Stop using police and prisons to treat social ills.) Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 11:40:47 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WA: Column: We're All Prisoners Of Our Incarceration Policies Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Author: Jerry Large, Times Staff Columnist WE'RE ALL PRISONERS OF OUR INCARCERATION POLICIES Everybody knows we've been sweeping something under the rug. The lump is too big not to notice, but until recently few people have had any inclination to clean house. Terry Kupers thinks that is changing. Kupers, a psychiatrist, says that for too long, mentally ill people have been disappearing into prisons while the rest of us looked the other way. "We live in a very cruel time," he told me recently. "There is not a lot of sympathy for the poor or for immigrants. There is harshness toward the underdog." So it is not surprising, he said, that most people have not cared about the fate of people who suffer from mental illnesses. But he thinks the pendulum has swung as far in the direction of cruelty as it can go. The wrong antidote Kupers has written a book that gives his diagnosis and prescription for our penchant for hiding people with whom we do not want to be bothered. "Prison Madness" arrives in book stores this month with anecdotes, statistics and a very large pill: Stop using police and prisons to treat social ills. We've been fooled (willingly) into believing our biggest problem is crime, so that while we focus on locking up as many people as we can, the real problems - joblessness, homelessness, inadequate education, drug abuse, inequality - go unaddressed and keep churning out new people for us to imprison. Kupers practices in Oakland, where he is president of the East Bay Psychiatric Association and a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has been a consultant to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and to Human Rights Watch and is the author of several books on mental-health issues. He doesn't oppose locking up people who pose a danger to others, but he says most of the people sent to prison each year in this country are sent there for nonviolent crimes. A significant number of those people are mentally ill. Even as we approach a new millennium, our attitudes toward mental illness remain stuck in the very distant past. In our own state, mental-health funding is woefully inadequate, and across the country insurance companies refuse to treat mental illness as seriously as they treat physical illness. If it doesn't bleed, it can't be real. Jails and prisons, which see more than their share of people with mental problems, are even less accommodating. In his book, Kupers argues that many people who commit crimes because they are mentally ill become victims of more violent criminals in prison. Some of them learn to be violent themselves, as do other nonviolent inmates. More violent people come out of prison than go in. Kupers also says the conditions in most prisons are likely to drive some previously sane or borderline inmates across the line into psychosis. Prisons are often crowded, noisy places where people are deprived of privacy and constantly fearful of being preyed upon. He describes beatings and rapes, feces fights and other behavior so common in prison that it's a wonder anyone there remains sane. The capacity of most prisons to deal with mental illness is limited. Sometimes there are resources only for treating the most dangerous psychotics without offering care to the large numbers of other prisoners who might need it. Controlling, not healing Even when there is care, it often is aimed at controlling rather than healing people. Health-care workers with the best intentions become overwhelmed and many times burn out. In the course of studying many prisons, Kupers came to this conclusion: "Our prisons are designed to fail." If the prison system curbed crime, the system would begin to shrink, but if it contributes to crime, it grows and prospers. "We know that prison overcrowding causes increased rates of violence, psychiatric breakdown and suicide, yet we keep pouring more people into our prisons," he writes. "We know that well-designed rehabilitation programs help prisoners prepare for `going straight' whereas idleness leads to violence and emotional disability, yet we keep on dismantling prison rehabilitation programs." He cites Washington as one of the states where serious efforts are being made toward reform, but even here there are a multitude of obstacles. In the end the burden of change rests with us. We have to make it clear, with our votes and our voices, that we want less madness in and out of prison. You can reach Jerry Large c/o The Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Phone: 206-464-3346. Fax: 206-464-2261. E-mail: email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Poet In Exile (Los Angeles Times columnist Al Martinez describes the plight of Peter McWilliams, the best-selling Los Angeles author who is dying of AIDS because the Feds won't let him smoke marijuana, even though California voters legalized its use for medicinal purposes three years ago.) Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 11:50:04 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Column: A Poet In Exile Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: 4 Apr 1999 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (213) 237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Forum: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/DISCUSS/ Author: Al Martinez A POET IN EXILE Peter McWilliams lives in a house overlooking Laurel Canyon with a view that stretches past the wooded hills all the way to the clustered towers of downtown. Frank Lloyd Wright called it the most inspirational site in Southern California, but it doesn't always feel that way to McWilliams. It has become a kind of prison for the 49-year-old writer-publisher who hasn't been out of it since February. He doesn't have many guests over either, because his immune system is almost nonexistent and flu could kill him. McWilliams is dying of AIDS, but the Feds won't let him smoke marijuana to ease his pain and nausea, even though California's voters legalized its use for medicinal purposes three years ago. As far as Washington is concerned it's the devil weed and it's illegal, and McWilliams can writhe in hell for all anyone seems to care. He's just a human being in pain, and the law, like Holy Writ, is above all that. Even a recent report by the Institute of Medicine that found marijuana useful in treating pain, nausea and appetite loss hasn't changed the mind of federal drug czar Barry McCaffrey. He offered the equivalent of a shrug and ordered another study. So McWilliams sits up there like a poet in exile in a house with a view that's almost spiritual, counting the days and the ironies that round out what could be the fading seconds of his life. *** He was indicted by a federal grand jury