------------------------------------------------------------------- What happened yesterday in Salem, Oregon (A list subscriber forwards a dispatch from Amy Klare of Oregonians for Medical Rights saying the state senate Judiciary Committee's work session scheduled yesterday for HB 3052, Rep. Kevin Mannix's bill that would nullify much of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, was put off until 1 pm tomorrow. The delay was caused primarily by an egregious drafting error - legislative counsel inadvertantly left in language stating "a person may serve as the 'designated primary caregiver' for only one person," language that was not in the compromise agreement with OMR or in officially adopted amendments.) From: "sburbank" (email@example.com) To: (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: DPFOR: What happened today in Salem, OR? Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 13:24:02 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Phil, Here's the report from Amy. Lee Berger will be reporting soon. Sandee *** Hi All - The Senate Judiciary yesterday held a public hearing on HB 3052-A, but did not do a work session to send it to the Senate Floor. There are two reasons for this: 1) We discovered that the House-passed version (which included the compromise amendments) included an egregious drafting error. Legislative counsel inadvertantly left in language that stated that "a person may serve as the 'designated primary caregiver' for only one person." This language WAS NOT IN THE COMPROMISE AGREEMENT - or in the officially adopted amendments. Dale Penn, Marion County DA, and Kevin Campbell, lobbyist for the Chiefs of Police Association joined me on the witness stand to request that that language be stricken. (Lee Berger testified against the measure as whole, and he stated his objection to the drafting error, as well). 2) Unfortunately, by the time the committee got to our bill (2 1/2 hours after meeting commenced, members were called to the Senate floor session, so only one member was excused to conduct the hearing. Without a quorum there could be no work session. Committee counsel, Anne Tweedt, just informed me that she intends to schedule a work session for tomorrow, May 27th, at 1 p.m., Hearing Room C. I suspect that the committee will strike the language limiting the number of patients per caregiver, and move it to the Senate floor with a "do pass" recommendation. If this scenario occurs, the bill will probably get a floor vote on Friday or Monday. Because of the anticipated amendment, the bill will have to go back to the House for concurrence. That's the latest for now. Amy
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marcia Hood-Brown (A lengthy but ignorant example of sensational, just-say-know-nothing fear-mongering by Willamette Week, in Portland, focuses on the recent heroin-related death of a local 33-year-old who was "a brilliant scholar, an eloquent writer and a beautiful woman." Despite all the evidence to the contrary, the weekly shopper suggests it's the increasing purity of heroin, rather than toxic street contaminants, that killed the victim, ignoring the role of prohibition in either scenario; and implies that eventually, everyone who uses heroin becomes addicted, which is off by about 90 percent. Characteristically, despite an increase in heroin-related deaths in Portland in the last few years, from 33 to an expected 162 this year - almost as many as in all of Switzerland - the free rag fails to inform puddle-towners about heroin-maintenance programs saving addicts' lives and reducing social harm in that country so successfully that similar programs are being considered in Canada, Australia, Britain and elsewhere.)Newshawk: Portland NORML (http://www.pdxnorml.org/) Pubdate: Wed, May 26 1999 Source: Willamette Week (OR) Contact: email@example.com Address: 822 SW 10th Ave., Portland, OR 97205 Fax: (503) 243-1115 Website: http://www.wweek.com/ Author: By Chris Lydgate (firstname.lastname@example.org) Marcia Hood-Brown 1983 - Graduates from Jefferson High School 1991 - Wins fellowship to Brandeis University 1993 - Starts teaching at Portland State University 1997 - Awarded doctorate from Brandeis 1999 - Dies of heroin overdose at age 33 In the fall of 1997, Marcia Hood-Brown had the world on a string. She had just finished her doctorate in sociology from Brandeis University. She was respected, even revered, by her students at Portland State University. She had landed a coveted postdoctoral position doing research for the federal government. She was a brilliant scholar, an eloquent writer and a beautiful woman.She was also a junkie. Last month, at the age of 33, Marcia died of a heroin overdose. There were no needle marks on her arms, no syringes in her purse - just a couple of baggies in the kitchen trash containing a few telltale crumbs of brownish powder. The news of Marcia's demise reverberated through Portland like a thunderbolt. "This came as a terrible shot out of the blue," says her mother, Elaine Fleskes. "I wouldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it. I thought it was a mistake. It had to be a mistake." Without question, Marcia's death is an extraordinary tragedy. Sadly, it is by no means unique. Across the nation, heroin overdoses are increasing at an alarming rate. In Multnomah County alone, heroin deaths more than tripled, from 33 in 1989 to 102 last year. In the past four months, the number of deaths surged another 60 percent. If the present trend continues, 160 Portlanders will die of a heroin overdose by the year's end. "How can we allow this to go on?" asks Richard Harris, executive director of Central City Concern, a local nonprofit agency that operates the Hooper Detoxification clinic. "It's an outrage." Researchers, treatment providers and law-enforcement agents say that cheaper, more potent heroin is seducing a whole new generation of users, many of whom get hooked by smoking or snorting the drug. In addition, they say, heroin addiction is increasingly reaching into the ranks of the affluent and the well-educated. "We hold an image in our minds of the heroin addict as a sort of monster. We want to believe they are out-of-control, unhealthy, grotesque people," says Harris. "It just isn't the case. The drug does not respect economic barriers." "We've got a heroin epidemic in this valley," says Dr. Walton Byrd, the medical director of Allied Health Service, a local methadone clinic. It would be foolish to pretend that the life of Marcia Hood-Brown fits neatly into any demographer's pigeonhole. But her death raises a profound and disturbing question: How did this brilliant social researcher, a woman who had dedicated her career to working with troubled women, succumb to an addiction whose consequences she had witnessed and analyzed in the charts and footnotes of a dozen academic papers? And having fallen into the jaws of the drug, why couldn't she find a way out? Marcia always had an independent spirit. "She knew her mind, and she knew what she wanted to do, and she did it," her mother says. Born in 1966 in a tiny coal-mining town on the edge of the Kansas prairie, she grew up in the rural Oregon community of Parrett Mountain, near Wilsonville. Her mother was an artist, and her stepfather worked in construction. In 1970, they built a house on five acres of woods and meadows, without plumbing, electricity or heat. That first winter, they slept huddled in sleeping bags around a wood stove. A precocious girl, Marcia took care of her younger brother from an early age. She loved to explore the woods and hunt for mice and lizards. She showed sheep for 4-H and played sax in the school band. In the recession of the early '80s, the construction business collapsed and, with it, her parents' relationship. At the age of 16, Marcia moved into an apartment in Northwest Portland with her mother. For Marcia, the city represented an intoxicating antidote to the parochialism of Parrett Mountain. The year was 1982, and children of the hippie generation had finally found an identity to call their own. Across the nation, a defiant sound - punk - was smashing through the complacent disco and bubble-gum rock that dominated the airwaves. Punk had energy, attitude and shock value. Most of all, it belonged to them. Overnight, Marcia's dark brown curls, headband, sweatshirt and jeans were replaced by a new look: raven-black hair, a black velvet dress, black leggings, combat boots, white face, cat's eyes and bright red lipstick. She wheeled around on a vintage red bike adorned with plastic flowers, and later in a '60s-era Ford Fairlane. She grew dreadlocks and became a fixture in the local music scene. "She was the Gothic queen of Portland," says Lisa Friedli-Clapie, a close friend who teaches French at Portland State. "She was the coolest," agrees Fiona Ortiz, another good friend who now works as a reporter in Mexico. Marcia was cool, but she was no nihilist. An excellent student, she graduated from Jefferson High School at the age of 17 and worked her way through college, first at Portland Community College and later at PSU, graduating with a degree in sociology in 1989. She also became active in women's issues, volunteering as a counselor at the Council for Prostitution Alternatives and at the Portland Feminist Women's Health Center, where she held women's hands while they underwent abortion surgery. "I was proud of her," her mother says. "She was my little fighter." In 1990, Marcia married Aaron Brown, a graphic-design student at Pacific Northwest College of Art; they held the wedding outside a stone house in MacLeay Park. The next year, she won a prestigious fellowship at Brandeis. Returning to Portland in 1993, she taught classes in sociology and women's studies at PSU while writing a dissertation on treatment programs for drug-addicted prostitutes. Her former students describe her in glowing terms. "I just thought she was brilliant," says Kristin Christopherson. "She inspired me to go to grad school." Marcia also encouraged several friends to complete their education. "She's one of the reasons I went back to college," says Brian Tibbetts, who is now studying English at PSU. "She believed in me more than I believed in myself." While many of her friends settled into more conventional lifestyles, Marcia remained resolutely cutting-edge. "She didn't want to be a housewife," says her friend Lisa. "She didn't want to be part of the mainstream." She loved to organize fancy cocktail parties and sumptuous vegetarian feasts at her apartment on Northeast 7th and Knott and often patronized her favorite bar, the Sandy Hut. In March 1997, she finished her dissertation and was awarded her doctorate from Brandeis. But even as she scaled new heights in her professional career, Marcia struggled with personal demons. Her marriage was falling apart. She had been rejected for tenure-track positions at several top-flight schools. Years of graduate education had left her thousands of dollars in debt. She began to have panic attacks and suffered bouts of depression. She even began to question the value of her own degree. After a 10-year hiatus, she started smoking again. One night during the summer of 1997, Marcia sat around with an old friend from her punk days, who was working as a systems administrator. He was depressed. "I had tons of money and no life," says the friend, who is now undergoing drug treatment."I kind of wanted to throw a monkey-wrench into it." Almost jokingly, he confessed that he was so unhappy he was thinking about trying heroin. Marcia didn't laugh. On the contrary, she seemed intrigued. In fact, she said she knew where she could get the drug. "I said, 'I'll buy if you fly,'" he remembers. He gave her $20. The next night, Marcia came over to his downtown apartment. She was carrying a little plastic bag containing a tiny blob of black goo. They spread it out on a scrap of tin foil, then took turns holding a lighter under the foil until the drug bubbled and gave off a thick white smoke. A few days later, they did it again. Heroin has always held a perverse fascination for people on the fringes of society. Because of its association with tragic icons from Janis Joplin to Kurt Cobain, the drug also attracts rebellious youths searching for a way to set themselves apart from the mainstream they despise. Like many young adults (including this reporter), Marcia dabbled with hard drugs in her 20s but escaped serious harm. By the time she was 31, she certainly knew the downside. She had seen friends spiral into the vortex of addiction. She had witnessed firsthand the ravages of heroin in the faces and the stories