------------------------------------------------------------------- Fundamentally Flawed (A letter to the editor of Willamette Week, in Portland, criticizes the task force created by Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers that has proposed legislation to coerce patients with severe mental illnesses to take psychiatric drugs. The only way the mental-health system knows how to "treat" people is with powerful drugs. Many mental-health clients reject these drugs not because of "side effects" but because of real effects that can be painful, permanently disfiguring or even result in death.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Wed, Apr 14 1999 Source: Willamette Week (OR) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 822 SW 10th Ave., Portland, OR 97205 Fax: (503) 243-1115 Website: http://www.wweek.com/ Author: Pat Risser, West Linn (a suburb south of Portland) Fundamentally Flawed I am writing regarding the March 24, 1999, article by Maureen O'Hagan in Willamette Week titled "Unlocking Doors." Regarding Attorney General Hardy Myers' task force recommendations, Ms. O'Hagan wrote, "It was hammered out over an 18-month period by the best thinkers and strongest advocates in the field, people Myers himself appointed as part of a blue-ribbon task force." Unfortunately, this "blue-ribbon task force" was fundamentally flawed. Imagine a task force to develop changes to Oregon laws regarding access issues for people in wheelchairs. It is absurd to envision such a task force comprised of a sole person in a wheelchair while the remainder are able-bodied. Only one person on the task force was a recovered mental patient. The task force suggests the use of legislated force or coercion to get people to take psychiatric drugs. The only way the mental-health system knows how to "treat" people is with powerful drugs. Many mental-health clients reject these drugs not because of "side effects" but because of real effects that can be painful, permanently disfiguring or even result in death. It is wrong to propose a set of rules that support force and coercion. Force and coercion do not help the "mentally ill." Force blocks recovery and destroys the trust that is the cornerstone of recovery. Force creates fear and dependency, not recovery. Force violates our rights, is costly and diverts money from recovery-oriented services. Individuals must be taught ways of coping that will work for them. Some may take psychiatric medication. Others may choose meditation, stress-reducing techniques, vitamin therapy or other forms of holistic health practices. There are cost-effective and proven ways to help people without resorting to the use of force or coercion. Peer support has been successful in helping people learn to take personal responsibility for their lives and to thrive successfully in the community. Compassionate and understanding assistance from those who have "been there" may have helped prevent the tragedy of Mary Boos without resorting to the use of force or coercion. Instead of seeking the counsel of judges, parents and mental-health professionals who are filled with stories of what doesn't work, the AG would have been better off seeking the counsel of those who have been labeled mentally ill and then recovered. They would have been able to suggest ways that do work. They would also have NOT suggested increased use of force and coercion.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Laws separate euthanasia and assisted suicide (The Oregonian vies with the Catholic Sentinel for right-to-life subscribers.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Wed, Apr 14 1999 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian Contact: email@example.com Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: Erin Hoover Barnett, the Oregonian Laws separate euthanasia and assisted suicide * Some who see the active taking of lives as inevitable are beginning to nudge the debate beyond the Death With Dignity Act Dr. Jack Kevorkian is in prison for giving a man with Lou Gehrig's disease a lethal injection. But, as Kevorkian intended, the debate over legalizing euthanasia is far from dead. To the casual observer, the difference between physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia may seem academic. Assisted suicide is death by doctor-prescribed drugs that the terminally ill patient swallows. It is legal in Oregon. Euthanasia is commonly thought of as death by lethal injection, administered by someone else, usually a doctor. It is illegal nationwide. But just where the line is between the two, and when and if that line will be crossed into legalized euthanasia, is the new frontier in the right-to-die debate, Oregon activists say. "It's already here," Ellie Jenny, a disabled-rights activist, said of the euthanasia discussion. Jenny abhors the prospect of legalized euthanasia. A member of Not Dead Yet, she says the right-to-die movement reinforces the idea that life is not worth living if you are suffering a disabling and terminal illness. She worries about the right to die becoming the duty to die, particularly in an era of expensive health care. Yet disabled people in situations like Kevorkian's patient, Thomas Youk, who was paralyzed by Lou Gehrig's disease and unable to swallow lethal drugs, are likely to become catalysts for making euthanasia legal. Jenny points to a letter written last month by David Schuman, Oregon deputy attorney general, to state Sen. Neil Bryant, R-Bend. Responding to a question from Bryant, Schuman wrote that Oregon's Death With Dignity Act does not on its face discriminate against people who are too disabled to swallow. But, he wrote, the law would, in effect, be discriminatory because it requires self-administration, and not everyone is capable of that. "The Act would be treated by the courts as though it explicitly denied the 'benefit' of a 'death with dignity' to disabled people," Schuman wrote. "This fact, in turn, makes the Death With Dignity Act vulnerable to challenge" under the Oregon Constitution and the Americans With Disabilities Act. Derek Humphry, a founder of the Hemlock Society and author of the book "Final Exit," says Kevorkian's conviction and sentencing shows the need to make an exception in homicide laws for "a justifiable act of compassion." "It's got to come," Humphry said of legalizing euthanasia. "I think this is a turning point, where people will begin to seriously address this question." But Humphry realizes that legalizing assisted suicide in this country would have to be a first step toward legalizing euthanasia. Right-to-die initiatives in 1991 in Washington and in 1992 in California sought to legalize euthanasia. Voters rejected them. In Oregon, activists wrote an initiative allowing death by prescription, but not euthanasia. Voters approved it in 1994. Opponents interpret that shift with cynicism. "It's very clear to anyone who knows a lot about assisted suicide and euthanasia that the line between assisted suicide and euthanasia is a false one, drawn for political purpose," said Dr. Greg Hamilton, president of Physicians for Compassionate Care, a right-to-die opposition group. A push for legalized euthanasia isn't likely soon. Compassion in Dying Federation, whose executive director, Barbara Coombs Lee, helped write Oregon's law, intends to hold the line on keeping lethal injection illegal. Compassion in Dying leaders diverge with Humphry and the Hemlock Society. They believe that protecting patient control over whether and when to end life is essential to the spirit of the law; autonomy is lost when someone else can administer a lethal dose. George Eighmey, executive director of Compassion in Dying of Oregon, says the Kevorkian case teaches that "there are limits, and we in Oregon have established those limits and are unwilling to go beyond them." Eighmey said his organization "has no intention to go beyond what the present law is. . . . There's going to be no movement on our part to expand it." And that Oregon's law may be vulnerable to challenge under the Americans With Disabilities Act means little if no one will challenge the assisted suicide law in court. Activists have no plan to challenge the law, Eighmey said, because they would not want to risk jeopardizing it. As for the rest of the country, the debate over assisted