Portland NORML News - Friday, April 30, 1999

Oregon Hemp Bill Appears Dead (The Register-Guard, in Eugene, says the
industrial-hemp bill sponsored by state representative Floyd Prozanski
apparently has been killed. Prozanski said Thursday that seven of the nine
members of the House Agriculture and Forestry Committee - including Chairman
Larry Wells, R-Jefferson - had told him they were willing to send the bill
out for a floor vote. But Republican House Speaker Lynn Snodgrass told Wells
not to take up HB 2933 again.)

Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 22:53:15 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US OR: Oregon Hemp Bill Appears Dead
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: agfuture@kih.net
Pubdate: Fri, 30 April 1999
Source: Register-Guard, The (OR)
Copyright: 1999 The Register-Guard
Contact: rgletters@guardnet.com
Website: http://www.registerguard.com/


The industrial-hemp bill sponsored by Rep. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene,
apparently has been stubbed out.

After a hearing last week on the measure, House Bill 2933, Prozanksi was
optimistic about getting it out of committee for a vote by the full House.
The bill would let Oregon farmers grow hemp, a cousin to marijuana that is
useless for drug purposes but whose fibers, seeds and oil have a multitude
of industrial uses.

Prozanski said Thursday that seven of the nine members of the House
Agriculture and Forestry Committee - including Chairman Larry Wells,
R-Jefferson - had told him they were willing to send the bill out for a
floor vote.

But House Speaker Lynn Snodgrass told Wells not to take up the bill again.
Today is the official deadline for House and Senate committees to deal with
bills originating in their respective chambers; Snodgrass' action would
appear to doom the bill for this session.

Wells, reached Thursday evening, agreed that Prozanski probably had the
votes to send the bill to the floor. But, he said, he had previously assured
Snodgrass he would hold just the one informational hearing on the bill, and
wouldn't bring it up for a committee vote unless she approved.

"I guess they (Prozanski and Snodgrass) had a good discussion, but she was
not comfortable with moving ahead," Wells said. "I don't think she wanted
her administration being perceived as sympathetic toward the legalization of
marijuana. I can't blame her, because when I first heard about this, that's
what I thought."

Snodgrass, R-Boring, could not be reached for comment Thursday evening. But
Prozanski released copies of a handwritten note, written on the speaker's
official letterhead, that he said Snodgrass sent to him Wednesday.

The note reads, in part: "I fall back on my original feelings, am not
persuaded to have the bill move forward at this time. I spoke with other
members of the committee prior to making this decision."

It concludes: "Keep educating the public. Perhaps future sessions are

Despite today's deadline, Prozanski's bill may not be completely kaput.
Measures that pass one chamber can still be amended in the other, and
proposals long since given up for dead have been known to reappear in the
waning days of the session.

"Nothing's ever dead until the gavel falls," Wells said, "but most of the
time you have to have the approval of the speaker or the president of the

Insurers still unfair with mentally ill, study says (The Oregonian says a
study released today by the National Association of Psychiatric Health
Systems and the Association of Behavioral Group Practices concludes that
limits imposed by health insurers on mental health and drug-treatment
coverage increased in 1998 despite a new federal law meant to restore balance
between mental and physical health benefits. "We call it organ
discrimination," said William Dalton, director of the Oregon branch of the
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. "There is still a lot of stigma and
antiquated thinking about mental illness and chemical dependency." Employers
have found little resistance to cutting benefits for mental disorders because
of the stigma. The cuts have gone on so long now that "There is not a lot of
room for employers to decrease benefits any more without cutting them
completely," said Kathleen Hessler of the Hay Group.)

Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/)
Pubdate: Fri, Apr 30 1999
Source: Oregonian, The (OR)
Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian
Contact: letters@news.oregonian.com
Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201
Fax: 503-294-4193
Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/
Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/
Author: Joe Rojas-Burke, the Oregonian

Insurers still unfair with mentally ill, study says

* Despite a law meant to curb coverage bias, the share of plans limiting
office visits and hospital stays for mind disorders jumps

Insurance remains unfairly slanted against people with disorders of the
mind, a national study released today concludes.

Limits on mental health coverage escalated in 1998 despite a new federal law
meant to restore balance between mental and general health benefits, the
study shows. It was financed by two psychiatric caregiver associations, the
National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems and the Association of
Behavioral Group Practices.

"We call it organ discrimination," said William Dalton, director of the
Oregon branch of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. "There is still
a lot of stigma and antiquated thinking about mental illness and chemical

Dalton's group is one of the leading backers of a mental health parity bill
introduced in the Oregon Legislature by Sen. Len Hannon, R-Ashland. Hannon
thinks it's needed to prevent health plans from denying necessary care to
sufferers of mental illness.

Employer groups and other opponents fear such a law would drive up benefit
costs and force some small companies to drop health benefits altogether.
They remember massive increases in mental health spending in the 1980s,
including clearly abusive billing by some inpatient psychiatric facilities.
Senate leaders have avoided the debate by refusing to hold a hearing on the
parity bill.

Although the study didn't track changes in the quality or availability of
mental health care, it found that the share of employer health plans that
limit office visits for mental health care jumped from 48 percent in 1997 to
57 percent in 1998, when the federal Mental Health Parity Act took effect.
Plans that impose arbitrary limits on hospital stays for psychiatric care
rose from 86 percent to 88 percent.

Critics say employers are more willing to cut mental health coverage than
other benefits because of the stigma of mental illness, which makes workers
less likely to resist benefits changes.

Average costs of mental health benefits, calculated in 1998 dollars, fell
for the 11th straight year, hitting $69.87 per employee -- a 1.5 percent
drop from the previous year and a 54.7 percent decline since 1988, according
to the study by the Hay Group, an Arlington, Va., consulting firm.

Mental health accounted for about 3.2 percent of the total costs of employer
benefits, a slight increase from 3.1 percent the previous year, but half of
what it was a decade ago. The small gain last year came only because the
costs of general health benefits dropped more steeply than the value of
mental health benefits, said Hay Group associate Kathleen Hessler.

"There is not a lot of room for employers to decrease (mental health)
benefits any more without cutting them completely," Hessler said.

The firm drew upon a survey of more than 1,000 companies. Hay originally
developed its statistical method of comparing benefit plans for the National
Institute of Mental Health to estimate the costs of the 1996 federal mental
health parity legislation.

The federal law stopped group health plans from imposing dollar limits on
mental health coverage more severe than those on other health coverage. But
in Oregon and other states, health plans got around the law by converting to
limits on the length of hospital stays and the number of office visits. To
comply with an earlier state law, health plans still have to keep their
durational limits equivalent to state-mandated dollar minimum coverage limits.

Hannon's bill would close the loophole, preventing health plans from
applying limits on psychiatric hospitalizations or outpatient care that are
more severe than those applying to general health benefit limits.

The law would cost Oregon employers $1.27 per member per month, according to
a study by the accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers, paid for by the
Oregon Medical Association and the American Psychological Association. At
that rate, employers would pump about $31.5 million more per year into the
mental health care system.

Business groups say that kind of mandate could undercut the state's gains in
employer-sponsored coverage.

"Raising the bar that employers must clear to provide that benefit produces
a negative policy outcome," said Kevin Earls of Associated Oregon
Industries. "Some people who have insurance today are going to end up with
no coverage.

"You have to look at the greater good," Earls said. "In Oregon, we have made
a very explicit decision to use the concept of basic health care coverage to
keep costs moderate. We're covering more people by making those kinds of

Dalton said employers need to recognize that mental health care has become
more effective with advances in science and more efficient with widespread
use of managed care. "We now have a system in place in 1999 where you can
affordably provide mental health care," he said.

Other states, he said, have passed comprehensive mental health parity laws
without harming employers or eroding overall coverage. Minnesota's parity
law took effect in 1995. State officials estimate it pushed premiums up by 1
percent. Under a more limited parity law in Rhode Island, total health plan
costs rose less than 1 percent. At least 19 states have enacted mental
health parity laws.

You can reach Joe Rojas-Burke at 503-412-7073 or by e-mail at


Crumbling coverage

Average per-employee cost of mental health benefits paid by employers:

1988: $154.48

1998: $69.87, down 54.7 percent

Average per-employee cost of general health benefits paid by employers:

1988: $2,372.01

1998: $2,098.68, down 11.5 percent

Mental health as share of total health benefit costs:

1988: 6.2 percent

1998: 3.2 percent

All values are expressed in 1998 dollars.

Source: The Hay Group

Medical marijuana policy still fuzzy (The Seattle Times discusses the
problems faced by medical marijuana patients in Washington state, despite
the passage of Initiative 692 last November. Today, a group of patients who
receive care at Harborview Medical Center's HIV/AIDS clinic plan to protest
in front of the building. They say that their doctors have left them legally
vulnerable by refusing to sign letters authorizing their marijuana use. The
real doctors are willing, but the medical director of Harborview's HIV/AIDS
clinic, Dr. Thomas Hooton, unilaterally forbid clinic physicians from writing

Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 09:17:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: Robert Lunday (robert@hemp.net)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Seattle Times: Medical marijuana policy still fuzzy
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

This is the lead story on the Seattle Times website:
e-mail: opinion@seatimes.com

Medical marijuana policy still fuzzy

by Carol M. Ostrom
Seattle Times staff reporter

Gregory Sheffield, an HIV-positive patient who is crippled by arthritis,
asked his doctor for a letter allowing him to legally smoke marijuana to
decrease his pain and increase his appetite.

He heard conflicting answers.

One was that his doctor supported his using marijuana for those medical
problems. The other was that the doctor, who works at Harborview Medical
Center, had been told by his medical director not to sign such letters.

Voters in Washington last November passed a law legalizing the use of
marijuana by certain patients, allowing a physician to write a letter or
statement "qualifying" a patient to legally possess a 60-day supply.

Many voters said they wanted to protect cancer and AIDS patients, among
others, from being arrested for using the drug for pain or nausea
relief. But nearly six months later, these patients are finding that in
the real world, it's not so simple.

Today, a group of patients who receive care at Harborview's HIV/AIDS
clinic plan to protest in front of the building. They say that while
their medical care there has been top-notch, their doctors have left
them legally vulnerable by refusing to sign letters authorizing their
marijuana use.

Thomas Hartley, 47, who has AIDS, said an elderly aunt with cancer first
told him about smoking marijuana to control his nausea. But without a
letter signed by his doctor, he said, he has been hassled by a neighbor
and by police. "A letter would get the police off my back."

Dr. John Sheffield, Gregory Sheffield's physician (not related) at the
HIV/AIDS clinic, confirmed he was told by the medical director not to
sign any letters "pending the development of a policy by the UW on this

Personally, he has no problem writing the letters for some patients, he
said. "I think there are many patients for whom marijuana provides
relief in a way we haven't found any other substitutes for. We're
talking about (relief of) nausea, relief of medications' side effects -
and I don't think that contributes to any societal ills."

But like many physicians, he believes it's still unclear ". . . whether
the statute is binding, whether the feds would prosecute people for
using marijuana, or prosecute physicians somehow involved in that."

Dr. Thomas Hooton, medical director of Harborview's HIV/AIDS clinic, has
similar worries. Hooton told clinic providers inquiring about writing
authorizing letters for their patients "to sort of hold off until we get
a policy."

Hooton said the clinic has drafted a policy he has sent to the Attorney
General's Office for review. But now, he has been asked to head up a
joint Harborview-University of Washington task force to write guidelines
for doctors throughout the system. That group, formed in response to
physicians' worries, has yet to meet.

"The bottom line is everybody's not really sure what we should be
doing," Hooton said. Threats by the federal government to lift doctors'
licenses to prescribe, though the government has never followed through,
are frightening to most doctors, he said.

"It's a doc's livelihood," he said. "Without a DEA license, you're sort
of cooked."

Some patients and their supporters wonder why the UW could respond so
quickly to voters' undoing of affirmative action in the last election
but still be muddling around with a policy on medical marijuana.

"Now they're telling my sickest patients, `Just sit here, honey, and
we'll get back to you,'" complained Dale Rogers, director of Capitol
Hill Compassion in Action, which delivers marijuana to qualifying

Passage of the medical-marijuana initiative took UW doctors by surprise,
Hooton responded. "I don't think anybody thought we would need to
prepare a response. For one thing, most people thought the initiative
wouldn't pass. And the other thing is, they thought the initiative would
clarify what we need to do."

One health-care provider, the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care
System, had no problem sorting out possible conflicts between state and
federal law.

"Since possession of marijuana is illegal under federal law, (doctors)
can't do anything inconsistent with federal law," said George Tady,
assistant regional counsel for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Since
federal law doesn't recognize medical use of marijuana, he said, "a VA
doctor in his or her official duties could not prescribe it."

The initiative, however, does not ask a doctor to "prescribe"
marijuana, but to document that he or she has advised a qualifying
patient that the potential benefits of marijuana would likely outweigh
the risks.

Nevertheless, Tady said, he has advised veterans-hospital physicians
that ". . . they are not to recommend its use, because possession of
marijuana is illegal under federal law."

At least a "couple of dozen" doctors in the area are writing letters for
patients, said Rogers, Compassion in Action's leader.

The Washington State Medical Association has created a sample letter for
doctors, said John Arveson, director of professional affairs.

"What we wanted to do was provide something that really mirrors what is
provided for in the law," said Arveson, "and also to remind physicians:
Don't provide the documentation on your prescription pad."