last July for conspiring to possess, manufacture and distribute marijuana. The charges came a year after federal agents raided the BelAir mansion of medical marijuana advocate Todd McCormick and found more than 4,000 cannabis plants. They said McWilliams financed the operation through his half a dozen or so books, including "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do," a learned and often wry treatise on the absurdity of consensual crimes. He's out on $250,000 bail on the condition that he not smoke marijuana, a deprivation which, he says, has aggravated his already frail condition and made his life a kind of nauseatortured hell. The trial is set for September. "They're making me out to be some kind of drug kingpin and I'm not," he said the other day in his hilltop home. A haze lay over the view, blurring the outlines of the downtown towers. McWilliams says he hadn't smoked marijuana for years until he came down with AIDS. Diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1996, he tried a joint to ease the side effects of chemotherapy, and it worked like a miracle drug. "I took one hit and the nausea began going away. Using marijuana, I relaxed, regained my appetite and even wrote a book. I sailed through chemo after that. No doubt about it, it was the marijuana. I saw the truth in something. I saw suffering turn around." Since the court order prohibiting him from using the drug, McWilliams says, he's lost 30 pounds, his immune system has crashed and, because of the chemical cocktail he takes to treat AIDS, he lives with nausea every moment of his life. The law, he says, is killing him. *** Not everyone wants Peter McWilliams to suffer. Not the judge who, in seeking a solution, asked the federal prosecutors to "help me struggle." Not the prosecutors who revealed their own human sympathies in court but insisted they must adhere to the letter of the law. Voters in California and five other states also expressed compassion by allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Even in the face of mighty campaigns to curb drug use, they understood the racking, debilitating effects of pain and the existence of a weapon to fight it. Dying is a journey we take alone, a scary path toward a darkness impossible to fathom. The emotional trauma associated with that final walk is by itself enough to shrink the will of anyone who faces it. Physical pain lays another heavy burden on the trip. I'm not a big advocate of drugs. I've seen too many young people turn bleary-eyed sneaking joints as a way of coping and I've seen them pay a heavy price for it. But I also see no need to deprive anyone of a medicine that will ease one's final days. This isn't a drugfree society. We sell booze over a bar, painkillers over a counter and rivers of prescription chemicals at pharmacies to alleviate just about every symptom imaginable. Hypocrisy drapes like a shroud over those who pop pills and damn medical marijuana as a cultural evil. I doubt that Peter McWilliams is a drug king, but that's not for me to determine. I do know that he's a prisoner of feuding disciplines that have subjugated compassion for statutes and left him dying in pain on a hilltop. Al Martinez's column appears on Sundays and Wednesdays. He can be reached online at email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana Action Welcome (A staff editorial in the Ukiah Daily Journal supports efforts by Mendocino County Sheriff Tony Craver and District Attorney Norm Vroman to help local medical marijuana patients by implementing the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996. However, the newspaper is concerned that "doctors under federal scrutiny for the slightest adherence to the new medical marijuana law will be put in compromising positions if asked to go on record prescribing pot, since federal drug war storm troopers have threatened to yank prescribing licenses from doctors who do.") Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 19:42:37 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Medical Marijuana Action Welcome Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: dirtroad Pubdate: Sun, 4 April 1999 Source: Ukiah Daily Journal (CA) Copyright: 1999, Ukiah Daily Journal Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 590 S. School St. Ukiah, CA 95482 Fax: (707) 468-5780 Website: http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/ IN OUR OPINION MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACTION WELCOME We're glad to hear that Sheriff Tony Craver and DA Norm Vroman have taken the initiative and begun putting together a plan to help medical marijuana patients in this county. Some 64 percent of voters in Mendocino County approved the medical marijuana law and have continued to support its implementation here and throughout the state. The Ukiah Cannabis Club has quietly been serving medical marijuana patients with calm, methodical efficiency and we hope that it will be able to continue that practice. Craver and Vroman hope to come up with a plan that will allow local medical marijuana patients to carry special identification which will insulate them from law enforcement actions when marijuana is found on their person or property. The two men say they want to get local rules established before this year's growing season so that legitimate medical marijuana patients do not suffer having their plants pulled up by law enforcement unsure of their medical status. The only problem we foresee with the plan as outlined by Craver was the requirement that doctors be willing to tell law enforcement agents that they recommended the medical marijuana use. Craver said the new plan would not require patients to disclose their illnesses for the sake of privacy. We appreciate that sensitivity, but we worry that, doctors under federal scrutiny, for the slightest adherence to the new medical marijuana law - will be put in compromising positions if asked to go on record prescribing pot, since federal drug war storm troopers have threatened to yank prescribing licenses from doctors who do. The Ukiah Cannabis Club does not require a doctor to agree to prescribe medical marijuana but does require each doctor to affirm the patient is telling the truth about his or her medical condition. Perhaps the county's plan could use the qualified, pharmacist who performs this service for the Ukiah Cannabis Club to do the patient/doctor intreviews to maintain confidentiality without putting doctors in an uncomfortable position. Overall, however, we think Craver and Vroman are doing the right thing and we look forward to Mendocino County's being one of the enlightened places which sees the obvious need to give as much help as we can to our seriously ill, and dying residents for whom marijuana is, in fact, medicine.