------------------------------------------------------------------- Public gathering to kick off the OCTA 2000 petition drive (A news release from the American Antiprohibition League, in Portland, publicizes the opening of the signature-gathering campaign for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act initiative petition 2 pm Tuesday, April 20, at Mt. Tabor Park in Portland. Speakers include the three chief petitioners: Dr. Phillip Leveque, a retired professor of pharmacology and toxicology; Portland attorney Paul Loney; and D. Paul Stanford of the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp, the organization promoting OCTA.) Date: Sun, 04 Apr 1999 23:55:13 -0700 To: (Recipient list suppressed) From: Amer Antiprohibition Lg (AAL@InetArena.com) Subject: Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, 2000 The AMERICAN ANTIPROHIBITION LEAGUE "Drug War, or Drug Peace?" 3125 SE BELMONT STREET PORTLAND OREGON 97214 503-235-4524/fax:503-234-1330/Email:AAL@InetArena.com "Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself." - President Jimmy Carter, 8/2/77 *** Monday, April 5, 1999 TAX & REGULATE CANNABIS Activists unite in support of comprehensive cannabis law reform Event planned to start the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, 2000 What: Public gathering to kick-off the OCTA2K petition drive. When: 2 pm, April 20th, 1999 Where: Mt Tabor Park in Southeast Portland, picnic area "A" Why: To end this deadly, destructive, hypocritical and expensive prohibition through regulation. (*) Who: * OCTA Chief Petitioners: Dr. Phillip Leveque (retired professor of pharmacology & toxicology, AARP) Paul Loney (attorney), D. Paul Stanford for Campaign for the Restoration & Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), official sponsors of the OCTA2K. * Floyd F. Landrath - Antiprohibition Lg., OCTA2K co-sponsor and volunteer coordination. * Portland Chapter National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), education and outreach. * Mr. Charles Fall - Oregon Pacific GREENS party. * Mr. Bruce Knight - Oregon Libertarian Party Multnomah Co. * other speakers TBA Press and media opportunities: 2pm - 3pm in Picnic Area "A" OCTA2K petition sheets will be available and can also be ordered by calling 503/235-4606, we need both paid and volunteer petitioners. More information is also available on the world wide web at www.crrh.org/octa/. Thank you, Floyd Ferris Landrath - Director * -- The OCTA2K is endorsed by the Oregon Liquor Stores Association. *** "If drug abuse is a disease, then drug war is a crime."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon Industrial Hemp Bill - HB 2933 (A list subscriber urges Oregon residents to contact their state representatives and urge them to support Rep. Floyd Prozanski's industrial hemp bill.) Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 10:15:31 -0700 (PDT) To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Mar, Leo, Ry & Ian Goodman) From: "CRRH mailing list" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Oregon Industrial Hemp Bill/ HB 2933 Enclosed is a copy of a letter I sent to all 60 Oregon Represenatives RE: Rep. Floyd Prozanski's Industrial Hemp Bill. Although there may be provisions of the bill that may need to be changed. I would encourage all of you hempsters out there to follow suit and contact the members of the Oregon Legislature and let them know your views regarding legalization of hemp in Oregon. Also enclosed is a list of their addresses. Let's educate them and let them know we are paying attention to this issue. So far I have received only one negative response which was from Rep. Walsh. "HB 2933 is not a bill that Representative Welsh will support. " Other responses include interest in the subject such as this one: Dear Leo, Thank you for bringing your concerns regarding HB 2933 to my attention. I will take your views on the Indusatrial Hemp issue into consideration when the bill comes to the floor. The perspective you provided will be most helpful and I appreciate your time and effort in preparing your email. Jerry Krummel, State Representative District 27 *** RE: Industrial Hemp/ HR 2933 Dear Represenative ________________________, Please support HB 2933 sponsored by Rep. Floyd Prozanski. Literally thousands of products can be manufactured from the basic raw materials derived from this most versatile crop. The hemp plant provides mankind with strong bast fibers for cordage and textiles. When these are glued together high quality structural panels and framing members for building construction can be made. These same fibers can also be molded together in the manufacture of very strong body panels for automobiles or aircraft for that matter. The inner core of the hemp stalk is composed of 77% cellulose, which can be used in the manufacture of plastics, building insulation, or high quality writing paper. An acre of hemp will produce about ten tons of bio-mass in 3-4 months which is a substantial amount. This harvest could be converted into 1,000 gallons of alcohol fuel per acre, or made into charcoal and burned in power plants as a sulphur free replacement for coal. The hemp flowers produce high protein seeds containing all 8 essential amino acids in the proper proportions for human nutrition. These same seeds contain 30% high quality oil rich in omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids, as well as carotenes and vitamin E. Research done in the 1970's by the University of Indiana, indicated yields of up to 300 gallons of oil per acre could be produced from wild strains of hemp. Hemp seed oil also has industrial uses such as in the manufacture of paints and solvents. The first Diesel engines were designed to operate by burning vegetable oils including hemp seed oil. After the invention of the Diesel engine, it took the petro-chemical industry 15 years to come up with the formula for the diesel fuel now in common use. Henry Ford had a vision, he wanted to "grow automobiles from the soil" and over a period of 12 years he designed and built an automobile with body parts composed of 70% wheat straw,hemp and sisal bound together with 30% resin binder. These body parts were fashioned over a welded steel tubular frame. This proto type car built in 1941 was designed to run on farm produced alcohol based fuel. You may be aware that in 1937 Congress passed The Marijuana Tax Act which effectively eliminated hemp based products from the market place. Passage of this act was due to economic and political pressure from Hearst paper manufacturing, Kimberly Clark, St. Regis Paper, as well as DuPont who had just patented a new process for making wood pulp paper, and others for manufacturing plastics from oil and coal, as well as synthetic fibers such as nylon. All of these corporations considered hemp fiber to be a source of competition in the raw materials market place, which they sucessfullfy eliminated, at the expense of the environment and the American Farmer. You may find it of interest to note that even though hemp cultivation had been prohibited in 1937, with the advent of World War 2 The U.S. government ignored the provisions of The Marijuana Tax Act and started a Hemp For Victory! campagain which actively encouraged farmer's to cultivate hemp once again. Such was the importance the government placed on the many useful products which could be derived from the hemp plant. I would encourage you as a member of the Oregon legislature to actively support HB 2933, legislation which will restore the cultivation of industrial hemp in Oregon. Such action would greatly benifit the farmer's of this state as well as our economy in general. I say it's high time Oregon farmer's join the movement to legalize this most useful crop. Sincerely, Leo Goodman E-Mail email@example.com Ps. Information used in this letter come from the book "The Emperor Wears no Clothes" by Jack Herer. HEMP Publishing, 5632 Van Nuys Blvd. Van Nuys CA. 1993/94 edition. Pages 46,47, 199, 233 as well as a personal interview with D. Paul Stanford. MEMBERS OF THE OREGON HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES If you are not certain who your state representative is, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your district numbers from your voter registration card and we will respond with your state rep and senators address and contact data. Thanks! *** [Follow this link to the appropriate Oregon House of Representatives web site (http://www.leg.state.or.us/alpharep.htm). - Portland NORML]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Farming: Learning From The Past - Saving The Next Generation's Future (The spring issue of the Central Oregon Green Pages features a plug for the restoration of industrial hemp farming.) Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 17:45:30 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OR: Hemp Farming: Learning From The Past--Saving The Next Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Curt Wagoner Pubdate: Spring Issue 1999 Source: Central Oregon Green Pages Section: Enlightened Living Page: 23 Contact: email@example.com Website: www.cogp.empnet.com Author: Elaine Charkowski HEMP FARMING: LEARNING FROM THE PAST--SAVING THE NEXT GENERATIONS' FUTURE Hemp is happening--Canadian farmers are growing it once again! This versatile crop could also help American farmers and create thousands of jobs. Industrial hemp was grown in the thirteen colonies, even George Washington grew it. Today, its economic potential is being rediscovered. Bills allowing test plantings were introduced in Minnesota, New Mexico, Virginia and Hawaii. A North Dakota bill (HB 1428) would reclassify industrial hemp (with a maximum three tenths of one percent THC) as a oilseed crop, and allow its cultivation. The U.S. and Canada both grew hemp in the past. It was falsely labeled as marijuana and outlawed about 60 years ago due to a misinformation campaign funded by the oil, timber and other industries threatened by competition from industrial hemp. According to HEMPTECH, a global network of hemp industry consultants, more than 25,000 products can be made from hemp! Unlike its counsin marijuana, industrial hemp is not a drug because it lacks enough THC to produce a high. "Industrial hemp and marijuana aren't the same thing," said Jeff Gain, chairman of the board of the U.S. Agriculture Department's Alternative Agricultural