Portland NORML News - Sunday, May 9, 1999

Medical-marijuana rules insulting (A letter to the editor of the Oregonian
from a man with incurable brain cancer says "no thank you" to such aspects of
the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act as the need to apply for a registry card,
the $150 registration fee, and the likes of Rep. Kevin Mannix, R-Salem, and
his merry band of morality police.)

Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/)
Pubdate: Sun, May 09 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: Tony Kneidek, Southeast Portland

Medical-marijuana rules insulting

I was diagnosed with treatable but incurable brain cancer on March 2, 1998.
My life changed that day in ways that no legislator, health-division
bureaucrat, doctor, lawyer, cop, friend, lover or acquaintance can begin to

Everything I do, every decision I make, every song I sing to my young
daughters, every moment of every day is now filtered through the haze of
this life-threatening disease. Death is no longer abstract, and neither is

I have survived major brain surgery. I have endured 32 treatments of
radiation. I have struggled through six months of chemotherapy. I have found
relief from the nausea, fatigue, sleeplessness, depression, pain and lack of
appetite with the help of one primary drug: marijuana.

Now I'm told that I need to apply for a permit, pay $150 for a registration
card and be looking over my shoulder for the likes of Rep. Kevin Mannix,
R-Salem, and his merry band of morality police (May 1 article).

No thank you. There are enough indignities and losses involved in having
this disease without the state bureaucracy, police agencies and the
Legislature hounding me like I'm a criminal. [They should] go look for real
bad guys and leave the sick and dying alone.

Marijuana activist convicted of cultivation, possession (Our Times, in Santa
Monica, California, says Joe "Hemp" Kidwell, a motorcycle mechanic turned
marijuana activist, faces a maximum of three years in prison after a jury
convicted him of growing and possessing 14 pot plants on the roof of his
office building in Venice last summer, despite his status as a
medical-marijuana patient under Proposition 215.)

Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 10:56:48 -0700
To: dpfca@drugsense.org
From: Jim Rosenfield (jnr@insightweb.com)
Subject: DPFCA: art/smot: Marijuana activist convicted of
cultivation, possession
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: Jim Rosenfield (jnr@insightweb.com)
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

[I'd sure like to know why the jury convicted. I have spoken with Joe and
he says it was precisely his intention to get busted and to make case law. He
is not kidding.]


Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Santa Monica Our Times
Contact: SMOurTimes@earthlink.net
Pubdate: May 9, 1999

Marijuana activist convicted of cultivation, possession

* Joe 'Hemp' Kidwell to be sentenced for growing pot plants on roof of Venice
office building.

VENICE - Joe "Hemp" Kidwell, a motorcycle mechanic turned marijuana activist,
faces a maximum of three years in prison for growing 14 pot plants on the
roof of his Lincoln Boulevard office building last summer.

After two days of deliberation, a jury in Santa Monica Superior Court on
Wednesday convicted Kidwell, 45, of illegally cultivating and possessing

He was arrested on Aug. 10 after Los Angeles police, who were summoned by
citizen complaints, spotted the plants from the road. Kidwell's office is in
the building at 4059 Lincoln Blvd.

Kidwell's sentencing is scheduled June 2. He faces a 16-month to three-year
sentence on the cultivation charge and an additional six months and a
possible $500 fine for possession of the marijuana. Deputy District
Attorney Decio Rangel declined to comment on the details of the case until
after the sentencing phase of the trial.

Defense attorney Seymour Friedman promised to file a motion that calls the
jury's verdict "illogical." The jury ruled there is no evidence to convict
Kidwell of selling marijuana, then convicted him of illegally possessing and
growing the drug. However, a doctor's testimony proved that Kidwell is
legally protected by Prop. 215 to possess and cultivate marijuana for medical
use, Friedman said.

Friedman argued his client was growing and using marijuana to treat his
arthritis and back pain as recommended by his doctor. Proposition 215,
passed in 1996, allows the use and cultivation of marijuana for medical
purposes with a physician's verbal or written recommendation.

Orthopedic physician Dr. Fred Hakmet testified that he recommended Kidwell
use marijuana for his arthritis and chronic back pain.

Kidwell pleaded no contest three years ago to charges of marijuana
possession. At a preliminary hearing last month, West Los Angeles Judge
Rosemary Shumsky ruled there was insufficient evidence to try Kidwell's
business partner, David Clancy, 44, on similar charges.


Joe "Hemp" Kidwell can be reached at 310-208-8898. Joe is the founder of
the Firt Hemp Bank Distribution Network (a medical marijuana cooperative)

Jim Rosenfield
Insight Web Design
tel: 310-836-0926
fax: 310-836-0592
Culver City CA [postal by request]

Hemp's Backers Try For A Comeback (The San Francisco Examiner says Sam H.
Clauder II, a strait-laced Southern Baptist political consultant from Orange
County, is heading a campaign to get industrial hemp legalized in California.
The quiet political campaign is gaining support, an Examiner/KTVU Channel 2
report found, but big obstacles remain. Clauder hopes to find a legislator
willing to carry a bill or attract enough public enthusiasm for a ballot

Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 11:57:03 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: Hemp's Backers Try For A Comeback
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Sun, 09 May 1999
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Examiner
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Forum: http://examiner.com/cgi-bin/WebX
Author: Katherine Seligman OF THE EXAMINER STAFF


Legalization Sought For Cousin Of Pot

In California these days there is the hemp movement and the other hemp
movement -- this second one backing the kind you can't smoke or bake
into brownies for an altered state.

Its leader wants it known that he is a strait-laced Southern Baptist
"white-bread" guy from Orange County who doesn't smoke marijuana.
Though he's got support from some who do smoke openly and often, he
also has in his corner the former director of the CIA and agriculture
officials from such non-trendy states as Wisconsin who see the plant
as an ecological and economic bonanza.

"I'm a member of the NRA, I'm overweight, I'm a meat eater, I'm no
dope-smoking hippie," said Sam H. Clauder II, a political consultant
who's heading a campaign to get industrial hemp -- the unsmokable
cousin of marijuana -- legalized in California. "I wouldn't be near
the marijuana issue until a year and a half ago when a few key people
convinced me that marijuana and hemp are not the same thing."

The quiet political campaign to turn industrial hemp into a legal crop
is gaining support, an Examiner/KTVU Channel 2 report found, but big
obstacles remain.

There's the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, for one. All hemp
is listed as a controlled substance, regulated by the DEA, and is
therefore illegal to grow. Indeed, industrial hemp and marijuana are
part of the same species, Cannabis sativa. But there the similarity
ends, say industrial hemp activists.

Very little THC

The industrial variety has only a fraction of the psychoactive
chemical THC found in marijuana. The smokable drug commonly has as
much as 16 to 20 percent THC, compared with 0.3 percent in industrial
hemp, which can't be smoked to produce anything but a headache or sore
throat, activists say. And, they add, industrial hemp is tall and
gawky, better for harvesting the long fibers that make it valuable.
Marijuana is shorter and bushier, ideal for harvesting buds.

