Portland NORML News - Friday, April 9, 1999

Portland-area police chiefs denounce racist auto stops (The Oregonian says
Oregon State Police, 23 Portland-area police departments and police unions
plan to send a unified message today that they will not tolerate police
actions based on a person's race. The cops plan to sign a resolution that
takes a strong stand against "race-based profiling." Spencer "Mike" Neal, a
Portland attorney who specializes in police misconduct cases, dismissed the
resolution as politics. "Talk is cheap," said Neal, who as a Filipino
American has experienced racially motivated police stops, he said. "When I
start seeing people being disciplined for those things, then I'll believe

Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/)
Pubdate: Fri, Apr 09 1999
Source: Oregonian, The (OR)
Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian
Contact: letters@news.oregonian.com
Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201
Fax: 503-294-4193
Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/
Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/
Author: Gwenda Richards Oshiro of the Oregonian staff

Portland-area police chiefs denounce racist auto stops

* Charles Moose and more than 20 Oregon law enforcement leaders will sign a
resolution that race must never be used to rationalize police actions

Portland-area police chiefs and union leaders plan to send a unified message
today that they will not tolerate police actions based on a person's race.

Leaders of the Oregon State Police, 23 Portland-area police departments and
police unions expect to sign a resolution that takes a strong stand against
"race-based profiling," said Portland Police Chief Charles Moose.

The message by the law-enforcement community breaks ground nationally, U.S.
Department of Justice officials said Thursday.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time that police executives and union
officials together have come up with this type of resolution," said Robert
Lamb, regional director for the U.S. Department of Justice's Community
Relations Service. "This is an unprecedented starting point for further
discussion on this issue."

Their action comes as police departments across the country grapple with the
persistent perception among minorities that police target them
disproportionately when making traffic stops. In fact, Moose and other
chiefs from around the nation gathered this week in Washington, D.C., to
discuss allegations of discriminatory police stop-and-search procedures and
other race-related issues.

Attorney General Janet Reno on Thursday called racial profiling a crucial
issue for law enforcement and called for more collection of data to see how
big the problem is.

The resolution, drafted by Moose, also calls for more data.

Moose said the resolution is intended to reassure citizens that race-based
policing will not be allowed.

"If we're perceived to be engaging in this behavior," he said, "I expect to
get this document back in my face."

Just as significant is the message it sends to rank-and-file police
officers, he and others said.

"It is a statement internally that if you have a police officer out there
who uses his badge for racially motivated conduct, it will not be tolerated
by policy agencies or the leadership of the unions," said Oregon State
Police Superintendent LeRon Howland.

Spencer "Mike" Neal, a Portland attorney who specializes in police
misconduct cases, dismissed the resolution as politics. Race-based policing
will continue, he said, unless supervisors take a strong action against it.

"Talk is cheap," said Neal, who as a Filipino American has experienced
racially motivated police stops, he said. "When I start seeing people being
disciplined for those things, then I'll believe it."

But Howland vowed action.

"Personally, if one of my troopers engages in that kind of conduct, we will
deal swiftly with it," he said. "He or she will not be wearing the badge of
an Oregon state trooper."

He, other chiefs and union leaders said no one should be surprised that the
police unions agreed to support the resolution.

"I can't imagine any police association or union across this country that
would advocate anything but avoiding any kind of discrimination," said Greg
Pluchos, president of the Portland Police Association.

Jim Botwinis, president of the association representing state troopers, said
he hopes the message will reassure citizens that rank-and-file officers do
not tolerate racially biased policing.

"We are not going to stick our heads in the sand and say that no police
officer in Oregon is doing it," he said. "But the lion's share conduct their
jobs in conformance with the laws of the land."

Attorney Ingrid Swenson, who as a lobbyist with Oregon Criminal Defense
Lawyers Association has spoken out against race-based policing, called the
resolution an excellent step. "It raises the profile of this issue, both for
the public and the police officer," she said.

She and Moose say that the next step is for state leaders to approve about
$180,000 to continue the work of 60 law enforcement officials and civil
rights and civil liberties groups monitoring a 1997 law giving police
broader powers to stop and search motorists.

Ron Louie, Hillsboro's police chief, also said departments should continue
to hire officers who share the values expressed in the resolution, as well
as develop close communication with the community.

In his 25 years as a police officer, he said, he's seen the hurt and
resentment in the faces of minority motorists who feel they've been stopped
because of their race. And as a Chinese American, he understands those feelings.

"I know what it was like to be with a carload of kids in San Francisco," he
said, "and get yanked over by police because we all had black hair."

This resolution underscores that that is not acceptable, he said.

"This sends a message that we're walking the talk."

You can reach Gwenda Richards Oshiro at 503-221-8219 or by e-mail at


[Portland Copwatch: http://www.teleport.com/~copwatch]


Medical Marijuana Users Licensed (An Associated Press article in the Las
Vegas Sun examines the policies being implemented by Mel Brown, the police
chief in Arcata, California, with the help of a community task force. Brown
personally issues photo identification cards bearing his signature to medical
marijuana patients after confirming their doctor's recommendation. So far, he
has issued about 100 "stay out of jail" cards. Arcata is in Mendocino County,
where District Attorney Norman Vroman plans to announce a similar ID card
system next month.)

Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 10:05:27 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: Medical Marijuana Users Licensed
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Fri, 9 April 1999
Source: Las Vegas Sun (NV)
Copyright: 1999 Las Vegas SUN, Inc.
Contact: letters@lasvegassun.com
Website: http://www.lasvegassun.com/
Author: Noah Isackson


ARCATA, Calif. (AP) -- Arcata's police chief walked into the house and was
escorted upstairs to a bedroom filled with marijuana plants and enough
smokable pot to fill a grocery bag.

Instead of reaching for his gun or a search warrant, Mel Brown offered a

"I used to leave places like that with plants and prisoners," Brown said on
the way out of Jason Browne's marijuana garden. "But here, law enforcement
is holding out the olive branch to people who smoke medical marijuana."

Tucked between groves of towering redwoods and misty coastal beaches in far
northern California, Arcata, population 16,000, is getting considerable
attention for its response to Proposition 215, the 1996 voter initiative
that allows people to grow and use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Brown personally issues photo identification cards bearing his signature to
people who register as medical marijuana patients, after confirming that
they have a doctor's recommendation.

So far, he has issued about 100 of the "stay out of jail" cards. Officers
have been instructed not to arrest pot growers or smokers who carry the ID.

Brown said he is not concerned about trouble from Attorney General Janet
Reno, who personally reminded state Attorney General Bill Lockyer last month
that Proposition 215 runs counter to federal law.

"Quite frankly, I don't see Janet Reno coming to Arcata and arresting
somebody or having her people arrest somebody," he said.

As a precaution, however, Brown keeps no record of who applies for an ID and
doesn't keep track of those who currently use a card.

One of the card holders is Browne, who smokes pot to relieve his back pain
and invited the chief to survey his crop. During the visit, the chief
listened attentively while the grower spoke of the potency of his next
harvest, and sighed sympathetically when Browne shook some stalks and
unleashed a swarm of marijuana-munching bugs.

"Jason and I were both very cautious when the program first started," said
Brown, 53. "I didn't want to be associated with black market drug dealers
and he didn't want to be associated with someone who was going to stab him
in the back. But time passed and we got over the stereotypes."

Last year, the U.S. Justice Department won a court order to shut down most
of the state's cannabis clubs for violating federal laws against marijuana

Lockyer, who is seeking a compromise that will avoid the wrath of federal
officials, has formed a task force of law enforcement officers and medical
marijuana advocates to study the issue.

"What makes Arcata's program work is the fact that law enforcement and the
medical community are involved," said Nathan Barankin, Lockyer's spokesman.
"The task force has been asked to look at Arcata as a model and perhaps make
some recommendations on whether what works for Arcata works for Los Angeles
and other larger communities."

Arcata works for officials in Mendocino County, where District Attorney
Norman Vroman plans to announce a similar ID card system next month. "We
thought it was very successful and we intend to plagiarize as much of it as
we can," Vroman said.

Such praise from law enforcement is a dramatic change for the Emerald
Triangle, the region in Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties where pot
is the largest cash crop and drug-busting teams often raided clandestine
marijuana patches hidden in the forests.

Pot is so common here that the pungent scent of marijuana smoke hovers
outside bars, and locals practice the "4:20" toke time each afternoon, much
as people take tea in England. (Smokers say 4-20 also is police code for a
marijuana offense.)

Brown, who serves on Lockyer's task force, is proud of the official support,
but says his program is simply a response to Arcata's needs.

"The chief concern was being able to afford the people in my community the
rights they were given," he said. "Secondly, the program doesn't waste the
community's money on police work that would not lead to successful

Hemp-Ventura (An Associated Press article excerpted from the Minneapolis
Star-Tribune says that despite the support of Minnesota Governor Jesse
Ventura, who was recently featured on the cover of Hemp Times, an industrial
hemp bill that had been approved by the state Senate died in committee after
it was sent to the House.)

Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 18:04:08 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US MN: Hemp-Ventura
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Friday, April 9, 1999
Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)
Copyright: 1999 Star Tribune
Feedback: http://www.startribune.com/stonline/html/userguide/letform.html
Website: http://www.startribune.com/
Forum: http://talk.startribune.com/cgi-bin/WebX.cgi
Author: The Associated Press / Statewire
Note: The Hemp Times website is at: http://www.hemptimes.com/

Excerpted from: Happenings Thursday at the Minnesota Capitol: FINAL WORD


Gov. Jesse Ventura has taken his support for the production of
industrial hemp to the next level. He's featured on the cover of Hemp
Times, a nationally distributed magazine focusing on fashions and
products derived from the product.

The caption on the front says "Jesse Ventura: First Governor For Hemp."

Ventura thinks hemp, a cousin of marijuana, would add to the variety
of crops grown by Minnesota farmers.

The magazine has a lengthy article discussing Ventura's support for
hemp, which can be used to make products such as clothes and tennis

Hemp can be grown legally in Canada, but not in the United States.
Unlike marijuana, industrial hemp contains virtually none of the
substance that allows people to get high.

A bill that would legalize hemp production in Minnesota if growers
register with the state cleared the Senate and was sent to the House,
where it died in committee. Former Gov. Arne Carlson vetoed a more
restrictive bill last year.

Reno calls on police to deal with 'profiling' incidents (An LA
Times-Washington Post news service article in the Oregonian says U.S.
Attorney General Janet Reno made an impassioned plea at her weekly news
briefing Thursday, asking local police and other law enforcement officials
to deal with citizen complaints about searches based on "racial profiles."
A proposal to require a national study of why police stop and search drivers
died in Congress last year but will be taken up again.)

Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/)
Pubdate: Fri, Apr 09 1999
Source: Oregonian, The (OR)
Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian
Contact: letters@news.oregonian.com
Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201
Fax: 503-294-4193
Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/
Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/
Author: Robert L. Jackson of The LA Times-Washington Post

Reno calls on police to deal with 'profiling' incidents

* The attorney general says charges of searching drivers based on race must
be addressed to determine how widespread the practice is

WASHINGTON - Attorney General Janet Reno made an impassioned plea Thursday
for local police and other law enforcement officials to deal with citizen
complaints about searches based on "racial profiles."

"We can't duck this issue," Reno said, adding that the Justice Department
has had "a number of investigations under way" of specific cases, trying to
determine whether police are violating individual rights by targeting people
based on their race.

While recognizing organized police opposition to such inquiries, Reno said
"hard facts" were needed to determine whether the practice is widespread.
"And let's, where we see the problem, do something about it," she said.

A proposal to require a national study of why police stop and search drivers
died in Congress last year but will be taken up again.

Reno said at her weekly news briefing that some police departments, through
training and other techniques, were trying to make officers more sensitive
to minorities' concerns.

On a recent visit to San Diego, she said, she learned that motorcycle
officers who stop motorists for traffic infractions are encoding racial data
on hand-held computers as part of a community study.

"They're not compiling specific case information," she said. "They're
compiling numbers to see if there is an unwarranted skewing that would
indicate an inappropriate reliance on a racial profile. I think that speaks
volumes for what police can do in other ways to, number one, identify the
scope of the problem, and number two, to take steps to correct it."

The House passed a bill last year sponsored by Rep. John Conyers Jr.,
D-Mich., a leading member of the Congressional Black Caucus, to require a
Justice Department study of racial and ethnic statistics on traffic stops by
state and local police.

Conyers told his colleagues, "There are virtually no African American males
- including congressmen, actors, athletes and office workers - who have not
been stopped at one time or another for an alleged traffic violation, namely
DWB - driving while black."

The House-passed bill, however, died in the Senate Judiciary Committee when
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the chairman, refused to call hearings because of
opposition from the National Association of Police Organizations, the
National Troopers Coalition and other law enforcement groups.

Robert T. Scully, executive director of the national police association,
which represents 4,000 police unions, said Thursday he still opposed a
national study. Police would resent being asked to collect data on the race
or ethnic background of those they stop and often search, and many drivers
would probably balk at providing such information, he said.

Reno said, "We want police officers to bring the community together rather
than to divide it," but "it's very hard to get the police to get you to
trust them when you think you've been unfairly treated."

The Justice Department's goal, she said, is "good, effective policing that
can help make our communities safe (and help) most officers do their jobs
under extraordinarily difficult circumstances day in and day out."

Marijuana smell insufficient reason for arrest: Court (The Toronto Star says
Ontario's highest court ruled yesterday in the case of Peter Polashek that
police do not have an automatic right to arrest someone for suspected drug
possession based on the smell of marijuana coming from a vehicle. In
Polashek's case, the officer couldn't say whether the smell of burned or
unburned marijuana was coming from the car. Polashek's lawyer, Alan Young,
said such incidents give rise to questions about whether police ever
fabricate claims of smelling drugs as an excuse for a fishing expedition. Mr.
Justice Marc Rosenberg, writing for a unanimous three-judge court, said "The
sense of smell is highly subjective and to authorize an arrest solely on that
basis puts an unreviewable discretion in the hands of the officer.")

Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 07:20:03 -0400
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
From: Dave Haans (haans@chass.utoronto.ca)
Subject: TorStar: Marijuana smell insufficient reason for arrest: Court
Newshawk: Dave Haans
Source: The Toronto Star (Canada)
Pubdate: Friday, April 9, 1999
Page: A23
Website: http://www.thestar.com
Contact: lettertoed@thestar.com
Author: Tracey Tyler, Legal Affairs Reporter

Marijuana smell insufficient reason for arrest: Court

Ruling may lead to major shakeup in standard police practices, lawyer says

Police do not have an automatic right to arrest someone for suspected drug
possession based on the smell of marijuana coming from a vehicle, Ontario's
highest court has ruled.

While there may be cases in which officers' noses are so highly developed
they can say with certainty pot is inside, they will usually need other
reasons to justify an arrest or search of a car, the Ontario Court of
Appeal says.

The court made the ruling yesterday in the case of Peter Polashek, whose
car was searched after a Peel police officer stopped him for a traffic
violation on July 5, 1996 in Malton and noticed a strong marijuana odour.

The decision could cause a significant shakeup in standard police
practices, said Polashek's lawyer, Alan Young.

"Previously, all they had to do was sniff and move in," said Young, a
professor at Osgoode Hall law school.

In Polashek's case, the officer couldn't say whether the smell of burned or
unburned marijuana was coming from the car.

Polashek was asked to step out and was searched. The officer claimed to
find what looked like hash and Polashek was arrested for marijuana
possession and searched further. Over $4,000 in cash turned up in his pockets.

As he sat in a cruiser, a search of his trunk uncovered three shoeboxes
containing marijuana and a small amount of LSD.

Nearly 15 minutes after his arrest, Polashek was advised of his right to
call a lawyer and asked about the drugs: "What can I say? You caught me;
I'm busted." he replied.

He was later convicted of drug possession and sentenced to five months in
jail. While his appeal centred on the smell issue, the appeal court gave
other reasons for quashing his conviction and ordering a new trial.

Police conscripted Polashek's incriminating statement after violating his
right to call a lawyer without delay, said Mr. Justice Marc Rosenberg,
writing for a unanimous three-judge court.

Federal prosecutor Graham Reynolds conceded the delay was unconstitutional,
but noted Polashek waived his right to counsel when eventually advised of
his rights.

On the issue of odour detection, Young said in his experience, police using
an alleged marijuana smell as reason to search youths in cars or on the
street "occurs on a daily basis."

It also gives rise to questions about whether police ever fabricate claims
of smelling drugs as an excuse for a fishing expedition. he said.

The appeal court said in Polashek's case, because police had other grounds
besides the smell of marijuana for arresting him, the subsequent search of
his car was lawful.

Those reasons included the area and the time of night he was stopped.

However, in most cases, Rosenberg said an officer's claim of having smelled
drugs is something that can usually never be proven.

"The sense of smell is highly subjective and to authorize an arrest solely
on that basis puts an unreviewable discretion in the hands of the officer."

Bid For Zero Tolerance In Schools Doomed (The Age, in Melbourne, says most
state and territory leaders at today's Premiers' Conference are expected to
oppose Australian Prime Minister John Howard's push for a policy of zero
tolerance towards drug users in schools.)

Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 05:44:33 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Australia: Bid For Zero Tolerance In Schools Doomed
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: kenbo01@ozemail.com.au (kenbo01@ozemail.com.au)
Pubdate: Fri, 9 Apr 1999
Source: Age, The (Australia)
Copyright: 1999 David Syme & Co Ltd
Contact: letters@theage.fairfax.com.au
Website: http://www.theage.com.au/
Author: Adrian Rollins


The push by the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, for a policy of zero
tolerance towards drug users in schools appears doomed, with most
state and territory leaders expected to oppose the idea at today's
Premiers' Conference.

But Mr Howard has headed off Victoria's proposal for a heroin trial,
despite the support of several states and territories for the initiative.

Drugs program funding will be a key issue at today's meeting, with
state and territory leaders, including the Victorian Premier, Mr Jeff
Kennett, calling for a substantial injection of Commonwealth funds -
well over $100 million.

