------------------------------------------------------------------- Philip Morris says it won't pay state's share in tobacco damages (According to the Associated Press, the cigarette trafficker says it won't pay Oregon's share of $32 million in damages assessed against it by an Oregon jury, arguing the multistate settlement with tobacco companies engineered by state attorneys general excuses Philip Morris from paying punitive damages to the state. Under Oregon law, 60 percent of punitive damage awards is appropriated to a state fund for crime victim compensation, meaning Oregon would get $19.2 million if the $32 million punitive-damages award withstands the tobacco company's appeal.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Wed, May 19 1999 Source: The Associated Press (OR) Copyright: 1999 The Associated Press Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Author: no byline Philip Morris says it won't pay state's share in tobacco damages PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon could be gearing up for a showdown with tobacco giant Philip Morris, which says it won't pay the state's share of $32 million in damages slapped against the company by an Oregon court. At issue is the fate of $19.2 million, part of a $32-million punitive-damages award granted to the family of Jesse D. Williams, a Portland resident and longtime Marlboro smoker who died of lung cancer. A Multnomah County Circuit Court jury awarded the family $79.5 million in punitive damages against Philip Morris on March 30, deciding that the cigarette-maker had lied for decades about the link between smoking and cancer. On Thursday, Judge Anna J. Brown reduced the amount to $32 million, ruling that anything larger would violate constitutional guarantees against excessive punishment. Under Oregon law, 60 percent of punitive damage awards goes to a state fund for crime victim compensation, meaning that Oregon would be a pull down $19.2 million, if the award withstands the tobacco company's planned appeal. Now, the tobacco company is challenging the notion that it has to pay any punitive damages to the state. In a letter to Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers, company attorneys wrote that a multistate settlement against tobacco companies excuses Philip Morris from paying the punitive damages to the state. In November, Oregon joined a nationwide settlement orchestrated by state attorneys general in which the tobacco industry agreed to pay the costs of medical treatment for smokers whose health benefits are covered by the Medicaid system, health insurance for low-income people. Under that agreement, Oregon is to receive $2.1 billion during the first 25 years and then about $81 million a year in perpetuity. Still, the state says it will stand tough against Philip Morris' refusal to pay in the Williams' lawsuit. "We will be litigating that," said Kristen Grainger, executive assistant to Myers. "We could possibly use the same court and judge. We're now evaluating our options." Neither Grainger nor Philip Morris attorney Gregory Little would comment in detail about the looming legal battle, but Little did say that the company was pleased that Brown reduced the award last week. "We believe that the reduction was certainly a step in the right direction, and we're pleased that the punitive damages was dramatically reduced . . . and ultimately should be set aside in its entirety," he said. The Williams family, on the other hand, hopes the entire judgment will be reinstated on appeal. In a statement written on behalf of the family, attorneys said they "emphatically disagree with the court's conclusion that the award was in any way excessive." After the trial, two jurors said they were angered by Philip Morris documents that showed the company knew about the disease-causing properties of cigarettes but continually denied the link between cancer and smoking.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon in pursuit of share of award (The Oregonian version) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Wed, May 19, 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: Patrick O'Neill, the Oregonian Oregon in pursuit of share of award * Philip Morris says it will fight any attempt to make it pay the state part of a $32 million punitive damages judgment Oregon justice officials say a huge punitive damage award against Philip Morris means the giant tobacco company will owe the state millions of dollars if the award survives planned appeals. But Philip Morris officials say they aren't going to pay. The two are headed for a legal showdown over the fate of $19.2 million, part of a $32-million punitive-damages award granted to the family of Jessie D. Williams, a Portland resident and longtime Marlboro smoker who died of lung cancer. On March 30, a Multnomah County Circuit Court jury awarded the family $79.5 million in punitive damages against Philip Morris, deciding that the cigarette-maker had lied for decades about the link between smoking and cancer. On Thursday, Judge Anna J. Brown reduced the punitive damage amount to $32 million, ruling that the larger amount would violate constitutional guarantees against excessive punishment. Oregon would be a big winner if the punitive damages award withstands the tobacco company's planned appeals. Under Oregon law, 60 percent of punitive damage awards goes to a state fund for crime victim compensation. If Brown's $32 million award stands, the state's share would be $19.2 million. But the tobacco company is challenging the notion that it has to pay any punitive damages to the state. In a letter to Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers, company attorneys wrote that a multistate settlement of Medicaid claims against tobacco companies excuses Philip Morris from paying the punitive damages to the state. In November, Oregon joined a nationwide settlement orchestrated by state attorneys general under which the tobacco industry agreed to pay the costs of medical treatment for smokers whose health benefits are covered by the Medicaid system. Medicaid provides health insurance for low-income people. Under that agreement, Oregon is to receive $2.l billion during the first 25 years and then about $81 million a year in perpetuity. Kristen Grainger, executive assistant to Myers, said Monday that the state disagrees with Philip Morris' refusal to pay in the Williams lawsuit. "I think that state will take exception to that," Grainger said. "We will be litigating that." Grainger said the state probably would file a motion with the court to make the tobacco company pay. "We could possibly use the same court and judge," she said. "We're now evaluating our options. I don't know what the timeline will be, but I expect it (the filing) will be imminent." Neither Grainger nor Gergory Little, Philip Morris associate general counsel, would comment in detail about the looming legal battle. Little did say, however, that the company was pleased that Brown reduced the award last week. "We believe that the reduction was certainly a step in the right direction, and we're pleased that the punitive damages was dramatically reduced . . . and ultimately should be set aside in its entirety," he said. The Williams family, on the other hand, hopes the entire judgment will be reinstated on appeal. In a statement written on behalf of the family, attorneys said they "emphatically disagree with the court's conclusion that the award was in any way excessive." According to the statement, the family "intends to continue this struggle to hold Philip Morris fully accountable for its calculated scheme of misconduct and the widespread harm it caused -- as the jury intended. We expect the jury's full verdict to be reinstated on appeal." After the trial two jurors said they were angered by Philip Morris documents that showed the company knew about the disease-causing properties of cigarettes but continually denied the link between cancer and smoking. A hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. June 18 before Brown on a Philip Morris motion for a new trial and a motion to set aside the verdict. Both motions normally are filed by parties contemplating an appeal. The motion for a new trial stops the judicial clock and gives Philip Morris more time to prepare an appeal. You can reach Patrick O'Neill at 503-221-8233 or by e-mail at email@example.com. The fax number is 503-294-4150. The regular mailing address is 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland, OR 97201.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Kitzhaber rolls out tobacco money for schools (The Oregonian says Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber on Tuesday signaled that he is willing to drop his tax-increase proposals and instead dig deeper into the state's tobacco settlement money to boost school spending.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Wed, May 19, 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: Steve Suo, the Oregonian Kitzhaber rolls out tobacco money for schools * The governor, perhaps inching closer to a budget deal, indicates he might abandon tax-increase plans SALEM -- Call it a budge on the budget. In a sign of incremental movement away from a budget deadlock with Republican leaders, Gov. John Kitzhaber on Tuesday signaled that he is willing to drop his tax-increase proposals and instead dig deeper into the state's tobacco settlement money to boost school spending. In a 45-minute briefing with reporters, Kitzhaber, a Democrat, laid out a plan that would raise $4.95 billion for schools, about $225 million more than Republican leaders have said the state can afford. The plan would pay for an expanded higher education budget and take steps to control how fast future school budgets grow -- two key Republican priorities -- without tax increases. Among other measures, Kitzhaber would spend $130 million in tobacco money during the next two years, up from his previous request for $70 million. An additional $150 million would come from settlement-backed bonds. The proposal represented the first time Kitzhaber has discussed such a broad use of debt financing -- a concept Republican leaders endorsed in their budget. And it was a formal acknowledgment that Kitzhaber is more intent on a budget deal than higher taxes. Although he said he would prefer raising $150 million by canceling personal income tax "kicker" refunds, Kitzhaber said he is willing to use debt instead. "If the leadership is adamant about betting on the come and not using these resources in the kicker, then we are forced to borrow money from the future children," Kitzhaber said. "I don't think that's good policy. I'm willing to do it if that's what it takes to get out of here." Still, Kitzhaber's announcement did not turn many heads among Republican lawmakers who control the Legislature. "He went to another pot of money to grow government," said House Speaker Lynn Snodgrass, R-Damascus. "If that pot of money wasn't there, he'd still be on the tax thing." Snodgrass reiterated the Republican position that the tobacco settlement, part of an expected $2.4 billion from the industry during the next 25 years, should be placed in trust. The federal government later might claim some of it, Snodgrass said, and using it to pay for state programs would increase the probability that taxes will rise in the future. Senate President Brady Adams, R-Grants Pass, wasn't as quick to reject Kitzhaber's proposals. Although he said he would be uncomfortable using the tobacco proceeds, he has not strongly opposed the concept. Kitzhaber's latest proposals for using tobacco money come after a series of other small windfalls to state government that he and Republican leaders are considering for schools. They include: * A higher-than-expected property tax forecast that will offset state spending by $31 million. * A plan to increase spending from the Common School Fund by $40 million. * Unexpected federal aid worth $104 million. But a number of obstacles have blocked a budget agreement. Among them, Adams and others have said recently: Kitzhaber's budget would exceed the state's statutory spending limit, enacted two decades ago and pegged to growth in personal income. Kitzhaber responded to that criticism for the first time Tuesday, calling the limit "an anachronism" because voter-approved property tax cuts have forced state government to expand its role in financing schools. "In my view, the spending limit has no relevance in this debate," he said, "unless you are looking for ways to avoid adequately funding schools." Beyond that, however, conservative Republicans in the House and Senate say Kitzhaber has offered no assurances about how the new school money would be spent. Senate Majority Leader Gene Derfler, R-Salem, and Sen. Neil Bryant, R-Bend, have been pushing a bill that would offer school districts the option to bargain with teachers for a legislatively approved salary cap. On Wednesday, Kitzhaber made a counteroffer. His proposed legislation, still in draft form, would tell individual districts what to expect in long-term state financing growth. The idea is to signal districts that if they negotiate higher-than-expected teacher pay increases, budget chief Jon Yunker said, they can't count on additional state support to sustain the increase. Adams said Republicans are willing to negotiate with Kitzhaber, as long as the two sides could come up with a bill that had a binding effect on school spending. "If you don't come up with something that has some teeth in it," Adams said, "it's just going to be words on paper." You can reach Steve Suo at 503-221-8234 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New pill can help pare off pounds (The Oregonian celebrates the arrival of orlistat, marketed under the brand name Xenical by Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc. Expect to see the ads soon. The weight-loss pill approved last month by the Food and Drug Administration is said to reduce the fat absorbed by the body by about one-third. Except after one year, only 57 percent of Xenical patients had lost a meager 5 percent of their body weight, compared to 31 percent of patients given a placebo. Designed for people who are very overweight, the drug is available only by prescription, and is meant to be used along with a physician-guided weight-management program that includes sensible diet and exercise. Several glaring omissions include the attrition rate - how many people were able to take the drug for as long as a year - how long the medicine was tested on human subjects, and whether any longitudinal follow-up monitoring of patients is being carried out to safeguard consumers by assessing or uncovering long-term side effects statistically.) Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Wed, May 19, 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: Oz Hopkins Koglin, the Oregonian New pill can help pare off pounds * The new remedy works by reducing the fat absorbed by the gut by about one-third The long-awaited, fat-blocking, weight-loss pill is finally at a pharmacy near you. Now for the small print: The drug, orlistat, marketed under the brand name Xenical (pronounced ZEN-i-cal) is probably not an easy answer to your dieting prayers. First of all, you don't just pop a pill and shed pounds. Xenical, available only by prescription, is meant to be used along with a physician-guided weight-management program that includes a sensible diet and exercise. Second, it's a fat blocker, but that doesn't mean you get to eat all the fat you'd like. Xenical works by blocking absorption of one-third of the fat you eat each day. That means a patient taking the drug who eats 60 grams of fat a day may absorb only 40 grams of fat, and the other 20 grams will be excreted through the digestive tract. And third: Some doctors may end up prescribing Xenical for the moderately overweight, but the pill was actually designed for obese patients with a body mass index, or BMI, (see inside chart) of more than 30. That would be, for example, someone 5-feet-5-inches tall, weighing 180 pounds. It is also designed for people with a BMI of more than 27 who have obesity-related medical problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Last month, the Food and Drug Administration gave Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc., makers of Xenical, the goahead to market it in the United States, and it is just now arriving at pharmacies, though it has been available through other countries via the Internet for some time. It has been used by more than a million people in 17 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Denmark France, Germany and Mexico, according to the company. The drug represents a new approach to fighting fat. "There has never been anything like this," said Dr. Roger Illingworth, an Oregon Health Sciences University professor of medicine who was on the advisory panel to the FDA that recommended approval of Xenical. He is in OHSU's division of endocrinology, diabetes and nutrition. Xenical is not at all like the infamous and wildly popular weight-loss drug fen-phen, the combination of fenfluramine and phentermine. That drug worked in the brain to suppress appetite, but fenfluramine was voluntarily withdrawn from the market after studies found it might cause a serious heart valve condition. Instead, Xenical acts in the intestines to block fat absorption. The drug prevents