But the Office of National Drug Control Policy says the two are
look-alikes, distinguishable only by chemical analysis, and that would
make drug enforcement a nightmare.

"The government is messed up on this," said James Woolsey, former CIA
director, now a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. for the North American
Industrial Hemp Council, an organization working to legalize the crop.

A DEA spokesman said the agency is considering whether to relax its
rules -- perhaps by licensing farmers or in other ways regulating the
crop -- but hasn't yet reached a decision. Six Kentucky farmers who
want the ban lifted sued the DEA last year.

Meanwhile, growing the plant remains a violation of federal law. But
that hasn't stopped more than 10 states from passing laws or
resolutions in the past few years calling for studying or growing
hemp, although the state decisions are largely symbolic.

California is important

Any legislation in California, a state that has been a hotbed of hemp
support, could be important, possibly influencing federal policy, says
Erwin Sholts, an official with the Wisconsin agriculture department
and head of the hemp council.

"Whatever California does impacts the entire nation to a degree," said
Sholts. "It's a huge state with huge agriculture."

So far, Clauder's gotten support from the California Democratic Party,
which in March passed a resolution calling for legalized growing of
industrial hemp. He now hopes to find a legislator willing to carry a
bill or attract enough public enthusiasm for a ballot measure.

Industrial hemp has no shortage of supporters in California. The
plant, which has been around thousands of years, has bred loyalists
who speak with an ardor unlike those who sing praises of, say, corn
and rice.

The reason? Hemp has lore and what Mari Kane, publisher of Hemp World,
a journal and directory for the hemp industry, calls "an archival
memory." It's "highly suspected" that Jesus wore hemp, she said.
Middle Eastern nomads planted it long ago and knew the value of its
long, sturdy fibers. So did Colonial Americans. Hemp was used in early
drafts of the Declaration of Independence. George Washington and
others after him grew it until the herb became associated with its pot
relative in the 1930's and the government banned farmers from planting

In the 1990s, the hemp movement is growing as it appeals on a broad
level, Kane said. Environmentalists like it because it is
eco-friendly, requiring less water than conventional crops and no
pesticides or insecticides. Its high canopy also naturally controls
weeds. Supporters say its fibers can be used for paper, cardboard,
even building materials, auto parts and fuel, thereby saving trees and
relieving dependence on petroleum.

Counterculture support

Its eco-friendly reputation has made it popular with youth and
counterculture consumers, of which there are plenty in the Golden
State. The bulk of the nation's retail hemp stores are now on the West
Coast, primarily in California, Kane said.

Though they have to import the hemp from other nations -- China,
Canada and Switzerland, to name a few -- retailers here are making it
into everything from paper and clothes to soda pop and shampoo.

Berkeley's Two Star Dog store offers skirts, pants, shoes, purses,
backpacks and body lotion made of hemp. The clothes, in a variety of
styles, are sewn in the back of the store.

"I wear hemp all the time," said Charles Gary, a community activist in
Berkeley, who was first drawn to Two Star Dog for environmental and
political reasons but grew to appreciate the look. "It's reminiscent
of linen but with none of the drawbacks. You can throw it in the
washing machine and it dries very quickly in the air. I even have a
suit (made) out of it."

Willie Phalanger was interested in the nutritional properties of hemp
oil when he started making Willie's Hemp Soda in San Rafael last year.
Now, he said, he's selling 3,000 cases a month of root beer, ginger
beer and black cherry soda. The creator previously of Root Zing -- "a
really strong ginseng drink" -- is also readying what he believes is
the world's first butterscotch hemp soda.

Last year the first Santa Cruz Hemp Expo attracted 87 vendors, said
organizer Paul Gaylon. The event featured a hemp house, a fashion show
and food of every kind, said Gaylon, who runs an herbal nutritional
product company that works with hemp oil, and is making a video on
hemp entitled "Hemp Hemp Hurrah."

The need to lobby

Despite hemp's cachet with certain crowds, supporters in California
still have work to do to enlist support of farmers, many of whom have
not yet considered the possibilities of hemp. "I work with alternative
crops and it's tough working with farmers until a trust is developed
and you can present the options," said Gary Banuelos, a plant
nutritionist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Fresno. He
said he'd like to work with hemp if the law allowed it. "It's great to
have a plant, but you have to be able to present what you can do with
it. Finding the plant is just part one."

Banuelos also predicts that industrial hemp may run into the same
problems facing kenaf, another eco-friendly crop grown for its fiber.
Kenaf farmers must ship what they grow to a processing plant in Texas
because there are none in California. And then there are the poachers.
Like industrial hemp, kenaf looks a lot like pot.

"People were always stopping and ripping me off," said Banuelos, who
grew kenaf in a field off Interstate 5 and was once even questioned by
Highway Patrol officers who thought he was growing marijuana. "You'd
be surprised how many people had their cars break down beside my kenaf

Woolsey said hemp would be most welcome in areas that grow rice, wheat
and corn, crops whose markets are "in the tank," which explains why
farmers in states like North Dakota already are interested. Farmers
there have watched as Canadian growers got higher prices for hemp than
they do for their conventional crops.

After piquing the interest of farmers, the hemp movement must also,
ironically, woo the original hemp movement, the one devoted to
removing all legal restrictions against any plant in the hemp family,
even the most potent cannabis, marijuana.

Jack Herer, for instance, is a hemp activist and founder of Help End
Marijuana Prohibition who said he can't support a movement or any law
that would lift restrictions from industrial hemp and keep them for

"If you grow this plant with restrictions the government will come in
and invite police in," he said. "The law would put growers under
threat of having police on their land."

But Woolsey, the former CIA director, said marijuana growers actually
have a reason to worry about industrial hemp. Its thick pollen can
cross-pollenate with pot plants and lower the THC in future
generations, meaning what's harvested would give less of a buzz.

"Industrial hemp in large quantities is a marijuana grower's nightmare
..." he said. "The only person stupid enough to plant marijuana plants
in hemp fields is Homer Simpson."

See this story Sunday night on KTVU Channel 2's "10 O'Clock News."

Drug Problem In Central Utah Called 'Epidemic' (According to an Associated
Press article in the Salt Lake Tribune, prohibition agents say the illegal
drug trade has reached "epidemic" proportions in south-central Utah. Cordell
Pearson, commander of the Central Utah Narcotics Task Force, said more people
are involved with drugs on a per capita basis in the rural area than in some
large cities.)

Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 16:47:28 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US UT: Drug Problem In Central Utah Called 'Epidemic'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Luciano Colonna
Pubdate: Sun, 09 May 1999
Source: Salt Lake Tribune (UT)
Copyright: 1999, The Salt Lake Tribune
Contact: letters@sltrib.com
Website: http://utahonline.sltrib.com/
Forum: http://utahonline.sltrib.com/tribtalk/
Author: The Associated Press


RICHFIELD -- Drug enforcement officials say the illegal drug trade has
reached "epidemic" proportions in south-central Utah.