of the prostitutes she counseled at the CPA. She was "highly contemptuous" of hip junkiedom, according to her friend Fiona. Why did Marcia take that first hit? It is, of course, impossible to reconstruct her thoughts. Perhaps she believed her exceptional intellect would protect her from harm. She had, in fact, written her dissertation on the social, economic and sexual dynamics of drug addiction. Perhaps she wanted to transgress the boundary between researcher and subject, to cut through the dry formulations of academic sociology and show those tenured Ivy League squares that she knew what she was talking about. Perhaps she simply wanted a vacation from reality. "She was a little bored with her life," says her anonymous friend. "I don't believe either of us wanted to grow up." Whatever the reason, she took the plunge. As the acrid smoke filled her lungs, all Marcia's anxieties - the crumbling marriage, the unpaid bills, the rejection letters - were swallowed by a sinister wave of euphoria. Marcia's descent into addiction followed a classic progression. She was careful, almost obsessive, about keeping her friends ignorant of her little secret and continued to maintain a respectable facade at PSU, where she taught class three times a week. "I didn't notice any significant change in her at all," says former student Christopherson. Indeed, during this time she was recruited by the National Development and Research Institutes of New York City. The organization offered her a postdoctoral position doing research on female methamphetamine addicts. "She impressed me as someone who was knowledgeable and thoughtful," says her boss, Dr. Greg Falkin. She even continued her volunteer counseling work at the Council for Prostitution Alternatives. But little by little, like a meteor trapped in the gravitational warp of a black hole, Marcia's life began to revolve around heroin. By the fall of 1997, she was using it every day. In the evening, she would go over to a friend's house to buy the drug: $30 for a lump the size of a pencil eraser - just enough to get her high for the night, plus a little taste for the morning after. At first, the changes were subtle. The parties and dinners tapered off. Dishes piled up in the sink. "She started staying in bed a lot," says former roommate J.R. Pella. "I just assumed she was partying." With her research position in New York due to begin in January, Marcia quit teaching at PSU. The loss of structure in her life seemed to accelerate her slide. People around her noticed other mystifying changes. She became obsessed with her personal appearance. She complained about money. She imposed on her friends. "She wasn't the same damn person," says Lisa. Marcia struggled to break free. Several times that fall she tried to kick the habit, lying in bed, sweating and moaning, gritting her teeth to stave off the cravings for another hour. She would last a few days, a week perhaps. Then her self-control would crack; the expert on treatment modalities would pick up the phone and call her dealer. Pharmacologically speaking, heroin is a sledgehammer. Smoked, snorted or injected, it depresses the central nervous system and triggers a cascade of endorphins in the brain, producing an intense high that can linger for hours. "Heroin is the atomic bomb of opiates," says Dr. Byrd. "It's a nightmare." As the user turns to the drug more often, the brain begins to compensate, shutting down its natural endorphin production. Gradually, the pleasure system withers, like an atrophied muscle, and the user becomes unable to enjoy anything except heroin. Contrary to popular myth, addiction is a gradual process. Depending on the purity of the drug and the frequency of use, it may take several months to produce acute dependence. But the longer it goes on, the harder it is to stop. "Every addict says, 'I can control the drug,'" Harris says. "And then one day they find the drug controlling them." In January 1998, Marcia moved to New York. If she had ever believed that geography would cure her addiction, she quickly discovered otherwise. As the drug's grip grew tighter, she flew back to Portland every few months, ostensibly to conduct research. In reality, she was trying to kick the habit. Ever secretive, Marcia hid her addiction from her friends and family - she would tell them she was sick with the flu - and the people close to her remained, for the most part, in the dark. "I was totally oblivious," says J.R. Lisa had no idea what was wrong until last summer, when Marcia was visiting Portland and asked her to help organize a yard sale. By the end of the day, Marcia had raised $250. Then she asked Lisa to take some vintage dresses over to a resale store and pick up some hair conditioner from Freddie's. Coming on the heels of a long list of favors, the request stuck in Lisa's craw. "I knew she was taking advantage of me," she says. "But I thought she was sick." After Lisa returned from her errand, she discovered that Marcia had left. When Marcia came home, Lisa was furious. As she remembers, the conversation went like this: "What the hell is up?" she said. "Why couldn't you wait?" "It's no big deal," Marcia replied, her voice sleepy and hoarse. "We just went to Taco Bell." "Taco Bell?! You don't even like Taco Bell!" "Well, I like it now." Marcia could hardly keep her eyes open. In fact, she was falling asleep on her feet. Suddenly, it all made sense - the midnight phone calls, the endless flu, the debts - and Lisa realized her friend was doing heroin. "I didn't know you could buy that at Taco Bell," she said. There was an awkward silence. "Lisa, I can take care of myself," Marcia said. "I've got it under control." Lisa burst into tears. In October, Summer Gunter, a 26-year-old artist, took the train from Portland to New York to join Marcia in her Brooklyn apartment. Summer had known Marcia for five years. Although Summer had heard rumors about Marcia's drug use, Marcia assured her that she had quit for good. "She told me, 'Everything will be so wonderful when you get here. We'll go out every night. It will be fabulous.'" When they met up at the train station, Summer was shocked. Marcia looked old. The vintage dresses had given way to ratty jeans, the glorious dreadlocks to shapeless fuzz. She was short-tempered and rude - "a side of her I'd never seen before," Summer says. In the cab on the way back to the apartment, Marcia started weeping for no apparent reason. Over the next few months her behavior became increasingly erratic. She racked up thousands of dollars in credit-card debts and phone bills. She adopted the name Zuleika, took out personal ads in The Village Voice and went on frequent dates. She stayed up all night, using heroin, smoking cigarettes and writing sad poems. Marcia tried desperately to get clean. Summer would hold her hand as she lay on the couch, unable to move. "I'd tell her, 'This is it - this is the last time you have to do this,'" Summer remembers. Marcia tried to enter a residential treatment program, but her insurance covered only outpatient treatment. It wasn't enough. She would get clean for a few days or weeks, then drift back to the dope. "She thought she was too smart to get hooked," Summer says. "She thought she could handle the drug. But no one can." Despite all she'd been through, Marcia seemed unwilling to acknowledge the depth of her problem. In an e-mail to her friend Fiona, sent in October or November of last year, she recited a long litany of reasons for her "cracking up," including debts, the breakup of her marriage, the stress of moving to New York, physical illness and, almost as an afterthought, her addiction to heroin. One Saturday morning last month, as Summer was getting ready to leave the apartment, she noticed that Marcia had fallen asleep on the couch, curled up next to the telephone. It was not an unusual sight. "She'd done that before," says Summer. "It didn't surprise me." When Summer got back to the apartment that evening, Marcia was still asleep. But there was something wrong: Marcia was in exactly the same position as before, and her skin was gray. "I kind of just stared at her," Summer says. "I couldn't believe it. Her head was next to the phone, and I couldn't see her face. I thought, 'Well, maybe she's suffocating.'" Summer pulled the phone away from Marcia's head just a little bit. There was an indentation along Marcia's face where the phone had been. She was dead. Many of Marcia's friends are asking themselves how they could have ignored her problem for so long - or why they didn't express their disapproval more strongly when they found out. "I'm really pissed off at myself," Lisa says. "I look back, and I kick myself for not realizing," says J.R. Marcia was buried in Skyline Memorial Gardens, in a sloping cemetery overlooking the city she had called home. Her mother bought the burial plot next to hers. "I just wanted people who walk past to know she's not alone," she says. "I hope I go to the same heaven." As Marcia's body was lowered into the ground and the first handful of dirt hit the casket, her friends realized she had been gone a long, long time. [sidebar:] Heroin by the Numbers Portland has one of the highest rates in the nation for the number of arrestees who test positive for opiates, according to the National Institute of Justice. Last year, 16 percent of adult males booked into Multnomah County Jail tested positive for opiates; for adult women, the rate was 25 percent - the highest in the nation. Percentage of male arrestees testing positive for opiates in 1998: Philadelphia 18% Chicago 18% Seattle 17% Portland 16% New York 16% New Orleans 13% St. Louis 11% Laredo 11% ALCOHOL AND DRUG HELPLINE 244-1312 ALCOHOL AND DRUG YOUTH LINE 244-1611 NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS 284-1787 NARCOTICS ABUSE 24-HOUR HELPLINE (800) 234-0420 PORTLAND WOMEN'S CRISIS LINE 235-5333 According to a 1997 telephone survey conducted by the state Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs, 4.6 percent of the respondents in Multnomah County admitted using heroin at some point in their lives. If the figure from the state survey is accurate - and it's worth remembering that a lot of junkies don't have telephones - it suggests that at least 29,000 Portlanders have used heroin. According to OADAP, heroin was cited as a "primary drug of choice" by 3,629 Multnomah County adults last year - a jump of 479 percent from 1988. Former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Mark Tuinei died of an overdose earlier this month after taking a combination of heroin and a stimulant. He was 39 years old. Fiona Ortiz wrote for WW from 1990-94 under her maiden name, Fiona Martin. *** [sidebar:] Deaths from heroin overdose in Multnomah county 1989 33 1990 40 1991 10 1992 31 1993 49 1994 69 1995 76 1996 94 1997 97 1998 102 1999* 162 * Projected figure Source: Multnomah County Medical Examiner's Office
