------------------------------------------------------------------- After 11 years, man has "LSD" tattoo removed from forehead - free (The Associated Press says that thanks to a White Bird counselor, a dermatologist and a PeaceHealth hospital policy of community service, Curtis Surpless of Eugene is getting rid of the tattoo he received at the age of 16. Surpless started using hallucinogenic mushrooms when he was 9 and is currently in rehab, but the tattoo drew tons of unwanted attention and derision. Cops searched him. Workers at McDonald's and Greyhound refused to serve him. Even a Eugene Mission employee checked with a superior before helping him when he arrived in March.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Sat, Apr 10 1999 Source: The Associated Press (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Associated Press Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: no byline After 11 years, man has "LSD" tattoo removed from forehead - free EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- What's left of his tattoo is covered by protective cream and nonstick gauze. And the bandage is covered by the striped stocking cap that Curtis Surpless has long pulled down to cover the mistake he made as a 16-year-old. The letters LSD, 1 1/4 -inches high, are tattooed across his forehead. Thanks to a White Bird counselor, a dermatologist and a PeaceHealth hospital policy of community service, Surpless has a chance to shed a label that has marked his life for 11 years. "I don't like looking in mirrors," Surpless said, "because I don't want to see it." But other people do, and they judge him for it. So Hershel Bloom, the White Bird counselor, contacted Dr. Jay Park, a dermatologist at PeaceHealth. Park had done his residency at Stanford University and removed tattoos from Bay Area gang members who wanted to leave the gang life. He doesn't know if Surpless will get his life on track once his tattoo is removed but is certain the young man has no chance if it remains. "It's an extreme case," Park before beginning the surgery Thursday. As best Surpless can recall, he started with hallucinogenic mushrooms when he was 9 and graduated to LSD. "Curtis is a good person with good energy, and he has a lot going for him," Bloom said. "We're in the midst of a long, difficult process." Surpless participates in Chrysalis, a drug treatment program next-door to White Bird, a cooperative that supplies free and low-cost health services. He's in the early drug-free phase at Chrysalis. Surpless had tried to get rid of the tattoo before but had no money and couldn't find a doctor willing to do it for free. The tattoo was a bad idea, Surpless said. It drew tons of unwanted attention and derision. Cops searched him. Workers at McDonald's and Greyhound refused to serve him. Even a Eugene Mission employee checked with a superior before helping him when he arrived in March. He earns his keep at the mission through night cleanup and likes passing out towels as the men head to the shower, entertaining them with tunes by The Doors and Buddy Holly. Lynn Antis, operations manager at the Eugene Mission, has seen Surpless struggle socially. "Because," Antis said, "there's only a certain element of people who are willing to hang around him. I think getting that tattoo that label, that stigma, that thing that repulses employers and other people off his head will open a lot of doors." Park, the dermatologist, explained the laser procedure: A laser shoots concentrated light that passes through the top layer of the skin. The energy shatters the ink granules into particles small enough for his white blood cells to chew up. Surpless' body will work at removing the ink particles over several weeks, lightening the marks. The tattoo was low-quality and will require three to five short treatments, spaced at least a month apart. "I don't have any unrealistic fantasies that we'll treat one tattoo and his life will start anew," Park said. "It's a chance, a start, a break maybe significant, maybe not; but it can set him in the right direction." Will it? "Believe me, it will," Surpless said Thursday, walking from the PeaceHealth downtown clinic, the first zapping behind him. He bounded up the steps at White Bird. He then stopped at Bloom's office to retrieve the black satchel neatly filled with his clothes and papers. He proudly pulled out a form from Lane Community College congratulating him that he'd been accepted for the summer term. And if anyone thinks he's a flake taking advantage of a generous doctor? "Give me a break," Surpless said in a rush of words. "I've been traveling with this stupid thing on my head for 11 years." (c) 1999 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- San Mateo County Wants Pot Study (The San Francisco Examiner recounts the recent news about San Mateo County, just south of San Francisco, seeking permission from the federal government to carry out its own research to document the efficacy of medical marijuana.) Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 07:47:31 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: San Mateo County Wants Pot Study Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: April 10, 1999 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Examiner Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Forum: http://examiner.com/cgi-bin/WebX SAN MATEO COUNTY WANTS POT STUDY Redwood City - San Mateo County is asking federal officials to approve a study researching the effects of medical use of marijuana. The study would involve about 60 patients with cancer and other illnesses and would be administered by the county's Health Department, said Supervisor Mike Nevin. "What we're trying to do from a local level is lead the federal government to do the research to determine if it's worthy of a pharmaceutical designation," Nevin said Friday. "I think the evidence is there." The application was submitted to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which provides marijuana for research purposes, about two weeks ago. NIDA is expected to make a decision within a few weeks, said Nevin, who also serves on a state task force studying how to better implement Proposition 215, which allows patients to have and grow marijuana but does not address how it is to be distributed. The Food and Drug Administration would still have to give its own approval. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, despite ballot measures approving its use in Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Federalizing Crime (A staff editorial in the Houston Chronicle praises the American Bar Association's recent report on the trend in Washington, D.C., to federalize local crime problems. While 95 percent of all crime is prosecuted by the states and only 5 percent or less by the federal government, federalization has led to an unhealthy concentration of policing power at the federal level, clogged the dockets of federal courts and created disparate sentences for similarly accused defendants. Congress and President Clinton should stop the inappropriate federalization of criminal activities and let states combat local crime.) Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 10:39:45 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Editorial: Federalizing Crime Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: GALAN@prodigy.net (G. A ROBISON) Pubdate: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Forum: http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html FEDERALIZING CRIME Disrupting Balance Between Federal And State Systems The American criminal justice system throughout history has recognized the wisdom of leaving general police powers with the states. Our forefathers did not want -- indeed, were fearful of -- one great, centralized police authority. Overall, the principle that states have primary responsibility to combat criminal activity has worked well for the public's safety and the administration of justice. But during the last quarter of a century or so, a pervasive trend has gathered force in Washington, D.C., -- the federalization of local crime. Many crimes that were once dealt with as state crimes have been deemed federal crimes. Federal criminal laws now overlap many state criminal laws, often carrying broadly different terms of sentencing. There are distinct federal crimes, of course, crimes that involve interstate commerce or flight, crimes committed on federal property or against federal employees and violations of civil rights laws. But Congress has gone too far in bowing to pressure to make local crimes, covered by state criminal laws, into federal crimes. The American Bar Association has studied the federalization of the crime and is concerned that the trend is not only dangerous to the constitutional balance between the federal and state systems, but also damaging to successful prosecution. The ABA's Criminal Justice Section found that crimes are made federal offences without demand by law enforcement officials. It also found no persuasive evidence that federalizing crime makes American streets any safer or has any appreciable effect on the volume of violent crimes. The fact is that 95 percent of all crime is prosecuted by the states. Only 5 percent or less is prosecuted by the federal government. Federalization has led to an unhealthy concentration of policing power at the federal level, clogged the dockets of federal courts and created the potential of disparate sentences on similarly accused defendants, depending on whether they are selected for state or federal prosecution, the ABA found. Clearly, there are crimes that only the federal government can address. Federal resources should be focused on those crimes. The nation does not need overlapping and redundant sets of criminal laws or enforcement authorities. Congress and President Clinton should stop the inappropriate federalization of criminal activities and let states combat local crime. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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