Cordell Pearson, commander of the Central Utah Narcotics Task Force, said
more people are involved with drugs on a per capita basis in the rural area
than in some large cities.

In the past few weeks, law enforcement has responded to the problem with a
series of drug busts.

The most recent was in Monroe in Sevier County, and in the small town of
Jerusalem in Sanpete County. There also have been major drug busts in
Garfield County and Millard County, and 15 were arrested in one sweep in
Sanpete County. Methamphetamine labs have been raided during several drug
busts, and a small house in Fillmore was seized for drug violations, the
first time that has happened in Millard County.

Laboratory equipment, narcotics paraphernalia and weapons also have been
seized. Among the weapons that have been seized are rifles, shotguns and
handguns -- some fully loaded.

Authorities say the drugs are being distributed from county to county. It is
believed that the illegal drugs from the two labs recently discovered in
Sevier County were distributed to dealers in Piute, Wayne, Sanpete,
Garfield, Millard and Sevier counties.

And methamphetamine labs can be dangerous, Pearson noted. At a residence
near South Sevier Middle School in Monroe, "There was a great deal of
evidence which indicated the lab had exploded during the process of
manufacturing meth," he said. Residue bled through the paint on a wall and
meth was embedded in linoleum on a floor.

Actress Plato Dies of Overdose (The Associated Press says Dana Plato, a
former actress on television's "Diff'rent Strokes," died from an accidental
overdose of Valium and Loritab, a painkiller, Saturday night in Moore,
Oklahoma, while en route from Florida to Los Angeles.)

Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 19:40:00 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US OK: Actress Plato Dies of Overdose
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: EWCHIEF
Pubdate: Sun, 09 May 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press


MOORE, Okla. (AP) Former "Diff'rent Strokes" actress Dana Plato, who had
battled drug problems over the years, died of an accidental overdose
Saturday night, police said.

Police Sgt. Scott Singer said Ms. Plato, 34, had apparently taken the
painkiller Loritab and Valium. "The death appears to be an accidental
overdose. We don't suspect suicide," Singer said Sunday.

Ms. Plato played Kimberly Drummond on the NBC sitcom that ran from 1978 to
1984. Like her fellow child co-stars Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges, she has
found herself in and out of trouble over the years since the show was canceled.

In 1992 she received five years' probation for forging prescriptions for
Valium. That probation was added to five years' probation for robbing a Las
Vegas video store in 1991.

"If I hadn't gotten caught, it could have been the worst thing that happened
to me because I could have died of a drug overdose," she told reporters in 1992.

Ms. Plato and her fiance, Robert Menchaca, had stopped at his parents' home
in Moore for Mother's Day. She had arrived in Oklahoma after having appeared
on the "Howard Stern" show in New York on Saturday as part of an effort to
jumpstart her career.

Her recent career included mainly low-budget films such as 1992's "Bikini
Beach Race" and the 1997 film "Different Strokes: A Story of Jack and Jill,"
a direct-to-video softcore tale about a sexual threesome.

Ms. Plato and Menchaca, 28, were en route to Los Angeles. They lived in
Navarre, Fla.

Singer says Ms. Plato complained of being tired and went to take a nap
Saturday afternoon. He said Menchaca, who was with her, realized about 9:40
p.m. that there was a problem. Menchaca's mother, a nurse, and his brother
tried cardiopulmonary resuscitation to revive her but were unsuccessful.
Rescue workers were called and she was dead on arrival at Southwestern
Medical Center.

Singer says toxicology results aren't expected for about six weeks.

Coleman, who played the lovable Arnold on the show, pleaded no contest in
February to disturbing the peace for punching an autograph-seeker in the eye.

He was ordered to attend anger management classes, fined and given a
suspended jail sentence.

Bridges, who played Willis on the sitcom, has been arrested several times.

In 1990, Bridges was acquitted of assault with a deadly weapon in the near
fatal shooting of a narcotics dealer in a Los Angeles drug den.

He once testified that he became depressed and turned to drugs after his
show was canceled.

Drug Abuse Fight Could Use Cash Fix (Houston Chronicle columnist Thom
Marshall observes that both drug traffickers and the police, including DARE
officers, make a good living off prohibition. Money, however, is in short
supply at Houston's Palmer Drug Abuse Program, or PDAP, which offers free,
outpatient substance-abuse recovery services for youth, using methods based
on Alcoholics Anonymous.)

Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 17:45:14 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US TX: Column: Drug Abuse Fight Could Use Cash Fix
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Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: G. A ROBISON
Pubdate: Sun, 09 May 1999
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/
Forum: http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html
Author: Thom Marshall


Almost Everywhere Drugs Go, Money Follows

Money is why farmers produce plants to be processed into illegal drugs
instead of cultivating crops of less-profitable food or fiber. Money
is the motivation driving drug dealers. Stealing for money to buy
drugs is behind that big percentage of crime attributed to substance

Fighting drugs is but the flip side of the same coin. Seizing assets
from suspects in drug cases has proved quite lucrative for law
enforcement agencies. This is on top of the vast sums of public money
the government continues pouring into its so-called drug war year
after year, despite an appalling lack of progress to show for it.

Even when it comes to treatment of drug abusers, some high-cost
private facilities have gleaned great profits by keeping drug abusers
until their insurance coverage is exhausted and then releasing them.

Money, however, is in short supply at Houston's Palmer Drug Abuse
Program, or PDAP, which offers free, outpatient substance-abuse
recovery services for youth, using methods based on Alcoholics
Anonymous. Beth Alberts, PDAP executive director, and some of the
organization's trustees, said they have been frustrated by recent
fund-raising efforts.

Raising funds a challenge

PDAP was started in 1971 at Palmer Memorial Church. It boasts a
success rate of 65 percent, meaning 65 out of 100 of those who come
for help manage to achieve sobriety during their first 90 days.

The organization has grown to six locations in the Houston area and
has spread to 10 other cities. Alberts is working to expand to more
Houston locations and said the only roadblock has been a lack of money
to pay counselors to run the programs.

She said PDAP has many longtime loyal contributors and conducts a few
fund-raisers, such as an annual golf tournament, but coming up with
new sources of funding is difficult.

Helping kids with drug problems is one of those things most of us had
rather not think about, unless we have to. It makes us uncomfortable.
It is one of those problems we want others to take care of.

Some of the city's major contributors to charities have let Alberts
know they had rather put their donations into worthy causes that are
more pleasant for people to ponder, such as the city's many arts
programs. So recently, for the first time, Alberts went to City Hall
requesting a $100,000 grant for PDAP.