The state medical association ran the draft letter past several
agencies, Arveson said, including the FDA, the state Department of
Health and the Medical Quality Assurance Commission, which licenses
physicians, "to see if somebody's hairs were looking to get on fire over

No hairs ignited, so the letter was completed and published by the
medical association.

The Washington State Department of Health has also come up with a
"Questions and Answers" sheet. But questions seem to outweigh the

For example, it's unclear how much marijuana or how many marijuana
plants make up the "60-day supply" specified in the initiative, or how
patients are supposed to get marijuana since it cannot be legally
purchased, distributed or supplied.

Several problems with the initiative involve police and prosecutors,
said Jerry Sheehan, legislative director for the American Civil
Liberties Union of Washington. "What should be the police officers'
response when they come upon someone (smoking marijuana) who says, `I
have documentation.'"

In meetings, law-enforcement representatives have asked doctors if they
want to be awakened in the night to verify a patient's identity and that
the letter isn't forged, Hooton said. "We don't want that."

Graham Boyd, who directs the national ACLU's drug-policy-litigation
project, wants to protect doctors from interference by the federal
government. Litigation in California, Boyd said, made it clear the
federal government can't stop communication between doctors and patients
about marijuana.

But if doctors don't stick strictly to their role as physician - if they
try to help patients find marijuana, if they "prescribe" marijuana, for
example - they could be in legal jeopardy, Boyd said.

"We want to make very, very certain that not even a single doctor gets
even investigated," he said. "Because if that happens, it will send a
chilling message throughout the whole profession."

Carol M. Ostrom's phone message number is 206-464-2249.

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company

Medical pot comes to Auburn (The Auburn Journal, in California, provides an
update on the medical marijuana trial of Michael and Georgia Baldwin, noting
Ryan Landers, a Sacramento AIDS patient and trial observer, obtained the
permission of Superior Court Judge James D. Garbolino to smoke cannabis
discreetly outside the courthouse.)

From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Subject: Fwd: April 30th article from the Auburn Journal
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 01:51:20 PDT

From: DoctorPot@aol.com
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Subject: April 30th article from the Auburn Journal
Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 23:58:43 EDT

Medical pot comes to Auburn
By Dena Erwin

As the medical marijuana trial of Michael and Georgia Baldwin continued this
week, Ryan Landers was smoking pot -- legally -- on the steps of Auburn's
Historic Courthouse.

Landers, a "full-blown" AIDS patient who lives in Sacramento, said he smokes
marijuana to increase his appetite and to treat the nausea that accompanies
his disease.

Although he was advised against smoking near the courthouse by Baldwin
attorneys, Landers sought out and obtained the permission of Superior Court
Judge James D. Garbolino.

"I knew this was a small town and I didn't want to get in trouble," he said.

Without the jury present in court last week, Landers said Garbolino told him
his smoking would be tolerated.

"He said he had no problem with it, but I was told not to taint the jury," he
said. "I'm not going to taint the jury but I don't want to puke in the

Landers described himself as an outspoken proponent of medical marijuana, and
once tried to open a cannabis club in Sacramento. He is director of the
Patients' Access Clinic.

Landers, who carries his physician's recommendation in his wallet, said he
has been discreet about smoking outside the courthouse.

"I'm only trying to take care of my personal need," he said.

Inside the courthouse Thursday, the Baldwins continued their defense case.

Testifying were Chris Conrad, a medical marijuana proponent; Bill Logan a
former attorney who wrote, "Marijuana, the Law and You;" and chiropractor
Duane Patterson.

Georgia Baldwin testifying in the afternoon, and will be cross-examined by
the prosecutor on Tuesday.

Medical Marijuana Researcher to Speak at Forum (A press release from the
Lindesmith Center publicizes a rare public address May 25 in San Francisco by
Dr. Donald Abrams, the only U.S. researcher currently allowed to conduct a
clinical trial on medical marijuana. Dr. Abrams' topic is "Medical Marijuana:
Tribulations and Trials.")

From: ekomp@earthlink.net
Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 17:04:21 -0700
To: dpfca@drugsense.org, tlc-california@soros.org, aro@drugsense.org
Subject: DPFCA: May 25 event
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: ekomp@earthlink.net
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

April 30, 1999
Contact: Ellen Komp, The Lindesmith Center
415-921-4987; ekomp@earthlink.net

Medical Marijuana Researcher to Speak at Forum

Prominent AIDS researcher Donald Abrams, M.D., the only U.S. researcher
currently conducting a clinical trial on medical marijuana, will speak on
"Medical Marijuana: Tribulations and Trials" at a forum sponsored by The
Lindesmith Center West from 5-7 PM on May 25 at the San Francisco Medical
Society (1409 Sutter at Franklin).

Dr. Abrams received a grant from the NIH in October 1997 to conduct clinical
trials on marijuana's use by patients with HIV infection. He is sure to present
a lively and informative discussion of the state of research into marijuana for

The forum will include a review of the medical uses of marijuana, a
review of the different pharmacokinetics between oral and smoked THC, issues of
concern for patients with HIV, and an outline of the tortuous route Dr. Abrams
was required to take to gain approval for his study.

Dr. Abrams is chairman and principal investigator of the Community Consortium,
an association of Bay Area HIV Health Care Providers, one of the pioneer
community-based clinical trials groups, established in 1985. He is the
Assistant Director of the AIDS Program at San Francisco General Hospital and a
professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

Physicians, students, health care and treatment providers, patients, and
members of the public are invited to the free forum. Please phone the
Lindesmith Center at 415-921-4987 or email tlc-west@ix.netcom.com to reserve a

The Lindesmith Center-West is a policy and research institute and public
interest law center dedicated to broadening debate on drug policy and related
issues. The Center's agenda focuses on issues and strategies that have been
overlooked or ignored in public discussions and government-funded research on
drug policy.

Standing up for equal rights and Pot Pride (Mikki Norris, a co-ordinator of
the "Human Rights and the Drug War" exhibit and author of "Shattered Lives:
Portraits from America's Drug War," shares an eloquent speech she will make
tomorrow at San Francisco's Million Marijuana March. "Today, we demand equal
rights. We don't want special rights, just the same rights that people who
smoke tobacco or drink alcohol responsibly enjoy. Today we say, stop calling
us losers, stupid, lazy, and unmotivated.")

From: MikkiBACH@aol.com
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 02:28:36 EDT
Subject: DPFCA: Equal rights and Pot Pride
To: DPFCA@drugsense.org
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

Dear Friends,

I'd like to share with you my comments to be delivered this Saturday at the
San Francisco Million Marijuana March Rally (details at

By: Mikki Norris, Co-ordinator of the Human Rights and the Drug War Exhibit,
author, Shattered Lives: Portraits from America's Drug War, SFMMM Committee

Title: Standing up for equal rights and Pot Pride

As coordinator of the Human Rights and the Drug War exhibit, I have seen
lives shattered by drug policies that are anti-family, anti-community,
mean-spirited, and un-American. We have documented the stories of non-violent
drug offenders who are spending cruel and unusual prison sentences away from
their families for 5, 10, 20 years and life. James Geddes is serving a 90
year sentence for 5 marijuana plants in Oklahoma. Will Foster, a medical
marijuana patient, is serving 20 there also. Marvin Chavez was just sentenced
to 6 years for providing medical marijuana to California patients at his
Orange County buyer's club. for Scott Walt is sitting in a private prison in
California for 24 years for a marijuana conspiracy. Jodie Israel is serving
11 years for 4 ounces of physical evidence of marijuana in another conspiracy
case. Conspiracy means they don't need physical evidence against you to
convict you, just knowing the wrong people or having someone say you were
involved is enough. Jodie's children are sentenced to lives without their own
parents because their father is a Rastafarian charged with distributing
marijuana and their mother was married to him.

These are only a few examples of the more than 40,000 marijuana POWs who are
sitting behind bars today. In the name of the Drug War and the war against
marijuana, homes are taken away, marriages and families are being destroyed,
and lives are being wasted filling the prisons and the courts. Last year
there were about 700,000 marijuana arrests in America, 85% were for simple
possession. Who is paying for these arrests and incarceration? Our tax
dollars are. Students are paying higher tuitions to subsidize the prison
growth. Did you know that in the last 15 years or so, in California, we built
21 new prisons and only one university?

Today we say, we don't want to be part of arresting and imprisoning these
people. We say, stop arresting people for marijuana! Free the marijuana POWs!
It is time for pot smokers to stand up and say, enough already. We demand
equal rights!

Over 70 million people in America have smoked pot in their lives. There are
approximately 11 million regular smokers in this country today. We, who smoke
pot, are a significant minority. We know that people who smoke pot are
basically like everyone else. We work, we pay taxes, we have families, we go
to school, we are generally law-abiding people. I have a question for you,
should we be treated like criminals because we enjoy pot? Does pot make us
bad people? Some of the nicest, hardest working, most honest, decent,
productive, interesting, respectable, and intelligent people I know enjoy
pot. I know doctors, lawyers, teachers, students, musicians, artists,
athletes, working people, professionals and CEOs of major corporations who
smoke pot. But, yet the government wants to treat us like second-class
citizens, like scapegoats for all of society's problems. Our politicians
want to lock us up, take away our homes, our children, our jobs, and our
rights that we deserve.

Today, we demand equal rights. We don't want special rights, just the same
rights that people who smoke tobacco or drink alcohol responsibly enjoy.
Today we say, stop calling us losers, stupid, lazy, and unmotivated. Do you
think we are losers because we smoke pot? Of course, we aren't. We are better
than that. We say stop discriminating against pot smokers. We are good people
and we deserve better.

What do we want? We want the right to work and have jobs. Stop the
discrimination of pre-employment and random drug testing that bans people
from getting jobs, not because they are intoxicated, but because marijuana
tests positive for weeks (even though you are not high). We want to work and
make money and make a life for ourselves!

We aren't asking for the right to get high at the workplace on an employer's
watch. But, during our own time, we want adults to have the right to enjoy
marijuana responsibly for own personal reasons. We want to have the right to
use cannabis as a religious sacrament, to bond with people, to enjoy nature,
music, art, food, or sex, for relaxation or creativity, whatever, as long as
we aren't hurting anyone else.

We want the right to be left alone and not be arrested. We want the right to
have a house. Stop the forfeiture laws! Alcohol drinkers have that right.
Even murderers have that right, but if you grow a few plants in your garden,
the police can come in and wreck your home and take it away, and all your
money, and your children, too.

We want the right to have a family and to raise our own children. Don't put
us in jail and put our kids in foster care. Custody battles that say the
parent who drinks alcohol automatically gets the kids, while the parent who
smokes pot don't, are wrong and discriminatory.

We want the right to have an education. Kids shouldn't be smoking pot, but if
they do, they should be helped, not expelled from school and put out on the
streets. Students should not lose student loans for pot, but today they do.
Society benefits from education. How will it help young people to turn our
backs on them, in the name of zero tolerance?

We want the right to use cannabis as a medicine if we need it for stress or
for chemotherapy. Why should we have to go to jail for relieving our stress
with pot rather than a few drinks or some valium?

We want equal rights. It's more than the right to privacy or the right to our
own consciousness which should be our right in a free society as long as we
don't hurt anybody. The marijuana laws are discriminatory and treat us like
criminals and second-class citizens. We, pot smokers, deserve better. We must
change the laws. It's time to come out of the closet, stand up for our
rights, and assert Pot Pride. We deserve equal protection before the law!
Equal protection before the law.