enzymes in the gastrointestinal track from breaking down the fat you eat into smaller molecules that can be absorbed by the body. The recommended dose of Xenical is one capsule with each main meal that includes fat. And since the drug reduces the absorption of some fat-soluble vitamins and beta carotene, patients should take a multivitamin containing A, D, E, and K vitamins and beta carotene to offset the loss, Illingworth said. He cautioned that the more fat patients eat, the harder Xenical will be on their gastrointestinal tract. "This is only going to block fat absorption by 30 percent, so if you are on a high fat diet this is going to give you more rapid bowel movements or perhaps diarrhea," Illingworth said. Because the drug is acting to reduce fat absorption, patients shouldn't expect to lose 10 pounds in a month with the drug alone. "So my philosophy will be to encourage people to use it as an adjunct to lifestyle changes and gradual weight loss at a reasonable rate -- a couple of pounds a month," he said. In the national studies leading to FDA approval, 2,800 patients had Xenical and 1,400 patients were on a placebo, or dummy pill. All patients were asked to eat a well-balanced, reduced-calorie diet containing up to 30 percent of calories from fat, which is consistent with the healthy eating plan recommended by the American Heart Association. All patients decreased their daily caloric intake by 20 percent, or by 600 calories per day. Of the patients who completed one year of treatment, 57 percent of the Xenical patients and 31 percent of the placebo-treated patients lost at least 5 percent of their body weight. Specific data from trials involving 7,000 patients worldwide shows: * Almost three times as many patients taking Xenical in addition to a reduced-calorie diet vs. reduced-calorie diet alone lost more than 10 percent of their body weight. * Twice as many on Xenical lost at least 5 percent body weight. * Patients taking Xenical lost 50 percent more weight than those on reduced-calorie diet alone. Dr. James Tarro, of Tualatin, who had 36 patients in the U.S. trials, says Xenical works best when accompanied by a big dose of tender, loving care. Weight creeps back In the first year of his two-year trial, patients who took Xenical, kept to a reduced-calorie diet and checked in with him once a month, lost 5 percent to 10 percent of their body weight. But in the second year when patients on the drug were placed on a slightly increased calorie maintenance diet and asked to check in every two months their weight began to creep up. "People need a lot of help, a lot of back patting," Tarro said. "We don't know a whole lot about weight loss other than the fact that minimum calories produce weight loss, however we can accomplish that." Now that Xenical is on the market, Tarro intends to incorporate it into his internal medicine practice, although he says he will not prescribe it for moderately overweight people who want to drop 10 pounds before their class reunion. Weight problems require more than a new drug, and obesity should be treated as a chronic disease, he said. For that reason, it's important to have a therapy obese patients can take for a long period of time, Tarro said. "And I think that Xenical is probably better than anything we have going right now, probably one of the safest for long-term treatments," he said. You can reach Oz Hopkins Koglin at 503-221-8376 or by e-mail at ozkoglin@news.Oregonian.com *** [sidebar:] How it works, what it costs Q: What is Xenical? A: Xenical is the trade name for orlistat, a drug recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use by prescription that blocks the absorption of dietary fat. Q: Who is Xenica/ intended for? A: It is meant for obese patients, not those who are only mildly overweight. Q: How does it work? A: Unlike other anti-obesity agents that work in the brain to suppress appetite, it works in the gastrointestinal tract to block one-third of the fat a person eats in a day. Q: What does it cost? A: About $4 or $5 a day. Most health insurance companies are unlikely to pay for it. Q: How much weight can I expect to lose with the drug? A: Weight loss is gradual and varies from person to person, but in studies Xenical patients experienced an average weight loss ranging from 5 to 10 percent of their body weight over one year. Q: What are the side effects of Xenical? A: Gastrointestinal symptoms, including oily spotting, flatulence with discharge, fecal urgency, fatty or oily stool, oily evacuation, increased defecation and fecal incontinence are usually mild and transient. Eating a diet with only 30 percent of calories from fat may minimize these symptoms. Xenical has also been shown to reduce the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K as well as beta-carotene. For more information about Xenical ask your doctor or call the drug company at 800-746-5456.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DEA Lies (The Anderson Valley Advertiser follows up on last week's disturbing news about an evidentiary hearing in San Francisco intended to explore the actions of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Mark Nelson, whose Ahab-like pursuit of supposed marijuana trafficker John Dalton of Redwood Valley allegedly led him to seduce Victoria Horstman, Dalton's wife, and swear her in as a Special Agent of the DEA. Monday's hearing confirmed Nelson's errant behavior, as well as his falsification of documents and perjury, but now he has his own attorney and will probably take the 5th at the next hearing, scheduled today. Dalton has been confined in a federal prison in Dublin, in the east Bay Area, for nearly two years awaiting trial.) Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 20:20:07 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: DEA Lies Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: combe email@example.com Pubdate: May 19 1999 Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA) Copyright: Anderson Valley Advertiser Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 707-895-3016 Fax: 707-8953355 Author: Mark Heimann DEA LIES Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Mark Nelson falsified records and lied about it, according to the government's attorney prosecuting John Dalton, the Redwood Valley, CA man Nelson pursued with a lawless zeal which has rebounded on him and the DEA. Assistant US Attorney Davis conceded the truth of the perjury accusations against agent Nelson before Federal Judge Susan Illston Monday morning at a hearing for "Outrageous Government Conduct" in the John Dalton marijuana cultivation case. (in San Francisco) Dalton, pursued by a cadre of local federal agents who believed that Dalton was getting rich from marijuana plantations on property he owns in the hills above Branscomb, has been confined to the federal prison at Dublin for nearly two years awaiting trial on the charges. Dalton's lawyers, Tony Serra and Shari Greenburger, are seeking dismissal of all charges against the federal government has brought against John Dalton because, in the words of Tony Serra, "Nelson's actions where so outrageous as to shock the conscience." Nelson's and the DEA's actions also are a jolt to common sense and, if tolerated by the courts, are a menace to political democracy. But Monday's confirmation of agent Nelson's errant behavior in his Ahab-like pursuit of Dalton, was welcomed by the Dalton defense team, who only learned of it over the weekend; perjury charges will now be added to the long list of crimes committed by agent Nelson and the DEA in their zeal to bust the Mendocino County mechanic. Judge Illston has granted the defense a full evidentiary hearing (virtually unheard of in a federal drug case) to explore the actions of agent Nelson, who is alleged to have seduced Dalton's wife, Victoria Horstman, and sworn her in as a Special Agent of the DEA. Connie Kellerman, a witness in the case, will testify that Horstman divorced Dalton at the insistence of agent Nelson "so she could testify against him.," and that agent Nelson, apparently not content with destroying Dalton's marriage, had also vowed, "I will do anything, and I mean anything, to get him (Dalton) and send him to prison for the rest of his life." Ms. Kellerman has said that on numerous occasions she heard agent Nelson say "his case against John Dalton was personal and it didn't matter if it was legal or not," and that Nelson wanted the then-Mrs. Dalton to assist him to "set him up." Kellerman said Nelson was unusually intent upon this particular suspect --- the hapless Dalton --- because the Nelson-Horstman "affair was in fact very sexual." But before Monday's hearing on Nelson's conduct could begin, Assistant US Attorney Davis told Judge Illston that agent Nelson had falsified the September 14, 1994 date on Horstman's fingerprint card, changing the date to September 17, 1994. Defense attorney Serra explained the significance of the forgery to the judge, telling her that not only did Nelson "intentionally insert the wrong date," he later lied about it in a sworn affidavit that was part of an Internal Affairs investigation into his and Horstman's torrid affair. Davis admitted he'd changed the date on the document and had subsequently lied about it to his superiors. The mildly disbelieving Judge Illston commented, "You're telling me your witness committed perjury. I'm very concerned about this; he's a government agent." Federal attorney Davis did not challenge the judge's remarks at the time, but later complained it was unfair of the judge to characterize Nelson as a perjurer before he has been convicted of the charge. The judge then rhetorically asked why Nelson would do such a thing? Serra replied, "He's hiding his rendezvous with Horstman at the 'Safe House'." The "Safe House," a Ukiah house supposedly devoted to stamping out marijuana, was also known as the COMMET House, and is believed to be the site where agent Nelson, himself a married man, first seduced Dalton's wife, Victoria Horstman. Later, Nelson would have Horstman call him when Dalton was out of the house so he could search it and place a recording device under Dalton and Horstman's marital bed. But Nelson's "alleged" perjury short-circuited the hearing on Outrageous Government Conduct, which has been rescheduled for today (Wednesday). Agent Nelson now has his own lawyer who is likely to advise his client to invoke the protection of the 5th Amendment to deflect questions concerning his "alleged" affair with Horstman. Judge Illston granted the delay to give Nelson and his new lawyer time to discuss agent Nelson's looming testimony. If Nelson does take the 5th, that leaves only Horstman who can testify to the sexual nature of the affair. Although Horstman has told her friend Connie Kellerman about her and Nelson's strenuous, and apparently gymnastic encounters, their encounters are hearsay, legally speaking. Serra pointed out that Horstman's veracity is questionable at best, something even the government recognized when they removed her from their witness list. "Horstman is way, way in left field," Serra told the judge. "Then she's way out in right field. Frankly your honor, I don't know how she will testify." Serra was referring to the many contradictory statements about the case, both verbally and in writing, Horstman has made. Judge Illston got a first-hand look at how bold Horstman's lies can be recently when Horstman called Serra to say she was in the judge's chambers and that Judge Illston said she didn't have to testify. Horstman went on to inform the startled attorney that the judge had vacated the court date. Horstman even claimed she had surreptitiously recorded her conversation with the judge. Monday's hearing was the first time the judge had ever seen or spoken to the former Mrs. Dalton. Since neither Nelson nor Horstman can be trusted to tell the truth, the government has dropped them --- the two primary witnesses against Dalton --- from their witness list. But if the case goes to trial, Dalton's defense will call them as hostile witnesses. If the nullification of their primary witnesses is not ironic enough, the government now says they plan to have someone very familiar to Tony Serra and Mendocino County residents testify Wednesday on agent Nelson's behalf. Former Mendocino County Sheriff's Department deputy Dennis Miller will testify for the prosecution, most likely about a domestic disturbance call he responded to originating with Horstman who, at the time, was still married to, and living with, John Dalton. If Miller testifies to what is in his report of the incident, the court will learn that Horstman called the Sheriff's Department to report John Dalton had beaten her. But when Miller responded to the couple's Redwood Valley home, he found Horstman with a baseball bat in her hand and Dalton with a very large knot on his head. Miller was aware that Horstman was working for the DEA at the time of the domestic dispute, and, contrary to Sheriff's Department policy on domestic violence, did not arrest Horstman for assault. Neither did he arrest Dalton. But, given the fluid nature of Dennis Miller's testimony in the Bear Lincoln trial, where he attempted to explain away his constantly changing versions of events by saying he had had a "recovered memory experience," any elaboration beyond what is in his report will be viewed with extreme skepticism by Serra, who was Lincoln's attorney in that trial. The government's strategy now appears to be to paint Dalton as an abusive husband, though what this has to do with growing pot is unclear. Besides Miller, the government's witness list for Wednesday now includes a psychiatrist who has evaluated Horstman. The psychiatrist is said to be prepared to testify that Horstman, who was sexually abused by her father, is suffering from "battered woman syndrome." It's unclear how the psychiatrist will place responsibility for Horstman's present state of mental disarray on Dalton and not her father. Perhaps the psychiatrist is unaware of Connie Kellerman's sworn declaration that: "(Nelson) would tell Victoria in front of me on numerous occasions to call the cops anytime she could on Dalton to 'set him up, accuse him of beating you etc., because it's a felony.' I have personally witnessed Victoria Horstman cause selfinflicted wounds to her face, neck, and arm, and then call the police and claim John Dalton did it." We will have a full account of Dalton's hearing to dismiss all charges against him because of outrageous government conduct next week.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dave Herrick's 2nd Anniversary (A list subscriber shares a letter from Salinas Valley State Prison in California, where the medical-marijuana patient/activist is serving a four-year sentence for selling medicine through the Orange County Cannabis Co-Op, after having been denied a Proposition 215 defense. Herrick's appeal is scheduled for June 21, and he may be paroled in October.) From: email@example.com Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 17:18:51 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: DPFCA: Dave Herrick's 2nd Anniversary Sender: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ I got a letter from Dave Herrick today. It was his 2nd anniversary of incarceration yesterday, the 18th. So I wanted to take a moment to hail one of our heroes. He's still in good spirits, working in the prison garden(!) and looking forward to his appeal date on June 21 in Orange County and his probable parole in October. An excerpt: I am tired my friend, and at times I too am feeling the toll of this commitment. I do miss the simple things that freedom offers, such as the ability to get out, go where you want, eat where and when, movies, plays, walks on the beach, etc. etc. etc. But I will hang in there, because...we are chipping away at the wall on a daily basis.. . one day in the not too distant future, you and I along with all our brothers and sisters in this cause will toast to the sweet taste of victory! I implore you to keep on keeping on, cause it's just a matter of time. "None of us are free, if one of us is chained." Peace, Dave POW P06857 Still here, still proud!! Write Dave at: David Herrick Salinas Valley State Prison E-2-14 PO Box 1070 Soledad, CA 93960