It seemed a reasonable request, considering the $3.7 million per year
the city pays to finance the much-criticized DARE program. Many
studies over several years show DARE to be, basically, an expensive
flop in cities across the country and here at home.

A better approach than DARE

Some $3.3 million of that DARE budget goes to pay salaries and
benefits for 63 police officers who teach the program. Much of the
rest is spent on T-shirts, bumper stickers, pencils, and other
promotional items.

When you consider that the kids PDAP helps are the kids that DARE had
failed to steer away from drugs, doesn't it seem fair that the DARE
budget should be cut enough to fund the PDAP grant request?

Actually, considering DARE's dismal track record after more than a
dozen years, doesn't it seem that we might be better off doing away
with DARE altogether and finding and funding programs that show better

That isn't likely to happen, though. Police officials wouldn't give up
control of all that money without a big battle. Whenever it is
suggested, DARE advocates promise improvements and suggest the real
problem is that they don't have enough money.

And whenever the discussion turns to money for drug programs here in
Houston, we should remember to factor in the politics. Mayor Lee Brown
was Houston's police chief when DARE was started, and he has led the
federal war as the nation's drug czar. He isn't likely to break ranks
and abandon any government-controlled programs, regardless of how many
studies show they are ineffective.

Mayor Brown also is listed as an advisory member of the PDAP board,
but that hasn't yet counted for anything in the quest for funding.

The funding request before City Council is pending. Meanwhile, if you
know kids who could benefit from PDAP and would like to know more
about the program, you can call Beth Alberts at 713-507-5354.

Thom Marshall's e-mail address is thom.marshall@chron.com

Committee Considers Compromise On Hemp Legalization (The Minneapolis
Star-Tribune says a proposal before a Minnesota legislative conference
committee would allow Governor Jesse Ventura to apply for federal permits
that would allow state farmers to grow experimental and demonstration plots
of industrial hemp. An earlier bill to legalize industrial hemp passed the
Senate but was stopped in a House committee.)

Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 18:05:28 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US MN: Committee Considers Compromise On Hemp Legalization
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Frank S. World
Pubdate: Sun, 09 May 1999
Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)
Copyright: 1999 Star Tribune
Feedback: http://www.startribune.com/stonline/html/userguide/letform.html
Website: http://www.startribune.com/
Forum: http://talk.startribune.com/cgi-bin/WebX.cgi


ST. PAUL (AP) -- A proposal before a conference committee would allow the
governor to apply for federal permits to authorize the growing of
experimental and demonstration plots of industrial hemp.

A proposal to legalize hemp as a crop passed the Senate earlier this session
but was stopped in a House committee. The amendment, part of a House
governmental finance bill, would also allow individuals to apply to grow the
hemp in demonstration plots.

Gov. Jesse Ventura has supported the legalization of industrial hemp, a
cousin of marijuana with a low amount of the psychoactive ingredient THC.

Hemp has become a trendy product of choice used in items ranging from
designer clothing to expensive German automobiles. Hemp was legalized in
Canada last year and was once used in the United States to make rope and
other products.

Opponents of legalizing hemp say it is indistinguishable from marijuana and
could lead to law enforcement problems.

Inmates' Suits Target Wide Range Of Officials (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
says Missouri state Attorney General Jay Nixon is defending state employees
against 711 prisoners who have filed 33 lawsuits over alleged abuse they
suffered at the hands of Texas jailers. Prisoners blame not only the Texans
who ran the jail, they blame leaders of the Missouri Department of
Corrections for ignoring their complaints until the scandal got too big to
cover up when a videotape surfaced in 1996 that showed Missouri prisoners
being stomped on, bitten by attack dogs and zapped with a stun gun. "We're
having to deal with about 2 million pages of documents . . . .," Nixon said.
"It is the largest paper case we've had . . . ." Nixon has 26 lawyers on his
staff working on the case. He also hired three private lawyers at $100 an
hour or less, and rented space in an office park to use as a depository where
97 boxes and nine filing cabinets fill two rooms.)

Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 03:52:53 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US MO: Inmates' Suits Target Wide Range Of Officials
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: MAP
Pubdate: Sun, 09 May 1999
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Copyright: 1999 Post Dispatch
Contact: letters@pd.stlnet.com
Website: http://www.stlnet.com/
Forum: http://www.stlnet.com/postnet/index.nsf/forums
Author: Kim Bell, Post-Dispatch Jefferson City Bureau



More than 700 men, once known by Missouri as merely prisoners of the state,
are now plaintiffs - suing state officials for alleged abuse they suffered
at the hands of Texas jailers.

The lawsuits followed the 1996 videotaped jail shakedown that showed
Missouri prisoners being stomped on, bitten by attack dogs and zapped with a
stun gun in Brazoria County, Texas.

Although convicted of Missouri crimes, the prisoners were sent to Texas as
part of a rent-a-cell program because prisons here were packed.

Prisoners blame not only the Texas sheriffs deputies and the private company
that ran the jail, they blame leaders of the Missouri Department of
Corrections for allegedly ignoring their complaints until the tape surfaced
nearly a year later.

Attorney General Jay Nixon is representing the state employees against 711
prisoner-plaintiffs in 33 lawsuits.

"We're having to deal with about 2 million pages of documents in those cases
alone," Nixon said. "It is the largest paper case we've had to deal with in
a quick, short time period since I've been attorney general. "

Nixon has 26 lawyers on his staff working on the case. He also hired three
private lawyers at $100 an hour or less.

Lawsuits were filed in Texas and Missouri, in federal and state courts. Most
prisoners sued about 40 different entities, from Dora Schriro, the prisons
chief of Missouri, to the jailers and sheriffs of Brazoria and other Texas
counties that had contracts with Missouri.

The prisoners also are going after the private jail-management firm, Capital
Correctional Resources Inc.

Millions are at stake, but Nixon's chief of staff, Chuck Hatfield, said:
"The attorney general has specifically said we are not interested in paying
any money on these cases, period."

Hatfield said the prisoners' lawyers are negotiating with CCRI's insurance
company. The jail management firm had a $2 million insurance policy covering
all events that occurred in Texas.

Barring a settlement, the earliest trial date would be June 2000.

Monstrous workload

Because of the monstrous workload, Nixon rented space in an office park east
of the Capitol to use as a depository. Ninety-seven boxes and nine filing
cabinets fill two rooms. An oversized Texas fly swatter hangs on one wall;
on another wall is a map of Texas with color tabs marking seven key counties
that held Missouri prisoners.

"I think our defenses are strong," Nixon said. "We did not send our
prisoners down there to be treated inhumanely."

Nixon declined to comment on the specific allegations against Missouri
officials. Typical allegations include:

* Schriro and the Missouri Department of Corrections "knew or should have
known" of the alleged mistreatment through audits and interviews with

* Prisoners were abused immediately after arriving in Texas. Guards hit,
kicked, pushed and shoved the inmates, struck them with riot batons, shocked
them with stun guns and forced them to crawl on their stomachs and scream "I
love Texas" under threat of physical abuse or punishment.

