------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon legislative hearings on HB 2933, for industrial hemp, and HJM 10, for medical marijuana (A list subscriber says a hearing has been scheduled for Rep. Prozanski's hemp bill at 8:30 am Thursday, April 22, in Hearing Room D at the capitol. A hearing on Rep. Bowman's medical marijuana resolution is also likely to take place by April 23.) From: LawBerger@aol.com Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 19:03:16 EDT Subject: DPFOR: HB 2933 (Industrial Hemp) & HJM10 (Medical Marijuana) To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ There is a hearing scheduled on Rep. Prozanzki's Industrial Hemp bill, HB 2933 in front of the House Agricultural Committee on Thursday, April 22, at 8:30 AM in Hearing Room D. Although not yet scheduled, there is reportedly a commitment for a hearing on Rep. Bowman's Medical Marijuana bill (Memorializing the sense of the Oregon Legislature that Marijuana ought not be listed in Schedule I and directing Congress to reschedule it). Will advise time and date (will be before Friday, April 23 cut off) as news becomes available. As to this and other pending legislation, if you don't know the name and address of your state representative or state senator, you can click here Oregon Legislative Assembly - Project Vote Smart (http://www.vote-smart.org/ce/states/OR/s-leg.html) and go to a web page which will link you to the pages which will provide you with that information. More news as it develops, Lee Berger Portland
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon high court OKs double-jeopardy review (The Oregonian says the state Supreme Court agreed Thursday to hear an appeal claiming double jeopardy in a 1994 Portland case involving the civil forfeiture of a house and a criminal indictment based on the same marijuana arrest. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that civil forfeiture is not punishment for purposes of considering a double-jeopardy claim. But the Oregon Supreme Court never has reviewed the state civil forfeiture statutes under the state Constitution. According to Stephen Kanter, a professor at Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College, in Portland, the Oregon Constitution's ban on double jeopardy is broader than the U.S. Constitution's.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Fri, Apr 16 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: Ashbel S. Green, the Oregonian Oregon high court OKs double-jeopardy review * A claimant contends the civil forfeiture of a house and an indictment based on the same drug case were unconstitutional As Alex Trebek might say, it's double-jeopardy time - for the Oregon court system. On Thursday, the Oregon Supreme Court agreed to review a double jeopardy claim in a 1994 Portland case involving the civil forfeiture of a house and an indictment based on the same marijuana arrest. Double jeopardy, which means being punished twice for one crime, is prohibited under both the U.S. Constitution and the Oregon Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that civil forfeiture is not punishment for purposes of considering a double-jeopardy claim. But the Oregon Supreme Court never has reviewed the state civil forfeiture statutes under the Oregon Constitution, according to lawyers familiar with the issue. Stephen Kanter, a professor at Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, said the Oregon Constitution's ban on double jeopardy is broader than the U.S. Constitution's. "There is some cause for thinking that Oregon might take a different look," Kanter said. The decision to review State vs. Selness comes one day after the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled on a double-jeopardy claim involving a Portland ordinance that allows police to exclude drug defendants from certain neighborhoods before prosecution. The court upheld the practice, overturning a lower court ruling that the exclusion notice itself was punishment and that prosecution on top of that would then be double jeopardy. In another case, the Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to review a Court of Appeals ruling that college students with divorced parents can demand financial support for their education. An Oregon law provides that divorced or separated parents may be required to continue to pay support while a child aged 18 to 21 attends school. In 1998, a Multnomah County judge declared the law unconstitutional, saying it imposed a financial burden on unmarried parents that is not imposed on married parents. The judge said there was no rational basis for creating separate classes of parents. The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed the decision in December, saying the state has an interest in looking out for the child when the parents may be blinded by the bitterness of their divorce. You can reach Tony Green at 221-8202 or by e-mail at Tonygreen@news.oregonian.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Control Dispute Reappears At Jail Meeting (The Oregonian says about 300 beds for inmates undergoing treatment for alcohol or other drug abuse are being considered for a proposed 225-bed Multnomah County jail along North Portland's Bybee Lake. A county attorney pointed out a new wrinkle at a Board of Supervisors meeting Thursday. If the county puts the jail and the treatment beds in the same facility, it could create constitutional problems for inmates undergoing coerced treatment who have served out their sentences.) Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 08:14:37 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US OR: Control Dispute Reappears At Jail Meeting Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Fri, Apr 16 1999 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: David Austin, the Oregonian CONTROL DISPUTE REAPPEARS AT JAIL MEETING A Gathering Called By County Chairwoman Beverly Stein Hits Persistent Problems Including Who Runs Substance Abuse Treatment If it's not one problem with the jail planned along North Portland's Bybee Lake, it's another. First, it was about protecting the natural environment. Then came the issue of how many additional beds would be in the medium-security facility. Toss in some angry residents from St. Johns, various lawsuits and a county Board of Commissioners that can't reach agreement on any aspect of the jail's future. What do you have? A mess. The county held an informal board gathering Thursday to work out some issues surrounding the siting of the 225-bed jail. What it turned into was a free-for-all debate that left some commissioners shaking their heads and sent audience members into the halls afterward muttering about how long it might take to even get the site approved. "We have a new acronym for this thing -- MCNCJ. It stands for Multnomah County New Carissa Jail," said Sheriff Dan Noelle, referring to the ship that ran aground near Coos Bay earlier this year. "I think the plan will come together, but I'm very frustrated right now. Every time the discussion picks up about the jail, this thing comes back with something different attached to it." Jurisdictional Debate The meeting was called by board Chairwoman Beverly Stein to help solve a dilemma of how to handle roughly 300 alcohol and drug treatment beds the county is considering placing at the jail. But a debate over who would be in charge of those beds has been raging for weeks. Noelle supports putting the beds at the jail but wants to be in charge of the security. He also doesn't want to have transitional housing beds there as part of the treatment facility because it would break promises the county made to North Portlanders. Elyse Clawson, the director of the county's Adult Community Justice department, wants the jail and the treatment facility to be run separately. Drug and alcohol treatment would last a minimum of three months and a maximum of six months under her plan. Both Noelle and Clawson's staff presented proposals for how to operate each of the facilities at the Bybee Lake site. But after the presentations, a county attorney pointed out a new wrinkle: If the county puts the jail and the treatment beds in the same facility, it could create constitutional problems for inmates who have served out their sentences. For example, if someone were sentenced to drug treatment at the facility for six months but didn't successfully complete the program, the inmate could legally argue that his sentence had been completed. Clawson argued that if the treatment beds are run as a separate residential treatment program, then the inmate couldn't make that argument. "I think we're as concerned about community security as anyone else is," Clawson said after the meeting. "We feel this needs to be a treatment focused program, and we're going to try to work out the legal questions." Cruz Pushes For Decision Commissioner Serena Cruz asked that a decision be made soon, urging her colleagues to put the treatment beds at the facility and work out a compromise. "We can get moving and within months start construction, or we could spend more time, more taxpayer dollars, and get stuck again," Cruz said. Voters passed a general obligation bond in 1996 to build a medium-security jail. The Bybee Lake site became the top choice after another site got rejected. That's much to the chagrin of a number of St. Johns residents who oppose the jail going up in their neighborhood and have sued the county on a number of fronts. A tiff between Noelle and Clawson over who will control the alcohol and drug treatment beds led the board to split the two facilities last year. But now some board members want to see the treatment beds back on the same land as the jail. Stein has struggled to lead the board toward an agreement about the facility. Clawson said she's hopeful about reaching a compromise with Noelle. "I know I'm going to try to come up with one," she said. "There's a lot riding on this because the general voting public is probably as supportive or more supportive of alcohol and drug treatment than they are a jail."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Students questioned over drinking at model U.N. (The Associated Press says as many as 100 students from two Portland High Schools are being questioned about drinking at a model United Nations event last week at the University of Oregon in Eugene.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Fri, Apr 16 1999 Source: The Associated Press (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Associated Press Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: no byline Students questioned over drinking at model U.N. The Associated Press 4/16/99 4:38 PM PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- As many as 100 students from two Portland High Schools are being questioned about drinking at a model United Nations event last week at the University of Oregon. Portland Public Schools spokesman Lew Frederick said he's not sure how many of the students, from Lincoln and Grant high schools, drank alcohol. There were no reports of students hurt or damage done during or after the underage drinking, he said. Some of the students involved are among the district's best, but identifying any student would be "completely inappropriate," Frederick said. "To name any kid in any situation is a clear violation of a trust." While at the three-day conference, the students had adult supervision. Model United Nations is a program in which students role-play as delegates from countries that are members of the United Nations so they can learn about the country and represent that country's point of view. Both principals, Velma Johnson of Lincoln and Toni Hunter at Grant, declined to comment. At both schools, most students and staff said they had not heard of any action taken against students or that any student had been involved in drinking at the weekend event. But others had heard from classmates about the drinking, some even joking that it was "one big party." Any student found to have been drinking could face penalties from suspension to not being allowed to participate in extracurricular activities, including sports and clubs. The student also could be required to take anti-drug and alcohol classes. (c) 1999 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Model U.N. students quizzed about drinking (The Oregonian version) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Fri, Apr 16 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: Michael A.W. Ottey, the Oregonian Model U.N. students quizzed about drinking * The Portland school district is investigating a report of inappropriate behavior by Grant and Lincoln high school students while staying in Eugene As many as 100 students from Portland's Lincoln and Grant high schools are being questioned about "inappropriate behavior" involving alcohol at a school activity last weekend in Eugene, a Portland Public Schools spokesman said Thursday. Spokesman Lew Frederick said the district's investigation stems from actions at a Model United Nations event held at the University of Oregon. The 100 students from Lincoln and Grant represented the Portland district at the event. Frederick said he was not sure how many of the students drank alcohol. There were no reports of students hurt or damage done during or after the underage drinking, he said. While at the three-day conference, the students had adult supervision. Some of the students involved are among the district's best, but identifying any student would be "completely inappropriate," Frederick said. "To name any kid in any situation is a clear violation of a trust." Just how many of the students were involved in the drinking and the extent of their involvement is being investigated, Frederick said. Model United Nations is a program in which students role-play as delegates from countries that are members of the United Nations so they can learn about the country and represent that country's point of view. Christine Allen, secretariat adviser to the Oregon High School International Relations League, which has sponsored the Model United Nations program since the league's inception a half-century ago, said she had heard no word of any alcohol-related activities during the weekend conference. "I heard absolutely nothing about it," she said, "and my ear is pretty close to the ground." Allen said more than 900 students and about 60 advisers from 34 schools attended the three-day conference on the University of Oregon campus while staying overnight in nearby motels. At Lincoln, Principal Velma Johnson is talking to students to get to the bottom of things, Frederick said. At Grant, Principal Toni Hunter spent a good part of the day on Thursday talking to students. Both principals declined to comment. At both schools, most students and staff said they had not heard of any action taken against students or that any student had been involved in drinking at the weekend event. But others had heard from classmates about the drinking, some even joking that it was "one big party." Any student found to have been drinking could face penalties from suspension to not being allowed to participate in extracurricular activities, including sports and clubs. The student also could be required to take anti-drug and alcohol classes. "If there was vandalism, you could require reparations," Frederick said. In this instance, that does not appear to be the case, he said. "We make it very clear that alcohol will not be tolerated," Frederick said. "We're sending a message." Frederick said the goal of any school investigation is not to condemn students or to publicly embarrass them. "The approach is not to try to create the permanent record or to try to make it a capital offense," he said. "Clearly bad judgment, from what I understand, took place." Frederick said he was not sure how school administrators learned of the drinking, but generally in these situations students talk. Last fall, Franklin High School in Southeast Portland was forced to forfeit a playoff football game against Jefferson High School because members of the Franklin football squad engaged in drinking at a party that ended in a wild brawl. Some of the football players who were not drinking also were benched, because they were at a party where alcohol was being served. Opal Chancler-Moore, the principal at Franklin, said the punishment was designed to send a message that there is zero tolerance for underage drinking at the school. Her decision was met with applause as well as criticism from some who thought it was unfair to punish students solely on the basis that they were there. You can reach Michael A.W. Ottey at 503-294-7668 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Josephine County medical marijuana martyr (A rural Oregon man dying from hepatitus C, contracted in the Marines, rues his legacy.) From: "Jim" (email@example.com) From: "CRRH mailing list" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Brownie Mary's Legacy (CA) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 20:02:36 -0700 Brownie Mary's Legacy makes her a Martyr for our cause. I am a 44 yr... old male. married for 22 years 2 adult boys. I am Terminally ill with Hep-C. in the Final Stages, A present from our government when I was in the Marine Corp. The only thing left is to wait for a liver transplant. We grew pot in our back yard for medicinal porpoises and was busted 3 years ago on felony drug charges. Then was busted again a year into probation when they found only ten seeds in the house we forgot about. There is a lot about this story I have not told yet as it would take me forever to write it.. I will say it was like the army coming into the house both busts were by the Josephine County Interagency Narcotics team. My wife taught at Rogue Community College, and the bust cost her here job. I believe that the system itself causes one to become a criminal. All I did was smoke pot medicinally. My Name is Jim W. Grants Pass, Oregon