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana Researcher to Speak at Forum (A news release from the Lindesmith Center provides more details about a free public lecture scheduled May 25 in San Francisco featuring Dr. Donald Abrams, the only physician in the United States currently allowed to carry out a clinical trial using medical marijuana.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 13:19:07 -0700 To: email@example.com Subject: DPFCA: Abrams announcement Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ellen Komp, The Lindesmith Center 415-921-4987; firstname.lastname@example.org Medical Marijuana Researcher to Speak at Forum Prominent AIDS researcher Donald Abrams, M.D., the only U.S. researcher currently conducting a clinical trial on medical marijuana, will speak on "Medical Marijuana: Tribulations and Trials" at a forum sponsored by The Lindesmith Center West from 5-7 PM on May 25 at the San Francisco Medical Society (1409 Sutter at Franklin). Dr. Abrams received a grant from the NIH in October 1997 to conduct clinical trials on marijuana's use by patients with HIV infection. He is sure to present a lively and informative discussion of the state of research into marijuana for medicine. The forum will include a review of the medical uses of marijuana, a review of the different pharmacokinetics between oral and smoked THC, issues of concern for patients with HIV, and an outline of the tortuous route Dr. Abrams was required to take to gain approval for his study. Dr. Abrams is chairman and principal investigator of the Community Consortium, an association of Bay Area HIV Health Care Providers, one of the pioneer community-based clinical trials groups, established in 1985. He is the Assistant Director of the AIDS Program at San Francisco General Hospital and a professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Physicians, health care and treatment providers, patients, and members of the public are invited to the free forum. Please phone the Lindesmith Center at 415-921-4987 or email email@example.com to reserve a space. The Lindesmith Center-West is a policy and research institute and public interest law center dedicated to broadening debate on drug policy and related issues. The Center's agenda focuses on issues and strategies that have been overlooked or ignored in public discussions and government-funded research on drug policy.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alaska Legislature Tightens Medical-Marijuana Law (Reuters says the Republican-controlled legislature on Tuesday passed a bill to limit the initiative approved last November by nearly 60 percent of voters. The legislation will require patients to register with the state, limit possession to one ounce and six plants of marijuana, and require patients to make periodic visits to their doctors' offices. A spokesman for Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles indicates he'll sign the bill.) Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 18:28:21 -0400 From: David (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: NTL (NTList@fornits.com) Subject: [ntlist] Alaska Legislature Tightens Medical-Marijuana Law Reply-To: email@example.com (David) Alaska Legislature Tightens Medical-Marijuana Law 12:06 a.m. May 19, 1999 Eastern By Yereth Rosen JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) - Six months after Alaska voters approved a ballot initiative that granted residents of the state the right to use marijuana to ease the symptoms of grave illness, the state legislature Tuesday passed legislation limiting that right. Under the bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature, patients must register with state authorities to use the drug for medical purposes. The initiative, put on the statewide ballot by citizen petition, allowed the state to maintain a registry of medical marijuana users but did not force patients to join it. The bill passed Tuesday also would limit qualified patients and health-care providers to possession of one ounce and six plants of marijuana, with no exceptions, and it would require that patients make periodic visits to doctors' offices to renew their right to use medical marijuana. Neither provision was in the initiative approved by nearly 60 percent of Alaska voters. Gov. Tony Knowles, a Democrat, supports the bill, said spokesman Bob King. Under Alaska's constitution, lawmakers are forbidden from rescinding ballot initiatives for two years, but they may amend laws passed by initiative. State Sen. Loren Leman, the Anchorage Republican who sponsored the bill, said it was needed to prevent recreational marijuana users from exploiting the voter-approved initiative. That argument was echoed by state Rep. Ramona Barnes, an Anchorage Republican who noted Monday that possession and use of small amounts of marijuana was legal in the state until 1990 and said the ballot initiative was a veiled attempt to return Alaska to those conditions. ``Anyone that believes that medical-marijuana initiative didn't put us back to where we were in the mid-'80s, when marijuana was wide open in this state and (caused) the destruction of the minds and bodies of young people, think again,'' Barnes said. Leman said compromises made in committees will protect patients' rights while ensuring that police have the tools to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate marijuana use. But opponents of the bill said it imposed too many changes on a law that had won popular support from voters. ``It would be presumptuous for me to vote to change it, since the initiative got more votes than I did,'' said state Sen. Kim Elton, a Juneau Democrat. He and others criticized the registry, which they said could endanger patient confidentiality, and other elements they said unfairly burdened people suffering from serious illness. Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication and redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. *** 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)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tax On Illegal Drugs Is Unconstitutional (According to the Salt Lake Tribune, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball has nullified Utah's Illegal Drug Stamp Tax Act. Judge Kimball ruled the law amounts to a criminal punishment, entitling defendants to the same constitutional protections provided in a criminal prosecution, yet it does not provide for those rights. A 1997 state supreme court decision already limited use of the tax, and officials had all but abandoned it.) Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 13:17:53 -0500 From: "Frank S. World"
Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/7417/ To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: US UT: Tax On Illegal Drugs Is Unconstitutional Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Salt Lake Tribune (UT) Website http://utahonline.sltrib.com/ Email email@example.com Forum http://utahonline.sltrib.com/tribtalk/ Wednesday, May 19, 1999 TAX ON ILLEGAL DRUGS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL BY SHEILA R. MCCANN THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE A Utah federal judge has declared the state's Illegal Drug Stamp Tax Act unconstitutional, ruling it does not safeguard the rights of Utahns accused of failing to pay steep taxes on cocaine, marijuana and LSD. A 1997 Utah Supreme Court decision had already limited the use of the tax, and state tax officials had all but abandoned it. The new decision by U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball halts all use of the law, although it has not been decided whether the state will appeal, said Assistant Atty. Gen. Dan Larsen. The act required Utahns who possessed the drugs to buy tax stamps for their stash. The state charged $3.50 in taxes for each gram of marijuana, $200 per gram of cocaine and $2,000 for 50 doses of LSD. When dealers were caught with drugs and without the stamps, the law was used to seize cash and property to satisfy the tax. But the Utah Supreme Court decided the tax act could not be used if separate criminal charges were filed. Adding the tax to charges amounted to double jeopardy, or illegal double punishment for the same crime, the justices said. Kimball ruled in a challenge brought by Mindy K. and Jeffery C. Dunn, now of Salt Lake City, who were arrested by the FBI in March 1994. The criminal case against Mindy Dunn was dismissed, but Jeffery Dunn pleaded guilty to selling cocaine. The Utah Tax Commission assessed $4,287,960 in drug stamp taxes against the Dunns, based on evidence they possessed 11,000 grams of cocaine between 1992 and 1994, Kimball's decision said. Double jeopardy protections did not apply to Jeffery Dunn because he was not facing two cases from the same level of government, Larsen explained. The state pursued the tax case while the federal government filed the criminal case. Money and belongings were seized from the Dunns to satisfy the tax, including their Park City home, its furniture, and inventory from Mindy Dunn's Animal Crackers toy store. The home was sold at a loss, the Dunns contend. A 1995 inventory said the state held $340,000 in cash belonging to the Dunns, plus personal possessions. The Dunns sued in federal court, arguing the drug tax amounts to a criminal punishment -- which entitled them to the same constitutional protections provided in a criminal prosecution. Kimball agreed, finding Utahns facing tax assessments under the act have the right to have the case against them proved beyond a reasonable doubt; the right to an attorney; the right to trial by jury; and the right against self-incrimination. However, the act does not provide those rights. Under the law, taxes and penalties are assumed to be valid, Kimball observed. Taxpayers have the burden to show the taxes were incorrectly assessed. Hearings are held by administrative law judges, and final decisions are entered by the tax commissioners. Kimball ordered the state to halt the tax proceedings against the Dunns and return their money and property. The tax commission believes the Dunns' case was the final drug stamp tax case pending, said spokeswoman Janice Perry Gully. But the judge dismissed the Dunns' claims that their rights were violated during searches and seizures. The couple has endured financial hardship during the five years their assets have been held, and they may appeal that portion of Kimball's ruling, said their attorney, Rod Snow. "We think Judge Kimball is an excellent judge, but we will have to seriously consider with our clients the dismissal of the claims for violations of our clients' constitutional rights," Snow said. Jeffrey Dunn has not yet been sentenced in the criminal case. (c) Copyright 1999, The Salt Lake Tribune
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Don't Do Drugs' (The Houston Chronicle publicizes a drug-prevention program called "Drugs Kill." Houston advertising executive Earl Littman introduced the program to Fort Bend Independent School District elementary schools in May, although he initiated Drugs Kill at some other, unspecified place in 1997 after being "approached" by the U.S. Justice Department. The program instills the anti-drug message from the first grade, and children receive quarterly rewards for avoiding drugs. Upon graduation, students "qualify to apply for" a $1,000 scholarship to college. Both children and parents sign a pledge card. Children also receive posters of local athletes encouraging a sober lifestyle. Littman said he hopes a poster is placed in every child's bedroom - just as long as it's not former Dallas Cowboys star Mark Tuinei.) Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 12:27:05 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: 'Don't Do Drugs' Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Art Smart (ArtSmart@neosoft.com) Pubdate: Wed, 19 May 1999 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Page: "This Week" Supplement, page 1 Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Forum: http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html Author: Devika Koppikar, This Week Correspondent 'DON'T DO DRUGS' Program Delivers Message To Youths Illegal drugs sell at every street corner, convenient store parking lot and school, said David Culbertson, former drug user. To combat the invasion, noted Houston advertising executive Earl Littman introduced the Drugs Kill program in Fort Bend Independent School District elementary schools in May. The campaign aims to keep children drug-free from first grade through high school (and afterwards) with incentives. "Today, 50 percent of high school students have tried some type of illegal substance, but we hope this campaign creates the first drug-free class of 2010," said Littman. Drugs stay within close proximity to children in Fort Bend schools, said Littman. When he introduced the campaign at Quail Valley Elementary School in Missouri City on May 4, a 7-year-old boy shared that another little boy recently offered him inhalants. "Drugees love to trap kids, by giving them free samples, telling them it's cool and will make them relax," said Littman. But the Drugs Kill campaign reverses the drug dealer's enticements by telling children that drugs kill careers, families and neighborhood. The program is unique as it asks both children and parents to sign the pledge card. Research shows parent involvement in a child's life reduces drug use by 40 percent, said Littman. The program begins to instill the anti-drug message from the first grade, as compared to other campaigns which reach children starting in middle school, he said. Additionally, children periodically receive quarterly rewards for avoiding drugs. Upon graduation, students qualify to apply for a $1,000 scholarship to college. "In the campaign, we want to reward good behavior," said Littman, an Uptown resident. "We also tell the kids at a very early age not to take drugs or accept anything from strangers." Participating Fort Bend County elementary schools include Blue Ridge, Quail Valley, Brazos Bend, Ridgemont, Lakeview, Sugar Mill, Mission Bend, Townewest and Palmer. "Drugs Kill is different from other anti-drug campaigns as it tells children that they matter," said Vickie Rockwell, first-grade teacher at Quail Valley Elementary. "The program is determined to mentor children, be there for them and check on them for 12 years so that they remain drug-free." In addition to pledge cards and incentives, children receive posters of local athletes encouraging a sober lifestyle. Littman said he hopes a poster is placed in every child's bedroom. "It's very hard to get through to teen-agers," said Culbertson, who lives in West University. "So it's good the Drugs Kill program begins early." By sharing his personal story, Culbertson often joins Littman in promoting Drugs Kill. Culbertson said he used drugs as an escape from traumatic experiences he suffered as a 15-year-old youth. However, the addiction became a vicious cycle of getting high, withdrawals, denial and once again getting high. Then, after not being able to hold a steady job and ruining family relationships, Culbertson entered treatment at the age of 37. It was a long journey to recovery, but now at age 48, Culbertson has transformed. Currently, he is the president of his own forklift company, Forklift Technology Systems. "I'll tell people that drugs turns normal, sane people into animals," said Culbertson. "Even if you are predisposed to drugs (have a family history of it), you can avoid drug addiction if you abstain from it." Littman initiated Drugs Kill in 1997 when the U.S. Justice Department approached him about a campaign. The department originally asked him to create a billboard. However, Littman said he believed this wasn't enough to influence children so he expanded the program. Today, he devotes his entire time and efforts to Drugs Kill and aims to reach youth organizations such as Girls Scouts and Boys Scouts, schools, churches and any place children may go. Various foundations, private donations and grants fund the program with an annual budget of $220,000. "Every penny goes to keeping children off of drugs, as there is no salaries, overhead or rent," said Littman. Since its inception, more than 200,000 pledge cards have been distributed with 4,000 children in the Houston area having returned pledge cards declaring their drug-free lifestyle, said Littman. Littman said he believes the campaign has reached at least 1 million children. "I know this program will work because I've seen how (campaigns such as) designated drivers, wearing seat belts have entered public consciousness in the past few years." For information on Drugs Kill, contact Littman at 713-621-7678.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Illinois House Votes To Study Hemp For Agricultural Purposes (The Associated Press says legislators voted 78-35 Wednesday for HR 168, a resolution to form a task force that would study the re-establishment of an industrial hemp industry.) Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 01:47:18 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US IL: WIRE: Illinois House Votes To Study Hemp For Agricultural Purposes Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Frank S. World Pubdate: Wed, 19 May 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press ILLINOIS HOUSE VOTES TO STUDY HEMP FOR AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Illinois House voted Wednesday to study turning hemp -- a close cousin of marijuana -- into a new source of cash for farmers, but don't expect that to lead to legal joints any time soon. Legalizing industrial hemp is a far cry from legalizing marijuana, supporters said. ``The tragedy would be if we couldn't overcome that stereotype and the Illinois economy would go into the tank,'' said Rep. Judy Erwin, D-Chicago. House members voted 78-35 to form a task force to study planting and harvesting of industrial hemp. North Dakota is the only state that allows it now. Rep. Ron Lawfer, R-Freeport, said Canadian farmers raising hemp can earn a profit of about $283 per acre -- between four and five times what the average Illinois farmer makes. Erwin and Lawfer hope the task force will develop standards to ensure the hemp contains little THC, the ingredient that gives marijuana its mind-altering qualities. Industrial hemp has over 25,000 known uses including clothing, medicines, paints and paper. Some lawmakers expressed concerns that the industrial hemp would be used to make marijuana, but supporters say that's not the case. E. J. Pagel, Rockford director for the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, said marijuana and industrial hemp cannot be confused for one another and hemp cannot be used as a drug. The resolution is HR168.