* Missouri dumped violent prisoners on Texas, in violation of the contract,
by "improperly and illegally" changing the inmates' security classifications.

* Prisoners repeatedly reported the abuse to Missouri, but officials did not
do thorough investigations.

* Missouri contends the Texas jail warden downplayed the incident and kept
the video secret. Missouri has sued Brazoria County for breach of contract.

* Missouri failed to review the hiring practices in Texas that put jailers
with violent and criminal pasts in charge of Missouri prisoners.

Two jailers at Brazoria County were hired despite misdemeanor convictions
for abusing inmates. The head of security in CCRI's Limestone County jail
was a former deputy sheriff who was demoted for abusing a handcuffed

Missouri said it was not aware of their guards' troubled pasts; the hiring
was left to the company and Brazoria County.

Wilton David Wallace, a CCRI jailer, had served prison time for beating a
prisoner 13 years before he came into contact with Missouri inmates.

Wallace faces criminal charges for violating the civil rights of Missouri
inmate Clarence Fisher in 1996 by ramming Fisher's face into a wall at the
Brazoria County Detention Center. The alleged attack was not captured on
video; Fisher lost a tooth and required stitches. The criminal trial is set
for July 12.

On the video, a CCRI guard identified as Wallace steps on an inmate's back
and kicks another inmate in the groin as he crawls across the jailhouse
floor. Wallace and three deputies face federal criminal charges for their
alleged roles in the 1996 videotaped shakedown. All four have pleaded not
guilty and await trial Aug. 9 on the civil rights violation charges.

Videotape spurs litigation

Not until the tape surfaced did Missouri officials begin to take the
prisoners' allegations seriously, the suits allege. Prisoners say they
signed a complaint and sent it to Nixon. Hatfield declined to comment.

Lynn Klement, of Angleton, Texas, represents 25 prisoners in lawsuits. He
did not sue any Missouri officials. Instead, he targeted the Brazoria County
sheriff, deputies and CCRI.

"I really went after the wrongdoers, the perpetrators of the beatings,
rather than a shotgun blast where I go after everyone," Klement said.
"Missouri's involvement was more benign neglect, ignoring their pleas."

The videotape Sept. 18, 1996, was taken by a Texas deputy as part of a
training exercise. The sheriff's riot team orders prisoners to crawl into a
hallway while jailers shake down the bedding looking for drugs.

One deputy holding a black tazer, or stun gun, shocks at least three
prisoners on the back or buttocks as they crawl past him. One of the
slower-moving prisoners is a young man with a bandaged ankle, who was
dragged at times by a deputy.

Although this 32-minute video is what sparked the litigation, lawyers say
they uncovered as many as 100 videotapes of Missouri prisoners at various
jails in Texas. Some of the footage is dry, showing a monotonous stream of
prisoners eating or being unloaded from buses. One video shows inmates in
Gregg County, Texas, being hosed down as someone adds pepper spray to the
water. Klement said other tapes had been erased.

In summer 1997, Missouri had 1,091 inmates in Texas jails, a $12 million
program that relieved overcrowding at home. Shortly after the videotape
surfaced, Missouri ordered the return of all its prisoners.

The Drug Odyssey Of A Senator's Son (The Standard-Times, in New Bedford,
Massachusetts, recounts the 25-year heroin addiction and eventual healing of
Doug MacLean, the son of William Q. "Biff" MacLean, a once influential state
Senate majority leader. All three of MacLean's children became drug addicts,
and all three recovered. The first-hand experience has given him new insight
into the city's drug problems. "What I've learned from my kids is that you
can spend a lot of money, but nothing will work until an individual makes up
his or her mind that they want help and are ready to help themselves out."
He's learned something else, as well. "Don't criticize people because it
could happen to you.")

Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 19:39:56 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US MA: The Drug Odyssey Of A Senator's Son
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Sun, 09 May 1999
Source: Standard-Times (MA)
Copyright: 1999 The Standard-Times
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
Website: http://www.s-t.com/
Author: Polly Saltonstall, Standard-Times staff writer


Doug MacLean Tells Of His 25-Year Addiction - And His Recovery

During almost three decades in office, William Q. "Biff" MacLean earned a
reputation as one of the state's most influential politicians. The former
state Senate majority leader made things happen.

But even this consummate power broker could not make the problems in his own
family go away.

All three of his children became drug addicts.

This is the story of the senator's son Doug, who abused heroin for almost 25
years before flushing the drugs out his system for the last time in a jail
cell five years ago.

"You get to a point where you don't realize how you got there," says Doug,
who decided to talk about his addiction and his recovery in the hope it
might inspire others.

Poised and gregarious with blue eyes, short dark hair, a wide smile and a
ready, rolling laugh, he came to recent interview wearing pressed gray
flannel pants, a jacket and tailored wool overcoat that mark him as a young
professional on the way up.

Yet this was the same person who checked into New Bedford's Ash Street Jail
in early 1994. A snapshot taken that day shows tangled black hair and
blood-shot eyes staring vacantly from a gaunt face.

"I started out at 17 shooting dope and the next thing you know I was 37,
helpless, homeless and destitute, wondering how in the hell did I get here?"
he says. This story has two morals:

Heroin addiction does not recognize class and economic boundaries -- it hits
the privileged as well as the poor.

And once the addiction takes hold, it can't be cured by money or influence
-- drug abuse in his family left even one of the state's most powerful
politicians powerless.

Outsiders can show the way, but ultimately only the addict can cure himself.

"There is hope for people. I want them to know there is a way out," says
Doug. "You can lead a horse to water. You can't make him drink, but you can
make him thirsty. That's the point -- to make them thirsty, to let them know
there's another life."

The first time Doug MacLean tried heroin, he could not stick the needle into
his arm himself. A friend did it, while the squeamish 17-year-old turned his
head away. The initial prick hurt. But the physical pain only lasted for a
second as the potent drug pulsed to his brain and took over.

He quickly overcame his fear of needles for pragmatic reasons. When he asked
someone else to inject him, he had to share with that person, which meant
less drugs for him.

An active child who loved boats and ice hockey and was never at a loss for
friends, Doug suffers from a learning disability called dyslexia. The
dyslexia made reading and writing difficult for Doug. Held back in school as
a result, he felt stupid and worthless.

He drifted away from academics and was introduced to drugs by friends. They
started out drinking. They tried speed, sometimes called crystal meth, so
they could stay up late and drink more. Soon they moved on to heroin.
Initially, Doug just shot up on weekends, but within two years he had
developed a daily habit and was overdosing on a regular basis.

"I didn't feel good about myself. I was insecure," he said. "When I used, it
got me out of myself."

Doug's initial exposure to drugs was smoking marijuana at the age of 13. His
mother, Martha Cardoza, recalls the first time she and her husband became
aware of the situation.

