------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Weekly Press Release (Reform Party, Canada's top cops back removing criminal pot penalties; California high court says police must return medical marijuana to [atients; Oregon first state to license medical marijuana patients; Swiss government committee says legalize marijuana; House reps. to introduce student drug testing bills in Congress) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 18:46:23 EDT Subject: NORML WPR 4/29/99 (II) To: undisclosed-recipients:; NORML Weekly Press Release 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) www.norml.org email@example.com April 29, 1999 *** Reform Party, Canada's Top Cops Back Removing Criminal Pot Penalties April 29, 1999, Ottawa, Ontario: Member of Parliament Keith Martin (Reform Party-Esquimalt) introduced legislation in the House of Commons Monday to remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession. The bill, C-503, mimics a position adopted last week by the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs recommending marijuana offenders be fined, but no longer arrested. "Canadian law enforcement officers and some MPs aptly realize that otherwise law abiding citizens who smoke marijuana are not part of the crime problem and should not be treated like criminals," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. He noted that the proposed law is similar to those of ten U.S. states that treat marijuana possession as a fine-only offense. Ticketed offenders would not have to go through the court system, or be booked by police under Martin's proposal. Martin told the House that fining marijuana smokers would generate funding for drug prevention and education programs. Barry King, who heads the CAPC's drug abuse committee, said decriminalization would free up judicial resources and allow police to focus on more serious crimes. "This isn't legalization; it's decriminalization," he said. "This is a balanced approach." While Canadian police support relaxing the marijuana laws, one anonymous senior law enforcement official told reporters at The National Post that pressure from U.S. officials may cause MPs to reject the proposal. "I wonder how they [the U.S.] will react to know that the federal government is contemplating decriminalizing [marijuana] possession," he said. "I suspect they would be somewhat pissed." For more information, please contact either R. Keith Stroup or Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. A transcript of MP Keith Martin's statements to the House are available online at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/cgi-bin/36/pb_chb_hou_deb.pl?e. *** California High Court Says Police Must Return Medical Marijuana To Patients April 29, 1999, Ukiah, CA: Police who improperly seize medical marijuana from California patients must return it, according to a ruling by the state Supreme Court. The decision forced Mendocino County police last week to return a half pound of dried marijuana to a Ukiah patient who used the drug in compliance with Proposition 215, the state's medical marijuana law. "It's the first time the Court has allowed a person to walk out of a police station with marijuana legally in their hands," said attorney Hannah Nelson, who handled the two-year case pro bono. "The fact is that the marijuana was being used legally and he has a right to it." Police initially seized the marijuana in a 1997 raid on patients Christopher Brown and his wife, now deceased. The District Attorney's office later dismissed charges against the couple after determining the defendants used the marijuana medically for their own personal use under a physician's supervision. Nelson filed a motion in municipal court mandating police to return the Brown's supply of medical marijuana. The lower court granted the motion, and the Superior Court and the California Court of Appeals, First District, affirmed their decision. The state appealed to the California Supreme Court, which affirmed the lower court rulings. "The Court found at all levels that the marijuana in this case was not contraband, but legal under state law," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. "Therefore, they had no choice but to order police to return Christopher Brown's legal property." The High Court dismissed the state's argument that the drug's illegal status under federal law prohibits police from returning marijuana deemed legal under state law. For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500 or attorney Hannah Nelson @ (707) 923-1933. *** Oregon First State To License Medical Marijuana Patients April 29, 1999, Salem, OR: Guidelines take effect next week allowing the state health department to register and license medical marijuana patients who legally possess the drug under state law. Oregon will become the first state to issue ID cards to medical marijuana patients. "Medical marijuana proponents and law enforcement officials found common ground to encourage patients to register" when drafting the regulations, NORML Legal Committee member Leland Berger said. Berger sat on an advisory task force that helped compose the guidelines. Oregon's medical marijuana law, passed by voters in November 1998, mandated the Oregon Health Division to establish a medical marijuana patient registry and issue identification cards to qualified applicants by May 1, 1999. Patients issued ID cards and who possess state authorized quantities of marijuana will no longer be subject to arrest or criminal penalties. Patients who possess larger amounts of marijuana, or who fail to register with the state, may raise at trial an affirmative defense of medical necessity against state criminal marijuana charges. The guidelines also allow the state to issue cards to patients' primary caregivers to shield them from prosecution. Patients will have to reapply for ID cards annually, and will likely have to pay a $150 application fee to offset costs of the program. The state registry will remain confidential and its records will not be subject to public disclosure. For more information, please call either Leland Berger of the NORML Legal Committee @ (503) 287-4688 or R. Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. *** Swiss Government Committee Says Legalize Marijuana April 29, 1999, Bern, Switzerland: The Swiss government should legalize the sale and use of marijuana, a federally appointed panel urged last week. Their recommendation responds to a government inquiry to revise the country's drug laws. The federal commission proposed licensing marijuana sales to Swiss adults. The plan also would prohibit sellers from advertising the drug, and allow the state to regulate marijuana's market value. Panelists made their recommendation after determining that marijuana posed little danger as a gateway drug and negligible health risks compared to legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco. The experts also acknowledged that marijuana prohibition failed to discourage widespread use of the drug. The Associated Press reported that Swiss Cabinet officials will likely reject the recommendation, but did not rule out the measure's eventual passage in a national referendum. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** House Reps. To Introduce Student Drug Testing Bills In Congress April 29, 1999, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Representatives John Peterson (R-Pa.) and James Rogan (R-Calif.) responded to last week's Littleton, Colorado school shooting by announcing that they will introduce a pair of bills allowing school officials to submit students to random drug tests. NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. criticized the proposals. "While the Littleton shooting was obviously a tragedy, police confirmed that the suspects were drug free. It is shameful for these members of Congress to exploit this tragedy to advance their misguided, drug war agenda." Peterson's measure would authorize participating school districts to administer random testing to students. Federal grants would defray 50 percent of the costs associated with the testing, an aide to Peterson said. The bill is scheduled to be introduced in Congress next week. Rogan's staff said he will introduce a similar bill today. For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rescheduling marijuana resolution HJM 10 (A list subscriber says the resolution before the Oregon legislature calling on Congress to make marijuana available to physicians and patients was approved by a 4-3 committee vote this morning.) From: "sburbank" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "1Sandee Burbank" (email@example.com) Subject: Rescheduling marijuana resolution HJM-10 Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 13:12:20 -0700 Good News!! House Joint Memorial 10 (HJM-10) just made it out of committee this morning on a 4/3 vote. Now we really need to talk to our own legislators and get their support for this resolution that calls for the Federal Government to Reschedule marijuana to allow medicinal access. Hope to see you in Salem for the rally tomorrow at 10 AM, Sandee Burbank 2255 State Road, Mosier, OR 97040 phone or fax 541-298-1031 firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sheriff's deputy is accused of child sex abuse (The Oregonian says Robert William Morrissey, 44, a Washington County sheriff's deputy, was arrested Wednesday on accusations of sexually abusing two preschool-age girls.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Thu, Apr 29 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: Alex Pulaski and Maya Blackmun, the Oregonian Sheriff's deputy is accused of child sex abuse * The Washington County officer faces allegations involving two preschool-age girls in his wife's care HILLSBORO -- A Washington County sheriff's deputy was arrested Wednesday on accusations of sexually abusing two preschool-age girls. Robert William Morrissey, 44, a resident of unincorporated Washington County just north of Beaverton, was booked into the county jail on six counts of sexual abuse and one count of sodomy. Bail was set at $1 million. Authorities said the victims had been provided day care in Morrissey's home by his wife, Pauletta Ann Morrissey. One of the girls' parents contacted sheriff's detectives in late January. They turned over the criminal investigation to Oregon State Police and the state Office of Services to Children and Families. Sheriff Jim Spinden said that investigation uncovered allegations involving a second girl. Morrissey was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday pending the results of an internal affairs investigation. He is expected to be arraigned at 3 p.m. today in county Circuit Court. Under Measure 11, the minimum sentence Morrissey could receive if convicted would be six years and three months in prison. His attorney, Janet Lee Hoffman of Portland, did not return phone calls seeking comment. Oregon Child Care Division records show that in November 1995, Pauletta Morrissey registered with the state as a family care provider. Such providers are typically women who take neighborhood children into their homes and care for them along with their own children. But the division suspended her registration on Feb. 2, said Linda Stern, the division's licensing manager. Stern said the action followed notification that a child-abuse investigation involving someone in the home was under way. The suspension barred Pauletta Morrissey from providing care, Stern said. Morrissey had no previous complaints in her file. Family care providers and other adults in the home are required to undergo criminal record and background checks when they register with the state. The state does not inspect family care homes. State records show that Pauletta Morrissey completed a required two-hour class on recognizing and reporting child abuse in August 1997. Bob Hull, the senior deputy district attorney prosecuting the case, said he was not aware of any allegations involving other victims. Hull would not comment further. Robert Morrissey has worked for the Washington County sheriff's office since 1984. He was assigned to night patrol duty. Spinden said Morrissey was being held in a single cell no different from other prisoners. "Staff was made aware of the situation, since he may be in with people he has arrested," Spinden said. "It's always a sad day when allegations of misconduct are made against law enforcement officers," Spinden said. "But we have a process in place. The justice system will run its course." You can reach Alex Pulaski at 503-294-5957 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can reach Maya Blackmun at 503-294-5926 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alterna Blankets Los Angeles With Hemp Again (A company press release on Business Wire says Alterna Applied Research Laboratories, which produces professional hemp hair care products, has re-posted its thought-provoking hemp-leaf ad images all over Los Angeles County in an effort to keep the message of industrial hemp alive. Alterna was forced to take down 100 of its hemp-shampoo ads last October in Los Angeles as a result of a drug-baiting campaign by DARE America.) Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 14:25:24 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Alterna Blankets Los Angeles With Hemp Again Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF@aol.com Pubdate: 29 Apr 1999 Source: Business Wire Contact: Alterna, Kimberlee Jensen-Mitchell, 310/824-2508, ext. 258 Note: Even though Business Wire items are closer to press releases than traditional wire service items, we find this item interesting in light of the past news items Alterna has caused at: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98/n236/a04.html [Weeding It Out - Ventura Residents Say Ad Tarnishes Their Image] http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98/n1062/a02.html [Hemp Shampoo Maker Sues For Defamation] http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/n053/a13.html [No Ads For Hemp Shampoo] *** ALTERNA BLANKETS LOS ANGELES WITH HEMP AGAIN IN SUPPORT OF NATIONWIDE PRO-HEMP LEGISLATION LOS ANGELES (April 29) BUSINESS WIRE -April 29, 1999 - In an effort to keep the message of industrial drug-free hemp alive in Los Angeles, Alterna Applied Research Laboratories, maker of professional hemp hair care products, has re-posted its thought-provoking hemp leaf ad images all over the county. In the wake of being forced to remove 100 of its renowned hemp shampoo ads as a result of a rift with DARE America last October, Alterna has regained its powerful lobbying position for industrial hemp by re-posting its dialog-generating ads on 75 of the city's busses. "The forced removal of the city-owned bus benches in October temporarily impeded our hemp awareness campaign in Los Angeles," explains Mike Brady vice president of sales and marketing for Alterna. "Our new bus poster campaign allows us to keep the message of industrial drug-free hemp alive. Public acceptance is growing and laws are changing." Education is the key to enlightenment and the recent passing of pro-hemp legislation in Canada, North Dakota, Hawaii and soon to be Virginia and Montana has fueled a deluge of media coverage--blatant evidence that hemp education is working. The California Democratic National Party has demonstrated support for the industrial hemp issue, which is the first time in history that a major political party has embraced drug-free hemp. It is likely that there will be an industrial hemp plank in the Democratic National Party's platform for the elections in 2000. Since incorporating hemp seed oil into its products as of January of 1998, Alterna has undertaken an aggressive national hemp education campaign, called LEARN MORE, which is designed to dispel myths and misinformation about the marked differences between hemp and marijuana. Proactive in its approach to educate the nation of hemp's many environmental, economic and cosmetic benefits, Alterna holds fast to two proven facts: hemp is not marijuana and hemp is not a drug. By associating a hemp leaf with the word "HEMP" and the phrase "THC (Drug) free" in its advertising campaign Alterna has sent a clear message to the public that the company is opposed to the drug culture. In addition, Alterna's information-laden hemp educational packages are mailed out to anyone who is interested to learn more about hemp. A consummate education advocate, Alterna conducts hemp essay contests in high schools across the nation awarding college scholarship funds. Furthermore, Alterna is steadfast about not aligning itself with any group that advocates the use or legalization of marijuana. Alterna's bus poster image displays a green hemp leaf with the words "THC (Drug) free" clearly written below it with a bottle of the hemp shampoo and the word "HEMP" emblazoned across the ad. The company's phone number and web site address is also prominently displayed so the public can learn more about hemp's vast benefits, including how hemp seed oil can help improve the strength, shine and healthy appearance of the hair. Unconventional in its approach, Alterna consistently sets new standards in the beauty industry in the fields of advanced formulation and product performance. The first professional hair care company to harness the power of nutrient-rich hemp seed oil in January of 1997, Alterna continually redefines itself as an industry innovator.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Juror Conviction Reversed (A bulletin from the Jury Rights Project provides a URL to the text of today's ruling by the Colorado Court of Appeals overturning the contempt of court conviction of Laura Kriho.)Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 12:12:43 -0600 (MDT) From: Jury Rights Project (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Jury Rights Project (email@example.com) Subject: Juror Contempt Conviction Thrown Out (4/29/99) April 29, 1999 Juror Conviction Reversed The contempt of court conviction against former juror Laura Kriho has been reversed today by the Colorado Court of Appeals. Text of the order is available at: http://www.levellers.org/kriho.appeal.htm Press release and more info. to follow soon. *** Jury Rights Project firstname.lastname@example.org Web page: http://www.lrt.org/jrp.homepage.htm To be added to or removed from the JRP mailing list, send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title.
------------------------------------------------------------------- U.S. Court Overturns Juror's Contempt Conviction (Reuters says the Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial for Laura Kriho, a juror who was convicted of being in contempt of court because she was not asked and didn't reveal her opposition to drug prohibition when she was selected for a jury in a methamphetamine case.) Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 16:12:24 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CO: Wire: U.S. Court Overturns Juror's Contempt Conviction Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jury Rights Project (email@example.com) Pubdate: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited. U.S. COURT OVERTURNS JUROR'S CONTEMPT CONVICTION DENVER - A Colorado appeals court Thursday overturned the conviction of a juror who was held in contempt of court because she did not reveal her opposition to narcotics laws when she was selected to a jury in a drug case. The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that Laura Kriho, 35, should receive a new trial because the judge who found her in contempt in 1996 improperly considered testimony about what Kriho told fellow panelists during jury deliberations. The judge in the 1996 case concluded that Kriho had obstructed justice And ordered her to pay a $1,200 fine for contempt. Kriho appealed, contending that the jury system was threatened by the prosecution of a juror. Kriho served as a juror in a 1994 case in a rural mountain county west of Denver where a 19-year-old woman was charged with possessing methamphetamine. Kriho was the lone holdout in the trial, which ended in a mistrial. At her contempt trial, Kriho's fellow jurors testified that she argued that drug cases should be handled by families and not by courts. She also urged jurors not to convict the methamphetamine defendant because of what Kriho considered the harshness of the potential penalty. During jury selection, Kriho failed to disclose that 11 years earlier she had pleaded guilty to possessing the hallucinogenic drug LSD and is a member of a group that supports the legalization of marijuana. The appeals court ruled 2-1 that Kriho's conviction must be overturned because the judge in her contempt trial improperly invaded the sanctity of the jury's right to secrecy by considering what Kriho said during deliberations. If Kriho is retried, evidence of her opposition to drug laws cannot be considered because there is not sufficient evidence of it except for what she said during the secret deliberations, the appeals court said in a 62-page decision. It also noted that contempt proceedings against jurors "have been exceptionally rare" in the United States.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Michigan To Begin Welfare Drug Testing (The Associated Press says Michigan Governor John Engler signed a bill into law Wednesday that will require drug tests of welfare applicants in three areas of the state beginning Oct. 1. The new law is believed to be the first in the nation to require drug tests of all welfare applicants, and requires such tests to be given statewide beginning April 1, 2003.) Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 20:41:30 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MI: Wire: Mich. To Begin Welfare Drug Testing Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: M & M Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: 29 Apr 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press MICH. TO BEGIN WELFARE DRUG TESTING LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Welfare applicants in three areas of Michigan will be required to take drug tests before receiving benefits under a new state law that takes effect this fall. The pilot program to begin Oct. 1 is believed to be the first in the nation to require drug tests of all applicants at specified welfare offices, said Bill Kordenbrock, an official with the state Family Independence Agency, which administers welfare benefits. The testing is needed to make sure drug use doesn't provide a stumbling block to moving off welfare, said Gov. John Engler, who signed the bill into law Wednesday. ``For some ... substance abuse remains a barrier to independence,'' he said. ``This program will help us identify these individuals and provide them with the incentive to change their lives.'' Under the plan, Michigan will use Medicaid funds to provide treatment for those who screen positive for drugs. Anyone refusing treatment will face at least a partial loss of welfare benefits, and applicants who refuse to take the test will have their benefits denied. Officials have not determined which areas of the state will take part. Civil liberties groups and welfare advocates have said across-the-board drug testing of anyone who applies for welfare unfairly discriminates against the poor. ``If Governor Engler was truly concerned about making sure welfare applicants could get jobs, he would also be looking at factors such as alcohol abuse, and literacy and homelessness,'' said Wendy Wagenheim of the American Civil Liberties Union in Michigan. ``This is just one, and it's strictly punitive.'' The new law requires drug tests to be given to welfare applicants statewide beginning April 1, 2003.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tempest Over A Small Pot (A staff editorial in the Meriden Record-Journal says the bust of University of Connecticut basketball star Khalid El-Amin for marijuana possession has distracted people from America's primary drug problem, which is not marijuana, but alcohol. To treat El-Amin's arrest as a momentous, even scandalous, event when high school and college athletes develop far more serious problems far more regularly from alcohol abuse is absurd. But we treat this problem with less severity. We do not cast the same opprobrium upon it as we do other drugs and, in fact, alcohol is seen by some as a natural part of the machismo that accompanies the sporting culture.) Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 18:49:22 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CT: Editorial: Tempest Over A Small Pot Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Thur, 29 Apr 1999 Source: Meriden Record-Journal, The (CT) Copyright: 1999, The Record-Journal Publishing Co. Contact: email@example.com Address: 11 CrownStreet, P.O. Box 915, Meriden, CT 06450 Fax: (203) 639-0210 Feedback: http://www.record-journal.com/rj/contacts/letters.html Website: http://www.record-journal.com/ TEMPEST OVER A SMALL POT The storm of attention that broke over University of Connecticut basketball player Khalid El-Amin for his marijuana arrest was really nothing but a tempest in a trophy cup. El-Amin had the misfortune to get caught buying his small amount of marijuana a few days before the state's orgiastic celebration of UConn's winning the national college basketball championship - a moment when the spotlight was tightly focused. As a result, untold parents wrung their collective hands and fretted about the fall of a role model. Latter-day Billy Sundays pounded their pulpits and thundered about the dangers of marijuana. The problem with all of this righteous fuss is that America's primary drug problem is not marijuana, but alcohol. While drug abuse of any kind is not to be condoned, the hypocrisy of the uproar must be observed. To treat El-Amin's arrest as a momentous, even scandalous, event when high school and college athletes develop far more serious problems far more regularly from alcohol abuse is absurd. Without doubt, the largest drug problem facing us is alcohol. But we treat this problem with less severity. We do not cast the same opprobrium upon it as we do other drugs and, in fact, alcohol is seen by some as a natural part of the machismo that accompanies the sporting culture. When experts - law enforcement officials, social workers, and others - go into school to lecture about substance abuse, the focus is on drugs like marijuana and cocaine, not alcohol, which would almost invariably provide a handy and tangible lesson. One only need look to the case of Cheshire football star Jason Dellaselva whose troubles stemmed from drinking. Very few at the center of that incident spent any visible energy considering the harmful role of alcohol. The Cheshire police have had far more complaints about noisy keg parties than noisy bong parties, although the two probably intersect at various points. El-Amin's celebrity undoubtedly inflated the attention given his arrest. While far from praiseworthy, however, it would have been best treated as what it was: a minor arrest involving a minor drug that is a minor part of a major problem.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Jersey Police Enlist Hotel Workers in War on Drugs (The New York Times says New Jersey state troopers have quietly enlisted workers at dozens of hotels along the New Jersey Turnpike to tip them off about suspicious guests who, among other things, pay for their their rooms in cash or receive a flurry of phone calls. The Hotel-Motel Program, modeled on a similar program in Los Angeles initiated by federal prohibition agents, routinely allows troopers, without a warrant, to leaf through the credit card receipts and registration forms of all guests, and provides $1,000 rewards to workers whose tips lead to "successful" arrests. Hotel and motel managers say they are assured that their workers will never be required to testify or have their names revealed in court documents. Police also tell them to take racial characteristics into account and pay particular attention to guests who speak Spanish.) Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 10:12:03 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NJ: New Jersey Police Enlist Hotel Workers in War on Drugs 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: Thu, 29 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://www10.nytimes.com/comment/ Author: David Kocieniewski NEW JERSEY POLICE ENLIST HOTEL WORKERS IN WAR ON DRUGS TRENTON -- In an aggressive effort to catch drug smugglers, New Jersey state troopers have quietly enlisted workers at dozens of hotels along the New Jersey Turnpike to tip them off about suspicious guests who, among other things, pay for their their rooms in cash or receive a flurry of phone calls, according to people who have participated in the program. The Hotel-Motel Program, operated out of the state police special projects unit since the early 1990's and modeled on a similar initiative in Los Angeles and by some Federal agencies, has recruited managers and employees at an undisclosed number of hotels to act as confidential informers about people who fit the profile of drug smugglers. Hotel managers who participate in the program say they routinely allow troopers, without a warrant, to leaf through the credit card receipts and registration forms of all guests at the hotel and to offer $1,000 rewards to hotel workers whose tips lead to successful arrests. In return, the hotel and motel managers say, they are assured that any searches or arrests will occur after the suspect drives off the hotel premises and that their workers will never be required to testify or have their names revealed in court documents. At the heart of the program are the troopers' surveillance seminars, which train front desk clerks, bellhops and porters to scrutinize guests who fit the profile of drug traffickers by asking for corner rooms, hauling trailers behind their cars or frequently moving from room to room. Several hotel employees and union leaders said troopers have also trained them to take racial characteristics into account and pay particular attention to guests who speak Spanish. State police officials, who have been besieged for years by charges that troopers illegally single out black and Hispanic motorists on New Jersey highways, acknowledge that hotel personnel have been enlisted as informers. But they would not say how many people had been searched, questioned or arrested in the program, and they denied that race played any role in it. Lieut. Bruce Geleta, who commands the unit, declined to discuss what factors troopers teach hotel employees to look for, saying that he did not want to alert the drug traffickers to his tactics. But he insisted that race was not among them. "Believe me, these days, we're very careful not to do anything like that," he said in an interview. But Clo Smith, a front desk clerk at the Holiday Inn near Newark Airport, said she sat through the hourlong seminar three years ago and was offended that the state police detective suggested that Spanish-speaking guests should be treated with more suspicion than those who speak English. "Let's just say I found it somewhat insensitive," said Ms. Smith, the union steward for Local 819 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents front desk employees at the hotel. David Feeback, president of Hotel and Restaurant Employees Local 69 in Secaucus, said some of his members have also complained that troopers have pressured them to participate and report any patrons at hotel restaurants who speak Spanish and pay with large sums of cash. "It's racial profiling, plain and simple," Feeback said. "They shouldn't be discriminating against people that way. And if any of my members ask, I tell them to have nothing to do with it." Lieutenant Geleta said he would not provide a racial breakdown of those people stopped, searched or arrested as part of the Hotel-Motel Program. John R. Hagerty, a spokesman for the state police, also declined to release the names or court case numbers of individuals who were prosecuted after being arrested by troopers in the Hotel-Motel unit. Although it is a common, and widely accepted, investigative technique for detectives to develop a network of sources within the community they police, the state troopers' Hotel-Motel Program is particularly aggressive because in some cases it uses the entire staff of a hotel to keep guests under the watchful eyes of police informers throughout their stay. That has made the program very effective, Lieutenant Geleta said. And although the practice of using such informers is legal as long as their participation is voluntary, civil rights advocates and members of the tourism and hospitality industry say it raises privacy concerns. "For the state police to be looking through people's credit card receipts and registration forms, and from what I understand, conducting surveillance on some of them, is just a gross invasion of privacy," said Lenora Lapidus, legal director for the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Jan Larsen, president of the New Jersey Hotel and Motel Association, said that he had not heard of the program and that the organization had never been asked to take a formal position on it. But Larsen, who runs the East Brunswick Hilton, said he would not allow his staff to participate. "We wouldn't allow the police to look through our records without a subpoena, period," Larsen said. "We have an obligation to protect people's privacy. I would think there's a civil liability if we start giving out information." Robert Fields, owner of the Days Inn near Newark Airport, said he refused to participate in the program because he thought it violated his guests' right to privacy. Fields said that in 1997, his general manager was asked by the state police to join the program, but Fields and his manager both decided it would be intrusive to grant the troopers' requests to search arbitrarily through "the bucket" where registration cards and credit card imprints are stored. "It's like a tactic out of some dictatorship," Fields said. "When a person checks into a hotel, he or she has a reasonable assumption that the place of business will protect their privacy, not treat them like a criminal." Days Inn is part of national chain, as are some of the participating motels; the national owners or managers in some cases allow each individual manager to decide independently whether to participate. The Hilton chain, for instance, forbids managers to allow the police to inspect the records of its guests without a subpoena. The existence of the program came to light after some hotel workers, offended by what they perceived to be discrimination, began to complain to lawyers who in turn notified some reporters. Ms. Lapidus said that among the questions raised by the disclosure of the informer program was whether troopers testified truthfully in court hearings about arrests that were initiated by hotel employees. "There are certainly search and seizure issues here," Ms. Lapidus said. "The Constitution guarantees that every defendant knows all the evidence against them and all the witnesses against them, so if we find that that hasn't been happening, it's certainly something we'd be interested in pursuing." But Lieutenant Geleta said that his detectives were savvy enough to conceal their informers' identities without violating either the law or police procedure. "We have ways of handling that," he said, but declined to elaborate. Moreover, he said, the vast majority of the arrests made by the Hotel-Motel unit ended with guilty pleas long before trial. Hotel managers who participated in the program differed in their assessments of whether race played a role in it. Fred Hartman, manager of the Ramada Inn near Newark Airport, said he was convinced that guests were scrutinized only on their behavior, and not on their race. "There's no profiling whatsoever," said Hartman, who acknowledged that he never attended one of the troopers' training sessions. Hartman said he had no qualms about allowing troopers to check through the credit card receipts and registration forms of guests on a weekly basis because "they're good guys, and we want to cooperate with them whenever we can." But even some hotel managers who support the program say that state troopers have told them that the intent is to catch West Indians or Hispanic people, particularly South and Central Americans, involved in the drug trade. Chip Woodell, general manager of the Hampton Inn near Newark Airport, said he agreed to let the state police address his employees last month because troopers convinced him they were interested only in catching international drug smugglers rather than guests who may use narcotics themselves. "They told me they weren't interested in catching someone smoking a joint in their room," said Woodell, who said he allows troopers to check through his guests' registration records an average of twice a week. "What they want is some guy from Colombia, who swallowed a kilo of cocaine wrapped in balloons, who was trying to sneak it through the airport."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Stanford Study: Films Show Drug Use, Omit Consequences (The San Jose Mercury News says a $400,000 study was released Wednesday by Stanford University researchers being paid by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The government researchers looked at the 200 most popular movies rented in 1996 and 1997 and found 98 percent showed characters using tobacco, alcohol or "drugs," yet only 12 percent showed "long-term consequences" of "risky behavior." Music was much less likely than film to include "questionable content." Tellingly, the researchers bemoan the fact that "even when the impact was shown - such as the late actor Chris Farley falling down drunk in the film 'Tommy Boy' - the effect was often played for laughs." Like, the feds don't think laughter can be used to teach realistic truths about alcohol abuse.) Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 08:45:28 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Stanford Study: Films Show Drug Use, Omit Consequences Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: M & M Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Thur, 29 Apr 1999 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Copyright: 1999 Mercury Center Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: TRINITY HARTMAN, Mercury News Washington Bureau STANFORD STUDY: FILMS SHOW DRUG USE, OMIT CONSEQUENCES U.S. agencies to seek changes in movies, music WASHINGTON -- In the movies, many characters abuse drugs and alcohol without worrying about consequences, a groundbreaking federal study released Wednesday shows. The study, conducted by Stanford University researchers, looked at the 200 most popular movies rented in 1996 and 1997. It found that 98 percent of the movies showed characters using tobacco, alcohol or drugs, yet only 12 percent showed long-term consequences of risky behavior. Even when the impact was shown -- such as the late actor Chris Farley falling down drunk in the film ``Tommy Boy'' -- the effect was often played for laughs, said Stanford University communications Professor Donald F. Roberts, the lead researcher. Many American teenagers have a casual attitude toward drug, alcohol and tobacco use that some see reflected in the entertainment industry. Changing that has become a major focus for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which sponsored the $400,000 study. The agencies hope to use the research to change the ways drug, tobacco and alcohol use is portrayed to young Americans who are avid consumers of movies and popular music. While people under 20 make up just 16 percent of the population, they buy 26 percent of movie tickets. Some 98 percent of all the films studied included some depiction of drinking, smoking or drug use. Alcohol and tobacco appeared in more than 90 percent of the films, and illicit drugs in 22 percent, the study found. Movie warnings about graphic content, adopted in 1990, were often incomplete, the study found. In nearly half the PG-13 and R-rated movies in which illicit drugs were used, the Motion Picture Association of America's remarks failed to note drug-related content, researchers said. Although music was much less likely than film to include questionable content, with 27 percent of all songs mentioning drugs or alcohol, researchers found that when these subjects did come up in songs, particularly in rap music, the users were rarely described as suffering any ill effects. Only 19 percent of songs describing or depicting drug use, and 48 percent of the films, showed any consequences to the user, the study said. Drug czar Barry McCaffrey said he had already begun meeting with film and music leaders to drive home the dangers of depicting drug use as ``normal'' and risk-free. The question of whether exposure to an illicit activity such as drinking or drug use actually makes children more likely to undertake it has been hotly debated for years, and McCaffrey was careful not to draw any direct connections. But noting that some children spend hours a day listening to music, he said parents ``need to know what these products are.'' One out of four young people under the age of 18 have used illicit drugs in the past month, a proportion that has stayed the same over the past few years, according to statistics from the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy. The best way to prevent young people from copying much of the violence and substance abuse they see in movies and on television is to make them informed viewers, said John Murray, a professor of human development and family studies at Kansas State University. Murray, who has been studying the issue of violence in the media since the 1960s, says schools need to teach students how to be critical of what they see. ``It's important to do more talking about how the media influences us,'' he said. The Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Films And Music Glamorize Substance Use, Government Says (The Associated Press version in the Orange County Register) Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 16:12:33 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Films And Music Glamorize Substance Use, Government Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Pubdate: Thursday,April 29,1999 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Section: News,page 13 Author: Deb Riechmann-The Associated Press FILMS AND MUSIC GLAMORIZE SUBSTANCE USE, GOVERNMENT SAYS Media: Most depictions of drug,alcohol and tobacco use fail to show ill effects,a U.S. report complains. Washington-Musicians sing about guzzling liquor and movie stars puff cigarettes and take drugs on the big screen.But federal officials ask: Where is the unglamorous side of substance use - like hangovers, slurred speech or getting in trouble with the law? A government study released Wednesday says people were depicted doing drugs, drinking or smoking in 98 percent of the top movie rentals and 27 percent of the most popular songs in 1996 and 1997. Fewer than half these movie scenes and song lyrics mentioned any downside to these activities. The $400,000 study of 200 movies - rated from "G" for all ages to "NC-17," no one under 17 admitted - and 1,000 songs was commissioned by the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Department of Health and Human Services. The study stopped short of saying that music and films cause young people to use drugs, alcohol and tobacco.But researchers said that determining the frequency and nature of substance use in entertainment media is the first step toward understanding how much influence films and music have on young people's decisions to smoke, drink and take illicit drugs. "We do not suggest that we want to dictate the message. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco are a reality of American life. They should be part of the art form of the entertainment world," said Barry McCaffrey, drug-control policy director for the Clinton administration. "But we are suggesting they need to be tied to the consequences that are realistic, given our experiences in American life." A Motion Picture Association of America spokesman declined to comment, saying there hadn't been enough time to review the two-year study. The Recording Industry Association of America issued a one paragraph statement, saying efforts already were under way in the music industry to help control teen substance abuse. Since 1985, for example, the music industry has put labels on recordings that contain strong language or descriptions of violence, sex or substance abuse. In an average record store with 110,000 titles, about 500 recordings would have the "parental advisory" sticker, the association said. Nelba Chavez, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, said the entertainment media are a powerful influence on young people, but parents have more of an impact. "There's a lot of room for improvement in the entertainment world," she said, "but there's just as much room for improvement in homes and communities." On a positive note, Chavez said only 3 percent of the song lyrics mentioned tobacco. And 15 percent of the movies that portrayed illicit drug use also contained an "anti-use" message, such as limiting how much and how often substances are used. Only five of the movies, however, were substance-free. And in at least two of the five, there was a scene about using substances, according to Don Roberts, a Stanford University communications professor who helped research the study. "In one scene, a set of characters sit around a tea table, drink out of little toy tea cups and go through an entire drunk shtick," Roberts said. Among the study's other findings: Of the movies, 93 percent showed alcohol use, 89 percent tobacco use and 22 percent drug use. Of the songs, 17 percent included lyrics about people drinking alcohol, 18 percent using drugs and 3 percent smoking. More than half the movies and more than 80 percent of the songs that mentioned drugs and alcohol indicated no consequence to users. Of the 669 major adult characters in the movies, 5 percent used illicit drugs, 25 smoked and 65 percent drank alcohol. Reflecting concern about media violence, four members of Congress asked President Clinton to convene an emergency summit meeting at the White House with leaders of the entertainment industry. In a letter to Clinton, Sens. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., and John McCain, R-Ariz., and Reps. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Dan Burton, R-Ind., said school violence is a complicated issue, but "we believe that media violence is contributing to this problem, and we need the help of the entertainment community to solve it." The four also asked Surgeon General David Satcher to conduct a new study into the influence of mass media on the increase in violent behavior by children and young adults. Also, two House Republicans, John Peterson, R-Pa., and James Rogan, R-Glendale, introduced separate bills Wednesday that would establish federally funded drug testing programs in schools.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Movies' Depiction Of Drug Use Scored (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette version) Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 02:12:43 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Movies' Depiction Of Drug Use Scored Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Eric Sterling (email@example.com) Pubdate: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Copyright: 1999 PG Publishing. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.post-gazette.com/ Author: Judy Packer-Tursman, Post-Gazette Washington Bureau MOVIES' DEPICTION OF DRUG USE SCORED WASHINGTON -- A $400,000 study commissioned by the White House found that almost all movies and more than one-fourth of popular music lyrics depicted the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs. White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey yesterday urged the entertainment industry to tie consequences to addictive behavior and show drugs as unglamorous, dangerous and socially unacceptable. The study reviewed the content of the 200 top movie rentals and 1,000 of the most popular songs, including country and western, alternative rock, mainstream, rap and heavy metal. It concluded that 98 percent of movies and 27 percent of music lyrics depicted the use of potentially addictive substances. McCaffrey stressed that alcohol and drugs were a part of American life, and did not call for their elimination, saying their realistic use should remain part of the nation's art. He emphasized the need for "collaboration" with the creative community. He said the government did not seek to "dictate the message" on drug use. But McCaffrey also said drug abuse should not be portrayed as humorous. Rich Taylor, spokesman for the Motion Picture Association of America, said he would have no comment. The Recording Industry Association of America said it was grateful that McCaffrey "recognized the efforts already under way by the music industry to be part of the solution to the national problem of teen substance abuse." But critics rushed to condemn findings from the study, ordered and paid for by President Clinton's Office of National Drug Control Policy, which McCaffrey directs, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Critics said the White House should not be engaging in "official government criticism" of artistic content. Eric Sterling, who was Democratic counsel in the 1980s to the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees national drug policy, said: "We should be drawing distinctions between criticisms of art and culture from private organizations and from people with law enforcement and regulatory power and a highly politicized economic power. Sterling, now president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, which advocates more federal money for drug prevention and treatment programs, said the White House was subtly threatening the entertainment industry. He questioned the study's validity, saying that deciding the nature of artistic messages was "profoundly subjective." And he said no valid comparisons could be drawn to film and music content from decades ago. Alcohol and tobacco use by adults is both lawful and commonplace, he added, wondering how a film could show effects from legal behavior. "With cigarettes, if you don't show the house burning down or somebody coughing or wheezing, you haven't shown any consequences," Sterling said. Scott Ehlers, senior policy analyst with the Drug Policy Foundation, said, "The general feeling I came away with is, the White House and . . . McCaffrey are looking for the entertainment industry to produce a whitewashed version of reality." His group, which includes Ira Glasser of the American Civil Liberties Union and former Surgeon General M. Joycelyn Elders, criticizes the administration's drug control strategy as too focused on law enforcement instead of prevention and treatment. Ehlers said the study was "probably not" worth the money it cost. Among the study's findings: Drugs show up in 22 percent of movies but alcohol appears in 93 percent of movies and tobacco is shown in 89 percent of movies. In contrast, alcohol and drugs appear in less than 20 percent of songs; tobacco shows up in only 3 percent. Illegal drugs were associated with wealth or luxury in 15 percent of movies and 20 percent of songs. There were no consequences to the illicit drug user in 52 percent of movies and 81 percent of songs. Among major adult characters in films, 5 percent used illicit drugs, 25 percent smoked, 65 percent consumed alcohol, and 5 percent used other substances. Even in G or PG-rated movies, tobacco and alcohol use was high, at 79 percent and 76 percent, respectively.