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Supermax Solution (The Village Voice describes Upstate Correctional Facility, New York's 70th prison and first "supermax" institution. The $180 million maximum-security cage, designed to hold almost 5,000 inmates, will open this summer in Malone, population 14,297, located 15 miles south of the Canadian border. Career options are so few in the North Country that prison guard has become a popular choice. What could be worse than spending 23 hours a day in a cell? Try spending 23 hours a day in a cell with somebody else. Rehabilitation is beside the point. The aim is to cut costs - to house as many prisoners as cheaply as possible. Locking together pairs of criminals with a history of breaking prison rules may save dollars, but it has an ominous history. Pelican Bay State Prison in California is eliminating the practice because 10 prisoners have killed their cellmates in the last few years.) Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 17:10:34 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: The Supermax Solution Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Nathan Riley Pubdate: Wed, 19 May 1999 Source: Village Voice (NY) Copyright: 1999 VV Publishing Corporation Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 36 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003 Feedback: http://www.villagevoice.com/aboutus/contact.shtml Website: http://www.villagevoice.com/ Author: Jennifer Gonnerman THE SUPERMAX SOLUTION Malone, New York - The homes for the town's newest residents arrived last summer atop 14-wheel tractor trailers. Each tiny, prefab dwelling came furnished with two beds, a mirror over the sink, and steel-reinforced walls. With a photo and caption, the Malone Telegram heralded these new homes: "prison cell blocks arrive." Evidently, prison building qualifies as good news in Malone, New York (Pop. 14,297), where concrete cages are not merely houses for criminals. To locals, they are also an answer to chronic underemployment, a magnet for luring new retail stores, and the best hope of recapturing malone's boom years. Each morning around 6:30 a.m., the rumble of construction trucks interrupts the quiet of this rural town 15 miles south of the Canadian border. Pickup trucks, bulldozers, and dump trucks careen down Route 37, turn onto Bare Hill Road, and thunder past a dog pound before stopping inside a vast clearing on the edge of Malone. Here, hundreds of men in hard hats are hurrying to finish construction of Upstate Correctional Facility, which will be the state's most punitive penitentiary when it opens this summer. Upstate is the first New York prison built specifically to house the state's most dangerous inmates, making it a "supermax" in prison lingo. States across the country have erected supermaxes in recent years, but New York's will be among the harshest. What could be worse than spending 23 hours a day in a cell? Try spending 23 hours a day in a cell with somebody else. The most harrowing aspect of life inside Upstate is that confinement will not be solitary. Severe overcrowding led New York's prison officials to begin double-celling inmates in 1995. Men shared a bunk bed at night but were out of their rooms during the day. This practice started with the least violent inmates, and it never applied to prisoners who had defied prison rules - and been sentenced to 23 hours a day in their cells. Until now. Upstate will enforce a new form of punishment by locking pairs of men together, all day, in 14-by-8-1/2-foot cells. At this two-story prison, 1500 inmates will be crammed together, watched over by 800 surveillance cameras and 370 guards. Rehabilitation is beside the point. The aim is to cut costs-to house as many prisoners as cheaply as possible without triggering a riot or an avalanche of lawsuits. Locking together pairs of criminals with a history of breaking prison rules may save dollars, but this policy has an ominous history. Pelican Bay State Prison in California is in the midst of eliminating this practice because 10 prisoners have killed their cellmates in the last few years. Upstate's experiment in human containment requires the participation of Malone residents - without the town's leaders' encouraging its construction, and without men and women willing to work inside, the prison would not exist. Malone's citizens do not decide prison policy, nor do they, for the most part, commit the crimes that have packed the state's prisons. But they are the ones who will enforce Upstate's rules. In exchange, Malone will get what it craves: a boost for its ailing economy. The prison will create 510 well-paid jobs (including guards, administrators, and clerical workers). Townspeople hope it will also end the exodus of young people moving away in search of work. Even so, this $180 million prison is spreading unease throughout Malone. Some residents wonder exactly what will go on inside the high-security facility. Others are simply anxious that the prison will change their town for the worse. There are already two medium- security prisons in Malone, hidden in the same strip of forest where the new supermax is being built. And some residents are beginning to believe that the prisons' impact extends far beyond the lives of those who work inside. Prisons seep into a town's psyche in ways that are nearly impossible to measure - shrinking civic pride, straining guards' marriages, feeding anxieties about race and crime. The opening of New York's 70th prison will transform Malone into one of the nation's largest prison towns. Soon, Malone will have an inmate population of almost 5000 - far fewer than the 17,740 prisoners now in New York City's 14 jails, but a huge number considering that inmates will make up more than one-third of Malone's total population. Inside its concrete walls, Upstate will reflect the nation's criminal-justice priorities at the end of this century: high-tech cost-saving over inmate rehabilitation. Beyond its motion-detecting fences, however, the townspeople's trepidation about their new supermax echoes the nation's growing doubts about its prison-building craze- a multibillion-dollar experiment in crime control that persists even as crime rates drop, that has imprisoned nearly 2 million people while permanently altering the landscape, economy, and spirit of hundreds of America's towns. Todd Fitzgerald leans forward to shut off his tractor's engine and ponders how a supermax came to be built on his winding dirt road. "I don't think we're stupid up here and don't care," says the 37-year-old farmer, taking a break from plowing a field where he will soon plant alfalfa. "But there's low population density, and you don't get the opposition when you're building something controversial." Todd did not want a maximum-security facility built just a patch of woods away from his house. But he did not fight it. Some of his neighbors signed a petition protesting the prison, but most people did nothing. "Up here," Todd says, "people think if the state wants to do something, they're really going to do it." Decades of factory layoffs and farm closings have decimated the economy in Malone, leaving behind a town hungry for work and for hope. When Malone's residents tell a stranger about their hometown, they rummage through the recesses of their minds, dusting off decades-old memories of what once gave them paychecks and pride. Workers hurriedly sewing and gluing slippers at Tru-Stitch Footwear, a fixture in Malone since 1938. The gangster Dutch Schultz and his mobster pals buying beers for locals at the majestic Flanagan Hotel on Main Street during the 1930s. The sprawling farm that everyone says brought in the largest spinach crop east of the Mississippi River. Today, that 1200-acre farm is no more. Slippers sewn by the town's residents still appear in the pages of J. Crew and L.L. Bean catalogues, but over the last decade Tru-Stitch has shrunk its workforce from more than 1100 to 350. And a couple of years ago, a fire tore through the Flanagan Hotel. "It was like the heart and soul got ripped out of Malone," says one lifelong resident. Actually, the spirit of Malone had been taking a beating for years as its economy, like those of towns across New York's North Country, began to sputter. Over the last two decades, prisons have become the North Country's largest growth industry, the panacea for its towns' economic woes. Since 1980, New York has built eight prisons in this part of the state, bringing the total to nine. Hoping to bolster its economy, Malone lobbied for a medium-security prison in the mid 1980s. It ended up with two: Franklin Correctional Facility in 1986 and Bare Hill Correctional Facility in 1988. Before long, the state increased the size of both prisons, from 750 beds to more than 1700 today. Initially, the state's new supermax was slated for Tupper Lake, a town 60 miles away, in the heart of Adirondack Park. But when environmental groups protested, the state again turned to Malone. "We couldn't care less where the prison is built as long as we get the beds we need," says James Flateau, spokesperson for the state Department of Correctional Services. "Nobody will make space available in New York City for a prison, and Governor Carey opened a prison in Long Island and got run out of town for it. So the only place left is upstate. Critics like to say we arrest people in the city and send them to prison so we can create jobs in upstate New York. That simply is not true." Shipping thousands of prisoners to the North Country does accomplish what most people want from a prison - it keeps the criminals far away. Upstate could not be much farther from New York City - home to two-thirds of the state's prisoners - and still be within the state's borders. Meanwhile, the outskirts of Malone are starting to resemble a full-fledged penal colony. The new supermax is so close to Bare Hill Correctional Facility that an Upstate inmate staring out the back of his cell will have a tough time figuring out where his prison ends and the next one begins. Most Malone residents, of course, will never see this view. But those who have stepped inside an Upstate cell do not forget the experience. Todd McAleese, a 27-year-old plumber, has been working on the prison for almost a year but cannot imagine surviving in one of its cells. "I'd be dead in a week," says Todd as he nurses an after-work beer at the Pines, a pub popular with the prison's construction workers. "I would not eat or drink and I'd be the biggest prick. I'd spit on every guard who walked by. I'd be doing swan dives off the bed." Todd pauses, then takes a sip. "But this isn't a regular prison," he says. "This is the worst of the worst." Joyce T. Tavernier, Malone's Republican mayor, visibly shudders when she recalls peering inside an Upstate cell while touring the facility with fellow members of the prison's local advisory board. "We give our cats more room than that," says the 65-year-old mayor, while seated in her modest office next to a wooden pole with an American flag. "We all thought we wouldn't want to be in one, but I think everyone realized this is the way it had to be," she says. "We're not talking about people who spit on the sidewalk or cashed a check that bounced." When Todd Fitzgerald, the farmer, spotted a tractor trailer carrying cell blocks parked along his road, he drove closer and poked his head inside. "You'd have to be a total animal to be locked up like that," says Todd, who owns 25 acres and 35 cows. "I think it would drive me nuts. But we don't know who's going to occupy the cell. He probably deserves that or worse." Few Malone residents will wind up in these prefab pens. And neither will you, unless you go to prison and refuse to obey the rules - unless you slice another prisoner, cut a hole in the fence, or stash cocaine in your cell. If you do misbehave, prison officials will slap you with time in the "box" or the "hole" - a "special housing unit" (SHU) set apart from the general inmate population. On any given day, close to 4000 of the state's 71,000 prisoners are doing time in special housing units at facilities across New York. They can be in there for a few weeks or many months. Or they could be looking at 17 years, as Luis Agosto was after he slammed a lieutenant in the head with a baseball bat during a 1997 riot at Mohawk Correctional Facility. As the state's SHU population has grown, prison officials have run out of places to house these inmates. To solve this dilemma, the state converted one of its maximum-security prisons, Southport Correctional Facility, into a supermax in 1991. Putting hundreds of troublesome inmates together in one prison helps keep the peace at other state facilities. "It's a major management tool," says Flateau. But a few months after Southport's transformation, angry inmates staged a riot to protest conditions, taking three guards hostage for 26 1/2 hours. Southport is still a supermax, but the demand for places to send rebellious prisoners persists. So over the last year, prison officials have added 100 SHU cells to eight prisons around the state, and have begun housing two men in each. The rest of the solution lies with Upstate. There, officials insist, the problems will be manageable. "When you get large groups of inmates - that's when you have problems," says Thomas Ricks, Upstate's superintendent. "But here there's never going to be any large groups of inmates. They're not as likely to get in trouble because they're only dealing with their cell mate." If you get sentenced to at least 75 days in the box, you could find yourself on a bus headed to Upstate. The only way you can avoid this fate is if prison officials decide you are mentally ill or a "known homosexual." (In the state prison system, sex is banned and a sort of "don't ask, don't tell" policy prevails; you are a "known homosexual" if you get caught having sex or if you tell someone you're gay.) At Upstate, your new home will be a 105-square-foot rectangular room. It'll be bigger than any other state prison cell you've lived in. But it's still no larger than the bathrooms in many Manhattan apartments. Step in and spread your arms, and your fingers will touch both your bunk bed and the wall. But don't even think about rearranging the furniture. The sink, toilet, desk, chair, mirror, and bunk bed are already bolted to the cell's five-inch-thick walls. Prison officials say they will try to find you a compatible cell mate. If you smoke, you should wind up with a smoker. If you're small, you're not supposed to get a roommate who can easily overpower you. Most likely, you'll share a cell with someone who is the same race. You may spend your days obsessing about whether he has tuberculosis or HIV. And if prison officials don't do a good job matching cell mates, you could be assaulted or raped or killed. At first, it might not be so bad living with a roommate. He may help you battle the boredom, and he could stop you from becoming suicidal. But it won't be long before sharing a cell all day every day becomes unbearable. You'll be able to tell what your cell mate has eaten for breakfast by the stench of his feces. And soon, you will feel like you are living inside his skin. When you arrive at Upstate, the guards will confiscate most of your possessions - snacks, razors, radio, photographs. All you'll have to entertain you are a pen, paper, and your cell mate. You won't be trading gossip in the mess hall, napping through ESL classes, or playing ball in the rec yard. In fact, you won't be leaving your cell at all. Food trays arrive through a slot in the door, and there's a shower in the corner that's carefully regulated to spew lukewarm water three times a week. You will almost never see the prison's 370 guards. Nor will you see much of the 300 "cadre" inmates, who keep the facility running, mopping the halls and doing laundry. To stay plugged in to the prison's gossip mill, you may try to chat with your neighbor on the "telephone" - by plunging all the water out of your toilet and shouting down the pipe. But if you're losing your mind, or if your cell mate turns out to be a "booty bandit" (rapist), you better pray the guard who is supposed to check on you every half-hour intervenes. Good luck trying to get help from the outside world - from a journalist or an attorney with Prisoners' Legal Services (PLS). Prison officials don't let reporters interview inmates in the box, and Governor George Pataki shut down PLS last year by decimating its budget. A guard in a central tower will control your access to the outside world. Each day, the officer will unlock your back door by flipping a switch in the control room. Now is your time for "recreation" - a privilege that the courts have said you must get. At Upstate, "rec time" means 60 minutes by yourself in the outdoor cage attached to the rear of your cell. It's about half the size of your cell, just big enough to do jumping jacks. You could try to wrap your fingers around the steel-mesh fence and do a few pull-ups. But you can't lift barbells, toss horseshoes, or shoot hoops. The cage is empty. Of course, even if you had a basketball, there's