A discussion paper outlining the Federal Government's proposed
strategy was circulated among the premiers and chief ministers
yesterday. It covered such areas as access to drug treatments, the
zero-tolerance policy, enforcement strategies and the diversion of
convicted drug users into rehabilitation programs rather than prisons.

In an address yesterday, Mr Kennett said the Commonwealth would need
to contribute far more than $100 million to tackle the drug issue,
adding that ``$100 million is just a drop in the bucket''.

The Prime Minister yesterday refused to detail how much extra money
the Commonwealth would commit to the anti-drug push, but a spokeswoman
said it probably would exceed $100 million.

The Federal Government has already committed $290 million under its
Tough on Drugs strategy, and Mr Howard said that ``significant
additional resources and some new approaches'' would be announced today.

Mr Howard seems to have won little support for his policy of zero
tolerance towards the use of illicit drugs in schools.

Mr Kennett condemned the idea as ``unworkable'' and ``appalling'' and
said he did not think it was ``right that children who are users
should be expelled from school and denied education''. It is believed
that most state and territory leaders rejected the idea, not only
because it is the states that pay for schools and police, but because
of a belief that students who use illicit drugs deserve help, not

Another proposal raised by the Commonwealth was the compulsory
referral of drug offenders to rehabilitation programs.

Although Victoria has a trial ``diversion'' program in place, it is
believed that the Victorian delegation has concerns about compulsion
in the Federal Government's proposal, preferring the idea of referral.

ME Sufferer Grew 'Pot' To Ease Pain (The Daily Telegraph, in Britain, says
Candace Kelly, a 51-year-old woman in Halwell, Devon, had her sentence for
growing marijuana suspended because she used it medicinally to treat a form
of chronic fatigue syndrome.)

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 21:01:49 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UK: ME Sufferer Grew 'Pot' To Ease Pain
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Pubdate: Fri, 9 April 1999
Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)
Copyright: of Telegraph Group Limited 1999
Contact: dtletters@telegraph.co.uk
Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/


A HOUSEWIFE grew cannabis plants at her home to ease the pain from the
chronic fatigue syndrome ME, a court was told yesterday.

Police found "pot" growing areas in two bedrooms at the home of
Candace Kelly, 51, at the Old Police House, Halwell, Devon. Kelly, who
pleaded guilty at Plymouth Crown Court to being concerned in the
production of herbal cannabis, was sentenced to 12 months, suspended
for a year.

The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 86 (The Drug Reform Coordination
Network's original online drug policy newsmagazine includes - Driving while
non-white; Search and seizure protections weakened; 53-year-old grandmother
robbed, beaten while trying to buy cannabis for her arthritis; California's
Y2K+1 crisis; Illinois bill criminalizes marijuana information on the
internet; Report: Crises of the anti-drug effort, 1999; New Jersey Harm
Reduction Coalition - action alert; Leaders of South American indigenous
peoples challenge U.S. ayahuasca patent; Exhibit: "Human Rights and the Drug
War" in Virginia; Gore 2000 or Gore 1984?; Lies, damn lies and statistics;
Cato Forums: Jesse Ventura, prosecutorial abuse, forfeiture reform;
Editorial: There oughta be a law: protecting the masses from themselves)

Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 06:37:18 +0000
To: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (drcnet@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #86
Sender: owner-drc-natl@drcnet.org

The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #86 -- April 9, 1999
A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network


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

This issue can be also be read on our web site at
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/086.html. Check out the DRCNN
weekly radio segment at http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/.

NOTE: The DRCNet Online Library is temporarily down, just
for a few days. Most of the library content can be accessed
online at http://mir.drugtext.org/druglibrary/index.htm.
Special thanks to Mario Lap and the DrugText Foundation for
providing this mirror site.


1. Driving While Non-White

2. Search and Seizure Protections Weakened

3. 53 Year-old Grandmother Robbed, Beaten While Trying to
Buy Cannabis for Her Arthritis

4. California's Y2K (+1) Crisis

5. Illinois Bill Criminalizes Marijuana Information on the

6. REPORT: Crises of the Anti-Drug Effort, 1999

7. New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition -- ACTION ALERT

8. Leaders of South American Indigenous Peoples Challenge
US Ayahuasca Patent

9. EXHIBIT: Human Rights and the Drug War in Virginia

10. Gore 2000 or Gore 1984?

11. Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

12. Cato Forums: Jesse Ventura, Prosecutorial Abuse,
Forfeiture Reform

13. EDITORIAL: There Oughta Be a Law: Protecting the Masses
From Themselves


1. Driving While Non-White

The American Civil Liberties Union has produced statistical
evidence it says proves allegations that Illinois State
Police have targeted Black and Latino drivers for traffic
stops. The statistics, gathered by the ACLU in an analysis
of more than six million police department records between
1990 and 1995, are some of the first hard data backing a
perception among many Americans that "Driving While Black"
has become probable cause for law enforcement to stop and
attempt to search a vehicle.

Among other findings, the ACLU's analysis shows that more
than one third of cars stopped by the state's drug
interdiction unit were driven by Latinos, even though
Latinos make up 7.9 percent of Illinois' population and are
estimated to be drivers in only 2.7 percent of personal
vehicle trips. Also damning was the ACLU's finding that
searches of cars that led to a seizure of property occurred
in as few as 12 percent of searches, lending credence to the
idea that many of the stops and searches were arbitrary.

Harvey Grossman, legal director for the Illinois ACLU, told
the Associated Press that the state patrol's practices made
driving in Illinois "the equivalent of traveling in a
totalitarian state where you are routinely stopped for
searches. It's like a tax for driving on the highway," he

Lincoln Hampton, a spokesman for the state police,
disagreed. "When we make a stop, it's not based on race or
gender or anything of that nature," he told the AP. "It's
based on probable cause that some law is being broken,
whether it's traffic or otherwise. We have to have a

But a spokesman for the Drug Policy Foundation in
Washington, DC, which has monitored reports of racial
profiling around the country, said the ACLU's findings are
not surprising. "It's clear from similar complaints in
Maryland, Florida, New Jersey and elsewhere that some police
departments have used profiles to shake down minority
drivers," said Rob Stewart. It's a long standing practice
that needs to be addressed and needs to end."

The Illinois ACLU spent years tracking down the statistics
they used for their analysis, which is part of a court case
dating back over four years. The process has been hindered
there because the Illinois state police, like many of the
other departments that have come under scrutiny of late,
make note of a driver's race in only a small percentage of
traffic stops and searches.

US Representative John Conyers (D-MI) plans to introduce a
bill that would require the Department of Justice, and
thereby law enforcement agencies nationwide, to maintain
statistics on racial and ethnic data on motorists who are
stopped. Stewart said such a law could play a key role in
reducing profiling. "Just keeping the statistics could
help, because if the public knew about the law, the police
would be less likely to use profiles," he said. "Also, the
law would give teeth to anti-profiling policies, by allowing
people to sue if profiling is involved in their stop or

(Media Alert: the current issue of Esquire contains an
expose on the development and deployment of racial profiling
written by Gary Webb, the author of the San Jose Mercury
News series on the CIA/crack cocaine connection.)


2. Search and Seizure Protections Weakened
- Marc Brandl, brandl@drcnet.org

Civil libertarians, defense lawyers and others say a Supreme
Court decision giving police greater powers to stop and
search cars has further weakened 4th Amendment protections
against unlawful search and seizures. In a 6-3 decision
last Monday (4/5), the Justices said items belonging to a
passenger may be searched while the officer is searching for
criminal evidence against the driver.

Donna Domonkos, a defense attorney who argued the case
before the Supreme Court, believes the decision lowers the
standard for probable cause. Domonkos told the Week Online,
"Before they've always required some kind of suspicion of
criminal activity, and now that's not required."

The decision stems from a routine traffic stop in Natrona
County, Wyoming. The Highway patrol officer saw a
hypodermic needle sticking out of the driver's pocket, which
the driver acknowledged had been used to take drugs. Two
more officers arrived to continue the search and two
passengers were asked to get out of the car. One of the
passengers, Sandra Houghton, left her purse in the back
seat, that was later searched and found to contain drug
paraphernalia and liquid methamphetamine. She was convicted
of a felony drug offense but later appealed. The Wyoming
Supreme Court agreed with Houghton, saying the police had
not had probable cause to search her belongings. The
Supreme Court decision overturns that ruling.

The ruling only allows searches of items belonging to the
passenger that aren't on the person. "The majority opinion
did say that this wasn't authorizing a pocket search or even
a frisk," said Jack King, public affairs director for the
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, "but
'merely,' and I don't think of it as merely, authorizes the
search of all containers in the vehicle. It was never
disputed in the Houghton case that there was no probable
cause to search the passenger's purse. What we have here is
an absurd result."

Marty Johnson, of the ACLU of Wyoming, had an even stronger
view of the decision. Johnson told the Week Online, "This
is yet another example of the Supreme Court putting its
thumb on the scales of justice when it comes to balancing
individual privacy versus the state's interest in going
after the scourge of drugs," he said. "This [decision]
lowers the standards for passengers in a vehicle. You are
now essentially giving up your right to privacy for simply
getting in a vehicle."