------------------------------------------------------------------- Seattle Million Marijuana March sign-making gathering April 26 (A list subscriber invites local activists to the Queen Anne Library to prepare for the Seattle rally scheduled in conjunction with others around the world Saturday, May 1.) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 10:59:23 -0700 (PDT) From: Magic (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com cc: -Hemp Talk (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: HT: MMM Sign making gathering/April 26th Sender: email@example.com This is an open invitation to all those persons interested in creating signs for the Million Marijuana March on May 1st, 1999 to come to the Queen Anne Library, Monday, April 26th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. The library is located at 400 West Garfield in QA. Tel # is 206/386-4227. If you have sign making supplies please bring them, or just bring yourself. Look forward to seeing you there. This event is sponsored by the Washington Hemp Education Network, Seattle Chapter, and is open to all. Magic. *** hemp-talk - firstname.lastname@example.org is a discussion/information list about hemp politics in Washington State. To unsubscribe, send e-mail to email@example.com with the text "unsubscribe hemp-talk". For more details see http://www.hemp.net/lists.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- Norman Vroman's views on crime, punishment and paying taxes set him apart (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat says the newly elected district attorney in Mendocino County, California, has charted a new course in dealing with domestic violence, drunken driving and marijuana cultivation. Vroman also signaled a new tack toward asset forfeiture by ousting a veteran prosecutor who had handled such drug-related cases. He says there are two types of criminals, those who are predatory and violent, and those who make mistakes but who are basically benevolent. The newspaper says concern is stirring within law enforcement and victim advocacy groups, but that Vroman continues to receive strong support from both sides of Mendocino County's political spectrum, which share a common distrust of the government.) From: " Joe Hart & Kay Lee" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) To: "Restore" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Libertarian DA Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 20:33:45 -0500 From Mike Steindel (CLaw7MAn@webtv.net) Via November Coalition: www.november.org After reading this article you may feel moved enough to to e-mail, smail this District Attorney and let him know that you support his efforts to see justice prevail. He is one of a new breed being elected across america who wish to put an end to the punitive prohibitonist practices of the Drug War gone wrong. All those that take the stand against injustice need our support. Lets let him know that we appreciate his efforts... mike web: www.normvroman.com e-mail: email@example.com Write Norm Vroman at: 116 S. School St. Ukiah, CA 95482 Here's on article from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat on the newly elected libertarian DA of Mendocino County. A different sort of D.A. *** Norman Vroman's views on crime, punishment and paying taxes set him apart Apr. 16, 1999 By DEREK J. MOORE Press Democrat Staff Writer Norman Vroman, whose job credentials include a nine-month prison term for refusing to pay taxes, ousted Mendocino County's 12-year district attorney with a pledge to bring a new perspective to crime and punishment. In his first three months, he has done just that. He has replaced eight of 16 prosecutors with five former defense attorneys and two prosecutors whose last experience was in Micronesia and Guam. His chief assistant is embroiled in a lawsuit against the former D.A. over his departure from the office last year. He has charted a new course in dealing with domestic violence, drunken driving and marijuana cultivation, saying defendants should be treated with more understanding and that rehabilitation is the best solution. And, in his continuing battle with state and federal tax authorities, he filed for bankruptcy protection from paying back taxes and penalties that the IRS contends total more than $3.4 million. Vroman, 62, said he knows what it's like to be on the wrong side of the law and that he brings a new sense of fairness to his office. "People know when they come to Mendocino County they're going to get a fair shake,'' he said. "The cases are being filed based on the evidence, the facts, and not on who or what they are.'' But as he carries out his promise for change that swept him into office in November with the defeat of former District Attorney Susan Massini, concern is stirring within law enforcement and victim advocacy groups. Vroman refused to seek prison time for a man on his 11th drunken driving conviction, outlined an approach to domestic violence that runs counter to current law enforcement trends and signaled a new tack toward asset forfeiture with his ousting of a veteran prosecutor who had handled such drug-related cases. Vroman's most recent tax troubles have generated criticism from some local residents who fear he will be too soft on crime. "He has an obvious odd outlook already,'' said Russ Kinsey, a semi-retired engineering contractor who voted for Massini in November. "He doesn't have a high regard for certain laws, so why isn't that same thought going to prevail in criminal law?'' But Vroman continues to receive strong support from both sides of Mendocino County's political spectrum, which share a common distrust of the government. "The old (D.A.'s) office was a true bunker mentality, us versus them, thin blue line to an extreme,'' said Bert Schlosser, a county alternate public defender. He said Vroman is taking a more fair approach. "They're not playing political football,'' Schlosser said. "They don't have a bunker mentality.'' A registered Libertarian, Vroman spent nine months in federal prison in 1992-93 for failing to pay taxes for 17 years. He considers his confrontation with tax authorities to be an act of principle over the meaning of tax law. That anti-government stance landed him in federal prison, and is now driving the changes he is bringing to the D.A.'s office. "It makes me very aware of the powers that government has,'' he said. "Now that I have that power, it comes with a great responsibility to exercise it in a moral, ethical and legal way.'' Sorting out criminals Vroman, who is paid $87,000 a year, has pledged to be accessible to the public, and to that end has his own direct phone line and answers it himself. Unlike most prosecutors who emphasize protecting victims, Vroman, a former municipal court judge in Pomona and defense attorney, consistently speaks of protecting the rights of defendants. He says there are two types of criminals, those who are predatory and violent, and those who make mistakes but who are basically benevolent. The first category includes murderers, rapists, robbers and embezzlers. Vroman calls these people "piranhas'' who have no place in society. The other category, Vroman said, are everyday people who for some reason "have come afoul of the law.'' They include alcohol and drug abusers, and Vroman said he would treat each case on an individual basis. "I don't see my job as putting people in jail,'' he said. "I see my job as getting these people out of the criminal justice system.'' Drug offenses In a county known for tolerance of marijuana growing, Vroman's policies toward drugs are for the most part status quo. One notable exception is in the area of asset forfeiture, which allows law enforcement to seize assets that come from drug transactions. The money that is collected is split between law enforcement agencies and the state to establish education programs and to pay for further enforcement efforts. After taking office, Vroman forced out Kevin Maloney, a 14-year veteran of the office who was in charge of the D.A.'s forfeiture program. Maloney declined comment. Vroman cited personnel reasons in declining to discuss Maloney's departure from the office. He also would not comment on whether he thought the forfeiture program was being mishandled under his predecessor. Maloney was assigned to a narcotics case involving Navarro residents Winters Alan Kendall and Debra Kathleen Wineteer, who were arrested in 1995 after county drug agents raided their home and discovered approximately 33 pounds of marijuana, according to court documents. The pair was charged with several drug-related crimes and with numerous counts of tax evasion after agents discovered receipts totaling about $235,000 that the pair allegedly did not claim on their tax returns, court records show. The tax charges were later thrown out by a Mendocino County Superior Court judge. The D.A.'s office under Maloney's direction sought to seize the home owned by Wineteer based on the remaining drug charges, but when Vroman took office he dropped the forfeiture negotiations. Not long after that, Maloney was looking for another job. Vroman would not talk about specifics of the case or say if it was a precursor of things to come. "The law was not followed in that case,'' he said. "That's all I'm going to say about that.'' Kendall and Wineteer are now only facing criminal charges connected to the case, which is set for a pre-trial hearing on May 7. Vroman has since hired local defense attorney William Rigsby to replace Maloney. As for his policy on prosecuting drug-related crimes, Vroman has not proposed major changes. He made a distinction between those who manufacture substances such as methamphetamine and those who grow or sell pot. "One's a synthetic thing that's been proven to have a debilitating effect on a person,'' he said. "Marijuana I put in the category of alcohol.'' Vroman said he would seek to prosecute commercial growers of marijuana -- not because of the drug itself -- but because people are endangered when they accidentally stumble upon the pot fields. As for smaller growers of marijuana, Vroman would not specify a prosecution policy. "You have to look at the person,'' he said. "How many plants they're growing, where they are growing them and their history (with law enforcement). "Frankly, the people in my county aren't worried about marijuana,'' he added. "If you don't know that you've been on Mars.'' Drunkin Driving But already critics say the pendulum may be swinging too far in favor of criminal defendants. In one of those cases, Vroman asked a Mendocino County Superior Court judge to suspend a state prison term for a Redwood Valley man facing sentence on his 11th drunken driving conviction. Vroman sided with the defense in asking the court to allow Stuart Fulkerson to attend a residential treatment program. The judge refused the request and sentenced Fulkerson to two years in prison. Vroman's actions were unusual in a time when law enforcement continues to crack down on drunk drivers and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers push for tougher drunk driving laws. He maintains, however, "that incarceration without a rehabilitation program doesn't work with these people.'' Domestic violence Vroman's approach to combating domestic violence runs counter to the zero-tolerance stance taken by D.A.'s in other counties, including Sonoma County. Prosecutors in Sonoma County go after batterers even in cases where victims recant their stories of abuse. The premise is that the failure to prosecute only encourages escalating violence. But in Mendocino County, Vroman's philosophy is that people in violent relationships should be allowed to work out their problems, without intervention from law enforcement. "I don't see it as the criminal justice system's job to keep people apart,'' he said. "I see criminal justice's job to keep the peace.'' He said the most serious offenders should still be sent to prison or jail, but in other cases he prefers educating and counseling batterers over confining them. "If it's reasonable they (batterers) are going to get out in 10 days, or 2 years, you're going to have the same problem,'' he said. "So why not education?'' But victim advocates say Vroman's proposal is a step back to the days when domestic violence was treated as a private relationship problem, often allowing a pattern of assault and domination to escalate to serious injury and even murder. "The new message is that there is a level of tolerance. We're waiting to see what that level is,'' said Jani Sheppard, executive director of Project Sanctuary, which oversees the county's three battered women's shelters. In one case, a woman was forced to go to the D.A.'s office to show prosecutors her bruises because the case had been dropped, said Porter DuMar Dinehart, a paralegal for Project Sanctuary and chairwoman of the county's Domestic Violence Council. The case was re-filed, Dinehart said. The concern is so acute that the Victim Services Council is developing a new policy of tracking all domestic violence cases to ensure they are handled properly. "We want to see where each case goes, and if it's dropped, why it's dropped,'' she said. Vroman's views on domestic violence have also created friction between the D.A.'s office and some members of local law enforcement. The problems center around Vroman's proposal, outlined in meetings with law enforcement as well as with victim advocates, to cite both people involved in a domestic altercation when it's unclear who hit who. The goal, Vroman said in an interview, is to bring both people into court and force them into counseling. "When you have two people living together, you need to deal with both ends of the equation,'' he said. "If you put one side of the equation into the criminal justice system, and not the other half, you're not going to solve the equation.'' But some in law enforcement fear that victims will be reluctant to call for help if they think they might be arrested. Barry Inman, president of the Ukiah Police Officer's Association, said officers are also concerned that domestic violence cases are being dropped. "Some of them were kind of brushed off," Inman said. *** Shared by Kay Lee End Prohibition Now http://www.zyworld.com/kay~lee/home.htm http://www.hempnation.com/citizens/kaylee/ Share your concerns, help restore freedom: build a free webpage: http://www.zyworld.com Click on login http://www.hempnation.com http://www.geocities.com http://www.angelfire.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Brownie Mary dies, but lives on in memorials this week (An obituary in the Bay Area Reporter for Mary Jane Rathbun quotes Dennis Person saying, "Mary adopted every gay kid in San Francisco. She was there before we knew what AIDS was, when it was referred to as 'GRID,' and even back then she always had a batch of brownies there to relieve the pain of her kids.") From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 17:01:29 -0700 To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Bay Area Reporter http://www.ebar.com/ BayAreaRpt@aol.com April 16, 1999 Brownie Mary dies, but lives on in memorials this week by Mark Norby Mary Jane Rathbun was many things to many people: activist, caregiver, co-founder of the now-defunct Cannabis Buyers Club, baker to a generation riddled by pain and agony from the complications of AIDS, and friend to all who felt her deep compassion. Known affectionately among her community as "Brownie Mary," Rathbun died Saturday evening, April 10 in San Francisco at the age of 77. Rathbun had been hospitalized off and on over the past nine months after suffering a fall in her San Francisco home last August, which led to neck and spinal surgery at Mt. Zion Medical Center in San Francisco. Although the surgery was successful, she never fully recovered and she spent her last months in the Hospice and Palliative Care Unit at Laguna Honda Hospital. Rathbun was at the forefront on the local, state, and national levels in the fight to legalize medical marijuana, working with her devoted friend and activist cohort, Dennis Peron. "Mary adopted every gay kid in San Francisco," Peron told the Bay Area Reporter. "She was there before we knew what AIDS was, when it was referred to as 'GRID,' and even back then she always had a batch of brownies there to relieve the pain of her kids." Peron and other friends of Rathbun have planned a vigil and memorial of remembrance at 18th and Castro streets this Saturday, April 17 at 8 p.m. All are welcome and organizers aim to inspire all those touched by Rathbun to continue her good work and to continue the fight to legalize medical marijuana in all parts of the country. Ironically, a benefit variety show was planned for Monday, April 19 by 'Make It So' Productions at San Francisco's Theater Rhinoceros. The benefit was to help alleviate the financial burden Rathbun suffered due to escalating medical bills. "I am very saddened by the loss of Brownie Mary," said Steve Murray, who heads 'Make It So' Productions. "She was a kind lady who always had a few sharp words for our politicians, and she cared for the gay community in ways that will always be remembered. She's in a better place now, but we will never forget what she has done for all of us." Murray said his production company is focusing on turning the planned variety show into a memorial service for Rathbun. "We would like to turn it into a celebration of her life and to 'make it so' in remembrance of a beautiful woman," he added. Auspicious name Rathbun was born December 22, 1921 to a conservative Irish Catholic mother who unwittingly named her Mary Jane. Little did her mother know that her daughter would devote many years of her life to "Mary Jane" - as in marijuana - as she became the world-famous Brownie Mary, providing cannabis-laced brownies to people with AIDS as a way of easing their pain. Rathbun once said, with her usual spunk and vigor, "Given my background and reputation, and my adopted name, Brownie Mary, my poor old mother is surely turning cartwheels in her grave. "It serves her right." Rathbun spoke up in support of progressive causes from an early age and continued to do so to the end of her life. She became an activist in her late teens when she traveled with a group of friends from Chicago to Wisconsin to support union rights for miners. She moved to San Francisco in the early days of World War II, intent on "capturing a military man." She first attained notoriety in the 1970s as a grandmotherly woman who sold marijuana and her now-famous marijuana brownies and cannabis recipes. She gave birth to one daughter with her "captured military man," as she called her late husband, but their daughter died tragically in an automobile accident in the early 1970s, a loss that caused her years of sadness and grief. "I think losing her daughter led Mary to a sense of deep compassion for her kids with AIDS here in San Francisco," said Peron. "But she never wanted to talk about her own life. She would talk about anything else first, and she was always ready to start a four-letter argument about politics and issues, or about her kids that she loved so much, that felt abandoned by their families, their friends, and even their lovers. But she never abandoned a single one of them. She would say 'They need me, they are my kids, and sometimes I'm all they've got.'" Rathbun's family remained her cadre of fellow activists and her kids that she cared for in Ward 86 at San Francisco General Hospital, where she devoted 14 years of her life to helping take care of those suffering from AIDS. "Mary eased the thought of death and dying for her kids, like a Christ figure," Peron said. "But she was a devout atheist. She always wore a button on her blouse that said 'Jesus, protect me from your followers.' And in the midst of my sadness over losing her, I had a vision the other day of Mary standing before the gates of heaven. She was standing there and God said to Mary, 'You've been an atheist your whole life. You smoked a lot, you drank a lot, you cussed a lot. And now you want to get into heaven.' "Then Mary replies to God, 'Yes, you're right. I've done all those things. But if you let me through the gates of heaven, I've got 12 pot brownies for you here in my bag, and I'm sure you'll enjoy them.'" The Monday event starts at 8 p.m. at Theater Rhinoceros, 2926 16th Street. For more information, call (415) 861-5079.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Report: Lett Fails Drug Test (According to UPI, the New York Times is reporting that Leon Lett, the Dallas Cowboys' defensive tackle, has failed a drug test for the third time and faces a lifetime suspension from the National Football League. The Times report did not say what drug was involved. One of Lett's agents, Michael Claiborne, told the Dallas Morning News that his client had been tested an average of ten times a month for the past four years.) To: "NTList@Fornits. com" (NTList@Fornits.com) Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 23:21:00 -0700 Subject: [ntlist] FW: US TX: WIRE: Report: Lett Fails Drug Test Reply-To: email@example.com () -----Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Monday, April 19, 1999 7:05 PM To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: WIRE: Report: Lett Fails Drug Test Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International REPORT: LETT FAILS DRUG TEST DALLAS, April 16 (UPI) _ The New York Times is reporting that Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Leon Lett has failed a drug test for the third time and may face a lifetime suspension from the National Football league. The Times quotes Cowboys sources who say Lett has filed an appeal that is being reviewed by NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Lett could not be reached for comment on the report and the Cowboys can make no official comment on any player in the NFL substance abuse program. The Dallas Morning News quoted team owner Jerry Jones as saying, ``The entire program is based on confidentiality. We're not in a position to make any comment nor would we want to. No one from the New York Times has called and asked me or anyone in the organization questions about this.'' Lett was suspended by the NFL for four games in the 1995 season, then missed the last three games of the 1996 season and the first 13 games of 1997 because of failed drug tests. He has been in the program since 1995. The Times report indicates Lett will likely use the same appeal process he used before his second suspension, when he challenged the validity of the test collecting and processing arrangements. If Lett loses his appeal, the two-time Pro Bowl tackle could be suspended for all of the 1999 season or possibly permanently banned from the NFL because he is in the third stage of the anti-drug program. The Times report did not say what drug was involved. Coach Chan Gailey said late Thursday night he knew nothing about Lett failing a drug test. The Times also quotes an unidentified team official as saying this latest developments has stirred a wave of emotions, both positive and negative. ``This is terrible news,'' the official said. ``We all thought Leon was straightening out his life.'' Both of Lett's agents told the Morning News they had not heard about the latest development as of late Thursday night and said they would be shocked if it were true. One of them, Michael Claiborne, said his client has been tested an average of ten times a month for the past four years. *** Non-Testers List (NTList) news list. A consumer guide to anti-drug testing companies. http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/6443/ntl.html To Join or Leave NTList send "join ntlist" or "leave ntlist" in the TEXT area (NOT the subject area) to: firstname.lastname@example.org Don't forget "ntlist" in your command. For Help, just send "help". List owner: email@example.com (JR Irvin)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Senate Hardens Pot-Sale Penalty (The Des Moines Register says a bill that would make it a felony to sell even the smallest quantity of marijuana in Iowa passed 34-11. The bill would also provide up to five years in prison for anyone who gave away one-half to 1 ounce of marijuana. Having already sailed through the House. It still needs Gov. Tom Vilsack's signature to take effect. Sen. Jeff Lamberti, R-Ankeny, who guided debate of the bill, said it treats marijuana more like other illicit drugs.) Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 08:57:20 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US IA: Senate Hardens Pot-Sale Penalty Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Carl Olsen Pubdate: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 Source: Des Moines Register (IA) Copyright: 1999, The Des Moines Register. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dmregister.com/ Author: Jonathan Roos, Register Staff Writer SENATE HARDENS POT-SALE PENALTY Had he been able to vote from the Senate gallery Thursday, Iowa State University senior Brian Dirks said, he would have supported tougher marijuana penalties. Dirks, a forestry major from Le Mars, and six ISU companions watched the Senate debate, then approve a bill that would make it a felony to sell even the smallest quantity of marijuana. Opponents argued that the stricter law could damage the future of a young adult who makes a mistake. But Dirks said offenders should pay the consequences. "I'd be real scared if someone was going to law school or medical school using drugs," he said. The bill also would increase criminal penalties to a maximum five years in prison for someone who gives one-half to 1 ounce of marijuana to another person. There would continue to be lighter punishment for giving lesser amounts. Sen. Jeff Lamberti, R-Ankeny, who guided debate of the bill, said it treats marijuana more like other illicit drugs. Critics said more punishment was the wrong approach. They called for more drug treatment and education. "I don't think we want to fill up our prisons with more and more young people who make that mistake," said Sen. Johnie Hammond, D-Ames. "The real problem is the meth problem," said Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines. Supporters of the bill rejected those arguments. "I know meth is getting all the headlines, but there is a drug problem and marijuana is part of it," said Sen. David Miller, R-Libertyville. Said Sen. Mike Sexton, R-Rockwell City, "We need to be a little bit tough on some of these kids because maybe they don't have the structure at home that our kids do." The bill, passed on a 34-11 vote, already had sailed through the House. It still needs Gov. Tom Vilsack's signature to take effect.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Couple Sent To Prison For Growing Marijuana (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in Wisconsin, says Gary & Dawn Roth forfeited their 460-acre farm in Vernon County and were sentenced to 10 years, and three years and one month, respectively, after police found 4,244 marijuana plants in a converted hog barn in December.) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 03:24:14 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WI: Couple Sent To Prison For Growing Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: April 16, 1999 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Copyright: 1999, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 414-224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Forum: http://www.jsonline.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimate.cgi Author: Kevin Murphy Special to the Journal Sentinel COUPLE SENT TO PRISON FOR GROWING MARIJUANA Madison - A Vernon County couple convicted of running one the state's biggest marijuana-growing operations were sentenced to prison Thursday and had their 460-acre farm taken away from them. Gary Roth, 40, received a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence, and his wife, Dawn Roth, 42, was sentenced to three years and one month in prison. The two pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. As part of a plea bargain, the couple agreed to forfeit their farm, equipment and other assets totaling $908,000, the amount of their net profits on the sale of marijuana from 1993 to 1998. State and federal authorities raided the Roths' hog and grain farm in December and seized 4,244 live marijuana plants from a hog barn that was converted to a state-of-the-art marijuana factory. It took a semitrailer to haul off the plants. Gary Roth grew more than 700 pounds of marijuana between 1992 and 1998, authorities said. Gary Roth took over his family's farm and steadily expanded operations, which impressed neighbors and area businesses, according to letters sent to the court. At the time of his arrest, Gary Roth was raising corn and soybeans on 6,000 acres. To obtain the expensive equipment required to farm more acres, he teamed in 1992 with another man and began cultivating marijuana. Gary Roth pursued the illegal crop with the same expertise he used to grow corn and beans, even traveling to the Netherlands to buy marijuana seed, court records said. Gary Roth became a successful marijuana farmer, growing 50 pounds in 1992 and doubling the harvest the next year, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Graber. Gary Roth sold the crop to a buyer in Minneapolis and grossed about $10,000 a week, Graber said. Gary Roth and his partner had a falling out over money in 1996, and Roth later bought him out for $35,000, Graber said. Dawn Roth did not become involved in the growing operation until the couple separated in 1997 or 1998, said Gary Roth's attorney, Mark Eisenberg. Dawn Roth, who worked as a travel agent, needed more money and began tending the marijuana plants, said Graber. She was paid $400 for every pound sold. When Dawn Roth asked the former partner in December to help tend the plants so the Roths could go on vacation, the man told the authorities about the operation in exchange for immunity. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb said she gave Gary Roth a longer sentence than his wife because of his role as leader of the operation. Eisenberg said he would appeal Gary Roth's sentence.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Illinois "Cannabis Info" bill dead (A list subscriber forwards a message from an ACLU-Illinois legislative coordinator predicting the demise of HB 792, which 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.") Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 18:35:38 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Larry Stevens" (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: IL "Cannabis Info" bill dead This is from Mary Dixon, Legislative Coordinator for the ACLU - Illinois. Looks like we can call off the dogs for now. Larry- I think we're all safe from the likes of HB 792. Staff told me on Wednesday at the Senate Judiciary committee hearing that the bill will not be called and is dead for the session. I appreciate your having been there though and thank you for your support. Please know I will contact you should any version of this bill appear elsewhere prior to session adjournment. Mary
------------------------------------------------------------------- Four Co-Defenders Say Cop Was Drug Kingpin (The Chicago Tribune says four co-defendants pleaded guilty Thursday to drug conspiracy charges and accused Officer Joseph Miedzianowski, a Chicago policeman, of leading a double life as a cocaine kingpin who allegedly interfered with a murder investigation, armed gang members with semi-automatic weapons and betrayed fellow officers working undercover. In exchange for their cooperation and their testimony against Miedzianowski and others, the four likely will receive sharp reductions in prison sentences that could have sent them away for anywhere from 17 years to life.) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 17:33:46 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US IL: Four Co-Defenders Say Cop Was Drug Kingpin Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Pubdate: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Copyright: 1999 Chicago Tribune Company Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ Forum: http://www.chicagotribune.com/interact/boards/ Author: Todd Lighty FOUR CO-DEFENDERS SAY COP WAS DRUG KINGPIN A Chicago policeman accused of leading a double life as a drug kingpin allegedly interfered with a murder investigation, armed gang members with semi-automatic weapons and betrayed fellow officers working undercover, according to accounts from four co-defendants who pleaded guilty on Thursday to drug conspiracy charges. In an appearance before U.S. District Judge Blanche Manning, the four admitted their roles in a Miami-to-Chicago drug ring that the FBI said distributed more than 220 pounds of powder and crack cocaine in Chicago from 1995 through 1998 -- a ring allegedly protected and run by Officer Joseph Miedzianowski. The four include the ring's drug courier, two customers and its chef, who admitted to cooking about 55 pounds of powder cocaine into crack allegedly for Miedzianowski. In their plea agreements, they supplied new details in the government's case against Miedzianowski, including how in 1995 he allegedly told a murder suspect the names of possible witnesses in the case and how two years later he supplied a dozen semi-automatic pistols and revolvers to the Imperial Gangsters in their bloody street war against the Spanish Cobras. Further, their plea agreements also reveal accusations that a second Chicago officer was present while Miedzianowski supposedly mediated a drug dispute outside a police station. Assistant U.S. Atty. Brian Netols declined to identify the second officer, or provide more details about the murder. But Netols said that with the four co-defendants breaking ranks they have "obviously provided significant" information about the drug ring and police corruption. Miedzianowski's lawyer, Phillip A. Turner, said the allegations were ludicrous, brought forth by desperate people looking to spare themselves long prison terms. "We are going to refute every last one of those allegations," Turner said. "We will do it with witnesses of our own and documentation." Miedzianowski, 46, a longtime officer in the gang crimes unit, has been in federal custody since his arrest last December. He was scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges of participating in a conspiracy to distribute drugs. Lawyers for the four who pleaded guilty -- Yolanda Navarro, 26; David Ruiz, 28; Francisco Figueroa, 29; and Joseph DeLeon, 32 -- either did not return messages or declined to comment. But according to their plea agreements, the four offer fresh, gritty details of the government's allegations that Miedzianowski ran a major drug ring while both on and off duty. In exchange for their cooperation and their testimony against Miedzianowski and others, the four likely will receive sharp reductions in prison sentences that could have sent them away for anywhere from 17 years to life. Some of the most highly charged accusations came from DeLeon, a high-ranking member of the Imperial Gangsters. Miedzianowski, according to court documents, once described DeLeon as a friend, and the government alleges he was the drug ring's best customer. According to his plea agreement, DeLeon said he bought roughly 88 pounds of crack cocaine from the drug ring from summer 1996 to 1998 -- with Miedzianowski allegedly personally delivering about 20 pounds to him. DeLeon also said he supplied some drugs to gang members who would sell smaller quantities on Chicago's streets. DeLeon also told prosecutors about a second police officer who might be partially aware of Miedzianowski's alleged role, according to the plea agreement. The second officer, according to DeLeon, stood nearby as Miedzianowski tried to resolve a dispute over drug prices and supplies between DeLeon and Juan Martir, a convicted drug dealer who is also cooperating with prosecutors. The second officer did not participate in the meeting, which occurred outside the Grand Central Area police headquarters, according to court documents. DeLeon and Martir never resolved their differences that day, and DeLeon alleges that Miedzianowski stepped in and replaced Martir as his new supplier of cocaine. DeLeon's plea also added detail to previous allegations by the government that Miedzianowski thwarted the efforts of fellow officers trying to arrest drug dealers. Whenever undercover cops were working DeLeon's neighborhood, Miedzianowski allegedly tipped him off. He also accused Miedzianowski of supplying him with at least 12 semi-automatic pistols and revolvers and bags full of bullets. "During the time Miedzianowski was giving (DeLeon) firearms and ammunition, the Imperial Gangsters were at war with the Spanish Cobra street gang," court documents say. "Miedzianowski knew (DeLeon) was giving most of the firearms and ammunition . . . to fellow members of the Imperial Gangsters, and that these firearms were utilized for Imperial Gangster street protection and retaliation." Francisco Figueroa, according to his plea agreement, admitted delivering cocaine and collecting money for the drug ring and cooking powder cocaine into highly potent crack cocaine. Figueroa also told prosecutors that Miedzianowski joined with others to rob rival drug dealers and accused the officer of interfering with a murder investigation. In 1995, according to Figueroa's plea, Nelson Padilla -- the "prince," or leader, of the Latin Lovers street gang -- "was wanted for murder" by Chicago police detectives, according to court documents. Miedzianowski allegedly gave Padilla and others the names of witnesses to the fatal shooting, documents show. Miedzianowski never turned in Padilla, who hid in Miami for a while before quietly returning to Chicago. Netols, the federal prosecutor, would not discuss the status of the murder investigation but said his office was working with state prosecutors and Chicago homicide detectives. Padilla also has been indicted in connection with the current drug investigation and is in federal custody. Figueroa told prosecutors that he taught Miedzianowski's girlfriend and co-defendant, Alina Lis, how to cook powder cocaine into crack. "Joseph Miedzianowski was frequently at (Lis') apartment while (Figueroa) cooked the cocaine, complaining about the smell made by the cooking crack," according to Figueroa's plea agreement. Lis' former roommate, Yolanda Navarro, also is cooperating with the government. Navarro said Miedzianowski allegedly tipped her off about an investigation of her former boyfriend and used a building owned by his elderly mother to stash drugs. Drug seller David Ruiz, according to court documents, said he saw Miedzianowski inside one of Martir's stash houses and that he was aware that Martir allegedly paid protection money to Miedzianowski.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Merle Haggard Still Calls The Tune (A Boston Globe feature article on the country music legend from Bakersfield, California, quotes him saying "Okie from Muskogee" was a kind of joke, and that conservatives - especially the anti-marijuana forces - have gone too far. "America has sure gone to some sort of a police state in the last 10 years," he said. Thanks to "zero tolerance" policies by U.S. authorities at the Canadian border, he won't play in Canada now for fear of having tour buses forfeited.) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 16:32:52 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Merle Haggard Still Calls The Tune Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dick Evans) Pubdate: Fri, 16 Apr 16, 1999 Source: Boston Globe (MA) Copyright: 1999 Globe Newspaper Company. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Author: Steve Morse MERLE HAGGARD STILL CALLS THE TUNE When Merle Haggard released ''Okie from Muskogee'' 30 years ago, the song made him a right-wing hero. Issued at the height of the Vietnam War protests, it won him praise from conservatives for the line ''We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee/We don't take our trips on LSD.'' Haggard always said the hoopla was overplayed, claiming he intended the song as a kind of jest. And, today, this country legend cum rugged individualist says that conservatives - especially the anti-marijuana forces - have gone too far. ''America has sure gone to some sort of a police state in the last 10 years,'' says Haggard, who is at the Flynn Theatre in Burlington, Vt., tomorrow and Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Sunday. He hasn't played in New England since 1990, mainly because the region used to serve as a connecting stop for his tours of Canada, which he has cut out temporarily. He says he's sick of the US ''zero tolerance'' laws, which make reentering the States an indignity. ''If they find a seed of marijuana in your car or bus, they'll run it all over the news,'' says Haggard, speaking from his home in northern California. ''I've got 30 people working for me. There is liable to be a seed of marijuana, so it makes it very uninviting to go into Canada, knowing that the United States is going to harass you coming back. ''They snatched some buses from people I won't name, and buses are not cheap,'' he adds, referring to the US customs officials. ''It costs us seven or eight years of our lives to pay for these buses, and they just take 'em. Like I say, you can't personally shake people down that work for you. I'm not going to do that. You don't know who's doing what and who isn't, but [the police] come on and this `zero tolerance' thing they've got going is really amazing. They've got private enterprise building prisons now. It's scary. It's overkill.'' Maybe Haggard could do a solo acoustic ''unplugged'' tour instead. ''That's not a bad idea. Yeah, they won't have nothin' to search,'' snaps Haggard, a grizzled 61-year-old (alias ''The Hag'') who is loaded with strong opinions and enjoys being cast as a proverbial outsider. Take his feelings toward the Nashville establishment: Been there, done that. To put it mildly. ''I moved to Nashville for two years - in 1976 and '77 - and my record sales went down to about half what they had been,'' says Haggard, who emerged from the same Bakersfield, Calif., scene that spawned Buck Owens. ''So I got the hell out of there and my record sales went right back up. It was like living in the middle of a carnival. Hey, I don't mind coming to work and running the Ferris wheel once in a while, but I don't want to live right there. That's kind of the way it is down there. Your work becomes your entirety. I've never given my full entire self to this business. I give about half my time. And I'm not going to give any more than that.'' No wonder the Hag is branded a classic loner - an image the public has embraced during a career that has seen an astonishing 63 of his songs in the Top Ten of the country charts. Among his signature, baritone-rich tunes: ''Mama Tried,'' ''Workin' Man Blues,'' ''Sing Me Back Home,'' ''Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down,'' and ''Today I Started Loving You Again.'' ''I'll tell you what the public likes more than anything. It's the most rare commodity in the world - honesty. You just have to be honest with them and say, `Hey, I don't want to live in Nashville.' It's a nice city and has paid tribute to me and I owe it a lot. But I don't want to live there ... I want to make my music on the West Coast.'' Haggard is almost a Paul Bunyan figure in country lore. He was born in Bakersfield and lived in a boxcar where his father, a railroad worker, resided. His father died when Haggard was 9, starting a downhill spiral that led to a crime-dotted youth, including a three-year stint in San Quentin for armed robbery. He was released in the early '60s and was given a full pardon by Governor Ronald Reagan in 1972. Haggard has been on the road for 38 years with his band, the Strangers, of which only three early members are left: Don Martin, horn, steel player and band leader, Norman Hamlett; and harmony singer, Bonnie Owens. ''All the rest of the band is new,'' he says, ''and everybody's younger than me, but that wouldn't be saying much.'' Haggard has fought many battles in his life, but one that stands out is his fight to use the Strangers in the studio. He stuck with them even though the Nashville way was to make solo acts use so-called ''A team'' studio players to get a homogenized sound suitable for radio. ''If there's an Elvis Presley out there today, we wouldn't even know it. He wouldn't get a chance to use his own band. They'd run that same damned band in on him,'' he says. Today's new artists are also ''not getting to put out the songs that are the best. The songs have to be of a nature that doesn't cause someone to look up from their computer, otherwise they won't be played. So [the music] is being strained and refined and perfected - and there's nothing more boring than perfection.'' Haggard is likewise angry at the industry's prejudice against older artists, who are routinely denied airplay. ''I think if we had this mentality in charge in the last 100 years, we would have missed some of the greatest performers in the world. What if they did that in classical music? What would we do - make Pavarotti go home?'' Haggard's son, Noel, is another Nashville refugee. ''He went down there ... but they wouldn't let him insert an idea of his own at all. He got disgusted and came home. He's working here at the ranch,'' he says, referring to his citrus ranch. ''I don't know if Noel is going to do music or not. He's 35 years old and, of course, he's going to be over the age curve soon. He'll be too damned old! And that's silly. I didn't even grow up until I was 40 years old. And I surely didn't mature musically until about that period. It's a shame that the public is denied mature music.'' Haggard puts the blame on spineless producers and program directors ''who know absolutely zero about music. ... It's time to turn the body and fender work back over to the body and fender people.'' To his credit, Haggard is still plugging on. He survived heart surgery two years ago, altered his diet, and feels better than ever. He now has six children, including two (ages 6 and 9) from his current marriage. ''It's just the greatest thing I've ever been involved with in my life,'' he says. ''They say you'll enjoy kids more when you're older, and I certainly do.'' In addition, this could be one of his busiest career years. He is preparing a boxed set of the gospel music he's done through the years. He also has a pay-per-view concert in October timed to coincide with the release of a double CD of 61 of his best-known songs he's now rerecording for RCA. And he has an autobiography (tentatively titled ''The Running Kind'') due this fall as well. ''You'll be hearing a lot about me in the next few months,'' says Haggard, laughing. And you can bet that whatever you hear will bear the same candor that has always marked his work. He knows no other way. *** Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 11:15:52 -0700 From: Bob Newland (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: CanPat List (email@example.com) Subject: [cp] Merle Haggard The story goes that, 'long about 1968, Merle Haggard's tour bus entered the city limits of Muskogee, as signified by the sign, "Muskogee, Pop. XXX". One of the members of the band or road crew, in the process of rolling a joint, noticed the sign and said, "Bet they don't smoke much marijuana in Muskogee," which brought a long round of laughs, giggles and nose bubbles from Merle and the rest of the bus (one o'them moments, y'know). And thus was born a country music success story. Bob Newland http://www.nakedgov.com/