barely enough room to dribble more than a couple of steps. Looking out from your own personal rec area - what one of the prison's architects describes as a "caged balcony" and some guards call a "kennel" - you'll see other cages and a dirt yard empty except for a row of surveillance cameras mounted on poles. Officers watch your every move, and if you don't come in from recess, they'll come get you. But if you do follow the rules and don't irk the guards, you'll regain a few privileges after 30 days. You'll be able to buy candy from the prison store, though you won't actually be able to go there and pick it out. And you'll get back your own underwear, so you can ditch that state-issued pair. Stay clean and you will eventually escape this prison-within-a-prison. You'll be shipped to another facility to finish off your sentence or sent straight back to the streets. When Malone's townspeople discuss their new supermax, phrases like "double-celling" or "inmate-on-inmate assaults" rarely pop up. Instead, they talk about family reunions. Raymond Head, 35, is hoping the new prison brings home his brother Jamie. Back home, the two used to hang twice a week - "wrestling, playing Nintendo, whatever brothers do," Raymond says. But now that Jamie, 28, has become a guard at Eastern Correctional Facility in Ulster County, he rarely sees Raymond, a guard and union leader at Malone's Franklin Correctional Facility. Career options are so few in the North Country that prison guard has become a popular choice. Many correction officers spend the bulk of their twenties working in other parts of the state before they can collect enough seniority to transfer home. When Raymond became a correction officer in 1984, he was assigned to Bedford Hills, the women's maximum-security prison in Westchester County. There, he earned $13,800 a year, and lived in a $700-a-month studio apartment. Rents in the area were so steep that some of his colleagues slept in their cars. Raymond survived on 99-cent Big Macs and dreamed of a transfer back to Malone, where his $45,000 annual salary far exceeds Malone's median household income, which was $21,229 at the last census count. "I had no idea what I was getting myself into," recalls Raymond. "I thought about quitting a couple times down there. I was pretty homesick." Raymond did nearly four years at Bedford Hills before he got home. Since then, the wait for a transfer back to the North Country has stretched to six or seven years. The opening of Upstate could shorten this delay. Jamie filled out his "dream sheet" for a transfer to the new supermax, but ended up number 448. "They're only taking 326," Raymond says. "So he probably won't make it. He'll have to sit back and wait another year or a year-and-a-half." Mayor Tavernier grows excited when she talks about Upstate's opening. "Malone has been dying a bit," she says. "There's been no new business for a few years. Since the prison has been announced, we have . . . a wholesale food place, Aldi, which we had not had in the area. And Price Chopper is coming to Malone. And a couple of drugstores that had stores in the area are building larger ones." Indeed, when the construction dust clears, Malone will have a total of four drugstores and eight convenience stores. The enthusiasm the new stores have created seems to have little to do with residents wanting another place to purchase aspirin or toothpaste, however. In Malone, pounding jackhammers and the growl of bulldozers are less a nuisance than a morale booster. The plethora of pharmacies in Malone is one of the few public signs of the town's invisible population. Local drugstores have contracts with the prisons; the inmates help keep them in business. And the best customers at the town's many convenience stores are prison guards, who often have long commutes. But this retail boom hardly meets everyone's needs. "You go through this town and that's all you see - 24-hour convenience stores," says Gerald K. Moll, the police chief of Malone. "You can't buy a pair of jeans, but you can get coffee and a newspaper." Shoppers hunting for bargains once flocked to J.J. Newberry on Malone's Main Street. But today, all they will find if they rub the dirt off the store's cracked windows is a cavernous room empty save for a plastic garbage pail. J.J. Newberry closed four years ago, and the dog feces caked to the cement walkway in front appears to be almost that old. Sears has left town, too. Now the best choice for Malone's clothes shoppers is Kmart. A waitress at a Main Street diner tells visitors, "When you go back to New York City, bring us some department stores!" Hints of bitterness occasionally surface in conversations about Upstate, since some residents already feel left out of this new town. Lee Mandigo was thrilled when he first heard the state was building a prison less than a quarter mile from his trailer home. "I thought, 'Hell, I live at the bottom of the hill and I have carpentry skills. I could work up there for 18 months,'" says Lee, as he stands on his front lawn, nodding toward the evergreen trees in the distance that hide the supermax. But when Lee, 34, tried to land a construction job at the prison, he says he was told there were no more available. All the work had been contracted to out-of-town companies. As the new supermax has grown, so has Lee's frustration. He has had to endure watching the prison get a little closer to completion each time he drives by, knowing that state money is flowing into other people's pockets but not his. More than a year has passed since Lee last saw a paycheck, and even when he had a job building roofs and additions for other people's homes, he earned only $5.25 an hour. "There's not enough work," he says, slouching forward as he shoves his hands deep into his jean pockets. "Everyone is depressed." To pay his bills and feed his two young children, Lee is clinging to the same hope that buoys many of his fellow townspeople. He's trying to get into the prison. When he's not caring for his one-year-old daughter, Lee pores over photocopies he made at the local library of a study book for the prison guard exam. Lee's other solution to his cash shortage involved sticking a for-sale sign in front of his house. Not long ago, he paid $6000 for these seven-and-three-quarters acres of land, then bought a trailer home for $7000. Lee figures his only chance for reaping a profit lies with the families of Upstate's inmates, and he plans to ask his real estate agent to advertise the property in a New York City newspaper. Already, Lee says he knows what the ad will say: "Be close to your loved one! Bottom of the hill! You can practically see 'em!" Lee may be the only person in town who is hoping the new supermax entices prisoners' family members to move here. At Embers, the town's busiest diner, this possibility evokes strong emotions. "The ones that are in prison now [in Malone], it's not that serious," says Myra Fleury, the diner's 63-year-old owner, who hustles around in a pair of fuzzy slippers, frying platefuls of bacon and refilling coffee mugs. "They're not killers. They're drug addicts, deadbeat dads." But the new inmates, Myra says, "won't be going home in two or three years. So I think you might see more families moving in. That's what people are concerned about." "People are always afraid of changes," says Molly Augusta, who works the diner's grill. Myra nods in agreement." Especially in small towns," she says. The new prison has kept Malone's rumor mill grinding for nearly two years. They're going to put the state's death house in Malone. They're building a gas chamber. They're building a women's prison. They're building a prison hospital. They're opening a home for the criminally insane. They're building yet another men's prison. They're building housing for inmates' relatives. State prison officials insist none of these rumors are true. But that has not stopped them from flying around every bar and coffee shop in town. The town's most persistent rumor is that prisoners' families are moving to Malone. This fear is not completely far-fetched. A few inmates' relatives have moved to nearby Dannemora to be closer to Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison. But this rumor is repeated so often, and with such conviction, that it seems to be about something far more than a handful of relatives. Perhaps the wives and mothers and girlfriends and children of inmates represent everything Malone fears most. They are mostly poor, African American or Latino, and from New York City. Townspeople insist that if these strangers move here, they'll rob Malone of its small-town feel. Residents worry about having to lock their doors when they leave their homes, or no longer recognizing most of their fellow shoppers at the Super Duper Supermarket. What concerns townspeople most is crime. It has been on the rise here in recent years, and many locals blame the prisons. There are no statistics showing that inmates' families are the cause, however. "The only people who get in trouble are our local people," says Molly, flipping hamburgers on the grill. "When you read about anyone breaking into a place in the paper, it's a local person - not someone whose husband is in prison." When an almost all-white town is home to thousands of African American and Hispanic felons, anxieties about race and crime never stray far from the collective imagination. But few people in Malone want to talk about race. One exception is Kaye K. Johnson, who estimates that there are only 15 or 20 African Americans living in Malone, including her own family. In 1990, Kaye, her husband, and their then five-year-old son came to Malone from Trenton, New Jersey. "We moved here to get away from urban decay, crime, drug dealers on the corners," says Kaye, 51, as she serves tea in the living room of her tidy, split-level home. "We saw an ad in the paper: No crime. Cheap land. We called the number and they flew us up here and we bought some land on sight." Since arriving in Malone, Kaye has launched a one-woman campaign to monitor and improve the town's race relations. Every time the Malone Telegram or the Press-Republican in nearby Plattsburgh mention prisons or racial incidents, Kaye cuts out the story. Her files are bulging. Recent additions include an article about a guard accused of public nudity (he was wandering around his porch dressed only in socks, then hiding behind a barbecue when cars passed) and another about a guard who was charged with sexually abusing an inmate in a prison laundry room (the inmate fought back, slicing the guard's penis with a coffee can lid). Rooting through her manila folders stuffed with clippings, Kaye wonders aloud how the prisons have changed her town, how they have influenced residents' attitudes and behavior. "I'd never been called the N-word until I moved here," says Kaye, a teaching assistant at the local middle school. "At the same time, I've never met such nice people as I did here either. It's like two extremes." Kaye believes the prisons' racial imbalance is partly to blame for how some Malone residents treat her. "The attitudes of correction officers spill over into the community," she says. "Many of them haven't gone out of the area, and the only black people they know are in the prisons. I don't want to see these attitudes perpetuated." So Kaye became Upstate's loudest opponent. Last year, she tried to stop its construction by filing a lawsuit with the help of the Center for Law and Justice, an antiprison group in Albany. Their suit included almost every conceivable argument against the prison: that it would spread tuberculosis and HIV, that it would increase noise in the area, that it would adversely affect the environment, that it would cause traffic jams, that it would disrupt water service. A state supreme court judge ruled against them, saying they had failed to show that Kaye herself would be adversely affected by the new supermax. Like everybody else in town, Kaye worries about crime, and about all the worst aspects of urban life coming to Malone. So she too prays that inmates' relatives do not buy homes here. "I know all prisoners' families are not criminally prone or dangerous," Kaye says. "But you want your family to be safe and not have to worry about drive-by shootings. And not that Malone is going to escalate to that point, but . . . certain types of people - no matter what color they are - I don't want them around." Three miles away from Kaye's home, workers are putting the final touches on the new prison-gluing tiles to the floors, sweeping up debris, preparing to add the superintendent's name to the metal sign out front. Soon the construction trucks will pull out of Upstate's 70-acre lot for the last time. People driving down Route 37 at night will see an even brighter glow, as the new supermax joins with the town's two other prisons to light the sky like a city in the distance. Malone's residents will not hear the shouts echoing down the corridors of their new high-security prison. But as pairs of violent criminals from New York City and around the state move into the supermax's cells, Malone's residents will be left to confront their fears, to decide what problems the prison solves and which ones it brings, and to wonder how this latest chapter in America's experiment in crime control will end. Research assistance: Hillary Chute Tell us what you think: email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Federal Courts Bogged Down In Methamphetamine Cases (The Tennessean says the drug is clogging up the federal law enforcement system in Middle Tennessee. Because criminal cases take precedence over civil cases, the impact of drug cases is further magnified. Firearms or money-laundering charges often accompany the illegal-drug charge, increasing costs all around. Wendy Goggin, acting U.S. attorney for Middle Tennessee, said the 18 lawyers in her office spend nearly 40 percent of their time investigating and prosecuting drug cases, most of which involve meth. Despite ever more DEA agents, prosecutors and judges, it's never enough.) Date: Sat, 22 May 1999 06:26:04 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TN: Federal Courts Bogged Down In Methamphetamine Cases Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF Pubdate: Wed, 19 May 1999 Source: Tennessean, The (TN) Copyright 1999 The Tennessean Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.tennessean.com/ FEDERAL COURTS BOGGED DOWN IN METHAMPHETAMINE CASES The powder looks like talc or cocaine, but it's smoother than the first and more powerful than the second. In Middle Tennessee, the drug is clogging up the federal law enforcement system, from the agents who hunt those who make it to the judges who put away those who abuse it. "It's going like gangbusters," Vince Morgano, assistant special agent in charge of Tennessee for the Drug Enforcement Agency, said of methamphetamine or meth, known on the street as crank. "We are just getting flooded. The U.S. attorneys are swamped and the judges are swamped," Morgano said. And because criminal cases take precedence over civil cases in federal court, the impact of the many drug cases is further magnified. "It means civil cases scheduled for trial have to get bumped by criminal cases under the speedy trial rule," said U.S. District Court Judge Todd J. Campbell. "Because those cases have to come first, their presence seems larger." Drug cases also carry more baggage, Campbell said. Firearms or money laundering charges often accompany the contraband charge, "so they take a considerable amount of time." And time is precious. Wendy Goggin, acting U.S. attorney for Middle Tennessee, said the 18 lawyers in her office spend nearly 40% of their time investigating and prosecuting drug cases, most of which involve meth. The rest of their time is spent prosecuting fraud, firearm offenses and other felonies. Because of the volume, Goggin said, her office must choose which drug cases to pursue in federal court, where fines and prison sentences are typically tougher than in the state system. Morgano said he would like more cases to be heard in federal court, but because of the backlog he is forced to hand over many cases to the state system. "They are not going free. They are prosecuted under the state system. However, they are not getting anywhere near the same amount of time in jail in the state system as they would in the federal," Morgano said. Drug offenses can be filed in both courts, but the larger cases those involving massive amounts of drugs, interstate traffic, conspiracy and money laundering often become federal cases because of the harsher penalties. Despite the federal backlog, Morgano shows no signs of backing off. His office is growing almost as much as the drug problem. "In 1990, when I came here, this was still a medium-sized city with a medium-sized drug problem," Morgano said. Today, it's the sprawling home to a major league crank habit. When Morgano came to Nashville, his office occupied a handful of rooms and employed four agents. Today, DEA offices cover much of the fifth floor of the federal courthouse on Broadway. The agency, whose sole charge is to eradicate illegal drugs, now employs eight agents and 10 police officers deputized as agents. Four more agents have been budgeted for 2000. It's still not enough. To keep up with the drugs, Morgano said, he would need another 15 agents and the court would need more prosecutors and judges. The DEA could already occupy Goggin's 18 assistant attorneys and the six district court judges full time through drug arrests, he said. With three major interstates dissecting it, an airport and plenty of rural land to hide in, Nashville is the perfect halfway point for all points east. "This is like a pony express stop. All money and drugs stop here," Morgano said. DEA arrests have increased from 77 in 1995 to 172 last year. So far this year, 104 people have been arrested by DEA agents on drug charges. Meth busts have more than tripled. Two years ago, the DEA busted 12 meth labs. Last year it hit 41. This year, 55 have been targeted. Other agencies are also feeling the strain of the increase in drug cases. The IRS, which primarily chases tax offenders, also investigates drug cases because of the large amounts of money involved. The agency spends about 20% of its time investigating money laundering and other financial felonies associated with drugs, said Anthony A. Cesare, chief of the agency's Criminal Investigation Division for the Kentucky- Tennessee district. Like the U.S. attorneys, the IRS must pick and choose its cases and manage how much time is spent on drug cases. If it had more agents more drug cases would be initiated, Cesare said. Morgano said the cases he was sending through the federal system were major cases, often involving many people, large amounts of drugs and money. More such cases are coming, he warned. In the next few years, he said he expected three of every four cases his office handled to involve methamphetamine, up from half of their cases today. There are signs Morgano will be proved correct. Two major meth busts in Tennessee in the past six months signal to Morgano that the state could be facing a turf war between the local meth labs and those shipping the drug from South America. All he can do to stop it is lock people up and file as many charges as he can in federal court, he said. "But the assistant U.S. attorneys have limited resources," he said. "And there are only so many judges here to do my cases."