Doug had come home one evening acting strangely.

"Biff was so mad he grabbed Doug," she says.

Both parents yelled. They threatened to send Doug away to school. They
threatened to lock him in his room.

"We didn't know how to handle it," she says.

"And you know what's so strange is they were doing this anti-drug stuff in
school, showing the kids what happened if you got involved. And Biff was
very strong about telling them what to do. I just didn't think we'd ever have
this problem."

Ms. Cardoza, who was divorced from the senator in 1986 after 20 years of
marriage, took her son to weekly sessions with a psychologist. But he
defiantly announced he would not stop smoking pot. He also told them he was
too smart to try anything stronger.

"Then one thing led to another and before you know it, he had left home,"
she says. "Biff tried everything he could. We both did. But we didn't know
anything about drugs. I can't describe how awful it is. To not be able to do
anything is the worse thing a parent can go through."

To this day, her brain tells her there was nothing she could have done, but
her heart continues to ask why. Was it peer pressure? Was it teen-age
rebellion that got out of hand? She confesses to over-drinking herself at
times, but neither her family nor the senator's had a history of problems
with substance abuse.

Ms. Cardoza remembers how the young Doug doted on his grandparents, how he
loved to go out in boats, to play with his friends. One summer he went to
Ted Williams baseball camp. His grandfather, who had played minor league
ball in Rhode Island, lent Doug a baseball signed by Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth.

"He told Doug to be sure not to allow anyone to write on it. When Doug
showed it to Ted Williams, he offered to sign it, but Doug wouldn't let him.
Can you imagine?" she says, speculating how much a ball with those three
signatures might be worth today. "Doug did not want to disappoint his

But she also remembers that sometimes the young boy would get a sad look in
his eyes and stare off to someplace she couldn't reach. A slow learner, he
started to talk later than other children and occasionally had trouble
saying what he wanted.

Senator MacLean did not notice his son's drug use initially.

"Don't forget I was running businesses. I was involved with seven fishing
boats. I had a real estate business. I was in the legislature. I was so busy
trying to make a living, I couldn't see the forest for the trees."

Sitting in his wood-paneled insurance office on a rainy afternoon, he folded
his arms tightly over his chest as he looked down at a photo on his desk of
his three grown children and reflected back on their childhoods. The normally
confident senator spoke in soft tones, punctuating his conversation with long
pauses as he remembered.

A star athlete in high school, Senator MacLean was proud when his son turned
out to be a good hockey player. But the father who loved sports so much
never went to athletic events with Doug, or his two daughters.

"The shame of it is they always went with a man named Arthur Martin (a
family friend). I had the tickets but they went with him because I was in
the legislature."

Something close to regret slips into his voice, as he describes how he has
told young legislators serving after him to spend more time with their

"You think it's so glamorous," he says looking up at framed photographs of
him with various state and national politicians. "But it's only a short
time. Your family is going to be with you the rest of your life."

He wonders whether the pressure of being his son might have sparked some of
his children's rebellious behavior.

"I never considered myself a famous father. I just tried to be a father.
Whether I was a good one, only time will tell."

Doug says his father was rarely around during his childhood.

"You don't know what you don't know. I guess you can't miss something you
never had," he says.

"He really intimidated me. For one I didn't know him and for two, he was a
powerful person. He carries himself that way. It's especially difficult for
someone who isn't full of self-esteem and self-worth. I used to stutter
around him. I was scared to speak my mind."

He does not think his father noticed the changes in him as he grew older.

"One moment I was a cute little kid, the next I was in the seventh grade
with long hair and smoking dope. He probably wondered where did this guy
come from."

By the time he was 18, Doug already had been arrested a handful of times on
charges ranging from breaking and entering to illegal possession of drugs
and alcohol.

He dropped out of school when he was 16, around the time he moved out of his
parents' house.

Soon afterward, he went to Florida on a swordfishing boat. When he returned
to New Bedford a year later he got a job working in a fish market. Laid off
from that, he was hired at United Liquors, working in the warehouse and
making deliveries.

"I was drunk all the time."

Still using drugs, he was charged, along with three others, with stealing
$425 worth of brass fastenings and screws from a Fairhaven business. The
business owners and district attorney's office agreed to not to press
charges if Doug, who was then 18, joined the Navy. He served from 1976 to
1979 in Norfolk, Va.

When he got out he signed on as a deckhand with scallopers fishing out of
New Bedford. He also worked as an engineer and cook on the big boats. It was
a rough, tense life.

"Living-on-the-edge type of thing," says Doug. "It's not a pleasant life but
you make a decent living at it. It enables you to be very irresponsible."

Like his colleagues, when he came in from a long trip offshore flush with
thousands of dollars in cash, Doug gravitated to downtown bars where he
binged on alcohol and heroin before going back out to sea.

"You get hired in the barrooms, you get fired in the barrooms and you get
paid in the barrooms."

During the 14 years he worked on fishing vessels, Doug would flush the drugs
out of his system while offshore, then come back to port in New Bedford and
"blow my brains out" with heroin. Despite those dry periods at sea, his
habit intensified until no boat captain would hire him.

"They were tired of my bullshit."

He came back from his last fishing trip in January 1993.

Then he hit the bottom.

Doug met a prostitute named Joanne. The two moved around between motels and
boarding rooms. They spent one winter in an abandoned house, heating their
room with a two-burner electric cooking unit. They subsisted on a diet of
Little Debbie snacks and water, washed up in bathrooms around the city and
dressed in "our cleanest dirtiest clothes."

"All our money went for drugs," explains Doug.

When they woke up in the morning they shot up heroin and "nodded out" for a
few hours. At lunch time, they injected cocaine to wake back up and as the
afternoon wore on went back to heroin. After several days of nonstop
bingeing they would crash and sleep for 12 hours before starting the cycle
all over again.

The heroin "took all my problems away," says Doug. "The cocaine made me wide
awake and very paranoid."

Sometimes they did speedballs -- injecting cocaine and heroin
simultaneously. The cocaine provides a quick rush and the heroin takes the
edge off.

Doug's addiction was defined not by what it was, but by what it wasn't. He
got high, not necessarily because it felt good, but because it didn't feel
bad. A main focus was not to be "dope sick," the term addicts use for the
physical flu-like symptoms of withdrawal, the achy bones and muscles, the
runny nose, hot and cold chills and insomnia. Then there were the
psychological aches. Like a hung-over drinker the morning after a binge,
Doug was hit during his sober moments with flashes of remorse about the
course of his life.

"The more I did the worse I felt. The worse I felt the more I used. And the
more I used the more things I had to do to get the drugs."

Ever before one high ended, he was thinking about where to get money for the
next batch.

"You know it's going to run out, that the high will go away. My whole
existence was finding the ways and means to get more drugs. No matter how
much I had it was never enough," he says. "My whole world existed within a
few blocks' radius of New Bedford."