Research And Commercialization Corp. Gain, who also worked for the Illinois Farm Bureau and National Corn Growers Association said hemp could give Midwest economies a boost. "There are concerns about the enviroment. We must have diversity crops like hemp that grow without pesticides," he said. Hemp also out grows persitent weeds like Johnson grass. Ed Saukkooja of Washington State assessed logs for Weyerhauser for 22 years. He worked in logging camps and mills throughout Washington, Oregon and Alaska. His grandfather Wally was also a logger. As executive director of HempLobby, Saukkooja travels around the country speaking about hemp. Hemplobby provides online lobbying materials and maintains a database of hemp information. Its mission is to inform the public, business community and government about hemp's economic and enviromental benefits. Hemplobby's motto is, "Promoting the economy while protecting the enviroment." As Hemplobby points out, "Washington state's major industry is logging and timber products including paper pulp. This industry is non-sustainable and has been fading in recent years. Hemp is a natural to replace wood as raw fiber in many products made with wood. Further, hemp growth is beneficial to reclaim and restablize lands which have been over-logged, eroded or over-fertilized." The group educates law enforcement about the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana. "The Economic Impact of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky," an eighteen month study, was co-written by economics professor Mark Berger, director of the University of Kentucky' Center for Business and Economic research. Berger said Hemp ia a viable crop which can be used in paper products, textiles, cosmetics, pharaceuticals and as a fiberglass substitute. Returns per acre could range from $220 for hemp grown for grain or straw to $600 for raising certified seed for other hemp growers. Though less than the $1000 per acre return from dark, fine-cured tobacco, hemp yeilds higher returns than soybeans, hay, corn, wheat and grain sorghum. Horse bedding is a lucrative hemp product now manufactured in England. If only ten percent ot thoroughbred owners bought American-made hemp horse bedding, a yearly market for 55,000 tons would be created in and around Kentucky and 300,000 tons in the U.S. Urge your legislators to legalize non-narcotic industrial hemp-for jobs and our enviroment! Hemp Resources: * Hemp, Lifeline to the future" by Chris Conrad * Consolidated Growers and Processors: www.congrowpro.com * HempLobby: www.hemplobby.com * HEMPTECH: wwwhemptech.com * North Americam Industrial Hemp Council: www.naihc.org * Hemp Industries Association: www.thehia.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Industry entwined with politics (A letter to the editor of the Oregonian says the FDA doesn't regulate the tobacco industry and Congress doesn't prohibit tobacco because the tobacco industry pays a lot of taxes and makes a lot of campaign contributions, both of which are inimical to the author's apparent objective - prohibition.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Mon, Apr 05 1999 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: Richard J. Nelson, Lincoln City (on the Oregon coast) LTE: Industry entwined with politics The letter to the editor by Jerry Spegman of the American Cancer Society points out the fact that the tobacco industry produces a deadly product that is responsible for billions of dollars in health-related expenses (March 27). This valid assertion raises two important questions: 1. Why does the Food and Drug Administration not take action to stop the manufacture of this deadly product? The FDA carefully analyzes and tests other products before they are put on the market. At a minimum, the FDA should require eliminating nicotine, which makes tobacco addictive. 2. Why doesn't Congress take aggressive action to assure that the FDA does its job of protecting consumers' health and reducing health-related costs? The obvious answers to these questions are that the tobacco industry is a source of huge tax revenues at the federal and state levels and is a big campaign contributor. Even the settlements against the industry are dependent upon the continued sale of this deadly product.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Living in Pain - Part 1 - For chronic pain sufferers, even hope can hurt (The San Francisco Chronicle examines the problems faced by chronic pain sufferers such as Chris Ally of San Francisco, who smashed his motorcycle nearly 28 years ago. Chronic pain - the kind that lasts longer than the injury that may have caused it - afflicts nearly 100 million people in the United States, more than a third of the population, according to the Society for Neuroscience. Chronic pain can detrimentally "rewire" the nervous system, but is misunderstood, misdiagnosed and mistreated in as many as half of affected patients. At least 16,000 Americans die each year from gastrointestinal problems caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, widely used pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Yet physicians and patients alike are often reluctant to use narcotics because of the stigma surrounding them. The medical system routinely fails pain patients. "Pain patients require a lot of talking and a lot of listening," said Gerald Gebhart, a pharmacologist.) Date: Mon, 05 Apr 1999 10:09:16 -0500 From: "Frank S. World" (email@example.com) Organization: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/7417/ To: DPFCA (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: DPFCA: US CA SFC: Living In Pain Sender: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Source: San Francisco Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: 5 April 1999 LIVING IN PAIN AFFLICTION For chronic pain sufferers, even hope can hurt Carl T. Hall, Chronicle Science Writer Monday, April 5, 1999 (c)1999 San Francisco Chronicle FIRST OF TWO PARTS It has been nearly 28 years since Chris Ally rounded a blind turn on his motorcycle and ran head-on into a delivery truck. Eighteen days after the accident, when Ally, then 23, finally came out of his coma, doctors and family members gathered around his hospital bed told him how lucky he was to be alive. Soon, he would begin to wonder. Ally, son of the late New York advertising legend Carl Ally, was six months out of college; he had been working in a motorcycle dealership, making good money, riding high. The accident sent him hurtling into a new world: a place where his body became the enemy and some malevolent power seemed to have hijacked his brain. He was on a highway again. Twenty-eight years later, he is still trying to get off. ``It's taken my whole life from me,'' he said. ``After 28 years, there's nothing left in my life but the pain.'' *** Chronic pain -- the kind that lasts longer than the injury that may have caused it -- afflicts nearly 100 million people in the United States, more than a third of the population, according to the Society for Neuroscience, the world's largest organization of brain researchers. The toll of the suffering is inexact, as are the methods used to diagnose it. But pain that just will not go away is by far the most common neurological disorder -- a $100 billion-a-year burden on American society, experts say. Most of the burden is unnecessary. Despite major advances in the science and practice of pain control, studies consistently show chronic problems remain misunderstood, misdiagnosed and mistreated. Research suggests that as many as half the nation's pain patients are not being treated effectively. That puts millions of people ``in a terrible bind,'' said Skip Baker, president of a militant grassroots organization, the American Society for Action on Pain. Baker's Internet site (www.actiononpain.org) serves as a magnet for desperate pain sufferers. The site includes a ``panic button'' for people on the verge of suicide. ``I was the same way a few years ago,'' Baker said. But while not all people can erase their pain, he learned, most can at least reduce it to tolerable levels. ``I bought a shotgun after a doctor said nothing could be done,'' said Baker. ``Then I saw a doctor who would help.'' Statistics offer a hint of how widespread the problems are. In the United States alone, according to the latest surveys and estimates: -- Chronic headaches, including migraines, affect about 45 million people. The costs -- including lost productivity, medical expenses and the estimated 157 million missed workdays -- add up to $50 billion annually. -- Arthritis affects more than 40 million people, and as the population ages over the next two decades, that number is expected to reach 60 million. -- Low back pain strikes two-thirds of adults. Problems usually go away on their own, but chronic pain lingers in about 15 percent of cases, leaving 7 million people partially or completely disabled. -- At least 16,000 people die each year from gastrointestinal problems caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), widely used pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Yet physicians and patients alike are often reluctant to use narcotics, the most potent alternative, because of the stigma surrounding them. ``There's still a fear of opiates,'' said Allan Basbaum, a pain expert at the University of California at San Francisco. ``The word `morphine' scares the hell out of people. To many patients, morphine either means death or addiction.'' Specialists in pain control are attempting to improve standards of care, giving rise to such organizations as the 4,000-member American Pain Society. Neuroscientists are piecing together the puzzle of how pain signals are transmitted, how pain sensations affect different parts of the brain and how chronic pain can detrimentally ``rewire'' the nervous system. California and many other states have changed their laws to encourage more physicians to prescribe morphine and other pain medications in doses strong enough to be effective. New drugs have been developed, drug delivery methods have been improved and doctors today have better strategies for handling side effects. And yet, despite these advances, the medical system routinely fails those living, and dying, in pain. Dr. Russell Portenoy, president of the American Pain Society and head of the pain-management department