suicide continues. So far this year, at least eight states have introduced measures that would allow physician-assisted suicide, including a bill now in the California Assembly. At least six states have introduced legislation that either criminalizes physician-assisted suicide or increases penalties for doing it. Gayle Atteberry, executive director of Oregon Right to Life, says she thinks right-to-die activists won't push to legalize euthanasia until more states first take the step of legalizing assisted suicide. But, she said: "The time will come. I will mark that, as sure as I am breathing and eating and swallowing right now." You can reach Erin Hoover Barnett at 503-294-5011 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Brownie Mary's Legacy (A staff editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle eulogizes "Brownie Mary" Rathbun, the grandmotherly volunteer at San Francisco General Hospital whose marijuana-laced brownies helped launch the medical-marijuana movement. It isn't always the job of society's critics to find the exact solutions to painful problems. Raising the issue and marching forward can be enough. It would be a fitting legacy if a workable solution could be found to passing out Brownie Mary's goods to those who need it.) Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 09:31:55 -0500 From: "Frank S. World" (email@example.com) Organization: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/7417/ To: DPFCA (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: DPFCA: US CA SFC MMJ EDITORIAL: Brownie Mary's Legacy Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: "Frank S. World" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Source: San Francisco Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Wednesday, April 14, 1999 (c)1999 San Francisco Chronicle BROWNIE MARY'S LEGACY THE CRUSADE started small. A grandmotherly volunteer baked marijuana-laced brownies for patients in the AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital. Mary Jane Rathbun, who died at 77 this week, believed her ``Magically Delicious'' goods eased nausea and discomfort and to heck with the law. She was busted three times for her baking, and a San Francisco judge in one instance sentenced her, fittingly enough, to more community service. Brownie Mary became a local heroine, a friendly face for a growing movement. The belief that she and others had in the medical use of marijuana engendered a political groundswell. In 1996 California voters approved the notion of allowing the sick to use marijuana. Since then, the hard details of control and sale have hit legal obstructions that will take time to work out. It isn't always the job of society's critics to find the exact solutions to painful problems. Raising the issue and marching forward can be enough. For many suffering patients, marijuana -- baked or smoked -- can ease the pain of illness. It would be a fitting legacy if a workable solution could be found to passing out Brownie Mary's goods to those who need it. (c) 1999 San Francisco Chronicle Page A20
------------------------------------------------------------------- Driving While White (Alexander Cockburn's column in the Anderson Valley Advertiser, in California, summarizes an article in this month's Esquire magazine about "Operation Pipeline," by Gary Webb. According to Webb, Operation Pipeline takes us beyond the basic "driving while black" scenarios that presume that cops pull over people merely because they are black or brown and show that millions and millions of federal DEA dollars and training sessions by the thousand have sent cops out on the roads to look for the trace signs that spell "drug carrier." Police commands in 48 states now participate in Pipeline in some fashion.) Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 22:56:41 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Driving While White Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Wed, 14 April 1999 Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA) Copyright: Anderson Valley Advertiser Tele: 707-895-3016 Fax: 707-895-3355 Contact: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Alexander Cockburn Note: From, "National Notes" by Alexander Cockburn, Anderson Valley Advertiser DRIVING WHILE WHITE Just like the blacks and Hispanics we've been reading about lately I get pulled over once in a while by the cops and it's clear they think I'm a possible drug transporter. I make a distinction here between the pretext stops and the speeding offenses. Drive over 75 miles an hour regularly and you'll get a ticket once in while. And since everyone in America except People carrying high explosives drives at some point over 75 mph, everyone in America, at some point, gets a ticket. I commute fairly regularly between Petrolia in Humboldt County and Berkeley, a distance of about 350 miles. The other day I was driving a 1964 Newport Station wagon north and was astounded suddenly to see a red light go on behind me, somewhere near Ukiah, and a pissy young CHP (California Highway Patrol,) officer, on the short side, come around to the passenger door hand on holster. By the time a police officer reaches the passenger door any prudent driver should already have license, registration and proof of insurance held between finger and thumb, with both hands high on the driving wheel and no sudden movements, thus hopefully averting what we may term the Diallou Effect. I did everything wrong, the reason being that the ziplock bag holding my papers was under the driver's seat and, so contrary, to procedures just outlined, I was bowed down with my head under the steering wheel trying to find the bag. The officer stared tensely as I finally surfaced with the bag and leaned over to try and get the passenger door open. This is a station wagon that had been sitting in a field for the preceding six years. All the door locks except for the driver's side, had frozen. There had been a wood rat nest in the glove compartment, which was why the papers were under the seat. The passenger door handle broke when, I tried to wrench it open. Finally I got the passenger window down. The cop said, as though already testifying in court, that he had been heading south, rounding a bend and had seen me come the other way, overtaking a car as I did so, in the outside lane. At this point a CHP officer will usually have sized you up, figured you are no major menace to civilization, not drunk and - computer check on license pending - maybe not the big catch of the evening. Courteous behavior by the driver usually yields rewards, with the ticket written up for 72 mph instead of a reckless driving citation for going over 90. I was polite, peppering my remarks with "officer." It got me nowhere. "I'm going to my car to write the citation," he snapped. His costume was the blue fatigue jumpsuit that the French riot police used to wear back in the 1960s. He had a particularly large gun. Off he trotted to run my license and after five minutes came back with a ticket accusing me of driving at 78 miles an hour, a speed which, he remarked, he would have thought "this old car" incapable. "Did you just eyeball the car and get me on the radar?" I asked, and he, rather too quickly, said "radar." This seemed to me intrinsically unlikely, given the circumstances. The problem here is that the California Highway Patrol has organized things so that now local counties get a larger cut of the fine. If no one drove over the limit in California there would be an immediate cash crunch in the administration of the state. Speeding, is therefore a civic duty. The fines are getting higher and higher too, with add-ons and extra penalties and special taxes and fines of one sort and other, so that running an amber light (not my particular specialty) can see the offender writing out a check for $150 by the time it's all over. The pretext stops, as related to the drug war, are of a different order. Three years ago I was driving a 1972 Imperial two-door hardtop, known to the cognoscenti at the time as a hardtop convertible, across the country and was driving along Interstate 90 through Montana. Not far out of Butte I could see a state trooper behind me. He kept his car just to my left rear so that my natural reaction was to run a little further right to the edge of the inside