------------------------------------------------------------------- El-Amin Apologizes, Gets One Day Of Community Service (The Middletown Press says University of Connecticut basketball star Khalid El-Amin apologized Thursday to his family, his teammates and the people of Connecticut and Minnesota for his arrest on marijuana possession charges 15 days after leading the Huskies to their first national championship. The 19-year-old Minneapolis native was stopped for a traffic violation in Hartford and a small amount of marijuana was discovered during a pat-down search.) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 10:31:44 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CT: El-Amin Apologizes, Gets One Day Of Community Service Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 Source: Middletown Press (CT) Copyright: 1999, Middletown Press Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ctcentral.com Author: Sussanne Youmans, Associated Press Writer EL-AMIN APOLOGIZES, GETS ONE DAY OF COMMUNITY SERVICE STORRS -- A contrite and emotional Khalid El-Amin apologized Thursday to his family, his teammates and the people of Connecticut and Minnesota for his arrest on marijuana possession charges. The University of Connecticut point guard, joined by coach Jim Calhoun at a news conference in Gampel Pavilion, called the actions leading to his arrest Tuesday evening "a gross error of judgment." "I have earned the respect of this school ... and I just want a second chance to prove myself," said El-Amin, glancing at notes scrawled on a blue sheet of paper and taking long pauses to collect himself. "To all the people who have supported me ... I am very sorry for this incident. It will never happen again." The 19-year-old Minneapolis native, a sophomore majoring in communications, was stopped for a traffic violation in Hartford and a small amount of marijuana was discovered during a pat-down search. UConn scoring leader Richard Hamilton was in the car but was not charged. El-Amin also publicly apologized to Hamilton on Thursday. "I want to apologize to my dear friend Richard Hamilton for putting him in this situation," El-Amin said. Hamilton and other teammates lined the walls of the conference room during El-Amin's statement. Calhoun has stood by El-Amin since the arrest and Thursday called him an "asset to the university and the program." Calhoun also ended any speculation that El-Amin would not participate in a victory parade on Saturday. "The parade is a great celebration of a wonderful basketball season ... which Khalid has been an intricate part of," Calhoun said. "I would tie him down to make sure he's on the float." Calhoun said El-Amin would be disciplined next basketball season, but he would not say what his player will face. El-Amin would not say whether the incident would affect his decision to return to UConn. Last week he announced he would not take part in the NBA draft and would return for his junior year with the Huskies. But Thursday El-Amin would not give a definite answer. "Those questions will be answered at a later date," he said. Calhoun said El-Amin was not backing off his previous decision, but had other issues to resolve at this point. El-Amin was arrested 15 days after leading the Huskies to their first national championship, and a day after he was honored in his hometown of Minneapolis. The public apology came hours after El-Amin appeared in a Hartford courtroom and entered a conditional plea on the misdemeanor marijuana charge. He drew a sentence of one day of community service and a stern lecture from the judge. He also was ordered to speak to school children on the evils of drug use, an assignment he said he welcomes. "I am a role model and I'll continue to be a role model. I just want to help the youngsters understand to make the right decision," said El-Amin. Judge Raymond Norko handed El-Amin a rebuke along with the sentence. "The court is aware of who you are, where you are from and what you have done," Norko said. The judge, reminding El-Amin of his responsibility as a public figure, referred to the player's jubilant claim after the Huskies upset Duke in the NCAA championship game March 29: "We shocked the world!" "The epilogue to that is: `I disappointed the world,'" Norko said. El-Amin did not respond, except to politely reply, "Yes, Your Honor" to questions from the judge. The arrest may not have been a coincidence, The Hartford Courant reported Thursday. The newspaper, citing police documents and sources it did not identify, said an informant had tipped police about El-Amin's trip to an area of Hartford known for drug activity. Detectives arrived at the parking lot before El-Amin and saw him making what appeared to be a drug transaction, the newspaper said. El-Amin was charged with possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana, a misdemeanor. His sentence is the typical punishment given to first-time offenders. The charges will be dropped and his record wiped clean in 30 days if he successfully completes his community service. His unspecified community service is scheduled for April 21. The lectures to middle schools are not yet scheduled. A handful of UConn fans watched the proceedings, one bringing a basketball he hoped to have autographed. El-Amin quietly passed autographs to two courthouse workers sitting behind him before his lawyer instructed him not to sign any more. Calhoun said the incident does not tarnish the program's accomplishments this year. "I looked at the trophy and it looked exactly the same," he said. "I don't know how this got involved with the basketball game. It's a quantum leap. "Do I feel we didn't win the national championship because one kid made an error in judgment? No," Calhoun said. "Has the last week not been as happy as the previous two? Yes."
------------------------------------------------------------------- 89-Year-Old Man Sentenced For Selling Crack (The Associated Press says Brose Gearhart, who turns 90 today, was sentenced Monday to up to four years in prison for running a $1,000-a-week operation from his home in Saugerties, New York, and routinely trading drugs for sex with prostitutes.) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 16:12:06 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NY: WIRE: 89-Year-Old Man Sentenced For Selling Crack Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Bob Owen) Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press 89-YEAR-OLD MAN SENTENCED FOR SELLING CRACK KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) -- An 89-year-old man convicted of selling crack cocaine has been sentenced to up to four years in state prison. Authorities said Brose Gearhart, who turns 90 today, ran a $1,000-a-week crack sales operation from his Saugerties home and routinely traded drugs for sex with prostitutes. "I got nothing to say, I guess," Gearhart told the judge at sentencing Monday. "Notwithstanding his age, we have to send a message," prosecutor Michael Miranda said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Strawberry Arrest Adds Bleak Note To Yankees (The Washington Post recounts yesterday's news about the cocaine bust of baseball legend Darryl Strawberry in Florida.) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 01:31:43 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US FL: Strawberry Arrest Adds Bleak Note To Yankees 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: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Page: D07 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: Richard Justice, Washington Post Staff Writer STRAWBERRY ARREST ADDS BLEAK NOTE TO YANKEES He Faces Possession, Solicitation Charges NEW YORK, April 15 - The New York Yankees expressed disappointment and sadness today after learning that troubled outfielder Darryl Strawberry had been charged with cocaine possession and soliciting a prostitute near the team's spring training complex in Tampa. Strawberry, 37, was arrested late Wednesday after offering an undercover officer $50 for sex, according to police reports. When officers searched his Ford Explorer, they found 0.3 grams of cocaine wrapped in a $20 bill inside his wallet. Police said the cocaine had a street value of about $20. "You don't want to believe it," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said. "I still don't want to believe it. He's like a big brother to me. It's unfair for me to say more because I don't know all the details." This has been a difficult spring for the defending World Series champions. Manager Joe Torre had surgery for prostate cancer midway through spring training, and with Torre scheduled to return early next month, the Yankees have another distraction. "It's awful news," Yankees pitcher David Cone said. "There's no way around it." Strawberry was booked at 12:22 a.m. at the Hillsborough County jail and released on $6,000 bond. Cocaine possession in Florida is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Solicitation is a misdemeanor that carries a 60-day jail term for first-time offenders. Strawberry, who has had substance abuse problems in the past, told police the cocaine didn't belong to him. He said his wife's uncle had used his truck and may have left the folded $20 bill in the glove compartment. He denied intending to have sex with the officer, telling police officers he was joking and did not intend to meet her at a nearby motel. "During this interview, Strawberry continually apologized and was very remorseful for what he had done," police Sgt. Marc J. Hamlin wrote in an investigative report. "He asked several times, if there was anything that we could do to change this situation, because this was going to ruin his career." Strawberry, who underwent successful surgery for colon cancer last fall, was in Tampa to rehabilitate a leg injury and take part in the Yankees' extended spring training program. He was hoping to return to the major leagues next month after a rehabilitation stint with Class AAA Columbus. However, his return is uncertain. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who has been Strawberry's most staunch supporter in the organization, declined to comment. General Manager Brian Cashman attempted to reach Strawberry, but declined to say whether they had spoken. "We're going to wait for all the facts to come in," Cashman said. "Beyond that, we're not going to comment. We're going to let the legal process take its course." Strawberry became a spiritual leader for the Yankees last season after doctors diagnosed colon cancer early in the playoffs. After the Yankees won the World Series, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani praised him "for the comeback he's made as a baseball player and the comeback he's making in life." Strawberry was in New York last weekend to receive his World Series ring, then returned to Tampa to continue working his way back to the big leagues. Teammates said he seemed typically upbeat and was looking forward to returning. "I love the guy," Cone said. "I'm the least objective guy to talk about Darryl. I heard the news last night and couldn't sleep. I'm devastated. It's awful for him and his family." Strawberry's arrest is the latest in a series of drug and financial problems that have plagued the eight-time all-star. He admitted to a drinking problem in 1990 and admitted himself to Smithers Center for rehabilitation. In 1994, he underwent counseling for cocaine addiction. In 1995, Major League Baseball suspended him for 60 days after he tested positive for cocaine. In April 1995, a federal court ordered him to repay $350,000 in back taxes and sentenced him to six months of home confinement. He has been tested for drugs by the league twice a week since 1995. His career started much differently. He was the No. 1 overall pick of the 1980 draft and was hailed as a great player before he joined the New York Mets three years later. He was the National League's rookie of the year in 1983 and helped the Mets win the 1986 World Series. After eight seasons with the Mets, he returned to his home town of Los Angeles, where he spent two seasons with the Dodgers. He played briefly for the San Francisco Giants before signing with the Yankees in 1995. Strawberry had his best season in seven years in 1998, hitting .247 with 24 home runs and 57 RBI in 295 at-bats. "Sure I was shocked to hear the news," Yankees interim manager Don Zimmer said. "This is as good a man as I've been around the last two and a half years. He treated everybody outstanding."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Yankees' Strawberry Is Charged With Drug Possession, Solicitation (The Philadelphia Inquirer version) Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 17:45:34 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US FL: Yankees' Strawberry Is Charged With Drug Possession, Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 16 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: Fred Goodall YANKEES' STRAWBERRY IS CHARGED WITH DRUG POSSESSION, SOLICITATION TAMPA, Fla. -- Darryl Strawberry's turbulent baseball career has taken another off-field jolt: He has been charged with possession of cocaine with a street value of about $20 and with soliciting a prostitute. The New York Yankees outfielder offered a female undercover officer $50 for sex, Tampa police said after the arrest a few miles from the team's training complex on Wednesday night. A search turned up 0.3 grams -- about 1/100th of an ounce -- of powder cocaine wrapped in a $20 bill inside Strawberry's wallet, police said. He was booked and released on $6,000 bond early yesterday. "It appeared for personal use," police spokesman Joe Durkin said. "One-hit size." The 37-year-old outfielder told police that the cocaine did not belong to him and that he never intended to have sex with the undercover officer. According to the police report, Strawberry said his wife's uncle had used the vehicle the previous night and that it was possible he might have left the folded $20 bill in the glove compartment where Strawberry found it Wednesday. The eight-time all-star said he was joking around with the undercover officer about sex and drove off with no intention of meeting her at a nearby motel room. Strawberry has been in Tampa to work himself back into shape following colon-cancer surgery last Oct. 3. Cocaine possession is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison, Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi said. The maximum penalty for solicitation, a misdemeanor, is 60 days in the county jail for a first offense. After that, the maximum penalty is a year in county jail, she said. However, those are general guidelines, Bondi said, indicating that charges for Strawberry had yet to reach the prosecutor's office. Lonn Trost, the Yankees' general counsel, declined to comment, saying the team would allow the legal process to run its course before speaking out. After the Yankees won the World Series without him last season, Strawberry was praised by New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani "for the comeback he's made as a baseball player and the comeback he's making in life." He was in New York last weekend to receive his World Series ring, but was not expected to join the Yankees until he completed chemotherapy and a stint with triple-A Columbus. Strawberry's list of substance-abuse problems is lengthy. Major League Baseball suspended him for 60 days in 1995 after he tested positive for cocaine. The previous year, he had entered the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and spent four weeks undergoing treatment for a substance-abuse problem. In 1990, while with the New York Mets, he entered the Smithers Center in New York for alcohol rehabilitation. In addition to substance abuse, Strawberry also ran afoul of tax laws. In 1995, a federal court ordered him to repay $350,000 in back taxes and sentenced him to six months of home confinement, except for games. Strawberry, the National League rookie of the year in 1983 and a World Series champion with the Mets in 1986, also was accused of failing to make timely payments to an ex-wife. He rebounded after signing with the Yankees in June 1995 and had remained drug-free, with regular testing by Major League Baseball. Strawberry had his best season in seven years in 1998. Strawberry has a .250 career average with 332 homers and 994 RBIs in 16 major-league seasons with the Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Yankees. He led the NL with 39 homers in 1988 and topped 100 RBIs three times with the Mets from 1987-90.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Report: Strawberry Begged To Be Let Off (The UPI version says the Yankees slugger told Tampa police he was only joking when he offered $50 to an undercover police officer for sex. He also said he knew nothing about the cocaine that was allegedly found wrapped in a $20 bill in his wallet, claiming he found the money in the glove compartment of a borrowed car.) Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 19:01:43 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US FL: WIRE: Report: Strawberry Begged To Be Let Off Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International REPORT: STRAWBERRY BEGGED TO BE LET OFF TAMPA, Fla., April 16 _ A Tampa police sergeant says Yankees slugger Darryl Strawberry begged police to let him go after he asked an undercover officer for drugs and sex. The officer told the New York Daily News that Strawberry said the bust would ruin his career and asked if there was anything he could do to change the situation. Police say Strawberry told them he was only joking after he propositioned the officer on Tuesday night. He also said he knew nothing about the cocaine. The drug was allegedly found wrapped in a $20 bill, and police say Strawberry claimed he found the money in the glove compartment of a borrowed car. A family friend tells the News that Strawberry's wife Charisse plans to stand by her troubled husband, who is undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer. New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says he is pulling for Strawberry, and feels ``very, very sorry for him.'' Team owner George Steinbrenner has refused to comment, while baseball commissioner Bud Selig says the justice system must run its course. Pitcher David Cone, one of Strawberry's teammates who supported him throughout his battle with colon cancer as the team fought to become World Series champions last year, called the bust ``an awful situation.'' He said, ``I love the guy. He's a friend of mine and I've got to stand by him.'' The News reports Strawberry submitted to a supervised urine test two times as part of his regular drug monitoring last week, on Tuesday and yesterday, but had no word on the results. Strawberry must take the tests because of a 1995 suspension for cocaine use. The tests detect cocaine use over the three previous days. Police say Strawberry was caught with one-third of a gram of cocaine - enough for a single hit.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Million Marijuana March web endeavor - millionmarijuanamarch.com (A list subscriber forwards information about the worldwide reform rally scheduled for Saturday, May 1. The world wide web is making it all possible.) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 18:28:10 -0500 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: email@example.com (A H Clements) Subject: fwd: MMM WEB ENDEAVOR millionmarijuanamarch.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com [Forwarded from Paul Cornwell of CAMP (firstname.lastname@example.org), who is coordinating the Atlanta MMM protest. CAMP was victorious this week in a 4 year long Federal lawsuit over denial of Peidmont Park for protest events like the annual pot festival (email CAMP for details).] I hope *everyone* is going to take some form of direct action May 1, wherever you may happen to be. ashley in atlanta *** INTERNATIONAL MARIJUANA REFORM GOES TO THE WEB It seems that this May 1st, the whole panorama of legalization interests from fiber, medicinal access, imprisonment of marijuana users, and the complex issue of legal adult recreational use, will be marching in step for personal freedom, reason and tolerance. You may even be able to stay home and light up, while watching live feeds from demonstrations all over the world (if your not marching that is!). During the sixties and seventies direct action for the reform of marijuana law consisted of marches, rallies, and smoke-ins. Now it seems that you can sit at home, smoke a joint, and join the revolution. In the last few years advocates for the legalization of marijuana have taken to the internet to espouse all points of view on the subject of reform. Since the success of pro-legalization sites like hightimes.com, marijuana.com, drcnet.org, mapinc.org, november.org, norml.org, legalize.org, and cures-not-wars.org, not to mention hundreds of others all over the net, there is a whole new fever among activists to use this potent new tool to connect all the various points of view and groups throughout the world. Some of these sites are flashy, "Hey, we support Pot', and are full of cannabis graphics while others contain in depth info and links to a wealth of resources and contacts. The MILLION MARIJUANA MARCH, an International Day of Protest, started on the first of May last year in New York City. It is the marijuana movement's recent attempt to exert political muscle on the internet. Facing down Mayor Rudolph Guilliani, Cures Not Wars went to Federal court for the right to march in their traditional protest, the historical 29 year old, Fifth Avenue Marijuana March. Last year's 'first' Million Marijuana March drew thousands of protesters to Washington Square, who then marched past NYC City Hall to Battery Park in lower Manhattan. The march itself was not unique. There have been hundreds of marches and rallies drawing tens of thousands of participants. What is different is the way the marijuana movement is beginning to coalesce this spring under the moniker 'THE MILLION MARIJUANA MARCH'. Internationally the banner has been picked up in an attempt to reform the marijuana laws of Great Britain on an excellent site put together by the ICC - International Cannabis Campaign (www.schmoo.co.uk/mayday). Marches now are being held worldwide in over twenty cities, among them London, Auckland NZ, Melbourne Australia, Amsterdam, Johannesburg South Africa, just to mention a few. What was an independent attempt by many groups to form an International Marijuana Day, has become a full throttle endeavor on the internet to assemble the largest pro-marijuana protest in history. Cures Not Wars (cures-not-wars.org) enlisted the help of its sister organization and long time direct action engine, CAMP, to promote the event worldwide. The Coalition for the Abolition of Marijuana Prohibition, CAMP, (worldcamp.org) was formed in 1978 to bring together divergent groups on platforms and forums acceptable to all viewpoints. Out of this coalition grew the NYC Fifth Avenue Pot Parade (1978 / YIP) and the 29 years of annual marijuana protest in the nation's capital every July 4th. It is now promoted as the 4th of July Coalition (4th of july.org). CAMP was also instrumental in supporting initiatives in the early 80's in California (CMI) and Oregon (OMI). CAMP participated in the 1980 International Cannabis Alliance for Reform convention (ICAR) with its sister group the Legalization of Cannabis Campaign (LCC) which has now become the ICC. After visiting the site, www.millionmarijuanamarch.com, a person can see the progress of The Million Marijuana March as it proceeds. Listed are all the sponsors and endorsements. This one-of-a-kind portal has handy links to all the useful websites that promote marijuana reform. Concentrating on the MMM, Saturday May 1st, it features times and places for assembly, maps, lists of speakers, bands playing, resources like stickers, posters, dates of 420 benefits, products available to those wishing to promote the event, and individual contacts around the world. Cities participating across the United States include New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Tampa, Austin TX, and many, many others. You can sit on your butts and surf the revolution from a distance or you can sit at home and write your congressperson. But if you want to take direct action you can join the one million marijuana co-conspirators in their quest to legalize cannabis by marching in the streets Saturday May 1st, 1999. Paul Cornwell National Coordinator / CAMP email@example.com www.millionmarijuanamarch.com Permission is hereby granted to reprint and distribute to all media MMM 1999 COMMUNICATIONS
------------------------------------------------------------------- Zero tolerance sparks mutiny in police ranks (The Australian News Network says New York Police Commissioner Howard Safir, who has overseen a sharp drop in crime with a much-vaunted zero-tolerance policy, faces a mutiny in the ranks for turning the city into a "police state" where people despise men and women in uniform. The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, representing police officers, has cast a unanimous vote of no confidence in Safir amid rising concern about police misconduct.) Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 14:44:24 +0930 To: "Pot News from hemp SA" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: "Cyber Andy" (email@example.com) Subject: [pot-news] Zero tolerance sparks mutiny in police ranks Reply-To: "Pot News from hemp SA" (firstname.lastname@example.org) *** Pot News - Hemp SA's On-line News Service *** The Australian News Network 16/04/1999 From: email@example.com http://www.theaustralian.com.au/index.asp?URL=/world/4365743.htm Zero tolerance sparks mutiny in police ranks From The Times 16 apr 99 NEW YORK'S Police Commissioner, who has overseen a sharp drop in crime with a much-vaunted zero-tolerance policy, faces a mutiny in the ranks for turning the city into a "police State" where people despise men and women in uniform. The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, representing police officers, has cast a unanimous vote of no confidence in Police Commissioner Howard Safir amid rising concern about police misconduct. The union accused him of destroying public trust by pressing officers to pursue aggressive tactics even though crime has fallen to the level of 30 years ago. Its leaders called for a "go slow" in issuing summonses for trivial offences such as riding bicycles without bells. Union president James Savage told a meeting of 400 delegates on Tuesday: "When zero-tolerance tactics were introduced, crime was at an all-time high. Now that crime is way down, an adjustment is required. If we don't strike a balance between aggressive enforcement and common sense, it becomes a blueprint for a police State and tyranny." Public confidence has plunged after two widely publicised cases of brutality. A Haitian immigrant was sodomised by officers with a lavatory plunger while in custody in Brooklyn. Then, in the Bronx, an unarmed West African was killed in a fusillade of 41 bullets by four members of the Street Crime Unit. The Police Commissioner's conduct has also been called into question since he accepted a free plane trip to last month's Oscars ceremony. He has been criticised for using police officers as security at his daughter's wedding and for getting detectives to interrogate a driver who crashed into his wife's car. *** HEMP SA Inc - Help End Marijuana Prohibition South Australia PO Box 1019 Kent Town South Australia 5071 Email: mailto:hempSA@va.com.au Website: http://www.hemp.on.net.au Check out our on-line news service - Pot News! To subscribe to Pot News send mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Salvos Stop Saying 'No' (The Australian says the Salvation Army has jettisoned its "just say no" approach to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, forcing Prime Minister John Howard's chief drug adviser and his best-known advocate of zero-tolerance policies to concede the agency had allowed itself to be depicted as too hardline.) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 16:10:24 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: Salvos Stop Saying 'No' Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Kenneth William Russell (email@example.com) Pubdate: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 Source: Australian, The (Australia) Copyright: News Limited 1999 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/ Author: Kristine Gough SALVOS STOP SAYING 'NO' THE Salvation Army has jettisoned its "just say no" approach to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, forcing John Howard's chief drug adviser and his best-known advocate of zero-tolerance policies to concede the agency had allowed itself to be depicted as too hardline. The Army's Brian Watters, the chairman of the Federal Government's drug advisory council, earlier this year supported the jailing of young drug addicts. But he said yesterday it was "unfortunate" the public perceived the Salvation Army as "hardline moralistic". Major Watters, a vocal opponent of controlled heroin trials, said his role in that debate had meant people thought of the Salvos as "narrow and proscriptive". His comments followed statements by a senior Salvation Army drug and alcohol director that the movement had in the past been guilty of taking a hard line on abstinence. "We need to be very honest with our young people about the good side of drugs and the bad side of drugs, and the fact is there are people who use heroin and use it safely," Major David Brunt said at the launch of the Salvos' first comprehensive report on its national drug and alcohol services. "If I'm talking to an 18-year-old about his drinking problem, I'm wiser to be talking about controlled drinking. "It is a major shift for the Salvation Army" but not one supported by all members. In a softening of his usual stance, Major Watters said the Army had pursued a policy of harm minimisation for most of its history.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Moral Crusaders Must Be Ignored (A letter to the editor of the Canberra Times says prohibition never works. All that making a drug illegal does is put money into the hands of organised crime. The "war against drugs" does not exist. It is a war waged by certain sections of Australian society to impose their moral beliefs and drug of choice - alcohol - onto the rest of society.) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 00:19:29 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: PUB LTE: Moral Crusaders Must Be Ignored Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Kenneth William Russell (email@example.com) Pubdate: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 Source: Canberra Times (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/ Author: Benn Barr, Braddon MORAL CRUSADERS MUST BE IGNORED Prohibition never works. It did not work for alcohol and does not work for marijuana, heroin or any other illegal substance. All that making a drug illegal does is put money into the hands of organised crime. Education, regulation and taking drugs away from organised crime will not stop people dying from heroin. It has not stopped people dying from alcohol. It may, however, radically reduce the number of deaths and the crime involved with heroin abuse. The "war against drugs" does not exist. It is a war waged by certain sections of Australian society to impose their moral beliefs and drug of choice (alcohol) onto the rest of society. Only when the hysterical language of moral crusaders is eliminated from the drug debate will a sane policy on drug use be possible in this country. Benn Barr, Braddon
------------------------------------------------------------------- Treatment Demand Stretches Clinics (According to the Irish Examiner, representatives of the Eastern Health Board, the main treatment provider in Dublin, told the Dail Public Accounts Committee yesterday that at any one time, 600 people are on waiting lists seeking treatment for heroin addiction.) Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 19:23:52 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Ireland: Treatment Demand Stretches Clinics Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Pubdate: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 Source: Examiner, The (Ireland) Copyright: Examiner Publications Ltd, 1999 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.ie/ Author: Jim Morahan TREATMENT DEMAND STRETCHES CLINICS DRUG treatment centres are being stretched to cope with the demand for help by heroin addicts, the Dail Public Accounts Committee heard yesterday. At any one time, 600 people are on waiting lists seeking treatment at clinics run or funded by the Eastern Health Board, the main provider in the greater Dublin area. The board feels it will be possible to deal with most of the addicts on current waiting lists when it has between seven and nine new clinics up and running this year. The quest for treatment is fuelled by garda success in curbing heroin supply as well as the tighter controls of prescribing the methadone substitute introduced last October. Estimates based on 1996 data put the total number of opiate (heroin based drug) addicts in the greater Dublin area at 13,460. There are 3,738 people being prescribed methadone. The committee was told focus was being placed on providing community-based treatment. Despite a public perception, local objections to the placing of drug treatment clinics in a neighbourhood is not a serious issue. The difficulty appeared to be in getting suitable locations. EHB chief executive officer Pat McLoughlin said the board was spending over IEP17m in its drugs programme this year. Apart from increasing the number of treatment centres, it was constantly seeking to expand the numbers of GPs and pharmacies taking part in the co-operative programme and was providing more beds for detoxification, rehabilitation and stabilisation of addicts. Earlier, Fr Sean Casson who was attached to Merchants Quay clinic in Dublin, recalled that today's drug problem was the result of years of neglect. An allocation of IEP10m for the 13 local drug task forces in the Dublin area was a drop in the ocean. Drug addiction came out of social disadvantage and neglect. Margaret Hayes, secretary general, Department of Tourism, Sport and Recreation - which has umbrella responsibility for the drug task force spending - indicated that most of the allocation would be taken up this year. Mountjoy Jail governor John Lonergan told the committee it had not been possible to ensure a totally drug-free prison. Chronic heroin users would do anything to get the drug. He cited the case of a woman visitor who had stuffed three sachets of heroin up her nose and had to be taken to hospital as a result. The drug problem was exacerbated by overcrowding in Mountjoy. Last week it accommodated 770 prisoners, more than 300 above a comfortable limit, making segregation difficult. Mr Lonergan said they didn't have a personal development strategy to plan for addicts on their release. "Some people are just released into the cold light of night." Deputy Pat Rabbitte (Lab) estimated that Mountjoy housed 500 heroin drug addicts at any one time. Supt Eddie Rock, Garda Drugs Squad, said there was a 50% increase last year in the number of people caught dealing heroin on the street. Young people, especially young females, were dealing - one-third of the dealers were aged under 20 years. Anna Quigley of CityWide -- the drugs crisis campaign organisation, called for a holistic approach in dealing with drugs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- WHO Cautious On Swiss Experiment (The Associated Press says a study sponsored by the United Nations concluded Friday that while Switzerland accepts the evidence that its heroin maintenance program leads to health gains for addicts, its claims must be tested carefully in "rich" countries before other "rich" countries copy the program. The World Health Organization criticized the Swiss for not including a control group, even though last year, 209 drug-related deaths were reported, down from a peak of 419 in 1992. The Swiss put the heroin program on a permanent legal footing last year.)Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 06:01:40 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Switzerland: Wire: WHO Cautious On Swiss Experiment Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: Matthias Bruellmann, Associated Press Writer WHO CAUTIOUS ON SWISS EXPERIMENT BERN, Switzerland - Switzerland says its controversial program to give heroin to addicts leads to health gains, but those claims must be tested carefully before other countries copy the program, a U.N.-sponsored study concluded Friday. The World Health Organization, under whose auspices 16 independent experts examined the Swiss program, said the approach should be considered only in rich countries and under rigorous scrutiny. The Swiss government, which has said the heroin program both improves health and reduces crime, released the study Friday. The U.N. health and drug control agencies declined to comment beyond the WHO statement. The Swiss put the heroin program on a permanent legal footing last year, four years after the first experimental distributions. People who were given "prescribed heroin evidenced significant improvement in their physical and mental health over 18 months," said the 15-page study by the health, drug and legal experts, all from outside Switzerland. But the absence from Swiss studies of a control group not given the drug made it impossible to judge whether the heroin prescription was a factor in that improvement, they said. The Swiss experience showed that "it is medically feasible to prescribe intravenous heroin as a maintenance drug," the report said. The experts were convened under the auspices of the Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board and WHO, headquartered in Geneva. WHO said there were "limitations to the interpretations of the results" from the Swiss studies and that the findings couldn't be generalized. Heroin prescription "should not be considered as a proven therapeutic alternative for heroin addicts." Any future experiments should be considered only where the health system is "sufficiently well resourced to provide the very high levels of service delivery and control that are necessary." There are an estimated 30,000 hard drug addicts in Switzerland, one of the highest rates in Europe. But unlike many countries, the death toll has been falling. Last year, 209 drug-related deaths were reported, down from a peak of 419 in 1992. A three-year Swiss study said the project slashed crime, misery and death associated with the hard-core drug scene. In 1997, voters overwhelmingly endorsed the government's liberal drug policies, including the distribution program. But in a referendum last November, they rejected just as forcefully a left-wing coalition's proposal to decriminalize the consumption, possession and cultivation of all drugs, soft and hard. Swiss voters go to the polls in June to decide again on the program's future.