at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, blames this failure on ``the culture of medicine as it's practiced in this country.'' Doctors are well-trained to repair the human machine, he said, but often fail to treat patients as human beings for whom there may be no easy answers. In the era of managed care and cost-conscious medicine, problems that resist treatment and do not seem life-threatening may also get short shrift from doctors expected to devote no more than 15 minutes to the average patient. ``Pain patients require a lot of talking and a lot of listening,'' said Gerald Gebhart, a pharmacologist researching new pain drugs at the University of Iowa. That takes patience and sensitivity that not all doctors can, or care to, muster: finding the right treatments can take months or years of experimentation. Often, sufferers are forced to search for doctors willing to prescribe powerful, closely regulated narcotics, a dicey enterprise at best. Pain patients, though they may develop a physical dependence on narcotics, rarely become psychologically addicted and suffer negative consequences. But doctors are still reluctant to prescribe controlled substances because they say they do not want to attract the attention of drug-enforcement authorities. The California Medical Board has concluded that the fears are overblown. In a formal policy statement, the board found ``systematic undertreatment of chronic pain,'' which it attributed to ``low priority of pain management in our health care system, incomplete integration of current knowledge into medical education and clinical practice, lack of knowledge among consumers about pain management, exaggerated fears of opioid side effects and addiction, and fear of legal consequences when controlled substances are used.'' The consequences for patients can be tragic: If their pain goes untreated, it can rage out of control. New research shows that prolonged pain can cause lasting changes in the spinal column and the brain stem, turning what had been side streets into roaring freeways for pain signals. ``We have to educate the public that `grin and bear it' is no good,'' said Dr. Ronald Dubner, a pain expert at the University of Maryland. ``Chronic pain is a disease in itself. If you don't treat it, and the symptoms continue for too long, you can do some real damage and make the problem worse.'' *** For Chris Ally, the trouble started soon after he opened his eyes after his 1971 motorcycle accident. His left arm felt dead. No movement, no feeling. Just stabbing sensations deep in the shoulder. The impact of his helmeted head slamming on the pavement must have compressed the vertebrae in his upper back, damaging a group of nerves called the brachial plexus, doctors told him. The pain that started in his shoulder and neck intensified after he was discharged from the hospital. By 1975, he had concluded that his damaged left arm was pulling on the traumatized nerve root at the spinal cord. So in December of that year, he had his arm amputated. ``It was time to get rid of it,'' said Ally, a San Francisco resident since 1987 who lives alone in a Nob Hill studio. ``It was deadweight anyway, and I thought it would end the pain problem,'' he said. It didn't. He no longer needed to wear a sling to keep his limp arm from flopping. His walk was steadier. But he had sacrificed a limb and gained nothing in the way of pain relief. Pain is difficult to measure. Doctors use various scales, asking people to rate their discomfort from 0 to 10, for example, or from blue to red, signifying a range from nearly pain-free to the worst pain imaginable. But a 10 is not the half of it for people like Ally. ``The thing I am in most danger of now,'' he said, ``is losing my mind.'' *** Brain imaging has offered researchers a view of what happens in the nervous system when pain persists, showing areas of the brain involved in both the sensation and emotional dimensions of pain. If unrelieved, neuroscientists now say, pain can amplify the body's ability to communicate pain signals. Some people can override the signals temporarily through conscious effort or powerful distraction, a phenomenon that explains why wounded soldiers may feel little pain on the battlefield, and why injured athletes may not feel any pain until the game is over. But for those in full retreat, chronic pain can be a daily, 24-hour ordeal. Ally calls them ``walkers'': rising bursts of overwhelming pain that strike without warning, gripping him perhaps 100 times on bad days, forcing him to get up and move around until the agony subsides. Talking on the street one day outside his apartment, Ally stopped abruptly and turned away, leaning into the building. Two passers-by were startled by the suddenness of it, and seemed to consider offering help, but they hurried past when it became clear that he was used to this. He twisted his neck, stared into the distance, pressed his chin to his chest. Then he reached across his chest with his right hand and pulled down hard on the stump of his left arm. He let out a sound, heartbreaking, impossible to describe, something between a groan and a lament. Sweat beaded on his forehead. During several interviews and trips to the hospital and doctor's office, he often seemed close to tears. He described the pain as ``a steady, strong, dull aching presence that feels like someone has driven a hot railroad spike into my shoulder with a hammer.'' When the walkers first come on, he said, it feels as though someone is twisting and turning the spike, driving it in deeper -- and then ``the spike starts getting hotter, and hotter, and hotter.'' Lately, the pain had been getting much worse. Ally attributed this to a perverse side effect of his plan to enroll in a clinical trial of ``an incredible new pain drug'' called ziconotide. ``Out of necessity, I have done my best to eliminate any memory of what it felt like not to hurt all the time,'' he said. ``It's a matter of trying to get acclimated to something I figured I could do nothing about.'' Looking forward to the drug trial seemed to put a crack in his armor. ``It's amazing what the brain does,'' he said. ``The pain starts talking: `You will do everything I say. You will do everything you can to keep me at bay. You will have no room for anything else.' '' He had to stop for awhile to get his composure. Another walker. ``It's really been ugly this past couple of weeks,'' he said, finally. ``This has been the first time in many, many years I have been thinking there may actually be a way past this.'' *** As chronic pain consumes people's lives, anxiety and depression often close in. Ally, at least, benefited from good medical care and an adequate arsenal of drugs, which can help keep despair at bay. All too frequently, people have to settle for a lot less. Many patients -- suspected of faking symptoms to get drugs or time off work, among other things -- spend years simply trying to convince doctors that their troubles are real. Sufferers visit doctor after doctor, their hopelessness building as they go. In the worst scenarios, lives fall apart. ``What's going to happen to me?'' said Jane Husman, sobbing in her Marin County living room last fall, describing her failed marriage, her arguments with the Social Security system, her inability to loosen the grip that her wrecked vertebrae seem to have on her life. After six years of trying to cope with a back problem and jolting pains in her leg, stoicism no longer worked: her search for relief became desperate. Since 1994, she has undergone multiple unsuccessful surgeries and tried a surgically implanted pump, a device that delivers pain relievers to the fluid-filled space surrounding the spinal cord. Her latest gamble -- a second try at a pump -- didn't cause allergic reactions like the first. Instead, it brought other troubles: numbness in her leg that caused her to collapse and repeated emergency room visits to change her medication. Then, early this month, she felt a change. The pain went away. Her life returned. ``I am starting to feel like a human being again,'' she said. *** Ally's latest gamble, the new drug ziconotide, is one of several experimental medications designed to take advantage of increasingly sophisticated knowledge about pain's multiple pathways. A small Menlo Park company called Neurex, now a unit of Elan Corp., the Ireland-based drugmaker, discovered the drug's active ingredient in the venom of fish-eating sea snails, which use elaborate chemical weaponry to stun swifter prey. Ziconotide, now being reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, alters the biochemistry that transmits pain signals up the spinal cord to the brain -- reducing the flow of electrically charged calcium atoms into nerve cells. In some cases, the drug can apparently eliminate pain that other treatments can't touch. When pain goes on too long, calcium channels -- like a river that carves a bed as it flows -- become increasingly efficient, transmitting pain signals long after an injury has healed. Ziconotide, designed to block the calcium channels, is said to be much more potent than morphine, but has to be administered with care. Too little fails to do any good. Too much can disrupt brain chemistry and cause side effects. To administer ziconotide, surgeons implant one end of a tube into the spinal column and run the other end out the patient's side, where it connects to an external pump held in place with a shoulder strap. The amount of drug pumped through the tube is steadily increased until an optimal dose is found. Patients who respond favorably are fitted with an internal pump, the same device commonly used for delivering spinal morphine. *** Ally has tried nearly everything. In 1981, he had a surgical procedure known as a rhizotomy to sever the nerves thought to be causing his difficulties. But it accomplished little other than leaving a long scar at the back of his neck. He gradually stepped up his use of pain drugs, something he had resisted for fear he would eventually start popping them ``like Cheerios.'' He also found some relief smoking marijuana, recently shown to affect certain nerve cells in ways similar to morphine. Nothing really worked. Suicide began to loom as the only solution. He stocked up long ago on the pills and paraphernalia to do the job. He occasionally tries on the plastic bag he got from the Hemlock Society in Canada. Despairing, he began talking