------------------------------------------------------------------- The Generation Gap, 1999-Style (An op-ed in the Oregonian criticizes the Baby Boom generation for its inattentiveness and fearfulness. As a so-called Gen-X'er, the writer has become alienated about the damage Baby Boomers are doing to society. Its fears have led to an increase in the size and intensity of our police forces, military operations and the development and expansion of the prison industrial complex. We have begun to see "punishment politics" - mandatory minimum sentences, debtors prisons for deadbeat dads, excessive use of the death penalty and so forth - guiding our political, legal and social policies. Boomer fear will be the true Boomer legacy.) Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 20:29:25 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US OR: OPED: The Generation Gap, 1999-Style Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Sun, May 02 1999 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: Bob Swan of Southeast Portland is an artist who owns a mural-painting business. THE GENERATION GAP, 1999-STYLE It's Boom Time, Baby, So Hop Into That Gas-Guzzler And Go Demonstrate For War Babies. Boomers. Baby Boomers. From where I sit, 1999 seems to be the year of the Boomer. Advertisers are taking direct aim at them, and so are HMOs, television, the fitness industry and a myriad of other commercial enterprises. It's all about the Boomer now, and why shouldn't it be? There are a lot of them. Even our president is a Boomer. Obviously, the Baby Boomers are in charge, having finally wrestled the reins away from their aging and tired parents. Ta-da! It's Boom Time, Baby! Far out! But is it? Has the sun finally risen or has the sun finally set? Will the creators of Generation X save us or destroy us? It's a good question, one that needs to be answered, and though I and others of my generation suspect the latter to be true, I am not even sure the Boomers are thinking about it at all. This scares me more than anything else. As a so-called Gen-X'er, I feel that our generation was, in a way, fortunate to have been abandoned by the Boomers during their struggle to wrestle power and money away from the previous generation. I say "fortunate" because we have become alienated and disenfranchised enough to see clearly and without prejudice the damage Baby Boomers are doing to our society. Clearly, Baby Boomers are not malicious but, rather, inattentive and fearful. Unfortunately for all of us, the Baby Boomers have not paid attention to the world they live in since they quit marching and got jobs. In the struggle to acquire status, power and money (not to mention behemoth sport-utility vehicles that never leave the road), Baby Boomers have missed their chance to understand the world they live in and empathize with those living in it. As the Baby Boomers begin to retire and look out from the fog of self-indulgence, they are finding that their grown children won't speak to them, that their parents don't trust them and that the world is on fire (except, of course, at the mall, where the security is good). Baby Boomers are afraid -- afraid of the reality they have created and do not understand at all. Unfortunately for them, Boomer fear will be the true Boomer legacy. Already, Boomer fear is manifesting itself in a variety of ways. As Boomers began to inherit and spend their parents' wealth, we also saw an increase in the size and intensity of our police forces, military operations and the development and expansion of the prison industrial complex. We have begun to see "punishment politics" -- mandatory minimum sentences, debtors prisons for deadbeat dads, excessive use of the death penalty and so forth -- guiding our political, legal and social policies. Long gone are the policies that valued redemption, forgiveness or any kind of extenuating circumstance. Boomer fear has begun to turn into Boomer anger, and like the anger of a trapped animal, it is cruel, illogical and confused. As the new millennium dawns, I look out across the landscape of an America filled with police, prisons and gas-guzzling vehicles and I am dismayed but not surprised that my parents have stranded me here. Perhaps my generation can deliver us from this cultural, political and moral Armageddon, but perhaps not. It's all by, for and about the Baby Boomers now, and maybe only they can deliver us from this madness.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pushing Hemp - Industry Struggles With U.S. Rules That Link It With Pot (The Daily Courier, in Grants Pass, looks at the industrial hemp bill in the Oregon Legislature sponsored by Rep. Floyd Prozanski of Eugene. HB 2933 stipulates a $2,500 fine for growing hemp without a license. Rep. Larry Wells, R-Jefferson, chairman of the Agricultural and Forestry Committee, claims a hemp field "could serve as a fortress for a marijuana field inside.") Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 03:15:49 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OR: Pushing Hemp - Industry Struggles With U.S. Rules Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Sun, 02 May 1999 Source: Grants Pass Daily Courier (OR) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Bartie Lancaster PUSHING HEMP - INDUSTRY STRUGGLES WITH U.S. RULES THAT LINK IT WITH POT WILLIAMS, Ore. - Nestled in the woods, Ethan and Keira Hummingbird operate a cottage industry in a one-room cabin where they create and sell hemp clothing, bags and accessories. Two industrial leather sewing machines used to craft sturdy clothing and backpacks line the cramped room, and large rolls of hemp fabric hang from the walls. The rest of the building is filled with hemp items for sale. A friend helped the couple set up to make clothes, backpacks, pouches and wallets about two years ago. But getting enough hemp can be difficult because importers are few. Finding a high-quality hemp fabric is also a chore. Though heavily processed fabric from China is fairly easy to obtain, it is not suitable for clothing, the Hummingbirds said. They purchase their cloth in bulk from U.S. hemp dealers who import it from Eastern Europe, mainly from Poland and Hungary. "It sure would be nice to be able to purchase it locally and put the money back into our community," Keira Hummingbird said. While the sale of hemp products has become widespread nationwide, growing hemp remains illegal in most states -- including Oregon. A bill currently before the Oregon Legislature seeks to legalize industrial growth of hemp, subject to licensing and inspection by state agriculture officials. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, stipulates a $2,500 fine for growing it without a license. Montana and Virginia have already made it legal to grow industrial hemp. Hawaii recently voted to allow the state to grow a 10-acre test plot. New Hampshire, North Dakota and Tennessee are all actively considering similar legislation. Meanwhile, lawmakers in New Mexico recently approved funding of hemp research. And a 62-year-old group called the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, comprised of 60 farmers, is working to re-establish the hemp industry in their state. "A lot of states are beginning to realize that just because it's Cannabis sativa doesn't mean its psychoactive. It's so ludicrous not to make use of it," Ethan Hummingbird said. "It's a slow process, but people are becoming more and more aware." Both hemp and marijuana are derived from the cannabis plant. Marijuana contains typically 3 percent to 15 percent THC -- the psychoactive element of the plant, whereas hemp contains 1 percent or less, Prozanski said. "I always tell people we are talking about rope, not dope," he added. While proponents of Oregon's hemp bill see an untapped cash crop, skeptics fear that hemp fields could not be distinguished from the marijuana plants of its cousin. A hemp field could serve as a fortress for a marijuana field inside, said Rep. Larry Wells, R-Jefferson, chairman of the Agricultural and Forestry Committee. A farmer himself, Wells also questions the marketability of industrial hemp and whether Oregon is a good climate to grow the plant."You can't just start growing a crop without knowing the feasibility," Wells said. He suggested that Oregon State University perform a trial study of a hemp crop before legislation making industrial growth legal is passed. But Wells said money would have to be raised for these studies, and no one has come forward to foot the bill. However, Prozanski said Oregon would be a prime climate for cultivation. "We are looking at an area that is ready to boom," Prozanski said. "Oregon is in a great place to be leader in production." He added that little pesticide is required for growth, two crops can be harvested each season, and hemp is a good rotational crop. "It seems hypocritical that we are allowing the importation of hemp, but we are not allowing our farmers to benefit," he said. Backers of the legislation say hemp could be used in place of mature timber to make paper. It takes about 20 years to grow a forest, but only one season to grow a hemp field, Prozanski said. In fact, the U.S. Constitution was written on hemp paper.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Economics Of Smuggling (A staff editorial in the Orange County Register reflects on the front-page story in Friday's Register that said "Four months after California levied the second-highest cigarette tax in the country, the smuggling of untaxed cigarettes from Mexico has exploded." The activists who devised the Proposition 10 tobacco tax, and the voters who supported it, should have spent more time thinking about economics.) Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 18:58:21 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: The Economics Of Smuggling Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Pubdate: Sun, 2 May 1999 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Section: Commentary Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ THE ECONOMICS OF SMUGGLING No matter how well-known certain historical events may be, some Americans simply refuse to learn from them. Who doesn't know the story of Prohibition and the futile attempts by the federal government to outlaw the consumption of alcoholic beverages? Black markets thrived, violence ensued and Americans faced declining rights as the feds tried to stop the flow of booze. Yet when it comes to, say, cigarettes, the same sort of crusaders are taking a similar approach - albeit through higher taxes, rather than an outright ban - to the Prohibitionists, and finding the same sort of disappointing results. The laws of economics, like the laws of nature, appear to be immutable. Case in point: A front-page story in Friday's Register reports that "Four months after California levied the second-highest cigarette tax in the country, the smuggling of untaxed cigarettes from Mexico has exploded." It's simple economics. Taxes are forcing dramatically higher prices on cigarettes as a way to discourage people from smoking them. But people still want them, so black markets and smuggling rings emerge to fulfill the demand. The higher the taxes, the more profitable the smuggling, and the more willing people are to defy the law. Several years ago in Canada, the national government imposed taxes that increased the cost of cigarettes nearly 2 1/2 times. Smuggling from the United States and elsewhere exploded, and tobacco violence became more common. Eventually, the Canadians lowered the taxes to reduce the problem. Tobacco smuggling groups already are operating in the United States, where they illegally transport cigarettes from low-tax states to high ones. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, they have become increasingly violent: "The nature of the crime and the criminal have changed. It's no longer three guys from New York in a van driving to the Carolinas to get smokes for the cigarette machines in their bar. The smuggling rings are organized, sophisticated and willing to protect their assets, law enforcement officials said." With the price differential between Tijuana and San Diego far higher than the differential between Raleigh and Rochester, the potential for gun-wielding gangs is even higher in California. We wish the activists who devised the Proposition 10 tobacco tax, and the voters who supported it, would have spent more time thinking about economics.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Past Juror Granted Retrial (The Boulder Daily Camera says Laura Kriho, a former Gilpin County juror who caused a mistrial in a 1996 drug case and later was charged with contempt of court when her views on jury nullification became known, won her appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which ruled Thursday that Judge Henry Nieto wrongly considered jury-room transcripts in finding Kriho guilty of the contempt charge in 1997. A decision on whether Gilpin County District Attorney Dave Thomas will retry the Kriho case is unlikely until the state has exhausted its appeals.) Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 13:42:28 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CO: Past Juror Granted Retrial Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jury Rights Project (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Sun, 2 May 1999 Source: Boulder Daily Camera (CO) Copyright: 1999 The Daily Camera. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.bouldernews.com/ Author: Christopher Anderson PAST JUROR GRANTED RETRIAL Concepts of 'jury nullification,' invasion of privacy assessed in appeals court A former Gilpin County juror, who caused a mistrial in a 1996 drug case and later was charged with contempt of court, won a round this week in the Colorado Court of Appeals. The court ruled Thursday that Gilpin County Judge Henry Nieto wrongly considered jury-room transcripts in finding Laura Kriho guilty of the contempt charge in 1997. The decision, however, does allow for Kriho to be prosecuted again without the transcript evidence. The Kriho case is significant because it also centers on the concept of "jury nullification," the concept of a juror's right to vote on conscious regardless of law. Under the idea of nullification, a juror may vote to acquit a defendant, not based on the evidence presented but upon the juror's moral conviction that the law under which the case is prosecuted is wrong. Most court rulings have failed to acknowledge the right of jury nullification. While investigating the mistrial, the District Attorney's Office for Gilpin County learned Kriho had been arrested in 1985 for possession of LSD and had supported the legalization of hemp. Kriho received a deferred sentence for those charges but was never officially convicted. When Kriho later served as a juror on a methamphetamine possession case, she was the sole juror to vote for acquittal and the case ended in the mistrial. The District Attorney's office said she should have disclosed her own drug record before the trial, but Kriho said she was never asked about a past drug record. Prosecutors argued the case against Kriho was not about nullification, but about her failure to disclose her drug-related background and her disregard of the judge's instructions to the jury on the law and jury conduct. Kriho's case quickly became a cause for civil rights advocates and libertarians, who argued that the government did not have the right to interfere with the jury deliberation process. Kriho said Saturday she was happy with the Court of Appeals decision but that it did not go far enough in protecting jurors' rights. "I think the prosecution of jurors should be off limits, except in the most egregious incidents of misconduct," she said. In the appeals court's ruling, Judge Sandra Rothenberg, who wrote the majority opinion, stated that the invasion of the jury process is dangerous because it tends to "chill the willingness of our citizens to serve on juries." Rothenberg specifically cited a 1997 Circuit Court of Appeals Case, United States vs. Thomas. The Thomas case states: "The need to preserve the secrecy of jury deliberations requires an investigation of juror misconduct to cease once 'any possibility' arises that the juror is acting during deliberations based on his or her view of the sufficiency of the evidence." Rothenberg further wrote that "extensive evidence" shows Kriho "was one of the most diligent jurors." A decision on whether District Attorney Dave Thomas will retry the Kriho case is unlikely until the state has exhausted its appeals. Ken Lane, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office, declined to comment on the case.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hair Analysis Company Draws Big-Name Clients And Vocal Critics (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in Missouri, notes the scientific community still thinks hair testing is junk science, and it's still forbidden in the federal workforce and in federally regulated industries, but Psychemedics Corp., headquartered in Boston, took in almost $18 million last year from more than 1,600 corporate clients, including such big names as General Motors, Toyota, Michelin and Anheuser-Busch.)To: "NTList@Fornits. com" (NTList@Fornits.com) Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 16:40:47 -0700 Subject: [ntlist] FW: US MO: Hair Analysis Company Draws Big-Name Clients And Vocal -----Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Sunday, May 02, 1999 8:51 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MO: Hair Analysis Company Draws Big-Name Clients And Vocal Newshawk: unoino2 Pubdate: Sun, 02 May 1999 Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) Copyright: 1999 Post Dispatch Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.stlnet.com/ Forum: http://www.stlnet.com/postnet/index.nsf/forums Author: Al Stamborski HAIR ANALYSIS COMPANY DRAWS BIG-NAME CLIENTS AND VOCAL CRITICS As the nation's largest provider of hair analysis, Psychemedics Corp. is a lightning rod for criticism of this form of drug testing. The company, with headquarters in Boston and a lab in Los Angeles, had revenue last year of almost $18 million. While that's less than 2 percent of what is being spent every year on all forms of drug testing, the company is growing along with the popularity of hair testing. Since it was founded 13 years ago, Psychemedics has amassed more than 1,600 corporate clients, including such big names as General Motors, Toyota, Michelin and Anheuser-Busch. Psychemedics also serves school districts, probation programs and even has a retail kit for parents who suspect their children are using drugs. Psychemedics says its corporate clients are willing to spend up to $50 on a hair test - at least double the price of the standard urinalysis - because the test can catch more drug users. And drug users can cost employers money, in lost productivity, thefts and accidents. The hair test can detect drug abuse in the past 90 days. Urine tests usually can detect usage in just the past two or three days. Employers also like the fact that drug users can't cheat on hair tests the way they often can on urine tests. Most drug users know they only have to abstain for a few days to pass a urine test. They can flood their system with water to dilute the drugs, or even buy one of the plethora of potions on the market that claim to mask the presence of drugs in urine. Critics of hair testing include civil libertarians, employee-rights groups and some scientists. One vocal opponent is Michael Walsh of Bethesda, Md. He set the standards for testing federal workers for drugs in the early 1980s. He served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Of Psychemedics, Walsh says, "For 15 years, they've been trying to market hair testing, and the scientific community has looked nine ways to Sunday, and [the test] still comes up short." Like others, he questions whether the tests are always accurate, racially unbiased and able to discern external contamination of hair - the sort an innocent person might pick up just by being near a marijuana smoker. Walsh said that when he was in government, Psychemedics lobbied him heavily to endorse hair testing. The company continues to lobby his successors, Walsh said, because the use of the test is still forbidden in the federal government and in federally regulated industry. (The federal government's point man on hair testing, Robert Stephenson, would not talk to the Post-Dispatch.) Walsh attributes the growth in hair testing to good marketing, which he said has led employers to think that "everybody's doing it." Critics have also said that Psychemedics was built on the connections of Wayne Huizenga, who has made billions of dollars in such varied businesses as Blockbuster Video, Waste Management Inc., AutoNation car lots, rental car companies and professional sports teams. Huizenga invested in Psychemedics a decade ago. With 11 percent of the stock, he is the largest single shareholder. Psychemedics readily admits that Blockbuster was a major client in the beginning and that