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 87 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's original online drug policy newsmagazine includes - HEA reform campaign online petition launched; Conyers reintroduces racial profiling legislation; Conyers introduces legislation to end federal disenfranchisement; Unarmed boy shot in drug raid; California legislators consider "three strikes" modification; Doctor's undertreatment of pain draws penalty; Nevada legislature mulls marijuana decriminalization bill; Seminars at the Lindesmith Center; and an editorial: Disparity dilemma) Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 03:59:09 +0000 To: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #87 Sender: email@example.com The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #87 - April 16, 1999 A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network -------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- (To sign off this list, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com 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/087.html. Check out the DRCNN weekly radio segment at http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/. NOTE: The DRCNet Online Library is back up, but the registration has not yet propagated through all corners of the Internet. Check http://www.druglibrary.org, and if it still doesn't work by the weekend, ask your ISP's to check if they've updated their DNS records for druglibrary.org. In the meantime, most of the material in the library can be accessed at http://mir.drugtext.org/druglibrary/index.htm. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. HEA Reform Campaign Online Petition Launched http://www.drcnet.org/wol/087.html#petition 2. Conyers Reintroduces Racial Profiling Legislation http://www.drcnet.org/wol/087.html#profiling 3. Conyers Introduces Legislation to End Federal Disenfranchisement http://www.drcnet.org/wol/087.html#disenfranchisement 4. Unarmed Boy Shot in Drug Raid http://www.drcnet.org/wol/087.html#shotinraid 5. California Legislators Consider "Three Strikes" Modification http://www.drcnet.org/wol/087.html#threestrikes 6. Doctor's Undertreatment of Pain Draws Penalty http://www.drcnet.org/wol/087.html#undertreatment 7. Nevada Legislature Mulls Marijuana Decriminalization Bill http://www.drcnet.org/wol/087.html#nevadadecrim 8. Seminars at the Lindesmith Center http://www.drcnet.org/wol/087.html#seminars 9. EDITORIAL: Disparity Dilemma http://www.drcnet.org/wol/087.html#editorial *** 1. HEA Reform Campaign Online Petition Launched The Higher Education Act of 1998, signed into law in October, includes a provision that delays or denies all federal financial aid to any student or prospective student for any drug law violation, no matter how minor. In the wake of the new law, a nationwide campaign has been launched to have it repealed. On March 10th, Rep. Barney Frank introduced H.R. 1053, which would do just that. The campaign has grown quickly, with national organizations, including the ACLU, the NAACP, the United States Students' Association and others adding their collective voice to the efforts of students on more than 150 campuses in opposition to the new law and support of its repeal. This week, the campaign moved to a new level with the launch of a web site, http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com, from which concerned citizens can contact their legislators to urge them to repeal the HEA provision. Within the first 24 hours of the web site's launch, more than 1,000 people had already done so. Coalition members will be urging their members and supporters to visit the site and to forward the URL to their friends, families and colleagues so that they too can raise their voices to let Congress know that foreclosing educational opportunities is not a productive approach to the problem of substance abuse. To learn more about the HEA Reform Campaign on college campuses, check out http://www.u-net.org. To contact your legislators to urge their support for HEA Reform, go to http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com. (DRCNet has members from across the political spectrum, from left-leaning progressives to libertarians who believe in having the least government possible. DRCNet is strictly devoted to drug policy, and doesn't take a position on the larger question of government funding of social programs, including financial aid. So long as the government is the provider of financial aid, it is clear that no private system will spring up to serve the needs of convicted drug offenders. Hence, we oppose drug war discrimination within social programs including the Higher Education Act, but without taking a position on the public vs. private question itself.) *** 2. Conyers Reintroduces Racial Profiling Legislation Representative John Conyers (D-MI) yesterday reintroduced a bill that would require the Justice Department to conduct a study of racial profiling by acquiring data from law enforcement agencies regarding the characteristics of persons stopped for alleged traffic violations. "We must stop the invidious practice of racial profiling; all citizens, regardless of their race, should be free to travel America's highways without undue harassment," said Conyers. Representative Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Russell Feingold (D-WI) are cosponsoring the legislation. The limited data available indicate that the problem of racial profiling in traffic stops is growing. For example, a recent study by the Orlando Sentinel found that 70% of the persons stopped on I-95 were African American, even though African Americans make up less than 10% of the driver population. A court-ordered study in Maryland found that more than 70% of drivers stopped on I-95 were African American, though they make up only 17.5% of drivers. Yet another study, conducted in conjunction with a New Jersey civil-rights lawsuit found minorities were nearly five times as likely as non-minorities to be stopped for traffic violations along that state's turnpike. Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois produced statistical evidence of similar practices by a drug unit of that state's highway patrol (see last week's issue at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/086.html#nonwhite). At a a press conference on Capitol Hill last Wednesday, Rep. Menendez said, "It is not a crime in this country to be an African American. It is not a crime to be a Latino. It is not a crime for a Black or Hispanic American to own a luxury car. But if you are a minority driver in my state on the New Jersey Turnpike, you might actually think that it is." Last month, New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman fired the state's highway patrol chief after he publicly commented that Latinos are more likely to be involved in drug trafficking. Conyers said his bill will increase awareness about profiling among law enforcement, and help determine if a broader legislative response is called for. "If our citizens are to trust our justice system it is imperative that all forms of discrimination be eliminated from law enforcement," he said. "The Traffic Stops Statistics Act of 1999 will help give Congress and Americans the tools to assess and understand a dangerous form of such discrimination -- racial profiling in traffic stops." Text of all federal legislation can be found online at http://thomas.loc.gov. *** 3. Conyers Introduces Legislation to End Federal Disenfranchisement (report provided by Rudy Cypser of CURE-NY, a chapter of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants) Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) introduced a bill this week that would take the first step toward abolishing one of the last remaining restrictions enacted nearly 100 years ago to deny African Americans the right to vote: criminal disenfranchisement laws. Although the other tools of voter discrimination enacted after the Civil War -- poll taxes, grandfather clauses and literacy tests -- have long since been abolished, criminal disenfranchisement laws continue to be used as a means of denying African Americans access to the voting booth. Statistics show that blacks are five times as likely as whites to be disenfranchised under felony voter laws. In fact, a recent report by The Sentencing Project and Human Rights Watch estimated that "in states that disenfranchise ex-felons, 40 percent of the next generation of black men is likely to lose permanently the right to vote." Currently 3.9 million Americans are disqualified from voting because of an inconsistent patchwork of state laws that disenfranchise citizens who have been convicted of a felony. Experts believe that in seven states one in four black men has permanently lost the right to vote. No other democratic nation indefinitely disenfranchises as many people because of felony convictions. The Conyers bill, H.R. 906, would guarantee that all citizens who have paid their debt to society and are no longer incarcerated regain the right to vote in federal elections, even if they are barred from voting in state elections. End arbitrary access to the voting booth! Contact your representative. Or, send a FREE FAX to your representative urging him or her to support H.R. 906 from the ACLU web site at http://www.aclu.org/action/vote106.html. *** 4. Unarmed Boy Shot in Drug Raid An unarmed fifteen year-old boy was shot from behind, just below the hip on Tuesday (4/13) as police entered a Concord, North Carolina home at approximately 5:00pm to search for drugs. The boy, Thomas Edwards Jr., is a neighbor who was visiting the home to play video games. Edwards told reporters that he obeyed the officer's order to get on his hands and knees, as did the other five children, all aged 13-17, who were in the home. It was while he was in that position, Edwards said, that he was shot just below the hip by officer Lennie Rivera. The bullet traveled straight through his buttock, and his injuries are not life- threatening. Edwards, a ninth grader at Concord High School, where he plays varsity football, is at the house nearly every day, playing video games with friends. The police search netted small amounts of marijuana and cocaine, none of which, apparently, belonged to any of the children. The Charlotte Observer reported that Thomas Edwards Sr. claimed that police told him the shooting was accidental. Concord Chief of Police Robert E. Cansler told The Week Online that he believes that as well. "The State Bureau of Investigation is still investigating the case, but at this point I can say that the shooting was most likely accidental. Officer Rivera is 33 years old with a degree in education. He's been with us for five years, and before that he was a sergeant on the campus police force at Gardner-Webb University. He likes kids, he relates well to them. This has been a real tragedy for everyone involved. Thankfully, the young man appears to be all right. He was treated and released and we are told that he should recover fully." Chief Cansler continued, "Standard procedure in any case of a shooting by an officer is that an SBI investigation is required. At the time of the shooting, the officers who had entered the house immediately secured the area, meaning that they attended to the injured young man, got everyone out of the house, including themselves, secured the perimeter of the property, and waited for the SBI unit to show up to commence with that. It wasn't until the SBI had made their investigation of the scene that a new group of Concord officers re-entered the house -- none of these officers was a part of the group that went in originally -- and conducted the search as indicated by the warrant." What the officers found were small amounts of what appeared to be cocaine and marijuana and packaging materials for what police believe to be distribution. As to the precautions that were taken to avoid a situation where police unintentionally encounter a large number of young people when entering a house to search for drugs, Chief Cansler said that his officers had surveilled the home "within an hour or two of their entry. At that time there were no indications of a group of children present." Rob Stewart of the Drug Policy Foundation told The Week Online that the fact that the shooting was most likely an accident argues forcefully for a rethinking of the Drug War. "Under current policy, the police are put in an untenable position," said Stewart. "They can take all precautions, they can do their jobs well, but the very fact that they are sent into people's homes to ferret out contraband, or evidence of its trade, places the lives of citizens, and the police themselves, at risk." Stewart added that even at their most successful, such tactics have done little to ameliorate the availability of drugs. Among the residents of the house were Deborah Grissom-Scott, who has a previous charge pending for distribution of cocaine, and her two sons, 21 and 18 years-old, both of whom have prior arrests for drug distribution charges on their records. The officers, who had a warrant to conduct the search, entered the home and called out "Search warrant. Everybody down on the floor," as is required under North Carolina law, except in situations where such an announcement is nearly certain to result in injury to an officer. "To tell you the truth," Chief Cansler said, "I would require that of my officers even if the law didn't." Chief Cansler, a 27-year veteran of law enforcement and immediate past-president of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, is aware of the problems caused by an over-reliance on law enforcement in dealing with the problem of substance abuse. "Drugs are a tremendous social problem," he said. "And addressing that problem is going to take a profound social change that will have to include a lot more than just the criminal justice system." *** 5. California Legislators Consider "Three Strikes" Modification - Marc Brandl, firstname.lastname@example.org Five years ago, California voters passed an initiative mandating that people convicted of three felonies be incarcerated for 25 years to life. Other states soon followed suit, and "Three Strikes You're Out" laws have made headlines ever since with stories of people getting locked up for years for petty larceny and other minor felonies. Advocates of the law point to a dramatic decline in crimes as proof of its success. But recently, some studies have concluded that the law doesn't lower violent crime but merely incarcerates large numbers of non-violent drug offenders and petty criminals at great cost to the taxpayers. This is one reason why California state Senator Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles) is sponsoring S.B. 79, a bill that would require the "third strike" to be a violent offense. "Three Strikes was passed with the promise of ridding communities of violent criminals," said Rocky Rushing, Hayden's Chief of Staff. "But it has cast a much wider net, entrapping addicts and petty thieves at $25,000 per year per prisoner, when often drug rehabilitation or a shorter sentence would suffice." Hayden's bill was recently approved by the Senate's Public Safety Committee. But because the Three Strikes law was passed by a referendum, it will take a two-thirds majority in both chambers of the legislature in order to modify it -- a tough task, even in a heavily Democratic legislature. "There are a lot of Democrats who support Three Strikes who would oppose any scaling back at this point," said Rand Martin, Chief of Staff for Marin County Senator John Vasconcellos, who supports the bill. "It's still a hot potato." Vasconcellos, also known for his support of medical marijuana, is proposing a state-sponsored study of the effects of Three Strikes. "Other studies have not been comprehensive enough to convince the California legislature or public to make substantive changes to three strikes," said Martin. "The more we can cast a light on how many pizza thieves are being sent to prison for twenty-five years to life, the more dismay there will be in the public eye. We're building a better atmosphere for change." If Hayden's bill passes the legislature, it may be vetoed by newly elected Democratic Governor Gray Davis. During his campaign, Davis indicated he would be uneasy about changing the law. His campaign also received endorsements and contributions from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, a group that strongly supports Three Strikes and has a powerful presence in the state capital. Geri Silva, a spokeswoman for Families for Amending California's Three Strikes (FACTS) said strong bi-partisan support will be the key. If the bill makes it as far as Davis' desk, she said, "it would be odd for him to veto it." For more information about Three Strikes, check out the FACTS web site at http://www.facts1.com. *** 6. Doctor's Undertreatment of Pain Draws Penalty One of the worst consequences of the "war on drugs" is a national epidemic of untreated and undertreated severe chronic pain. Many patients in severe pain require opioids (narcotics) to obtain adequate relief and be able to function. The same substances are also used and abused non- medically, and powerful regulatory and enforcement agencies, who tend to favor limited opioid prescription, monitor physician prescribing practices very closely. Many physicians, including the nation's leading pain control experts, consider the boards' and enforcers' prescription quantity standards to be unrealistically low. Compounding the problem is that most doctors do not receive training in pain management during medical school. (See our discussion of this issue at http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/pain.html.) In an unusual, perhaps unprecedented move, the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners has taken disciplinary action against a physician for undertreating pain, according to the Oregonian last month (3/27). Dr. Paul A. Bilder, a 54-year old pulmonary disease specialist, has been accused by the Board of failing to give seriously ill or dying patients adequate pain medication. Some of the same physicians who have challenged the system's obstacles to adequate treatment of pain, are encouraged by the increasing awareness and understanding of pain treatment issues, but have expressed concern that a disciplinary approach to undertreatment may backfire. Dr. William Hurwitz, whose battle with the Virginia Board of Medicine over pain treatment was featured on Sixty Minutes in 1996 (http://www.drcnet.org/guide10-96/pain.html), told the Week Online, "Although it sounds like the doctor was indifferent to his patients' pain, anxiety, and misery, I don't think that the best way to deal with this is through disciplinary action by Boards of Medicine. There are probably rational and defensible grounds that might plausibly justify the doctor's treatment. Disciplinary actions are always undertaken with the benefit of hindsight, and here, in the context of shifting standards of care." "It is fundamentally unfair to hold the doctor to a standard that was certainly not the community standard from 1993- 1998," Hurwitz continued. "By increasing the risk to doctors of treating pain patients, whether it be for charges of overprescribing or undertreatment, it will simply make it harder to find doctors willing to treat these patients at all." Dr. Harvey Rose, a California physician who successfully defended his pain treatment approach against the California Board, spearheaded legislation in that state to protect patients' rights to pain treatment, and was also involved in passing similar legislation in Oregon. Dr. Rose commented, "To see the Oregon board go after somebody for underprescribing now is a mind-blower." An Oregon state task force, created by the legislature in 1997, found that the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners' had a history of aggressively pursuing physicians for prescribing narcotics, constituting a significant regulatory barrier to good chronic pain care, according to the American Medical Newspaper last January. "I think [Dr. Bilder] refused [to provide narcotics], not because he's a mean guy, I'm sure he's not," Dr. Rose said. But he's afraid to give narcotics. If he gave narcotics to these people, and if he pushed them over and they died or something, he'd get blamed