of ``checking out'' over the Labor Day weekend last year. Then, a friend told him about ziconotide, and after an Internet search, he contacted the manufacturer. Neurex referred Ally to Dr. Robert Presley, a well-regarded pain specialist with a clinic in San Jose. Ally was accepted into the Neurex clinical trial and scheduled for surgery to put the drug-delivery system in place. He agreed to let a reporter observe the procedure. Presley would operate at 6 p.m. at Good Samaritan Medical Center in San Jose. *** All afternoon, during the drive from San Francisco and the preliminaries in Presley's clinic, Ally debated the surgery. Walkers were coming hard and fast. His anxiety was palpable. ``How do I know this will work?'' he kept asking at the clinic. ``Why do I feel so uncertain about this?'' If someone tried to answer, he would only ask again, over and over. The nurse, Debbie Clay, patiently took him through the forms and standard neurological tests. She reassured him that getting a pump implanted was no big deal. She lifted her sweater to let him feel hers, a lump the size of a hockey puck, just under the skin of her abdomen. But when Ally reached over to touch it, his hand shook. He stepped outside for some air. He smoked a couple of cigarettes. Nothing seemed to calm him. Clay's pump was ``a lot bigger than I imagined it would be,'' he said. When he arrived at the hospital, a nurse brought a sedative, but when she drew the curtain to give the shot, Ally went into a panic, yelling for help. Nobody had told him what the shot was for. He finally calmed down enough to allow the injection, but it had little effect. He began to talk faster and faster, voicing his doubts about whether he really wanted to participate in the drug trial after all. Apparently, no one had filled him in on some details, such as the need to keep the external pump from getting wet when he showered. ``How can I do that?'' he demanded to know. ``I have one arm and I live alone!'' When Presley arrived at the hospital, he found Ally beside himself -- worried that a one-armed man who lived alone could not cope with the technical aspects of an experimental drug that might not work. Ally was on the gurney, ready to be wheeled into the surgical suite. The hospital's patient advocate, who had come around to make sure he had consented to the procedure, clearly had doubts. Ally grabbed the doctor's hand. Words came in a tumble. ``Every bone in my body is telling me not to go through with this,'' he said. Presley tried to reason with him. He assured him that lining up a visiting nurse or arranging for an extended hospital stay would not be a problem. ``This drug could really help you,'' Presley said. Ally would have none of it. After listening a few more minutes, Presley told him he was starting to worry, too. ``I'm not going to do this procedure tonight,'' Presley said. ``We can try it again after you are comfortable that this is the right thing to do. You haven't lost anything. We can still get the drug for you.'' *** There would be no second chance for Ally. The drugmaker was running the trial to determine side effects, and patients experiencing extreme anxiety even before they started would skew the results. So Ally was ineligible. He continues to see a psychiatrist. He takes Prozac for depression and 200 milligrams of methadone daily, plus three or four Percocets, for the pain. Every day, Ally tries to find some project to keep his mind occupied. He volunteers as a public school tutor. He ``adopted'' a child through a charity, traveled to Indonesia to visit her and plans to help support her through college. He used to play one-handed keyboards in a pickup band with friends, clowning for tips at a San Francisco cable-car turnaround. ``Excuse me if I don't wave,'' he would tell tourists. But now, the friends have drifted off and the isolation is growing, a vast space occupied mostly by pain. He still hopes to find a doctor willing to try something. Anything. Otherwise, he fears the pain will win. ``I know it has the power to kill me,'' he said, gritting his teeth, caught in another walker. And then, as he has done every day for 28 years, he found a way to get through it. Tomorrow: Dying in pain *** ABOUT THE SERIES This series was reported and written with the cooperation of patients and their doctors, who were consulted throughout. To read the series online, log onto www.sfgate.com. CHART: PAIN BY THE NUMBERS Moderate to very severe pain that has lasted at least six months afflicts 9 percent of the U.S. adult population, or about 25 million people, a new survey estimated. Its key findings: -- In percent of chronic pain sufferers: Severity Moderate 43% Severe 23% Very severe 34% *** Time had pain 6 months to a year 10% 1-5 years 34% More than 5 years 56% *** Type of pain Flares up frequently 61% Constant 39% *** Cause: Arthritis 37% Back pain 27 Headaches 6 Other 25 Don't know 5 *** Medical care for pain: Ever gone to a doctor 94 Now seeing a doctor 61 Hospitalized last 12 mos. 11 Changed doctors to find relief 22 (three times or more) Referred to a pain specialist 22 *** Medications now taking: Over-the-counter pain relievers 63 Prescription NSAIDs 29 Narcotic pain-relievers 16 Antidepressants 9 Trying non-medical therapy 68 *** Effect of treatment: Pain under control 55 Pain still out of control 41 *** Impact on lifestyle/emotional state: Problems sleeping 68 Difficulty walking 53 Can't concentrate 42 Trouble at work 34 Damaged relationships 26 Depressed 18 Feel useless 12 Turned to alcohol 10 *** Note: Excluding cancer-related pain. Source: ``Chronic Pain in America: Roadblocks to Relief,'' January 1999 report, based on a survey conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide Inc. for the American Pain Society, American Academy of Pain Medicine and Janssen Pharmaceutica. (c) 1999 San Francisco Chronicle Page A1
------------------------------------------------------------------- Small Farm Town's SWAT Team Leaves Costly Legacy (The Los Angeles Times says a federal jury last month ordered Dinuba, California, to pay out $12.5 million for brutality after its elite special-weapons-and-tactics squad shot a 64-year-old farm worker, Ramon Gallardo, 15 times, killing him. With insurance covering only $9.5 million, and its annual budget less than half the size of the award, residents now face the very real prospect of crippling cuts in public services. Now, everyone wonders why Dinuba, known as Raisinland U.S.A., with a dozen cops on the beat and not a single murder on the books in 1997, thought it needed a paramilitary police unit complete with submachine guns and head-to-toe combat gear. A 1996 survey of small-town police departments nationwide showed that 65 percent boasted a fully operational paramilitary unit.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Farm Town's SWAT Team Leaves $$$ Legacy Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 07:58:00 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Monday, April 5, 1999 Copyright 1999 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved Small Farm Town's SWAT Team Leaves Costly Legacy Court: Dinuba, Calif., was among communities forming elite units. But a $12.5-million brutality award followed. By MARK ARAX, Times Staff Writer DINUBA, Calif.--The question hangs everywhere in this quiet little farm town. Why did Dinuba, known as Raisinland U.S.A., with a dozen cops on the beat and not a single recent murder on the books, even need a SWAT team? Back in 1997, with scarcely a dissenting voice, Dinuba created a special paramilitary police unit complete with submachine guns and head-to-toe combat gear. It was a choice that this San Joaquin Valley town, population 15,269, would almost immediately regret. Early one morning, just a few months into training, the new squad set upon the house of Ramon Gallardo looking for a hot gun. Officers in black masks and camouflage burst into the bedroom where the 64-year-old farm worker and his wife were asleep. Before Carmen Gallardo knew for sure that the intruders were police and not some deranged militia, her startled husband allegedly had picked up a folding knife and was shot 15 times. He died in his underwear. The gun - supposedly belonging to one of Gallardo's sons - was never found. A federal jury in Fresno last month awarded the Gallardo family $12.5 million in civil damages, one of the largest judgments ever in a police brutality case. Tiny Dinuba, its annual budget not even half the size of the jury award, isn't sure how it will come up with the money. With insurance covering only $9.5 million, residents now face the very real prospect of crippling cuts in public services. "If we're on the hook for $3 [million] or $4 million, it would be devastating, no doubt about it," said Ed Todd, the city manager. "That money would have to come directly out of police, fire and parks and recreation." In a last-ditch legal maneuver, Dinuba's lawyer has asked a judge to throw out the wrongful death verdict or at least grant a new trial. Rudy Gallardo, the family's spokesman, said the city's attempt to dodge the judgment is one more indignity thrown in the face of his mother and 12 brothers and sisters. "The money that is going to come from my dad, really I don't feel happy about it. Because it comes with blood. That money comes with blood. But it's the only justice we're going to receive," said Gallardo, 40. "Sometimes I am driving and I think, 'Why? Why did they kill him?' Then all the questions come back. 