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Testing In Schools Proposed (The Associated Press says two Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, John Peterson of Pennsylvania and James Rogan of California, introduced different bills Wednesday that would fund random drug testing in schools, supposedly as a way to reduce youth violence such as the recent high school massacre in Littleton, Colorado. Toxicology tests revealed no alcohol or other "drugs" in the bodies of the Colorado gunmen, but Peterson said there had been incidents elsewhere that involved "drugs." Unfortunately, AP refused to ask where.)Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 18:30:13 +0000 To: email@example.com From: Peter Webster (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject:  Drug Testing In Schools Proposed Pubdate: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press DRUG TESTING IN SCHOOLS PROPOSED WASHINGTON - Two House Republicans are seeking federally funded drug testing in schools as a way to reduce youth violence. Supporters of the proposals, announced Wednesday, said random testing would help arm parents with the facts as they confront their children about drug use. ``The number one fear of parents, grandparents and family members is `Does my child have access to illegal drugs?''' Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., said at a news conference. ``The only way to have drug-free schools is to follow the successful program of the military and the workplace.'' The Defense Department already has a drug-testing policy, as do many private companies. Peterson's measure would authorize school districts to conduct random testing unless parents decline to participate, while a bill by Rep. James Rogan, R-Calif., would require parental consent. The Rogan bill also provides $500 million for drug counseling. ``Knowing of a child's drug habit is only the first step,'' Rogan said. Peter Bensinger, an anti-drug consultant and administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration under President Ford, said the tests would let parents know to get help for their children. ``Without question, people that test positive for drugs are more violent, most likely to commit crimes and most likely to be absent and have problems,'' he said. Peterson said reduction in drug use could help prevent rampages such as last week's shootings in Littleton, Colo., from being a regular occurrence. Toxicology tests revealed no drugs or alcohol in the bodies of the Colorado gunmen, but Peterson said there have been incidents elsewhere that involved drugs. Both bills would keep results from law-enforcement officials, although Peterson's calls for the school to be notified when there is a second positive test result. In other cases, the test results would go directly to the parents. DeForest Rathbone, chairman of the National Institute of Citizen Anti-drug Policy, said the legislation would probably be challenged in court, but he thought it would survive. He said more than 100 school districts in up to 20 states already test some students. The Supreme Court in 1995 ruled in an Oregon case that random drug tests for student athletes do not violate the Constitution's Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches. But no court has ever condoned the random testing of all public school students. In addition to $500 million for drug counseling, Rogan's bill would authorize $500 million for the tests of children grades 9 to 12. Peterson's bill sets no funding level for the tests, which would apply to children grades 7 to 12. His bill would require a state or local school district to cover half of the testing costs. *** From: Joe Wein (email@example.com) From: "CRRH mailing list" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "'Joe Hart & Kay Lee'" (email@example.com) Cc: "'CRRH mailing list'" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: RE: QUESTION Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 13:21:15 +0900 Encoding: 74 TEXT Joe Hart & Kay Lee[SMTP:email@example.com] wrote: >Peter Bensinger, an anti-drug consultant and administrator of >the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration under President Ford, said >the tests would let parents know to get help for their children. >``Without question, people that test positive for drugs are more >violent, most likely to commit crimes and most likely to be absent >and have problems,'' he said. > >Does anyone have the figures on this? Hi Kay, Peter Bensinger and Robert DuPont set up a business selling urine analysis, an industry now worth hundreds of million dollars per year. These are the real figures people might like to hear. These millions are siphoned off tax payers and businesses, and there's not a single other country worldwide that does anything like this! It's as American a folly as McCarthyism. Here are some figures by PRIDE quoted by the FRC in its recent Littleton frame-up job: >In a 1997-1998 nationwide survey of more than 86,000 high schoolers, the >correlation of marijuana use to violence and hopelessness is undeniable: > >-- Nearly 76 percent of at least once-a-year pot smokers report carrying >a gun to school. > >-- Of those users, nearly 70 percent take part in gang activities. > >-- Nearly 60 percent think of suicide often or a lot. > >-- Nearly 48 percent threaten to harm another. > >-- Nearly 63 percent get into trouble with the police. >(Source: PRIDE -- Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education) If 70% of 76% of maybe 30% annual pot smokers in colleges were members of gangs, one in six students would be an armed gangster. I'm sure PRIDE must have those figures available and how they arrived at them. Who did they ask and where? In any case, we should not be surprised that when MJ use is made risky far and beyond its pharmacological qualities by the use of the law, the profile of those who will use it will be skewed towards risk takers. The real question would be, how would risk taking and drug use match up under some form of decriminalisation, such as in the Netherlands? There the government reckons that only 2 to 5 in 1000 marijuana users get into trouble in any one year, when we know that about 1 in 10 alcohol users may becomes alcoholics. Any figures obtained by counting drug users amongst arrestees have to be compared with the profile of the crime population. If some 30-40% of people from 18-28 use marijuana and crime peaks around that age then one would expect some number of marijuana users, simply because of similarities to otherwise law-abiding folks in the same age group. You could make interesting connections based on the music preferences of criminals vs. the population in general, but it's getting complicated by the 70s revival... Also, let's face it, a life of crime is more stressful than a legitimate existence, so criminals have more of an incentive to spliff up and relax than us straight fellows. Regards Joe Wein http://www.taima.org "Hemp in Japan" *** Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 11:29:13 -0800 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: R Givens (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Littleton shooters Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com >70% of those who carry guns to school smoke pot, eh? > >Well, 100% of them drink water, so that's what made them do it. > >The trouble is that it sounds reasonable to way too many people who >don't stop to think about the logic. How does one combat such easy >soundbites when Joe Q. Public generally does not want to be bothered >with the value of rigorous logic and gets bored and annoyed with >attempts to explain it? > >Greg G. But none of the school shooters have been involved with illegal drugs. The drug crusaders phony logic statistically proves that drug use PREVENTS school shootings! "Drugs made them do it" is the prohibitionist answer to EVERY social problem. For narcomaniacs drugs are the center of the universe and their policies are self-fullfilling prophecies of chaos and escalating disaster. R Givens
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Fix is In (A list subscriber forwards an excellent book review by Stanton Peele, from an upcoming issue of the International Journal of Drug Policy, of "The Fix," by Michael Massing, and "An Informed Approach to Substance Abuse," by Mark Kleiman. "It is hard to escape the conclusion that Kleiman and Massing ignore legal remedies for our current drug policy mess because they wish to avoid offending their audiences rather than due to their straightforward evaluation of the current drug scene. They support an anti-drug stance because it is essential for legitimacy in popular, scientific, and political circles in the U.S.") Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 10:22:25 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: Peter Webster (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject:  The Mystery of Michael Massing How does Massing do it? Why will apparently any U.S. publication (or publisher) give his views a wide audience? Even the flagship U.S. intellectual publication, the New York Review of Books, publishes Massing's essays on the War on Drugs. Massing's most recent work, *The Fix,* has been praised, and far more important books ignored. The mystery perhaps is not Massing's appeal nor his writing, nor his publishers, but the state of the Drug War in the U.S., and the general paradigms of American self-perception concerning its leadership in world affairs, even the general perception by the public and many leaders alike that America can do no wrong, and if it does, it need not be admitted nor even mentioned. The following analysis by Stanton Peele reviews and critiques Michael Massing's popular fantasy, *The Fix*, along with the parallel work of drug policy maven Mark Kleiman. Both authors believe that, if we would only divert from (or add to) massive sums being spent on interdiction, policing, and punishment so as to vastly increase our spending on drug abuse treatment, we could lick our substance use problems. Stanton shows that this tempting but wrongheaded idea leads nowhere. Prepublication version of article appearing in the International Journal of Drug Policy, 10:9-16, 1999. (c) Copyright 1999 Stanton Peele. All rights reserved. THE FIX IS IN A Commentary on The Fix (Massing, 1998) and An Informed Approach to Substance Abuse (Kleiman, 1998) Stanton Peele Fellow, The Lindesmith Center New York City Other than current and former drug czars, it is hard to find someone to praise American drug policy. While pointing to the overall decline in illicit drug use in the U.S. since 1980, those inclined to defend this policy must also acknowledge constant levels of addiction and intensive usage, periodic rises in adolescent drug use, the readily available and inexpensive