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Founder Of Co-Op Hopes To Receive Pot In Prison (The Orange County Register says James Silva, the attorney for Marvin Chavez, the founder of Orange County's medical marijuana co-op who is serving a six-year sentence at Wasco State Prison for giving away marijuana to Proposition 215 patients, plans to "push" the California corrections department a second time to allow Chavez access to marijuana behind bars for his debilitating back pain.) Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 14:12:37 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Founder Of Co-Op Hopes To Receive Pot In Prison Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Pubdate: Sun, 4 April 1999 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Author: Teri Sforza - (714)565-6910 FOUNDER OF CO-OP HOPES TO RECEIVE POT IN PRISON THEN: The founder of Orange County's medical marijuana co-op, Marvin Chavez, was sentenced Jan. 29 to six years in prison for selling and transporting pot. Medical marijuana activists cried as Chavez was led away in handcuffs, vowing to appeal. NOW: Chavez is serving his time at Wasco State Prison, where he is not allowed to use medical marijuana for what he says is debilitating back pain. His attorney plans to push the state corrections department to allow Chavez access to marijuana behind bars under the auspices of Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative that passed in 1996. The state has denied one such request before. "He's being denied his medicine and he's in a lot of pain," said Linda Chavez, his ex-wife. She and attorney James Silva hope a new federal report concluding that marijuana has medicinal potential will help.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prison Chief Says State's Facilities At Breaking Point (According to an Associated Press article in the Orange County Register, Robert Presley, California Governor Gray Davis' new Cabinet secretary for prisons, said that by April 2001, the state will have run out of prison space, even with the use of temporary housing. The state system now holds 160,000 inmates. California spent more than $5 billion in an attempt to build its way out of over-crowding in the 1980s and early 1990s. But voters stopped approving prison bonds in 1990.) Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 22:23:09 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Prison Chief Says State's Facilities At Breaking Point Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Pubdate: 4 April 1999 Source: Associated Press Section: News page 19 (second front page) Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Source: Orange County Register (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Author: Steve Geissinger-The Associated Press PRISON CHIEF SAYS STATE'S FACILITIES AT BREAKING POINT Overcrowding: He predicts that space will be used up by 2001,and suggests alternatives to imprisonment. Tract - Hundreds of prisoners cover the floor of the old gym like fans rushing the court after a big game. Sullen young men, they mill endlessly in the dimly lit, narrow aisles between rows of bunk beds stacked two and three high. They sleep almost head-to-toe, sit elbow-to-elbow to use the toilets, and wait in lines for phones and water. They swelter in summer with no air conditioning, get chills, and pass colds in winter. Always, they fight the rats and spiders. A guard shielded by razor wire watches from an overhead walk-way. She carries a rifle to halt fights among the car thieves, drug dealers, burglars and gang members, a racially tense checkerboard of brown, black and white men that swells to more than 600 at the evening count. "It's scary," said Lt. Cindy Lincoln, a veteran prison guard, gazing at what seems a vision of hell. But it's the future of prisons in California, which is losing the race to find space for inmates. Even with the use of temporary housing, such as the converted gym at a state prison near Tracy, 60 miles east of San Francisco, the state expects to run out of room for more inmates in two years. "April 2001," Robert Presley, Gov. Gray Davis' new Cabinet secretary for prisons, said in an interview. "By then, we will have exhausted every cranny and nook." Although a slowing crime rate has eased inmate growth projections, the former Democratic state senator from Riverside has warned lawmakers that the system now holding 160,000 inmates "is approaching critical mass." "This is a time to take a critical look at all facets of the correctional system. This is a good time to consider alternatives." Any new alternatives to incarceration could have a better chance with Democrats controlling both the legislative and executive branches. For advocates of social change, it's an opportunity. "Prison should not be the catchall solution to all of the social problems that we have - to mental illness, to homelessness, to lack of health care, to the lack of education," says Angela Davis, a former '60s militant turned author, professor and prison reformer. Taking advice from the Little Hoover Commission, Presley already says he will try to reduce recidivism among the 110,000 supervised parolees by expanding drug-treatment programs and boosting educational opportunities for inmates. The watchdog commission also recommended diverting low-level and nonviolent inmates to nonprison programs. But talk of social reform isn't new. And neither are overcrowded prisons. California has been adopting stricter sentencing laws for almost two decades, culminating in the 1994 "three strikes, you're out" law. California spent more than $5 billion in an unprecedented attempt to build its way out of over-crowding in the 1980s and early 1990s. As the inmate population increased sixfold, the system to house them almost tripled, from 12 to 33 prisons. Voters approved about half of the money. The rest was covered by lease-purchase bonds not requiring voter approval. But voters stopped approving prison bonds in 1990, and Republican Gov. Pete Wilson deadlocked with Democratic leaders over expensive new construction. Now the burden falls on Davis, who's still forming his policies, and the Democrat-controlled Legislature: Build more prisons or possibly be forced in a few years by courts to release felons. "Fortunately, we have yet to have that happen at the state level in California," Presley said. "We were always able to demonstrate that we were trying to solve the problems ... by building." After meeting with Presley, Assemblyman Bill Leonard, a Rancho Cucamonga Republican, introduced a $4 billion prison-construction bond measure that would go before California voters in March 2000. "I'm very concerned ... we will have court orders when we reach full capacity that would entail release of violent felons," Leaonard said in an interview. Complaints about overcrowding are legion among inmates. In the converted gym at Deuel Vocational Institute, Rafael Harper, a 38-year-old drug offender built like a heavyweight boxer, emerged from the crowd to read a list of particulars: "It's unconstitutional. It's very crowded. You can't hardly move around. In the bathrooms, your buttocks are bumping each