What do we want? Equal rights! When do we want it? Now! Free the marijuana

Shooter Used Often-Prescribed Drug (The Washington Post says Eric Harris had
been taking Luvox, an antidepressant, before he went on a shooting rampage
last week at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Judith Rapaport,
chief of child psychiatry at the National Institute of Mental Health in
Bethesda, Maryland, said "There is no reason to think it would have any
relationship to any unusual or violent behavior," ignoring a similar case in
Springfield, Oregon, and failing to acknowledge that kids' brains are
different than adults' and that such drugs have never been thoroughly tested
on children. For some reason Rapaport failed to recommend that parents try
switching their teens' antidepressant to cannabis, a much less toxic remedy
whose worst possible side-effect, amotivational syndrome, would have saved a
few lives in Colorado. Plus a cartoon from the April 28 Daily News, in
Halifax, Nova Scotia.)
Link to 'Teens, Depression & Drugs'
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 08:45:18 -0700 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: US CO: Shooter Used Often-Prescribed Drug Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: emr@javanet.com (Dick Evans) Pubdate: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071 Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Avram Goldstein SHOOTER USED OFTEN-PRESCRIBED DRUG See credit below The psychiatric drug that Eric Harris had been taking before he went on a shooting rampage at a Colorado high school last week was prescribed about 1.4 million times last year to people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder and associated depression. Luvox, which is in the same pharmacological category as the widely used depression drugs Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil, is praised by health professionals as an important tool in the treatment of the inherited disorder. They agree that while Luvox is not a perfect solution, it does help rein in the recurrent and irrational thoughts, impulses or images that interfere with the lives of an estimated 5 million Americans, including many children. Some children as young as 5 are given such drugs. The maker of the drug, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, said 6.9 million patients of all ages worldwide have used the drug, which increases the brain's ability to use a message-carrying chemical called serotonin. Although suicide attempts are listed as a possible adverse reaction in consumer information distributed with the drug, government officials, private practitioners and the manufacturer said yesterday that such episodes are rare and likely to be caused by the underlying depression that led the patient to Luvox. "It's considered a good and safe drug," said Judith Rapaport, chief of child psychiatry at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda and a longtime researcher on obsessive-compulsive disorder. "There is no reason to think it would have any relationship to any unusual or violent behavior." Jerry L. Rushton, a University of North Carolina pediatrician who studies serotonin drugs, said patients who stop taking them typically experience withdrawal problems, including increased agitation and anxiety. Some reports say Harris had tried to stop taking Luvox after he was rejected by the Marine Corps because he was on the drug. However, Food and Drug Administration officials said that they have seen no evidence linking Luvox to violence and that its performance has so far been clinically acceptable. "We see hundreds of people using this family of medications," said Charles Mansueto, a psychologist who directs the Behavior Therapy Center in Silver Spring and provides counseling to clients taking drugs prescribed by psychiatrists. "I'm not aware of any particular problem with Luvox." One Washington parent said yesterday that when her 12-year-old daughter, who has the disorder, stopped taking Luvox for two days recently, she began having thoughts about suicide. The situation was remedied immediately after she resumed taking the drug, the mother said. The mother, who did not want to be named, called it "an absolute miracle drug." Doctors and patients said it is unfair to associate obsessive-compulsive patients with an increased tendency toward suicide or violence. If anything, the nature of their often bizarre symptoms makes that less likely, they said. "People with [the disorder] are by definition aware of their irrational obsessions and virtually never act on those obsessions," said Thomas H. Styron, a clinical psychologist and executive director of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation in Milford, Conn. "While their impulses are scary and anxiety-provoking, they are not reality based and virtually never acted on." In the 12 months ending in February, Solvay Pharmaceuticals sold $145 million worth of the drug. Luvox has increasingly been prescribed to adolescents. Some critics say that more clinical trials on children are needed and that some physicians should raise the threshold for prescribing such drugs. A Fairfax County high school senior who has suffered from the disorder since she was 7 struggled with various drugs until she began taking Luvox in a clinical trial in 1989, said her father, who did not want to be identified. The improvement was dramatic, he said, and she never had any side effects or thoughts of violence or suicide. *** From: "Daffy Duck" (dopey@accesscable.net) To: (mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com) Subject: A cartoon Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 08:24:42 -0300 SOURCE: The Daily News PUBDATE: April 28, 1999 AUTHOR: Theo Moudakis, Political Cartoonist, The Daily News, Halifax WEBSITE: http://www.hfxnews.southam.ca/ CONTACT: letterstoeditor@hfxnews.southam.ca Cartoon URL: http://www.hfxnews.southam.ca/Mou/Mou04_28.jpg This cartoon should win an award for concise, investigative reporting! It reveals PRECISELY what is so very WICKED & WRONG with the United States of America. Peace, D.D. Attachment Converted: C:\INTERNET\Mou04_28.jpg [See above - ed.]

U.S. Court Overturns Juror's Contempt Conviction (The Associated Press notes
yesterday's news about the Colorado Court of Appeals reversing the conviction
of a juror, Laura Kriho, for contempt of court. Kriho was indicted because,
during jury selection, she failed to volunteer the information that she had
pleaded guilty 11 years earlier to possessing LSD, and is a member of a group
that supports the reform of marijuana laws.)

Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 14:38:36 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CO: U.S. Court Overturns Juror's Contempt Conviction
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jury Rights Project (jrights@levellers.org)
Pubdate: Fri, 30 Apr 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press


DENVER, - A Colorado appeals court 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

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.

Drug Wars, Part Two (The Austin Chronicle notes Texas is such a closed
society that the Drug Policy Forum of Texas has resorted to offering $500 to
any drug warrior willing to debate its representatives in public. Alan
Robison, a retired professor of pharmacology and Forum founder, complains
that the unwillingness to debate has become a way for drug warriors to squash
public discourse.)
Link to 'Battle Plan Of The Drug Warriors'
Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 16:29:01 -0700 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: US TX: Drug Wars, Part Two Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: GALAN@prodigy.net (G. A ROBISON) Pubdate: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 Source: Austin Chronicle (TX) Copyright: 1999 Austin Chronicle Corp. Contact: louis@auschron.com Website: http://www.auschron.com/ DRUG WARS, PART TWO The Houston-based Drug Policy Forum of Texas believes the U.S. war on drugs is indefensible. To prove its point, the group is offering $500 to anyone willing to publicly and intellectually argue in favor of current drug policy. The group is looking for an individual to defend current drug laws -- and argue in favor of punishing possession of small amounts of marijuana -- in at least one debate. Carl Veley, Drug Policy Forum operations manager, says the reward is an effort to ratchet up public discussion on criminalization, mandatory sentencing, and other components of the nation's drug war. Over the past few years the group, which favors decriminalization and regulation of illegal substances, has contacted dozens of government officials, elected representatives and civic leaders, but no one has been willing to debate. So the group offered the reward. But still, no takers. "We've had zero response," said Veley. "We can't find anyone who will become informed on the subject and argue against changing the law. Nobody will argue in favor of the current laws." Alan Robison, a retired UT Health Science Center professor of pharmacology and Forum founder, complains that the unwillingness to debate has become a way for "drug warriors" to squash public discourse. He pointed to an incident in 1997 when U.S. Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey backed out of a State Bar of Texas Association meeting in Houston after a drug-policy critic was added to the program. "We began to realize many years ago that we can't get these damn guys to come out and debate," Robison said. "This is a deliberate strategy. These guys know if they don't come, there's no discussion." McCaffrey did not return calls inquiring about the incident. But the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the nonprofit famous for its "This is your brain on drugs..." TV commercials, said it had little time to argue the validity of anti-drug efforts. "We don't run a speakers' bureau or a debating school," said Steve Dnistrian, Partnership director of public affairs. "Part of the reason they can't find anybody is that nobody takes them seriously. What do you want to debate this for?" Dnistrian said the organization occasionally participates in public debates, though he didn't know how many. "We can't honor every request, even with a $500 bounty," he said. "Are they going to pay for travel? Is it the Sheraton or the Best Western? But either way I'm probably not coming -- not because I'm ducking. These issues have been debated for the last 25 to 30 years, and the debates get us nowhere." The Drug Policy Forum of Texas has a mailing list of 1,500 and about 300 due-paying members -- mostly doctors, lawyers, ex-professors, and other intellectuals. The organization differs from the more activist-oriented Texas Hemp Campaign, which is known for less cerebral means of protest like candlelight vigils, rallies, and marches. Veley said if no one steps forward, the group may bump the reward up to $750. Besides trying to hammer home its point about the Drug War, the five-year-old Forum is hoping this reward offering can heighten its own profile, although Veley said contributions and new members aren't exactly rolling in. Any defenders of U.S. drug policy interested in cashing in on the Forum's offer should call 210/641-6819 or write Drug Policy Forum of Texas, 888 W. Sam Houston Pkwy S. #248, Houston, TX 77042. *** Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 15:58:44 -0800 To: "CRRH mailing list" (restore@crrh.org) From: R Givens (rgivens@sirius.com) From: "CRRH mailing list" (restore@crrh.org) Subject: Sent LTE: Drug Wars, Part Two re: Drug Wars, Part Two Nothing reveals the hypocrisy and dissembling of illiterate prohibitionists better than their refusal to defend their policies in public debates. The reason prohibitionists won't confront hostile views with their logic is that they have been beaten from pillar to post in every single public discussion where an informed repealer appeared. They won't defend prohibition because it is indefensible. When the drug warriors are cut off from their fables, fictions and falsehoods about drugs by a knowledgeable opponent, prohibition is immediately exposed as a morally and intellectually bankrupt policy that has caused nothing but needless trouble for 85 straight years. It's the lack of a single convincing argument supporting drug prohibition that prevents Steve Dnistrian and the rest of the sanctimonious narcomaniacs from debating, not overbusy schedules or universal agreement that drug prohibition is a success. It's time to end a prohibition policy based on lies, dissembling and propaganda. R Givens

New Jersey's Trooper Scandal (A staff editorial in the New York Times says it
was outrageous when state troopers were found to be using racial profiling on
the New Jersey Turnpike in an effort to intercept illegal drugs. Now it turns
out that the State Police have enlisted hotel workers along the turnpike to
spy on guests and report behavior as common as speaking Spanish. This civil
liberties nightmare has all the earmarks of a program out of control. The
office of New Jersey Attorney General Peter G. Verniero says it is reviewing
all drug interdiction efforts. The fact that this program has been in place
for nearly a decade without a review shows how much institutional reform is

Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 16:12:08 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US NJ: Editorial: New Jersey's Trooper Scandal
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: emr@javanet.com (Dick Evans)
Pubdate: April 30, 1999
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Forum: http://www10.nytimes.com/comment/
Author: Editor


The racial profiling and drug interdiction offenses at the New Jersey
State Police keep looking worse and worse. It was outrageous when
state troopers were found to be stopping and searching a
disproportionate number of black and Hispanic motorists on the New
Jersey Turnpike in an effort to intercept illegal drugs. Now it turns
out that the State Police have enlisted hotel workers along the
turnpike to spy on guests and report behavior as common as speaking
Spanish. This civil liberties nightmare has all the earmarks of a
program that has spun out of control. a.. Thus it can only be welcome
that the Federal Department of Justice has decided that there are
grounds to file a civil suit against the State Police for racial
discrimination, and that New Jersey's Attorney General, Peter G.
Verniero, has agreed to negotiate a settlement. The two-year
investigation by Justice initially focused on the practice of singling
out motorists for stops and searches based on their skin color. Given
the mounting evidence of improper State Police operations, it is
imperative that Justice use this hammer to demand a thorough overhaul
that will root out the institutional racism that seems to permeate the

For years, blacks and Hispanics have complained that they have been
subject to illegal racial profiling by state troopers -- and for just
as many years, New Jersey officials vehemently denied that such
practices existed. Only last week did Mr. Verniero and Gov. Christine
Todd Whitman finally acknowledge those patterns of discrimination
after Mr. Verniero issued a report on highway stops and searches.

This week The Times's David Kocieniewski reported on the little-known
hotel-motel program operated by the State Police's drug bureau. The
program, begun in the early 1990's, recruits motel workers, mostly
along the New Jersey Turnpike, to inform on guests who might be drug
traffickers. The program trains the workers to report to police on
travelers with certain characteristics, such as having Florida license
plates or paying with cash. The troopers would look through credit
card receipts and guest registries without guest permission, and would
even offer rewards for tips that lead to arrests. Although police
officials deny that racial profiling is used, several hotel workers
who have gone through the training say they were told to look upon
Spanish-speakers with greater suspicion.

Given the agency's proven use of race-based criteria in traffic stops,
it is hard to believe that race would not be used in the hotel program
as well. But whatever the case, the hotel operation offers a
disturbing window into the police agency's philosophy. In the name of
crime-fighting, the agency has created a vast surveillance network
that engulfs large numbers of innocent hotel guests. Mr. Verniero's
office says it is reviewing all drug interdiction programs. The fact
that this program has been in place for nearly a decade without a
review shows how much institutional reform is needed.

Drug czar warns foreign cartels now high-tech (The Boston Herald says General
Barry McCaffrey told an audience at Harvard University yesterday that
"Dominicans, Mexicans, Nigerians and Russians, and criminals from Southeast
Asia are the big drug pushers now and one-half of all people behind bars for
drug crimes are foreign-born." He said the latest smuggling trick involves
black cocaine, that is, cocaine with chemicals added that make it impossible
for drug-sniffing dogs to detect.)

From: GranVizier@webtv.net
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 06:39:29 -0400 (EDT)
To: cp@telelists.com, november-l@drugsense.org, restore@crrh.org
Subject: [cp] McCaffrey Preaches Hate

Warning! McCaffrey Watch in Effect!

[Czar McCaffrey blatantly preaches ethnic hatred and wants to watch your
kids, so they never have a minute of free space. No wonder the kids are
going nuts! Not to mention that he'll grab another 17 billion tax-free
tax dollars to fight the high-tech others and to "take care of the kids.
I'd rather have my kid rollerblading in Manhattan than being taught by
the likes of this guy.]



Drug czar warns foreign cartels now high-tech
by Paul Sullivan
Friday, April 30, 1999

New foreign drug cartels, now smuggling black cocaine, are high-tech
operations, highly organized and dangerous, the White House drug czar
told a gathering yesterday at Harvard University.

``Dominicans, Mexicans, Nigerians and Russians, and criminals from
Southeast Asia are the big drug pushers now and one-half of all people
behind bars for drug crimes are foreign-born,创 Barry McCaffrey

``They are very dangerous and last year, 156 drug enforcement agents
were killed and 50,000 assaulted,创 McCaffrey told about 50 people
at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

``We have to go after the drug labs and the money-laundering
operations创 to break these new, powerful cartels,创 said
McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control.

He said when drug enforcement agencies come up with new techniques to
detect smuggling, the cartels answer with new solutions.