He would get drug money anyway he could, including robbing the men who
picked up Joanne. She would lure them in and when they took their pants off,
Doug would steal their clothes and their wallets. Once they found a grocery
list in a victim's pocket with money attached.

"I felt kind of bad for that guy," says Doug. "He left his house and his
wife and kids to go grocery shopping and now he has to explain to his wife
how he has no money and no groceries because he got robbed going for a

The amount of drugs they consumed depended on the money. A normal day might
bring in $500. Once they robbed $2,000 off one of Joanne's tricks.

"That only lasted two days," says Doug.

Once an angry victim came back and shot at the house while Doug and his
girlfriend huddled inside.

It could have been worse.

He considers himself extremely lucky not to have tested positive for HIV.

Doug's family and friends tried to help him cure his habit. His sisters
enrolled him in a 30-day detoxification program in New Hampshire, a former
girlfriend sent him to a clinic and a good friend picked him off the street
and took him to a program on the Cape. But each time, he could not live with
himself sober and relapsed.

"I felt my life would get better without drugs and it did get better, but I
felt lousy," he says. "After so many years of lying and manipulation, when I
took the drugs out of my system, I felt like a scared little kid. I lived in
fear to the point where I felt uncomfortable in my own skin."

When he fell back into his old habits, he made a conscious effort to stay
away from his family.

"Would you want your mother to see you that way?" he says, describing
himself as "probably the most polite junkie on the street."

Once while sitting stoned on the front step of a Fairhaven motel room, Doug
helped save the life of a woman whose boyfriend had slit her throat. She
came around the corner, holding a bedspread over her naked, bloody body.
Doug got a towel and told her to hold it against the pulsing red gash in her
neck. He yelled for someone to call 911 and went to the woman's room where
he found a naked man lying on the floor with a knife wound in his throat.

"The cops thought I had done it because I was covered in blood."

Both the man and the woman survived.

His family connections made Doug one of New Bedford's better-known addicts.
Each new arrest -- and there were quite a few -- made headlines in the local

The stories made his mother cringe.

"I didn't want to go to the grocery store or the hairdresser."

She remembers looking out her window one night and seeing Doug curled up
asleep on her front lawn.

"I wanted to bring him in, give him a bath and some food and tell him
everything would be OK," she says.

But despite her anguish and her belief that her son's lifestyle was killing
him, she did not go outside.

"I knew that wasn't the right thing to do. By then, I knew about the
importance of tough love. I knew I had to let him be."

The next morning when she looked out again, Doug was gone. She never found
out what happened or why he came to her house that night.

Senator MacLean also never saw his son during this period.

"It wasn't hell. It was worse than that," he says. "Everybody thought Doug
was in a situation where he was my son and that whenever he went to court, I
would get him out. That was never the case. I never picked up a hand for

He stops talking for a few seconds, and looks up at the ceiling. "I'm proud
of these kids," he adds about his three children, all of whom have recovered
from their addictions. "They've done it all on their own. I wasn't there.
Sometimes my temper was worse than anything else because I was so disgusted
with their attitude. Their success now is not because of me, it's because of

The first-hand experience has given him new insight into the city's drug

"What I've learned from my kids is that you can spend a lot of money, but
nothing will work until an individual makes up his or her mind that they
want help and are ready to help themselves out."

He's learned something else, as well.

"Don't criticize people because it could happen to you."

One of the senator's daughters works in the correction system helping
inmates recovering from additions. The other is a guidance counselor for
elementary school students. Both declined to be interviewed for this story.

"If you only used one quote it might be that after all these years I still
want to be invisible. After 14 years, I'm still worried about the stigma of
drugs," says one.

April 25, 1994, Doug went to jail again, sentenced to five and a half months
on various drug-related charges, including heroin distribution and
possession. Over the years, he had been in and out of jail, but this was his
longest stint yet.

He does not remember much about checking in to New Bedford's aging Ash
Street lockup, addled as he was by the symptoms of withdrawal. But he
carries in his pocket a snapshot taken by a caseworker, as a reminder of
those times.

Doug obtained a copy of the snapshot after leaving jail. He was counseling
other addicts at the time and found many did not believe he had once been
one of them.

"It brought tears to my eyes the first time I looked at it," he says. "I'm
in jail looking at doing some time. I feel pretty hopeless and helpless. I'm
at the point of no return, thinking how am I going to change this situation
I'm in."

After years of abusing his body, Doug was tired. He was ready to try one
last time to clean up his life. He kept to himself in jail, weaning himself
from the heroin without any medical treatment.

His mother gave him some money and sent him a letter urging him to get his
life together.

His father never visited or wrote.

"I thought if I went there it might have an effect on the other prisoners.
But more importantly, I was thoroughly disgusted with him. So many people
along the way had tried to help him," the senator says.

When Doug's mother and a sister visited on his birthday they saw a new person.

"When he walked down the stairs, I couldn't believe it was him. He had
changed, gained weight. He looked so good," Ms Cardoza says.

His decision never to go back to drugs came quietly in a moment of
reflection soon after he had been released from jail. Living in Harmony
House, a halfway house in New Bedford's North End, he took a written test to
assess what he needed to learn in order to earn his high school equivalency
diploma. Halfway through, stuck for an answer, he almost gave up.

"I was stressed out, sweating with a headache, thinking do I really need
this. Then I just came to a realization: let's just get through the day," he
says. "I closed the book, then opened it and continued on. Five years later
I'm still in school." Soon after he left Harmony House, Doug moved into
low-income housing near New Bedford's Weld Square. His mother helped furnish
the apartment, buying pots and pans, a bedspread and other accouterments.

He worked his way into a new life slowly. With no car, he depended on
friends for rides, or rode a bicycle. Up at 6 a.m. every day he went to
self-help group meetings and classes, volunteered with the drug treatment
and referral group Positive Action Against Chemical Addiction and spent his
evenings doing homework. He resisted the temptation to return to lower Union
Street and his fishing friends.

"Once I started achieving things its started snowballing. I realized if I
wanted to get a life I had to get off my ass and do something. You have to
learn how to feel good about yourself."

His studies paid off. Enrolled at Bristol Community College, he quickly
moved into the top ranks of his class, winning numerous awards, including
one for leadership, character and integrity. He was one of a handful of
community college students in the state chosen for USA Today's All USA
Academic Team. And he was elected as a student member of the board of

Both of Doug's parents came to his graduation in 1997. His mother cried as
she learned for the first time about the scholarships and awards won by the
son she thought she had lost.

"To this day I look at him in awe. I am so proud of him."

Doug went on to attend UMass Dartmouth where he is one year away from
earning a BA in sociology and criminal justice. A director on the board of
the New Bedford Council on Alcoholism, he also works part-time as an
alternative sentencing officer in Third District Court, helping place
criminals with addiction problems into treatment.