the lab has received business from other companies connected to Huizenga. But "it's absolutely baloney" to say that Huizenga is responsible for the bulk of the lab's business, says Ray Kubacki, chief executive of Psychemedics. The company is growing because of the accuracy of its test, says Kubacki, who accuses Walsh of being biased because he consults for urine labs. With Psychemedics' patented technology, there is no way that a person who doesn't use illegal drugs will test positive, Kubacki said. Clients and researchers prove this to themselves by sending in drug-free and contaminated test samples under fictitious names. Psychemedics may not always find the exact amount of all drugs in a sample, but it never assesses a sample as being positive when it isn't, he said. The National Institute of Standards and Technology performed the government's only check on hair labs. Mike Welch, a chemist there, said hair samples were sent every year from 1990 to 1998 to commercial, academic and forensic labs in the United States and Europe. The contaminated samples were accurately identified 88 percent of the time. Samples that contained no drugs were correctly analyzed 97 percent of the time. Welch acknowledged that the labs knew the samples were coming from the institute; so, they might have taken special care with these tests. Welch wouldn't say how each lab measured up, but Psychemedics said it has the results to show that it correctly analyzed every sample from the institute. Kubacki said Psychemedics puts more money, equipment and time into its testing than do other labs. For example, it washes hair samples for at least 1 hour and 45 minutes to remove contamination, compared with only a few minutes elsewhere. To scientists who say they can't duplicate Psychemedics' results, Kubacki issues an invitation to visit the lab and see for themselves. The patents are available for anyone to read, he said. "It's not magic," added Bill Thistle, the company's general counsel. *** Non-Testers List (NTList) news list. A consumer guide to anti-drug testing companies. http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/6443/ntl.html To Join or Leave NTList send "join ntlist" or "leave ntlist" in the TEXT area (NOT the subject area) to: firstname.lastname@example.org Don't forget "ntlist" in your command. For Help, just send "help". List owner: email@example.com (JR Irvin)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Testing: Why Your Boss Wants A Piece Of Your Hair (A second article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about hair testing says hundreds of studies have been undertaken on the new technology. Some scientists are convinced of its accuracy. Others aren't sure. Most of the research has been done by scientists who operate companies that seek hair-testing contracts or by scientists whose work is financed by hair-testing labs. Some scientists fear that blacks are more likely to be caught by such tests than whites because dark, coarse hair might absorb more drugs than does light, fine hair. Tom Mieczkowski of the University of Southern Florida cautions that "urinalysis is not 100 percent accurate, either." It's hard for aggrieved workers to file lawsuits, however. According to Lewis Maltby of the ACLU, "There's absolutely no law that says an employer has to use reliable testing, except in the federal testing program. You can use a Ouija board, and it's perfectly legal.") Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 08:54:31 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MO: OPED: Why Your Boss Wants A Piece Of Your Hair Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: unoino2 Pubdate: Sun, 02 May 1999 Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) Copyright: 1999 Post Dispatch Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.stlnet.com/ Forum: http://www.stlnet.com/postnet/index.nsf/forums Author: Al Stamborski Section: Business WHY YOUR BOSS WANTS A PIECE OF YOUR HAIR Some employers think hair analysis is a more accurate way to test for drug use. But critics raise many questions, from racial bias to possible contamination. A conflict is brewing over a relatively new weapon in the war on drugs in the workplace. Armed with scissors, employers are snipping locks of hair from job applicants and employees. Lab analysis of the hair aims to show whether the person used marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines or other illegal drugs in the previous 90 days. That's a much longer look back than the three or four days usually provided through urinalysis, which is still the drug test of choice for most companies when deciding whether to hire or fire someone. Hundreds of employers around the country -- banks, factories, police departments -- have turned to hair testing in recent years, either to supplement urine testing or to replace it. They say drug users have learned to "beat" urinalysis by adulterating their urine or by abstaining from drugs for a few days. In this area, Harrah's Casino tests the hair of job applicants. So does the General Motors plant. Anheuser-Busch uses the test for applicants and some others, and is expanding its use to include all employees. A-B will conduct the tests on a somewhat regular basis, not just when someone is suspected of being a drug user or after an accident in a plant. The brewery's plan angers its biggest union, and a lawsuit has been filed in New Jersey. "The Teamsters do not condone the use of drugs," stressed Gary Scott, one of the union leaders here. But the union, like other critics, questions both the accuracy and the fairness of the tests. Even some scientists fear that blacks are more likely to be caught by such tests than whites because dark, coarse hair might absorb more drugs than does light, fine hair. While such matters are being reviewed and fought over, employees won't have the option of refusing to take the test -- unless they want to be fired on the spot. "All you have to do is say 'no' and go get a job elsewhere," Chairman August A. Busch III told protesting Teamsters on Wednesday at the company's annual meeting. Scientist has doubts Hundreds of studies have been undertaken on hair testing. Some scientists are convinced of its accuracy and value as a drug-testing tool. Others aren't sure. Most of the research has been done by scientists who operate companies that seek hair-testing contracts or by scientists whose work is financed by hair-testing labs, said Dr. Bryan Rogers, associate medical director of Barnes Care Corporate Health Services here. Rogers said he is "not at all" convinced of the accuracy of hair testing, and he informs customers of his reservations. Nonetheless, Barnes will collect hair samples and forward them to a lab if asked, as it has been by one or two area employers. "We're a business just like anybody else," he explained. Bruce Goldberger, a toxicologist at the University of Florida, Gainesville, has done independent research on hair tests for years. Last summer, he testified before a congressional panel looking into new