'Why didn't they just keep knocking on the door until someone answered? Why so many bullets?' I can still hear his voice in the backyard. I can't get rid of it. He was a good man." The six-member Special Enforcement Team, or SET as the squad was known here, has been disbanded in the wake of the killing, its techno warrior outfits and weapons donated to another police department still bullish on SWAT. Although the size of last month's court verdict certainly sets this Tulare County town apart, Dinuba is far from unique in the impulse to militarize its police force. A 1996 survey of small-town police departments nationwide showed that 65% boasted a fully operational paramilitary unit. Like Dinuba, many towns felt compelled to start up the squads after the U.S. military began enticing local police agencies with a shopping list of free hardware, everything from surplus tanks to ninja suits. "SWAT teams have been proliferating beyond anyone's wildest imagination," said Peter Kraska, a criminologist at Eastern Kentucky University who conducted the survey and wrote a scholarly article titled "Militarizing Mayberry and Beyond." "The biggest problem in small towns is the SWAT team is extremely bored. You've got this neat unit with all this equipment and training, and nothing is happening. So you start using them in situations where they're really not needed, like routine search warrants. And pretty soon, you've got an ordinary situation turn deadly." Tucked away on the eastern flank of the nation's richest farm belt, Dinuba once seemed airtight from fear. Residents in their 40s and 50s recall a carefree youth of unlocked doors and midnight raids through Farmer Sarkissian's melon patch and riding inner tubes down the irrigation canals. Sometime around 1990, the town turned vigilant. It seemed every time nearby Fresno cracked down on its gangs, a transplant or two landed in Dinuba. Here and there, the words "shots fired" began appearing in the police blotter of the local Sentinel. Many of the Armenians, Okies and Asians who built Dinuba were dying off or moving away, replaced by poor farm workers from Mexico. Old-timers blamed the newcomers for crime. Dinuba turned to Los Angeles for its new police chief in 1994. By then, the city had already had one brief marriage to a SWAT team. It ended when city fathers concluded that a squad devoted strictly to special operations was too much of an extravagance. "The town was too small, and we really didn't need the unit," Mayor John de la Montanya said. But in the spring of 1997, after a spate of nonfatal gang shootings, the unit was brought back--this time with the new acronym, SET. Half the city's 12-member patrol force enlisted. The new team was given a broader role. In addition to the occasional surprise raid, the unit would watch over Cinco de Mayo and Raisin Day festivals. "I felt the SET team was different from SWAT," said Police Chief Emilio Perez, a 26-year LAPD veteran. "It was formed to deal with special problems, from curfew checks to enforcement of bicycle helmet laws to drunk driving. "We had gone through the proper training to do search warrants. And in the event of a hostage situation or a riot, we would have called on the Tulare County Sheriff's [Department]." The events that triggered the July 11, 1997, tragedy actually began in nearby Visalia, where police were searching for a sawed-off shotgun used in an attempted murder. An informant told officers that the gun now belonged to 18-year-old Jesus Gallardo, a Dinuba resident who wore baggy pants and flashed gang signals. After securing a search warrant, 16 officers from Visalia, Tulare County and Dinuba surrounded the small house on Golden Way. But family members said Jesus was never a gang member and didn't buy any gun. He had had a few minor run-ins with the law, they said, but he also was working and not even home that morning. While the other police agencies manned the perimeter, Dinuba's SET team approached the front door at 7 a.m. with the stealth they had picked up in three training sessions. Officers yelled, "Search warrant, search warrant," a videotape shows, and then burst through the unlocked front door. Armando Gallardo, 16, was sleeping on the living room floor. He later testified in the trial that one of the officers stepped on his back, put a gun to his head and muttered, "Don't move." Carmen Gallardo, the mother, said she didn't discern any badges on the men who rushed inside the master bedroom. She saw only hoods and masks and guns. "I thought they were robbers," she testified. "I became very frightened." She said one of the men threw her onto the bed and pushed a weapon into her back. That's when she heard the rapid fire of the MP5 submachine gun, a weapon that discharges three bullets each burst and is a favorite of the Navy SEALS. "I turned and saw my husband," she told jurors. "He was leaning on a dresser and then I heard another gunshot, and he looked at me as if I had been killed too." The decision to shoot Ramon Gallardo, police said, was a matter of self-defense. He had picked up a large folding knife from atop the dresser and was moving forward to strike them, they said. But family members contend that the knife wasn't his and allege that officers planted it to legitimize the shooting. Carmen Gallardo was arrested and taken to police headquarters in bare feet and nightgown. Detectives questioned her for five hours about a sawed-off shotgun she said she knew nothing about. The Tulare County district attorney determined that the Dinuba officers had acted properly and the shooting was justified. "The law is very clear that an officer who is threatened can do whatever is necessary to stop the threat," said Carol Turner, the deputy district attorney who reviewed the shooting. "We had no evidence of a knife being planted." The matter might have ended there if not for Arturo Gonzalez, a San Francisco attorney named one of America's 40 finest young lawyers by the National Law Journal. A fiery offspring of migrant farm workers and Harvard Law School, the 38-year-old Gonzales devotes a good chunk of his practice to cases that no one else wants. In a valley where jurors often defer to law enforcement and civil judgments in police cases are almost always paltry, Gonzalez had already distinguished himself. Three years earlier, he won a $1.4-million verdict on behalf of four Latino voting rights advocates who were subjected to an unlawful strip-search in the Tulare County Jail. Gonzalez said the Gallardo case underscored what he believed to be a frightening trend: police departments big and small employing paramilitary tactics against the citizenry on the thinnest of grounds, and constitutional safeguards against unlawful searches being damned. "They took a handful of patrol officers and gave them camouflage uniforms, automatic weapons and a few days of training and said, 'Now you are a paramilitary unit,' " he said. "This town didn't need a SWAT team. But if you're going to have one, why turn them loose without the proper training?" Gonzalez said he worried how the jury of mostly white blue-collar workers, a truck driver and oil rig operator among them, would respond. Last month, after the $12.5-million verdict was read, Gonzalez stood outside the federal courthouse in Fresno and paid tribute to the jury. The award dwarfs other excessive force judgments in California and elsewhere. In the Rodney King beating case, for instance, the judgment against Los Angeles officers was $3.8 million. "There are some people who think that justice cannot be obtained by Mexican Americans in this building, and they are wrong," Gonzalez said. Ramon Gallardo's widow and children, aware that the city's insurance won't cover the entire judgment, recently offered to settle the case for $11 million. The insurance carrier--an association of valley cities--never responded to the offer. In May, both sides will return to federal court to argue the city's motion for a new trial or a reduced verdict. Rudy Gallardo said he only wishes he could turn back the clock. "I feel good that this case might save some lives," he said. "But if someone came up and said, 'Rudy, you can have $100 million or you can have your father alive again for 30 days,' I would take the 30 days. There is no money that can buy his life." *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Nearly 5,000 Gather For 27th Hash Bash (The Michigan Daily, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, says about 5,000 people attended Saturday's festival, including Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong and Steve Hager of High Times. Some at the rally raised the issue of using marijuana as medicine. Belleville resident Rachel Gagnon is epileptic and has spent much of her life suffering from seizures. For years she was on a prescription drug that caused her to lose her hair, lose control of her bowels and even stop breathing one day. "I quit taking that drug and now I smoke marijuana," Gagnon said. "I feel normal. It keeps me calm so I don't have seizures.") Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 11:46:32 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MI: Nearly 5,000 Gather For 27th Hash Bash Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake (email@example.com) Pubdate: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 Source: Michigan Daily (The University of Michigan) Copyright: 1999 The Michigan Daily Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 420 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1327 Website: http://www.michigandaily.com/ Author: Amy Barber Daily Staff Reporter NEARLY 5,000 GATHER FOR 27TH HASH BASH Smokers, Preachers Attracted Carrying fliers, bongs full of marijuana and signs reading "HEMP: Help Educate More People," "Relegalize Marijuana" and "Save The Trees - Plant Hemp," participants in the 27th Hash Bash smoked pot freely and protested hemp's illegal status Saturday on the Diag. The annual festival brought about 5,000 people to the center of campus at "high noon." A number of speakers inspired the crowd, including Tommy Chong of the infamous weed-smoking, movie-making duo Cheech and Chong. "I'm so stoned I don't know what to say," Chong said. But he had plenty to say. "If the important people were stoned, there'd be less violence in the world," Chong said. Chong denied the potentially negative consequences of smoking marijuana, saying he has been smoking nearly all of his life and at 60-years-old he can still "get it up," referring to theories about the effects of marijuana on the body. Another crowd favorite was Steve Hager, the editor in chief of High Times Magazine. "High Times officially declared that Ann Arbor is the coolest place in the universe," Hager said. Like Hager, many Hash Bashers came from out of town to participate in the festivities. "I drove down here from Clark Lake," said Rod Munch, a Michigan resident. "I just wanted to bake out and support the local hempsters. I love this place." SNRE senior Dana Jonson handed out fliers promoting the cultivation of hemp. "It's a wonderful plant," Jonson said. "It can be used in more than 50,000 products. And it's much less dangerous that alcohol. There has never been a death resulting from marijuana, but drinking leads to problems like drunk driving and