other." Ronald Viera, a 23-year-old auto thief sitting atop a three-tier bunk, said, "I worry about falling off in the middle of the night. It's kind of high." Construction to relieve crowding, even if approved, would take three to four years and must be combined with social reforms to reduce the number of inmates, the Legislature's analysts warn. The state has contracted for private space to hold some inmates in the short term, but Presley, who was chairman of the legislative prisons committee during the '80s buildup, said government can do the job better. In the meantime, prison officials are using every space they can find for inmates, creating a volatile atmosphere in a system already plagued by violence. At the Tracy state prison, "temporary" conversion of the dingy, half-century-old gym to house all but the most dangerous inmates has lasted more than a decade. TV monitors haven't prevented fistfights among the inmates, many of whom have tattoos and shaved heads. "When it's crowded like this, the potential for anything to happen is that much worse," Glenn Schmidt, a muscled 37-year-old burglar in a tank top, said over the din. Added Rene Gallegos, 24, a slight drug offender wearing prison blues, "We're human beings. We can't be living like savages. That's what it's coming to."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Seizure Money Bypassing Schools (The Omaha World-Herald says when Nebraska police confiscate large bundles of cash linked to drug dealing, the state's constitution directs that half the money go to schools. But that rarely happens. Instead, police take forfeiture cases to federal court, which takes a 20 percent cut for the government and returns the rest to the local law-enforcement agency that confiscated the money. Besides getting to keep the cash, local police find that the Feds don't require proof of a crime before suspected drug money can be forfeited.) Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 19:17:53 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NE: Drug Seizure Money Bypassing Schools Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Weston S. Hartwell Pubdate: 4 Apr 1999 Source: Omaha World-Herald (NE) Copyright: 1999 Omaha World-Herald Company. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.omaha.com/ Forum: http://chat.omaha.com/ Author: Patrick Strawbridge DRUG SEIZURE MONEY BYPASSING SCHOOLS This is one in a series of World-Herald articles looking back on the 20th century. When Nebraska law officers confiscate large bundles of cash linked to drug dealing, the state's constitution directs that half the money go to schools. But that rarely happens. Instead, police funnel the drug money through the federal government, which takes a 20 percent cut and returns the rest to the local law-enforcement agency that confiscated the money. Schools get nothing. It's an end run around the state constitution, but it's allowed under federal rules for handling assets seized from drug dealers. Law enforcement officials in Nebraska say the maneuver is proper and useful. It gives them extra cash to help finance their fight against drug traffickers. State Patrol Maj. Gale P. Griess said his agency has used the $618,000 it has received in the past five years to purchase body armor, computers, cameras and other gear it needs and cannot normally afford. "These days, it seems we're asked to do more and more with less," he said. But some Nebraska lawmakers don't like the sidestepping of the constitution, and several legal experts question whether police ought to profit from seizing suspects' money. Clarence Mock, an Omaha area attorney who has worked on several forfeiture cases, said it's bad public policy to let police keep the money they find. "It encourages them to be hyper-aggressive when they shouldn't be," Mock said. The funneling of locally seized drug money through the federal government is common in states such as Nebraska where legislatures have sought to restrict the unfettered flow of drug money into the pockets of local police. In states such as Iowa, where laws allow police to keep most of the drug money they confiscate, police more often go through state court. When money is forfeited through Nebraska courts, the 50 percent not set aside for schools is earmarked for anti-drug efforts. But police departments don't have direct access. The cash is placed in a county drug fund and disbursed through an independent board. The money can be used by police, but it also helps fund educational programs. Additionally, state law requires more proof of a crime before a government can keep suspected drug money than what is needed for such a seizure under federal rules. So local police frequently turn to the U.S. Attorney's Office when they find a cache of cash. Tom Monaghan, U.S. attorney for Nebraska, said the federal government takes an active interest in all cash seizures of more than $5,000 and sees itself as the coordinator of all major forfeitures. In some cases, the assets are seized as part of a joint investigation between local and federal officials. In other cases, though, police simply take money they find through federal court even if there was no apparent federal connection to the investigation. The U.S. government won't release records that would distinguish which cases were handled by which agencies, but several court cases give a glimpse of the money Nebraska schools aren't getting: A May 1997 traffic stop for speeding on Interstate 80 led an Omaha police officer to discover more than $404,000 hidden in a U-Haul trailer. Although Omaha police investigated the case, the money was given to federal prosecutors. Omaha police stand to receive as much as $320,000. Douglas County schools won't see the $202,000 they would have been entitled to under state law. A search of two south Omaha homes by Omaha police in 1996 turned up more than $30,000 and small quantities of drugs. Although the suspected drug dealer who owned the money was prosecuted on state charges, the cash was given to the federal government. Loss to schools: $15,000. A Valley, Neb., police officer pulled over a Mercedes sedan in September 1995 after the driver allegedly swerved off the road and onto the shoulder. A search of the car turned up a small amount of marijuana and more than $54,000 cash. After the seizure, the Valley department notified the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, which initiated forfeiture proceedings. Eventually, the Valley department split the bulk of the money with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, which had provided the dog that helped search the car. Valley Police Chief K.C. Bangs said the money was used to buy safety equipment gear for his officers. "It was a big help," Bangs said. Lt. Eric Buske, a narcotics lieutenant with the Omaha Police Department, said forfeited money has been a big boost to his unit's ability to combat drugs. "The schools, in my mind, are not part of the equation," he said. "They are