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Miami-Dade Officer Charged In Plot To Steal Drugs, Cash (The Miami Herald says James Vilmenay, a four-year veteran of the department, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly plotting a bogus traffic stop with the intention of stealing the driver's cocaine and cash.) Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 11:32:05 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US FL: Miami-Dade Officer Charged In Plot To Steal Drugs, Cash Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Mike Gogulski Pubdate: Wed, 19 May 1999 Source: Miami Herald (FL) Copyright: 1999 The Miami Herald Contact: email@example.com Address: One Herald Plaza, Miami FL 33132-1693 Fax: (305) 376-8950 Website: http://www.herald.com/ Forum: http://krwebx.infi.net/webxmulti/cgi-bin/WebX?mherald Author: Frances Robles, Herald Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org MIAMI-DADE OFFICER CHARGED IN PLOT TO STEAL DRUGS, CASH A Miami-Dade police officer and his business partner were arrested Tuesday for allegedly plotting to conduct a bogus traffic stop with the intention of stealing the driver's drugs and cash. James Vilmenay, 31, a four-year member of the department assigned to the Hammocks district, was charged with conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and conspiracy to commit grand theft. He and his codefendant, Richard Filippi, 29, were released from jail after they each posted a $50,000 bond. Police said Vilmenay and Filippi planned last year to pull over and rob a man who was supposed to be carrying cocaine and lots of money. The man was really a witness cooperating with internal affairs investigators. Vilmenay was off duty but in his marked police car when he planned to stop the driver, police said. The robbery never took place -- the department did not say why. Investigators would not say how Vilmenay would have known the driver carried drugs, or why the department's Professional Compliance Bureau was investigating Vilmenay in the first place. "I'm sure there was a reason that drew [internal affairs investigators] to him," said police spokesman Ed Munn. "They don't pick officers out of the blue and follow them hoping they are going to rip somebody off." Munn said that even though the rip-off never took place, the officer and his friend would still be guilty of a felony for planning the crime. Vilmenay continues to collect his $16.24 per hour pay while suspended from duty. Police records show the only prior complaint against him was in 1996, when he was exonerated for shooting an animal. Police Benevolent Association lawyers did not return calls seeking comment. Filippi, the officer's partner in a hair salon business, did not return a message left at his Kendall home. "This is embarrassing for myself and everyone else on the department to talk about," Munn said. "Miami-Dade Police will not tolerate this type of criminal activity on the part of any officer." e-mail: email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug War Vigils (A bulletin from NORML encourages activists to take part in a new project being spearheaded by the November Coalition. The purpose of the Vigil Project is to get activists to stand with victimized families and show the public that there is broad opposition to the drug war. For the first time, the November Coalition will attempt to mobilize peaceful and dignified vigils in several states. "We envision a time when on a weekly basis at court houses around the United States prosecutors, judges and jurors will have to pass the equivalent of a picket line as they go into the courthouse to consider drug war prosecutions. . . . In essence this is a process of social mobilization, and we welcome those of you who would help us develop an army for the reform movement and direct it effectively.") Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 20:04:24 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Drug War Vigils Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com (Dale Gieringer) Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 14:26:22 EDT Subject: NORML chapters (special project!) MIME-Version: 1.0 To: "undisclosed-recipients:;" Hello NORML Chapters, Here is a most worthwhile project to consider actively involving your local NORML chapter with. There is a tremendous need for well organized marches and vigils agaonst cannabis prohibition and its ill effects. NORML will be closely working with groups such as the November Coalition/FAMM/Common Sense and many other law reform organizations in the coming months with the hopes of getting the media to start paying serious attention to the ill effects of cannabis prohibition and the need for substantive law reform. Please contact Mr. Lewin directly for more details. Regards, -Allen St. Pierre NORML Foundation *** From: Paul Lewin (firstname.lastname@example.org) Dear Friends: I am writing to invite your organization to help a new project that the November Coalition is spearheading -- Drug War Vigils. (While many of you know me as a staff member of Common Sense, I also serve on the Board of Directors of the November Coalition.) Our hope is to make this a movement-wide project that becomes a critical step in ending the war on drugs. The purpose of the Vigil Project is to get our members and activists to stand with drug war families and show the public that there is broad opposition to the drug war. The Vigil Project will mark the first time that the November Coalition will attempt to mobilize its membership by staging peaceful and dignified vigils in several states. Our hope is that the Vigil Project becomes a reform movement project that many organizations participate in and can take credit for. We envision a time when on a weekly basis at court houses around the United States prosecutors, judges and jurors will have to pass the equivalent of a picket line as they go into the courthouse to consider drug war prosecutions. We want them to know that a large segment of the public finds what they are doing to be abhorrent. The November Coalition is in the process of producing vigil toolkits. We are working on developing slogans and messages that we will include on signs. Adding the collective wisdom of the reform movement will make this project stronger! (If you have ideas for 3 to 5 word slogans please share them.) Once we have developed this project we will develop materials to involve all of our members and activists. In essence this is a process of social mobilization, and we welcome those of you who would help us develop an army for the reform movement and direct it effectively. It is possible that as we develop this project, it will become a tool that can be used to protest the prison industrial complex, the denial of needle exchange funding and the racial implications of the drug war. Please join us at the beginning of this important project so your organization can be part of the reason for its success. This project has strong potential to bring our issue to a new level of attention and activism. Of course, the vigils will only profit from your support and partnership. If any ARO organizations are interested in finding out more about this project or are intrigued by the potential for collaboration, please contact me directly at: email@example.com or call me at 703-354-9050. Paul Lewin Research Director and Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy (703) 354 - 9050 phone 3220 N Street NW, #141 (703) 354 - 5695 fax Washington DC 20007 http://www.csdp.org/ *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // firstname.lastname@example.org 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Racial Issue Looming In The Rear-View Mirror (The Washington Post says that from the U.S. Justice Department and Capitol Hill to Sacramento and other state capitals, there is a growing assault on racial profiling. Perceptions matter in part because there is relatively little hard data. As observed by David Cole, a Georgetown University Law School professor who wrote "No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System," there is also "no data that shows a police department doesn't engage in racial profiling." Part of the problem is that current crime statistics, which reflect the racist impact of such policies in the past, may be used as justification for continuing them. For example, in the April edition of "Vital Stats," the Statistical Assessment Service says "crime patterns," that is, racial disparities in arrests, prosecutions, and sentencing, may make it "rational" for police to focus more on blacks and males than on whites and women: "The unpleasant truth is that profiling can be statistically valid . . . ." Cole agrees that the "stereotype the police are relying on is not entirely irrational.") Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 20:40:38 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: The Racial Issue Looming In The Rear-View Mirror Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Craig VanDeVooren Pubdate: Wed, 19 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/ Page: A3 Author: Edward Walsh, Washington Post Staff Writer THE RACIAL ISSUE LOOMING IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR Activists Seek Data On Police 'Profiling' Kevin Murray is 39, a successful Los Angeles lawyer who drives a black Corvette. One night last June, Murray was stopped by police in affluent Beverly Hills. Later, the officer would claim she had stopped him because his car lacked a front license tag. But Murray said the officer never mentioned the front tag when she pulled him over and did not issue him a traffic citation. Murray concluded that he was stopped only because he is black. That might have been the end of it except that Murray was also a member of the California Assembly, and on the night he was stopped had just won the Democratic primary for a seat in the state Senate, where he now serves. Within weeks of the stop, he introduced legislation requiring California law enforcement agencies to collect and make public records on the race, ethnicity, gender and age of everyone they stop. The bill breezed through the legislature, only to be vetoed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson (R). But Murray is back with a similar bill this year and he is not alone. From the Justice Department and Capitol Hill to Sacramento and other state capitals, there is a growing assault on "racial profiling" by police, the practice of stopping black and other minority motorists for questioning, and sometimes a search, because of their race or ethnic background. The American Civil Liberties Union renewed its criticism of racial profiling yesterday in a lawsuit filed in federal district court in Oklahoma City. The suit alleges that Army Sgt. Rossano V. Gerald, 37, who is black, and his then 12-year-old son, Gregory, were stopped by Oklahoma state troopers and subjected to more than two hours of questioning last August. Searching Gerald's car without his permission, the troopers did more than $1,000 in damage to the vehicle, according to the suit. They found nothing illegal. Attorney General Janet Reno has condemned racial profiling and endorsed the concept of data collection to learn how extensive the practice is. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) has introduced legislation that would require the Justice Department to collect racial and ethnic data about police stops from law enforcement agencies across the country. Bills similar to Murray's are being considered in other states. Meanwhile, many leaders of police organizations wonder what all the fuss is about. Many deny that racial profiling is a widespread police practice and maintain that when it has occurred it has been an exception. Skeptics include Robert T. Scully, president of the National Association of Police Organizations, an umbrella group for 4,000 police unions. "I really don't believe racial profiling happens," said Scully. "Police are not stopping people because of the car they drive or the color of their skin. They stop people because of probable cause. If [profiling] is going on, it is the exception to the rule." San Jose Police Chief William Lansdowne is another skeptic. He said that of 100,000 police stops a year, about 10 result in profiling allegations filed with the department. "I don't believe it is occurring in our police department, but the complaint is consistent from senior citizens, youths and people of color," Lansdowne said. "I don't think we do a good enough job explaining the reason for a car stop." Lansdowne is not waiting for any legislative mandate. Later this month, his department will begin collecting race and other data about every traffic stop. "Our feeling is quite simple," said Jim Tomaino, president of the San Jose Police Officers Association. "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to hide. [Racial profiling] is a perception. But there's a big difference between perception and fact and we said we'll show you the facts." Perceptions, whether or not grounded in reality, have an impact on how people act and think, which is why Lansdowne ordered the additional data collection. "It's all about trust," he said. "I think we have a responsibility to work closely together with community leaders. It's not going to go away. We have an obligation to address it." Perceptions matter in part because there is relatively little hard data on racial profiling. "We don't know how prevalent it is," said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. "But I'll tell you one thing: police chiefs are looking at it." David Cole, a Georgetown University Law School professor, agreed there is a lack of verifiable information. But Cole, the author of "No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System," said what information is available suggests profiling is taking place. "There is no data that shows a police department doesn't engage in racial profiling," he said. In 1992, the Orlando Sentinel obtained police videotapes of traffic stops of more than 1,000 motorists by officers in a special drug unit of the Volusia County, Fla., Sheriff's Department. They showed almost 70 percent of traffic stops and 80 percent of vehicle searches were of black and Hispanic motorists. Although a Florida Supreme Court decision requires that deputies stop motorists only for legitimate traffic violations, only nine of the 1,084 drivers who were stopped were given a traffic citation. As part of a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, the Maryland State Police agreed in the mid-1990s to collect data on traffic stops. The results stunned even the ACLU. On a stretch of Interstate 95 northeast of Baltimore, a focal point in police drug interdiction efforts, black drivers accounted for 17 percent of the traffic but 70 percent of those who were stopped. The most recent case involved an investigation of the New Jersey State Police by that state's attorney general's office, the outgrowth of lawsuits alleging racial profiling. In a report issued last month, the investigators said that motorists stopped by troopers stationed at two state police barracks along the New Jersey Turnpike were about 25 percent black and 40 percent minority. But black drivers accounted for more than half and black and Hispanic drivers more than