lane. Suddenly his light went on. A trim 28-year old with a slightly less trim 26-year old trainee beside him, the trooper said that I had driven across the inside white line of the interstate verge. This was the pretext If possible, though these days they tell you urgently to stay in your car, get out and stand at an equal setting with the cop. This I did. He hemmed and hawed a bit and after a while asked if I was carrying large sums of money. I laughed and said "I wish." By this time we'd gravitated to the back end of the car and he was looking hopefully at the trunk. Was I carrying arms? Absolutely not. Truth be told, I remembered I had half a bottle of gin in the trunk and wondered whether it was illegal in the state of Montana. Now, there are a million ways he could have got me to open the trunk, even without a search warrant, starting with the simple statement that he feared for his life. But instead he blurted out hopefully, "Are you carrying large amounts of drugs? "No." Well, though unshaven, wearing dark glasses and driving a boat, he didn't order me to open up. Maybe it's because I'd told him I was a writer. He saw a red stain on my fingers and cried out, "Is that blood?" I said no, it was ink and showed him the fountain pen and that broke his spirit. Off I went down the interstate and the same thing happened all over again half an hour later, with a cop trying to ride me over the inside line, except that this time I held to the middle of the lane and we drove in that condition for 30 minutes until he gave up. Last fall, with Barbara Yaley in a 64 New Yorker, the same thing happened in Montana on Route 2, and we got stopped and cased by cops in Washington State and in Oregon, each time on flimsy pretexts. Here's where we get to Operation Pipeline, as described by Gary Webb in this month's Esquire. Webb needs no introduction. He's the reporter who wrote up the CIA-contra drug connection in the San Jose Mercury News, in 1996 and got hammered by the Agency's pals in the press. When Webb was down, driven out of his own paper and working for the state of California as an investigator, Esquire published a fine story describing how he'd been screwed. Now Esquire has Webb back in harness describing a federal program called Operation Pipeline. "It's clear enough to me that Pipeline is why I was stopped in Montana, Washington and Oregon, and why, for every middle class white guy like myself, a hundred blacks or Hispanics are pulled over. Operation Pipeline takes us beyond the basic "driving while black" scenarios that presume that cops pull over people merely because they are black or brown and show that millions and millions of federal DEA dollars and training sessions by the thousand have sent cops out on the roads alert for the trace signs that spell "drug carrier." Webb came across the program while he was working for the state of California. He says that "police commands in 48 states now participate in Pipeline in some fashion." It took shape with a Florida cop called Robert Vogel, a "good cop," in that he did have a sensitive eye to who on Florida's I-95, might be in line for a stop and a search. Of course, as Webb makes amusingly and brutally clear, Vogel is a good old boy whose basic criteria are, stop and hassle the blacks and the browns, but these basic data were adorned with other criteria, as formulated by Vogel and refined by other police instructors: - Will a driver make eye contact with the cop driving in the next lane, a cop, furthermore, who's eyeballing him? No eye contact increases the chance of the red light going on. So do hands high on the wheel in the ten-to-two position, knuckles white and, presumably, an over orderly speed. - Air fresheners, laundry detergent, fabric softeners. (I always have these on long trips. You need to wash your clothes, no?) - Fast food wrappers on the floor. This is evidence of "hard travel." Search every driver in America. - Maps with cities circled. Drug drops. - Tools on the floor. New tires on an old car. High mileage on a new car. - Single key in the ignition. - Rental cars. (In my case, a Vermont registration, but California license and insurance.) - Signs of fear, unease. Pornography. Young women. The DEA, Webb writes, took up Vogel's profiling in 1987. It wasn't long before cops in every state were using the vehicle laws as the pretext. Every state has them. Any cop can stop you for a thousand different reasons: dirty license tags, a brake light burned out, almost anything you could dream of. So you get stopped. There's dialogue. The cop sizes you up. Let Webb tell it in his own words: "If your indicators are on the high side, however, this is what will happen. You'll be given your papers back, and then the officer will hang around and strike up a conversation. What most drivers don't realize is that at this point, they have magically crossed into a whole new legal universe. At the moment your license and registration is returned, you are technically free to leave. In the eye of the law, the traffic stop is over. Now you and Officer Friendly are just having a "consensual" chat. And your new friend is free to ask anything. "From here, it's almost a script. "You'll be told that the local police have been having a problem with people ferrying guns and drugs along this part of the highway, but they're doing their best to stop it. Good, you may say. Glad to hear it. The officer will nod and say he's happy to see it that way. By the way, you wouldn't happen to have any guns or drugs in your car, would you? "Me? you will ask. Oh, no. Of course not. "The officer will look at you and say, Then you don't mind if I take a look-see do you? "If you're like nine out of ten people who get asked this question, you'll gulp and say, No, no, officer, go right ahead. "You'll be asked to consent--orally or on paper-- to a search, but don't think too hard or hesitate to comply, because those are more indicators of drug trafficking, as is refusing to allow the search. 'If they refuse, the stuffs in the trunk,' our CHP instructor tells us matter-of-factly. A refusal justifies calling out the-dogs and letting a drug-sniffing canine take a walk around your car. If Fido gets a whiff of something, the cop doesn't need your permission anymore. "Most drivers consent. This can authorize a complete search of everything, including your luggage and person. It allows the officer to literally to take your car apart with an air hammer, which has happened. One of the CHP's first Pipeline officers Richard Himbarger, was legendary for carrying an electric screwdriver in his patrol car and removing heater ducts, fenders, trunk lids, and interior body panels by the side of the road. "Once they've given consent' our CHP instructor tell us, 'they've dug their own grave." This battlefront of the drug war has notoriously reached the courts and the front pages. The Maryland cops made the biggest mistake in 1992 when they pulled over and hassled a black family, thus provoking a counterattack by one of the hassled, Harvard law grad Robert Wilkins, a public defender, whose suit forced the Maryland cops to admit that out of 732 people detained and searched in 1995 and 1996, 75 per cent were black and 5 per cent Hispanic. The law suits are mounting. Laws are being put at the state and federal level to inhibit racial profiling. Police forces -- the CHP for example -- are reassessing the way they administer Pipeline. But in terms of police abuse of powers the situation is getting worse. In 1996 the US Supreme Court okayed Vogel's method of stopping people for minor breaches of the vehicle codes in order to check for drugs. Scalia wrote the opinion, saying it was not the role of the Court to say whether there were too many trivial traffic laws on the books. Webb reports that after this case, known as the Whren decision, a CHP instructor told him, "After Whren, the game was over. We won." Two weeks ago Scalia wrote another opinion, this time okaying the search of passengers in a car, without a warrant. Goodbye Fourth Amendment, unless, as the first Court decision suggested, the pretexts are taken away. There will, I think, be new laws. Stop a thousand black people and you're bound to snag a cop or two, a lawyer or two and in the end someone -- and many now have been helped by the ACLU -- will fight back. Police chiefs and attorney General Janet Reno are expressing concern. My question: where the hell is the best value-for-money organization in America, the AAA? It needs heat too, since it should be protecting all its members. (Remember, the most effective organizations in America are in the front of the phone book, the AA, the AAA and the AARP, After the AAs and AAAs people lose heart.) From, "National Notes" By, Alexander Cockburn Anderson Valley Advertiser Booneville CA