But members of the law enforcement community felt the
decision was appropriate. Marty Pfiefer, a spokesperson for
the Fraternal Order of Police, said, "It is a very positive
result, it makes it safer for the officer and better for the
public. There is no longer a free ticket now. If you are
in a car with someone that has contraband, there is no
defense for that individual passing something off to a
passenger to hide or secrete." Pfiefer continued, "It
simplifies the job of law enforcement in clarifying when
officers can search a passenger. It eliminates some of the
restrictions as far as who and what can be searched."

Marty Johnson disagreed. "The simplest way to do it is just
to get rid of the 4th amendment entirely, which is what the
US Supreme Court seems to be trying to do."

A decision in the last session of the Supreme Court, Knowles
v Iowa (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/070.html#nosearch)
also involved the stopping and searching of cars. Patrick
Knowles was pulled over for speeding at which point the
officer decided to search the vehicle. In the Knowles case,
the justices ruled that when a suspect is not arrested, they
may only have probable cause to search a vehicle under two
circumstances, danger to the police and prevention of the
destruction of evidence.


3. 53 Year-old Grandmother Robbed, Beaten While Trying to
Buy Cannabis for Her Arthritis

In North Carolina this week, a 53 year-old woman was beaten
and robbed as she attempted to buy the marijuana that she
uses to ease her pain. In the car with her was her 13 year-
old grandson. This fact was not lost on police, who have
brought charges against the woman for child abuse.

Tinkey Mae Sullivan suffers from severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
and a degenerative bone disease that has already resulted in
back surgery and a broken leg. She claims that her
prescription painkillers, which cost $200 for a fifteen-day
supply, don't seem to help and leave her groggy and
nauseous. An ounce of cannabis, however, which costs her
$90 and lasts for nearly two months, allows her to be up and

"Without it, I can't even get up out of my chair without
help" she said. "But if I smoke a little, I can even do my

But cannabis, for medicinal use or otherwise, is illegal in
Ms. Sullivan's home state of North Carolina, where she lives
in a double-wide trailer with her husband, a tug boat
captain, and their grandson. And so, when Ms. Sullivan runs
out of her medicine of choice, she is forced to drive from
her home in Winnabow to the nearby city of Wilmington to buy
it on the street.

"They all know me over there. They call me Grandma."

But dealing with the black market is a dangerous and
unpredictable undertaking, particularly for the elderly and
the infirm, who make inviting targets. On Thursday (4/1)
Mrs. Sullivan found out the hard way that the unavailability
of cannabis through legitimate channels can have a
devastating impact on the health and well-being of those who
need it. Mrs. Sullivan, with her grandson in the car, was
beaten and robbed of her credit cards and more than $140.

"I called the police on my cell phone," Mrs. Sullivan told
The Week Online. "I told them why I was there and showed
them which way the robbers ran. But all they did was tell
me to move away from the steering wheel. They treated me
like I was the criminal."

In the eyes of Wilmington law enforcement, Mrs. Sullivan IS
a criminal. Prosecutors have charged her with misdemeanor
child abuse for having her grandson with her when she tried
to buy her medicine.

"He was home from school, and I took him along while I was
running errands, and I was out of medicine. He didn't know
why we were there, and I never smoke it in front of him.
But I'm not ashamed of using it. It helps me. I'm not a
criminal, I'm a woman who is in a lot of pain, and it's the
only thing that helps. If President Clinton was in my home
right now, I'd smoke it in front of him. How can I be a
criminal for using something that helps my pain?"

Detective Ocie Horton of the Wilmington police is handling
the case. "I'm a juvenile officer, though I've taken on the
whole case at this point," he told The Week Online. "My
first concern, which is still my primary concern here, is
the welfare of the child. He was put in danger, into a
situation where he could be robbed, and could have been
seriously injured." Detective Horton, who was not present
at the scene of the arrest, said that as of this time, no
charges have been filed against Mrs. Sullivan for her
attempt to buy the marijuana.

"With regard to the child, we've done what the law
requires," Detective Horton said. In North Carolina, the
law requires police to notify child welfare authorities
whenever child abuse charges are filed.

The incident highlights concerns that have led patients
throughout the nation to open up cooperatives and other
distribution networks to get marijuana to patients who would
otherwise have to go to the street.

Jeff Jones, Executive Director of the Oakland Cannabis
Buyers' Cooperative, told The Week Online, "If there were a
legal, regulated supplier for the people who are using
cannabis for legitimate medical purposes, incidents like
this one would simply not occur."

As to whether Mrs. Sullivan's medical need is legitimate,
her husband, who has been a tug boat captain for thirty-two
years, said there is simply no question.

"I've seen my wife in pain for a long time," he said. I
know that she suffers despite anything that the doctors have
prescribed. I don't use drugs of any kind myself, I can't
even tolerate aspirin, but there's no doubt that a little
marijuana makes all the difference in the world to my wife.
I wouldn't even allow the stuff in my house otherwise."

Mrs. Sullivan herself has spoken to her doctors about the
issue. "I've told every doctor that I've had that I use
marijuana and that it helps me. Not a single one of them
has ever told me to stop."

As to the propriety of having her 13 year-old grandson along
with her when she tried to make her purchase, Jones said the
law sets up an untenable situation.

"If Mrs. Sullivan were able to go to a pharmacy to get this,
there would be no question, not an eyebrow raised over
whether her grandson accompanied her," he said. "And no one
would be put at risk."

Detective Horton, however, said that the police don't have
the luxury of playing 'what-if.' "The fact is that this
woman put her grandson in harm's way, and that's what she's
been charged with," he said. "Neither Mrs. Sullivan nor her
grandson could describe their attackers, who were apparently
wearing ski masks over their faces. That doesn't mean that
we're not doing what we can to find and prosecute her
attackers. That investigation is ongoing. In the meantime,
our concern is with the child and his welfare."

Mrs. Sullivan now says that she wishes that her grandson
hadn't been with her that day. "I've gone over there so
many times with no problems. He was off from school and I
was taking care of him and I needed to go." But as to her
use of the plant itself, for her, the issue is one of both
principle and survival.

"I need (marijuana) to live my life. It's my health and
it's important to me. Now I don't have any, and I was
beaten up and robbed," she said, choking back tears. Asked
if she would go back to try to buy marijuana again, Mrs.
Sullivan was resolute. "As soon as I can."


4. California's Y2K (+1) Crisis
- Marc Brandl, brandl@drcnet.org

California is running out of prison space. Even after years
of a building frenzy during which construction on prisons
has outnumbered new colleges by 19 to 1, the state's prisons
will be filled to capacity by April of 2001. According to
the California secretary for state prisons, Robert Presley,
"By then, we will have exhausted every nook and cranny."

In anticipation of the crisis, "the [state prison] agency as
well as the administration is looking into a broad spectrum
of options," Lisa Buetler, an agency spokesperson, told the
Week Online. "These alternatives may include drug treatment
facilities and that sort of thing. At this time we are in
an exploratory phase and it would be premature to identify
anything specifically."

Currently, only one bill in the state legislature has
addressed the issue -- by proposing a $4 billion dollar
prison construction bond. That bill, introduced by
Assemblyman Bill Leonard (R-Rancho Cucamonga), would go
before voters in March of 2000.


5. Illinois Bill Criminalizes Marijuana Information on the

(reprinted from the NORML Weekly News, http://www.norml.org)

April 8, 1999, Springfield, IL: The state House of
Representatives unanimously approved legislation that would
impose criminal penalties on those who transmit information
pertaining to marijuana on the Internet if they "know that
the information will be used in furtherance of illegal

NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. noted, "Under
this measure, someone could legally transmit information
about potentially violent activities like building bombs,
but face criminal prosecution for posting messages about the
documented medical uses of marijuana. This is an attempt to
circumvent the first amendment guarantee of free speech by
turning the transmission of certain factual information via
the Internet into a 'thought crime.' Proponents of this
type of legislation are the equivalent of modern day book-

House Bill 792, introduced by Rep. Gerald Mitchell (R-Rock
Falls), seeks to make the transmission of "information about
cannabis by the Internet" a Class A misdemeanor if the
provider is aware the information could be used for an
illegal activity. The Senate Judiciary will hold hearings
on the proposal next Wednesday. The House approved the
measure 114 to zero.

To read more about H.B. 792 or additional pending state
marijuana legislation, visit the NORML website at


6. REPORT: Crises of the Anti-Drug Effort, 1999

Crises of the Anti-Drug Effort, 1999, a report by Chad
Thevenot of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, provides
a clear and comprehensive overview of drug policy and
proposed reforms for a lay person audience. The reader will
find detailed discussions of issues like mandatory minimum
sentencing, prison construction, racial disparities, police
corruption, the militarization of drug enforcement, civil
liberties, international drug policy, and alternatives to
the criminal justice approaches such as treatment, harm
reduction, medicalization and decriminalization.