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug-Prevention Programs: Worth It? (A Los Angeles Times article in the Seattle Times says a study released yesterday by the Rand Corp., in Santa Monica, California, estimated that even the best school-based anti-drug prevention programs would curtail students' use of cocaine by an average of only 8 percent during their lifetime - a result that, dollar for dollar, is only a little more cost effective in shrinking demand than coca eradication efforts overseas or interdiction at the border. Government officials at all levels have been spending increasingly more on school-based prevention programs as part of the $40 billion war on drugs, but cocaine use among students is increasing, and the report concludes "It is not likely that with current technology, prevention can play a decisive role in eradicating our current drug problem.") Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 06:23:24 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Drug-Prevention Programs: Worth It? Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Wed, 26 May 1999 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Author: Ralph Frammolino, Los Angeles Times DRUG-PREVENTION PROGRAMS: WORTH IT? Although the best school-based drug-prevention programs are worth the cost, they produce only modest results and are hardly a "silver bullet" in the government's war on drugs, a new Rand Corp. study concludes. The study, which focused on cocaine use, estimates that the best of the anti-drug prevention efforts will curtail a student's use of the substance by an average of 8 percent over a lifetime - a result that, dollar for dollar, compares favorably with government efforts to shrink demand by destroying coca leaves overseas or by patrolling the border. But the report released yesterday by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based think tank cautions against expecting too much from prevention programs, the full effects of which, it says, can take up to 40 years to kick in. "It is not likely that with current technology, prevention can play a decisive role in eradicating our current drug problem," it says. The report comes as government officials at all levels increasingly emphasize school-based prevention programs as part of the $40 billion war on drugs. It's been an uphill battle. Drug use among students is rising, federal figures show. The number of 12th-graders using cocaine nearly doubled, from 1.3 percent in 1992 to 2.4 percent in 1998. The federal government has funded a plethora of anti-drug education programs in schools, but recent research shows that many aren't effective, the Rand study says. However, it focuses on two programs roundly considered to work - Project ALERT and Life Skills - both of which teach seventh-through ninth-graders the social skills to resist peer pressure. The Rand study, which involved 7,600 students in 86 schools, was based on evaluations in 1993 and 1995. The programs have reduced the use of marijuana, says the Rand study, which inferred an impact as well on cocaine consumption. Cocaine use typically starts after high school and leads to relatively more deaths, arrests and lost worker time than other drugs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Modest Gain Found With School Drug Programs (The original Los Angeles Times version) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 19:34:55 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Modest Gain Found With School Drug Programs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: May 26, 1999 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (213) 237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Forum: http://www.latimes.com/home/discuss/ Author: Ralph Frammolino, Times Staff Writer MODEST GAIN FOUND WITH SCHOOL DRUG PROGRAMS Study: Rand researchers say prevention efforts are worth the cost, but are not a 'silver bullet.' Although the best school-based drug prevention programs are worth the cost, they produce only modest results and are hardly a "silver bullet" in the government's war on drugs, a new Rand study concludes. The study, which focused on cocaine use, estimates that the best of the antidrug prevention efforts will curtail a student's use of the substance by an average of 8% over his or her lifetime - a result that, dollar for dollar, compares favorably with government efforts to shrink demand by destroying coca leaves overseas or by patrolling the border. But the 194page report released Tuesday cautions against expecting too much from prevention programs, the full effects of which, it says, can take up to 40 years to kick in. "The bad news for prevention enthusiasts is that prevention does not appear to be the hoped-for silver bullet," the study concludes. "It is not likely that with current technology, prevention can play a decisive role in eradicating our current drug problem." The report, titled "An Ounce of Prevention, a Pound of Uncertainty," comes as government officials at all levels increasingly emphasize school-based prevention programs as part of the $40-billion-a-year war on drugs. It's been an uphill battle. After hitting a trough in the early 1990s, drug use among students is rising, federal figures show. The number of 12th-graders using cocaine has nearly doubled, from 1.3% in 1992 to 2.4% in 1998. The federal government has tried to stem the tide by funding a plethora of antidrug education programs in schools, but recent scientific research shows that many aren't effective, the Rand study says. However, it focuses on two programs roundly considered to work - Project ALERT and Life Skills - both of which teach seventh through ninth-graders the social skills to resist peer pressure. The Rand study, which involved 7,600 students, was based on evaluations of the programs in 1993 and 1995. These evaluations involved 86 schools, including 30 in California and Oregon. The programs have reduced the use of marijuana, says the Rand study, which inferred an impact as well on cocaine consumption. Cocaine use typically starts after high school and leads to relatively more deaths, arrests and lost worker time than other drugs. The study also attempts to establish, for the first time, a cost-benefit ratio that compares the prevention programs with other government enforcement efforts to curtail cocaine use. The results: * Students who go through the prevention programs cut their lifetime use of cocaine by 2.9% to 13.6%, with the midpoint being 7.6%. * The benefits outweigh the costs. Every dollar spent on prevention yields an estimated $2.40 savings in social costs, such as crime, lost workplace hours or deaths. * Prevention isn't nearly as cost-effective as treating drug abusers, but it has a better pay-off than border patrols or eradicating coca leaves overseas. * The prevention programs could be implemented in all middle schools for $550 million, easily affordable for the federal government. But it would take a long time to see results: six years to show a 1% drop in the number of cocaine users, and 40 years for a 7.5% decrease. As such, prevention has a "modest impact" and should be considered a form of "cheap insurance" for the next drug epidemic, whenever that may be, said Jonathan P. Caulkins, lead researcher on the study and professor of public policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. "It's too late for prevention by itself to be enough to address the current epidemic," he said Tuesday. "The horse is out of the barn." Caulkins cautioned that the study, which is driven by economic models and several key assumptions, demonstrates the uncertainty involved in pinning down the effects of prevention programs. Yet he added that one of the surprising findings was that prevention programs have a large "spillover" effect. "If you prevent one person [from using cocaine], you can short-circuit a chain reaction of initiation," he said. *** Fruits of Drug Prevention Programs A Rand Corp. study released Tuesday tries for the first time to compare the cost effectiveness of school-based prevention programs to that of more traditional forms of drug enforcement. Americans consume 250,000 to 300,000 kilograms of cocaine each year. Here is how much cocaine use drops, on average, for every $1 million invested in the following government programs: Drug treatment programs: 104 kg Federal law enforcement: 63 kg Longer federal prison sentences: 36 kg Local law enforcement efforts: 28 kg Prevention programs: 26 kg Interdiction, including border patrol: 20 kg Eradicating coca plants in other countries: 10 kg Source - Rand Corp. study "An Ounce of Prevention, a Pound of Uncertainty"
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bob Ames Trial Postponed (An e-mail from the Sacramento medical-marijuana patient invites supporters to his June 22 inquisition and recounts the illegalities carried out by police during his cultivation bust. Sacramento police apparently routinely break into drug suspects' homes in order to search for contraband when they otherwise wouldn't have enough evidence to obtain a search warrant. In court, at Ames' preliminary hearing, Sacramento police admitted their department's policy is to automatically arrest all patients, automatically kill all cannabis, and automatically destroy all cannabis gardens without regard to medical paperwork or other evidence of compliance with California Health & Safety Code Section 11362.5.)Subject: DPFCA: Bob Ames Trial Postponed: 6/22/1999 To: email@example.com Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 20:10:45 -0700 (PDT) Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Bob Ames) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com (Bob Ames) Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Greetings, My upcoming trial on Medical Cannabis charges was postponed today until Tuesday, June 22, at 8:30 in the Sacramento Main Courthouse. After a series of seemingly endless court appearances, finally my court day is approaching. My case is typical of other cases here in the Sacramento area. Police knocked on front door, admitted they think I comply with 215, stated they automatically arrest all patients claiming a 215 defense, then broke in to conduct a warrantless search, claimed they found medical cannabis growing under a single light bulb, then five hours later they produced a warrant which mentioned nothing about the warrantless break-in nor about officer's belief that I complied with California Health and Safety Code Section 11362.5. Officers & I spent five hours waiting for the warrant, after they had broken in, discussing the Oakland Guidelines. Officers became unhappy with my describing the warrantless break-in, via telephone, to noted Oakland 215 Criminal Defense Attorney William G. "Bill" Panzer, and officers revoked my "telephone privileges" and even wouldn't let me finish talking to "my attorney" in private. Officers insisted on listening in on the entire call from Mr. Panzer. After destroying my residence and taking me to jail, followed by a series of endless court appearances where absolutely nothing happens, finally my trial date approaches. I'm represented by Sacramento Criminal Defense Attorney Joe Farina, who was the Libertarian Party's cantidate for California Attorney General in the 1998 November General Election. Ryan Landers, Sancramento Medical Cannabis Spokesman, has also attended all of my endless court hearings. Ryan attends court dates for several Sacramento-area patients, including myself. Mine is another of those Sacramento cases which we need to watch very closely. Police claim to have only found one light bulb and only 32 plants. Police admitted 215 compliance before breaking in without a warrant. Police misrepresented facts (215, breaking in) to obtain the warrant. Police openly admit complete disregard for California Health & Safety Code Section 11362.5, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and also originally known as Proposition 215. Before trial, we're having a "warrant suppression" hearing on this particular issue of breaking in without a warrant. Two seperate Sacramento Police officers have been terminated for this particular crime, after my arrest last October, and I'm pretty sure that at least one of those terminated officers was at my residence and was involved with my arrest. Sacramento Police officers apparently routinely break-in to drug suspects' homes in order to search for contraband when they otherwise wouldn't have enough evidence to obtain a search warrant from a magistrate. In court, at my preliminary hearing, Sacramento Police admitted that it is the policy of the Sacramento Police Department to automatically ARREST all patients, automatically KILL all cannabis, and automatically DESTROY all cannabis gardens, all without regard to medical paperwork or other evidence of apparant compliance with California Health & Safety Code Section 11362.5. ARREST, KILL, & DESTROY, and then "let the courts sort it out". This is Sacramento's implementation plan for California's Compassionate Use Act of 1996. So, apparently in Sacramento, it would seem that: Compassion = ARREST, KILL, DESTORY Even though police said "I believe he was growing it for himself and to give it away to others for free" at the preliminary hearing, the judge failed to dismiss the preposterous "intent to sell" charge, so I'm facing two "serious" felony charges, cultivation and intent to sell. Conviction on either or both charges would automatically constitute "strikes" for the purposes of sentencing for subsequent felonies. Anyway, we hope to see you here in Sacramento in late June and/or early July for my trial, presently scheduled to begin June 22 at 8:30AM in Sacramento's Main Courthouse, to be assigned out of department 8. Have a great day and keep the faith. Bob Ames firstname.lastname@example.org 916-991-0585