illegal supplies of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, historically high prison populations, continued drug-related social problems (most notably AIDS and hepatitis), along with the tremendous economic, social, and emotional costs of an ever-escalating war on drugs. At one point, the focus of critics of drug policy was legalization - primarily of marijuana - and was associated mainly with community researchers who studied drug users in the field and who were joined by a vocal group of drug enthusiasts. Although some preliminary steps were taken in this direction at the state level and by national commissions (notably one under Jimmy Carter) in the 1970s, this stance was largely polemic and quixotic, and has continued to be so in the U.S. At the same time, there has always been a category of public health critics (which is not well-recognized by the authors discussed in this article) who decried the lack of focus on treatment of addiction (current treatment advocates should familiarize themselves with the history of the U.S. Public Health Hospital at Lexington and the career of Lawrence Kolb; see Kolb, 1962.) However, beginning in the late 1980s, drug policy reformers started to find legitimate national voices in Europe and, to a lesser extent, in the United States. This loosely organized group of policy critics began to focus on decriminilization of all drugs or just "soft" drugs such as marijuana, as was tried in several states in the U.S. in the 1970s. Typically, decriminalization means not permitting legal sales of drugs, but dealing with users by other than criminal sanctions. As we approach the 21st century, this position has taken a number of new directions. In the U.S. widespread support for medical use of marijuana has been expressed in electoral initiatives. The term "harm reduction" is now commonly used to describe policies that recognize and accept the continued use of drugs by many people and to prevent harms from this use, particularly the spread of AIDS. Needle exchange programs, as well as reducing HIV infection, keep addicts healthier in general and offer them positive connections to society. In much of Europe and the English-speaking world, harm reduction has been adopted by many elected officials, and it has been made national policy in a number of these countries. This means that, unlike the U.S., these nations endorse and fund the provision of clean needles for injecting drug users, as well as experimenting with innovative approaches such as the de facto decriminalization of the sale of marijuana in the Netherlands and provision of heroin for addicts in clinical or controlled settings, a practice begun in Switzerland and which is being considered or tried in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia. Harm reduction has thus had a liberating impact by suggesting an entirely different relationship to drugs. It means recognizing that drug use will be a continuing feature of civilized life and that reasonable provisions must be made for the range of people who use drugs - from young people who primarily experiment with drugs, to a small group of people who continue to use drugs either occasionally or regularly in adulthood, and finally to a still smaller group of people whose drug use is problematic in ways beyond the danger of running afoul of the law. The United States as a society has not been able to make this leap to a new conception of drug use in relation to society. It is the only western nation that refuses to support needle exchange programs (in most communities and states it is actually illegal). The reason for opposing such programs (which are nearly universally endorsed by American public health and AIDS organizations) is that "they send the wrong message about drugs" - that is, they recognize and accept continuing drug use. But the opposing position, that drug use is bad and must be eliminated, is one that does not lead to a viable public policy. The U.S. is thus the most polarized western nation about drugs. Moderate politicians elsewhere can openly consider a heroin maintenance program, for instance. In the U.S., socially liberal Republicans (like New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman) and Democrats (President Bill Clinton) feel they must reject their own commissions' or cabinet members' support of needle exchange, and virtually no Congressperson (except perhaps one or two from the very most liberal sections of the country) and virtually no United States Senator or state governor can come out for liberalized drug policies (one recent exception has been the governor of Hawaii). These politicians reckon they cannot be seen to accept drug use in any form. Perhaps they are wrong, or will become wrong. However, more likely their reticence is appropriate, given the anti-drug bias and campaigning in the U.S. There is thus a large opening available in the U.S. for a middle ground in drug policy. For many, this middle ground comprises the view that it is counterproductive to spend drug war funds on eradicating drug crops in the U.S. and overseas and interdicting drug supply lines in combination with heavy police efforts and the imprisonment of drug users. Instead, this position maintains, the bulk of our effort should be spent on prevention of drug use, drug treatment, and research to discover the sources of the impulse to use drugs - the so-called demand-reduction rather than supply-reduction approach. Several groups and individuals claim the middle ground between the punitive approach and that of decriminalization per se - notably the College on the Problems of Drug Dependency, a group of drug abuse researchers, and the Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy. But this middle position actually shares a primary assumption with current policy - it regards drug use in exclusively negative terms as something wrong and harmful that must be avoided, treated away, and medically cured (Peele, 1996). This position appeals to an influential, largely federally-funded scientific lobby and to medical groups which feel that illicit drug use leads to medical harm and has no benefits. A middle-of-the-road drug policy also appeals to the moderate but moralist tradition in American policy which justifies itself by pointing to "extremists" on either side. This centrist tendency has worked well to preserve political stability in the U.S., but is not necessarily the best avenue for solving complex social problems. Two thinkers who have nonetheless garnered praise for their claims to bypass the polarization of "drug warriors" and "legalizers" are Mark Kleiman, a professor of policy studies at U.C.L.A., and journalist Michael Massing, former editor of the Columbia Journalism Review. Kleiman, who has achieved currency among policy analysts inside the government and out, and who previously wrote Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Kleiman, 1992), expressed his views in a recent article in the journal Issues in Science and Technology (Kleiman, 1998). Michael Massing (1998c) has written The Fix, a book that has received wide attention. Both men obviously delight in being able to point out extremists on either side of them. Both clearly recognize that current American drug policy is wrongheaded, and the clearest sign of this for them is that the majority of funds earmarked for drugs are for policing and interdiction, rather than for prevention and treatment. Both have at the center of their reform goals the reprioritizing of this spending. Of the two, Kleiman is by far the better informed and more sophisticated about drugs and drug users. But the two men both display the strong and weak points of the "treatment uber alles" position. To begin with, both men recognize the distinction between drug abuse and addiction, on the one hand, and casual or experimental use (although they do not explicitly come to grips with regular, controlled use). Kleiman correctly rejects the causal importance of the gateway hypothesis, since the overwhelming majority of marijuana users do not go on to use other drugs. Instead, he emphasizes compulsive marijuana use per se, although he clearly indicates that it occurs with only a small minority of pot smokers. Massing, who has little time for epidemiological data and concepts, embodies his analysis in journalistic vignettes. For Massing, parent anti-drug groups like the National Federation of Drug-Free Youth and benighted drug policy figures like Carlton Turner, Ronald Reagan's White House drug advisor, eradicated the distinction between serious and casual drug use and simultaneously misdirected American attention away from drug treatment. Massing's story-telling approach makes for appealing reading. His ideas have gotten broad exposure in the major liberal intellectual outlets - his book and views were virtually ubiquitous in prominent periodicals in the latter part of 1998, at least in New York City. The Fix was reviewed in the December 17 New York Review of Books (Gladwell, 1998), featured along with - but far more prominently than - Mike Gray's (1998) outspokenly anti-drug-prohibition book, Drug Crazy. Massing himself authored articles in the New York Times Sunday Magazine in September (Massing, 1998d) and the November/December issue of the Columbia Journalism Review (Massing, 1998b). That one cannot look at a major publication addressing thoughtful people without encountering Massing's work is an indication of the extent to which current American drug policy is being questioned (as well as of Massing's connections). Massing critiques American drug policy while holding out the promise we need only modify our approach in a clear but modest way, one that does not require a fundamental reorientation towards drugs and drug use: the title of his New York Times Sunday Magazine article is, "Winning the drug war isn't so hard after all." Massing's secret solution is current drug treatment programs, only more of them. Massing lauds in The Fix grass roots inner-city treatment centers like those he encountered in Harlem and elsewhere. His Columbia Journalism Review article features a picture of a blindfolded man in the center of a group. The caption reads, "a 'trust exercise' at Walden House, a drug treatment center in San Francisco." Kleiman's and Massing's rejection of the need to reform legal penalties for drug use is puzzling. For, after all, their recognition that most drug use is non-harmful seemingly suggests that drugs should be decriminalized. Kleiman rejects this position, maintaining that, if drugs were legalized, many more people would abuse them. Massing's response involves even more of a non sequitur. When his argument draws him towards legalization, he instead leapfrogs to the horror of lives which are dominated by drug use. Thus Massing alternates policy discussions with the case of Yvonne Hamilton, an inner-city African American cocaine addict. Massing's reliance on Ms. Hamilton's story as evidence about drug policy epitomizes the problem with a journalistic approach to drug issues. The question is not whether some people suffer from drug use - the issue is whether we can reduce the frequency and severity of drug problems through changing our approach to them. While Kleiman and Massing indicate there will be more addicts like Yvonne Hamilton if drugs were legalized, her case does not support this view. To start with, Ms. Hamilton is an example of a person who became a drug addict under current, prohibitionist policies towards drugs. Moreover, the very first drugs she sampled and abused were tranquilizers prescribed for her mother. Ms. Hamilton developed a drinking problem - examples of which are many times as common as drug addiction, even in the inner city - before she became a cocaine addict. Her case suggests that illicit drug abusers come from a group of people who could just as easily abuse licit drugs and alcohol. Nor does Ms. Hamilton prove that expanding the availability of drug treatment will work to rescue many more urban African Americans and others who abuse drugs. Rather, Ms. Hamilton's difficult trip through treatment is really an illustration of how people's drug use is not so much amenable to treatment as it is a response to larger issues in their lives. Ms. Hamilton followed the typical serendipitous course through addiction and recovery, a pathway that seems most indebted to gradual but large changes in internal and external experience than to specific treatment episodes. As Massing (1998a) notes, "Most addicts require two, three, or more exposures to treatment before the