The latest is black cocaine. McCaffrey said that's cocaine with
chemicals added that make it impossible for drug-sniffing dogs to

``Vengeance and deterrence doesn磘 solve the problem and law
enforcement in and of itself cannot solve the problem,创 McCaffrey
said. ``You have to sit down at the kitchen table and talk to your own

He said kids are usually by themselves between 3 and 7 p.m. and
``We磛e got to organize someone to take care of the kids.创

``It磗 amazing what drugs do to our families,创 McCaffrey said.
``A 12-year-old smoking dope on weekends says, `Oh, sure, I smoke a
little weed and it磗 not seen as a dangerous thing. But it is

``Of the kids using grass in high school, 15 percent become addicted and
people say that磗 wonderful but the chances of lifelong difficulties
are significant,创 McCaffrey said.

McCaffrey also pointed his finger at the ``Cadillac创 of drugs -

``We have 810,000 heroin addicts in this country and an addict is a
mess,创 McCaffrey said. ``He or she is a one-person crime wave. It
costs addicts $200-to-$300 a day to buy heroin and $60,000 a year.创

McCaffrey is against the legalization of any drugs.

If some drugs were legalized, he predicted, ``drug abuse would double;
they磀 be disastrous results up there with alcohol abuse.创

Law Barring U.S. Aid To Drug Offenders Concerns Administrators And Activists
(The Chronicle of Higher Education examines the new provision in the Higher
Education Act that will strip students convicted of any drug-related offense
of financial aid. Championed by U.S. Representative Mark E. Souder, the
Indiana Republican, the law becomes effective July 1, 2000. Colleges,
concerned about institutional liability, are arguing - and the Education
Department appears to agree - that it should be up to the federal government,
not campuses, to ascertain students' criminal status. Meanwhile, a national
campaign has begun to try to galvanize student opposition to the measure.)

Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 18:32:47 +0000
To: vignes@monaco.mc
From: Peter Webster (vignes@monaco.mc)
Subject: [] Law Barring U.S. Student Aid To Drug Offenders
Pubdate: Fri, 30 Apr 1999
Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education (US)
Copyright: 1999 by The Chronicle of Higher Education
Contact: editor@chronicle.com
Website: http://chronicle.com/
Author: Stephen Burd


Critics Says Measure Will Be Hard To Enforce And Will Hurt Only Low-Income

Under ordinary circumstances, university administrators seldom see eye to
eye with students lobbying to legalize drugs.

But at the University of Virginia, a new federal law that would strip
students convicted of drug-related offenses of their Pell Grants and other
forms of financial aid has both the aid director and the leader of a group
that wants to liberalize marijuana laws crying foul.

The aid restriction was part of the Higher Education Act legislation that
President Clinton signed in October. Championed by Rep. Mark E. Souder, an
Indiana Republican, the provision would deny federal aid to students who
have been convicted in state or federal court for possessing or selling drugs.

To Elizabeth Myers, a senior and president of the campus chapter of the
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the measure is

"This is not going to stop drug use on campus. But what it will do is
punish people who are caught with drugs who can't afford to go to college,"
Ms. Myers says. "So a rich kid who gets caught using pot does not get
punished at all, while a poor kid loses his college education -- and that's
just not fair."

To Yvonne B. Hubbard, the university's financial-aid director, the
provision -- right or wrong -- will be a nightmare to enforce. "I don't
know how this can be administered fairly and equitably," she says.

The concerns here at Virginia are being voiced by college administrators
and campus activists around the nation. Under the federal ban, students
would lose their aid eligibility for one year for a first conviction on a
drug-possession offense; two years for a second conviction; and
indefinitely for a third conviction. Students caught selling drugs would
lose eligibility for two years for a first conviction, and indefinitely for
a second. Students' eligibility could be restored before the designated
time period if the students satisfactorily completed a drug-rehabilitation
program, or if their convictions were reversed or set aside.

The U.S. Education Department has announced that the law will not become
effective until July 1, 2000. In the meantime, the department is working
with college groups to determine how best to carry it out. Colleges,
concerned about institutional liability, are arguing -- and the Education
Department appears to agree -- that it should be up to the federal
government, and not campuses, to examine students' offenses and determine
whether they should be disqualified from receiving aid.

Meanwhile, a national campaign has begun to try to galvanize student
opposition to the measure. The Drug Reform Coordination Network, a
nonprofit group based in Washington, is working with activists on 150
campuses to persuade the student-governing boards at those institutions to
endorse a bill, introduced last month by Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts
Democrat, that would repeal the provision. The group has also set up a
World-Wide Web site, through which students can lobby lawmakers to support
Mr. Frank's bill.

Representative Souder, the author of the ban, does not understand what all
the fuss is about. He says his provision is based on a simple proposition:
Students who receive federal assistance to go to college should not be
using it to purchase drugs.

"The bottom line is this: Actions have consequences," Mr. Souder wrote in a
column that appeared in the University of Virginia's main student
newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, in February. "If you receive taxpayer
assistance to pursue your college education, you will be held accountable
for investing it wisely."

Adam J. Smith, the drug-reform network's associate director, has another
explanation for Mr. Souder's action. "One can only surmise that legislators
pass laws such as this to look tough to their constituents, while counting
on students to simply roll over and accept the fact that they are being
used as pawns," he says.

Mr. Smith argues that the law will not only discriminate against low-income
students, but also against black and Hispanic students, many of whom
receive student aid and who, he says, are disproportionately prosecuted for
drug offenses.

He cites statistics from a study conducted in 1995 by the Sentencing
Project, a non-profit organization, which found that black Americans, who
make up 12 per cent of the population and approximately 13 per cent of all
drug users, constitute 55 per cent of those convicted of drug offenses.

"This law will deny an education to those for whom it is most vital -- the
poor, the non-white, and non-violent young people who have had previous
contact with the criminal-justice system and who are trying to turn their
lives around," Mr. Smith says.

Mr. Souder denies those claims. In his column in The Cavalier Daily, he
accused the drug-reform network of using the race issue to agitate students
and draw them into its campaign to weaken the drug laws.

"Hiding behind the issue of race only serves the interest of the small
minority of people who would like to use drugs with impunity," Mr. Souder

"In the past, these organizations have used the sick and dying as a front
to promote the use of so-called medicinal marijuana in their continual
effort to weaken drug laws," the Congressman wrote. "Now, they see an
opportunity to take advantage of college students who receive financial aid
by enlisting them in their doomed campaign."

But the drug-reform network's efforts are beginning to pay off.
Organizations such as the United States Student Association and the
N.A.A.C.P have endorsed the network's campaign. And the student governments
at at least seven public and private institutions -- Hampshire, Pitzer, and
Western State Colleges, Illinois State and Western Connecticut State
Universities, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the University of
Wisconsin at Richland -- have voted to back Mr. Frank's bill. The Student
Association of the State University of New York and the United Council of
University of Wisconsin Students have also voted to support overturning the

Here at Virginia, Ms. Myers hopes to give the Student Council a petition by
the end of this week that has 500 student signatures backing Mr. Frank's bill.

Her biggest obstacle so far has been the large number of students here who
haven't heard of Mr. Souder or his measure. "I think a lot of university
students live in their own little bubbles," she says. "They don't know
what's going on in the outside world, even if there are things happening
there that can affect them."

Another potential roadblock is what Ms. Myers sees as the relative
conservatism of the student body here. For every student who opposes the
ban, it seems, one -- or maybe even two -- supports it.

Joseph Draper, a senior, believes it is counterproductive to make college
less affordable for poor students who have been convicted of drug offenses.

"Once the student aid is gone, then many low-income students can't go to
college. And who does that help?" he asks. "I believe education is more
effective than punishment in helping those with drug problems."

But Jason Giovannelli, a junior, agrees with Representative Souder's
provision. "If you get student aid," he says, "you probably shouldn't be
spending the money you don't have on drugs."

Ms. Hubbard, the university's aid director, would not render a judgment on
Mr. Souder's measure, saying her view didn't matter. Her job, she says, is
to enforce the ban.

And she is just not sure how she will be able to do that. Students come
from across the country to go to the university, making it difficult to
check their backgrounds. And there is no easy way for her to confirm
whether they have been arrested when they leave campus for Spring Break,
for example, or summer vacation. State and local laws vary greatly on the
penalties associated with different drug offenses, she says.

Many college lawyers have been especially worried that enforcement actions
taken by their aid administrators could leave institutions liable to
lawsuits. Lawyers worry that students might sue the institutions if the
administrators take away their aid or give them faulty advice that prevents
them from getting their aid back. They also worry that institutions could
be sued by private citizens or conservative watchdog groups, if they
suspect that the institutions have not aggressively carried out the law.

For those reasons, college groups want the Department of Education to let
students "self-certify" whether they have been convicted of drug offenses
during a period of time. Such an approach would force contractors working
for the Education Department -- and not campus-aid administrators -- to
determine students' eligibility for aid.

Representatives of college groups who are negotiating with the Education
Department over that provision are restricted from commenting on the
proceedings. They acknowledge, however, that the self-reporting solution is
not perfect, and that many students who have been convicted of drug charges
will lie to protect their aid. But they believe they have proposed the best
solution available.

Education Department officials agree, and are now considering whether to
ask students about their past drug offenses on the aid application or on a
different document sent to students after they have been initially approved
for aid. If the question is posed on the aid form, department officials and
aid experts fear, some low-income students may be scared off from applying
for aid altogether.

The university's Ms. Hubbard is not so happy with self-certification as a
solution. "It comes down to this: The kid who tells the truth will lose his
aid, and the kid who lies will get his aid," she says. "How fair is that?"

Congressional aides to Mr. Souder have their doubts, too, but they say it
is too early for the Congressman to intervene. "We left it flexible so that
the Education Department can implement it as easily as possible," said a
spokeswoman for Mr. Souder. "If our concerns grow, however, with the way it
is being enforced, we can always revisit the issue."

Study: Cheaper Heroin Encourages Addicts (The Orange County Register says a
report by Dr. Peter Bach at the University of Chicago, paid for by the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation and published in the May issue of the American
Journal of Public Health, found that the price of heroin in the United States
dropped by half from the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, and that the
decline in price was apparently the sole factor that caused an incease in use
by "addicts." The fact that only about 10 percent of heroin users are thought
to be dependent isn't mentioned, but Dr. Back's study reinforces the views of
drug warriors because it suggests that addicts as well as casual users are
sensitive to price fluctuations, justifying a drug policy that attempts to
drive up prices. Unfortunately, the newspaper fails to point out that the
decline in heroin prices was inevitably caused by such policies in the first

Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 21:07:29 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: Study: Cheaper Heroin Encourages Addicts
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W. Black
Pubdate: Friday, 30 April 1999
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Author: Laura Meckler-The Associated Press


Drugs: The results pose the question: Would driving up the price motivate
some users to stop?

Washington - Heroin prices dropped in half from the late 1980s to mid-1990s,
driving up use by addicts, a study finds. The results are significant
because they suggest that addicts are sensitive to price fluctuations,
meaning drug policy that drives up prices could stem drug use even among
hard-core users, said the study's author, Dr. Peter Bach, who did his work
at the University of Chicago.

"There's a lot of evidence that casual users are price-sensitive. The
question is whether it affects hard-core users. Are hard-core users going to
do whatever they need to do to get what they need?" said Bach, whose
research is published in the May issue of the American Journal of Public

While the price dropped over-all, at certain points it increased. When price
increased, demand dropped, Bach said. The research was conducted in 19 major
cities from 1988 to 1995.

Not only did price drop, but during that seven-year period, the amount of
pure heroin found in a $100 dose tripled, the study found.

The study gauged heroin use by measuring use of methadone, which is used to
stabilize addicts. The more heroin someone has consumed, the more methadone
they need.

Researchers at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy hadn't
seen the study but were skeptical of its findings, said spokesman Bob
Weiner. Other researchers have failed to establish the link between price
and drug use, he said.

The new study also found large differences in heroin prices among cities. It
was most expensive in Atlanta, where $100 would buy just 77 milligrams in
1995, and cheapest in New York and Philadelphia, where a buyer could get
about 316 milligrams for $100.

In Los Angeles, $100 bought 267 milligrams; in Phoenix, 244 milligrams; in
San Francisco, 195 milligrams; in Miami and Chicago, about 121 milligrams;
and in Detroit and Washington, about 104 milligrams.

A casual user might use 5 to 10 milligrams, while a hard-core user might use
up to 10 times that in a dose.

By contrast, in 1988, $100 bought 29 milligrams in Atlanta and 77 milligrams
in Los Angeles.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the research.

Weeding Out Canadian Criminals (An op-ed in the Toronto Star by Dave Haans
applauds the recent decision by the board of directors of the Canadian
Association of Police Chiefs to press the federal government to decriminalize
possession of small amounts of marijuana. The CAPC didn't always feel this
way. When the feds were looking at introducing the present Controlled Drugs
and Substances Act, the CAPC was one of the few groups opposed to softening
marijuana laws. The bill eventually passed with only minor modifications, so
marijuana offenders are still given a criminal record, rather than a ticket
or fine. What changed was that marijuana offenders could be processed through
the courts more efficiently, actually exacerbating the previous situation by
allowing police to bring even more possession cases.)

Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 18:14:20 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Canada: Weeding Out Canadian Criminals
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Dave Haans
Pubdate: Fri, 30 Apr 1999
Source: Toronto Star (Canada)
Section: Opinion
Copyright: 1999, The Toronto Star
Contact: lettertoed@thestar.com
Website: http://www.thestar.com/
Page: A25
Author: Dave Haans, graduate student studying drug policy issues at the
University of Toronto


Something of a miracle happened in Canada this month, in its implications
for our national drug policy.