domestic violence." Some at the rally also raised the issue of using marijuana as medicine. Belleville resident Rachel Gagnon is epileptic and has spent much of her life suffering from seizures. For years she was on a prescription drug that caused her to lose her hair, lose control of her bowels and even stop breathing one day. "I quit taking that drug and now I smoke marijuana," Gagnon said. "I feel normal. It keeps me calm so I don't have seizures. I couldn't come out today if I couldn't smoke. I'd be in bed." But not all participants were interested in the political aspect of Hash Bash. "We just came out here to get high and enjoy the day," Westland resident Jon Boshand said. "It's nice and relaxing. Everybody's just here to have a good time and it's a mellow vibe going on." While most of the crowd members were held in sync beliefs about marijuana, a few expressed dissenting opinions. "Pot's great and all, but some of the speakers were unrealistic," said one participant, who did not want to be named. "Nothing's going to change. If you legalize pot, no one will go to work. "And people will use any excuse to get marijuana as medicine," he added. "I have glaucoma so hook me up with a bag." Among the smokers, there were also a handful of preachers promoting abstinence from marijuana because, they said, smoking is against God's will. But the preachers and others who spoke out against the legal use of marijuana seemed to be in the minority Saturday. Onlookers booed the preachers and one man interrupted a preacher to argue against his teachings. "Have you ever talked to God?" the man asked. "Because I've done shrooms, and I talked to God. And he told me to smoke weed!" "God was the first stoner," Chong said. "That's why he's the most high." Several students who asked not to be named said they neither condemned or condoned Hash Bash, but came out to take in the scene and people watch.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A2 Police Report Fewer Offenses (A second article on the 27th annual Hash Bash in the Michigan Daily at the University of Michigan says only 29 people were cited for being in possession of marijuana and taken to the DPS office for processing - a decline from last year. Police found more violations unrelated to marijuana, including nine people who were ticketed for carrying or consuming alcohol on city streets and four minors who were ticketed for using and/or carrying tobacco. The campus newspaper doesn't say how many of the marijuana offenders were UW students who will now lose their student loans or other financial aid under the Higher Education Act.) Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 11:46:32 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MI: A2 Police Report Fewer Offenses Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake (email@example.com) Pubdate: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 Source: Michigan Daily (U of M) Copyright: 1999 The Michigan Daily Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 420 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1327 Website: http://www.michigandaily.com/ Author: Avram S. Turkel, Daily Staff Reporter A2 POLICE REPORT FEWER OFFENSES Despite a recent push in the Michigan state government to strengthen marijuana laws in Ann Arbor - thought to cultivate illegal drug use throughout the state - none of the city's law enforcement agencies reported any major criminal violations this weekend at the 27th annual Hash Bash on the Diag. Neither Ann Arbor Police Department officials nor Department of Public Safety officials reported disruptions in connection to a protest against marijuana laws. The participants procured an amplification permit to use the Diag from noon until 1 p.m. and did not exceed their time limit. To handle the estimated 5,000 people who congregated in the city Saturday and to ensure order, officers in Ann Arbor patrolled their designated areas in teams comprised of state, city and campus police. "Our officers were paired with officers from other agencies," DPS Lt. Robert Neumann said. "This made it easier to spread out a little bit more." DPS officers acted as lead officials when patrolling the campus, with officers from other agencies giving support. Officers patrolled campus in this manner to avoid complications with jurisdiction. Neumann also said about 12 undercover DPS officers walked campus during the festival. Prior to the annual event, AAPD officials said they did not foresee any changes in their patrolling habits. "We just have our usual shifts going out." AAPD Sgt. Flocken said. As of Saturday evening, AAPD officers had handed out 89 violations for various offenses. In a written statement, AAPD officials said they did not have any "major" problems with the large crowd that inundated the Diag and the city's streets. Unofficial reports from DPS state that 29 people were cited by DPS officers for being in possession of marijuana in the Diag area, Neumann said. "The number of violations have decreased every year," Neumann said, adding that DPS has not significantly changed any of its methods for patrolling Hash Bash during the last five to 10 years. The University campus falls under state laws governing the use of marijuana. In the state of Michigan, possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a sentence of up to one year in prison. There is also a lesser offense for the use of marijuana which carries a maximum jail term of 90 days and/or a maximum fine of $100. But officers issued more offenses for violations unrelated to marijuana. Nine people received tickets for illegally selling items on the Diag and an additional nine were ticketed for carrying or consuming alcohol on city streets. Four minors were ticketed for using and/or carrying tobacco. Those charged with marijuana violations were taken to the DPS office located at 525 Church Street for processing. People who were arrested and brought to the facility should expect a phone call from DPS officials within the next few weeks.
------------------------------------------------------------------- City's Marijuana Ordinance Gets Rehashed (According to the Detroit Free Press, Ann Arbor Mayor Ingrid Sheldon said Sunday that she and other Republican council members are studying whether to put the city's $25 marijuana possession penalty on the local ballot again. The city's pot penalty has come under attack recently as too lenient by Republican Wisconsin state senators Mike Rogers and Beverly Hammerstrom, who are backing a bill to prevent local communities from levying drug penalties less stringent than the state law. The bill passed the Senate 36-1 last month and is headed to the House. Sheldon said that while she does not oppose the state penalty, she is concerned that lawmakers are "trying to interfere with what Ann Arbor citizens have voted on.") Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 22:22:44 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MI: City's Marijuana Ordinance Gets Rehashed Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: 5 April 1999 Source: Detroit Free Press (MI) Copyright: 1999 Detroit Free Press Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.freep.com/ Forum: http://www.freep.com/webx/cgi-bin/WebX Author: MARYANNE GEORGE Free Press Ann Arbor Bureau CITY'S MARIJUANA ORDINANCE GETS REHASHED On the day after the 28th Annual Hash Bash, Ann Arbor Mayor Ingrid Sheldon said Sunday that she and other Republican council members are studying whether to put the city's $25 marijuana possession penalty on the ballot again. The city's pot penalty has come under attack recently as too lenient by Republican state Sens. Mike Rogers of Brighton and Beverly Hammerstrom of Temperance. They are backing a bill to prevent local communities from levying drug penalties less stringent than the state law. The bill passed the Senate 36-1 last month and is headed to the House. Under state law, marijuana possession is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. For a first offense, a person typically receives six months probation, a $200 fine, substance abuse screening and treatment, if necessary, said Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie. Sheldon said that while she does not oppose the state penalty, she is concerned that lawmakers are "trying to interfere with what Ann Arbor citizens have voted on." She would prefer that local voters decide to keep the penalty as is, or change it on their own. Rogers and Hammerstrom could not be reached for comment. Hash Bash started in 1972 to promote marijuana use. Two years later, Ann Arbor voters approved a charter amendment making marijuana possession a civil infraction punishable by a $5 fine. In 1990, voters increased the penalty to $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense and $100 for subsequent offenses. However, on the University of Michigan diag, where a large part of the event takes place, state law is enforced because it's considered state property. The $25 penalty applies to adjacent city property and surrounding neighborhoods. Mackie said he believes Ann Arbor's law "fosters an image of Ann Arbor as a haven for drugs." "One of the best things we could do to improve the image of our community and send a message to young people is to repeal that ordinance and prosecute under state law," Mackie said. Thirty people were arrested Saturday on U-M property for marijuana possession, said university spokeswoman Julie Peterson. Ann Arbor Hemp, a group pushing for the legalization of marijuana, sponsored Saturday's Hash Bash, which drew 5,000 people. Others oppose stiffer marijuana penalties, including the Hammerstrom bill, which Ann Arbor Hemp member Lori Sasfy called "ridiculous." "The lawmakers should not be spending time trying to push this through when there are so many other pressing issues," said Sasfy, 20, a U-M junior from Monroe. State Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith, D-Salem Township, was the only senator who voted against the Hammerstrom bill. Smith said the bill made a scapegoat of the Hash Bash and did not address "substance abuse problems that exist statewide 365 days a year." Focusing on treatment rather than shifting penalties is a better way to reduce substance abuse, she said. U-M officials have challenged the Hash Bash unsuccessfully in court several times. Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Donald Shelton ruled in 1992 that sponsors had a constitutional right to hold the pro-marijuana rally.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Conveyor-Belt Justice (Syndicated columnist William Raspberry writes in the Washington Post that one of the recurring gags on the old "I Love Lucy" television show had Lucy working on an assembly line, when the boss sped up the line. Suddenly there was no way for the frantic Lucy to keep up. She wrapped or boxed as quickly as she could, obviously determined to do her best under dreadful circumstances, but the packages always overwhelmed her - until someone thought to pull the switch. It was funny when it happened to Lucy. It's not funny when it happens in the criminal justice system. In state after state, jailers are overwhelmed. It is the incarceration rate, not the crime rate, that is the problem.) Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 13:39:00 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: OPED: Conveyor-Belt Justice Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake (email@example.com) Pubdate: Mon, 05 Apr 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Page: A17 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: William Raspberry CONVEYOR-BELT JUSTICE One of the recurring gags on the old "I Love Lucy" show had Lucy working on an assembly line -- boxing candy, wrapping packages, whatever -- when the boss sped up the line. Suddenly there was no way for the frantic Lucy to keep up. She wrapped or boxed as quickly as she could, obviously determined to do her best under the dreadful circumstances, but the packages always overwhelmed her -- until someone thought to pull the stop switch. It was funny when it happened to Lucy. It's not funny when it happens in the criminal justice system. America has been accelerating the flow of inmates into prison cells, and, in state after state, the hapless jailers are overwhelmed. Robert Presley, the state cabinet secretary responsible for California's prison system, knows precisely when somebody will have to pull the switch. "April 2001," he told the Associated Press the other day. "By then, we will have exhausted every cranny and nook." If you're thinking that's the price the state will have to pay for its burgeoning criminality, you're wrong. In California as in most of America, it is the incarceration rate, not the crime rate, that is the problem. The biggest foot on the accelerator: mandatory sentences for drug offenders. A recent report from the Justice Policy Institute says we locked up more than a million nonviolent offenders in 1998. It's madness on a range of counts. First, it's not making us any safer and, in fact, may be making us less safe, with prisoners often returning to society in worse shape than before. Further, since those incarcerated are disproportionately minority men, it perpetuates the male removal that has devastated so many minority communities. Perhaps worst of all, the fiscal scrambling to produce enough prison cells eats up funds urgently needed for other purposes -- including crime prevention. California, with its nation-leading 160,000 inmates, already has crossed that disastrous line that has it spending more on incarceration than on higher education. So guess what: State Assemblyman Bill Leonard has introduced a bill calling for $4 billion in new prison construction. Somebody needs to pull the switch. At the least, we ought to be looking at sentencing alternatives short of prison, particularly for nonviolent offenders. But the best way to slow down this grim assembly line is to reach the children before they go bad. That means money spent on early childhood education, parent training, improved schools and day care. Nor is that as radical an idea as it once was. Listen to these two formulations. First: "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." Then: "Given the abused, neglected and otherwise severely at-risk life circumstances of most youth who go on to become serious offenders . . . it is a profound mistake to think that violent crimes by and against juveniles can be prevented or controlled simply or mainly by increasing the punitiveness of the juvenile justice system." The first quote is from Angela Davis, the '60s radical now working at prison reform. The second is from John DiIulio, who has advocated the tough anti-crime policies -- including incarceration -- that he believes have produced the recent downturn in the rate of violent crime. But the Princeton professor thinks we've gotten about all we can get from tougher sentencing and that we now are looking at a law of "rapidly diminishing returns." DiIulio warns that we shouldn't be misled by the relative lull in youthful violence. Demographic trends, he believes, will "exert strong upward pressure on crime rates in the years ahead unless we take strong steps to prevent juvenile crime." Angela Davis, John DiIulio and thousands of thoughtful, if less famous, observers are coming to the same conclusion Lucy Ricardo reached in the days of black-and-white TV: It's time somebody turned this thing off.
------------------------------------------------------------------- High Court Says Police Can Search Passengers In Vehicle (An Associated Press article in the Seattle Times says the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 today in a Wyoming methamphetamine case that police can search the personal belongings of all passengers inside a car when lawfully seeking criminal evidence against the driver.) Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 19:10:27 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: High Court Says Police Can Search Passengers In Vehicle Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Author: Richard Carelli, The Associated Press HIGH COURT SAYS POLICE CAN SEARCH PASSENGERS IN VEHICLE WASHINGTON - Police can search the personal belongings of all passengers inside a car when lawfully seeking criminal evidence against the driver, the Supreme Court ruled today. By a 6-3 vote in a Wyoming case, the court expanded the already considerable police power to search motor vehicles without a court warrant. "Effective law enforcement would be appreciably impaired without the ability to search a passenger's personal belongings when there is reason to believe contraband or evidence of criminal wrongdoing is hidden in the car," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court. In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens said, "Today, instead of adhering to the settled distinction between drivers and passengers, the court fashions a new rule." Under that rule, Stevens said, police might be able to search a taxi passenger's briefcase if they had reason to believe the driver had a syringe somewhere in his vehicle. Other decisions today: Right to silence: Criminal defendants who plead guilty have a constitutional right to remain silent at sentencing without judges imposing harsher punishment on them, the justices said. The 5-4 ruling in a Pennsylvania drug case reverses a lower-court decision. Prior restraint: The justices refused to review a South Carolina judge's order that barred pretrial reporting on a secretly recorded conversation between a murder defendant and his lawyer. Without comment, they rejected a Columbia, S.C., newspaper's arguments that the judge's 1997 "prior restraint" on publication was unconstitutional. Lawyers' rights: Prosecutors cannot be sued for having lawyers searched and interfering with their ability to advise a client appearing before a grand jury, the justices said. The court ruled unanimously that such action by California prosecutors in the Menendez brothers' murder case did not violate a lawyer's constitutional right to practice his profession. "We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment right to practice one's calling is not violated by the execution of a search warrant, whether calculated to annoy or even to prevent consultation with a grand-jury witness," Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote for the court. Death sentence: The court agreed to review the death sentence of a convicted Virginia killer whose execution, which had been scheduled for tomorrow, was postponed last week. The justices said they will decide whether death-row inmate Terry Williams should get a federal-court hearing on his claims that he was denied adequate legal help during his sentencing trial. Libel case: The justices refused to revive a Waco television reporter's libel lawsuit over coverage of a federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in 1993. Without comment, they let stand a Texas Supreme Court ruling that threw out John McLemore's lawsuit against Dallas-Forth Worth station WFAA-TV. The lawsuit accused the station of airing reports implying McLemore had tipped the religious sect about the raid. A Treasury Department investigation cleared McLemore of any misconduct. The peculiar Wyoming case that spurred today's decision on car searches began as a routine traffic stop, a situation that arises countless times daily across the nation. A car driven by David Young was stopped for speeding on Interstate 25 in Natrona County in the early-morning hours of July 23, 1995. After a Highway Patrol officer saw a hypodermic syringe in Young's pocket, Young candidly said he had used it to take drugs. During the ensuing search, two other officers asked the car's two passengers to get out of the car. One of them, Sandra Houghton, left her purse on the car's back seat. Inside it, police found drug paraphernalia and liquid methamphetamine. She was convicted on a felony charge but appealed. The Wyoming Supreme Court threw out her conviction last year, ruling that police were justified only in searching the car for drugs Young may have had with him - and therefore could not search Houghton's purse. Today's decision reversed the state court's ruling. "The sensible rule . . . is that such a package may be searched, whether or not its owner is present as a passenger or otherwise, because it may contain the contraband that the officer has reason to believe is in the car," Scalia said. He added that car passengers "will often be engaged in a common enterprise with the driver, and have the same interest in concealing the fruits or the evidence of their wrongdoing." Joining Scalia in reinstating Houghton's conviction were Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ruling