ways of testing workers for drug abuse. Despite years of lobbying by the hair testing labs and others, the federal government has not approved hair analysis for federal employees or anyone in a federally regulated industry, such as airlines, railroads and nuclear power companies. Urinalysis, for the most part, is the only approved drug test for this group of workers, who make up about one-tenth of the nation's work force. "The state of knowledge with hair analysis is still at an immature level," Goldberger told the Post-Dispatch, echoing his testimony. While the basic techniques used by the handful of hair testing labs in the country are common and reliable, Goldberger said some problems must be resolved before he can endorse hair testing in the workplace, especially if it is to be used by itself and not in tandem with urine testing. Hair color bias is issue The possibility of color bias, for example, must be further examined, he said. While this appears to be a race issue to many, he noted that anyone with dark hair might be more likely to be caught by the tests than a person with light hair. A black person with light gray hair might be less susceptible to being caught than a white person with dark, coarse hair. External contamination is another issue. In drug users, drug residue is believed to be carried through the bloodstream to the hair, where it is trapped inside the shafts. But even people who don't use drugs sometimes have the residue on their hair because they are around drug users. Marijuana smoke, cocaine "dust" and other residue can get into the hair at parties, bars and other public places. While most hair labs say they can wash away such outside contamination before testing the inside of the hair, not everyone in the scientific community is convinced that such thorough washing can be done or that it can be done by all labs. Such lack of standardization of labs is another stumbling block for Goldberger and others. Some labs have better equipment and technology than do others. While the federal government regularly inspects the urinalysis labs used by the federally controlled industries, there is nothing comparable for the hair labs. "I think it will take a few more years for these issues to be totally resolved," Goldberger said. Issue raises emotions Another Florida researcher appears to have more faith in the process. "Hair testing is a reasonably accurate and reliable technique, comparable to urinalysis," said Tom Mieczkowski at the University of Southern Florida in St. Petersburg. He cautions that "urinalysis is not 100 percent accurate, either." In his 10 years of research, he hasn't found any evidence that color of hair has much effect, if any, on the hair test. As for external contamination, hair would have to be soaked in a cocaine solution for 48 hours before it would cause a problem in the test, he said. Mieczkowski said the same sorts of arguments being used against hair testing today were brought up 20 years ago with urine testing. And they'll be hauled out again to challenge the coming generation of drug tests, which will analyze saliva, fingernails and sweat. Any form of drug testing is "so emotionally charged," he added. Yet, he noted, little opposition arises when hair is tested for things other than illegal drugs -- such as heavy metals, toxins and medication. Supporters of hair testing say there are enough safeguards to prevent false positives. A hair sample is subjected to two different lab tests before being declared positive. Positive results are then reported to a company's medical review officer, often a physician, who can consider other reasons for testing positive, such as use of prescription medicine or excessive eating of poppy seeds, which could lead to a positive result for opiates. There are so many safeguards in such testing programs that by the time people are sent to drug treatment programs, fewer than 1 percent continue to deny having used illegal drugs, Mierczkowski said. Even the CEO was tested At GM, "I don't know of anybody, when we've told them they test positive, that they disagree with us," said Dr. Douglas Van Brocklin, supervisor of the automaker's testing program throughout North America. Mierczkowski had this advice for those innocent people who flunk drug tests, either because of a fraudulent process, unreliable analysis or incompetent lab: "You sue their butts off." But that's easier said than done, said Lewis Maltby of the American Civil Liberties Union. "There's absolutely no law that says an employer has to use reliable testing except in the federal testing program," he said. "You can use a Ouija board, and it's perfectly legal." The ACLU opposes the hair tests because it feels they are not accurate. The group also believes that drug testing in general is overdone by many employers. "If someone gives an employer reason to think he's abusing drugs on the job or coming to work on drugs, then by all means test him" -- with a urine test that's analyzed at a federally certified lab, Maltby said. "Our objection is to people having to prove their innocence when they have given their employer no reason to think they've done anything wrong," Maltby said. Such is the case with random or blanket testing, which Anheuser-Busch plans to do. Scott, the union leader at A-B, asked, "How much of my life do I have to expose to August Busch? The real issue here is having a safe workplace, not what I do on my four weeks' vacation." The beer company wouldn't provide someone to talk about its testing program. But in written responses to some questions, the company said, "The goal of these programs is to balance our respect for the individual with the need to maintain a safe, productive and drug-free workplace. . . . These programs are working: Pre-employment testing has screened out users who would have otherwise been hired, and post-employment testing has resulted in employees receiving needed rehabilitation and, in a few cases, leaving the company when they have been unwilling to remain drug free." The hair tests are not just for the rank-and-file workers, but for all employees, the company said. Even Busch has had his hair snipped and tested, it said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Backed By Ex-CIA Chief (The Washington Post says James Woolsey, the former CIA director who is now a Washington corporate lawyer, recently got his first lobbying client, the North American Industrial Hemp Council. Woolsey must convince Congress and key administration officials that reasonable precautions could build a booming domestic hemp industry.) Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 19:50:03 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: WP: Hemp Backed By Ex-CIA Chief Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Sun, 2 May 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/ EX-CIA CHIEF'S BACKING OF HEMP RAISES EYEBROWS AMONG OFFICIALS WASHINGTON - James Woolsey, the former CIA director, wants to make one thing clear: He isn't fighting for the right to get stoned. Lately, some friends have wondered. Woolsey, now a Washington corporate lawyer, recently got his first lobbying client, the North American Industrial Hemp Council, a group angling to legalize hemp. The multipurpose fiber comes from the same plant family as marijuana. But hemp lacks enough of the psychoactive substance that gets pot smokers high. What it has, say farmers, environmentalists and agribusiness interests, is the potential to become a billion-dollar-a-year crop, producing paper, clothing, lotions and even car dashboards. Several countries have produced profitable hemp harvests for years. "Before I explain, I get smiles from friends," Woolsey said in a recent interview. "This isn't about trying to legalize marijuana, though." But Woolsey and the council, a group of about 100 agribusinesses, farmers and scientists, are in for a battle. The White House and the Drug Enforcement Administration are against domestic hemp farming, arguing that hemp plants look so similar to marijuana that allowing farmers to grow them would complicate drug-fighting efforts. And they dismiss talk about hemp's potential as a substitute for oil, cotton and paper as part of a campaign to bring the country closer to decriminalizing pot. "Only chemical analysis allows you to tell the difference between a pot plant and hemp plant," said Bob Weiner, a spokesman for the administration's Office of National Drug Control Policy. "You can't tell the difference from a helicopter, and that makes it a nightmare for eradication." For states, the administration's opinion effectively blocks hemp planting. Last month, North Dakota became the first state to decriminalize hemp farming. But the measure is purely symbolic until the DEA changes its position. Hemp's drug rap could be hard for even Woolsey to beat. Not even Vice President Al Gore, who fancies himself a forward-thinking environmentalist, will endorse it. And the weed is avidly embraced by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the country's foremost pot lobby. NORML acknowledges that anyone smoking hemp will get a headache, not a high; in fact, the pollen from hemp reduces the potency of marijuana, rendering it worthless to drug dealers. Nonetheless, NORML leaders are delighted to have an establishment figure such as Woolsey in hemp's corner. "As Americans grow more accustomed to seeing hemp growing as an independent crop, it's going to be a little harder for the government to pull this 'reefer madness' approach," said Keith Stroup, NORML's executive director. To Woolsey, a partner at Shea & Gardner, the hemp battle is about developing hemp oil as a substitute for petroleum, which could enhance the country's energy security by making it less dependent on foreign suppliers. NORML is welcome to join his side, he said, though its presence on his team borders on absurd: "Hemp is nature's own marijuana eradication system." Agriculture experts hail hemp's short growing cycle - about 120 days - and the versatility of its fibers. Environmental groups say hemp is good news for forests because it's a new source of paper and building materials. Woolsey must convince Congress and key administration officials that reasonable precautions could build a booming domestic hemp industry.
------------------------------------------------------------------- To Win The War On Drugs (Washington Post syndicated columnist David S. Broder praises coerced treatment programs for drug offenders in Arizona and Maryland.) Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 12:27:16 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: OPED: To Win The War On Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Support MAP! Pubdate: Sun, 02 May 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Page: B07 Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071 Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: David S. Broder Note: Broder, a Pulitzer Prize-winning political reporter, writes a nationally syndicated column from Washington, D.C. TO WIN THE WAR ON DRUGS Decades after America declared "war on drugs," there are encouraging signs that we may be getting smart about how it can be won. For years, the focus was on blocking shipments of heroin and cocaine into the country. The effort continues, but so does the drug traffic. When frustration with that approach bubbled over, the next move was to crack down on the users. "Lock 'em up and throw away the key" became the new mantra. States went on a prison-building spree and discovered how expensive that would be. And too many of the prisoners, when released, went right back to stealing to sustain their habit. During all this time, a small chorus kept saying, "When you catch them, get them treatment and keep testing them to be sure they stay clean." Now more states are trying it -- and finding that it works. The most dramatic shift in policy occurred in Arizona -- and it came as the result of a voter initiative, not something the elected officials decided. In fact, many of the provisions of that 1996 initiative -- financed by a handful of millionaires -- remain bitterly controversial. It decriminalized marijuana and a wide variety of hard drugs, a step retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the federal "drug czar," vehemently opposed -- and still does. But another part of Prop. 200 required that people convicted of drug possession for the first or second time be placed on probation and in treatment, rather than going to jail. A report on the first year of the program, issued late last month by the Arizona Supreme Court, offered real encouragement. Of the 2,622 offenders diverted from prison, more than three-quarters (77 percent) tested drug-free at the end of their treatment programs. The same percentage made at least one payment toward the cost of their treatment, as the new procedure specifies. The program appears to be substantially cheaper than putting people in prison. The court estimates that treating and testing these people was $2.5 million less costly than jailing them would have been. John McDonald, the spokesman for the Supreme Court, noted that it will be at least another year before the recidivism rate can be established to gauge how many of these people stay clean. But he said political support for the program -- financed chiefly by a luxury tax on liquor -- has grown. It long has been known that drug abuse is the major factor in swelling our prison and jail population almost to 2 million. But few of the prisoners get treatment. The astonishing figure cited by Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the coordinator of her state's anti-crime program, is that half of the country's entire consumption of heroin and cocaine is by people who are on probation or parole. If that is even remotely accurate, targeting this population for treatment could significantly reduce the demand that keeps the international drug traffickers in business. Maryland has begun a program aimed at getting all 25,000 of the state's parolees and probationers into a rigorous testing regimen. The