Crises of the Anti-Drug Effort can be found online at
http://www.cjpf.org/crises, or e-mail rcthevenot@igc.org
or call (202) 312-2015 for a printed copy. Crises of the
Anti-Drug Effort would also make an ideal handout for public
events like speeches or meetings. Requests for multiple
copies will be considered on an individual basis; include a
description of where you intend to distribute them and how
many you need, and CJPF will let you know whether they can
provide them.


7. New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition -- ACTION ALERT

Newark City Councilman Luis Quintana will introduce to the
Newark City Council a resolution in support of syringe
exchange this week. Calls from those who live and work in
Newark should be made to all council members as soon as
possible. It is possible that this resolution could be
passed! Please help!

Donald Bradley, President, South Ward - (973) 733-8043
Augusto Amador, East Ward - (973) 733-3665
Cory Booker, Central Ward - (973) 733-6425
Mamie Bridgeforth, West Ward - (973) 733-3794
Anthony Carrino, North Ward - (973) 733-3753
Gayle H. Chaneyfield-Jenkins, At-Large - (973) 733-5136
Luis Quintana, At-Large - (973) 733-6427
Bessie Walker, At-Large - (973) 733-5870


8. Leaders of South American Indigenous Peoples Challenge
US Ayahuasca Patent
- Marc Brandl, brandl@drcnet.org

Ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic plant used for thousands of
years in tribal ceremonies in many regions of South America,
has moved from the spiritual to the legal world with a
challenge to a 1986 patent on the sacred plant.
Representatives of the coordinating body for the Indigenous
Organizations of the Amazon Basin came to Washington
recently to challenge the validity of the patent awarded to
a California pharmaceutical entrepreneur, Loren Miller.
Tribal leaders found out about the patent in 1994 and claim
it is a violation of their religion and culture.

Experts are troubled by the practice known as
bioprospecting. "We find it very troubling when an
individual basically claims something as a new creation when
it was derived from an indigenous populations culture and
history," said Roy Taylor, project director of the North
American Indigenous Peoples BioDiversity Project. "Where
are the profits going that may be derived from bringing a
patented substance to market? At a minimum, agreements
should be in place that are going to give some of these
profits back to the local indigenous population. But it
should always be up to the these populations whether they
want to give up these substances in the first place."

Jim Miller, head of the applied research department at the
Missouri Botanical Garden, voiced frustration at both sides.
"I understand and am sensitive to the concerns of indigenous
groups in South America that they have a sense of ownership
over a plant. But this was very clearly a flawed patent.
The owner of the patent realized it was flawed and never
used it. It strikes me as a pointless exercise to challenge
a patent that will expire in two years." Miller, who is
unrelated to the California entrepreneur, has visited South
America looking for plants with therapeutic potential.

Previous court decisions have said individuals and
businesses cannot patent a life form unless it is a
developed plant variety that is produced through a breeding
program that gives it special characteristics, or by
isolating derivatives of the plant.

Ayahuasca, also known as Yage, roughly translates into "vine
of the soul." The plant was first documented by westerners
in 1908 by English anthropologists exploring the Amazon
Basin. The plant's hallucinogenic qualities come from high
levels of a chemical compound known as DMT. Ayahuasca first
entered into the American conscious in the 1950's, when
surrealist writer William S. Burroughs described his
experiences with it in letters he sent to Beat poet Allen
Ginsberg, now known as "The Yage Letters."

The Autumn 1998 newsletter of the Multidisciplinary
Association of Psychedelic Studies includes extensive
discussion of the Ayahuasca plant, online at


9. EXHIBIT: Human Rights and the Drug War in Virginia

The Human Rights and the Drug War exhibit that is touring
Fairfax County was moved from the Chantilly Regional Library
on Saturday, March 27, 1999 and installed in the Kings Park
Community Library. The display will be there through April
30. Human Rights and the Drug War features pictures and
stories, of families affected by mandatory minimum
sentencing, charts explaining the cost of the drug war and
the prison industry, lengths of sentences for nonviolent
drug offenses as compared to violent crimes, and more.
Directions to the library can be found by visiting
http://www.co.fairfax.va.us/library/branches/menu.htm and
clicking on Chantilly Regional Library in the bottom left
hand corner. The library is located at 9000 Burke Lake
Road, Burke, VA 22015, (703) 978-5600.

Human Rights and the Drug War can also be viewed online at
http://www.hr95.org, and portions of it are included in
the book Shattered Lives: Portraits from America's Drug War
-- free from DRCNet to members donating $35 or more! Just
visit our signup page at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html
to get your copy and support DRCNet and the Human Rights
exhibit at the same time! Or just mail your check or money
order to: DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington DC
20036. Please note that donations to the Drug Reform
Coordination Network are not tax-deductible. To make a tax-
deductible donation to support our educational work, please
make your check payable to the DRCNet Foundation, mailed to
the same address.


10. Gore 2000 or Gore 1984?

The campaign to elect Al Gore as President in the United
States in 2000 has recently gone online, with a web site
featuring news, issue positions, mailing lists, pictures of
the Gore family, and a town hall forum for visitors to
express their views, at times even joining the Vice
President for a "live chat."

At least one portion of the web site, however, seems to have
less in common with the ideals of a new century than with
the "newspeak" of George Orwell's 1984, in which government
slogans such as "war is peace" and "freedom is slavery" were
used to redefine the people's perception of reality.

The News and Issues section of the Gore 2000 web site
proclaims that Al Gore has been champion of "progressive
ideals," including, among other things, "tougher punishment."

Two weeks ago, a report released by the Washington, DC-based
Justice Policy Institute revealed that the 1.8 million
inmates in US prisons and jails include 1 million people
whose offenses were nonviolent. (See the Week Online's
coverage at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/084.html#million.)
Overall, the US has the second highest incarceration rate in
the world, second only to Russia, and nationally, 1 in 3
young black men are in prison, jail, on probation or on
parole -- on any given day. The severity of mandatory
minimum drug sentencing and conditions in US prisons have
been criticized by human rights groups such as Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch.

Given the current state of crime and punishment in the US,
it may stretch things somewhat to classify even tougher
punishment as a "progressive ideal." Visit the Gore
campaign's online forum at http://www.gore2000.org/townhall/
and let the candidate know you're on to his word games!

(Note: DRCNet is non-partisan and does not endorse or oppose
political candidates at this time. We do encourage
candidates to take more thoughtful positions on drug policy
and crime issues.)


11. Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

The classic American author, Mark Twain, wrote that there
are "lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics." Two
publications for parents and teens by the National Institute
on Drug Abuse illustrate the point:

"Research shows that nearly 50 percent of teenagers try
marijuana before they graduate from high school." From
Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know, page 9.

"Most teenagers do not use marijuana. Fewer than one in
four high school seniors is a current marijuana user." From
Marijuana: Facts for Teens, page 3.

While the two statements are not incompatible, they do show
how numerical data can be used in isolation to support any
rhetorical point that the author wishes. When trying to
understand drug policy, always keep the big picture in mind.

Thanks to Shawn Heller of George Washington University
Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (http://gwu.edu/~ssdp)
for bringing this to our attention.


12. Cato Forums: Jesse Ventura, Prosecutorial Abuse,
Forfeiture Reform

April 13, 10:30am - 2:00pm, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Liberty
in the New Millennium, featuring Jesse Ventura, Governor of
Minnesota, Eric O'Keefe, author of Who Rules America: The
People vs. The Political Class, and Edward H. Crane, Mike
Tanner, and Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute. To be held
at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, 37 South 7th Street,
Minneapolis. To register and for further information on the
seminar, please call Lesley Albanese of the Cato Institute,
at (202) 789-5223 or e-mail lalbanes@cato.org.

April 14, 12:00 noon - 1:30pm, Washington, DC. Win at All
Costs: Prosecutorial Abuse in the Federal Courts, featuring
Bill Moushey, Staff Writer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Two
years ago, Moushey launched an investigation of federal
prosecutorial practices, and published his disturbing
findings in a collection of 10 articles titled Win at All
Costs. Moushey documents how government officials have
lied, hidden evidence, distorted facts, engaged in cover-
ups, and set up innocent people in a relentless effort to
win indictments, guilty pleas, and convictions. Victims of
that misconduct have sometimes lost their jobs, their
assets, and even their families. At the Cato Institute,
1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW, business attire requested. To
register, call Laura Cooper at (202) 789-5229, fax (202)
371-0841, or e-mail lcooper@cato.org.

May 3, 9:00am - 1:30pm, Washington, DC. Forfeiture Reform:
Now, or Never? A half-day conference sponsored by Cato's
Center for Constitutional Studies featuring Rep. Henry J.
Hyde, Stefan Cassella, Ira Glasser, Gordon Kromberg, James
H.Warner, Samuel J. Buffone, and Roger Pilon. For further
info, visit http://www.cato.org/events/ccs99/ on the web,
call (202)218-4633 or e-mail forfeit@cato.org.