The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs' board of directors agreed to
start pressing the federal government to decriminalize possession of small
amounts of marijuana and hashish.

The reason? Canada's courts are backlogged with thousands of minor
possession cases, and police across the country are finding themselves
without the resources to go after traffickers and other more serious criminals.

They didn't always feel this way. When the feds were looking at introducing
the present drug law (The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act), the CAPC
found itself to be one of the few critics of softening marijuana laws in the

The majority of groups, including the Canadian Bar Association, the Criminal
Lawyers Association, the Canadian Police Association, the Canadian Medical
Association, along with policy researchers, and addiction specialists,
argued for the rethinking of marijuana laws.

The bill eventually passed with only minor modifications -- marijuana
offenders are still given a criminal record, rather than a ticket or fine,
for the possession of even tiny amounts of the drug. What actually changed
was that marijuana offenders could be processed through the courts more
efficiently, actually exacerbating the previous situation by allowing
police to bring even more possession cases before the courts.

Since marijuana possession cases make up the majority of all drug offences
prosecuted in Canada, the courts remain clogged, and the ability of police
to go after bigger drug offenders remains diminished.

Now, the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs has opened up the debate
considerably. In doing so, it has also implicitly allowed other cops to
finally speak their minds on the issue of decriminalization, where before
many remained silent.

One of the most vocal critics is Constable Gil Puder, a veteran of the
Vancouver Police Department. He has argued publicly that "the silence of
the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (on decriminalization) makes me
wonder how many senior officers built careers in drug enforcement," earning
Puder some friends and probably as many enemies among the rank-and-file.

However, some Police Chiefs have spoken out as being for decriminalization,
notably Ottawa-Carleton's Brian Ford. Now, the silence is no more.
Vancouver, Edmonton, Sudbury and Brockville's police chiefs, and even the
RCMP, have all come out in favour of the decriminalization of marijuana.

Given the willingness of these police chiefs to voice their opinion, many
more officers will undoubtedly follow.

The federal government's response has been equally startling. Justice
Minister Anne McLellan has said she will take seriously the opinions of the
Chiefs of Police, stating that "I think this is a significant move on the
part of the chiefs and they are a very influential voice."

Of course, there have already been some voices of dissent to the proposal,
including that of Calgary's police chief Christine Silverberg, saying that
such a move will send the wrong message to children.

But what would really happen should marijuana possession be decriminalized
in Canada? In the 1970s, 11 American states decriminalized the possession
of less than one ounce of marijuana, replacing a criminal record with a
fine. Research noted that while marijuana use increased (this was the 70s,
after all), the decriminalization states actually had lower increases in use
rates than neighbouring non-decriminalization states. As well, California
enjoyed a 74 per cent drop in marijuana law enforcement costs, from $17
million to $4.4 million -- savings we could certainly use here in Canada.

More recently, several Australian states have also decriminalized the
possession of small amounts of marijuana, and the effects on use rates have
been similar -- almost non-existent. In the Netherlands, decriminalization
of marijuana has been in effect since the 1970s. The result? The Dutch
enjoy much lower use rates among teens and adults alike, and much lower law
enforcement costs, than either Canada or the United States.

Gerald Le Dain must be watching this with interest. His 1972/3 report, a
huge study commissioned by the federal government, recommended pretty much
what the police chiefs are recommending now. It was shelved. Hopefully,
federal politicians won't make the same mistake again.

Dave Haans is a graduate student studying drug policy issues at the
University of Toronto.

The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 89 ((The Drug Reform Coordination
Network's original online drug policy newsmagazine features - Arizona supreme
court study: Proposition 200 has saved the state millions; Renting while
non-white; Canada: Heroin prescription experiment debated in Parliament;
Canadian police chiefs call for decriminalization of marijuana possession;
Swiss panel calls for decriminalization of cannabis possession, sales; Heroin
in Australia, Part 2: A conversation with Michael Moore, ACT Health Minister;
Government's drug test ruled inadequate, Todd McCormick remains free pending
trial; Media alert: May issue of Harper's magazine cover story: "Good drugs,
bad drugs"; Patti Smith to play NYC's Bowery Ballroom to benefit the Drug
Policy Foundation; Forfeiture reform conference in DC, justice reform protest
in NYC and nationwide; and an editorial by Adam J. Smith: Arizonans ignore
rhetoric, reap benefits)

Date: Tue, 04 May 1999 12:29:02 +0000
To: pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org
From: David Borden (borden@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #89

The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #89 - April 30, 1999
A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network


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

This issue can be also be read on our web site at
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/089.html. Check out the DRCNN
weekly radio segment at http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/.

Patti Smith giving benefit concert for Drug Policy
Foundation in NYC this weekend! See item 9. Mothers in
Prison, Children in Crisis protest in NYC, forfeiture reform
conference in DC, next week, see item 10.

Sign DRCNet's petition at http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com!


1. Arizona Supreme Court Study: Proposition 200 Has Saved
the State Millions

2. Renting While Non-White

3. Canada: Heroin Prescription Experiment Debated in

4. Canadian Police Chiefs Call for Decriminalization of
Marijuana Possession

5. Swiss Panel Calls for Decriminalization of Cannabis
Possession, Sales

6. Heroin in Australia, Part Two: A Conversation with
Michael Moore, ACT Health Minister

7. Government's Drug Test Ruled Inadequate, Todd McCormick
Remains Free Pending Trial

8. Media Alert: May Issue of Harper's Magazine Cover
Story: Good Drugs, Bad Drugs

9. Patti Smith to Play NYC's Bowery Ballroom to Benefit the
Drug Policy Foundation

10. Forfeiture Reform Conference in DC, Justice Reform
Protest in NYC and Nationwide

11. EDITORIAL: Arizonans Ignore Rhetoric, Reap Benefits


1. Arizona Supreme Court Study: Proposition 200 Has Saved
the State Millions

When the voters of Arizona overwhelmingly passed Proposition
200 in November of 1996, United States Senator John Kyl
stood in the well of the Senate and told his colleagues that
his constituents had been "duped." By December of that
year, Arizona's state legislature had passed bills which
essentially gutted the measure. A signature drive got the
measure placed back on the ballot, however, effectively
blocking the state's government from overturning the will of
the voters until another election had been held. In
November of 1998, Arizona voters once again approved the
measure which forbids the incarceration of first and second-
time non-violent drug offenders, and provides funding for
treatment, allowing judges to divert other offenders, whose
primary problems are linked to substance abuse, into
treatment rather than jail.

This week, the Arizona Supreme Court released a study of the
impact of Proposition 200 which provides solid evidence that
the people of Arizona knew very well what they were doing
when they went to the polls -- twice.

According to the study, diverting first and second time drug
possessors to treatment and drug education courses saved the
state over $2.5 million in its first year of operation.

"And those numbers are conservative" says Sam Vagenas,
director of "The People Have Spoken," the group that put the
initiative back on the ballot in 1998. "The study only
calculated the savings from first and second time drug
possessors, who make up about 25% of the people diverted to
treatment under the law. What it didn't count was the
savings from diverting other non-violent offenders into

Proposition 200 provided for a $4 million fund for drug
treatment, with that money coming out of taxes on the sale
of alcoholic beverages.

"One of the important lessons that we've learned here in
Arizona is that treatment itself de-incarcerates," Vagenas
told The Week Online. "Judges, who see the impact of the
drug laws, and who don't have to face elections, are
predisposed to send someone to treatment rather than prison
where appropriate, assuming that there's a treatment slot

Proposition 200's impact in this regard was felt
immediately. When it was passed in 1996, there were more
than 200 people sitting in Arizona jails because there were
no treatment beds available.

Opponents of the new law argue that the report does not
truly reflect the impact of the new policy. Broderick
Lotstein, a special assistant Maricopa County Attorney, told
the Arizona Daily Star that the report's findings were
"silly. No judge will send a first-time offender to
prison." Maricopa County, which boasts over 56% of all
arrests for drug possession or sale in the state of Arizona,
had a program in place prior to the passage of Proposition
200 called "Do Drugs, Do Time."

According to Vagenas, continued intransigence displayed by
the law's opponents in the face of such a report is

"The funny thing is that they had two arguments against us
during our campaign to get this passed," Vagenas told The
Week Online. "The first was that Proposition 200 would
signal the end of civilization as we know it, and the second
was that it wasn't needed because we are doing these things
anyway. The truth is that this law has done our state a
world of good, and that the people of Arizona ought to be
commended for seeing through the rhetoric and passing it not
once, but twice."

Arizona Appelate Court Judge Rudy Gerber, contradicting the
Maricopa County Attorney's office, says that "opponents of
Proposition 200 said that this was a 'pro-drug' initiative.
As it turns out, the Drug Medicalization Act (Prop. 200's
title) is doing more to reduce drug use and crime than any
other state program -- and saving taxpayer dollars at the
same time."

Norman Helber, Chief Adult Probation Officer of Maricopa
County, said that he believes that the report may have
significance far beyond the state's borders. "This report
firmly supports a new paradigm of drug control for the
nation," he said.

Among the report's findings:

* Cost savings to Arizona taxpayers of over $2.5 million.

* A total of 2,622 offenders diverted into treatment rather
than jail.

* Over 98% of offenders placed in recommended programs.

"All of these factors are resulting in safer communities and
more substance abusing probationers in recovery," concludes
the report. "The outcome benefits of this intervention over
time will reveal not only fiscal and crime reduction
benefits, but an increase in the quality of life conditions
of this population such as improved family and social
relationships, increased work productivity and wages, and
decreased health system costs."

The treatment funding mandated by the law is responsible for
the rate of success in matching people with treatment or
education programs. Before the law was passed, 12-step
programs had been the only ones available to most offenders,
whether they were appropriate or not. According to the
report, "the 98.2% matching between recommended and actual
placement is remarkable and probably would not have happened
without the Drug Treatment and Education Fund."

Senator Kyl's office did not respond to requests for comment
for this story.


2. Renting While Non-White

Issue #87 of the Week Online reported that Rep. John Conyers
(D-MI) had reintroduced the Traffic Stops Statistics Act,
addressing the problem of racial profiling in highway
searches, popularly known as "Driving While Black"
(http://www.drcnet.org/wol/087.html#profiling). An article
in the 4/29 issue of the New York Times revealed that New
Jersey state troopers are aggressively expanding the scope
of their anti-drug surveillance operations into the private
businesses surrounding the highways, bringing the same
profiling and general privacy problems to the area of
overnight hotel and motel rentals.

"New Jersey Police Enlist Hotel Workers in the War on Drugs"
reports on the "Hotel-Motel Program," an initiative in which
hotel staff are trained by troopers to scrutinize guests and
asked to provide troopers with access to credit card
receipts and registration forms without a warrant. Troopers
offer $1,000 rewards to hotel workers whose tips lead to
successful seizures and arrests.

Several hotel employees and union leaders have reported that
troopers have suggested that hotel staff use racial
profiles. Clo Smith, a clerk at the Holiday Inn near Newark
Airport, told the New York Times that a state police
detective said Spanish-speaking guests should be treated
with more suspicion than guests who speak English, when she
attended the one-hour seminar three years ago.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey has a class
action lawsuit pending against the New Jersey State Police
for racial profiling in traffic stop searches. Lenora
Lapidus, ACLU-NJ legal director, told the Week Online, "I
think this demonstrates one more example of the state police
using race-based tactics in enforcing the drug laws."

In a remarkable concession, New Jersey's Attorney General,
Peter Verniero, announced the state would not appeal a 1996
ruling that state troopers demonstrated racial bias in
pulling over motorists. A report released by the Attorney
General's office found that complaints leveled by African
American and Latino motorists were "real, not imagined," and
recommended that the department monitor traffic stops more
closely. Lapidus told the Week Online that "the Attorney
General's report noted a circularity: If you only search
minorities, you'll only find minorities who are engaged in
drug trafficking. But you'll go by all the whites who are
trafficking drugs, and worse, will have unfairly subjected
large numbers of innocent minority motorists to searches."

Hotel-Motel has also raised concerns about privacy. Robert
Field, owner of the Days Inn near Newark Airport, told the
New York Times that he and his manager agreed it would be
intrusive for troopers to have permission to arbitrarily
search through registration cards and credit card slips.
"It's like a tactic out of some dictatorship," said Field.
"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."

Jan Larsen, president of the New Jersey Hotel Association,
who runs the East Brunswick Hilton, told the New York Times,
"We wouldn't allow the police to look through our records
without a subpoena, period. We have an obligation to
protect people's privacy. I would think there's a civil
liability if we start giving our information." Some hotel
chains, including Hilton, forbid their managers from
allowing police to inspect the records of their guests
without a subpoena. Some chains allow the individual
managers to make that decision.

While hotel owners may voluntarily allow police access to
their guest records, and searches based on voluntarily-
provided information are legal, some have questioned whether
participation in the Hotel-Motel program is fully voluntary.
Lapidus commented, "Some hotels may feel coerced into going
along with this program." Indeed, David Feedback, president
of Hotel and Restaurant Employees Local 69 in Secaucus, told
the New York Times that some of his members have complained
that troopers have pressured them to participated and to
report any hotel patrons who speak Spanish and pay in cash.