first results on the people who began the twice-a-week tests last autumn "are so good we're leery about them," said Adam Gelb, Townsend's policy director. After three months, the percentage testing positive dropped from 40 percent to just 7.4 percent -- a drop of more than four-fifths. Before this "Break the Cycle" program began, Gelb said, a probation officer could order only about seven drug tests a month for a typical caseload of 100 probationers. If someone failed, it was up to a judge to set the punishment -- and often overworked judges just voiced a warning to "clean up your act." In the new system, the courts have pre-authorized an escalating set of penalties for each failed test, climaxing in a return to jail. With the certainty of punishment for failure and the potential of shortened probation for staying clean, the incentives to seek treatment are vastly greater. Like her Arizona counterparts, Townsend does not want to claim more than a promising start for the program. "It could provide a way out of the paralyzing and stupid debate between treatment and incarceration," she said. "A combination of sanctions and treatment works best." McCaffrey agrees. In congressional testimony last week, he said it was time to abandon the phrase "war on drugs," because "addicted Americans are not the enemy. They require treatment. Wars are waged with weapons and soldiers. Prevention and treatment are the primary tools in our fight against drugs." And they offer hope of success.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pastrana, Rebel Chief Announce Talks (According to the Associated Press, Colombian President Andres Pastrana and FARC leader Manuel Marulanda announced Sunday that the Pastrana administration would begin substantive peace talks Thursday with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Without explicitly saying so, Pastrana was, in effect, announcing that he would continue excluding overnment forces from a region the size of Switzerland as a concession to the FARC. Pastrana's peace efforts have put him at odds with the U.S. Congress, who say it has hampered drug crop eradication efforts and given the FARC the opportunity to increase its profits from the local cocaine trade.) Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 19:20:06 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Columbia: Wire: Pastrana, Rebel Chief Announce Talks Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF@aol.com Pubdate: Sun, 02 May 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: Jared Kotler, Associated Press Writer PASTRANA, REBEL CHIEF ANNOUNCE TALKS BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) Colombia will begin substantive peace talks later this week with Latin America's most powerful guerrilla group, President Andres Pastrana and the rebel leader announced Sunday after a surprise meeting. The peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, will begin Thursday, according to a joint statement read to reporters by Foreign Minister Guillermo Fernandez de Soto. Without explicitly saying so, Pastrana was, in effect, announcing that he would extend a controversial withdrawal of all government forces from a massive southern region where Pastrana met with the FARC's legendary leader, Manuel Marulanda. The troop withdrawal was set to expire later this week, and Pastrana had warned he would only extend the measure if he felt that progress was being made in preliminary discussions to define an agenda for the talks. In the statement Sunday, both sides said they had reviewed efforts thus far and found "concrete and significant advances." Negotiations between the government and the 15,000-member rebel group were formally initiated in southern Colombia in January. The rebels control a region the size of Switzerland that has been cleared of all government troops as a concession to the FARC. Last week, government and rebel negotiators meeting near San Vicente del Caguan, the largest of five towns in the demilitarized zone, announced they were near agreement on a far-reaching agenda for talks to end Colombia's 35- year conflict. The two sides also announced they would form an international commission to help verify agreements and appealed to Colombian society and the international community to have patience during a potentially lengthy peace process. Pastrana's peace efforts have put him at odds with the U.S. Congress, who say it has hampered drug crop eradication efforts and given the FARC the opportunity to increase its profits from the local cocaine trade. FARC commanders deny "trafficking" in cocaine, but acknowledge taxing production and cultivation. Senior U.S. diplomats have said Pastrana was in danger of losing credibility if he were to continue to pull government troops out of rebel-held areas without getting the rebels to agree to formal peace talks. The rendezvous Sunday was the second time Pastrana has surprised the nation since his election by meeting with the reclusive rebel chief. Television footage released by the presidency showed the two men chatting as they strolled side-by-side along a dirt road.
------------------------------------------------------------------- ACM-Bulletin of 2 May 1999 (An English-language bulletin from the Association for Cannabis as Medicine, in Cologne, Germany, features news about the debate in the Canadian House of Commons on medical marijuana; and the drug commission in Switzerland that recommended legalizing cannabis.) From: "Association for Cannabis as Medicine" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 00:03:18 +0200 Subject: ACM-Bulletin of 2 May 1999 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org *** ACM-Bulletin of 2 May 1999 *** Canada: Debate in the House of Commons on medical use of marijuana Switzerland: Drug commission recommends legalization of Cannabis *** 1. Canada: Debate in the House of Commons on medical use of marijuana On 14 April the House of Commons debated a motion that recommends the government to "undertake all necessary steps concerning the possible legal use of marijuana for health and medical purposes." MPs will vote on Motion 381, introduced by MP Bernard Bigras (Bloc Québécois), in June. Health Minister Allan Rock (Liberal) said on 3 March he has ordered officials to develop clinical trials for the medical use of marijuana. Bigras said he doubts the sincerity of Rock's announcement. An aide to Bigras estimated that 100 MPs from different parties support Motion 381 in the 301-member House, consisting of the Bloc Québécois Party (42 members), two Independents, the Liberal Party (156), the New Democratic Party (21), the Progressive Conservative Party (19), and the Reform Party (59). MP Pauline Picard (Bloc Québécois): "In our view, at the present time the government is holding hostage thousands of people who are suffering and waiting for a sign of hope." MP Sue Barnes (Liberal): "I have pushed this matter very hard inside my government. (...) I, with others, understand that even now there will not be overnight change; but let us