------------------------------------------------------------------- The War On Drugs, The Mendo Front (The Anderson Valley Advertiser, in Boonville, California, continues its excellent coverage of alleged outrageous government conduct by the DEA and Special Agent Mark Nelson in their pursuit of Redwood Valley resident John Dalton, 44. At a federal court hearing last Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco, prosecutors and law enforcement easily lived up to their reputation with true-to-form disregard for the rules. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston will decide soon whether to proceed with Dalton's trial, scheduled to start Aug. 16. If the government is successful, he faces 30 years to life. But there isn't a single piece of physical evidence linking him to marijuana cultivation. It's a conspiracy case. The evidence amassed by the DEA consists of the dubious testimony of snitches against an expert mechanic and unassuming, long-time resident of Mendocino County.) From: email@example.com Date: Tue, 01 Jun 1999 11:53:58 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: DPFCA: MN: US CA: The War On Drugs, The Mendo Front Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Newshawk: Combex email@example.com Pubdate: Wed, 26 May 1999 Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA) Copyright: Anderson Valley Advertiser Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 707-895-3355 Author: Mark Heimann THE WAR ON DRUGS, THE MENDO FRONT In a San Francisco federal courtroom last Wednesday and Thursday, Redwood Valley's John Dalton finally got a hearing to dismiss all charges against him because of the government's outrageous conduct in its pursuit of the man they seem to believe is the Northcoast's Mr. Big of the thriving marijuana business. Federal prosecutors and law enforcement easily met their reputation for outrageous conduct by behaving with true-to-form disregard for the rules during the two-day hearing. The attentive and even handed officiating of US District Court Judge Susan Illston, and the staid US Marshals who serve as her bailiffs, stood between a cadre of tax-paid cops and lawyers who seem indifferent to the standards of police behavior which are supposed to prevail in democratic states. The Drug Enforcement Administration has charged Dalton with a continuing conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and has kept him in the federal prison at Dublin without bail for two years and eight months. But the DEA itself was on trial last week in the Federal Courthouse in San Francisco. The government is desperately worried about this case and the desperation shows. The DEA and federal prosecutors reached way down into their bag of dirty tricks for even more outrageous conduct including harassment and intimidation of defense witnesses and courtroom spectators. (They assigned a DEA agent to follow this reporter outside the federal building. They're not nearly as slick as they think.) Additionally, there was a deliberate attempt to misrepresent to the court the contents of the DEA's own policy and procedures manual; an attempt to arrest a defense witness on a specially-contrived bench warrant out of Mendocino County; "lost" potentially exculpatory evidence (a recording of Victoria Horstman by DEA agent Mark Nelson can't be found); and, most significant of all, the DEA and its two-man federal legal team didn't even try to defend the DEA's extra-legal behavior during the investigation which resulted in John Dalton's arrest and incarceration. Instead they relied on the completely irrelevant strategy of portraying Dalton as a monster whose alleged abuse drove his wife into the arms of the DEA. If the government is successful in convicting John Dalton at trial, scheduled to start August 16, he faces a 30-year-to-life sentence. Dalton is 44 years old. But there isn't a single piece of physical evidence linking him to marijuana cultivation. It's a conspiracy case. The evidence amassed by the DEA against Dalton consists of the dubious testimony of snitches, all of them either rewarded in cash for their input or promised reduced jail sentences for their testimony against the unassuming, long-time resident of Mendocino County. And there are tape recordings obtained via the former Mrs. Dalton in ways routine in police states but not in America. The official title of last week's hearing was "A Motion to Dismiss for Outrageous Government Conduct." As reported last week, the federal prosecutors got off to a bad start when they were required to reveal that their primary witness and lead investigator in the case against John Dalton had committed perjury. DEA Special Agent Mark Nelson, in an effort to conceal the date on which he first slept with Dalton's wife, Victoria Horstman, falsified a fingerprint card of Horstman's. Later, during a DEA internal affairs investigation of Nelson and Horstman's affair, Nelson signed an affidavit under penalty of perjury swearing to the bogus date he'd placed on Horstman's print card. Agent Nelson was the first witness called by the defense when the hearing resumed Wednesday. He was accompanied to the witness stand by his non-government lawyer, George Niespolo. Mark Nelson is a tall, thin, balding 36-year-old guy whose appearance is completely at odds with his role in this case as the irresistible seducer of married women. He looks more like a shoe salesman than an elite drug warrior. He has an extremely high forehead that leaves little room for the rest of his nondescript features which occupy the bottom third of his head. While Nelson's appearance has nothing to do with the trial, most of the courtroom first thought lawyer Niespolo, a stout, ruggedly handsome man, was the drug cop and Nelson was the attorney. Nelson's agent-partner, Robert Price, who sat at the prosecution table throughout the hearing when he wasn't menacing witnesses out in the hall with a lot of ersatz tough guy eyeballing, looked every bit the drug warrior he is. Tall, angular and crewcut clean, Price was so stiff and straight his spine seems to have been surgically replaced with a broomstick. Defense attorney Tony Serra told the court that at the time in question in 1994 agent Nelson was 32 years old and had been with the DEA for nine years representing his entire law enforcement experience. Serra brought out that it was only the third or fourth time Nelson had supervised and been lead investigator on a case; that he was married with two children and at the time of meeting Mrs. Dalton (Victoria Horstman); and that his wife was pregnant with their third child at the time of his encounters with Mrs. Dalton. Nelson testified that he became involved with the John Dalton investigation in 1992, and that in February of 1994 he and another agent, believed to be Rob Price, rented a three-bedroom house in Redwood Valley on M Road from a Ukiah real estate broker. The rented premises were to be used as a "safe house" for DEA agents. INS agents also stayed at the safe house from time to time, according to Nelson. Agent Nelson said he only brought Horstman to the safe house, also known as the COMMET house, on one occasion in September of 1994. He admitted the visit of a civilian was "absolutely" against DEA rules, that he initiated the contact with Horstman and picked her up and brought her to the house when he knew no one else would be there, and that he did not include any of this information in his reports. "It was highly inappropriate for a DEA agent," was Nelson's contrite but incomplete account of Mrs. Dalton's and his first tryst in the tax-funded love nest. "How many times did you have personal contact with Victoria Horstman prior to September 13, 1994," demanded Serra, "when it was just the two of you alone?" Nelson: "I think four." Serra: "Did you advise your supervisor in advance that you planned a private meeting with an informant?' Nelson: "Probably not." Serra: "Aren't you required to seek approval in advance from your supervisors to meet privately with an informant?" Nelson: "Yes." Serra: "And these were not exigent circumstances? There was no emergency that you had to meet privately with Horstman?" (Nelson doesn't answer.) Serra: "You concede you broke the rules?" Nelson: "Yes." Serra: "Why one-on-one meetings?" Nelson: "I don't know how to answer." "Why?" demanded Serra, which brought an objection from the prosecutors. The answer to that question came the next day near the end of the hearing when Dalton's prosecutors attempted to introduce a page from the DEA's manual. The single page from the DEA's top secret sleuth manual the prosecution wished to put in evidence concerned a number of rules about agents meeting with informants but the entire page had been blacked out except for one line, which suggested agents "whenever practical" were not to meet alone with informants. Tony Serra argued strenuously against allowing the censored document's admission as evidence, arguing that he believed the "redacted" (lawyer talk for omitted or blacked out) portions of the document contained the relevant rules that agents were to never meet alone with an informant without first getting permission from their supervisors, and even then one-on-one meetings could only take place under emergency circumstances. The government argued the DEA's rules were secret, and if they were produced in open court, the public, and presumably the "bad guys," would gain an advantage over the drug warriors. Judge Illston quickly concluded that allowing only one line of an entire page of regulations into evidence was "self serving," and ordered the government to produce the entire chapter on agent/informant interactions. Agent Price relayed through the US Attorney that permission would have to be granted at the highest levels of the DEA in Washington DC, and that the judge could not expect an answer for five to seven days. Judge Illston was steadfast, and ordered the DEA to produce the documents. But by the close of the hearing, Tony Serra had secured the entire DEA manual through his own sources, and his characterization that the DEA's own rules state no agent is to meet privately with an informant without prior approval means what it says. Only in a dire emergency, as when an informant's life is in danger, does the agency permit a one-on-one meeting with an informant and even then the agent is required to ask permission. Serra found 15 times where Nelson had documented private meetings with Horstman, none of them under "exigent" circumstances. Agent Nelson denied a sexual relationship with Horstman as his reason for breaking the DEA's rules and bringing the comely housewife to the so-called safe house. Tony Serra, a master of cross examination, fired questions at the outgunned adulterer with his trademark machine-gun speed and intensity. There were four main areas Serra covered, three of which - the events at the "safe house" with John Dalton's wife, the bugging of Dalton and Horstman's bedroom, and Nelson's involvement in Dalton and Horstman's subsequent divorce - represented the basics of the government's undeniably outrageous conduct in the pursuit of Dalton. Serra got Nelson to admit to the incriminating facts of his lust-driven behavior while he was supposed to be on the job. Nelson and the DEA went to great lengths to hide the fact that Victoria Horstman was cooperating with them against her husband. In internal DEA reports, Horstman is referred to as an SOI (source of information), or by the special agent number assigned to her, SR 0054. But by the time Nelson got a search and seizure warrant for Dalton, Horstman was balking at further cooperation and wanted to reconcile with her husband. In the search warrant, a public document once it is served, agent Nelson refers to Horstman by name, exposing her to potential retribution. In tens of thousands of court cases, the feds have fought tooth and nail against giving up their informants' identities, and the courts have just as often said they didn't have to name names. This court-sanctioned secrecy has often resulted in convictions where the defendant was unable to confront his accuser. A Marshal commented that he was "disgusted and shocked" by agent Nelson's testimony that the DEA, apparently having concluded that the unhinged Horstman was more trouble than she was worth to them as they chased her husband, blithely revealed her identity. Asked if he gave up Horstman's identity so he could better control her, Nelson said "no." He said his "boss, the Assistant US Attorney" told him to do it, but after some meaningful stares from the prosecution table that it was unwise of him to blame it on the government lawyer, Nelson backed off and took responsibility for naming Horstman. (It was at this point I noticed that Nelson no longer wears a wedding ting, a ring Horstman made much of in her statements to investigators. It is also when I became aware of DEA agent Rob Price's repeated trips from the prosecution table to the hallway where defense witnesses were waiting to testify. Later these witnesses would tell me that Price would come out to demand they stop talking or to stop pacing the hall. Price would tell