process takes hold." Treatment was not a realistic issue for the young Yvonne who used drugs and drank for thrills and psychological relief. It is hard to escape the conclusion that Kleiman and Massing ignore legal remedies for our current drug policy mess because they wish to avoid offending their audiences rather than due to their straightforward evaluation of the current drug scene. They support an anti-drug stance because it is essential for legitimacy in popular, scientific, and political circles in the U.S. Neither Massing nor Kleiman seems to feel free to explore the experiences of the vast majority of drug users, who enjoy and successfully integrate drug use into their lives. Likewise, both are completely tone deaf to fundamental constitutional or personal-freedom concerns about why the state is so concerned about even non-harmful drug use that police, employers, and schools routinely intrude into people's most private functions and places. While avoiding direct policy recommendations that would affect these users, they instead deride decriminalizers as closet legalizers. Yet, they surely don't believe that casual drug users should be jailed. Thus, the cost of soft peddling their finding that limited or controlled drug use - even among those who use crack and heroin - is the norm is that Massing and Kleiman ignore a large group of otherwise normal and happy American drug users who are currently criminalized. If this group is not addressed, how then are we really reorienting American drug policy? The authors' shortchanging of moderate drug use is apparent in their concentration on the value of treatment (since controlled users do not seem to require treatment). Both writers emphasize the need to shift attention to treating hard core users or addicts. Both promise that more treatment will reduce drug use, drug crime, health costs, and the range of other drug-related maladies, as some recent research shows (Rydell and Everingham, 1994; SAMHSA, 1998). Both endorse the expansion of methadone maintenance programs, along with other treatments. Massing reports that it was only during a brief period under Richard Nixon that treatment was available to America's drug addicts "on demand," as it should be today. This suggests that there are many addicts around the country clamoring for treatment who cannot find it. But the truth is that, to the contrary, most people undergoing substance abuse treatment in the U.S. had to be forced into it. I currently work as a public defender in Morris County, New Jersey, where my indigent clients are invariably substance abusers. The State forces them to enter treatment as a way of minimizing criminal penalties or as a condition for regaining custody of their children. Treatment is in county- or state-supported or charitable programs or is paid for by Medicaid, and my clients parade through inpatient and outpatient programs not only in my county, but around New Jersey and even in other states. Meanwhile, they all have been in treatment previously. Since our current drug treatment slots are already filled with unwilling (or at least involuntary) participants, opening many more treatment centers like the ones we have now will not affect drug use and addiction rates. Rather, to fill these treatment slots, coercion will have to become more systematic and pervasive. Kleiman's primary recommendations are that many more people be forced into treatment by the criminal justice system. He touts compulsory treatment of prisoners, probationers, and parolees monitored by drug testing, along with drug courts and other means for sentencing people to treatment. Although Kleiman endorses "coerced abstinence" plans, he points out that much benefit occurs from reduced drug use other than abstinence - an insight that expresses the harm-reduction viewpoint. Kleiman is also enamored of the idea that biological research can remedy people's urges to take drugs (cf. Goldstein, 1993), a view that completely dominates the agenda of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Massing, with his journalistic cult of personality, harkens to a brief halcyon period he virtually alone has detected under Richard Nixon, when he claims pharmacologist Jerome Jaffe reoriented drug policy towards treatment of addicts. Most people will not recall Nixon's war on drugs as being so enlightened, particularly as it is described by Edward Jay Epstein (1977) in Agency of Fear, or in that administration's efforts to eradicate marijuana supplies which, while reducing middle-class marijuana use, ushered in a new period of narcotics use in inner cities. One classic of the drug policy literature is Gooberman's (1974) comprehensive investigation of the impact on New York City of Nixon's Operation Intercept. Although marijuana for a time did become more scarce and expensive due to government efforts to block importation of the drug from Mexico, Gooberman found that only casual users tended to desist drug use as a result. Those immersed in the drug culture continued to find supplies of marijuana, while other heavy users with fewer resources switched to hashish, amphetamines, barbiturates, and LSD, as well as (particularly for ghetto youths) heroin and cocaine. This is not to belittle Jaffe's insights and accomplishments, or to say that he would not be a greatly preferable figure to head U.S. drug policy over General Barry McCaffrey. But he was far from the dominant force in Nixon's drug policy. Jaffe's greatest contribution to our knowledge of drug use was rather the seminal role he played in the study of Vietnam veteran heroin addicts under Nixon. Jaffe announced in the pop psychology magazine, Psychology Today, that a defense department task force had found that most returning veterans overcame heroin addiction when they returned home (Jaffe and Harris, 1974). The remarkable insights provided by the classic study (Robins et al., 1980) of these veterans included that their remission rate was not improved by receiving treatment and that remission persisted for the large majority of even those former addicts who used narcotics stateside. Massing thus misses the key insight produced by Jaffe's stint under Nixon: treatment is secondary in comparison with the impact of a facilitative environment in accounting for drug users who resist or escape drug addiction. Massing instead highlights what he claims to be the immediate reduction in crime statistics that resulted in major cities due to Jaffe's treatment initiatives. Only a very, very optimistic - one might say "naive" - individual can believe that treating drug addicts leads to a large and appreciable decline in crime in a given city. Indeed, if one argues reflexively that whatever policy precedes a reduction in crime statistics is successful, one is forced to concede that Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and other drug warriors are on the right track, since the major categories of crime have dropped substantially in American cities since 1991 (which Massing is certainly reluctant to do - see Massing, 1998a). It is a reductive fallacy - akin to describing individual drug use or addiction as a biochemical function - to believe that treating individual drug abusers will result in large-scale policy benefits. Not enough users are addicted, not enough addicts can be reached to be treated, not enough reliably improve as a result of treatment, not enough can maintain non-drug-addicted lives following treatment, not enough new addicts can be prevented from surfacing to make a dent in our overall national drug problem. At points, both Kleiman and Massing recognize this. According to Kleiman, "Even if money were no obstacle, getting hard-core drug users into treatment and keeping them there would be a major problem." For his part, Massing (1998d) notes that "drugs not only impart intense pleasure but also provide great comfort to people coping with various crises in their lives." But these are the individuals whose drug use both he and Kleiman want to correct. Massing recognizes that addiction is a function of poverty and deprivation, and that until poor schooling, employment opportunities, housing, community support of parenting, and the like are addressed, there is little chance of changing the inner-city environments that provide the most fertile soil for substance abuse of all sorts. Indeed, if he put two and two together, he would see that overselling treatment, like overselling criminal penalties, is simply another way to avoid contemplation of urban minority depredations that are the single largest failure of American society. The programs that most often show the kind of benefits that Kleiman and Massing cite do not really represent the treatment available to these inner-city addicts, nor will such programs be the primary beneficiaries of new investment in treatment. The typical program instead is one staffed by undertrained personnel, that relies on religious 12-step bromides and group sessions in which expressions of contrition are the main aim, and that does not provide the broad range of supports needed to assist people out of addicted lifestyles. The "trust exercise" pictured in Massing's (1998b) Columbia Journalism Review article is not going to cure inner-city heroin addicts. Massing incorrectly attributes problems like these to insufficient funding. Just as he opportunistically uses crime statistics to support the policies he dreams will succeed at remedying America's drug woes, Massing fails to appreciate the financial implications of his analysis. For while, as he notes, "only" $5.4 billion of the current $16 billion dollar federal drug budget goes for demand reduction, this figure can be compared with the $420 million total drug budget in 1973, the halcyon year when Jaffe's treatment approach supposedly reigned supreme under Nixon. In other words, all the drug problems Massing depicts with alarm have grown as the treatment budget has increased steadily, not to say exponentially. Kleiman includes state and local government drug war expenditures along with federal ones, which he adds up to be $40 billion. This, in turn, means we are currently spending about $13 billion in government money on demand reduction. At the same time, Kleiman places "the total number of hard drug addicts at any one time at fewer than 4 million." Thus, government expenditures for demand reduction in the U.S. currently total more than $3,000 annually per addict. What, in Kleiman's and Massing's view, would be the ideal rate of expenditure to get each drug addict to stop using drugs - $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, or more? But the current $3,000 figure is already a substantial underestimate, since it ignores large private-sector expenditures on drug treatment through EAPs, facilities like Hazelden, the Betty Ford Center, and chains of "chemical dependence" hospitals around the country, among which there have been recurrent scandals concerning over-diagnosis, -utilization, -treatment, and -charging. Is America's major problem in fighting the drug war really that we have been chary with our expenditures on drug treatment, as Kleiman and Massing and other liberal reformers assert? Or has American society already over-relied on drug treatment as a kind of all-purpose totem consistent with its belief that all social problems can be successfully treated as medical problems? We might consider the title of Massing's book in this regard. What is "the fix" meant to indicate (Massing supplies no subtitle)? Apparently, it is a play on words, meaning both the drug the addict is driven to pursue, and the elusive solution the U.S. pursues for its drug problems. But the treatment "fix" is just as imaginary a magic bullet as are the other illusions that drive both addictive drug use and drug policy. References Epstein, EJ. Agency of fear: opiates and political power in America. New York: Putnam, 1977. Gladwell, M. Just say "wait a minute." New York Review of Books, Dec. 17, 1998, Vol. 45, pp. 4-8. Goldstein, A. Addiction: from biology to drug policy. New York: Freeman, 1993. Gooberman, LA. Operation Intercept: the multiple consequences of public policy. Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press, 1974. Gray, M. Drug crazy: how we got into this mess and how we can get out of it. New York: Random House, 1998. Jaffe, JH, Harris, GT. As far as heroin is concerned, the worst is over. Psychol Today, 1973;85:68-79, 85. Kleiman, MAR. Against excess: drug policy for results. New York: Basic Books, 1992. Kleiman, MAR. An informed approach to substance abuse: drugs and drug policy - the case for a slow fix. Issues Sci Technol, 1998;15:45-52. Kolb, L. Drug addiction: a medical approach. Springfield, IL: Thomas, 1962. Massing, M. The blue revolution. New York Review of Books, Nov. 19, 1998a, Vol. 45, pp. 32-36. Massing, M. Drugs: missing the big story. Columbia Journalism Review, Nov./Dec., 1998b, pp. 43-46. Massing, M. The fix. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998c. Massing, M. Winning the drug war isn't so hard after all. New York Times Sunday Magazine, Sept. 9, 1998d, pp. 48-50. Peele, S. Assumptions about drugs and the marketing of drug policies. In Bickel WK and DeGrandpre RJ, editors. Drug policy and human nature, New York: Plenum, 1996, pp. 199-220. Robins, LN, Helzer, JE, Hesselbrock, M, and Wish, E. Vietnam veterans three years after Vietnam: how our study changed our view of heroin. In Brill L. and Winick C., editors. The yearbook of substance use and abuse, vol. II. New York: Human Sciences Press, 1980, pp. 213-230. Rydell, PC, and Everingham, SS. 1994. Controlling cocaine: supply versus demand programs. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1994. SAMHSA. Services research outcome study. Rockville, MD: SAMHSA, 1998 (Adm. # 98-3177).