Last week, Attorney General Verniero announced that two
troopers had been indicted for falsifying documents in order
to make it appear that some of the African American
motorists they stopped were white. The two troopers are
facing possible criminal charges from an incident in which
they shot three unarmed men during a traffic stop.
Investigators into this incident noticed that the license
plate numbers the officers reported did not always
correspond with the motorists they stopped.

The state of North Carolina passed a state version of the
Traffic Stops Statistics act, becoming the first state in
the nation to formally require monitoring of traffic stops

The ACLU has a "Driving While Black" feature section on its
web site at http://www.aclu.org/features/dwb.html.


3. Canada: Heroin Prescription Experiment Debated in

Should Canada set up clinical trials to provide hard-core
addicts with heroin under medical supervision? This was the
subject of a heated debate Wednesday (4/28) in the House of
Commons, prompted by a private motion by New Democratic
Party MP Libby Davies (East Vancouver) that Parliament
resolve to support the implementation of a heroin
maintenance experiment.

Davies' motion did not receive a warm welcome from every MP.
"We are talking about free heroin for addicts," complained
one MP, Gurmant Grewel (Surrey Central, Ref.). "What the New
Democratic Party is proposing is a recipe for disaster.
This is the kind of solution that was adopted in
Switzerland. Addicts from all across Europe went to Zurich
to live with their addiction and it created a mess." Grewel
concluded, "Still, [Davies] introduces the motion we are
debating today as if there were the remotest possibility
that the government would listen to her and take action.
How sad."

But other members praised the motion. Pauline Piccard
(Drummond, BQ) said its purpose was to "make sensible and
regulated treatment options available to health
professionals and the injection drug users under their
medical supervision... with the ultimate goal of reducing
street drug related crime, protecting the community, and
saving lives." Abstinence is a valid goal of drug
treatment, but may not be a reasonable short-term objective,
she said.

Davies told the Week Online she introduced the motion to
promote awareness and discussion of heroin maintenance and
other harm reduction initiatives among members of
parliament. "Along with all the other initiatives that are
taking place, it contributes to the momentum and the debate
that has to take place to reform our drug laws and our
attitude toward drug users," she said.

Heroin overdoses are the leading cause of death among adults
aged 30-49 in British Columbia, with 178 deaths in 1998 in
Vancouver alone. In addition, injection drug use is now
believed to be the leading cause of HIV infection, and as
many as 70 percent of injection drug users carry the
hepatitis C virus. The Canadian Medical Association, as
well as a national task force on HIV and AIDS, has
recommended a heroin trial.

Under Canadian parliamentary procedure, private motions must
receive unanimous consent by a committee to be "votable,"
before they may be submitted as resolutions. Davies' motion
did not meet this requirement, but she said the debate
itself was key. "Even to get people more familiar with the
reality of what happens to people when they're users, and
how they're criminalized and marginalized, is very
important. And I've had lots of MPs come up to me and tell
me 'good for you for raising the issue, it needs to be
raised, it needs to be debated.'"

Ultimately, parliamentary approval is not necessary for a
heroin prescription experiment in Canada. Under current
regulations, such decisions fall under the purview of the
Minister of Health, Alan Rock. "Of course, politically,
he's not going to do it if he thinks it's very risky and
it's going to leave him in a vulnerable position," Davies

Elinor Caplan, Rock's parliamentary secretary, said during
the debate that while she believes Davies' proposal is "well
intended," the Health Ministry does not support heroin
maintenance "at this time." Instead, she said the Ministry
would continue to promote the expansion of methadone
maintenance and other alternative therapies.

Davies, who has set up a working group on harm reduction
policies that includes more than a dozen MPs and several
senators, said she believes it's her job to create political
cover for her colleagues and the Health Minister. "Building
political support across party lines is a very big part of
the work, so that when someone like Alan Rock sticks his toe
out to test the temperature he's not going to feel like he's
going to get trashed for doing something like this," she

Davies is keenly aware of harm reduction as a life-or-death
policy. "Downtown on the East side in Vancouver, which is a
part of the riding (district) I represent, people are
literally dying on the street," she said. "And there are
all kinds of things that have to happen. We need better
housing, we need social support, we need other treatment
options, prevention, education. What I don't want to see,
though, is people just being further criminalized by the
judicial system."

Davies applauds the Canadian Association of Chiefs of
Police's decision to support the decriminalization of small
amounts of marijuana. "They're basically saying this is not
a police issue anymore, it's a social issue, it's a health
issue," she said. "I just hope that people like Alan Rock
and our Justice Minister, Anne McClellan are listening. The
debate is there. I see my job is just to push like hell."

Transcripts of Canadian House of Commons debates are
available online at http://www.parl.gc.ca. Read much more
about heroin maintenance and other drug substitution
programs at http://www.lindesmith.org/library/focal1.html.


4. Canadian Police Chiefs Call for Decriminalization of
Marijuana Possession

While it "stands firm in opposing any type of legalization
of any and all currently illicit drugs in Canada," the
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) announced
its support for the decriminalization of possession of small
amounts of marijuana and the medicalization of all illegal
drugs. Such was the curious admixture of conservative
rhetoric and progressive policy recommendations in "Drug
Policy 1999," a report released last week by the group.

Brockville, Ontario police chief Barry King, who chairs the
CACP's drug abuse committee, explained. "Over the years,
there have been a lot of definitions used and interchanged,
and in an improper sense in many cases, from
decriminalization to harm reduction to legalization to
medicalization," he told the Week Online. "What we wanted
to do as the Chiefs of Police was to have a foundation for
the partners we deal with -- we deal with Health Canada,
with Justice, which writes the laws, we deal with addiction
research centers, and police -- so we decided to come up
with our definition, to put it on the table so that we have
a foundation we can all talk from."

One of the reasons the CACP opposes legalization, even for
small amounts of marijuana, King said, is because the UN
Convention on Narcotic Drugs precludes such a move.
Instead, the CACP wants the existing penalty for possession
of less than 30 grams of marijuana changed from a summary
conviction, which is similar to a misdemeanor but results in
a criminal record, to a ticketable offense.

"Our intent was not to change the law, but to give police
officers on the front line an option so that they may use
discretion like in other investigations," King said.
"They'd have the opportunity, depending on the circumstances
to give a ticket. The person would have thirty days to pay
the ticket and avoid a criminal record. If they failed to
do that, then we would enact the same law we have now and
apply the criminal charge."

King said the lighter penalties make sense for first time
offenders. "There are a lot of people who experiment, and
after a short period of time, or if they get caught, they
quit. And that's our long term objective, is to get people
off it," he said. "But what's happened of course is that
under the existing law, even though it's a misdemeanor or
summary conviction, it's a barrier to employment. We think
there's a far better message given out, not that we're
lightening up drugs at all, but that we spend more time on
traffickers, distributors, on organized crime. It seems
like a reasonable alternative in the '90s."

Last year, some 70,000 people were charged with drug
offenses in Canada. 70 percent of those charges were
marijuana-related, and 60 percent of those were for
possession. "Every time a police officer has to go in and
write up a report and dictate a Crown brief, that is time
off the road. That's valuable time," King said. Court time
and legal fees also add up.

King stressed that CACP's recommendations for
decriminalization were made with the proviso that any
changes in the law must be accompanied by an increase in
spending on prevention, education, and treatment.

The report also clarifies CACP's position on the medical use
of marijuana and other drugs. In response to Health
Minister Alan Rock's announcement that Health Canada would
conduct clinical trials on marijuana's medical use, a policy
statement accompanying the report states, "The CACP fully
supports it... We realize this is not the first step towards
the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes."

"People say, 'why don't we legalize drugs for medical use?'
We're saying, 'bad word.' Don't use 'legalization.' It's
'medicalization,'" King said. "We have morphine today, we
have codeine, we have a number of other tranquilizers that
are addictive but they have been authorized for medical use.
We have no problem with that. Instead of trying to draw us
into arguments over medical use of marijuana or heroin or
cocaine, we're pointing out that Health Canada has a
regulatory responsibility, an approval process, and a
scientific based assessment. And if they determine that a
given drug is beneficial, that's their responsibility.
We're not doctors."

King said CACP's recommendations, which will be presented
for approval by the full membership at an annual meeting
this August, and then to the Ministries of Justice, Health,
and the Solicitor General, and are just common sense. "We
were not trying to be radical," he said. "We were not
trying to reinvent anything."

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is online at


5. Swiss Panel Calls for Decriminalization of Cannabis
Possession, Sales

Those radical Swiss are at it again. In a report released
last Friday (4/23), a federal commission recommended that
the possession and sale of cannabis be decriminalized, and
proposed that regulations be drawn up to license merchants
who would be permitted to sell the plant only to Swiss

"Cannabis is a drug, and the committee isn't intending to
trivialize it or say that its consumption is without risk,"
panel member Anne-Catherine Menetrey told Swiss radio. "But
consumption is rising, especially among young people." The
panel concluded that occasional use of marijuana does not
lead to the use or abuse of other drugs. Moreover, it noted
that the current prohibition of marijuana is inconsistently
enforced, which may be contributing to the "growing loss of
credibility" of Swiss drug policy.

A national referendum would be required to implement the
proposed changes to the law, the panel said. Last year, a
referendum to legalize the sale and possession of all drugs
was defeated by voters amid concerns about health risks and
worries that the country would become a magnet for drug

But in 1997, Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved an
initiative to continue a heroin maintenance experiment after
a scientific review found the program significantly cut the
crime, disease and unemployment associated with heroin
addiction. The Swiss heroin trial limited enrollment to
Swiss citizens, and the proposed rules for the sale and
possession of cannabis would require similar restrictions.

The commission's plan calls for the development of a
mandatory training and licensing program for merchants who
sell cannabis, and customers would have to produce
identification proving they were Swiss citizens. As in the
Netherlands, where marijuana possession and sales have been
decriminalized since 1976, the panel recommended strict
controls on the production and distribution of the drug, and
said cannabis merchants should not be allowed to advertise
their wares.


6. Heroin in Australia, Part Two: A Conversation with
Michael Moore, ACT Health Minister

Last week, we spoke with Brian McConnell of Family and
Friends for Drug Law Reform on the state of drug policy in
Australia (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/088.html#ffdlr). This
week we spoke with Michael Moore, Health Minister of the
Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Moore has been a key
advocate for harm reduction policies in Australia, and
instrumental in engaging his colleagues in the debate over
drug policy in general. He is the creator of the Australian
Parliamentary Group for Drug Law Reform, the inaugural
president of the Drug Law Reform Foundation, and a founding
member of Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform. In
1994, he was awarded the Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for
achievement in the field of law from the Drug Policy

Moore has been a vocal proponent for a heroin maintenance
experiment that would provide addicts with heroin under
clinical supervision. In addition, his most recent
initiative would permit health workers to set up "safe
injection rooms" where intravenous drug users can inject
their drugs with clean needles and without fear of criminal
prosecution, and receive access to treatment. Mr. Moore
spoke with us by phone from his home in Canberra, ACT.

WOL: How are you perceived by the public and other
politicians when you call for heroin trials, safe injection
rooms and other harm reduction policies?

MOORE: My first election in 1989 was as a prohibitionist.
I was appointed chair of a select committee on HIV, illegal
drugs and prostitution. I was responsible for setting up
probably the most liberal prostitution laws in the western
world -- they are still in place and giving us very little
trouble. Then I proceeded down this path in terms of drugs.
As I changed my views, and did so very publicly, every other
politician that I knew said I could never be re-elected with
this stance. Since then, I've been re-elected three times
and more than a hundred other Members of Parliament have
joined the parliamentary group, and they come from right
across our political spectrum. I'm an Independent member,
and we have Liberal members, Labor members, Greens and

WOL: What is the status of safe injecting rooms in the ACT,
and what has been your involvement?

MOORE: As Minister for Health I put the proposal to
cabinet, have gained approval of cabinet, and have put one
piece of legislation and a motion before legislative
assembly. The legislation I put up is to protect workers
from civil liability, from being sued if something goes
wrong other than in cases of negligence. And the motion is
to get the approval of the Assembly to proceed because I am
a member of a minority government.

WOL: Why are safe injection rooms needed?

MOORE: We know that the methods we are using to deal with
illicit drugs are not working. We believe safe injection
rooms will reduce the spread of disease. We believe they
will improve the health of the community as well as the
health of the individual drug users. But because we are not
absolutely positive of that, we want to insure we have an
appropriate evaluation conducted by the Australian National
University. So we are conducting it as a scientific trial.
The scientific trial also makes it work within the context
of the international treaty.

WOL: So the ACT can proceed with safe injection rooms, even
without the approval of the federal Commonwealth government?

MOORE: There are some complications. There was some debate
as to whether we have an international treaty that would
prohibit this, the UN International Convention on Narcotic
Drugs and Psychotropic Substance. Our federal government
has responsibility for international treaties, and where
they've signed an international treaty, the states' or
territories' laws must comply with that treaty. We do have
legal advice that we can proceed with safe injection rooms,
provided we do it by directive to the Director of Public
Prosecutions so that they won't prosecute in the public

WOL: How does heroin maintenance fit into a harm reduction
or harm minimization strategy?