13. EDITORIAL: There Oughta Be a Law: Protecting the Masses
From Themselves

Adam J. Smith, Associate Director, ajsmith@drcnet.org

As we near the end of the 20th century, one thing is clear.
America has evolved. In the old days, people were on their
own. Government, small in size and limited in ambition, was
both unable and unwilling to truly take care of its
citizens. People were left to fend for themselves, babes in
the woods, vulnerable and alone.

But no more. Now we have agencies, hundreds and hundreds of
federal bureaucracies taking care of each and every need and
working to insure that no American ever falls victim to
anything, anywhere, so long as the government can make them
avoid it.

Sometime during this century, the government in its ever-
expanding, nearly-infinite wisdom, came to the conclusion
that what Americans need most from their leaders is to be
protected from stupidity. This would seem to make sense.
When the person who designs a building, produces a baby
carriage, or builds a car is an idiot, bad things happen.
But stupid people like these are pretty much accounted for
by tort law, leaving hardly a role for all of those
government employees and officials. Not to worry, however,
because when it comes to stupidity, the government is the

As it turns out, there is a whole genre of stupidity for
which there is no recourse in tort law. Namely, acts of
stupidity committed against oneself. Surely no one can sue
themselves, and so without the government, Americans would
be left to the mercies of their own glaring misjudgments.

But where to start? Well, back in the day, it seemed that a
lot of Americans were destroying themselves with demon rum.
What followed was a 13-year experiment in ministering to the
witless masses. We banned the stuff. But this was not
enough, the public being even less intelligent than the
government had thought. So we hired more people, smart
people, to help enforce the ban. No dice. The people's
stupidity was so pervasive, in fact, that it was apparently
contagious, with government agents, almost en masse,
covertly succumbing to the overwhelming temptation to be

"OK," the government said, "we'll start smaller." And they
did. Drugs, other than alcohol, were being used by a far
smaller segment of the idiots. So they concentrated their
efforts there.

Over the years, our government, already smart enough to tell
us what and what not to do, learned to be persistent. So
for seventy years, in the face of tremendous odds and a
population resistant to even the most extreme re-education
measures, they have added bureaucrats and agencies and
prisons and laws. Because drugs are bad for Americans, and
because Americans, even after all these years, are too
brain-dead to know it.

Now our leaders are ready to help us some more. Smoking is
bad, and so taxes have been raised. But that isn't working,
so even now the rumblings can be heard from corners of the
government that are ready, happily, to ban the stuff and to
take on the task of adding agencies and people and laws and
prisons. For our own good, of course.

Fatty foods are also becoming a concern, what with all of
those Americans who are not bright enough to stay thin. And
somewhere, in a windowless office, there's a government
employee with a pad and a pencil and an actuarial table and
a hotline to Congress who's making a list of other
activities that Americans wouldn't participate in if only
they had big brains like those geniuses in government.

Skiing, skateboarding, skydiving, rock climbing, eating raw
seafood, eating raw eggs, eating rare meat, eating any meat,
boxing, riding bicycles without full body armor, dieting
(it's a gateway to anorexia), looking at pornography (they
know it when they see it), reading stupid theories (they'll
let us know) and communicating in any medium that the
government cannot directly monitor are all on the list. And
the list, you can be sure, is growing.

Yes, America has certainly evolved. Why, it was only a
couple of generations ago when any old idiot could take it
upon himself to make decisions and take actions that were
clearly, to the discerning eye of the mercifully informed,
way too dangerous to be trusted to such dimwits. Not now.
Not anymore. Now, in the kinder, gentler, ever-safer
America, our leaders have committed themselves to our
protection. And, they'll spare no expense to do so. No
matter how many of us have to be fined, or locked up, or
executed. What a convenience it is to have all of these
brain-wracking decisions made for us. Our government. We
truly don't deserve them.


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DrugSense Weekly, No. 93 (The original summary of drug policy news from
DrugSense opens with the weekly Feature Article, a Statement to the U.N.
Commission on Narcotic Drugs, in Vienna, by Andria Efthimiou-Mordaunt. The
Weekly News in Review features several articles on Drug War Policy,
including - U.S. targets drugs, violence in schools, crime; Federal officials
forge anti-drug partnership with Maryland, Oregon; General sends anti-drug
message to kids; and, Drug war without a plan. Articles about Law
Enforcement & Prisons include - Drug seizure money bypassing schools; Drug
dealers' property on auction block; Providence police lack records on seized
cars; We're all prisoners of our incarceration policies; and an editorial,
Enough prisons? Pieces about Cannabis & Hemp include - When the means clash
with the ends; The smoke clears: marijuana can be medicinal, but the smoke is
not; and, Farmers lobby to legalize the growing of hemp. International News
includes - Peruvian police seize two tons of cocaine; Thai villagers killed
in apparent drugs dispute; Tories demand life sentences to combat drugs
menace; 'Too pure' heroin claims 14 lives; Australia: More teenage girls
using illicit drugs; and an Australian editorial: The PM must listen on
drugs. Two items in the weekly Hot Off The 'Net note DrugSense is now
providing web services for MarijuanaNews.com; and how Peter McWilliams'
"Online Mall" helps support his case. The Tip of the Week provides a URL for
the War on Drugs Clock, a good way to make a quick point. The Fact of the
Week documents that the IOM Report is not new information with an excerpt
from the 1972 Shafer Commission report. The Quote of the Week cites Albert

From: webmaster@drugsense.org (DrugSense)
To: newsletter@drugsense.org
Subject: DrugSense Weekly, April 9,1999, #93
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 10:50:58 -0700
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/
Lines: 888
Sender: owner-newsletter@drugsense.org
Reply-To: mgreer@drugsense.org




DrugSense Weekly, April 9, 1999 #93

A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org

This Publication May Be Read On-line at:


Please consider writing a letter to the editor using the email
addresses on any of the articles below. Send a copy of your LTE to



* Feature Article

Statement To The Commission On Narcotic Drugs, Vienna (U.N)
by Andria Efthimiou-Mordaunt

* Weekly News in Review

Drug War Policy-

(1) U.S. Targets Drugs, Violence in Schools, Crime
(2) Federal Officials Forge Anti-Drug Partnership With Maryland, Oregon
(3) General Sends Anti-Drug Message to Kids
(4) Drug War Without a Plan

Law Enforcement & Prisons-

(5) Drug Seizure Money Bypassing Schools
(6) Drug Dealers' Property on Auction Block
(7) Providence Police Lack Records on Seized Cars
(8) We're All Prisoners of Our Incarceration Policies
(9) Editorial: Enough Prisons?

Cannabis & Hemp-

(10) When The Means Clash With the Ends
(11) The Smoke Clears: Marijuana Can Be Medicinal, But The Smoke is Not
(12) Farmers Lobby To Legalize The Growing Of Hemp

International News-

(13) Peruvian Police Seize Two Tons of Cocaine
(14) Thai Villagers Killed in Apparent Drugs Dispute
(15) Tories Demand Life Sentences to Combat Drugs Menace
(16) 'Too Pure' Heroin Claims 14 Lives
(17) Australia: More Teenage Girls Using Illicit Drugs
(18) Australia: Editorial: The PM Must Listen on Drugs

* Hot Off The 'Net

DrugSense Hosts MarijuanaNews.com
Peter McWilliams "Online Mall" Helps Support His Case

* Tip of the Week

War on Drugs Clock a Good Way to Make a Quick Point

* Fact of the Week

The IOM Report is Not New Information

* Quote of the Week

Albert Einstein




The following was read to the Commission on the 19th of March @
5.15 pm!


"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for allowing me
to address you here today. My name is Andria Efthimiou-Mordaunt and I
am a member of the International Coalition of Non-Governmental
Organisations working towards a just and effective drugs policy.
I am also an ex-injection drug-user living with Hepatitis C, and I
lost my husband to AIDS 4 years ago.

I have been working in drug projects in London, mainly, for the last
12 years. I was also involved with the European Working Party on
HIV/Drug-Use which worked on various documents whose aims were to
accelerate the process by which HIV prevention programs could be
implemented. We were commissioned by the EC to write a memorandum,
which we made into a book entitled, "The situation for drug-users
in Europe." I am now managing an advocacy and skills program for
addicts affected by HIV and/or Hepatitis in London, and we are
supported by a few UK agencies. Indeed we arranged for an American
colleague with AIDS to address you at UNGASS last June in New York,
which I believe she did graciously.

In several years of conference-attending I hear repeatedly the
intention of countries, governments, agencies, the expressed desire
to include the voices of those directly affected by drugs - people
who use them, people with HIV and other viral infections. However, I
very rarely see them in these fora. Indeed I've often secretly asked
myself what carries me to be here with you today and on other
occasions. Clearly it is much to with my husband, John's death. But
it is also these policies that you will decide upon in these
rooms will directly affect me and my community as they will ALL of
us, perhaps, for many years to come. Therefore it is incumbent on me
to take responsibility and address this prestigious audience of

I am not a VIP; I wouldn't even call myself an expert on drug policy
but I have extensive experience of working in the front line of
drug-services where the action really takes place. I have also
watched so many of my friends die from AIDS and/or from overdoses,
that may have been prevented if only they knew what they were doing.