in the sense that they get some of the money, but we're the ones making the recovery." The Nebraska Attorney General's Office does not track the overall amount forfeited through state court. But Douglas County - the state's leader in forfeiture cases - sees about $54,000 each year. In Iowa, state law allows police to keep 90 percent of what they find. The Iowa Attorney General's Office keeps the balance, said Iowa Deputy Attorney General Doug Marek. "We've seen amounts of $40,000, $50,000, even $60,000 in state court," he said. Marek said that between $1 million and $1.2 million is forfeited through Iowa's state courts each year. "Overall, it's worked quite well," Marek said. National experts, however, said that when police departments profit directly from cash seizures, it creates an incentive for them to cross the line. Jim Gurule, an associate dean of law at the University of Notre Dame, said many legislatures - including those in Nebraska, Missouri and Wisconsin - specifically tried to keep departments from reaping the benefits of their searches. "When law enforcement has a financial interest in the amount that officers uncover, the potential for abuse exists," said Gurule, who has co-written a legal text on forfeitures. Griess, the state patrol major, said that motivation has not materialized in Nebraska. "Our guys are out there to get the bust and get the drugs," he said. "I'll argue that until the cows come home." He also downplayed the danger of overzealous officers. Even when local departments go the federal route, he said, they sometimes have to share proceeds with other states. In all, Griess said, the state patrol keeps only about 27 percent of what it finds. Monaghan said that if any law enforcement officers did cross the line, he would refuse to take the case - and has done so. "That's not an issue here," he said. In addition to the extra money, there's another reason local officials use the federal system when it comes to forfeiture cases. In federal court, once police prove they have probable cause to suspect the money was linked to drug trafficking, the burden of proof shifts to the money's former owner. If that person can't prove he or she earned the money legally, the government keeps the cash - even if the person is never charged with a crime. In state court, prosecutors have the burden of proof, said Corey O'Brien, the assistant Douglas County Attorney who oversees local forfeitures. "It's a quasi-criminal proceeding in that I have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt," O'Brien said. Mock said the deck is stacked in favor of law enforcement in the federal system. "It's another impetus for police to take it to the feds," he said. Although federal guidelines generally keep cases involving less than $5,000 in the state court system, O'Brien said he has taken one or two smaller cases to federal court because he did not think they could be won at the state level. The Douglas County school fund has received $37,000 for each of the past two years from smaller forfeiture actions left in state courts. Had some of the money taken to federal court been deposited in the county's coffers, the difference may have been only pennies to each taxpayer. "Those pennies clearly add up," said Robert Bligh, an attorney for the Nebraska Association of School Boards. "I think every dollar makes a difference, especially when the Legislature has put a lid on how much tax can be levied." Several Nebraska legislators questioned whether police ought to ignore the state constitution. It undermines a law that was approved directly by voters, said State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha. "The federal government should not help these agencies evade the state constitution," said Chambers, a frequent critic of police. "I'm really dismayed. There may need to be some legislation to ensure it gets done they way the constitution says it should be." Sen. Ardyce Bohlke of Hastings, chairman of the Legislature's Education Committee, said the practice would seem to go against the wishes of voters, who frequently support schools and tax relief. "Money like that could make a very big difference in some of our schools," she said. "I plan to find out what the dollar amount is." Legislative efforts are no guarantee against police turning to federal court. Although the Missouri Legislature attempted to curb the practice in 1993, it has endured in that state. That's a shame, said Gurule, the law professor. "I support forfeiture laws, I think it's a valuable tool," he said, but "this is an attempt to circumvent the will of the state legislature and the will of the people."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Smaller Crowd, Fewer Arrests At Annual Pro-Marijuana-Legalization Event (The Detroit Free Press says 3,500 to 4,000 people mixed politics mixed with partying at Saturday's 27th annual Hash Bash at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.) Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 19:44:59 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MI: Smaller Crowd, Fewer Arrests At Annual 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: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 Source: Detroit Free Press (MI) Copyright: 1999 Detroit Free Press Contact: email@example.com Feedback: http://aa.mlive.com/about/toeditor.html Website: http://www.freep.com/ Forum: http://www.freep.com/webx/cgi-bin/WebX Author: Associated Press SMALLER CROWD, FEWER ARRESTS AT ANNUAL PRO-MARIJUANA-LEGALIZATION EVENT ANN ARBOR -- Politics mixed with partying at Saturday's 27th annual Hash Bash, at which marijuana users and their sympathizers gather on the University of Michigan campus to rally for legalized pot. University officials estimated the crowd at 3,500 to 4,000, smaller than the 1998 turnout of 5,000. Organizers said they believed 5,000 to 8,000 people showed up. By 2:30 p.m., campus police had made "12 to 15 arrests," fewer than the number arrested a year earlier, university spokeswoman Julie Peterson told The Ann Arbor News. "All in all, they were well-behaved ... (police) were pleasantly surprised," she said. Most of the arrests Saturday and in past Hash Bashes were for marijuana possession, which is punishable in Ann Arbor by a $25 fine. Legislation that would force Ann Arbor and other cities with similar penalties to match the tougher state penalty -- a $100 fine and maximum 90 days in jail -- has cleared the state Senate, making Saturday's rally a bit more political than in years past. The crowd cheered loudly for several speakers who criticized Sen. Mike Rogers, R-Howell, one of the bill's sponsors. "It seems like Senator Rogers wants to turn the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the Ann Arbor City Charter into toilet paper," said Tom Harris, a local activist. "He thinks that's what they're for." Another speaker, Renee Emry Wolfe, talked about her arrest last September at the Washington office of U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla., who opposes the medical use of marijuana. She was jailed after lighting a marijuana cigarette to forestall what she said would have been a seizure related to her multiple sclerosis. "I don't know what constitutes medical necessity, if this didn't," said Ms. Wolfe, who faces trial later this month in Washington. "We should stand up and make our voices heard."