------------------------------------------------------------------- State Spending Big Bucks To Tell Us What To Do (The San Francisco Examiner says more than ever before, the government wants to change the way you think. Public officials are spending billions on new campaigns, even buying expensive ads on prime-time television. It's called social marketing - part behavioral science, part propaganda, part Madison Avenue - and it has become the most popular political antidote to society's many shortfalls. California alone has spent $220 million on such propaganda since 1997. Federal anti-drug and anti-tobacco campaigns have $2.45 billion budgeted for advertising over the next five years. "The bottom line is it's all about politics," said Bob Belinoff, a sort of social marketing guru from New Mexico who has a Web site on the subject, www.mkt4change.com. "The people who are putting this stuff on the air are all politicians elected because of television.") Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 07:55:20 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: State Spending Big Bucks To Tell Us What To Do Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: We, 14 Apr 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 STATE SPENDING BIG BUCKS TO TELL US WHAT TO DO AD CAMPAIGNS TARGET SEX, DRUGS, TOBACCO SACRAMENTO - There is a joke among California health officials that someone should invent a five-sided bus, so they can have more room for advertising. Using radio, TV and newspaper ads, buses and bus shelters, carefully placed messages on TV sitcoms, slick brochures, Web sites, toll-free hot lines, educational materials and highly produced videos, the government is no longer pushing war bonds and polio shots. It's selling behavior. More than ever before, the government wants to change the way you think. Public officials are spending billions on new campaigns, even buying expensive ads on prime-time TV. It's called social marketing - part behavioral science, part propaganda, part Madison Avenue - and it has become the most popular political antidote to society's many shortfalls. Don't drink. Don't smoke. Breast-feed your child. Car pool. Buckle your seat belt. Don't use methamphetamines. If you do, don't dump your meth chemicals in the woods. Be a good daddy. Be a good mommy. Don't beat your wife. Don't beat your lesbian lover. Listen to your kids. Talk to your kids. Eat your vegetables. Don't fight on the playground. Mentor someone. Don't have sex. If you have sex, use a condom. And for darn sake, RECYCLE! These are just some of the recent California campaigns, funded by state taxpayers and a cigarette surcharge, at a cost of about $220 million since 1997. California has spent $634 million in the past decade alone to combat tobacco use. Now, an unprecedented amount of money is about to be unleashed in the largest behavior-changing campaigns in American history. It's all thanks to the recent mega-settlement with tobacco companies and a Clinton administration push to "unsell" drug use to children. Billions in new campaigns The anti-drug and anti-tobacco campaigns have $2.45 billion budgeted for advertising over the next five years. Many Madison Avenue firms have created social marketing divisions to reap the government contracts. "The kinds of budgets we're looking at today are unheard of. In the past, it was nothing like this," said Ed Maibach, social marketing director for Porter Novelli, a pioneer in the field and partner with the White House to help produce the federal, $195 million-a-year anti-drug campaign. For the first time, the government is actually purchasing pricey prime-time TV ad space, when for decades it simply counted on the benevolence of networks to run the so-called PSAs - public service ads - when they could. Predictably, most ads have been buried in late night slots. Few people question the underlying motives for these campaigns. Society benefits when people drive sober, avoid cigarettes, have safe sex, get a prostate cancer test and use their seat belt. (In New York City, the disembodied voices of celebrities like Joan Rivers greet taxi passengers, reminding them to buckle up.) But political whims often create problems for these well-intentioned campaigns. A new administration can bring a new emphasis and different moral direction, cutting off a program mid-campaign when it needed years to develop and change entrenched attitudes. Millions of dollars in anti-smoking TV ads were shelved by former Gov. Pete Wilson because he didn't want to vilify a legal business, the tobacco industry, even though experts told him that it was the most effective way to reach teens. About the time he decided to run for president in 1995, Wilson also dropped his Education Now, Babies Later campaign after $5 million had been spent. Critics accused Wilson of dropping the ads because it was considered "too liberal," but he said the program wasn't working. Now Gov. Davis must decide whether to continue another Wilson- inspired campaign that preaches sexual abstinence, mentoring and good fathering skills. The cost between 1997 and June 1999: $28.7 million. One prominent ad in the campaign features a teenage voice, an actress, talking about having a baby when she was 15. The point is not to preach, but to explain how having a baby early destroys the most important thing to teenagers: their social life. "Yeah, I love my baby," she says, "but I sure wish I waited longer to have him." Davis said recently he likes the subjects of the Partnership for Responsible Parenting, but he may start his own campaign on another topic - reviving a World War II ethic of public service. Ad agencies and the state Department of Health Services are waiting to see what happens with the abstinence ads begun by Wilson. The number of California teenagers giving birth has declined slowly in the late-1990s. More women are getting prenatal care, particularly Latinas. But the state still has one of the highest birth rates in the nation among teenagers, and these young women are less likely to get prenatal care. "I think we've been effective already, but this isn't something that can happen overnight," said Kelly Coplin with Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn, which helped produce the Partnership ads. Whether the program stays or goes, one thing is inevitable: Elected officials will turn to the airwaves and advertising to sell their message. Davis, for example, recently won legislative approval for a $4million ad campaign to tell parents to read to their children. "The bottom line is it's all about politics," said Bob Belinoff, a sort of social marketing guru from New Mexico who has a Web site on the subject, www.mkt4change.com. "The people who are putting this stuff on the air are all politicians elected because of television. So it's only natural that they would think they could unsell sex with an ad." There are dozens of tiny campaigns that are so low-budget or so obscure that most ordinary citizens never hear about them. They seem to come and go almost on a whim, like a recent U.S. State Department ad reminding people they need to get a passport before traveling overseas. Who knew? The California Department of Health Services helped contribute last summer to a brief, $31,000 BART and Muni advertising campaign with the message: "I never thought a woman could rape another woman. The anti-violence campaign prompted a few calls to local agencies, a few news stories. When it comes to the major campaigns, hundreds of millions of dollars are targeting one audience: Those under 18. They're the hardest group to manipulate because they have a sophisticated knowledge of the media and are more willing to submit to peer pressure. "We're not trying to get people to buy a product, we're trying to change attitudes," said Alan Levitt, director of the White House's $1 