MOORE: When somebody becomes semi-dependent on heroin, they
have four choices. Remember, they are becoming semi-
dependent, they are really enjoying the use of their heroin,
but they are needing more money. They can try prostitution,
they can try crime, they can make huge demands on their
family, or they can find three or four other people willing
to use heroin, sell to them and cream the top off. And it's
that fourth choice that almost all of them make. So those
four other people find sixteen, those sixteen people find
sixty-four more. So what we have is a network marketing
system akin to Amway or Avon. We know that it is the second
most effective marketing system in the world.

If you run a heroin trial and there is no increase in harm,
we then have a policy option for a fifth choice and it's the
fifth choice that is critical. The fifth choice is that
instead of doing all of those things, a semi-dependent
person who needs more and more money can go to a clinic and
say, "I'm semi-dependent, I need heroin, what can I do?" At
that point we can provide heroin and we can also provide
what we are interested in, and that is the treatment and to
reach out to them when they are ready to move away from
heroin. It has all those advantages, but the most important
of all is that they don't use that forth choice. They don't
drag other people into the network and expand the black
market. It's quite a persuasive argument, isn't it?

WOL: What needs to change politically for the heroin
maintenance trials to take place?

Minister Moore: I think that we will have a heroin trial in
Australia, and it will happen in one of two ways: either the
Prime Minister will change his mind, or we will change the
Prime Minister. I don't mind which it is, provided it
happens quickly.

WOL: Should abstinence be the ultimate goal of any heroin

Minister Moore: The critical part is to not get an increase
in harm. Our goal is to undermine the black market. It's
not to do with whether the individual is abstinent or not
abstinent. Every policy option we have in front of us fails
to do that, to undermine the black market. Surely even
blind Freddy can see that the critical issue for us is to
undermine the black market.

The trouble is, the rhetoric gets caught up in puritanical
approaches, judgmental approaches. It gets caught up in the
notion that the only treatment is a cure. Yet we don't
apply that to diabetes or asthma, we don't apply that to
most medical treatments. But for puritanical reasons we do
apply it to drugs. It is interesting to observe how
successful we are with abstinence programs. But it is
certainly not the key question. The key question is do we
increase harm, do we reduce harm; if we have not increased
harm then we have a policy option to undermine the black

WOL: Are you optimistic about the future of Australian drug

MOORE: There is no doubt in my mind that Australia will
continue with harm minimization. We will trial a provision
of heroin to dependent users. The reason is that when we
look around the world, we see that harm minimization works
best. When you cut through the hype, when you look at it in
an academic way, a heroin trial has the best potential for
undermining the black market. I do realize there are
certain groups that disagree with me, like our Prime
Minister. But then, he took advice from the FBI -- say no

(Read about Australia's long-running drug policy debates on
heroin maintenance, safe injecting rooms and other issues,
in DRCNet's special report by Greg Ewing from last summer,
archived at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/049.html#australia.
The Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation is online at
http://www.ozemail.com.au/~petercle/druglaw/. Families
and Friends for Drug Law Reform can be found online at
http://www.adca.org.au/ffdlr/. The ACT government home
page is online at http://www.act.gov.au/government/.


7. Government's Drug Test Ruled Inadequate, Todd McCormick
Remains Free Pending Trial

Todd McCormick, a medicinal user of marijuana and activist,
remains free on bond today after a federal judge ruled that
a newly-developed urine test -- designed to distinguish
between marijuana and the legal pharmaceutical Marinol --
did not pass muster. McCormick, who is free on $500,000
bond -- money that the government would have kept had they
been able to prove that McCormick used marijuana, awaits
trial in September on charges relating to his cultivation of
marijuana in Bel Air, California.

The test, which purportedly distinguishes metabolites found
only in the urine of people who have ingested marijuana from
the ones present in the urine of people who have ingested
Marinol, was created specifically to test McCormick. After
two days of testimony, however, the government could not
convince the court that the test was scientifically valid,
and that based upon its findings, the government ought to be
allowed to keep McCormick's cash bond and incarcerate him.

"The judge made a fair and a just decision," McCormick told
The Week Online. "I was the first person in history to have
the test administered to me, and it clearly wasn't valid."

In a stroke of irony, one of the urine tests that McCormick
was forced to undergo was administered on July 4th, 1998.
The connection was not lost on McCormick.

"[Being drug tested on Independence Day] is just another sad
example of where America has come to" he said. "I've
battled a potentially fatal disease for most of my life.
I've had over 25 surgeries. For years, before my arrest,
I'd used marijuana with the support of my doctors. I've
never hurt a soul. And here comes the government on July
4th to make me pee in a cup so that they can determine if my
body chemistry is up to their standards in an effort to
steal both my money and my freedom. I would say that their
behavior was outrageous, but the truth is that to me, a
person who loves and believes in the principles embodied in
the nation's founding, it was really overwhelmingly sad."


8. Media Alert: May Issue of Harper's Magazine Cover Story:
Good Drugs, Bad Drugs

If you have a chance this month, pick up a copy of the May
edition of Harper's Magazine (on newsstands now) and read
"Good Drugs, Bad Drugs" by Joshua Wolf Shenk. The piece
raises very interesting and very important questions about
an American culture in which millions of people ingest
perfectly legal mood altering drugs to battle everything
from depression to hyperactivity, while other drugs, many
with identical effects on the brain, are outlawed and
demonized and their users imprisoned. The piece tackles the
hypocrisy of our policies from a thought-provoking and
informed perspective.

Good Drugs, Bad Drugs is simply a must-read, beautifully
written by one of the nation's finest and most intelligent
young writers. And after you read the article (assuming you
are as impressed as we were), consider sending a note to the
editors to commend them for publishing it.

If you can't find Harper's at your local newsstand, you can
order a copy by calling (212) 614-6508.


9. Patti Smith to Play NYC's Bowery Ballroom to Benefit the
Drug Policy Foundation

On Saturday, May 1, Patti Smith & longtime bandmates Lenny
Kaye, J.D. Daugherty, Tony Shanahan & Oliver Ray will
perform a benefit concert at New York City's Bowery Ballroom
to benefit the Drug Policy Foundation. Prior to getting her
start at New York City's CBGB's in the mid-1970s, Smith made
a name for herself as a poet, and as an actress and
playwright in underground theatre. In 1975, she released
the critically acclaimed album, Horses, a classic still
today. Since then she has recorded six other albums,
including collaborations with Bruce Springsteen and REM's
Michael Stipe, and recently published Complete, a collection
of rare photos, song lyrics, and journal entries. Today she
is considered to be one of the key figures in the history of
American indie-rock.

The Bowery Ballroom is located at 6 Delancey Street, New
York, NY 10002, (212) 533-2111. Tickets are $15.

For more information about Patti Smith, check out
http://www.arista.com/aristaweb/PattiSmith/ and


10. Forfeiture Reform Conference in DC, Justice Reform
Protest in NYC and Nationwide

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

May 7, 9:00am, New York, NY. Mothers in Prison, Children in
Crisis: Rally to highlight the need for in-house drug
rehabilitation as an alternative to prison for mothers with
dependent children, 100 Centre St., sponsored by the
JusticeWorks Community. For further information, call (718)
499-6704, fax (718) 832-2832, e-mail justicew@interport.net,
or visit http://www.justiceworks.org on the web.

See http://www.justiceworks.org/html/mothers.html-ssi for
contact info for other Mothers in Prison, Children in Crisis
rallies around the country.


11. EDITORIAL: Arizonans Ignore Rhetoric, Reap Benefits

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

A report released this week by the Arizona State Supreme
Court has found that Proposition 200, passed by voters in
1996 and again, after the state legislature had gutted the
provision, in 1998, has in fact been an overwhelming
success. Prop. 200, which mandates treatment or drug
education rather than incarceration for first and second-
time non-violent drug offenders, and which required that $4
million in alcohol tax revenues be set aside in a "drug
treatment and education fund," was anathema to many
politicians. After its initial passage, in fact, US Senator
Jon Kyl (R-AZ) stood in the well of the Senate to apologize
to his colleagues, saying that his constituents had been
"duped" by "legalizers."

Not so, says the report. In fact, the Supreme Court used
words like "very favorable" and even "remarkable" to
describe the new law's impact in only its first year of
operation. Among the report's findings were that 2,622 non-
violent drug offenders were diverted from jail into
treatment or drug education, at a savings of more than $2.5
million to the state. Supporters point out that the report
did not even take into account the savings from the
thousands of others who were arrested for other non-violent
offenses who were diverted into newly-available treatment
slots at judges' discretion.

Critics of drug policy reform have long depended upon fear-
mongering in the absence of evidence in support of punitive
drug policies. Newspaper columnists, public officials and
others have felt free to cast any reform idea as a dark plot
by "the legalizers," out to bring down western civilization.
Words like "cabal" and "nefarious," accusations of seeking
to addict the nation's children to drugs, and gross
misrepresentations of both act and intent characterize much
of the rhetoric used to turn citizens against reform.

The truth, however, is far less intriguing but far more
devastating for those with a vested interest in the status
quo. The truth is that people, lots and lots of people, are
fed up with the excesses and abject failure of America's
drug policies and are willing to vote to change it, despite
the most dire warnings from on high. In Arizona, the people
had to vote twice on essentially the same initiative. The
second time, for good measure, they also passed an
initiative requiring a 2/3 vote of the legislature to
overturn the letter or intent of an initiative passed by the

So here we are, a legally-mandated report on the new law's
operation in its first fiscal year completed, and it appears
as if the sky is not falling in Arizona. Locking up non-
violent offenders under that state's previous "Do Drugs, Do
Time" policy was not, it would seem, the finger in the dike
holding back a flood of addiction and misery. In fact, it's
likely that a whole lot of addiction and a whole lot of
suffering could have been averted if only the politicians
were willing to deal with these issues as intelligently as
were the citizens of Arizona. With the truth out, let us
hope that the next time Senator Kyl feels the need to
apologize about his state's drug policy, he addresses his
remarks to, rather than about his constituents.


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DrugSense Weekly, No. 96 (The original summary of drug policy news from
DrugSense opens with the weekly Feature Article - Update on Steve and
Michelle Kubby, by Steve Kubby. The Weekly News in Review features several
articles about Cannabis, Hemp and Medicinal Marijuana, including -
Libertarians launch Prop. 215 web site inspired by Kubby arrests; Another
victory for medical marijuana; Bad marijuana bill; Hemp: Now we're wearing
it, eating it, even building with it; Drug-war supporters turned freedom
fighters; and, $10 million claim filed in pot arrest. Articles about Drug War
Policy and Law Enforcement & Prisons include - California police forced to
return marijuana; Arizona shows the way on drugs; Reno at large; Study backs
treatment, not prison, for addicts; Drug treatment said to reduce crime;
Parents key in drug war, study says; and, U.S. antidrug campaign's impact to
be closely tracked by surveys. International News includes - Police chiefs
want possession of all narcotics decriminalized; Cops can't keep up with B.C.
drug trade; and, Police like pot-penalty plan. The weekly Hot Off The 'Net
notes Family Watch has announced an online bookstore. The Fact of the Week
documents that the Institute of Medicine Report discounts the risk that
medical use of marijuana will lead to increased non-medical use. The Quote
of the Week cites Thomas Jefferson.)

From: webmaster@drugsense.org (DrugSense)
To: newsletter@drugsense.org
Subject: DrugSense Weekly, April 30, 1999 #96
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 20:48:49 -0700
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/
Lines: 687
Sender: owner-newsletter@drugsense.org




DrugSense Weekly, April 30, 1999 #96

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

This Publication May Be Read On-line at:



NOTICE: The DrugSense Weekly will be taking a one week hiatus the week
of May 14, as many of our editors will be attending the Drug Policy
Foundation Conference in Bethesda MD.


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



* Feature Article

Update on Steve and Michelle Kubby
by Steve Kubby

* Weekly News in Review

Cannabis & Hemp- Medicinal Marijuana

(1) Libertarians Launch Prop. 215 Web Site Inspired By Kubby Arrests
(2) Another Victory For Medical Marijuana
(3) Bad Marijuana Bill
(4) Hemp: Now We're Wearing It, Eating It, Even Building With It
(5) Drug-war Supporters Turned Freedom Fighters
(6) $10 Million Claim Filed In Pot Arrest:

Drug War Policy- Law Enforcement & Prisons

(7) California Police Forced To Return Marijuana
(8) Arizona Shows The Way On Drugs
(9) Reno At Large
(10) Study Backs Treatment, Not Prison, For Addicts
(11) Drug Treatment Said To Reduce Crime
(12) Parents Key In Drug War, Study Says
(13) U.S. Antidrug Campaign's Impact To Be Closely Tracked By Surveys

International News-

(14) Police Chiefs Want Possession Of All Narcotics Decriminalized
(15) Cops Can't Keep Up With B.C. Drug Trade
(16) Police Like Pot-penalty Plan

* Hot Off The 'Net

Family Watch Announces On-line Bookstore

* Fact of the Week

Institute of Medicine Report on Medicinal Marijuana Use

* Quote of the Week

Thomas Jefferson



Update on Steve and Michelle Kubby

We arrived in the quiet mountain town of Auburn and were delighted to
learn that we have become somewhat of celebrities there. It started
almost immediately, as we checked into our hotel. A very conservative
looking receptionist immediately recognized our name and told us,
"everyone in town rooting for you."

That receptionist sure was right. Everywhere we went, people recognized
us and felt compelled to express their support for us.