them they were disturbing the judge. But Judge Illston never once commented on any distraction, or even so much as cast a frowning glance at the courtroom doors, and I never heard any noise from outside the courtroom. Neither did the US Marshals who serve as the judge's bailiffs show any concern. The DEA's Price kept up his petty (and failed) attempts to intimidate witnesses testifying against the DEA throughout the two-day hearing.) [sidebar] A Summary Of Nelson's Testimony He had never taken Horstman up in a helicopter, and that to his knowledge neither had anyone else. He paid Horstman a total of $4,800 for her cooperation, plus "tickets and things." He denied threatening Horstman with the loss of her children if she didn't inform on her husband. He both admitted and denied threatening her with prosecution for money laundering if she didn't become a snitch. He admitted talking to Horstman about a reward payment for her continuing cooperation, but denied the amount discussed was 10% of assets seized from Dalton. (The DEA seized just under $1 million of Dalton's accumulated property. Dalton is a skilled mechanic whose services are much in demand.) He admitted agreeing to talk to the US Attorney about getting a Mustang car seized from Dalton for Horstman. He denied he's in a position to recommend any reward payment. (In a written report, Nelson recommends a "substantial reward payment" to Horstman.) He admits kissing Horstman at the "safe house" in September of 1994, but won't admit that it was on September 14th 1994 he first stepped over the line with Mrs. Dalton and the date he subsequently falsified in his report. He says he kissed her first, then modifies that to say the kiss was "mutual." Asked why he kissed her, Nelson replied, "I felt some attachment. I felt sorry for her and I'd grown to like her. There was an emotional attachment, and I was curious." Tony Serra shot back, "Curious to know what it felt like to kiss another man's wife?" -- objection sustained. He admitted he hadn't had sex in three months because of his wife's pregnancy. "You were horny?" Serra bluntly inquired to an immediate sustained objection from the feds. Asked if the emotional attachment was sexual, Nelson replied, "A little bit of that." He said he and Horstman each had one beer, but that she only drank a little bit of hers, "maybe a quarter," and that he finished off "the other 3/4 of her beer" as well as his. He said he was somewhat under the influence of alcohol because he hadn't slept or eaten in the past 36 hours. He denied knowing Horstman was an alcoholic. He denied fondling Horstman or touching her in any inappropriate way. He denied ever kissing Horstman on any other occasion, "Except maybe just a peck, you know, just to say thanks". He admits flying Horstman from Washington State to San Francisco, then driving her from there to Santa Rosa to see a divorce lawyer. He denies coercing Horstman to divorce Dalton. But when Serra's questions turned to fingerprinting Horstman, nominally Nelson's reason for bringing her alone to the "safe house" that star-crossed night of September 14, 1994, Nelson took the 5th. Nelson proceeded to invoke his right against self-incrimination a total of five times, and implied it another when he simply refused to answer Serra's question. *** The prosecution consisted of two Assistant US Attorneys, Lewis Davis, who seemed like he might be a human being stuck with a nasty job, and Christine Massullo, a person who obviously enjoys her work Ms. Massullo is smart, quick-witted, and if she has any scruples against going for the kill, they weren't on display. When it came time for the fed's lawyers to get tough, it was Massullo all the way. At times, especially during the breaks, Davis tried to distance himself from his fierce colleague. He'd joke with the defense team while Massullo huddled with Robo Rob Price plotting the next dirty trick. On cross examination, the feds elicited the fact that former Mendocino Sheriff Sgt. Ron Caudillo introduced the DEA's stumbling agent Nelson to Mrs. Dalton nee Horstman, and that Horstman told Nelson she had been physically abused by John Dalton. The prosecution also managed to posit Ms. Horstman as an innocent girl gone awry because of Dalton's beastly treatment of her. Tony Serra instantly dismantled the government's presentation of Ms. Horstman as a chaste and loyal suburban housewife by reading the transcript of a brief but explicit phone message left by Horstman at the COMMET headquarters in Ukiah: "This is Victoria Horstman and Mark Nelson can go free. And Rob Clark (believed to be Rob Price's alias)- I want to suck his dick." Serra followed his literary introduction of the former Mrs. Dalton by calling her to the stand. Horstman's testimony was rambling and confused, and obviously contrived and obstructionist when it wasn't rambling and confused. She couldn't recall when she married Dalton or when she divorced him, other than it was "sometime in the '90s." She said she's had a lot of different therapists, but she couldn't recall a single name. She doesn't remember when she first met Nelson, when she started informing on her husband, what drugs she had taken that morning (Traxene and Zoloft). But, she remembers exactly why her memory is so bad, and never missed an opportunity to expound on it, even when it had nothing to do with the question asked. According to Horstman, she can't recall the 90s because "they were the Dalton years." "It was because I was tortured at that time," Horstman testified, suggesting the trauma of her marriage had resulted in the memory loss of most of the decade. Asked anything connected with her life with John Dalton - or not - and Horstman would sob that she couldn't remember. "It's the trauma." But when she was asked about agent Nelson's avuncular kiss at the "safe house," Horstman's recollection was vivid and detailed. (Before court got started that day, prosecution attorney Lewis Davis assessed his own witness, Ms. Horstman, for the Judge. "Victoria Horstman is a liar." Which leaves the prosecution with two liars as their primary witnesses, DEA Special Agent Mark Nelson and the woman he took to the Redwood Valley safe house for an on-the-job boff on the pretext she was an informant.) Horstman said it was she who initiated the visit to the "safe house"; she who initiated the kiss; she who initiated an ensuing tongue-lunge; and that she put Nelson's leg ("It was a pressure point") between hers on her crotch. "I initiated that," Horstman said of the footsies. "We were partially lying side by side on the couch." Horstman used the word "initiated" so often in regards to her tryst with Nelson it left the distinct impression she was either well-coached or Nelson was so overcome by the encounter he'd been immobilized. All the sexual prelims, other than the conceded kiss, contradicts Nelson's testimony. At one point, not in response to a question but apparently to explain the remarkable detail of her memory of the "kiss," Horstman blurted out, "I'm very observant." "I needed to be near Mark because he was my security," explained Horstman. (In a January interview she said she was still in love with Nelson.) But to the DEA internal affairs investigators, Horstman denied ever kissing Nelson until Nelson himself admitted the kiss. Asked to explain her contradictory versions of events, Horstman said, "They (internal affairs) forgot to put it in their laptop." Asked if she drank all of the beer Nelson gave her at the "safe house," Horstman replied, "Yes. That's what alcoholics do," again contradicting Nelson's testimony that his love interest has left the beer after a lady-like sip. Horstman had written two letters to the DEA that prompted the internal affairs investigation. In her communiques, Horstman says Mark Nelson grabbed her, pulled her down on the couch and kissed her, forcing his leg into her crotch, and that Nelson had told her, "Don't say anything; it's our little secret." Horstman says she doesn't remember writing that, then explained it was John Dalton who forced her to write the letter and she'd composed it "so he wouldn't beat me." She says Dalton stood over her at their home computer and dictated the letters to the DEA, "They're Dalton's words, not mine," his former wife told the court. But when Serra presented her with her declaration, written by his investigator, H.B. O'Keady, and signed by Horstman, which relates eventually the same information as her letters to the DEA, Horstman stated, "I didn't read it. I just assumed he wrote it the way I said it. I thought he taped it," she said of O'Keady's affidavit she'd affixed her signature to. Horstman admitted it was her signature, but insisted she never read it before signing. "It's all one sided," she added irrelevantly. Throughout her time on the stand, when confronted with words she had written or declarations she'd signed, Horstman insisted either her husband had forced her to write them, or that the investigators had deliberately misconstrued what she had said or that she did not read her statements before signing. Horstman also claimed when she was cross examined by Serra, that three masked gunmen, one whose voice she recognized as that of her husband, had broken into her bedroom and threatened to dismember her and her family. Horstman broke down at that point, sobbing uncontrollably, and forced a recess. Back on the stand, Horstman said one of the masked men put a gun in "a sexual area" while threatening her. (Her story was remarkably similar to one she told me in an interview. In that version, it was Dalton's brother, "Jack," who, wearing a mask and brandishing a gun, kidnapped her and took her up into the hills above Redwood Valley and raped her. Horstman said he threatened to "chop off her arms and legs" and stuck a gun between her thighs. No police report was filed on the spectacular interlude with her brother-in-law.) Horstman made a threatening phone call about this same time (October of 1996) to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office which was taped and reported on by the Sheriff's Department. The report quotes Horstman as saying "Don't fuck with Zack. I'll cut off your arms and legs and I don't give a fuck." Horstman admitted making this call, and said she used the same phrase - cutting off arms and legs - because "I learned it from John Dalton." As to the other phone call expressing her desire to free agent Nelson and fellate agent Rob "Clark," Horstman said she probably didn't make the call because "I don't talk like that." Horstman also related a July 1994 incident in which she claimed Dalton had hit her in the stomach with a baseball bat. (More on this in Deputy Dennis Miller's testimony.) Asked by Serra why the cops didn't arrest Dalton, Horstman said it was because "they were afraid of him." Last Thursday, day two of the hearing, the prosecution called their first witness, Marjorie Cusick. Cusick is the director of a Contra Costa battered women's shelter, who, on the basis of a two hour interview with Horstman, wrote a report diagnosing her as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. But, as Tony Serra pointed out as he tried unsuccessfully to keep Cusick from parlaying her scant training into expert witness status, Ms. Cusick is not a psychiatrist; she's a self-described psychotherapist with a master's in clinical psychology and family counseling. Although she has two masters degrees, she was never required to write a thesis, has written no papers for peer review, nor has she participated in clinical or academic studies of the type separating the quacks from the professionals. Cusick admitted she was not an expert on PTSS, and that the few times she has been called as an expert witness by the government she has always had her qualifications challenged by the other side. Serra strongly objected to Cusick testifying as an expert witness, pointing out she is not an expert, by her own admission, in PTSS, which was Cusick's diagnosis of Ms. Horstman relayed in her written report of her assessment. However, Cusick does appear to have expertise in Battered Woman's Syndrome. "She is going to have to change her diagnosis on the stand," objected Serra, "to keep in her area of expertise." And that is exactly what Cusick did. Both in her written report and on the witness stand, Cusick simply repeated the claims of her alleged patient, Cusick's credulity far south of professional skepticism. Cusick said it was her opinion that Horstman suffers from battered woman's syndrome and John Dalton is the cause of his ex-wife's malady. Though Cusick conceded one of Horstman's primary coping mechanisms