In the country I come from, England, we have implemented
needle-exchange programs for well over a decade, with the result that
injectors have a very low rate of seroprevalence amongst them. Indeed
it is approximately 5%, as opposed to 30% in one of our largest
member states {[I was coerced into not saying America. It was either
say it and perhaps not be able to get in there again or don't say it.
so..]} where the government is STILL refusing to fund
needle-exchange. I do not believe it is extreme to say that this is
a slow form of murder on minority communities , as it is they who are
most acutely affected by AIDS, Hepatitis and other blood-borne
infections. Of course, we as individuals must take responsibility for
our own health, but I would ask you as the CND to address this issue
of intransigence that some governments have on needle-exchange
programs. I believe it is a form of societal blindness that all
countries do not include in their drug treatment services, Harm
Reduction measures, which very significantly reduce the death,
disease and crime related to drug-use.

How does HR reduce drug-related deaths then? if people know what they
are drinking, injecting or smoking as in having medically prescribed
drugs/medications given to them by doctors, they do not have to
overdose or poison themselves; as you may well be aware, it is not
uncommon for illicit drugs to be cut with all manner of intoxicants
and/or lethal poisons. If people know what they are putting into
their bodies, they can make conscious decisions about it and act

How do harm reduction measures reduce the crime? It is a
well-established fact that acquisitive crime in many countries is
directly related to addictive drug-use. People who are dependent on
drugs to live are often driven to despair, trying to buy drugs where
they cannot afford the exorbitant prices of the streets; some of them
commit petty robberies, or sell sex and drugs to support their drug
habits. This is a tragedy, that I'm sure you will all agree with me,
when I ask why we do not implement strategies which we know work?

FRONT LINES. So we do want to engage MORE drug users in treatment, and
we know from 10-15 years experience that harm reduction is one way to
do this. Finally, we would ask you to consider the following if HR
programs are engaging more drug-users in treatment, why do we not
implement these programs globally? Is this really too much to ask?


Perhaps the questions we really must be asking are to do with why
people want to take drugs in the first place; to do with poverty, and
other social and cultural disadvantages? Why do people feel the need
to "get out of their minds" and lose contact with reality? What is it
that is so painful about reality, that it is so difficult to cope
with? Until we answer these questions, will be like some addicts, in
the maze of confusion and pain that they feel powerless to get out
of. For this ex-addict it is way past time that we started to ask the
right questions?

Thank-you very much for listening to me."

I don't think this is even close to the way to the way John used to
address this folk but perhaps it's getting there. It's my hope and
prayer that this will encourage other addicts to get out there and
speak to these people ...so many of them seem to not know what
they're doing. IT's A SHAME




Domestic News- Policy


COMMENT: (1-4)

Last week, the Balkan crisis pushed everything else off front pages,
but articles in the middle of many papers suggested that ONDCP is
stepping up its campaign to frighten and blame parents by suggesting
that if their kids use illegal drugs it's because they weren't talked
to properly- not because of an a flourishing black market created by
unwise policy.

Articles from around the country illustrate a similar pattern: the
federal government attempting to develop local allies; not mentioned
in the Florida article: the proposed state drug czar is James
McDonough, a McCaffrey clone from ONDCP.



$300 million in grants is meant to support programs that are proved
effective, officials say. Some experts, citing track record, are

WASHINGTON Spurred by last year's spate of school yard shootings,
federal officials committed $300 million in new grants Thursday to
school districts that can demonstrate effective ways of combating
violence and drugs.

The program will provide up to $3 million per year for three years to
50 public districts that, through an application process, can put
together a comprehensive strategy in areas such as gang intervention,
school security, mental health treatment and mentoring.


Pubdate: Fri, 2 April 1999
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times.
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: (213) 237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Forum: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/DISCUSS/
Author: ERIC LICHTBLAU, Times Staff Writer
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n370.a04.html



ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Federal drug czar Barry McCaffrey signed an
agreement Friday with Maryland to make the state, along with Oregon, a
national model for a joint federal-state partnership in the battle
against drug abuse.


McCaffrey said the nation's drug problems cannot be solved by the
federal government.

"At the end of the day, the drug problem will be solved by the counties
and cities of Maryland...," McCaffrey said.


Pubdate: Sat, 3 Apr 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press
Author: Tom Stuckey, Associated Press Writer
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n378.a05.html



SOUTHINGTON - The nation's anti-drug chief, General Barry R. McCaffrey,
director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy,
warned grass-roots activists and community leaders of the consequences
of drug use in our country.

"We have more people behind bars than we do in the armed forces and
it's going to go up if we don't do something about it," he said at the
Aqua Turf Club Wednesday night.


Source: Meriden Record-Journal, The (CT)
Copyright: 1999, The Record-Journal Publishing Co.
Address: 11 CrownStreet, P.O. Box 915, Meriden, CT 06450
Fax: (203) 639-0210
Feedback: http://www.record-journal.com/rj/contacts/letters.html
Website: http://www.record-journal.com/
Author: Donna Porstner
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n366.a02.html




Coordinated strategy may be more effective in curbing abuse.

A city commissioner wants the chief to prove the police department's
prevention programs work. A child-abuse investigator needs help
justifying to a court her decision to put the child of an alcoholic
mother in foster care.

In today's show-me-the-results society, such questions arise every day.
Life-altering decisions are based on such statistics. But what if they
aren't there? What if nobody knows which programs work and which don't?

That's how it is in Florida, where 14 state agencies, thousands of
private nonprofit social-service organizations and hundreds of police
departments try to cope with the drug problem.


Pubdate: Thu, 01 Apr 1999
Source: Miami Herald (FL)
Copyright: 1999 The Miami Herald
Contact: heralded@herald.com
Website: http://www.herald.com/
Forum: http://krwebx.infi.net/webxmulti/cgi-bin/WebX?mherald
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n367.a05.html


Law Enforcement & Prisons


COMMENT: (5-9)

DrugSense Weekly, #081 (January 14, 1999), cited a series by Kansas
City Star reporter Karen Dillon on collusion between local police and
DEA officials to divert forfeiture revenue from schools. It's hardly
surprising that the technique is being used elsewhere.

Just what forfeiture may represent can be inferred from totals in a
small Pennsylvania county; the body of the article indicates that the
money raised is but a fraction of the property's replacement value.

The Providence experience suggests that the forfeiture scam has been
very loosely monitored nearly everywhere; in the aggregate, it's a
powerful inducement favoring "drug enforcement" over other types of

The prison issue remains alive; Jerry Large's column presents a
slightly different take on a problem which has received considerable
attention since December '98.

Finally, a thoughtful editorial in the Fresno Bee illustrating the
ripple effect of influential op-eds; it cited John Di Iulio's recent
WSJ piece (DSW #91), before raising a subject which would have been
heretofore unthinkable in the Central Valley: reversal of prison



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.


Pubdate: 4 Apr 1999
Source: Omaha World-Herald (NE)
Copyright: 1999 Omaha World-Herald Company.
Contact: pulse@owh.com
Website: http://www.omaha.com/
Forum: http://chat.omaha.com/
Author: Patrick Strawbridge
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n380.a10.html



BRISTOL TOWNSHIP -- Those of us in the market for a pair of size 10
men's Gucci loafers, queen-size satin sheets or a 1989 Geo Spectrum
just got lucky.

In a case of Miami Vice meets Monty Hall, the Bucks County District
Attorney's Office will auction off personal property seized from
convicted drug dealers during the last eight months.

Scheduled for April 24 in Bristol Township, the auction is the 16th in
a series that since 1987 has generated $745,342 to pay for undercover
narcotics investigations and crime-fighting equipment in the county.

And $872,909 more has been raised by auctioning seized real estate.


Pubdate: Thu, 1 Apr 1999
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)
Copyright: 1999 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.
Contact: Inquirer.Opinion@phillynews.com
Website: http://www.phillynews.com/
Forum: http://interactive.phillynews.com/talk-show/
Author: Mark Binker
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n370.a07.html



The Department's Failure To Account For Hundreds Of Cars Comes To Light
After Questions Are Raised About The Trail Of A 1991 Honda Seized In A
Drug Case.

PROVIDENCE -- Over the past eight years, the Providence Police
Department says, it has sold 250 cars seized in drug arrests.

But the department has almost no records of how much the cars were sold
for, or who bought them.


Pubdate: 3 Apr 1999
Source: Providence Journal-Bulletin (RI)
Copyright: 1999 The Providence Journal Company
Contact: letters@projo.com
Website: http://projo.com/
Author: W. Zachary Malinowski and Jonathan D. Rockoff, Journal Staff Writers
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n373.a01.html



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'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.


Pubdate: Sun, 4 Apr 1999
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
Author: Jerry Large, Times Staff Columnist
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n377.a02.html



Over the last two decades we Americans showed our disgust with crime in
a very American way: We threw money at the problem, most notably by
turning prisons and jails into a growth industry. Now, with the crime
rate falling and the number of Americans behind bars at 1.8 million,
more than the combined populations of Alaska, North Dakota and Wyoming,
there's a budding sense on both left and right that the law, of
diminishing returns applies as much to imprisonment as other human


Having learned to deploy that language in ways that appealed to voters,
politicians face the risky challenge of backing away from the words
when they no longer fit the policy facts. As hard as that will be, it's
an essential job for the state's and nation's leaders if we are to stop
throwing money in the wrong place.