Expands Scope Of Traffic-Stop Searches (The version in the Omaha World-Herald) Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 08:22:37 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Ruling Expands Scope Of Traffic-Stop Searches Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Mon, 05 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/ RULING EXPANDS SCOPE OF TRAFFIC-STOP SEARCHES Police can search the personal belongings of all passengers inside a car when lawfully seeking criminal evidence against the driver, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. By a 6-3 vote in a Wyoming case, the court expanded the already considerable police power to search motor vehicles without a court warrant. "Effective law enforcement would be appreciably impaired without the ability to search a passenger's personal belongings when there is reason to believe contraband or evidence of criminal wrongdoing is hidden in the car," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court. In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens said, "Today, instead of adhering to the settled distinction between drivers and passengers, the court fashions a new rule." Under that rule, Stevens said, police might be able to search a taxi passenger's briefcase if they had reason to believe the driver had a syringe somewhere in his vehicle. In other cases Monday, the court: Said criminal defendants who plead guilty have a constitutional right to remain silent at sentencing without judges holding it against them. Judges cannot impose harsher punishment if such defendants refuse to give details about the crime, said the justices' 5-4 decision in a Pennsylvania drug case. Ruled that prosecutors cannot be sued for having lawyers searched and for interfering with their ability to advise a client appearing before a grand jury. The court ruled unanimously that such action by California prosecutors in the Menendez brothers' murder case did not violate a lawyer's constitutional right to practice his profession. Agreed to review the death sentence of a convicted Virginia killer whose scheduled Tuesday execution it postponed last week. The justices said they will decide whether death-row inmate Terry Williams should get a federal court hearing on his claims that he was denied adequate legal help during his sentencing trial. The Wyoming case that spurred Monday's decision on car searches began as a routine traffic stop, a situation that arises numerous times daily across the nation. A car driven by David Young was stopped for speeding on Interstate 25 in Natrona County in the early-morning hours of July 23, 1995. After a Highway Patrol officer saw a hypodermic syringe in Young's pocket, Young candidly said he had used it to take drugs. During the ensuing search, two other officers asked the car's two female passengers to get out of the car. One of them, Sandra Houghton, left her purse on the car's back seat. Inside it, police found drug paraphernalia and liquid methamphetamine. She was convicted on a felony charge but appealed. The Wyoming Supreme Court threw out her conviction last year, ruling that police were justified only in searching the car for drugs Young may have had with him - and therefore could not search Houghton's purse. Monday's decision reversed the state court's ruling. "The sensible rule ... is that such a package may be searched, whether or not its owner is present as a passenger or otherwise, because it may contain the contraband that the officer has reason to believe is in the car," Scalia said. He added that car passengers "will often be engaged in a common enterprise with the driver and have the same interest in concealing the fruits or the evidence of their wrongdoing." Joining Scalia in reinstating Houghton's conviction were Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Stephen G. Breyer. Joining Stevens in dissent were Justices David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Crackdown on Corruption (The Washington Post says the U.S. Customs Service, faced with concerns that its inspectors are increasingly vulnerable to bribes by drug smugglers, plans to make the fight against corruption a priority for agency officials. Customs Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly has started to shake up his top management, strengthen disciplinary procedures, improve training for employees and revise hiring procedures. He also has asked for authority to use polygraphs when hiring new agents. However, the Customs Service is already embroiled in internal conflicts such as that between criminal investigators and Internal Affairs agents.) Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 13:45:57 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Crackdown on Corruption Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Mon, 05 Apr 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Page: A15 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: Stephen Barr, Washington Post Staff Writer CRACKDOWN ON CORRUPTION The U.S. Customs Service, faced with concerns that its inspectors are increasingly vulnerable to bribes by drug smugglers, plans to make the fight against corruption a priority for agency officials. Customs Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly has started to shake up his top management ranks, strengthen disciplinary procedures and improve training for employees. He also has asked for authority to use polygraphs when hiring new agents. "We will not hesitate to fire people," Kelly told a House subcommittee last month. A recent Treasury Department review found no evidence of systematic corruption in the Customs Service but said "individual acts of corruption have occurred and continue to occur." The Treasury report said the Office of Internal Affairs at Customs, which investigates allegations of misconduct by agency employees, had failed to take aggressive steps to combat corruption and had been wracked by infighting with the agency's criminal investigators, who collect intelligence on drug and contraband smugglers and manage the agency's air and sea drug interdiction programs. The concerns about corruption among Customs employees comes at a particularly sensitive time. The Senate Finance Committee, which held blockbuster hearings on taxpayer abuses by the Internal Revenue Service in 1997 and 1998, has started an investigation of Customs, leading to fears among Clinton administration officials that the agency may be in for a similar battering. At the House hearing, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) praised Kelly, who took charge of Customs in August, for taking steps to shake up Customs. In contrast, Hoyer said, the IRS "was not perceived as acting internally. . . . If they had, the public would have had more confidence in their leadership." Treasury's Office of Professional Responsibility conducted its review at the request of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees Customs, chaired by Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), who called for "zero tolerance" of corruption at the agency. The review, which provided a rare glimpse into the workings of a federal law enforcement agency, portrayed Customs as a contentious workplace. For example, the Treasury report said, agents assigned to criminal investigations believe that agents working for Internal Affairs "are incompetent, overzealous and spend too much time investigating matters that are unrelated to corruption." Internal Affairs agents, for their part, said criminal investigators "interfered, impeded and compromised ongoing Internal Affairs investigations." The infighting, Treasury said, "has reached critical proportions." To address issues raised by Treasury, Kelly said he has replaced the head of Internal Affairs with a career prosecutor who will report directly to him. Kelly also has started his own review of Internal Affairs "and will be directing reassignments when and where appropriate," he said. In addition, Kelly said, he has begun new procedures for the reporting and tracking of employee violations and will establish agency-wide "discipline review boards," strengthen the agency's whistleblower office and publish a plain-English "code of conduct" for employees. Kelly also plans to revamp hiring practices at the agency. Rather than recruit inspectors and canine officers through field offices, Customs will hire through a centralized, nationwide office. Job applicants will take tests to assess reasoning and writing skills, undergo rigorous interviews to determine their maturity and undergo a background investigation and drug screening, Kelly said. The new recruitment program will provide a "systematic approach that includes ways to gauge integrity in potential new employees," Kelly said. What remains unclear, however, is the extent of potential corruption problems facing Kelly. The 98-page Treasury report provides only one case study, describing how two agents were caught and prosecuted for their part in a $1 million bribery scheme arranged to smuggle cocaine from Mexico into the United States. Asked to provide a tally of how many Customs employees have been convicted of drug-related crimes in recent years, the agency said its antiquated computer systems provided "inconclusive data." Meanwhile, Robert M. Tobias, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents Customs employees, opposes a proposal that Customs rotate border inspectors on a regular basis to reduce the chances that family friends or acquaintances can influence them to look the other way when contraband or narcotics move through ports of entry. Tobias cited the case of Virginia Rodriguez, a Customs inspector and single parent in Brownsville, Tex., who arrested one of the FBI's top 10 suspects at a border crossing. "She told me recently that she probably pays more for child care than anyone else in Brownsville in order to have quality care available for the ever-changing day and night shifts she works in order to keep the port staffed around the clock," Tobias said. He said Customs would have trouble retaining such employees "if they would have to face the daunting tasks of uprooting their families, searching for affordable housing and quality child care every couple of years." -------------------------------------------------------------------
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