is lying, Cusick declared, "I believe what she told me." Cusick admitted she never talked to Horstman about her three previous marriages, never talked to her children, and never checked out Horstman's claims of sexual abuse by her father and brother with other relatives who would have had knowledge of the alleged abuse. "It wasn't necessary," Cusick stated flatly. "Talking to other people wasn't significant for my purpose," which had to be the understatement of the hearing and which appeared to be based on the simple premise, "Woman good, man bad." Nothing could shake Ms. Cusick. Not Horstman's reams of inconsistent and contradictory statements, not physical evidence and certainly not the male police reports suggesting the sorely put upon Dalton was in fact the victim of Horstman's alcohol-fueled abuse. Not even the statements of Horstman's son, who wrote that Dalton was never abusive to his mother, but that room, a mean drunk, was often abusive to the whole family and "made things up" when she was under the influence who believed her own lies the next day. Cusick's response to the young man's compellingly frank testimony was that Horstman's son was "coming out of an abusive home and already has battered kid syndrome." The government got their money's worth from Ms. Cusick but Dr. Freud would probably have had his doubts about the quality of Ms. Cusick's insights. Unquestionably, the strongest, most dramatic testimony of the entire hearing came from Josh Corrigan, Horstman's 20-year-old son from a previous marriage. Corrigan testified he was 12 or 13 when he first met John Dalton, and that they lived together with his mom and sister and Dalton's son and daughter from a previous marriage. Josh Corrigan loves his mother, as was plainly obvious from their interactions out in the hall and which added more pathos to proceedings already soaked in it. Young Mr. Corrigan presently lives with his maternal grandparents in Modesto, where he has enrolled in a community college. The obviously pained student testified that he was very close to his mother, and his relationship with Dalton was "really good. We would ride dirt bikes and work on motors" he said by way of an illustration of his and his stepfather's close relationship. He answered questions in a thoughtful and forthright manner, but was often nearly overwhelmed by emotion. He was obviously telling the truth. Corrigan said he had never seen John Dalton physically abuse his mother, or strike her or threaten her in any way. Never once did his mother complain that John Dalton abused her, the young man said. He testified his mom "would get drunk quite a bit. It was pretty bad." His mother's drinking increased dramatically when she got involved with the DEA, which she told him about at the time. Corrigan said Horstman's drinking would leave her "confused. She would sleep a lot. When she drank, she would make up things. It would be a lie, but the next day when she woke up, she would believe it even though it was a lie. Sometimes she would get drunk and stay up all night calling people, swearing at them. That's why I had to leave." Serra also asked Corrigan if he had ever seen Dalton hit or abuse his mother, in any way, or if Dalton had ever told him he had. "No. Never." Choking back tears, Corrigan described the years with Dalton as "The best of my life. We were a family. John is like my father, every bit as much as my blood father." Under cross examination, when asked by the ruthless prosecutor Ms. Massullo about his statement that "they were the best years of his Life." Corrigan broke down, crying, "I miss the old days. Can't get it back. It's all messed up." Even she seemed moved by his testimony. Corrigan told the judge that his mom showed him the tape recorder in her and Dalton's bedroom. "The recorder was under the bed on mom's side. It had wires taped to the wall leading up behind the headboard. She said the DEA wanted her to get things on John Dalton. He also said Horstman had told him there were "bugs in the living room," but she "didn't know where they were hidden" because the DEA had put them there. Asked why his mother was taping his stepfather, Corrigan replied, "She told me she would get charged with money laundering if she didn't go along with it." Tony Serra then asked, "Did your mom ever show you a firearms training certificate?" "Yes. Definitely," was the young man's answer, again contradicting the testimony of Nelson and Horstman that she hadn't functioned as an impromptu DEA agent. "She said the DEA made her go through firearms training and she showed me the paper." Corrigan also told about the time his mother came home and excitedly told him about going on a helicopter ride with agent Nelson. "She said they were drinking beer and had flown over a pot crop, and that she had gotten drunk and then sick and they had to bring her down." Serra asked about Horstman's state of mind when she told her son about her airborne beer bust. "Nervous and still buzzing from the booze." "When she would tell you these things," asked Serra, "did you believe she was telling the truth?" "Well yes. There's no reason to lie to me," was Corrigan's simple answer. Corrigan said his mother would often tell him she was in love with Mark Nelson and that they kissed. "She saw him quite a bit," Corrigan recalled. Horstman's emotionally pounded son recounted the first time he met agent Mark Nelson at the home of Chohni Kellerman-Baird, when the DEA was packing them up for the move to Washington State. His detailed testimony about Nelson taking him to COMMET headquarters and putting his gun on the desk in front of the young man while grilling him about Dalton's activities directly contradicts Nelson's testimony that he hadn't pressured the then-high school student. Corrigan said Nelson put his hand on his leg and told him, "(Your mother and I) have a lot of feelings for each other and we've gotten to know each other real well." Asked how agent Nelson's uniquely personal confidences made him feel, Corrigan answered, "Weird. It made me uncomfortable." Then, starting to sob, Corrigan said, "I love John like a father," and crying openly, "He's a good dad to me." Once the DEA had moved Corrigan, his mother and Kellerman-Baird to Blaine, Washington, Corrigan said his mother wanted to reconcile with Dalton. "But she said she had to divorce John or go to jail for money laundering, that's what she said Nelson told her." But John Dalton traced his missing family through phone records and called up, wanting to come for a visit. Horstman immediately called agent Nelson, who flew to Washington and gave her another tape recorder, instructing her to invite Dalton up. "I saw Mark Nelson the same day John came," related Corrigan. "He said he wanted me to go to his motel and talk to John. Nelson wanted me to ride my bike to John's motel and ask him why he was there." Agent Nelson has denied seeing or talking to Corrigan during Nelson's Washington visit. "Mom said she missed John," Corrigan testified, "and wanted to move back with him. But the DEA said she couldn't be around him." Horstman showed her son the tape recorder she had been given by Nelson, fitted into the bottom of her purse. "Is this the truth?" Serra asked young Corrigan. "Yes." "Why did you do it? Why spy on John Dalton for Mark Nelson?" "I didn't tell John about Mark Nelson because I was scared of them. They said not to tell." "Have you ever been afraid of John Dalton?" "No. Never. I wanted to see John on my own." Corrigan testified he saw Dalton give his mother a new set of wedding rings at their Washington meeting. "She started crying. I think she wanted to move back." But that same day, November 25, 1994, Horstman secretly taped Dalton as the couple walked along railroad tracks near his motel room. And the DEA-mugged family never did reunite. Unbeknownst to Dalton, on November 4, 1994, agent Nelson had flown Horstman to San Francisco where he had picked her up and had driven her to a Santa Rosa divorce attorney to sign papers making the couple's divorce final. The DEA had decided to rip apart what God had said no mortal should tear asunder. Chohni Kellerman-Baird is a junior high school teacher who volunteers at a home where terminally ill children go to die. She now divides her time between Washington state and British Columbia. She testified she first met Horstman and Dalton in Ukiah in 1990, and had attended their wedding. "Tori and I were quite close," Baird says, under the name she has used since moving north. "I was probably her only friend." Baird testified she was Horstman's confidant, and that Horstman had told her all about her involvement with the DEA at the time it was going full force. "She said she had been approached by the DEA and that they threatened to implicate her in money laundering if she didn't help them. She said she had to "frame - set up - John, or go to jail." Horstman told Baird the DEA had initiated the contact. "She was very scared and would whisper when she talked about them. She said she would go to jail, lose her children and her job - Horstman worked at Mendo/Lake Credit Union at the time - if she didn't cooperate with the DEA." Horstman told Baird that Mark Nelson was her contact. "She said I was to never repeat his name," Baird recalled. Turning toward the judge, Baird described Horstman's relationship with Nelson, as told to her by Horstman. "Tori had been there before (the kissing incident.) She pointed it out to me. She called it the COMMET house, and said it was a place she could go and kick back with the guys and drink beer. She said she was falling in love with Mark Nelson and that they were having an affair. She was confused about it because she said she loved John too. She implied it was a sexual thing, and would flip flop back and forth." "Did she ever tell you she had sex with Nelson?" asked Serra. "Yes." Baird said she first met Mark Nelson in the summer of 1994 at Mendocino Collage when Horstman took her along to meet the apparently loosely supervised federal agent. "He wanted me to become an 'operative,'" Baird testified. "He told me that an incident many years ago with John Dalton had 'made him look ridiculous' and that he 'wanted to get him.' Nelson said 'that son of a bitch won't get away with it. One way or another I'll get him.' He told me if I didn't cooperate I would lose my children and he would put me in jail." But Baird didn't cooperate with the DEA, though she led them to believe she was, and was allowed to attend subsequent meetings with Nelson and Horstman. She testified Nelson encouraged them to take a hunter's safety class ("We went three times"), and that Nelson told Horstman "it was a good idea to get a gun." Horstman told Baird she "wanted to have a gun so she could kill John and make it look like self defense." Horstman's plan, Baird testified, was to "make John angry and then shoot him. She said "Then this whole mess will be over'." Baird testified to seeing Horstman and Nelson hug and kiss on several occasions - at the collage and at the credit union where Horstman then worked and where she'd also seen the pair exchange gifts. "They were long kisses," Baird elaborated. Chonhi Baird's damning testimony included an account of an incident at her house where Horstman, drunk, fell repeatedly and then stood in front of her pressing her fingers into her own arm until they left marks. When Baird asked why she was doing that, Horstman replied, "It's so I can document abuse by John and send him to jail." Asked by Serra if Dalton ever hit Horstman, or if Horstman ever told her he did, Baird emphatically replied, "Never." Baird went on to say that "Four or five man wearing blue jackets that said FBI in yellow letters on the back" packed her and Horstman up for the move to Washington, and that Nelson took Josh Corrigan away in his car "for about 45 minutes." Once established in Blaine on the Canadian border, Baird said Mark Nelson would call daily. "Nelson would hound her," as Baird remembered the agent's calls which she listened to over the speakerphone. "He'd tell her, 'You've got to start divorce proceedings. You can't testify against John until you divorce him.' He told me the same thing, and that if Tori didn't divorce John she would go to jail. But Tori said she didn't really want a divorce. Nelson gave her the money to fly back to California for the divorce." When Dalton came up to Washington to see his wife, Nelson told Horstman, in front of Baird, that she had to get incriminating info on Dalton "even if you have to sleep with him." Baird said she saw the tape recorder Nelson had given Horstman, and accurately described it. She