billion youth anti-drug campaign. Part of the effort includes working with Hollywood producers and writers, particularly those at the Warner Bros. TV network, to get messages inserted into such teen-popular shows as "Dawson's Creek" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Since July, at least 32 programs have been involved. It's total mind war for every 12- and 13-year-old, an age group currently setting records for drug use. The emphasis is on telling them there are no social consequences to avoiding drugs - giving them an easy way to just say no. "If you look at the forces in a kid's life when it comes to perceptions of drugs, it's not just ads," said Levitt. "It's programming on television, it's the Internet, it's music, it's pop culture, it's the legalization-of-marijuana movement, it's school programs that are mediocre at best, it's sports figures and rock stars." Research on the effectiveness of social marketing is slim. A few studies have shown that people's health habits are the hardest to change because they are being asked to give up gratification for possible long-term benefits. If the social marketing ads are poorly produced, they run the risk of encouraging the behavior they are trying to stop. Last week, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that anti-smoking TV ads created by Philip Morris Co. are backfiring. A 17- state coalition may soon ask the company to hand over $75 million it set aside for the ads so an independent agency can do them correctly. For many social marketing experts, changing behavior means getting the entire community focused on the problem, not just producing TV ads. It also means changing public policy, for instance, say, getting condoms distributed or outlawing cigarette vending machines. "Unless we can mobilize community opinion leaders and gatekeepers, we're not going to get the enduring change that we want," said Larry Bye, founder of S.F.- based Communication Sciences Group, which evaluates social marketing campaigns. Taking on Big Tobacco Another cautionary tale on changing public attitudes can be seen in California's anti-smoking efforts, once the envy of the country. The pioneering effort started in 1988, when voters approved Proposition 99, a 25-cents-a-pack cigarette tax. Former Gov. George Deukmejian let the state Department of Health Services run the program, and they produced a TV ad so effective it is still remembered in surveys and focus groups. Called "Industry Spokesman," it featured a tobacco executive talking about the need to get kids addicted and laughing while he says, "We're not in this for our health." But soon after taking office, Wilson began diverting money from the media campaign to local health programs, calling the mass media push a second-tier priority. Health officials banned any ads that attacked the industry or showed tobacco executives telling Congress that nicotine wasn't addictive. Sandra Smoley, then Wilson's secretary for health and welfare, said it was "offensive for the government to use taxpayer funds to call a private industry a liar," according to a recent UC-San Francisco study. The Department of Health Services under Wilson eventually produced other anti-smoking ads. Considered equally effective, they included a groundbreaking campaign that links smoking with impotence, and a disturbing piece showing an addicted woman smoking through a hole in her throat. "We've always felt a need to take an aggressive look at the tobacco industry as a co-conspirator," said Colleen Stevens, chief of the state's tobacco control media campaign. "Unless we counter the messages they are sending out, we can't be successful." Although the percentage of adults smoking in California has dropped dramatically - and a change in public attitude has led to tough smoke-free workplace laws - teenage smoking rates have remained steady. The UCSF study showed direct links between Wilson's anti-tobacco policies and a leveling off of smoking rates. This is why anti-smoking crusaders worry about the $1.45 billion set aside for advertising in the recent $206 billion tobacco settlement. Unlike Florida, who's hard-hitting ads relentlessly ridicule the tobacco industry, the omnibus U.S. settlement agreement does not allow direct attacks on the industry. Some worry that money will be wasted. The ads need to attack the industry, critics contend, because teenagers don't like it when authority figures - like Big Tobacco - appear to be manipulating them. Otherwise, it appears the government is trying to manipulate them in the ads. "It's possible to spend huge amounts of money," said Dr. Stanton Glantz, a noted UC-San Francisco critic of the tobacco industry, "and not accomplish anything."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reefer Madness in Illinois (The online version of Wired magazine notes legislation drafted by Bill Mitchell, a Republican state representative, would make it a Class A misdemeanor to "transmit information by the Internet about a controlled substance knowing that the information will be used in furtherance of illegal activity." The bill passed the state house of representatives last week and was presented to a state senate committee on Wednesday.) From: "David Crockett Williams" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "Drug Policy Foundation list" (email@example.com) Subject: DPFCA: Reefer Madness in Illinois Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 16:01:31 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: "David Crockett Williams" (email@example.com) Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ http://www.wired.com/news/news/politics/story/19125.html Reefer Madness in Illinois by Craig Bicknell 12:20 p.m. 14.Apr.99.PDT A bill that would make it a crime to use the Web to transmit information about marijuana and other drugs is moving through the Illinois legislature. The legislation passed the House last week and was presented to the Senate committee on Wednesday. "It's bringing into the late 20th century existing laws" that apply to communication about drugs through the mail and other means, said Bill Mitchell, the Republican representative who drafted the bill. Activists say it's also ushering in the potential for a serious abuse of the First Amendment. "It's a nascent attempt to thwart free speech on the Internet," said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the NORML Foundation, an organization that lobbies to decriminalize marijuana. "[The legislature] is at the vanguard of nit-wittery." Not so, said Mitchell. "This would not infringe on First Amendment rights. It simply covers illegal solicitation of marijuana and other illegal drugs over the Internet." In theory, the bill extends the existing Illinois Cannabis Control Act and Controlled Substances Act, which make it a crime to sell, deliver, or manufacture illegal drugs. The problem, free speech advocates say, is that the legislation doesn't explicitly spell out exactly what would be deemed illegal online. "It is a Class A misdemeanor to transmit information by the Internet about a controlled substance knowing that the information will be used in furtherance of illegal activity," reads the bill's text. What, precisely, does that mean? "It's not tightly drafted by any stretch," said Mary Dixon, legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "As it stands, it has the potential to stifle free speech." Would it be illegal for say, an AIDS patient in Illinois to inquire through email about California's Medical Use of Marijuana Act, asked NORML's St. Pierre? "What if he's just gathering information to decide if he wants to move out there?" It's also unclear how the bill would address illicit drug information originating from outside the state. Because it is so vague, analysts don't give the bill much chance of making it through the Senate. "I think there will be some thoughtful questions raised" in the Senate, said Dixon. "[Mitchell] will be hard pressed to move the bill as is."