------------------------------------------------------------------- CIA's Gottlieb Ran LSD Mind Control Testing (The New York Times publishes an obituary for Sidney Gottlieb, a Bronx-born biochemist with a Ph.D. from Caltech whose job was to concoct the tools of espionage: disappearing inks, poison darts and toxic handkerchiefs. Gottlieb also worked during the 1950s and 1960s on MKULTRA, the agency's secret experiments with mind-altering drugs, including lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. While the CIA was still examining the drug's possibilities as a means of mind control, many young Americans were dropping the hallucinogen as a vehicle of mind expansion and recreation, thanks, in part, to the CIA's activism in the '50s in the name of national security. It was not until 1972 that Gottlieb called a halt to the experiments with psychedelics, concluding that they were "too unpredictable in their effects on individual human beings . . . to be operationally useful.")From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Obit: CIA's Gottlieb Ran LSD Mind Control Testing Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 08:39:46 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Sunday, April 4, 1999 New York Times CIA's Gottlieb Ran LSD Mind Control Testing Scientist, who died at 80, oversaw invention of devices for assassination and gave 'acid' to human guinea pigs. By ELAINE WOO, Times Staff Writer James Bond had Q, the scientific wizard who supplied 007 with dazzling gadgets to deploy against enemy agents. The Central Intelligence Agency had Sidney Gottlieb, a Bronx-born biochemist with a PhD from Caltech whose job as head of the agency's technical services division was to concoct the tools of espionage: disappearing inks, poison darts, toxic handkerchiefs. Gottlieb once mailed a lethal handkerchief to an Iraqi colonel and personally ferried deadly bacteria to the Congo to kill Prime Minister Patrice Lamumba. It wasn't his potions that eventually did in the two targets, but Gottlieb, once described by a colleague as the ultimate "good soldier," soldiered on. Poisons and darts were not his sole preoccupation during 22 years with the CIA. He labored for years on a project to unlock and control the mysterious powers of lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. Could it be a potent spy weapon to weaken the minds of unwilling targets? In the 1950s and 1960s, answering that question was one of Gottlieb's missions in MKULTRA, the code name for the agency's secret experiments to probe the effects of mind-altering drugs. Chief among them was LSD, discovered by Dr. Albert Hofman, a Swiss chemist, in 1943. By the early 1950s, the CIA, fearful of LSD falling into Soviet hands, had cornered the market on the drug, which in minute doses could produce overwhelming sensations ranging from kaleidoscopic acuity to temporary insanity. The agency also started to fund research, covertly funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to academics in prestigious institutions around the country who tried the drug themselves and reported the results to Gottlieb. Gottlieb and his associates in MKULTRA also took LSD "trips," although the concept of tripping would not enter the American lexicon for another decade. They laced coffee with LSD and served it to each other without warning, then observed each other's reactions. Later Gottlieb expanded the field tests to subjects outside the agency--drug addicts, prostitutes, prisoners, mental patients--people who were unlikely to complain and even less likely to be believed if they did. Among the dosed were hookers and their clients in a CIA-sponsored brothel in San Francisco, later the epicenter of the LSD explosion. One human guinea pig was subjected to an astounding 77-day trip. Some subjects suffered chronic mental problems after being dosed. One person--an Army germ warfare researcher--sank into dark depression and paranoia, leaping to his death from the 10th floor of a New York hotel several days after being slipped an LSD Mickey Finn at a CIA retreat. The CIA covered up its role in his demise for two decades, and barely reprimanded Gottlieb. In the early 1960s, Gottlieb was promoted to the highest deputy post in the technical services operation. By 1967, he had risen to the top of the division, guided by his longtime CIA mentor, Director Richard Helms. At that time, LSD was not a secret anymore. While the CIA was still examining the drug's possibilities as a means of mind control, many young Americans were dropping the hallucinogen as a vehicle of mind expansion and recreation. America was tuning in, turning on and dropping out, thanks, in part, to the CIA's activism in the '50s in the name of national security. It was not until 1972 that Gottlieb called a halt to the experiments with psychedelics, concluding in a memo that they were "too unpredictable in their effects on individual human beings . . . to be operationally useful." He retired the same year, spending the next few decades in eclectic pursuits that defied the stereotype of the spy. He went to India with his wife to volunteer at a hospital for lepers. A stutterer since childhood, he got a master's degree in speech therapy. He raised goats on a Virginia farm. And he practiced folk dancing, a lifelong passion despite the handicap of a clubfoot. A malignant, real-life Q, or an eccentric genius whose intentions were honorable and just? Gottlieb led the agency in 149 mind control experiments, of which about 25 were conducted on unwitting subjects. According to the survivor of one victim, the way Gottlieb duped American citizens was nothing but despicable. Less black and white in his assessment is John Marks, author of the definitive book on the CIA's mind control programs, "The Search for the 'Manchurian Candidate.' " Marks sees Gottlieb as an unabashed patriot who nonetheless "crossed the same ethical lines we hanged German doctors in World War II for." There is also the view of former CIA psychologist John Gittinger, who says his close friend was a gentle man whose actions were widely misunderstood. The agency's LSD experiments bloomed in the era of Josef Stalin and Sen. Joseph McCarthy, and "during that time of Cold War," Gittinger said recently from his home in Norman, Okla., "the attitude we had and the agency had was we were still fighting a war. And when you are fighting a war, you do things you might not ordinarily do." Gottlieb died on March 7 in Washington, Va. He was 80. His family did not divulge the cause of his death.