for it. See, there is no law against underprescribing, but there are laws against excessive prescribing. I think what should be done with him would be an educational type discipline, where you make him take some continuing medical educational courses in pain management." The Week Online asked Dr. Rose about the impact of the DEA on pain treatment: "The DEA claims that whenever they go after a doctor, it's been reviewed by a doctor. But who does the DEA choose to review the cases? Ultra- conservative, anti-narcotic type doctors. You choose who you want, you get the opinion that you want. They could choose a doctor who was a little more compassionate, a little more liberal in prescribing, but then they wouldn't get the result that they want. They couldn't go after the doctor. The war on drugs has created a climate now where it's become a war on patients and doctors. The war on drugs is the root of all evil. That's what's created this whole business of undertreatment of pain, and it's crazy." A New Jersey report by the Commission for the Study of Pain Management Policy, chaired by state Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk (R-Westwood), found that patients often could not get appropriate pain relief, even though it was medically possible to provide it, and made recommendations for making pain medication more available. Vandervalk wrote in an editorial in the April 2 issue of the Bergen Record, "We heard a lot about fear. Physicians feared trouble with law enforcement for prescribing large doses of controlled substances, especially if they have a practice with a heavy caseload of patients with intractable pain. Pharmacists were also afraid of losing their licenses for filling prescriptions for high doses of painkillers. Patients feared that their supply of medicine would run out, so they cut back and did not take the optimal dosage. Some patients feared that they would be considered weak or troublesome if they complained about their pain." Vandervalk concluded, "Government must do all that it can to eliminate obstacles, so that the best medical care becomes easier to give and receive. Science has shown us how to eliminate pain. The need for action is clear. We would be barbaric if we did not go forward with these recommendations." *** 7. Nevada Legislature Mulls Marijuana Decriminalization Bill - Marc Brandl, email@example.com In the land of legal prostitution and gambling, people arrested for small quantities of marijuana are often shocked to learn they will be charged with a felony and face jail time. A bill in the Nevada legislature would lessen those penalties. If A.B. 577 becomes law, first time offenders caught with less than an ounce of marijuana will face a fine of no more than $500 dollars. Repeat offenders would be fined as much as $1000 dollars and pay additional fees levied by the local county to cover the cost of a referral to a drug court or rehabilitation program. According to Assemblywoman Chris Guinchigliani (D-Las Vegas), the bill's sponsor, a change in the law is necessary because "the war on drugs, especially in the area of marijuana, hasn't worked." She said the resources needed to prosecute low level drug offenders should be put to better use. "My real motivation for this is to try to get some additional revenue for rehabilitation," she said. "I think that should be our focus, especially when it's an ounce or less of marijuana. We need to stop putting people in prison for an alcohol or drug problem -- we are destroying too many lives." As of press time, the bill is being considered on the Assembly floor after receiving bi-partisan approval from the judiciary committee last week. The Nevada Assembly has a large Democratic majority, but the bill may not get a warm welcome in the state Senate. "The Senate has a vocal conservative majority," said Dan Geary, a Carson City lobbyist. "Nevada is very much a law and order state." But, he added, "I think the legislature may be surprised to find widespread support for making the possession of marijuana a misdemeanor, while remaining very much in favor of stronger penalties for sellers." The text of the bill can be found online at http://www.leg.state.nv.us/70th/bills/AB/AB577.html. *** 8. Seminars at the Lindesmith Center The Lindesmith Center, a drug policy think tank, held its 100th seminar this February, and continues the program at this spring. Seminar listings are updated on the TLC web site at http://www.lindesmith.org, which also includes a substantial online library. On the east coast: Seminars are held at the Open Society Institute, 400 West 59th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), 3rd Floor, New York, NY. All are welcome, but seating is limited. Call The Lindesmith Center at (212) 548-0695 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place. Thursday, April 29th, 4-6pm Pain and Addiction: Which Part of the Elephant Are You Touching? Co-sponsored with the Project on Death in America of the Open Society Institute. Sidney H. Schnoll, MD, PhD, professor of internal medicine and psychiatry, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, examines the undertreatment of pain by physicians. Schnoll, chairman, Division of Addiction Medicine, presents recommendations for prescribing opioid pain medication intended to overcome fears of addiction, invasive regulatory oversight and risks of medication abuse. Monday, May 10th, 4-6pm The Evolution of Drug Markets in New York City Richard Curtis, PhD, professor of anthropology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and J. Travis Wendel, JD, PhD candidate, adjunct professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, analyze drug distribution in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the Bushwick and Williamsburg sections of Brooklyn. Curtis and Wendel, ethnographers for "Heroin in the 21st Century," funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and "Lower East Side Trafficking," funded by the National Institute of Justice, examine the evolution of multi-drug markets and their interaction with local communities. Thursday, May 27th, 4-6pm Preventing and Managing Binge Drinking in College Students: A Harm-Reduction Approach G. Alan Marlatt, PhD, professor of psychology and director, Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington in Seattle, analyzes trends in alcohol consumption among college students, based on research funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Marlatt, editor of Harm Reduction: Pragmatic Strategies for Managing High Risk Behaviors (Guilford Press, 1998), offers techniques for managing and preventing alcohol-related harms. Tuesday, June 8th, 4-6pm Coca Leaf: Sacrament and Scapegoat Carolina Salguero, photographer, and Anthony Henman, author of Mama Coca (1978), examine the use of coca in the Andes. Salguero, grantee of the Fund for Investigative Journalism, presents a slide show focusing on the role of coca in the daily lives of campesinos in Apurimac Valley, Peru. Henman, former professor of anthropology, University of Sao Paolo / Campinas, Brazil, analyzes the role of coca in Andean culture. Wednesday, June 23rd, 4-6pm Exchange, Distribution or Sale? Strategies for Syringe Availability Donald Grove, director of development, Harm Reduction Coalition and Moving Equipment, Robert Heimer, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology and public health, Yale University School of Medicine, and Beth Weinstein, MPH, director, Bureau of Community Health AIDS Program, Connecticut Department of Public Health, examine strategies for sterile syringe availability. On the west coast: TLC-West forum and conference locations vary. Call (415) 921-4987 or e-mail email@example.com for information, to reserve a space, or to sign up for the TLC- West mailing list. Thursday, April 29, 5-7pm Heroin Overdose Prevention Held at the San Francisco Medical Society, 1409 Sutter (at Franklin) Heroin Overdose Prevention. With: Karl Sporer, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, UCSF School of Medicine, Attending Physician, San Francisco General Hospital Emergency Services; Dan Bigg, Director, Chicago Recovery Alliance; and Reda Sobky, MD, Medical Director of HAART, Fort Help and Castro Valley Methadone Clinics, San Francisco. Monday, May 3, 8:30am-5pm, and Tuesday, May 4, 9am-5pm Bridging the Gap: Integrating Traditional Substance Abuse and Harm Reduction Services Held at the Radisson Miyako Hotel, 1625 Post Street (at Geary), San Francisco. An educational workshop for members of the San Francisco provider community. Presented by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, The Lindesmith Center, and the Harm Reduction Training Institute, with additional funding from SAMSA and DPF. Speakers include: Wesley Clark, Director of San Francisco Community Substance Abuse Services (CSAS); Alan Marlatt, University of \ Washington; Patt Denning, Addiction Treatment Alternatives, SF; and Rubin Medina, Executive Director, Promesa, NY. Attendees must be pre-registered. For information, call Bill Lapp at 4(15) 255-3522. Conferences Thursday, October 29, all day New Directions in Drug Education Held at the Golden Gate Club, Presidio of San Francisco, featuring educators, researchers, students and parents. For information, contact TLC-West at (415) 921-4987. *** 9. EDITORIAL: Disparity Dilemma David Borden, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org [Adam's editorials will be back next week. Because of the surging debate on mandatory minimum sentences, including the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences (Charles Rangel's bill, for example, discussed in issue #83 at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/083.html#rangel, and more sweeping legislation soon to come), we've decided to reprint this editorial by David Borden, from the August 1997 issue of The Activist Guide.] Over the past few years, the question of crack vs. powder cocaine sentencing has become a symbol of racial inequity in the U.S. criminal justice system. The controversy is that under federal sentencing law, a defendant convicted of possession of 5 grams of crack receives a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, while 500 grams of powder cocaine are required to trigger the same mandatory minimum. Last year (1996), the U.S. Sentencing Commission decided that the 5- year threshold for crack should be raised to 500 grams, matching that of powder. For the first time ever, the Commission's recommendations were overturned by Congress. Earlier this year (1997), the Commission came back with an alternative recommendation, raising the crack threshold to 25 grams and lowering powder's to 250. Though use of crack cocaine in the white community is not uncommon, most arrests, and virtually all federal prosecutions of crack defendants, are of blacks, and powder cocaine enforcement is racially discriminatory as well. Mainstream leaders, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, have openly denounced the situation, both current and proposed, as racist. Of all current drug policy reform proposals, this one small change may have more public, activist, and official support than any other. It seems like it should be easy. So why are we losing? It may be that the focus on this one discriminatory sentencing policy is misdirected. Heinous as it is, the 5 gram-5 year mandatory minimum is only the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem. A 1995 study by The Sentencing Project found that nearly 1 in 3 African American men between the ages of 20 and 29 were under some form of correctional supervision -- prison, jail, probation or parole -- on any given day, meaning the percentage who undergo correctional control at some time is larger. Astonishing percentages of young black men in our major cities enter prison at some time during their lives. Though data on the number of them incarcerated for drug offenses are unavailable, the Sentencing Project blamed the dramatic increase in incarceration of the last 15 years on drug policies. While the debate focuses on grams and ratios, opponents of sentencing reform can minimize the problem by pointing to the relatively small numbers of people sentenced under this one federal law, distracting attention from the larger numbers of persons incarcerated, 90 percent at the state level. And sadly, many Americans today are willing to sacrifice fairness for the sake of "stamping out drugs" or whatever they think is being accomplished. So long as they believe that tough drug enforcement and mandatory minimum sentences are effective approaches to the drug problem, they will set aside concerns of justice, whether they agree with them or not. Indeed, they may think it unfair to not punish inner- city offenders more harshly, given the more severe impact that substance abuse and related problems have in that environment. Yet their belief is misguided. An officer during the Vietnam War once explained that he had destroyed a village in order to "liberate" it. Today's drug warriors are much like this officer, trying to "save" the inner cities by removing huge numbers of young blacks to prisons for long periods of time. As contracting of prison labor by private industry becomes widespread, many of these men, and a growing number of women, are put to work for compensation that might colloquially be termed "slave wages." Meanwhile, the drug industry out on the streets replaces their lost workers with new young men and women, who can then be sent to prison, etc., etc. Result: bigger prisons, no reduction in the availability of drugs. We as reformers need to keep the focus on the big picture, dealing with important partial issues like the sentencing disparity but framing them in terms of the larger context. *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html. Donations to the Drug Reform Coordination Network are not tax-deductible. Deductible contributions supporting our educational work can be made by check to the DRCNet Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax- exempt organization, same address. PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of The Week Online is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: Drug Reform Coordination Network, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail email@example.com. Thank you. Articles of a purely educational nature in The Week Online appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted. *** DRCNet *** GATEWAY TO REFORM PAGE http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/ DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, No. 94 (The original summary of drug policy news from DrugSense opens with the weekly Feature Article - Kosovo is Small Potatoes Compared to the Drug War, by Mark Greer. The Weekly News in Review spotlights several articles about Drug War Policy, including - Drug survey of children finds middle school a pivotal time; Iowa report: 1 in 25 workers showed evidence of drug use; Editorial: the Fourth Amendment suffers at court's hands; 'Black tar' grimly covers S.F. streets; and, Number of drug deaths in Florida rises. Articles about Law Enforcement & Prisons include - As inmate population grows, so does a focus on children; Losing battle to revise drug law; The politics of punishment; Editorial: federalizing crime; and, Feds to join local war on drugs. Articles about Cannabis & Hemp include - Farmers show interest in hemp; Hemp-Ventura; High court hears man's case to grow marijuana for medicine; Marijuana as medicine - state bill inches forward; and, Movement on 215. International News includes - Australia: Bid for zero tolerance in schools doomed; Fugitive former governor of Mexican state charged with trafficking; and, Canadians favour the use of medical marijuana. The weekly "Hot Off The 'Net' feature points you to Steve Young's online book, "Maximizing Harm." The Fact of the Week uses the government's own statistics to document that mandatory minimums increase crime. The Quote of the Week shares an e-mail from British Member of Parliament Paul Flynn, who uses the DrugSense and MAP web sites.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (DrugSense) To: email@example.com Subject: DrugSense Weekly, April 16,1999, #94 Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 10:29:22 -0700 Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Lines: 819 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY *** DrugSense Weekly, April 16, 1999 #94 A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org This Publication May Be Read On-line at: http://www.drugsense.org/dsw/1999/ds99.n94.html TO SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, DONATE OR UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS PLEASE SEE THE INFORMATION AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS NEWSLETTER 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 MGreer@mapinc.org. *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: * Feature Article Kosovo is Small Potatoes Compared to the "Drug War" by Mark Greer * Weekly News in Review Drug War Policy- (1) Drug Survey of Children Finds Middle School a Pivotal Time (2) Iowa Report: 1 in 25 Workers Showed Evidence of Drug Use (3) Editorial: The Fourth Amendment Suffers at Court's Hands (4) `Black Tar' Grimly Covers S.F. Streets (5) Number of Drug Deaths in Florida Rises Law Enforcement & Prisons- (6) As Inmate Population Grows, So Does a Focus on Children (7) Losing Battle to Revise Drug Law (8) The Politics of Punishment (9) Editorial: Federalizing Crime (10) Feds to Join Local War on Drugs Cannabis & Hemp- (11) Farmers Show Interest in Hemp (12) Hemp-Ventura (13) High Court Hears Man's Case to Grow Marijuana for Medicine (14) Marijuana as Medicine - State Bill Inches Forward (15) Movement on 215 International News- (16) Australia: Bid For Zero Tolerance in Schools Doomed (17) Fugitive Former Governor of Mexican State Charged With Trafficking (18) Canadians Favour The Use of Medical Marijuana * Hot Off The 'Net Hot Site! Steve Young's On-line Book "Maximizing Harm" * Fact of the Week Mandatory Minimums Increase Crime * Quote of the Week Member of Parliament (UK) Paul Flynn visits and uses DrugSense and MAP web sites *** FEATURE ARTICLE Kosovo is Small Potatoes Compared to the "Drug War" by Mark Greer I was watching the C-Span Washington Journal this morning. Most of the talk was of the war in Kosovo. Many called in expressing concern over the costs of this war and how it was going to wipe out the social security surplus. Others were concerned over the death and destruction and still others viewed it as a humanitarian effort that was completely justifiable and to be expected from the NATO and the U.S. One of the guests on the show was nationally syndicated columnist Molly Ivins. I managed to get through to speak to her on the air. My intention was to draw an analogy between Kosovo and the "War on Drugs" but after acknowledging her writing skills and thanking her for her stand on the drug war she began speaking and that was that last word I got in (although I did get a chance to plug DrugSense and MAP.) The point I wanted to make was that despite the tragedy, bloodshed, and horror in Kosovo, it is a drop in the bucket compared to the "War on Drugs." According to another C-Span guest the U.S. has probably spent around $500 million dollars on the war in Kosovo. According to the Drug War Clock at http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm We have spent $10 BILLION on the drug war just since January. A few thousand people have been killed in Kosovo and a few hundred thousand have been displaced. While deplorable, it is peanuts compared to destruction caused by the "Drug War" in this country over a course of decades. The entire nation is wringing its hands and the media is giving massive press coverage to the events in Kosovo. Yet hundreds of thousands are killed in drug war crossfire and drug related gang violence, or have had their lives destroyed as a result incarceration, harassment, asset forfeiture and other sinister effects of the "War on Drugs" with barely a whimper from the public. The "Land of the Free" that goes to war to protect the rights of the displaced Kosovars has 1.8 million people in prison. More than any other industrialized country in the world. A large percentage of these prisoners are in jail for nonviolent drug crimes. Millions of the direct dependents and family members of these prisoners have had their lives turned upside down, been displaced, had their lifestyles annihilated, and had their individual liberties trampled on. So where is the outrage? Sure the Kosovars are suffering but are we so used to our own atrocities that we can no longer see or discuss them? How can we allow such inconsistency and hypocrisy? If we are going to go to war to protect the rights of people in a country most of us never heard of two months ago is it such a stretch to ask that Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness be restored in our own country? What could we do in this country with the hundreds of billions of dollars we are frittering away on the "War on Drugs?" Provide the finest educational system on the planet? Stabilize Social Security? Reduce taxes? Reduce violent crime? Eliminate prison overcrowding? Streamline our judicial system? The answer to the above rhetorical questions is an emphatic yes. Yes to every one of them. If we would incorporate a sensible drug policy in this country we could easily manage all of the above and more while simultaneously restoring the individual rights that we have been sabotaging in the name of "saving" us from our own personal choices and individual liberty. Mark Greer http://www.mapinc.org/mg/ *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** Domestic News- Policy *** COMMENT: (1-5) In a slow week for drug news PRIDE released a report suggesting that the first stirrings of adolescence also signal that children are becoming liable to use drugs. If we lived under a sane drug policy, this might be a point of departure to search for biological data aimed at reducing the risk of addiction and drug related disease. Unfortunately, given current American reality, it's more likely that the information will be used to augment the coercive and punitive powers described in the next two articles: further expansion of testing and police intrusion in the name of drug purity. The human damage produced by this feverish emphasis on detection and punishment of "drug crime" (drug sin?) at the expense of humane treatment is underscored by the last two articles. Our crusade for a drug-free utopia has made America a dangerous place for adolescents. *** (1) DRUG SURVEY OF CHILDREN FINDS MIDDLE SCHOOL A PIVOTAL TIME The first national drug-abuse survey to include elementary-school children among the respondents suggests that youngsters become more vulnerable to the lure of drugs once they leave the familiar environment of primary school and strive to fit into middle school. The new survey, by Pride, an organization based in Atlanta that counsels schools and parents on ways to inhibit drug use among the young, also confirms again what many researchers have long known: that cigarettes, alcohol (primarily beer) and inhalants are used far more by children than are marijuana or harder drugs. [snip] Pubdate: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 Source: New York Times (NY) Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Forum: http://forums.nytimes.com/comment/ Author: Christopher Wren URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n395.a06.html *** (2) IOWA REPORT: 1 IN 25 WORKERS SHOWED EVIDENCE OF DRUG USE Iowa's first drug-in-the-workplace report says that about 1 in 25 workers tested last year showed evidence of drug use. [snip] The report is the first of what will become an annual statistical accounting required by state law. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 06 Apr 1999 Source: Omaha World-Herald (NE) Copyright: 1999 Omaha World-Herald Company. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.omaha.com/ Forum: http://chat.omaha.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n387.a03.html *** (3) EDITORIAL: THE FOURTH AMENDMENT SUFFERS AT COURT'S HANDS Rulings Threaten Civil Liberties. Step into a car and you leave your Fourth Amendment rights behind. Or so says the U.S. Supreme Court. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure, but the court has been dismantling it bit by bit. This week, the justices ruled 6-3 that a police officer who stops a car may rummage through a passenger's personal belongings - without a search warrant - because he suspects the driver may have done something wrong. [snip] Pubdate: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 Source: Greensboro News & Record (NC) Copyright: 1999 Greensboro News & Record, Inc. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.greensboro.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n403.a10.html *** (4) 'BLACK TAR' GRIMLY COVERS S.F. STREETS While her toddler plays in another room, Michelle has a friend inject heroin into a vein in her neck -- one of the few that's still functioning after years of needles and impure dope. [snip] After three years of following five young people in and out of San Francisco's judicial system, the director says he's frustrated by its lack of counseling and rehab programs. "The addict population has gotten much younger: The average age 10 years ago was 27; now it's 19 to 20," he says. "It's ridiculous to jail these kids and then just kick them back out on the streets...." [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Section: Datebook Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Forum: http://www.sfgate.com/conferences/ Author: Neva Chonin, Chronicle Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n412.a09.html *** (5) NUMBER OF DRUG DEATHS IN FLORIDA RISES When Tampa General Hospital emergency doctor Cathy Carrubba trained in Philadelphia 15 years ago, heroin overdoses were all too common. [snip] Tampa isn't alone. Drug deaths in Florida last year increased at such a dramatic rate that the state's new drug czar described the crisis Tuesday as "totally out of control." [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 07 Apr 1999 Source: Tampa Tribune (FL) Copyright: 1999, The Tribune Co. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.tampatrib.com/ Forum: http://tampabayonline.net/interact/welcome.htm URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n389.a08.html *** Law Enforcement & Prisons *** COMMENT: (6-10) Continuing on the theme of children, a disturbing article by Christopher Wren points out that when the males of one generation are incarcerated, their progeny are likely to follow them into prison. After several hopeful signs, it now appears that any hope of significantly modifying New York's notoriously unfair Rockefeller drug laws have fallen victim to political cowardice. On the left coast, it's unlikely that Gray Davis, who received the endorsement of the Correctional Officers' union will tamper with California's 3 strikes law. Finally, a thoughtful Texas editorial on the pernicious influence of federal "tough on crime" policies is highlighted by an illustrative news item from New Bedford, MA. *** (6) AS INMATE POPULATION GROWS, SO DOES A FOCUS ON CHILDREN OSINING, N.Y. - Baba Eng had been a prisoner at Sing Sing for 22 years, serving a life sentence for murder, when a new inmate walked into the shower room one day and stared at his face. "Dad," the stranger finally exclaimed. The man was his son, whom Eng had not seen since his arrest, and who now was in prison himself for armed robbery. "It was the worst moment of my life," Eng recalled. "Here was my son; he had tried to imitate my life." [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 Source: New York Times (NY) Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Forum: http://forums.nytimes.com/comment/ Author: Fox Butterfield URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n390.a04.html *** (7) LOSING BATTLE TO REVISE DRUG LAW Political Factors Hobble Effort To Soften 1973 Rockefeller Acts Albany - They've rallied on the Capitol steps, trotted out teary-eyed children of drug defendants and enlisted the state's top judge in their cause. Yet even as they have stepped up their campaign this legislative session, advocates of overhauling New York's stiff Rockefeller-era drug laws have not convinced top lawmakers and Gov. George Pataki, whose support is essential to any major change. [snip] Pubdate: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 Source: Newsday (NY) Copyright: 1999, Newsday Inc. Contact: email@example.com Fax: (516)843-2986 Website: http://www.newsday.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n409.a04.html *** (8) THE POLITICS OF PUNISHMENT SUE Reams was near tears as she told state legislators Tuesday how her son came to face life in state prison. Son Shane, she said, became involved in drugs and committed some residential robberies, including one of her own home. She turned him in to authorities. "We thought he would get some help," the Orange County woman said, "some drug rehabilitation." But Shane's drug involvement continued, and 10 years after his original offenses, he was nailed as the lookout in a drug sale to undercover cops. It was his third offense, and under the state's "Three Strikes, You're Out" law, Shane went to prison for 25 years to life. [snip] Pubdate: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 Source: Oakland Tribune (CA) Copyright: 1999 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 66 Jack London Sq., Oakland, CA 94607 Website: http://www.newschoice.com/newspapers/alameda/tribune/ Author: Dan Walters (email@example.com), Sacramento Bee Columnist URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n408.a12.html *** (9) EDITORIAL: 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. [snip] 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. [snip] 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 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n406.a05.html *** (10) FEDS TO JOIN LOCAL WAR ON DRUGS NEW BEDFORD -- The city is about to get some high-profile help in its war on illegal drugs. The nation's drug czar, Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, has agreed to send a team of federal drug experts to New Bedford to help assess needs and to develop a drug-fighting strategy. [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 Source: Standard-Times (MA) Copyright: 1999 The Standard-Times Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Author: Polly Saltonstall, Standard-Times staff writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n412.a07.html *** Medical Marijuana *** COMMENT: (11-15) A bear market for commodities continues to put pressure on the DEA's irrational ban on industrial hemp. Pennsylvania farmers added their state to the list of those looking at the issue. Meanwhile, Minnesota's flamboyant Jesse Ventura didn't hide his support. On the therapeutic Cannabis front, the Florida Supreme Court is hearing a case on the issue of medical necessity in a state where the political climate is as repressive as any, while the situation in Arkansas is decidedly more hopeful. With an A-Z overview of the situation in post 215 California, Alan Bock of the OC Register provided convincing evidence that he is one the nation's premier journalists in the field of drug policy. Brilliant as it is, the most interesting part is not the well-informed chronology- rather, it's Bock's assessment of what it could all mean. *** (11) FARMERS SHOW INTEREST IN HEMP County Official wants Government to Lift Ban on Growing Crop With sinking prices for corn, soybeans and tobacco, the time is ripe for farmers to consider planting alternative crops, according to county Farm Bureau president Jane Balmer. One of her suggestions is a crop that was grown abundantly here for more than 200 years, providing textiles, food, oil and paper. Trouble is, it's presently illegal to cultivate industrial hemp in the United States and has been since a 1937 ban was imposed to eliminate harvests of marijuana, industrial hemp's intoxicating cousin. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 07 Apr 1999 Source: Intelligencer Journal (PA) Copyright: 1999 Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.lancnews.com/intell/index.html Author: Daina Savage Intelligencer Journal Staff URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n413.a06.html *** (12) HEMP-VENTURA 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. [snip] 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 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n400.a11.html *** (13) HIGH COURT HEARS MAN'S CASE TO GROW MARIJUANA FOR MEDICINE TALLAHASSEE - The attorney for a man who says smoking marijuana is the only way to ease his glaucoma and nausea asked the Florida Supreme Court to let his client grow the illegal drug in his yard. The case of 61-year-old George Sowell could reveal whether the court will allow a medical exception to the statewide substance ban. Sowell, who received a kidney transplant 17 years ago after glaucoma drugs caused the organ to fail, said Wednesday he started growing the plant in his yard because it helped ease the symptoms. [snip] Pubdate: Thu, 8 April 1999 Source: Naples Daily News (FL) Copyright: 1999 Naples Daily News. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.naplesnews.com/ Author: Jeffrey McMurray, Associated Press URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n394.a01.html *** (14) MARIJUANA AS MEDICINE - STATE BILL INCHES FORWARD On March 17 the drug czar's appointed panel verified that marijuana does indeed have medical benefits. Reporting to the Federal Government, the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine said that marijuana can be effective in relieving pain and nausea. Whether this report portends a course change for the drug war ship of state 'Titanic' remains to be seen. However, it does make the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act (HB-1043) penned by Jim Lendall appear to be a most timely piece of legislation. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 1 Apr 1999 Source: Little Rock Free Press (AR) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.aristotle.net/FREEP Author: Glen Schwarz URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n387.a10.html *** (15) MOVEMENT ON 215 IN THE COURTS AND THE CAPITALS,THE CASE IS MADE FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA More than two years after California voters passed the medical marijuana initiative, Proposition 215 - now Section 11362.5 of the state's Health and Safety Code - the law still has not been implemented. [snip] Medical marijuana advocates and patients will have to be more persistent and more intelligent in their argumentation and lobbying. This is a long-haul struggle. Meanwhile, the intransigent ones, from Barry McCaffrey down to local prosecutors, would do well to consider another possibility. The general attitude has been that yielding on medical marijuana could be the sign of weakness that brings the entire war on drugs to a halt. But if the people repeatedly demand that marijuana be available to patients whose doctors believe they could benefit from it and the authorities repeatedly resist this modest and reasonable reform, they could decide simply to legalize marijuana - to put it on the same legal status as, say, oregano. And that might really lead to an end of the entire drug war. Pubdate: Sun, 11 April 1999 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Author: Alan W.Bock - Mr.Bock is the Register's senior editorial writer and columnist. He has been following and studying the War on Drugs and its various aspects for twenty years. URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n406.a12.html *** International News *** COMMENT: (16-18) Hard line Australian Prime Minister John Howard continues to block any relaxation of his harsh drug policies. He is opposed by most newspaper editors, and at this point, an unknown percentage of voters. In Mexico, an ex-governor became the highest-ranking drug fugitive since Manuel Noriega. Don't look for GIs to make a bust in Mexico, however. Up North, a robust poll result in favor of the therapeutic use of Cannabis suggests we can look forward to a change in that nation's policy fairly soon. *** (16) AUSTRALIA: BID FOR ZERO TOLERANCE IN SCHOOLS DOOMED 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. [snip] Pubdate: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 Source: Age, The (Australia) Copyright: 1999 David Syme & Co Ltd Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.theage.com.au/ Author: Adrian Rollins URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n397.a06.html *** (17) FUGITIVE FORMER GOVERNOR OF MEXICAN STATE CHARGED WITH TRAFFICKING MEXICO CITY - A fugitive former state governor in Mexico has been charged with drug trafficking and organized crime, prosecutors said. Yesterday's announcement came a day after Mario Villanueva left office and nine days after he dropped out of sight. Prosecutors denied they delayed the criminal case to avoid charging and impeaching a sitting governor, something that has never been done in Mexico. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Author: The Associated Press URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n390.a03.html *** (18) CANADIANS FAVOUR THE USE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA Canadians overwhelmingly support the medicinal use of marijuana, according to a new national survey. In a survey of 2,026 people, conducted last month by Decima Research Inc., 78% of those polled said they support the federal government's plan to consider the use of marijuana as a possible treatment for various medicinal conditions. The survey is considered accurate within 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 Source: National Post (Canada) Copyright: 1999 Southam Inc. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nationalpost.com/ Forum: http://forums.canada.com/~canada Author: Tom Arnold URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n395.a03.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET Hot Site! Steve Young's On-line Book "Maximizing Harm" Steve Young has been writing a book and now has a draft of book ready for people to at the website below. We found it to be a really outstanding compilation of web based facts and a excellent indictment of the drug war. It is well sourced and is loaded with links to pertinent facts. http://home.att.net/~theyoungfamily/ The book is called Maximizing Harm and it's supposed to be a simple introduction to the main issues in the drug war: Why it must fail; who loses; who wins; why it doesn't just stop; and ways people are challenging it. This is not final draft of the book, but Steve is at a point where he would like some feedback and ideas. *** FACT OF THE WEEK *** Mandatory Minimums Increase Crime If one compares 1996 to 1984, the crime index is 13 points higher. This dramatic increase occurred during an era of mandatory minimum sentencing and "three strikes you're out." Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports 1996, Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office (1997), p. 62, Table 1. *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK *** Richard Lake noticed the following note in the MAP Guest Book from Paul Flynn, British MP. Paul is by far the most active MP supporting change in cannabis laws. Thanks to our NewsHawks in the UK and Ireland, our news archives have 53 articles that mention Paul, going back to early 1997. Name: Paul Flynn Website: http://www.paulflynnmp.co.uk/ From: Wales Time: Sunday, April 11, 1999 at 15:44:06 "I will be dropping in frequently. In the UK Parliament I have a bid to legalising medicinal cannabis on May 21st. It will almost certainly fall but as a news conference the previous I hope to have several seriously ill people who use cannabis giving their testimony - including Eric Mann who is serving a 12 months jail sentence." *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. TO SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, OR UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS: Please utilize the following URLs http://www.drugsense.org/hurry.htm http://www.drugsense.org/unsub.htm News/COMMENTS-Editor: Tom O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (email@example.com) We wish to thank all our contributors, editors, Newshawks and letter writing activists. NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. REMINDER: Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug related issue to firstname.lastname@example.org *** NOW YOU CAN DONATE TO DRUGSENSE ONLINE AND IT'S TAX DEDUCTIBLE DrugSense provides many services to at no charge BUT THEY ARE NOT FREE TO PRODUCE. We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. If you are able to help by contributing to the DrugSense effort visit our convenient donation web site at http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htm -OR- Mail in your contribution. Make checks payable to MAP Inc. send your contribution to: The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc. d/b/a DrugSense PO Box 651 Porterville, CA 93258 (800) 266 5759 MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.mapinc.org/ http://www.drugsense.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.
Comments, questions and suggestions.Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/
Next day's news
Previous day's news
to the 1999 Daily News index for April 16-22
to the Portland NORML news archive directory
to the 1999 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/ii/990416.html