"I'm definitely my own person now and my accomplishments are due to what I'm
doing," he says. "You see me walking around and going to work in a suit. I
did the footwork."

And he has rebuilt ties with his father, who has become one of his son's
biggest boosters, along with most other people who come into contact with
Doug these days.

As he talks about his children, Senator MacLean's voice softens and he grins.

"Everytime I turn around someone is telling me about Doug."

Time To Prick A Drugs Myth (An op-ed in Britain's Sunday Times by Ian Oliver,
the former chief constable of Grampian Police, says needle-exchange
programs increase heroin use without reducing the transmision of disease.)
Link to a rebuttal
Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 21:00:17 -0700 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: UK: Time To Prick A Drugs Myth Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie) Pubdate: 9 May 1999 Source: Sunday Times (UK) Copyright: 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd. Contact: editor@sunday-times.co.uk Website: http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/ Author: Ian Oliver, former chief constable of Grampian Police TIME TO PRICK A DRUGS MYTH In 1998, three pharmacies on the fringes of Aberdeen distributed more than 120,000 hypodermic syringes to people who were injecting illicit drugs. It is a common and rising statistic throughout the UK's big cities. The original intention behind the introduction of needle exchange programmes (NEPs) was based on the hypothesis that they would play an important part in the prevention of HIV transmission and thus reduce the spread of Aids. At the time the Scottish Office was sounding out opinions on NEPs, Edinburgh was widely described as the "Aids capital of Europe". The first programmes in Scotland began in 1987 and the time has come to question their effectiveness. For example, there are grounds to argue that they have not stopped the spread of infection and may have exacerbated the problem of drug abuse. General Barry McCaffrey, the American "drugs czar", recently blocked the federal funding of NEPs. His reasoning was based on a report on the Vancouver NEP, the largest in North America, which currently distributes more than 2.5m needles a year, a figure that is expected to grow to an estimated 10m at present user rates. Vancouver has been described as the "drugs and crime capital of North America". In summary, McCaffrey's concerns were: * The science is uncertain. Currently there is no scientific or empirical evidence to demonstrate that NEPs reduce the spread of infection and there are concerns that they may exacerbate drug use. When the programme started in Vancouver in 1988, only 1%-2% of addicts were HIV positive; in 1998 that percentage had increased to 30%. * Public health risks may outweigh potential benefits. There is strong evidence to suggest that heroin and cocaine use is increasing among intravenous drug users and the risk that needle exchanges might promote that use outweighs any possible benefits. Research has shown that the Aids/HIV rate is declining, as a result of improved education, in areas where there are no NEPs. Vancouver has the highest heroin death rate in North America and there is evidence that needles are now used in cocaine abuse (previously "snorting" was the norm for this drug), where an addict may make up to 50 "hits" a day. Coincidentally, heroin abuse has increased significantly with the proliferation of NEPs in North America. * Treatment must be a priority. Where budgets are restricted, it is better to treat addicts than to support a strategy that may directly or indirectly encourage addiction. * Federal support of NEPs may undermine support for drug-control programmes. Spending federal money on NEPs detracts from spending on Aids research, treatment and prevention programmes. Such expenditure on drug paraphernalia could seriously undermine support for effective drug prevention and treatment programmes. * Supporting NEPs sends the wrong message to children. Lending official support to a programme that appears to encourage addiction and illegal conduct is inconsistent with the goals of a national youth-orientated, anti-drug campaign and sending a mixed message will threaten to undermine the credibility of other anti-drug initiatives. * NEPs do nothing to ameliorate the impact of drug use on disadvantaged neighbourhoods. NEPs are usually located in impoverished neighbourhoods. The programmes attract addicts and result in a concentration of the negative consequences of drug use, including criminal activity." The biggest concerns in North America seem to turn on the lack of any evidence that they are beneficial. In fact, there is every indication from the Vancouver experience that it created thousands of extra "shared" needles. In Scotland there is no official information available that assesses the efficacy or otherwise of needle exchanges. Separate budgetary allocations are made for health authorities who undertake NEPs and the Scottish Office is reviewing the HIV health-promotion strategy. In 1997, the National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel Report on HIV Prevention praised the NEP in Glasgow but made no reference to the heroin epidemic that appears to reflect the Aberdeen experience and that of North America. Evidence from Australia has raised serious doubts about the hypothesis that ready access to clean injecting equipment would play an important role in the control of HIV transmission. It points to a contemporaneous rise in the spread of hepatitis C among intravenous drug users, which is also apparent in Glasgow and other UK cities. Much of the support for NEPs in North America and the UK appears to be based on anecdotal evidence and the use of statistics, which have been demonstrated to be unreliable. What is of great concern is that after 12 years there has been no official assessment of this "act of faith" when there has been a concomitant rise in drug use. A trawl of the scientific literature has failed to produce any conclusive evidence that NEPs reduce the spread of Aids/HIV and hepatitis C or that they discourage drug use. Indeed, the reverse of that hypothesis might well be true, given the evidence that there is a massive increase in heroin use and that drug-related deaths among intravenous drug users are "sky-rocketing" across Scotland, particularly in Aberdeen and Glasgow. There are fears in North America that the support for NEPs is part of an international drug legalisation campaign which will lead to the free supply of heroin as has occurred in Switzerland and the Netherlands. There are also legitimate concerns that NEPs are acting directly in contradiction to the philosophy behind the drugs courts which depend on a "carrot and stick" approach in order to persuade users to refrain from drug use. A recent survey in 1997 by the Family Research Council in America has indicated that, by very large majorities across the social spectrum, there is opposition to NEPs. This opposition rests on the belief that they are not the most effective use of public funds to prevent Aids/HIV and they are thought to exacerbate other social problems. The survey found substantial majorities of Americans believed Aids prevention should focus on drugs treatment instead of "needle giveaways" with strong evidence that thousands of these clean needles will become "dirty" when shared with other addicts. Simultaneously maintaining and trying to reduce the harm in an inherently destructive practice and lifestyle is thought to be both unsuccessful and hypocritical. By a margin of 56% to 34%, Americans concluded that government-funded NEPs represented an official endorsement of illegal drug use. If we are serious in our attempts to enhance public health and reduce the demand for dangerous drugs as part of our anti-drug strategy, then it is surely sensible to undertake a scientific audit of a programme that has been promoted in Scotland for more than a decade. Before continuing to spend money on such programmes we should assess how they are controlled and apply "performance indicators" to demonstrate beyond doubt that they are achieving what they set out to achieve. We cannot continue to spend money and divert resources away from other projects such as the much-needed treatment centres on the assumption that a well-intentioned hypothesis propounded in 1987 continues to be valid at the end of the millennium. There are other, more effective and less controversial ways to prevent the spread of infection. If these NEPs represent little other than a public funding of an illegal and self-damaging activity, which itself is the cause of too many deaths and serious public health concerns, then the question has to be asked: "Where is the point?" -------------------------------------------------------------------


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