also saw the rings Dalton gave his wife. "She was very proud of them. She didn't want to go through with it. She still loved John but she was playing both sides. She would tell me how much she liked sleeping with John." Baird testified Horstman was a hard-core alcoholic who used to hide cases of wine from her husband. "She is a very mean drunk, very dramatic," said Baird. "When drinking she would say things she shouldn't, like that John abused her. I knew that wasn't true." Asked how she knew Horstman hadn't been mistreated by Dalton, Baird described the time she picked Horstman up at the Ukiah Hospital. "The cops were there and she had been drinking. She was on probation for drunk driving and wasn't supposed to drink. She had me tell the cops it was wine vinegar from her salad and they released her to my custody. Tori claimed John had beaten her with a baseball bat. I was really pissed about it, but when I took her to my house and undressed her and helped her take a shower, there wasn't a mark on her. Later, I went to John's house to talk to him about it and he had this big bloody lump on his head." Prosecutor Massullo started the cross-examination of Baird by asking if she was on probation. Baird looked puzzled and answered, "No." "Do you have a bench warrant out for your arrest?" demanded Massullo. "Certainly not," was Baird's indignant reply. Massullo then whipped out a bench warrant for Baird's arrest on an outstanding warrant from Mendocino County, saying the warrant discredited Baird's testimony. Tony Serra bellowed an objection, demanding, "Let me see that," as he snatched the paper from Massullo's hand. "This is a traffic ticket, for Christ sakes," roared Serra. "Only prior felonies and misdemeanor crimes of moral turpitude can be used to impeach," he told a startled Judge Illston. After a heated exchange between prosecutor Massullo and Serra, the judge told Massullo, "I don't see the relevance of this and I'm not going to allow it." It turns out the warrant was for a traffic ticket for speeding -- five miles an hour over the limit -- and that Baird had paid the fine with a check, which Mendocino County had duly cashed. But the check was signed Chohni Baird and the ticket was issued to Connie Kellerman. On this basis, a Mendo judge had signed, at the DEA's insistence no doubt, a bench warrant for Ms. Baird's arrest. (We are trying to find out which Mendo judge signed onto this low scheme to undermine Ms. Baird's testimony.) Outside the courtroom a uniformed San Francisco police officer was waiting to arrest Ms. Baird on the bogus warrant. But the cop was conveniently lured to the other end of the hall by an unusually attractive woman and Baird slipped out of the courtroom and down the stairwell to freedom. The cop, Cupid's arrow still stuck in his back, went huffing and puffing in pursuit of the fleet Ms. Baird, but found the stairwell door mysteriously jammed. Downstairs in the parking lot scores of DEA and uniformed SF police, frantically yelling into their walkie talkies, also searched for Ms. Baird, a bogus traffic ticket authenticated by a Mendocino County judge, magically converted to a federal all points bulletin for a woman who had committed no crime. But Ms. Baird made her escape, and was last reported on a plane for Alaska - or was it Scotland? It was finally time for the government's last witness. Like Ms. Cusick, the feds got their money's worth. Sheriff's deputy Dennis Miller, formally of Mendocino County and now working as a deputy in Eldorado County, testified to a call he received from Victoria Horstman for an assault with a deadly weapon. Miller testified he had been called to the house next door to Dalton's in Redwood Valley, where he found Horstman doubled up, crying that her husband John had hit her in the stomach with a baseball bat. Miller called an ambulance for Horstman and went next door to knock on Dalton's door. John Dalton answered holding a bloody wash cloth to his face. Miller testified Dalton had a large bump on his head, a cut over his left eye, and a bloody nose. Dalton told Miller he had come home to find his wife drunk and blaming him for his son's arrest earlier that day. Dalton retreated to his bedroom to escape his rampaging mate, but she followed him into their DEA-bugged bower, and when he turned around she hit him on the head with the bat. Miller testified Dalton refused to press charges because he said "she's on probation for DUI." Miller further testified Dalton's injuries did not appear to be serious. Miller stuck by this assessment even after shown pictures of Dalton's wounds, which obviously warranted at a minimum a trip to the emergency room for examination. Miller testified that he "was highly suspicious of (Dalton's) validity. I thought he was lying." Miller then went to the hospital where he examined Horstman for signs of injuries. Nether he nor the emergency room physician could find any marks on Horstman. In spite of Dalton's head wound, and the complete absence of signs of injury to Horstman, Miller, at times testifying as confidently about Dalton's wound as if he were an MD, said it was his considered opinion that Horstman was the victim and Dalton had assaulted her. But Miller made no arrests. Judge Susan Illston had absorbed this startling testimony for two days and has since had the matter under submission. She will soon decide if the government's outrageous conduct rises to the level of legally qualified outrageous conduct. If she decides that it does, and if it doesn't one can only wonder what does constitute outrageous government conduct, she will dismiss all charges against John Dalton. If the judge decides the government conduct was not sufficiently outrageous in their pursuit of John Dalton, trial is set for August of this year.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Terence McKenna ~ Condition Report (A list subscriber forwards news that the psychedelic philosopher has been diagnosed with brain cancer in Hawaii and is not expected to live long.) Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 02:14:22 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Remembers@webtv.net (Genie Brittingham) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Terence McKenna ~ Condition Report This is a report from Terence's brother, Dennis. From: DJMcKenna@aol.com Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 1999 8:06 PM Subject: This is a second resend of the latest Terence update To all, This is the second (or third, I forget) update on Terence's situation. Most of you already know that he is in the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, having been diagnosed with brain cancer. If I missed including you in this "update list" please forgive the omission; the older version of AOL was giving me a lot of trouble trying to put together a list, and you may have been missed in my attempts to work around that (count on AOL *not* to work when you really need it). I've now installed a newer version which seems to me much better. Also, feel free to forward this to anyone you feel would want to know that is not on this list but would like to be. Here's the current situation; it is now Wednesday, 5/26, about 9 am here in Honolulu. Terence, who has been here since Saturday after being flown here from Kona after suffering several massive seizures, underwent the preliminary biopsy procedure yesterday to collect a sample of the tumor so they can determine what type it is and try to fill in the picture as to various treatment options. They will get the tissues back later today, and then will know more about the cancer as such, what type it is, etc. But they already know enough from the CAT scans and other data to present a fairly grim picture. Here's the bare bones: The tumor is lodged so deeply in the brain, and is located in such a place, that surgical removal is probably not an option. There is a significant chance he would not survive it, or survive it but remain in a coma with severely impaired functions, or (the most optimistic scenario) survive with impaired functions that could be recovered partially through rehabilitation. The problem is that he would probably not survive long enough to complete rehabilitation. So the current options are as follows: Instead of surgery, the doctor (Dr. Keep) is suggesting the gamma knife, a focused gamma beam that will destroy the tumor. It is a noninvasive procedure that is a one-day procedure; so it is like surgery but using gamma particles instead of a knife. That will kill the primary tumor (and he is now satisfied it is a primary brain tumor, not a metastatic tumor from some other part of the body). There is no sign of cancer elsewhere in Terence's body. The tumor may then resorb, or it may swell, putting pressure on the brain which may necessitate surgery later on anyway. And that surgery will be much more dangerous because he will still be recovering from the gamma surgery. The gamma procedure also should (in the doctor's view) be followed up by x-ray radiotherapy to destroy cancer cells in the surrounding tissue. This is a more diffuse, less focused procedure than the gamma knife, and requires treatement 5 days a week for about six weeks. That will buy more time, but the drawback is that Terenece would feel fine for a while, (although the usual effects of radiation therapy; hair loss, severe fatigue, immune compromise, etc.) but then in about a year would suffer what's called radiation dementia, involving severe memory loss, loss of cognitive functions, etc. This radiation dementia is not a maybe, it is a certainty. The further bad news is that the doctor doesn't think he will survive long enough to experience radiation dementia. None of these procedures is a cure. The doctor is very clear on this point. The procedures, and the various options, are to buy Terence some time, preserve quality of life as much as possible as long as possible, but right now, short of an outright miracle, survival beyond about two years maximum is extremely unlikely. Here is the projected survival rates for various options: 1. Do nothing, prevent seizures, keep the swelling down and keep him comfortable: death in 1 month to two months maximum 2. Proceed with the gamma knife operation, kill the primary tumor, and do not follow up with X-ray therapy. Survival to about six months, during which time he will feel relatively good, and will not have dementia until the later, terminal stages 3. Proceed with the recommended procedure, gamma knife + X-ray therapy. He may have up to nine pretty good months, then a rapid decline. Survival beyond a year is unlikely. Although survival up to two years is known, but rare. But usually the final stages are not good for the patient in terms of quality of life. Another option may exist in that there may be experimental therapies, and experimental treatment protocols, that would offer an alternative solution. We are looking into this very vigorously as you can imagine. There is a lot of active work in this area, but the question of qualifying to be included in the treatment protocol, the time to get in, etc. will all have to be sorted out. At this stage, we have not yet identified what experimental therapies may be appropriate. The doctor has given us some excellent leads and we welcome additional leads from one and all; rest assured, we're on it and any thing we turn up that looks promising will be included in the next update. Terence needs your hopes, prayers, and good vibes, as much as you can send, however you think appropriate, more than ever now. You can use my email address as a contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) but please be understanding if I do not respond to each email individually. I have set up this email list to keep people informed, and if you want to be included on the list (or excluded if your name is on this one and should not be) just ask. Also, unless you are a close personal friend of Terence's or a family member, please do not, repeat do not, call the Queen's medical center in Honolulu. Thanks for your help, love, and support, and stay tuned. Dennis