three-quarters of the cars that were searched by police. In what it described as "this insidious cycle," the New Jersey report said, "police officers may be subjecting minority citizens to heightened scrutiny and more probing investigative tactics that lead to more arrests that are then used to justify those same tactics." In the April edition of its newsletter, "Vital Stats," the Statistical Assessment Service said that while crime patterns may make it "rational" for police to focus more on blacks and males than on whites and women, "most individual blacks, like most males, never commit serious crime. The unpleasant truth is that profiling can be statistically valid and yet have discriminatory real world results since most blacks who are stopped on suspicion [like most males] will be innocent people." "One reason this problem is so widespread is that the stereotype the police are relying on is not entirely irrational," said Cole. "It is more likely that a young black man will commit crimes than an elderly white woman. Minorities commit more crimes than whites [on a percentage-of-population basis]. I don't think all these police officers are bigoted in the traditional sense." But "if you start using race as a proxy for suspicion you are going to sweep in a whole lot of innocent people. You also create a great deal of enmity and it undermines law enforcement when people see the police as their enemy," he said. Whether they believe the allegations of widespread racial profiling, police executives around the country know that this perception by many blacks and other minorities cannot be ignored. Last fall, the International Association of Chiefs of Police held a forum on "professional traffic stops" that emphasized the importance of training and supervision to prevent "biased traffic stops." The organization opposes legislation mandating the collection of racial data at traffic stops, arguing that it would be burdensome and could make what is often a difficult and sometimes dangerous moment in police work even more so. The organization also argues that the resources that would be applied to data collection could be better used improving police training and paying for video cameras in all police cruisers. But it does not deny that racial profiling happens. "It clearly does happen," said Dan Rosenblatt, executive director of the chiefs' association. "And where it does happen, it is a problem. New Jersey found it. We're still not convinced that the problems are systemic or widespread. . . . But to say it is not a problem when it is is denying reality." The Police Executive Research Forum recently held a meeting on the subject with about 20 police chiefs and community leaders from their cities and is trying to craft a model policy on traffic stops. Wexler, the group's executive director, said the community leaders made clear that while they object to some police tactics, they want a continuation of the aggressive policing that has helped produce a dramatic decline in the crime rate in many cities. "Police departments are as effective as the community allows them to be and that's critical," Wexler said. "The days of what James Baldwin called an occupying army are over. It's not that people just want more police. They want more and better police. They don't want an invading army, but they also don't want the police to back off." New Jersey Stops and Searches The New Jersey attorney general prepared a study of motor vehicle stops and searches by officers from two state police stations, Moorestown and Cranbury. The study found a disproportionate number of minorities were searched. Motor vehicle stops White 59% Black 27% Hispanic 7% Asian 4% Other 3% Searches White 21% Black 53% Hispanic 24% Asian 1% Other 1% NOTES: Stop figures are from April 1997 through November 1998. Search figures are from various dates between January 1994 and February 1999.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Some 750 Canadians Apply To Grow Hemp (According to UPI, Canada's health department says it has received about 750 applications from farmers across the country to grow industrial hemp, and has approved more than two-thirds of them.) Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 11:32:01 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Wire: Some 750 Canadians Apply To Grow Hemp Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF Pubdate: Wed, 19 May 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International SOME 750 CANADIANS APPLY TO GROW HEMP OTTAWA, May 19 (UPI) - Canada's health department says it has received some 750 applications from farmers across the country to grow industrial hemp, and has approved more than two-thirds of them. The federal government announced last year that it was lifting a ban on growing industrial hemp, which is related marijuana, the narcotic variety of the Cannabis sativa plant, but does have the narcotic content. The government decided to lift the ban as hemp has wide industrial uses, including the production of a tough fiber from the stem, which can be used for the manufacture of strong fabrics, such as those used for sails. Health Canada officials said today the lifting of the ban had proved popular among farmers, but most chose to delay submitting their applications until "the last couple of weeks," though they have had since Jan. 1 to do so. As a result, there has been a big pile up in the applications, and the department has been able to approve 530, with about 90 more set to be approved shortly. Growing the narcotic variety of cannabis is still a criminal offense, and industrial-hemp growing in Canada is expected to be closely monitored as industrial hemp bears a close resemblance to the narcotic plant. Some 40 of the applications were to grow industrial hemp for research purposes, and 25 of these have been approved. Health Canada recently received parliamentary approval to carry out clinical tests for the medical use of marijuana, and is expected to make an announcement on the subject shortly.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tax Hikes Turn Teens Off Smoking: Study (According to the Toronto Star, the World Bank calculated in a report to health ministers in Geneva that tax hikes are the most effective way to stop adolescents from smoking. Stopping adults through prohibitory taxes also appealed to the bankers. The Star doesn't say if the bankers actually calculated the costs associated with an illicit market in cigarettes, only that they insisted "the appropriate response to smuggling is to crack down on criminal activity" - after all, that wouldn't come out of their budget. Canadians went down this road before, which may explain why cartons supposedly average $15 less there than in the United States.) Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 11:45:59 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Tax Hikes Turn Teens Off Smoking: Study Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Haans Pubdate: Wed, 19 May 1999 Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Copyright: 1999, The Toronto Star Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Author: Tim Harper, Toronto Star Ottawa Bureau TAX HIKES TURN TEENS OFF SMOKING: STUDY Higher prices save lives, World Bank report says OTTAWA - Some 10 million tobacco-related deaths could have been prevented over the past four years if cigarette taxes were hiked 10 per cent per package, the World Bank reported yesterday. In a report released to health ministers meeting in Geneva, the bank argues that tax hikes are the most effective means of stopping adolescents from smoking. The study also attempts to dismiss fears that tax hikes could decrease tax revenues by reducing the number of smokers and says fears of massive smuggling operations should not be an argument against tax hikes. ``Rather than forgoing tax increases,'' the report states, ``the appropriate response to smuggling is to crack down on criminal activity.'' It was the smuggling concerns that led to massive tobacco tax rollbacks in Canada, particularly in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces in 1994. In Ontario, for example, the price of a carton of 200 cigarettes was rolled back by $19.20. Since then, Ottawa and Queen's Park have added only $3.20 to the cost of that carton through taxes. ``It's completely baffling to us why the federal and provincial governments have not raised tobacco taxes,'' said Rob Cunningham of the Canadian Cancer Society. ``There is compelling data available on the effect on adolescent smoking. ``We are in a position now where a carton of cigarettes in the United States is now $15 more expensive than in Canada.'' The bank report was released at the World Health Assembly, a body made up of health ministers around the world and the governing body of the World Health Organization. Ottawa's delegation is led by Toronto MP Elinor Caplan, parliamentary secretary to federal Health Minister Allan Rock. British Columbia's Penny Priddy, the first provincial health minister to try to recoup health-care costs from tobacco companies, was scheduled to deliver an address to international delegates. The World Bank says smoking already kills one in 10 adults worldwide, but that number will rise to one in six by 2030. The heaviest tolls are shifting toward the world's poorest countries and the World Bank now says within 20 years, seven of 10 people killed by smoking will be in low-income and middle-income nations. ``The most effective way to deter children from taking up smoking is to increase taxes on tobacco,'' the World Bank says in its report. ``High prices prevent some children and adolescents from starting and encourage those who already smoke to reduce their consumption.'' Evidence from all countries also shows higher taxes induce adult smokers to quit and reduce the number of ex-smokers who begin again. A 10 per cent tax increase would reduce consumption by 4 per cent - worldwide that would mean 40 million smokers would have quit by now if the hike had been implemented in 1995. Eight of 10 smokers in more prosperous, industrialized nations, such as Canada, begin in their teens, the study says. Smoking-related health-care costs account for 6 to 15 per cent of total governmental spending on an annual basis, the report says.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Americans, Mexicans Blame Each Other In Poll (According to the Houston Chronicle, a survey of national attitudes released Tuesday by the polling company Louis Harris & Associates Inc., suggests Americans and Mexicans blame each other for illegal drug trafficking. Fifty percent of the 4,500 Mexicans surveyed said Americans' appetite for buying and using drugs is the main culprit for the illegal trade. By contrast, of the 1,006 Americans surveyed, 48 percent blamed Mexico for failing to take strong action against Mexican drug dealers.)Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 12:14:46 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Americans, Mexicans Blame Each Other In Poll Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Art Smart (ArtSmart@neosoft.com) Pubdate: Wed, 19 May 1999 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Forum: http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html Author: Steve Lash AMERICANS, MEXICANS BLAME EACH OTHER IN POLL WASHINGTON -- Americans and Mexicans blame each other for illegal drug trafficking and believe the other has benefited more from free trade in North America, according to a survey of national attitudes released Tuesday. The study, conducted by the polling company Louis Harris & Associates Inc., also revealed that an overwhelming majority of Mexicans believe the U.S. government is unfair to Mexicans who illegally enter and reside in the United States. A small majority believes the U.S. government mistreats Mexicans who legally live north of the border. In addition, the Harris poll showed Mexican displeasure with President Clinton, despite his controversial rescue of Mexico's economy four years ago. Louis Harris conducted the survey of both countries between April 8 and May 3 to gauge each nation's sentiment toward the other and to measure Mexicans' views of the likely candidates in their presidential election next year. Company Chairman Humphrey Taylor said American and Mexican attitudes mirror a global trend in which citizens of one nation will say that another has caused all the ills while reaping all the benefits of the international relationship. On the subject of drugs, 50 percent of the 4,500 Mexicans surveyed said Americans' appetite for buying and using drugs is the main culprit for the illegal trade. By contrast, of the 1,006 Americans surveyed, 48 percent blame Mexico for failing to take strong action against Mexican drug dealers. As for imports and exports, a majority of Mexicans, 73 percent, believe the North American Free Trade Agreement has been good for the United States, while 47 percent say the accord has been bad for Mexico. North of the border, 57 percent of Americans report that the pact has paid dividends for Mexico, and only 39 percent say it has been beneficial for the United States. The independent survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent, Louis Harris reported. With regard to immigration, 82 percent of Mexicans believe the U.S. government treats Mexicans sneaking across the border unfairly. In addition, 84 percent of Mexicans say the U.S. government mistreats Mexicans living illegally in the United States. A majority of Mexicans, 53 percent, also believe the U.S. government treats unfairly their countrymen who legally reside in the United States. Much of this perceived unfairness results from the sense of "community" Mexicans have with family members and friends who have left Mexico to live in the United States legally, particularly those residing in the border states of Texas, Arizona and California, said Vicente Licona, director general of Indemerc Louis Harris, the pollster's Mexico affiliate. "The border does not exist for them," Licona said. Humphrey, though understanding the difference of opinion between Americans and Mexicans on drugs and NAFTA, said he was "surprised" with survey results showing that 67 percent of Mexicans believe Clinton is not "a friend of Mexico." The company chairman said he had no explanation for the displeasure with Clinton, especially in light of the U.S. president's multibillion-dollar loan to Mexico in 1995 despite intense opposition from many Americans. As for the Mexican election next year, the survey showed Guanajuato Gov. Vicente Fox leading expected candidates Roberto Madrazo, governor of Tabasco, and Mexico City Mayor Cuauhtemoc Cardenas. But Humphrey cautioned that the Harris poll should not be regarded as a forecast of who will succeed President Ernesto Zedillo but as a barometer of how the candidates stand now.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Poll: Suspicion High On Both Sides Of Border (The Arizona Republic version) Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 11:32:23 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US AZ: Poll: Suspicion High On Both Sides Of Border Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF Pubdate: Wed, 19 May 1999 Source: Arizona Republic (AZ) Copyright: 1999, The Arizona Republic. Contact: Opinions@pni.com Website: http://www.azcentral.com/news/ Forum: http://www.azcentral.com/pni-bin/WebX?azc POLL: SUSPICION HIGH ON BOTH SIDES OF BORDER Americans and Mexicans blame each other for illegal drug trafficking, and both sides believe the other has benefited more from free trade in North America, according to a survey of national attitudes released Tuesday. The study, conducted by the polling company Louis Harris & Associates Inc., also revealed that an overwhelming majority of Mexicans believes the U.S. government is unfair to Mexicans who illegally enter and reside in the United States. A small majority believes the U.S. government mistreats Mexicans who legally live north of the border. In addition, the Harris poll showed Mexican displeasure with President Clinton, despite his controversial rescue of Mexico's economy four years ago. Louis Harris conducted the survey of both countries between April 8 and May 3. On the subject of drugs, 50 percent of the 4,500 Mexicans surveyed said Americans' appetite for buying and using drugs is the main culprit for the illegal trade. By contrast, of the 1,006 Americans surveyed, 48 percent blame Mexico for failing to take strong action against Mexican drug dealers. As for imports and exports, a majority of Mexicans, 73 percent, believes the North American Free Trade Agreement has been good for the United States, while 47 percent say the accord has been bad for Mexico. North of the border, 57 percent of Americans report that the pact has paid dividends for Mexico, and only 39 percent say it has been beneficial for the United States. The independent survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, Louis Harris reported. With regard to immigration, 82 percent of Mexicans believe the U.S. government treats Mexicans sneaking across the border unfairly.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Battle Lines Drawn As Summit Deepens (The Illawarra Mercury, in Australia, says the Salvation Army's Major Brian Watters, who heads Prime Minister John Howard's drugs advisory council, came under fire yesterday as battle lines emerged between conservatives and reformers at the New South Wales drug summit in Sydney. Professor Peter Reuter of Maryland University said there was no scientific evidence to show that U.S.