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Politicized Drug-War Issues (A letter to the editor of the Washington Post criticizes yesterday's duplicitous staff editorial about medical marijuana. That smoked marijuana is a crude delivery system, and an irritant to the anti-smoking and the anti-drug stalwarts, does not justify the actions of government leaders who willfully obstruct the delivery of effective medicine to the sick. At this point in time, it would be better to err on the side of a smoking Camel, a coughing Marlboro man or appetite-enhancing marijuana brownie than continue witchcraft politics that prohibit medicinal marijuana. It is wrongheaded for national leaders, editorial boards and drug czars to lag so far behind an informed public opinion on the medical marijuana question.) Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 03:36:40 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US DC: PUB LTE: Politicized Drug-War Issues Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: DRUGNEWS@aol.com Pubdate: Sun, 04 Apr 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) 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: James E. Gierach Section: Letter-to-the-editor Editor POLITICIZED DRUG-WAR ISSUES Re: "Medical Marijuana" (4/3/99 Editorial) As a visitor to the nation's capital to see my daughter for the Easter holiday, it was disappointing to read the ifs-ands-and-buts "Medical Marijuana" editorial (4/3/99) in The Washington Post. Our national leaders have so politicized drug-war issues that most Americans would like to see thoughtful and unequivocal editorial support for medical marijuana and a rejection of further foot-dragging in the delivery of effective medicine to a segment of the sick and dying. That smoked marijuana is a crude delivery system, and an irritant to the anti-smoking and the anti-drug stalwarts, does not justify the actions of government leaders who willfully obstruct the delivery of effective medicine to the sick. Based upon the marijuana trials of millions upon millions of Americans, there is little reason to be fearful of a general relaxation of marijuana drug laws. And based upon mounds of anecdotal evidence and the latest expert report -- this time, the Institute of Medicine report -- there is little reason to be skeptical of the benefits of smoked marijuana. Indeed, at this point in time, it would be better to err on the side of a smoking Camel, a coughing Marlboro man or appetite-enhancing marijuana brownie than continue witchcraft politics that prohibit medicinal marijuana. It is wrongheaded for national leaders, editorial boards and drug czars to lag so far behind an informed public opinion on the medical marijuana question. And lag they do, as evidenced repeatedly in state and District of Columbia referenda. The drug-war whipping boy has been flogged long enough, especially in the marijuana department. If tight controls and Class-I scheduling nonsense continue, then, for an important segment of the sick and suffering, the streets will continue to be a more viable refuge from chronic pain and nausea than the family doctor's office. A sluggish further delay by the U.S. Congress and state legislatures in making medical marijuana freely available to all those who might benefit is cruel and wrong. The denial of a medical marijuana prescription to a patient who needs one will only add to the long list of patients who were caught in drug-war crossfire and treated by physicians practicing with one hand tied behind their backs. James E. Gierach Attorney at Law 9759 Southwest Highway Oak Lawn, IL 60453 B. (708) 424-1600
------------------------------------------------------------------- ACM-Bulletin of 4 April 1999 (An English-language bulletin from the Association for Cannabis as Medicine, in Cologne, Germany, features news about several developments in Germany - The drugs commissioner shows sympathy for the medical use of cannabis; Handing over of signatures in support of the Frankfurt Resolution; and, an announcement of a trial before the Constitutional Court. The science report discusses the new patent for dexanabinol as a TNF-alpha inhibitor.) From: "Association for Cannabis as Medicine" (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 23:03:26 +0200 Subject: ACM-Bulletin of 4 April 1999 Sender: email@example.com *** ACM-Bulletin of 4 April 1999 *** Germany: - Drugs Commissioner shows sympathy for the medical use of cannabis - Handing over of signatures in support of the Frankfurt Resolution - Announcement of a trial before the Constitutional Court *** Science: New patent for dexanabinol as TNF-alpha inhibitor *** 1. Germany: - Drugs Commissioner shows sympathy for the medical use of cannabis - Handing over of signatures in support of the Frankfurt Resolution - Announcement of a trial before the Constitutional Court On 22 March 1999 11,000 signatures in support of the Frankfurt Resolution for the medical use of marijuana and the promotion of research were handed over to the Drugs Commissioner of the Government, Christa Nickels (Member of Parliament, the Greens). Mrs. Nickels said in a press release that, based on medical experience, the use of cannabis was promising in different diseases such as AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Therefore, she would support corresponding research efforts. The Frankfurt Resolution was presented on 4 December 1998 during the congress "Medical Marijuana" in Frankfurt. It is supported by AIDS support groups, the Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM), the Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, the German Association for Epilepsy, the German Society for Algesiology, the German Society for Drug and Addiction Medicine, the German Working Group for Therapists of the HIV Infected (DAGNAE), the Federal Union for Poliomyelitis and the SCHMERZtherapeutisches Kolloquium (STK, Society of Pain Therapists). In a meeting between supporters of the Frankfurt Resolution and representatives of the Federal Health Ministry a discussion was held concerning the possibilities of how to enable legal access to the medical use of cannabis, without waiting for approval of a licensed cannabis preparation. Among the participants were Dr. Gerhard Mueller-Schwefe, Chairman of the STK, Ruediger Kriegel, Board of Directors of the Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, Trixi Frings from the Berlin Self Help Group, Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, Chairman of the ACM, Mrs. Nickels, her personal adviser Martin Koehler and Dr. Moeller from the Department for Narcotics of the Federal Health Ministry. Grotenhermen said after the conversation: "Mrs. Nickels made it clear that cannabis will not be exempted from the normal procedures for approval of medicaments. However she does express much sympathy for people that are already using cannabis products therapeutically today, and she is interested in pragmatic solutions for an early legal access." In a press conference before the meeting