not underestimate the progress made." MP Libby Davies (New Democratic): "In some ways this institution of the House of Commons is sort of far behind public opinion, even where the medical community is. (...) We must make it very clear that we do not want to wait another two or three years for trials to be conducted." MP Diane St-Jacques (Progressive Conservative): "I think it is totally unacceptable that someone who is chronically ill or in the final stages of AIDS is being penalized for medical treatment that many doctors would recommend if they could." (Source: Speeches before the Canadian House of Commons on 14 April 1999, Calgary Herald of 4 March 1999, NORML of 22 April 1999) 2. Switzerland: Drug commission recommends legalisation of Cannabis The 'Eidgenössische Kommission fuer Drogenfragen' (EKDF, Confederate Commission for Drug Issues) proposed an extensive liberalisation of the Cannabis laws. The first of two models provides impunity of procurement for personal use, the second legalisation with licensed trade. "Cannabis is a drug and the commission isn't intending to trivialise it or say that its consumption is without risk (...) but consumption is rising, especially among young people," panel member Anne- Catherine Menetrey said. In the summary of the Cannabis Report, presented on 23 April, it is said: "Different circumstances caused the commission to reach the conclusion that a reappraisal of the state of Cannabis is necessary - as much with regard to its recreational role as to a possible medical use." The medical aspect is only superficially covered in the report: "Based upon international medical scientific literature the establishment of a legal basis for controlled research studies in the area of the therapeutic use of Cannabis in Switzerland is recommended." Cannabis had become a stimulant, used by "a significant part of the population without a sense of injustice." The present drug policy suffered from a "growing loss of credibility." In the first model the commission recommends "impunity of Cannabis use and of the actions of procurement for personal use", as well as an opportunity regulation, that allows the police "to disregard the persecution of retail trade, including on a commercial level, under clearly defined prevailing conditions." In the second proposal "the elaboration of a model with licensed trade (...) is proposed. Such a model would enable legal access to Cannabis, not in the sense of free trade, but with clear regulations." "From a professional point of view" the commission favours the second model, "because it creates clear and enforceable prevailing conditions for the handling of Cannabis." This model would, however, "not be conformable to the international conventions." The 'Eidgenössische Kommission fuer Drogenfragen' is a commission elected by the Upper House of Parliament. Its members are experts from different areas, who are professionally confronted with partial aspects of the drug problem. The committee's recommendations to the Cabinet are part of an ongoing study to revise Switzerland's drug laws. Government ministers already said that the legalisation plan was a health risk. (Sources: Summary of the Cannabis Report of the EKDF for the media seminar of 23 April 1999, AP of 23. April 1999, Tagesanzeiger of 24 April 1999, Basler Zeitung of 24 April 1999) 3. News in brief *** USA: Guidelines take effect next week allowing the state health department of Oregon to register and license medical marijuana patients. Oregon will become the first state to issue ID cards to patients who will be allowed to possess marijuana. On 3 November 1998 voters in Oregon and four other states had approved ballot initiatives exempting patients from criminal penalties when they use marijuana under the supervision of a physician. (Source: NORML of 29 April 1999) *** USA/Canada: The fight to keep a 29-year-old Californian woman from being deported to the U.S. to face marijuana-related charges began on 19 April in British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver. Renee Boje, an advocate of medicinal marijuana, was caught up in Los Angeles in 1997. The U.S. government requests extradition to California, where Boje would face a minimum 10 years in jail if convicted. (Source: Vancouver Province of 20 April 1999) *** Science: People who smoke marijuana every day become more aggressive when they quit. Writing in the journal Psychopharmacology Dr. Elena Kouri and colleagues at Harvard University said they had shown objectively that when people stop smoking marijuana there is a clear withdrawal syndrome. "This syndrome, although less dramatic than the withdrawal syndrome associated with alcohol, opiate or cocaine withdrawal, may contribute to relapse among those dependent on marijuana," Dr. Alan Leshner, head of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), which funded the study, said. (Source: Reuters of 20 April 1999) *** Australia: One of Australia's top prosecutors would rather see marijuana sold in corner shops than by criminals on the streets. Speaking at the Australasian Conference on Drugs Strategy, South Australian Director of Public Prosecutions Paul Rofe said on 28 April people should consider government-controlled supply and distribution of drugs such as marijuana and heroin, as current attempts to combat the drugs crisis did not work. Prime Minister John Howard criticized Mr Rofe the day after, saying the comments were unhelpful. (Source: AAP of 28 and 29 April 1999) *** Great Britain: The Government is wasting "vast amounts of money" prosecuting people for smoking Cannabis, a Labour MP said on 28 April. Dr Brian Iddon said as well, it was "scandalous" that sick people were not allowed to use it to relieve pain. Dr Iddon is chairman of the House of Commons Drugs Misuse Group. He is supporting a march this weekend organized by campaigners to legalize Cannabis as part of an international "May Day is Jay (joint) Day" event. (Source: PA News of 28 April 1999) 4. THE COMMENT ... to the plans of the Canadian Minister of Health to conduct clinical trials with Cannabis: "It is a useful and good thing to have these clinical trials go ahead as there are things that we need to learn. However, we have enough information now to ask the minister to go ahead with the exemption so that people can get relief, help and support now without having to become criminals. (...) The Minister of Health should be approving applications today for exemptions so that Canadians do not suffer any longer. (...) That is a shame. It is something that does not need to exist if we had the political will and the leadership." MP Libby Davies (Vancouver East, New Democratic Party), Speech before the House of Commons on 14 April 1999 Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM) Maybachstrasse 14 D-50670 Cologne Germany Phone: +49-221-912 30 33 Fax: +49-221-130 05 91 Email: email@example.com Internet: http://www.acmed.org -------------------------------------------------------------------
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