-style zero tolerance policies would curb the drug problem. "Beware of Americans bearing certainties," he said. "The end of the Cold War may have been a good thing but it has not made American policy-makers one bit more humble; particularly in this area they are prone to claims that I would argue are implausible, particularly as to the values of toughness.") Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 23:31:53 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: Battle Lines Drawn As Summit Deepens Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Wed, 19 May 1999 Source: Illawarra Mercury (Australia) Copyright: Illawarra Newspapers Contact: email@example.com Website: http://mercury.illnews.com.au/ BATTLE LINES DRAWN AS SUMMIT DEEPENS The head of Prime Minister John Howard's drugs advisory council came under fire yesterday as battle lines emerged between conservatives and reformers at the NSW drug summit. The Salvation Army's Major Brian Watters maintained his opposition to any relaxation of drug laws, saying allowing shooting galleries would lead to the legalisation of heroin, cocaine and amphetamines. ``What we are really looking at is an incremental shift in policy that would involve ... the availability of what are currently illicit drugs,'' he told the summit. Under questioning from reformers, Maj Watters stood by the abstinence-based approach that he has advocated as head of Mr Howard's advisory council. ``I don't know what the experts know but I know what I know,'' he said. Uniting Church Reverend Harry Herbert said Maj Watters was engaging in ``trench warfare'' over decriminalisation of marijuana. Drugs campaigner Tony Trimingham, one of the organisers of the ``T-Room'' illegal shooting gallery, drew gasps when he asked Maj Watters to explain why he once said ``the wages of sin are death and addiction is a sin''. Maj Watters said he had been quoting the Bible to show that choosing treatment was like choosing ``God's gift of life'' for addicts. Professor Peter Reuter of Maryland University said there was no scientific evidence to show that US-style zero tolerance policies would curb the drug problem. ``Beware of Americans bearing certainties,'' he said. ``The end of the Cold War may have been a good thing but it has not made American policy-makers one bit more humble; particularly in this area they are prone to claims that I would argue are implausible, particularly as to the values of toughness.'' Meantime, one of the Government's strongest opponents of heroin shooting galleries, Cabramatta MP Reba Meagher, softened her stance by calling for a referendum on the issue at the September local government elections. Ms Meagher said local communities needed the final say on whether shooting galleries were established in their area. ``Many residents of Kings Cross may support safe injecting rooms while the community of Cabramatta has continually opposed them,'' she said. Christian Democrats MP Fred Nile said addicts could be housed in army barracks for 12 months while they underwent treatment with Naltrexone, the blocker drug that prevents addicts getting a hit from heroin.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Thousands lose right to jury trial (The Independent says Jack Straw, the British home secretary, today will announce plans to remove the right to trial by jury, regarded as one of the fundamental principles of British law, for about 18,500 defendants a year accused of offences including theft, possession of "drugs" and assault.)Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 11:05:38 -0600 (MDT) From: Jury Rights Project (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Jury Rights Project (email@example.com) Subject: UK: Thousands lose right to jury trial The Independent (UK) UK NEWS http://www.independent.co.uk/stories/A1905901.html Thousands lose right to jury trial By Jason Bennetto and Robert Verkaik THE AUTOMATIC right to trial by jury - regarded as one of the fundamental principles of British law - will be removed for thousands of defendants under plans to be announced by the Home Secretary today. Jack Straw is expected to propose legislation that will remove the right to a jury trial for about 18,500 people a year accused of offences including theft, possession of drugs and assault. Magistrates will instead be asked to assess the gravity of the offence and decide whether a Crown Court jury or a magistrates' court should try the case. The move follows research by the Home Office that suggests hundreds of thousands of pounds, and thousands of hours of court and police time, could be saved by removing the automatic right to a jury. But the proposal provoked a storm of reaction from lawyers and civil rights groups. They claimed that the move is an erosion of the justice system. At present some so-called middle ranking offences are defined as "triable either way" and can therefore be either dealt with by a magistrate or, if the defendant so chooses, go before a Crown Court. Mr Straw is expected to sweep this away when he makes the keynote address at the Police Federation's annual conference in Blackpool today. Thousands of defendants choose to go before a jury each year, but the Home Office has found that many are then pleading guilty before the case is tried, wasting a vast amount of police and court time. The offences that can currently be tried in either court include theft, actual bodily harm, criminal damage, cruelty to children, child abduction, gross indecency with an adult and living off the earnings of a prostitute. The Home Secretary is expected to argue today that the new power would only be used when the magistrate had evidence that the case was extremely weak. It is thought that in a few extreme cases the magistrate's decision would be subject to an appeal by the defendant. Last night lawyers warned that the new proposals would pose a significant threat to one of the fundamental human rights in this country, dating back to 1166. John Wadham, chairman of the civil rights group Liberty, said that the right to trial by jury was crucial and something that should not be eroded. "Juries in the criminal justice system ensure that the system is not dominated by professionals, and act as a safeguard," he said. The Bar Council claimed that the removal of the right would have a greater impact on black Britain because more defendants from ethnic minorities chose to go before a jury. Peter Herbert, chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, said: "Juries have clearly demonstrated that they have a better understanding of race issues than the average bench." The Law Society of England and Wales said that it opposed any move to take away a defendant's right to trial by jury. Mr Straw's reform is understood to be aimed at minor and medium offences such as shoplifting. But the Law Society added: "An allegation of dishonesty is never a minor matter and cannot be given a price tag as it is a conviction and has serious implications for the individual." There was further concern that Mr Straw's proposals would effectively fall foul of the Human Rights Act 1998, which the Home Office said yesterday would be implemented on 2 October 2000. "The Human Rights Act speaks of a right to a fair hearing, but before the ink is dry on that historic legislation the Home Secretary plans an ill-considered cost-cutting exercise without regard to the implications," added Mr Herbert. Lawyers also noted the speed of Mr Straw's change of position. In February 1997, in response to similar proposals by Michael Howard, Mr Straw said in the House of Commons that the suggestions were "short-sighted". The removal of the right to choose trial in certain circumstances was first proposed in the Royal Commission of 1993, followed by a series of consultation papers published by Tory and Labour governments. *** Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.independent.co.uk/main.html *** Newshawk: Dennis Oakland (email@example.com) *** Re-distributed by the: Jury Rights Project (firstname.lastname@example.org) Old Web page: (http://www.lrt.org/jrp.homepage.htm) New Web page: (http://www.levellers.org/jrp) To be added to or removed from the JRP mailing list, send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title. The JRP is dedicated to: * educating jurors about their right to acquit people who have been accused of victmless crimes and thereby veto bad laws; * protecting jurors from judicial and prosecutorial tyranny; * educating citizens about the history and power of juries; * distributing current news related to jurors and juries The JRP does not necessarily agree with all of the news items we send out. If you disagree with the facts or opinions represented in any news item, write an letter to the editor of the publication. Because we are an all-volunteer organization, we often do not have the time to respond to all the articles we would like.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Thousands Will Lose The Right To Trial By Jury (The Guardian version) Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 11:46:11 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Thousands Will Lose The Right To Trial By Jury Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Pubdate: Wed, 19 May 1999 Source: Guardian, The (UK) Copyright: Guardian Media Group 1999 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Author: Alan Travis, Home Affairs Editor THOUSANDS WILL LOSE THE RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY More than 18,500 defendants a year are to be stripped of their time-honoured right to a jury trial, the home secretary will announce today. The decision to end the right to elect trial by crown court jury represents a further blow to Britain's ancient jury system in the wake of plans to abolish jury trials for complex fraud cases. Jack Straw, who in opposition said the reform was 'wrong, short-sighted and likely to prove ineffective', has now swung behind the move. It comes after pressure from the lord chancellor, Lord Irvine, who sees it as a measure which could save millions of pounds. The announcement is expected to be made in a speech by Mr Straw to the Police Federation conference in Blackpool. The home office says the right to choose a jury trial in its modern form dates back to 1855 and covers a wide range of middle ranking offences, including theft, handling stolen goods and some other crimes which are minor but also strike at the accused's reputation for personal honesty. Defendants charged with these 'either way' offences can choose whether their case is heard in the magistrates' or crown court. The reform would affect about 20% of cases currently tried before a judge and jury in England and Wales - last year this amounted to 18,500 cases. Mr Straw is to press ahead despite strong opposition from the Bar Council and the Law Society, which insist that the proposal would abolish a right which goes back to the 12th century. Bruce Holder, of the Bar Council, said: 'This is the back door removal of jury trial and will be an unfortunate inroad into something which is being marginalised all the time.' The Bar Council also warns that recent home office research showed that black defendants get a worse chance in magistrates' courts than they do before juries. In theft cases, a higher proportion of black defendants are sent to prison by magistrates than white defendants. A much higher proportion of black defendants elect to jury trial than whites, believing there is a better chance of acquittal in the crown court. The research says this is a major reason for defendants opting for jury trial, coupled with the belief that magistrates are 'on the side of the police.' But the research also shows they are mistaken if they go to the crown court in the hope of a lighter sentence. Mr Straw is expected to say the change is designed to end abuse of the system which leads to delay, a waste of resources, and a prolonged wait for justice. It is estimated that the average cost of a contested jury trial is UKP13,500, compared with UKP2,500 for a magistrates' court case.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Deny Hard Core Addicts Their Last Chance? (A list subscriber translates and excerpts much of an article from Germany's Basler Zeitung, which says the leadership of Switzerland's EDU evangelical party, Federal Democratic Union, is using false arguments in a referendum campaign aimed at stopping Switzerland's heroin-maintenance trial for long-term addicts.) Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 10:58:56 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Switzerland: Deny Hard Core Addicts Their Last Chance? Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Pat Dolan Pubdate: 19 May 1999 Source: Survey of German Language Newspapers for 19 May 99 Courtesy: Harald Lerch (HaL@main-rheiner.de) Trans: Pat Dolan (email@example.com) (Translator's note: I feel that this is worth while as it recaps a. what the Swiss trial actually was and b. the arguments being used against it. pd) DENY HARD CORE ADDICTS THEIR LAST CHANCE? Thomas Mueller writes in the 'Basler Zeitung' (http://www.baz.ch) under the headline: Deny Hard Core Addicts Their Last Chance? Some 860 drug addicts currently receive heroin from the state to facilitate their re-entry into an ordered lifestyle and departure one day from a life of addiction. A referendum conducted under the leadership of the EDU evangelical party, 'Federal Democratic Union', is aimed at overturning the decision to continue the trial and is using false arguments in its struggle to do so. Basle. The heroin trial aims at helping those addicts who are not to be helped by any other means. What is at issue here is a very narrowly focused offer of therapy to those addicts who a. have been dependent for at least two years; have tried and withdrawn from other forms of therapy at least twice, and who are 18 years of age or older and are now, because of their drug consumption, suffering physically, psychologically or spiritually, or have fallen from their position on the social ladder. It is but one of many forms of therapy and is not intended for mass consumption. The heroin is given out in specialized centers and must be consumed on the premises. The heroin-based treatment is a reaction to the dramatically miserable condition of many drug addicts at the end of the 80s. At that time the open drug scenes in Zurich, Basle and Berne were the focus of drug policy debate. It was impossible to overlook the suffering of many of the addicts. Drug related crime rose sharply in the cities concerned. The heroin distribution is supported by a majority of the political parties and the governing council as part of the 'Four Pillars Policy': Prevention, Therapy, Harm Reduction and Law Enforcement. Medically supervised distribution of heroin aims at improving the health of the addicts, freeing them from the stress of having to provide their drugs through crime on the street. In the long term, the improvement of their quality of life will facilitate their climb out of a life of addiction. (We continue with a slightly abbreviated summary of the main points of the rest of the article. pd) At the end of the three year trial the balance sheet was drawn up by the Institute for Addiction Research and the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine. It proved to be very positive. The health of many addicts was improved and stabilized. Consumption of illegally obtained drugs decreased significantly, as did also criminal behavior. The number of those in full and part time employment rose steadily, while two-thirds of those who left the program transferred to abstinence (30%) or methadone (37%) based therapies. A study published in 1998 showed that when compared with methadone based therapy, the heroin trial showed improved results in all significant areas, including the number of those who completed the program. The report moved the government in 1998 to make heroin based therapy a permanent part of the '4-Pillar Policy', its expansion being approved by two-thirds of the Swiss people. The initiative currently under way by the EDA is aimed at overturning this decision of the Swiss people. They have collected over 50,000 signatures, enough to force another referendum. The vote will be held June 13. The arguments being used are based on the usual scare stories suggesting the number of participants will rise astronomically, or that heroin is 'highly toxic', and drawing attention to any aspect of the heroin trial which was regarded by any of the critics as being less than perfect, as for instance, the alleged failure to provide a scientifically approved control group. Heroin is, in fact, no more toxic than morphine which is prescribed daily in Swiss hospitals, so that there is no rational reason to object to re-registering heroin in the medical pharmacopoeia. The cost argument is easily turned since any therapy has to be paid for and the social costs of sickness (AIDS) and crime are constantly to be reckoned with and considerably higher when no help is provided. (Complete report at website given above) -------------------------------------------------------------------
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