physicians announced plans for a trial before the Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) against the prohibition of a therapy with cannabis. Participants will be members of the Board of Directors of the STK, the DAGNAE and the ACM as well as other physicians. The complaint is based on article 12 of the German Basic Law (Grundgesetz), which grants physicians freedom of treatment. While this freedom may be restricted by laws such as the Narcotics Act, the prohibition of a treatment with cannabis in severe illnesses would be disproportional. (Source: ACM) *** 2. Science: New patent for dexanabinol as TNF-alpha inhibitor Pharmos Corporation announced on 23 March that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a new patent entitled Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha Inhibiting Pharmaceuticals, with claims covering the use of dexanabinol as well as various non-psychotropic cannabinoid analogs, derivatives or metabolites in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The non-psychtropic THC-derivative dexanabinol has been extensively examined in animal studies during the last years. It is effective in protecting brain cells against the effects of ischemia and hypoxia (decreased circulation and supply with oxygen). Dexanabinol exhibits pharmacological properties of a NMDA- receptor antagonist and is a novel inhibitor of TNF-alpha production. TNF-Alpha is a mediator (cytokine) produced by some immune cells, playing a role in inflammation, blood production, healing of wounds, and other important body functions. Dexanabinol might be used to treat brain damage following head trauma and stroke, and might neutralize the damaging effects of nerve-gas. In preclinical tests, Pharmos has demonstrated that dexanabinol could exert anti-inflammatory effects. It does not produce certain side effects of other anti-inflammatory drugs used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, such as cortisone, and it does not cause the psychoactivity of THC. "Our expectations of dexanabinol having multiple neurological applications are confirmed by, among other factors, its amelioration of the severity of multiple sclerosis in animals," said Dr. Haim Aviv, Pharmos' Chairman. "Dexanabinol's neuroprotective properties could also be beneficial by preventing or decreasing the cumulative neurological damage caused by multiple sclerosis, which is a chronic degenerative disease. We are looking forward to the beginning of Phase III trials to confirm dexanabinol's efficacy in head trauma patients." The recent completion of a successful Phase II clinical study showed dexanabinol to be safe and well-tolerated in severe head trauma patients. There were no unexpected adverse experiences reported for either the drug treated or placebo group. Intracranial pressure, an important factor and a predictor of poor neurological outcome, was significantly reduced in the drug treated patients through the third day of treatment, without a concomitant reduction in systolic blood pressure. (Sources: PR Newswire of 23 March 1999, Dow Jones of 23 March 1999, ACM) *** 3. News in brief *** Science: The 290-page prepublication copy of the complete U.S. Institute of Medicine report "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base" released on 17 March 1999 is online at: http://www.taima.org/nas/iom0.htm and http://prop1.org/thomas/iom_report/iomlv.htm *** Science: A study of identical and fraternal twins found that, in general, genetic influences on drug addiction account for one-third of addiction, family another third, and peers, friends and co-workers the remaining third. But all types of addiction are not equal. The study, which appears in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that genes accounted for more than half of the risk of heroin addiction and for 33 per cent of marijuana addiction. "It doesn't mean that addiction is predetermined by genes. It just means that some of us are more susceptible than others to abusing drugs if we try them,'' says Dr. Jack Goldberg of the University of Illinois in Chicago. The study, headed by Harvard's Dr. Ming Tsuang, also overturns the old belief that the use of less-addictive drugs such as marijuana sets people on the path to becoming hooked on cocaine or heroin. (Source: Toronto Star of 26 March 1999) *** Science: People who smoke moderate amounts of marijuana are not much more dangerous behind the wheel than completely sober drivers, Canadian researchers said on 31 March. Drivers who smoke it and drive should not be demonised. While marijuana, like alcohol, impairs performance, people who drive after smoking moderate amounts of pot compensate by driving more slowly and cautiously, said University of Toronto reasearcher Alison Smiley: "The more cautious behaviour of subjects who received marijuana [in studies] decreased the drug's impact on performance. Their behaviour is more appropriate to their impairment, whereas subjects who received alcohol tend to drive in a more risky manner." (Sources: Toronto Star of 30 March 1999, Reuters of 31 March 1999) *** Sports: Swimmers will be allowed to smoke cannabis without being banned from the sport as long as it's not during a competition under new rules. The rule changes, were agreed to by an extraordinary congress of the sport's governing body FINA. FINA has created two lists of banned substances - those prohibited only during a competition and those banned out of competition. Steroids and masking agents are on both lists but cannabis has been placed in the same category as cold medication. (Source: Australian Associated Press of 1 April 1999) *** 4. THE COMMENT ... on the conclusions of the recent Institute of Medicine (U.S.) report: "Twenty-one years ago, New Mexico became the first state to initiate a pilot program that ultimately concluded what a federal study stated only this past week: Marijuana can relieve suffering for some ill or terminally ill patients. (...) In 1984, after 5 1/2 years of treatments, the program's director reported that 75 percent of about 200 New Mexico patients -- ranging in age from 12 to 78 - received benefit. (...) New Mexico's program received high marks from researchers around the country, and 32 other states followed its lead, but in June 1986, the $50,000 program fell victim to budget cuts and never was revived." Editorial, Albuquerque Journal of 22 March 1999 *** Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM) Maybachstrasse 14 D-50670 Cologne Germany Phone: +49-221-912 30 33 Fax: +49-221-130 05 91 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: http://www.acmed.org If you want to be deleted from or added to the ACM-Bulletin mailing list please send a message to: email@example.com -------------------------------------------------------------------
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 April 2-8
to the Portland NORML news archive directory
to the 1999 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/ii/990404.html