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cocaine Disguise (According to the Times, in London, Barry McCaffrey told a U.S. Senate committee in Washington that American narcotics agents were very concerned that Colombia's drugs cartels had developed a black cocaine that sniffer dogs and chemical tests cannot detect.) Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 18:58:16 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Columbia: Cocaine Disguise 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: Thu, 29 April 1999 Source: Times, The (UK) Copyright: 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Author: Ian Brodie COCAINE DISGUISE Washington: Colombia's drugs cartels have developed a black cocaine that sniffer dogs and chemical tests cannot detect (Ian Brodie writes). Smugglers create the substance, known as coca negra, which has no smell; when it reaches its destination, it is turned back into cocaine paste. Barry McCaffrey, President Clinton's "drugs tsar", told a Senate commitee in Washington that American narcotics agents were very concerned about the development. The cartels have also moved cocaine in shades of red, yellow and blue.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Seed production made illegal (A list subscriber forwards news from Britain that a law that took effect April 21 in the Netherlands bans the production of marijuana seeds. Possession is still legal, but those caught growing plants for seeds now face up to four years in jail.) From: " Joe Hart & Kay Lee" (email@example.com) From: "CRRH mailing list" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "Restore" (email@example.com) Subject: Seed production made illegal Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 07:23:52 -0500 You may already know this. KL *** Date: Thursday, April 29, 1999 09:11:40 From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: [UKCIA] Seed production made illegal A piece of Dutch law which seems to have arrived with a minimum of publicity and which just about every one I have talked to is totally unaware of is the banning of production of marijuana seeds. It is still legal to possess and buy and sell them but not to grow the plants to produce them. This bit of legislation became law in Holland on 21 April and stocks of seeds will last only as long as the stock piles which companies have built up. The nine huge, state of the art, computer controlled growrooms which The Sensi Seed Bank have in the south of Holland (and featured in the June edition of High Times) now stand empty. The knock on effect of this in the medium and long term will be significant. Sensi used profits from their seed production operation to subsidise their hemp flax company. They designed and built the worlds first prototype combine harvester for hemp, a project which could only have been taken on by a company with a very big research & development budget - not the sort of thing easily generated from producing horse bedding and rope. Those caught growing plants for seed production now face up to 4 years in jail. Martin www.freedombooks.co.uk expand your mind - read a book Shared by Kay Lee http://www.zyworld.com/kay~lee/home.htm
------------------------------------------------------------------- Door Slams On Dealers - Marijuana Limit Cut To Three Plants (The Australian says that in response to police concerns that South Australia's current 10-plant cultivation limit is allowing traffickers sell cannabis in the eastern States in exchange for harder drugs, the Cabinet has approved in principle new regulations cutting the personal-use limit to three cannabis plants. Apparently nobody was allowed the opportunity to dispel police misconceptions. Mr Mike Elliott, the Australian Democrats State parliamentary leader, said the move would not make "an iota of difference in terms of supply. Cannabis consumption in SA is the same as in other States - it hasn't gone up because of our drug laws, so it's hard to see what this is trying to achieve.") Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 16:48:59 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: Door Slams On Dealers - Marijuana Limit Cut To Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Kenneth William Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 Source: Australian, The (Australia) Copyright: News Limited 1999 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/ DOOR SLAMS ON DEALERS - MARIJUANA LIMIT CUT TO THREE PLANTS SOUTH Australians caught growing more than three cannabis plants will now face criminal charges. Cabinet has approved in principle new regulations cutting the personal-use limit on cannabis plants from 10 to three. The change comes in response to police concerns that existing laws are allowing drug dealers to grow cannabis and take it to the eastern States for sale or exchange for harder drugs. Currently, people caught growing 10 plants or fewer are fined up to $150 with no conviction recorded. The Human Services Minister, Mr Brown, said yesterday new regulations would go to Cabinet and be finalised in the next few weeks. "That means that for up to three plants there will be an expiation fine for possession or growing," he said. "However, beyond that it would become a criminal offence." Detective Superintendent Rob Maggs, of the Drug Task Force, said the 10-plant rule, when introduced in 1987, had not taken into account the revolution in hydroponics techniques which would allow a single plant to produce a large amount of dried cannabis. He said 10 plants could now generate more than $300,000 a year on the street market. "They're much larger now than they used to be, and the quality and the purity of them is much more improved," Detective Superintendent Maggs said. "Marijuana that is cultivated here is being used as a commodity to swap for stronger drugs and is also being conveyed to other States." Mr Brown said the recommendation to reduce the number of plants had come from Parliament's Controlled Substances Advisory Committee, which includes medical and police representatives. The Police Commissioner, Mr Mal Hyde, who yesterday addressed the Australasian Conference on Drug Strategy in Adelaide, outlined the scale of cannabis production in SA. Mr Hyde said interstate commissioners had told him the production of cannabis in SA was adding to their illicit drug problems. "We are a net supplier," he said. "A lot of cannabis is going interstate." Mr Hyde said a pound (about 450g) of cannabis sold here for $3500, while it sold in the eastern States for $4500. The Opposition justice spokesman, Mr Michael Atkinson, said cannabis laws were a conscience vote in the Labor Party, but he supported the actions of the Government. "Some of these plants are huge - if you get the right kind of plant they can generate vast amounts of cannabis," he said. "Three plants would be quite sufficient for one person to use." The Australian Democrats State parliamentary leader, drug law reform proponent Mr Mike Elliott, said the move would not make "an iota of difference in terms of supply". "Cannabis consumption in SA is the same as in other States - it hasn't gone up because of our drug laws, so it's hard to see what this is trying to achieve," he said. The director of Flinders University's National Centre for Education and Training on Addictions, Dr Steve Allsop, said the change "doesn't signify a toughening of the stance on drugs".
------------------------------------------------------------------- Weekly Action Report on Drug Policies, Year 5, No. 17 (A summary of European and international drug policy news, from CORA, in Italy) Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 15:54:21 +0200 To: CORAFax EN (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: CORAFax (email@example.com) Subject: CORAFax #17 (EN) ANTIPROHIBITIONIST OF THE ENTIRE WORLD .... Year 5 #17, April 29 1999 *** Weekly Action Report on Drug Policies Edited by the CORA - Radical Antiprohibitionist Coordination, federated to - TRP-Transnational Radical Party (NGO, consultive status, I) - The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War *** director: Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved *** http://www.agora.it/coranet mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org *** NEWS FROM THE WORLD *** 000588 29/04/99 E.U. / ITALY CONSUMERS PANORAMA Cobret is a new drug made with heroin that has been cut with other toxic substances. To be consumed it must be heated up and then inhaled. Being rather inexpensive (10-20.000 lire per dose), it seems to be most used drug among young people in Naples. The drug as already reached Rome and is slowly moving towards the Northen regions of Italy. *** 000589 23/04/99 E.U. / GB CONSUMERS THE TIMES The expulsion of four thousand students a year from British schools is a phenomenon related to the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs. This is what a research by the Right Reponses says, which invites all teachers to adopt expulsion of a student only as a last measure. *** 000594 28/04/99 E.U. HEALTH FRANKFURTER Dangerous environmental pollution deriving from the dispersion of waste products in the production of synthetic drugs is a problem that was affronted during the 'Ecstasy and Environment' symposium, in Einndhoven (NL). *** 000595 27/04/99 EUROPE / SWITZERLAND HEALTH NEUE ZUERCHER Z. Free distribution of hypodermic needles in prisons reduces the spreading of Hiv contagion among prisoners without however encouraging drug consumption. This is what a research by the Ministry of Health says. *** 000596 28/04/99 HEALTH FINANCIAL TIMES The General director of the World Health Organisation has inaugurated a new policy against cigarette smoking: tobacco must be considered as any other drug. During a meeting in Berlin he said that cigarettes are dangerous products and that the tobacco companies have created and continue to support nicotine addiction. *** 000591 21/04/99 E.U. / SPAIN INITIATIVE EL PAIS There is disagreement between the Plan Nacional Sobra Drogas and the Andalusian Government. The Pnd, which is examining a Catalunian plan for controlled distribution of heroin, has judged the Andalusian plan as not being serious. *** 000590 22/04/99 E.U. / SPAIN JURISPRUDENCE EL PAIS The consitutional Court has annulled nine drug traffic sentences that were based on police interception of phone calls. The reason of the cancelling of those sentences is that the right to privacy is guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution and by the European Court for The Rights of Mankind. *** 000593 27/04/99 E.U. / FRANCE PREVENTION LE FIGARO Polemics are rising between producers of alcoholic beverages and the National Association for Prevention of Alcoholism. The alcohol lobbies disagree on how the Government heath program puts drugs and alcohol on the same level of dangerousness. The ANPA accuses those lobbies giving a distorted image of the question; they say that moderate use of alcohol is not under discussion. *** 000592 22/04/99 U.E. / FINLAND WAR ON DRUGS LE FIGARO In 1998 there as been a worrisome growth of crime in Finland. Thefts have risen by 30% drug related crimes by 10% and personal offences by 10%. *** CORAFax 1999 -------------------------------------------------------------------
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