Pubdate: 3 Apr 1999
Source: Fresno Bee, The (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Fresno Bee
Contact: letters@fresnobee.com
Website: http://www.fresnobee.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n377.a04.html


Cannabis & Hemp


COMMENT: (10-13)

The IOM report continued to receive thoughtful analysis from some,
while those of a more prohibitionist mind-set predictably seized upon
the smoking issue to downplay its (timid) recommendation that Cannabis
be made available for those with a demonstrated need.

The irrationality of our policy towards therapeutic Cannabis is
exactly mirrored by the irrationality of our policy toward hemp
agriculture. Economic realities along the Canadian border are now
putting pressure on that particular doctrine.



While I was off examining my navel in Indiana, the results of two
important studies that arrived at uncomfortable conclusions were made

The first, conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, said flatly
that marijuana eases pain and quells nausea in cancer and AIDS patients
and that there is no clear evidence that smoking it leads to
consumption of heroin, cocaine or other narcotics. The "drug war"
commandos are going to have a tough time ignoring this study since it
was commissioned by Barry McCaffrey, head of the Office of National
Drug Control Policy, and its findings are backed by an impressive panel
of 35 experts who spent 18 months taking public testimony and
evaluating scientific studies on marijuana.

But authorities already are running away from their own study because
its conclusions don't square with conventional thinking or
administration policy.


Pubdate: Thu, 1 Apr 1999
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)
Copyright: 1999 Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Contact: editpage@seattle-pi.com
Website: http://www.seattle-pi.com/
Author: Christopher S. Wren, The New York Times
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n366.a06.html



A new report on marijuana by the Institutes of Medicine offers a
rational approach to one of the nation's most controversial substances.
In the most comprehensive review to date by a panel of distinguished
medical experts, the IOM has concluded that certain chemicals inside
marijuana known as THC and cannabinoids are, indeed, medicine. The
medical challenge now is to isolate all of marijuana's helpful
ingredients from the harmful ones in some new form, such as a pill or
vapor that is inhaled. The political challenge is how to handle
marijuana in the coming years (and they may be many) before a real
alternative to the joint is on the market.


Pubdate: Tue, 30 March 1999
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Sacramento Bee
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Address: P.O.Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852
Feedback: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Forum: http://www.sacbee.com/voices/voices_forum.html
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n363.a08.html



BISMARCK, N.D. -- Dennis Carlson sold his first wheat, grown on a field
borrowed from his parents, in 1975, when he was 14 years old. He earned
$4.51 a bushel and resolved to follow his father, grandfather and
great-grandfather into farming.

Nearly 24 years later, spring wheat is selling for $2.91 a bushel, and
Carlson worries whether he can afford to plant next month. "We're going
to get a low price," he said. "And if we get a bumper crop, it's going
to get lower."

Battered by sinking commodity prices and rising costs, Carlson and
other wheat farmers are looking across the Canadian border at a crop
they say could help save them -- if only it were legal. That crop is
hemp, a non-intoxicating look-alike cousin of marijuana grown around
the world for its fiber, seed and oil.


Pubdate: Thu, 01 Apr 1999
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Forum: http://forums.nytimes.com/comment/
Author: Christopher S. Wren
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n367.a02.html


International News


COMMENT: (13-18)

Two nations McCzar often cites as drug war successes were in last
week's news; there was a large cocaine seizure in Lima, despite Peru's
oft alleged success in reducing cultivation - must have come from
Colombia. Ditto, Thailand, frequently asserted to have dealt
successfully with its drug problem (but with zero supporting evidence).

In the English-speaking world, cheap, pure heroin continues to kill
the unwary and inspire politicians to a US-style "tough on drugs,"
response, but without noticeable benefit. What is different is that a
newspaper would take such direct issue with the responsible
functionary - in this case, Australian Prime Minister Howard.



LIMA, April 1 (Reuters) - Peruvian police on Thursday made the largest
cocaine seizure in the Andean country in four years, discovering more
than two tons (tonnes) of the drug hidden among fish in a refrigerated
storage container, authorities said.


Pubdate: 2 Apr 1999
Source: Reuters
Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited.
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n369.a04.html



BANGKOK, - Suspected guerrillas have raided a Thai village near the
Myanmar border, taking hostages and killing nine in an apparent drug
trafficking dispute, police said on Friday.

A group of about 30 gunmen, believed to be members of the United Wa
State Army, attacked Maesoon village in Chiangmai province, about 750
km (469 miles) north of Bangkok late on Thursday, they said.


Pubdate: Fri, 02 Apr 1999
Source: Reuters
Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited.
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n371.a08.html



DRUG dealers convicted for the second time should be given mandatory
life sentences, the leader of the Scottish Tory party said yesterday.

In the toughest and most radical stance taken by any political party on
Scotland's drug problem, David McLetchie advocated a 'two strikes and
you're out' sentencing approach to dealers.


Pubdate: Sun, 28 March 1999
Source: Scotland On Sunday (UK)
Contact: letters_sos@scotsman.com
Author: Lorna Hill, Political Correspondent
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n363.a06.html



Abnormally pure batches of heroin circulating in two cities have
claimed 14 victims in two months, police revealed yesterday.

Two men in Bristol have died after injecting the drug in the past two
days, bringing the number of deaths from heroin in the city since the
start of February to 10. In Manchester four people have overdosed in
less than three weeks.


Pubdate: 3 Apr 1999
Source: Guardian, The (UK)
Copyright: Guardian Media Group 1999
Contact: letters@guardian.co.uk
Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
Author: Sarah Hall
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n372.a10.html



Heroin and cannabis use among teenage girls in Australia has risen
dramatically in recent years, according to a Federal Government survey
released yesterday.

The figures, which come a week before the Prime Minister unveils a new
strategy in his war on drugs, show 46 per cent of the population in
Australia admitted last year to having used illicit drugs - up from
39.3 per cent in 1995.


Pubdate: Thu, 1 Apr 1999
Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
Contact: letters@smh.fairfax.com.au
Website: http://www.smh.com.au/
Author: Mark Metherell
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n382.a04.html



The Prime Minister should heed the advice of others on this problem if
he is to lead on it.


...Mr Howard's advocacy of punitive measures smacks of the sort of
thinking that has driven the fight against drugs in this country for
decades. It is an approach that has demonstrably failed. Drugs -
especially heroin - have become more readily available and cheaper on
Australian streets than ever before. The number of young people dying
as a consequence has risen at an alarming rate. A prohibitive regime
alone does not and cannot work. By enunciating such views yet again, Mr
Howard sends all sorts of messages, particularly to the young: that he
is out of touch with street realities, that he is stubborn in his
refusal to accept the advice and views of others more experienced in
the drugs question, that he is reluctant to let go of an approach that
belongs to the 1950s and not the 1990s.


Pubdate: Tue, 6 Apr 1999
Source: Age, The (Australia)
Copyright: 1999 David Syme & Co Ltd
Contact: letters@theage.fairfax.com.au
Website: http://www.theage.com.au/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n382.a02.html




DrugSense Hosts MarijuanaNews.com

DrugSense is proud to announce that it has become the host of and now
provides the web resources for MarijuanaNews.com at

This important site, created and run by Richard Cowan, provides a great
resource for marijuana news, issues and comment. We are delighted to be
able to offer this support.


Peter McWilliams writes:

I have opened Online the McWilliams Mall, a place where you can buy
practically anything. Please browse around and see the range of stores,
and the next time you're in the market for something, kindly buy it at
the McWilliams Mall. It will cost you no more than if you visited that
store directly, and I'll get a percentage. (This will help to defend
the legal MMJ case against McWilliams)

If you have a web page and can post a link to the McWilliams Mall, that
would be most appreciated.





War on Drugs Clock a Good Way to Make a Quick Point

The War on Drugs Clock at: http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm
is a great way to quickly make a point to those who are uninformed
about the devastating impact drug policy is having on our country.

A great way to spend a little free time is to go to the media email
list at http://www.mapinc.org/resource/email.htm then select some
newspaper email addresses and send off a short note something like this:

Would you like to see billions of dollars and thousands of lives going
down the drain as you watch? Please visit the "War on Drugs" Clock at:


Fact of the Week


The IOM Report is Not New Information

Commissioned by President Nixon in 1972, the National Commission on
Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded that "Marihuana's relative potential
for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact
on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and
firmly punish those who use it. This judgment is based on prevalent use
patterns, on behavior exhibited by the vast majority of users and on
our interpretations of existing medical and scientific data. This
position also is consistent with the estimate by law enforcement
personnel that the elimination of use is unattainable."

Source: Shafer, Raymond P., et al, Marihuana: A Signal of
Misunderstanding, Ch. V, Washington D.C.: National Commission on
Marihuana and Drug Abuse, (1972).




"Insanity ... Continuing to do the same things and expecting different
results." -- Albert Einstein


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