By the time we arrived in court, we were on a roll. The courtroom was
packed with supporters and even the deputies treated us with respect.
Best of all, after months of being helpless victims while the
prosecution used the system to their advantage, we were finally able to
take control of events. Without question, your letters, e-mails and
checks of support have created a media storm which the authorities can
no longer ignore.

So far, we've seen first hand how the checks and balances of the court
process have been corrupted. We've seen how nearly all the
constitutionally guaranteed rights of the accused have been
antiseptically removed from each step of the criminal justice system --
until one reaches the level we're at now. Unfortunately, most patients
have neither the resources nor the stamina to make it this far. Thank
you for helping us to get this far.

Anyway, it was great to finally be in the driver's seat. Despite the
objections of deputy district attorney Christopher Cattran, our trial
date was successfully moved from May 18th to July 20th, in order to
allow our attorneys to complete their current trial commitments and
have adequate time to prepare our defense.

On the issue of travel, Cattran had told my attorney on an earlier
occasion that he would have me arrested if I tried to speak at the
MoKan Libertarian State Convention this May. In court however, we were
able to prevail and I will be allowed to attend. Also, Michele will be
able to visit relatives in Nebraska this May.

Several journalists, attorneys and public defenders introduced
themselves to us and everyone wanted to know what we could tell them
about the Baldwin's case. All eyes are on Judge James Garbolino who
has suspended the Baldwin trial and is expected to dismiss it on next

Judge Garbolino has certainly impressed us his willingness to revisit
an issue with an open mind. It was Garbolino who, after raising our
bail to $200,000, later released us without any bail.

Michele and I are thrilled and grateful by the new turn of events and
for the support all of you have helped create for us. We're especially
grateful to the award-winning Auburn Journal which has given us
tremendous editorial support and has published every letter sent to
them by our supporters.

Let freedom grow,

Steve and Michele Kubby




Domestic News- Policy

COMMENT: (1-6)

This issue tends to focus on good news for those readers who are in
favor of reforming our existing drug policies. This is primarily due
to the fact that there was so much heartening news. Nationwide and
worldwide the house of cards that has represented our drug policy for
decades is showing signs of beginning to waiver. Could collapse be

Of course there are always the exceptions such as the silly Illinois
Internet bill HB 792 which, if enforced, could theoretically do away
with the first amendment for this newsletter and hundreds of other
educational Internet web sites but it is this ever increasing type of
strident foolishness on the part of drug warriors that is making them
look ever more ridiculous in the eyes of the public.



SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Libertarian Party of
California has launched a new web site -- www.215Now.com -- designed to
pressure government officials into fully implementing Proposition 215,
the medical marijuana initiative passed by voters in November, 1996,
Libertarian state chairman Mark Hinkle announced today.


Pubdate: Mon, 26 Apr 1999
Source: PR Newswire
Copyright: 1999 PR Newswire
Contact: Juan Ros of the Libertarian Party of California, 818-506-0200,
Website: http://www.215Now.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n455.a09.html



A New Government Report Cautiously Endorses POT AS A PAINKILLER - And
It Not Only Embarrasses Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey But Also May Help To
Undermine The $17 Billion War On Drugs

PERHAPS THEY DIDN'T INHALE, BUT many Americans gasped when a scientific
study funded by the White House's drug czar reported in March that
marijuana's active ingredients seem to have medical value,
"particularly for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and
appetite stimulation." As much as the contents of the report, its irony
-- as if the 1950s House Un-American Activities Committee had paid for
a report finding that communists were good guys after all -- attracted
a barrage of media attention. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, director of the
Office of National Drug Control Policy, was forced to put on a brave


Pubdate: Sun, 25 Apr 1999
Source: Rolling Stone (US)
Copyright: 1999 Straight Arrow Publishers Company, L.P.
Contact: letters@rollingstone.com
Address: 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104-0298
Fax: (212) 767-8214
Website: http://www.rollingstone.com/
Forum: http://yourturn.rollingstone.com/webx?98@@webx1.html
Author: Robert Dreyfuss
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n446.a13.html

NOTE: See related article
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n447.a01.html



A legislative proposal that aims to ban the distribution of marijuana-
related information from the Internet could affect the Illinois State
Crime Commission's efforts to educate parents about illegal drugs, if
it is approved by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Ryan. The
measure, HB 792, would make it illegal for anyone to transmit "cannabis
information" through the Internet. If the measure is approved,
offenders could face up to a year in jail.


Wed, 21 Apr 1999 21:03:22 -0700
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Apr 1999
Source: Daily Herald (IL)
Copyright: 1999 The Daily Herald Company
Contact: fencepost@dailyherald.com
Website: http://www.dailyherald.com/
Author: Jerry Elsner
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n438.a05.html



Trends: Growing the plant may be illegal in this country,but that
hasn't stopped products made of it from becoming hot sellers.

You know a little about hemp.

Not too much, of course. A friend used to tell you about it, uh, a lot
during college.


Pubdate: Thursday April 22,1999
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Section: Accent,page 1
Author: Andre Mouchard-OCR
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n440.a09.html

NOTE: See related Canadian hemp article at
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n441.a07.html




Hartford, CT-

Cliff Thornton hopes word of mouth will spread enough peace to end the
war on drugs and freedom. Every time he pitches his common-sense
message to a college class, an NAACP meeting or a Rotary Luncheon, he
aims to convince one person of prohibition's failures. "If I get one
now, it will be two next time, three the next time and then it will
grow exponentially because they'll all tell their friends," he says,
until public opinion shifts.


Pubdate: June 1999
Source: High Times (US)
Copyright: 1999 by Trans-High Corporation.
Contact: hteditor@hightimes.com
Website: http://www.hightimes.com/
Author: Ken Krayeske
Section: Freedom Fighter of the Month (Highwitness news), P. 38
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n443.a01.html



Cancer patient had prescription

A 71-year-old Fair Oaks cancer patient with a doctor's prescription to
smoke marijuana has filed a $10 million claim against Sacramento County
alleging he was illegally arrested for growing pot at home.

Robert DeArkland, who suffers from prostate cancer and arthritis, was
arrested Feb. 5 and charged with felony illegal possession and
cultivation of marijuana for sale. The charges stemmed from a law
enforcement raid of DeArkland's home last October in which narcotics
officers from Sacramento and Placer counties seized 13 marijuana
plants, $420 in cash and a scale.


Pubdate: Wed, 21 Apr 1999
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Sacramento Bee
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Address: P.O.Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852
Feedback: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Forum: http://www.sacbee.com/voices/voices_forum.html
Author: Pamela Martineau, Bee Staff Writer
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n442.a05.html


Law Enforcement & Prisons


COMMENT: (7-13)

When a medicinal marijuana user reclaims his cannabis from the police
department and the New York Times applauds Arizona's proposition 200
can victory be far away?

Oh and here's a shocker. Parents talking to their kids is more
effective than a $50 billion "War on Drugs." Seems to me common sense
could have taught us that lesson a few hundred billion dollars ago.

Of course our beloved drug czar plods along frittering away another
paltry couple of billion dollars on a first rate Madison Avenue ad
campaign featuring a whacked out frying pan wielding heroin addict.
The general buzz is that these ads suffice as the advertising
equivalent of a comedy show for most teens.



UKIAH, Calif. (Reuters) - Christopher Brown sauntered into the Ukiah
sheriff's office Thursday and walked out with a half pound bag of

In what is believed to be one of the first cases in the United States
of someone legally retrieving a drug stash seized by law enforcement,
Brown's victory marked a turning point in California's battle over
medical marijuana, his lawyer said.


Pubdate: Fri, 23 Apr 1999
Source: Press Democrat, The (CA)
Copyright: 1999, The Press Democrat
Contact: letters@pressdemo.com
Website: http://www.pressdemo.com/
Forum: http://www.pressdemo.com/opinion/talk/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n442.a09.html



Arizona voters, tired of paying the exorbitant costs of imprisoning
drug users and addicts who might be helped more cheaply, voted twice to
provide a treatment alternative to jail. Now an Arizona Supreme Court
study of the first year of probation with mandatory drug treatment --
instead of prison -- has shown the apparent wisdom of that decision.
Congress and the legislatures of New York and other states should take


Pubdate: Sat, 24 Apr 1999
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Forum: http://www10.nytimes.com/comment/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n445.a07.html

NOTE: See related article:

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n440.a10.html



U.S. Would Do Well To Prescribe Truce In `Other' Drug War

America is fighting not one but two parallel and exceedingly costly
drug wars.


Pubdate: Thu, 22 Apr 1999
Source: Newsday (NY)
Copyright: 1999, Newsday Inc.
Contact: letters@newsday.com
Fax: (516)843-2986
Website: http://www.newsday.com/
Author: Robert Reno
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n450.a07.html



In a report that likely will increase debate on the merits of
imprisoning substance abusers, the Arizona Supreme Court today issued a
study concluding that the state's new mandatory-treatment law has
broken drug users' habits in the short term and saved the state
millions of dollars.


Pubdate: Wed, 21 Apr 1999
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
Author: V. Dion Haynes, Chicago Tribune
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n441.a02.html



PHOENIX (AP) Arizona's voter-approved program of sentencing nonviolent,
first- and second-time drug offenders to treatment rather than prison
reduces crime and saves tax money, according to a state Supreme Court


Pubdate: Wed, 21 Apr 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press
Author: Patrick Graham
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n441.a05.html



Report: Teens Less Likely To Be Users If Warned At Home, Research Shows.

Marijuana Use Varies By 19 Percentage Points.

WASHINGTON--Children who learn about the risks of drugs at home from
their parents are much less likely to fall prey to narcotics than those
who do not, according to a nationwide survey released today.


Pubdate: Mon, 26 Apr 1999
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times.
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: (213) 237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Forum: http://www.latimes.com/home/discuss/
Author: Eric Lichtblau, Times Staff Writer
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n451.a07.html

NOTE: See related articles

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n451.a08.html

[Study: Drug Talks Work]

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n453.a03.html

[Reducing Abuse Of Drugs Begins At Home]



The $2 billion federally sponsored campaign to keep kids from using
drugs is putting the government into the unfamiliar business of
measuring advertising effectiveness.


Pubdate: Mon, 26 Apr 1999
Source: Wall Street Journal (NY)
Copyright: 1999 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Contact: letter.editor@edit.wsj.com
Website: http://www.wsj.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n454.a09.html


International News


COMMENT: (14-16)

Probably the most striking news this week was the phenomenal
developments outside the U.S. with numerous articles indicating a sea
change in drug policy on the horizon from Canada to Switzerland. Many
have long considered Canada to be ahead of the U.S. in moving towards
sensible drug policies but seeing police chiefs take the lead on the
subject is both heartening and significant.



Fight Court Backlog

OTTAWA - Canada's police chiefs are recommending that the federal
government decriminalize possession of small quantities of all illegal
narcotics, including heroin, the National Post has learned.

If the federal government accepts the proposal, anyone convicted of
simple possession of narcotics would simply sign a guilty statement and
pay a fine, without having to go through the court system. They would
not have a criminal record.


Pubdate: Wed, 21 Apr 1999
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: Southam Inc.
Contact: letters@nationalpost.com
Website: http://www.nationalpost.com/
Forum: http://forums.canada.com/~canada
Author: Robert Fife, Ottawa Bureau Chief
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n438.a06.html



If you're a drug user, B.C. is the Shangri-La of Canada.

Statistics Canada reports B.C. had the highest rate of drug incidents
of any province in the country in 1997. There were 430 drug incidents
for every 100,000 British Columbians that year, nearly twice the
national average.


Pubdate: Wednesday, April 21, 1999
Source: Kelowna Daily Courier (Canada)
Website: http://www.ok.bc.ca/dc/
Copyright 1999 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Author: Don Plant
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n438.a07.html



The Province Vancouver police Chief Bruce Chambers says he's taking a
"serious look" at supporting a plan to decriminalize possession of
small quantities of cannabis products.

The proposal was approved by directors of the Association of Canadian
Police Chiefs last week and is expected to go to a vote by members
later this year.

"It sounds like an idea worthy of having a serious look at," Chambers
said yesterday. "I would want to ensure that if this was in fact done,
we'd be doing it in a manner that wouldn't be sending the wrong message
to youths -- that drugs are OK."


Pubdate: Thu, 22 Apr 1999
Source: Vancouver Province (Canada)
Copyright: The Province, Vancouver 1999
Contact: provletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/
Author: Keith Fraser, Staff Reporter
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n439.a08.html

Note See related articles:
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n439.a02.html

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n442.a07.html
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n446.a09.html

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n443.a05.html




Family Watch Announces On-line Bookstore

For your convenience, Family Watch has compiled drug policy books
on-line. Visit http://www.FamilyWatch.org then select "Bibliography."
You may securely order the books on-line for a discounted price.




Institute of Medicine Report on Medicinal Marijuana Use

The Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on medical marijuana examined
the question whether the medical use of marijuana would lead to an
increase of marijuana use in the general population and concluded that,
"At this point there are no convincing data to support this concern.
The existing data are consistent with the idea that this would not be a
problem if the medical use of marijuana were as closely regulated as
other medications with abuse potential." The report also noted that,
"this question is beyond the issues normally considered for medical
uses of drugs, and should not be a factor in evaluating the therapeutic
potential of marijuana or cannabinoids."

Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr.
(1999). Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Division
of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine.
Washington, DC: National Academy Press.




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