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Legislation Raises Free-speech Concerns (The Associated Press version) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 19:21:14 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Peter Webster (email@example.com) Subject:  Marijuana Legislation Raises Free-speech Concerns Pubdate: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: CHRISTOPHER WILLS Associated Press Writer MARIJUANA LEGISLATION RAISES FREE-SPEECH CONCERNS SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Legislation that would restrict Internet information about marijuana drew complaints Wednesday from both an anti-crime group and advocates of legalizing marijuana. The legislation makes it a misdemeanor to use the Internet to transmit information about marijuana or other controlled substances ``knowing that the information will be used in furtherance of illegal activity.'' But the private anti-crime group Illinois State Crime Commission fears the bill could be used to interfere with legitimate efforts to provide information about drug problems. ``I don't like gray areas when it comes to the First Amendment because I don't want to be the first test case,'' said Jerry Elsner, the commission's executive director. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws -- or NORML -- also criticized the idea. ``There's no need for this bill,'' said Paul Armentano, the group's director of publications. ``It seems blatantly unconstitutional. It seems impossible to enforce.'' The Illinois House passed the measure 114-0, sending it to the state Senate. The Senate sponsor, Republican Duane Noland of Blue Mound, said the measure is meant to apply only to people transmitting information they know will be used for criminal purposes. But he acknowledged concerns about ``the vagueness of some issues.'' ``I need to do a little work on my bill -- which might be a polite way to say I'm not certain about the future of it,'' Noland said. Elsner said the measure, as written, could interfere with legitimate discussions of drugs. What if an ill person were considering smoking marijuana to relieve pain, they asked -- would a group break the law by providing information about the drug's potential medical benefits? Or what if a drug-awareness group listed the latest trends in drug use as a service to parents and police? Would the group be prosecuted if a teen-ager got the idea to experiment? ``We think the intentions are very well-meaning, but we don't think it was thought out very well,'' Elsner said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lawmakers: Marijuana Is A Dangerous And Addictive Drug (UPI says the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted "overwhelmingly" today to reject a bill sponsored by Tim Robertson of Keene that would have decriminalized possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 19:19:11 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Peter Webster (email@example.com) Subject:  Lawmakers: Marijuana Is A Dangerous And Addictive Drug Pubdate: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International Note: Headline by MAP editor LAWMAKERS TODAY KILLED BILL (CONCORD, New Hampshire) - House lawmakers today killed a bill sponsored by a Keene lawmaker that would have made possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a violation. Representative Tim Robertson said New Hampshire's prisons are being filled with non-violent offenders who made the mistake of being caught with small amounts of marijuana. But the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee urged the bill be killed saying marijuana was a dangerous and addictive drug. The bill was overwhelmingly rejected.
------------------------------------------------------------------- U-Conn Star El-Amin Faces A Drug Charge (The Philadelphia Inquirer says Khalid El-Amin, who last month helped the University of Connecticut win its first national basketball championship, was arrested in Hartford yesterday and charged with possession of less than four ounces of marijuana. Star junior Richard Hamilton was with El-Amin, but was not charged. Members of the Statewide Narcotics Task Force also impounded the late-model red Cadillac the players were in.) Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 21:16:14 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US PA: U-Conn Star El-Amin Faces A Drug Charge Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Wed, 14 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/ U-CONN STAR EL-AMIN FACES A DRUG CHARGE Khalid El-Amin, who last month helped Connecticut win its first national basketball championship, was arrested yesterday and charged with possession of marijuana. The sophomore point guard was picked up on a Hartford street about 5:30 p.m. yesterday and charged with possession of less than four ounces of marijuana, police said. El-Amin was hustled out of a police substation in the city's North End shortly after 6 p.m. and taken to the main station to be booked. Star junior Richard Hamilton was with El-Amin when he was arrested, police said. Hamilton, a first-team all-American from Coatesville High, was not charged. But members of the Statewide Narcotics Task Force, who made the arrest, impounded the late-model red Cadillac the players were in. Police would not say to whom the car is registered. Tim Tolokan, UConn's sports information director, said the school had no knowledge of the arrest, and no comment. El-Amin's arrest came one day after Minneapolis North High School in Minnesota retired his jersey. El-Amin graduated from North in 1997 after leading the Polars to three consecutive state high school championships. Duke sophomore Elton Brand will announce at a news conference today that he will leave college to enter the NBA draft, the Charlotte Observer reported. He would be the first Duke player to leave early for the draft. St. John's announced that sophomore forward Ron Artest will forgo his college eligibility to enter the NBA draft. Football The Dallas Cowboys signed quarterback Troy Aikman to a six-year contract extension that could keep him with the team through the 2007 season. Financial terms weren't disclosed. The extension, which will create salary cap room for the Cowboys, comes as they signed five-time Pro Bowl center Mark Stepnoski, who played for the Tennessee Oilers last season. Aikman had three years left on a contract that was scheduled to pay him a $6.75 million base salary this year. The extension allows the Cowboys to move part of his base salary into other years, reducing the amount that will count against the salary cap this year. That would make room for other players. Stepnoski, 32, was a third-round pick of the Cowboys in 1989 out of the University of Pittsburgh. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection with Dallas, then signed with the Oilers as an unrestricted free agent in 1995. The 6-foot-2, 269-pounder, a free agent after the 1998 season, made the Pro Bowl twice with that franchise. The Miami Dolphins re-signed restricted free agents Karim Abdul-Jabbar, Shane Burton and Stanley Pritchett to one-year contracts, the team said. Abdul-Jabbar, 24, led the Dolphins with 960 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 270 attempts. He also caught 21 passes for 102 yards. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Maryland must pay former football coach Mark Duffner nearly $89,000, a Prince George's County, Md., judge ruled. The money was owed under a secondary contract covering radio and television income. University lawyers had argued that since Maryland's obligation under Duffner's coaching contract ended when he became the Cincinnati Bengals' linebackers coach in February 1997, it no longer had to honor the secondary contract. Maryland fired Duffner in 1996 after his fifth season.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ann Landers: U.S. Approach To Drug Use Inhumane (A letter to the syndicated advice columnist, in the Washington Post, applauds her proposal last January to reduce the harm caused by marijuana laws.) Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 14:47:33 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Column: Ann Lander: US Approach To Drug Use Inhumane Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Dunbar Pubdate: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 Source: Ann Landers Contact: Mail: Ann Landers, P.O. Box 11562, Chicago, IL, 60611-0562 Website: http://www.creators.com/lifestyle/landers/writelan.asp Copyright: 1999 Creators Syndicate, Inc. Source: Washington Post (DC) Copyright: 1999 Creators Syndicate Inc. Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071 Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: J.G., Amherst, Mass. Dear Ann: Thank you for your recent words about the inhumanity of our country's approach to drug use. You are right, 30 years in prison for a minor possession makes no sense, not for the individual who can become a hardened criminal while in prison, not for his family and not for society, which must spend huge amounts of money to punish someone for what is essentially harmless behavior. I am a graduate student in the department of history at the University of Massachusetts. I have been researching the war on drugs for a number of years, and the whole thing strikes me as being tragically mishandled. It makes me sad to see so many people's lives destroyed for the sake of the careers of some opportunistic politicians. Our country must not throw away many of the freedoms we once considered precious. We must be careful not to go too far and risk turning ourselves into a police state. J.G., Amherst, Mass.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ancient Treatment Helps Fight Addictions (The Washington Post examines the increasing use of acupuncture as a treatment for people dependent on alcohol, nicotine, opiates and cocaine. The only place in Prince George's County that offers it, the Underground Railroad, is a private "community center for wellness and recovery" that opened two months ago in Suitland. Alaine Duncan of Hyattsville, a licensed acupuncturist, hopes to expand the center into a state-supported operation, similar to acupuncture detox programs in Baltimore and Portland, Oregon. The 1997 National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on Acupuncture approved it for the treatment of various pains and ailments, including such things as tennis elbow, vomiting and dental pain.) Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 14:47:37 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MD: Ancient Treatment Helps Fight Addictions Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Dunbar Pubdate: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Page: M05 Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071 Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Susan Saulny, Washington Post Staff Writer ANCIENT TREATMENT HELPS FIGHT ADDICTIONS Sleep finally came for Kendra in a narrow, wood-paneled room on Silver Hill Road in Suitland, where she lay motionless, five tiny needles sticking out of her right ear. Desperation, she said, drove her to this place, a small storefront office next to Strictly Business Beepers and across the street from the neighborhood bowling alley. Insomnia had her sitting awake in bed most nights, victim of a sleepy daze that brought her both nightmares and fantasies about getting high, then feeling low. "Drug dreams" she called them. Kendra, 34, who asked that her real name not be used, is trying to kick a 10-year-old drug addiction that escalated from an experiment with marijuana in junior high school to crack cocaine. Recently, she had been feeling hyperactive and had "the sweats." She had no desire to eat anything. Not a good situation for someone who has two children depending on her. In and out of prison and jail, Kendra tried countless treatment programs, but they failed her. This time, she said, she was willing "to do anything it takes." So when her parole officer recommended an ancient Chinese healing method to combat her addiction, she agreed to try it, even though it meant sticking dozens of needles under her skin. It's acupuncture for addicts, and to her delight, "it works," Kendra said. The sweats have stopped. Her appetite has returned. Cravings for drugs have disappeared. "It's the first time I've had a sense of relief," she said last week after her third treatment. Kendra is one of a very few local, recovering drug users who have warmed to the idea of receiving acupuncture detox at the only place in Prince George's County that offers it, the Underground Railroad, a private "community center for wellness and recovery" that opened two months ago in Suitland. The clinic has 12 clients, but Alaine Duncan of Hyattsville, a licensed acupuncturist who started the clinic hopes to reach many more people suffering from addictions as she goes about the community dispelling fears and myths about acupuncture. She also hopes to expand the center into a state-supported operation, similar to acupuncture detox programs in Baltimore and Portland, Ore. She chose Suitland because it is a state-designated "hot spot" for crime and drugs and because it is the focus of a community-wide revitalization. "I see drug use as the kingpin of so many other problems. ... It unglues families, and makes communities unsafe," Duncan, 46 said. "If we can take care of drug addiction, we can erase so many other problems. Really, the 'hot spot' and revitalization efforts can't be successful without this." Exactly how acupuncture works to combat drug addiction, in many ways, is still a mystery, but it is becoming more popular because of clinical evidence and patient testimonies that show it to be effective. In general, acupuncture is based on the theory that energy flows though the human body on specific pathways connected to specific organs, said Duncan, who studied the theory and practice at the Traditional Acupuncture Institute in Columbia. Acupuncture points have been located on the ear that, when pierced by tiny needles, produce immediate calm and reduce the cravings and symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol, nicotine, opiate drugs and cocaine. The needles somehow stimulate the nervous system and tissues that control involuntary yet fundamental bodily functions, such as circulation and tissue repair. It operates "on the border of what is tangible and intangible," Duncan said. "It's all about balance and harmony." Duncan concedes that talk about acupuncture can sound a lot like "hocus-pocus." That's why she is happy that U.S. medical authorities have recently given it their blessing. The 1997 National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on Acupuncture approved it for the treatment of various pains and ailments, including such things as tennis elbow, vomiting and dental pain. Last Wednesday, at the Underground Railroad, acupuncturist Lolita Smith carefully drew the thin, stainless steel needles from a sterile container and one by one, placed five of them on strategic spots on Kendra's right ear. The needles aren't inserted deeply, just under the skin. Kendra hardly flinched. "I didn't feel it," she said. "I just mellowed out, totally relaxed." Her head slowly tilted to her left shoulder and she fell asleep. The needles were in her ear for about 20 minutes, until she woke up and stretched after her deep rest. The needles are only used once, then they are thrown away in a hazardous waste container. There is no blood involved, so the risk of infection is virtually nil, said Duncan. Once Kendra woke up, Underground Railroad Board Member Elsie Jacobs, a community activist who also heads an anti-drug program at Suitland High School, reminded her about weekly "rap sessions" for patients and said she could help Kendra train for a new job. "Call me any time, day or night, if you need to talk," Jacobs said. The staffers at the Underground Railroad shower their patients with attention, in part because there are so few. Last Wednesday, Kendra was the only person who came in for treatment. Appointments aren't necessary, and fees slide according to a patient's ability to pay. So far, funding has come from private sources totaling about $105,000, but Underground Railroad's operating budget is $175,000. Duncan is applying for grants and soliciting donations. Duncan hopes one day to secure government support. She says Underground Railroad has a good relationship with the Prince George's County Department of Health, but repeated calls for comment from officials there went unanswered. Duncan, Jacobs and Smith thought about posting fliers, going door-to-door, having educational workshops to raise money. Anything to get the word out. Duncan, so passionate about acupuncture, is an ambassador, too. Fifteen years ago, in a former career as a kidney dialysis technician, Duncan was sick for almost a decade from a dangerous form of hepatitis C, contracted from an accidental needle stick. She said nothing helped her until she turned to acupuncture. Today, she said, there is not a trace of the disease in her body. Duncan, a Quaker, named the center the Underground Railroad because of her community's historical tie to social justice and the real Underground Railroad that helped slaves escape to freedom more than 100 years ago. "Today, addiction is a new form of slavery," she said. "We want to be allies in that struggle, but we're not the heroes." Jacobs added, "People like Kendra--she's the hero."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Petition: Raise Your Voice to Congress Today for HEA Reform (A bulletin from the Drug Reform Coordination Network asks you to take two short minutes to raise your voice to Congress asking for a repeal of the provision in the Higher Education Act of 1998 that delays or denies all federal financial aid for any drug conviction, no matter how minor - including marijuana possession.) Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 22:58:16 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: DRCNet (email@example.com) Subject: PETITION: Raise Your Voice to Congress Today for HEA Reform Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear friends, We at the Drug Reform Coordination Network are writing today to ask you to take two short minutes to raise your voice to Congress on an issue of great importance. The Higher Education Act of 1998, signed into law last fall, includes a provision that delays or denies all federal financial aid eligibility for any drug conviction, no matter how minor. Regardless of how you feel about drugs or the drug laws, we hope you'll agree that cutting off access to educational opportunity will be counterproductive and detrimental to the future of tens of thousands of young people and to our nation as a whole, and is an unnecessary and vindictive second punishment leveled against people who have already paid whatever price the criminal justice system demands. Please take a few moments right now to fill out our online Higher Education Act Reform Petition, calling on Congress to enact H.R. 1053, a bill that would repeal the HEA drug provision and restore judge's discretion. Please visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com to sign the petition and learn more about the HEA drug provision and how and why students and a wide range of national organizations, including the ACLU, NAACP and the United States Students Association, are organizing to oppose it. Our petition will send a letter from your e-mail address to YOUR U.S. Representative and two Senators. Again, the web site is: http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com Don't let the war on drugs become a war on education! Sign the petition, and then take a minute to visit the "Tell Your Friends" page on RaiseYourVoice or to forward this or your own note to your friends and to appropriate mailing lists and forums. Here are some reasons the HEA drug provision is wrong: * Judges already have the power to rescind financial aid eligibility as individual cases warrant. The HEA drug provision removes that discretion. * The vast majority of Americans convicted of a drug offense are convicted of non-violent, low-level possession. * The HEA drug provision represents a penalty levied only on the poor and the working class; wealthier students will not have the doors of college closed to them for want of financial aid. * The HEA drug provision will also have a disparate impact on different races. African Americans, for example, who comprise 13% of the population and 13% of all drug users, account for more than 55% of those convicted of drug charges. * No other class of offense carries automatic loss of financial aid eligibility. * Access to a college education is the surest route to the mainstream economy and a crime-free life. For further information on the HEA reform campaign, visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com and click on "Why HEA Reform?" And visit http://www.u-net.org to learn more about the student HEA reform campaign and how to get involved! Visit DRCNet's web site at http://www.drcnet.org for much more information on the impact of the drug war on society.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Canadian House of Commons debates medical marijuana (The Media Awareness Project provides a URL to a lengthy transcript of today's debate.) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 19:11:32 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: House of Commons debates Medical Marijuana (link) Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Tip from MAP webmaster Matt Elrod Pubdate: Wed, 14 April 1999 Source: Debates of the House of Commons of Canada (Hansard) Dear Readers, In what should be news of interest to many, the House of Commons is debating medical marijuana. The debate is a little large for a news item so we are providing a link: http://www.parl.gc.ca/cgi-bin/36/pb_chb_hou_deb.pl?e There are at least two ways to find the actual debate. You can work your way thru the activity for 14 April to 'LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA FOR HEALTH AND MEDICAL PURPOSES' or use the search at the top of the web page and search on marijuana, which will provide not only the 14 April debate, but much other discussion on other days.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Green Light For USA To Operate From Curacao And Aruba (Jane's Defence Weekly says that last week, Dutch and U.S. government officials reached an agreement to station U.S. counter-drug forces in the Caribbean at Hato Airfield on the Dutch Antilles island of Curacao and Reina Beatrix on Aruba following the closure of U.S. bases in Panama.) Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 04:19:04 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Green Light For USA To Operate From Curacao And Aruba Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: David Isenberg Pubdate: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 Source: Jane's Defence Weekly Copyright: Jane's Information Group Limited 1999 Contact: email@example.com Address: 1340 Braddock Place, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314-1651 USA Fax: 1 703 836 0297 / 1 800 836 029 Website: http://www.janes.com/ Author: Martijn Delaere, JDW Correspondent GREEN LIGHT FOR USA TO OPERATE FROM CURACAO AND ARUBA US forces will conduct counter-drug operations in the Caribbean from Hato Airfield on the Dutch Antilles island of Curacao and Reina Beatrix on Aruba following the closure of US bases in Panama. Last week Dutch and US government officials reached an agreement on stationing US forces on the islands. A formal agreement will be signed within the next couple of weeks in The Hague. Royal Netherlands Navy (RNN) sources expect the USA to station some 20 to 25 aircraft on both airfields in the next three years. Besides P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft they could also included E-2 Hawkeyes, Airborne Warning and Control (AWACS), and KC-135 tankers. These aircraft are employed through the Joint Interagency Task Force East (JIATF East) headquartered in Key West, Florida. The Flag Officer Netherlands Forces Caribbean, Brig Gen Willem Prins, is one of two tactical commanders for JIATF East. JIATF South will be moved out of Panama this year and will be merged into JIATF East in Key West. The Antilles government supported the move of US forces to the island since it would boost the local economy and counter the island's reputation as a safe haven for drug traffickers. The agreement initially will last only one year during which US officials will investigate ways to accommodate the increase in air traffic and population. Gen Prins will function as a liaison between US officials and the Dutch Antilles government. Currently, two RNN P-3C Orions are permanently stationed at Hato Airfield. The Dutch Ministry of Defence intends to augment that force in the near future with one extra Orion. These aircraft have dual missions: coast guard operations and counter-drug operations. There is always one frigate on station in the Caribbean - the West Indies Guard Ship - equipped with one Lynx helicopter. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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