------------------------------------------------------------------- Decriminalizing Research (A staff editorial in the Blade, in Toledo, Ohio, says the federal government's decision to soften its stance on research into the medical use of marijuana is overdue, but in part a response to voter sentiment.) Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 17:40:46 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OH: Editorial: Decriminalizing Research Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake Pubdate: Wed, 26 May 1999 Source: Blade, The (OH) Copyright: 1999 The Blade. Contact: email@example.com Address: 541 North Superior St., Toledo, OH 43660 Website: http://www.toledoblade.com/ DECRIMINALIZING RESEARCH The federal government's decision to soften its stance on research into the medical use of marijuana is overdue. For too long the demonization of the drug, even to the extent of limiting scientific research, has delayed important studies of whether marijuana may ease the pain and symptoms associated with such ailments as cancer, AIDS, and glaucoma. This is not opening the door to the widespread cultivation of marijuana and the accompanying risk of lax controls allowing supplies to reach to street. Rather it will allow a government approved growing site at the University of Mississippi to increase its crop to provide sufficient marijuana for researchers. It has long been to the nation's shame that research has been limited into the possible palliative effects of the drug for some patients. That is particularly the case when some of those suffering from AIDS or glaucoma, for example, are forced to the illegal market for their supply. In their search for help in managing their ailments, these people have been transformed into criminals. That's unacceptable. The federal government is in part responding to voter sentiment supportive of such research. Medical use of marijuana already has been approved in at least six states, but because the drug is banned by federal law, some doctors have been understandably nervous about prescribing it. The new guidelines may ease those fears. Those guidelines will allow privately funded researchers to purchase pot from the government for use in studies sanctioned by the National Institutes of Health. Both an NIH panel and the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine have urged further scientific research into possible medical benefits of marijuana for some patients. Such research could lead to relief of the suffering of thousands of Americans. Seen from that perspective it is, as we have said, difficult to justify the time it has taken to reach this point. Allowing medical research was never going to initiate "reefer madness.'' Instead, the government's hard-nosed approach was seen as cruelly insensitive to the needs of those patients who might be helped by using the drug. Encouraging research cannot by any stretch of the imagination be viewed as an endorsement of the drugs' recreational use. Rather, it is recognition that marijuana may have medical benefits - and if so, they should be uncovered and made available to patients in need.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Michigan Girl Due Big Apology Over Mistaken Marijuana (The Associated Press says the weed discovered in the locker of a 14-year-old girl in Eastpointe turned out to be dried carnation leaves left over from a school celebration.) Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 18:55:16 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MI: Wire: Michigan Girl Due Big Apology Over Mistaken Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: chuck beyer Pubdate: Wed, 26 May 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press MICHIGAN GIRL DUE BIG APOLOGY OVER MISTAKEN MARIJUANA EASTPOINTE, Michigan (AP) -- A Michigan girl is getting a big apology after the dried-up leaves in her school locker turned out to be carnation leaves -- not pot. The 14-year-old had been accused of keeping marijuana in her school locker. The accusation come after a locker search last week at the girl's school. The superintendent of East Detroit Public Schools says an investigation shows the leaves were just leaves -- he calls it all a mistake. The girl and her mother will get an apology from school officials. The girl says she has nothing to do with drugs and was upset by the accusation. Her mother says the carnation leaves were left in her daughter's locker from a school celebration.
------------------------------------------------------------------- State hearings on expanding the medical use of marijuana (A news release from the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, a NORML affiliate, says the legislature's Joint Committee on Health Care will hold a public hearing tomorrow on widening the range of medical conditions for which the Department of Public Health may approve the experimental use of marijuana. Until last Friday, when NIDA announced that it will start to sell research-grade marijuana to any bona fide researcher, not just those funded by NIH, there was no marijuana available to the state's program.) From: Epeggs@aol.com From: "CRRH mailing list" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 23:41:06 EDT Subject: State hearings on expanding the medical use of marijuana To: undisclosed-recipients:; Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition\NORML A State Affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws P.O. Box 0266 Georgetown, MA 01833-0366 781-944-2266 http://www.masscann.org email@example.com "We shall by and by want a world of hemp more for our own consumption." John Adams, as Humphrey Ploughjogger, 1763 *** State hearings on expanding the medical use of marijuana For immediate release For more information contact: Steven Epstein, Esq. 1-978-685-9696 or, firstname.lastname@example.org Georgetown, MA - On Thursday, May 27, the Joint Committee on Health Care will hold a public hearing on widening the range of medical conditions for which the Department of Public Health may approve the experimental use of marijuana. Currently the Department has the authority to authorize experimentation in the use of marijuana to alleviate the nausea and ill-effect of cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy, decrease intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients and to decrease airway resistance in asthmatics. Participation is limited to patients certified to be threatened by loss of life or sight, or asthmatics who experience severe respiratory problems or discomfort; not responding to or has incurred severe side effects from the administration of conventional controlled substances; and the patient's written informed consent as to the nature, duration, and purpose of the research, the method and means by which it is to be conducted, the inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected, and the effects upon the patient's health or person which may reasonably be expected to come from his participation. Several published studies and a growing body of anecdotal evidence indicates that marijuana is useful not only for those illnesses that fit the current law but for controlling muscle spasms in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, spinal cord injury, paraplegia and quadriplegia. Tens of thousands of cancer and AIDS patients already use medical marijuana, although most risk arrest and jail if discovered. They report it is effective in reducing the nausea and vomiting associated with their treatment, and helps stimulate the appetite of individuals suffering from the AIDS wasting syndrome. Until last Friday, when the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced that it will start to sell research-grade marijuana to any bona fide researcher, not just those funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there was no marijuana available to the State's program. According to a number of recent public opinion polls, the American public strongly supports the medical use of marijuana. Mass Cann hopes the committee, the entire legislature, and the Governor understand that the medical use of marijuana is a public health issue; it is not part of the war on drugs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Four Guards Charged In Inmate Death (The Associated Press says four prison guards in Uniondale, New York, were indicted Wednesday in the beating death of Thomas Pizzuto, an inmate who allegedly angered them by repeatedly crying out for his methadone prescription. Pizzuto, a recovering heroin addict, had a seizure three days after the alleged beating and died six days after entering the Nassau County jail to serve three months for a traffic violation.) Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 23:47:48 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NY: Wire: Four Guards Charged In Inmate Death Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF Pubdate: Wed, 26 May 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: PAT MILTON Associated Press Writer FOUR GUARDS CHARGED IN INMATE DEATH UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) Four prison guards were charged Wednesday in the beating death of an inmate who allegedly angered them by repeatedly crying out for his methadone treatment. The guards pleaded innocent in the death of Thomas Pizzuto, who died six days after entering the Nassau County jail to serve three months for a traffic violation. Pizzuto, 38, a recovering heroin addict, had a seizure three days after the alleged beating and died. "A 90-day sentence turned into a death sentence," Pizzuto family attorney Peter Neufeld said. All four guards were released on $500,000 bond. Lawyers for the men said they would be cleared. "He feels he will be vindicated," said defense lawyer Edward Jenks, representing Officer Ivano Bavaro. Bavaro, along with fellow jail guards Edward Valazquez and Patrick Regnier, were charged with two counts of federal civil rights violations. The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. According to the indictment, Bavaro served as lookout when Valazquez and Regnier went to the inmate's cell and beat him repeatedly on Pizzuto's second day in custody. After the alleged Jan. 8 beating, Pizzuto was left in his jail cell over the weekend to let his injuries heal, his family claimed. A fourth guard, Joseph Bergen, was charged as an accessory after the fact for allegedly doctoring a report of the death to claim Pizzuto suffered his injuries in a shower room fall. The maximum sentence for the charge is 15 years in prison. All four officers remain on modified duty at the jail pending trial. Their weapons were taken away, and they are permitted no contact with inmates.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Conspiracy: The Film Your Government Doesn't Want You To See (A list subscriber posts the URL where the New York Lower East Side Film Festival's best Documentary Feature can be viewed using Real Player.) From: HEMPTV@aol.com From: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 16:56:34 EDT Subject: Cannabis Conspiracy To: firstname.lastname@example.org I am happy to announce that Cannabis Conspiracy The Film Your Government Doesn't Want You To See, won best Documentary Feature in The New York Lower East Side Film Festival. A sign of many more good things to come! Peace Kenya You can watch the video using the Real Player at: http://www.crrh.org/hemptv/misc_cancon.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Action Class for Therapeutic Cannabis is now reopened and again accepting plaintiffs (A news release from the camp of Philadelphia public-interest attorney Lawrence Elliott Hirsch says Judge Katz on May 17 ordered a three-month delay in the federal civil lawsuit proceedings. During the last two months, the number of plaintiffs in Kuromiya v. United States has doubled, from 165 to 320, and more are invited to participate in seeking to overturn the federal ban on medical marijuana.) Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 21:40:53 -0500 From: Arthur Sobey (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: [cp] The Action Class for Therapeutic Cannabis is now reopened and again accepting plaintiffs. IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA ____________________________________________ ) KIYOSHI KUROMIYA, et al., ) Plaintiffs, ) ) v. ) CIVIL ACTION NO. 98-3439 ) THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ) Defendant ) ____________________________________________) CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT POSTPONEMENT Judge Katz signed the order for a postponement on May 17 and is allowing a three month extension. Trial data is not set, but will probably commence in mid October. During the last two months, the action class has doubled in size, from 165 to 320 plaintiffs. We invite yet further participation. The Action Class for Therapeutic Cannabis is now reopened and again accepting plaintiffs. *** Arthur Sobey Media Communications Director The Class Action For Therapeutic Cannabis firstname.lastname@example.org 402-379-5732 Contributions in support of medical freedom can be made to the Class Action For Therapeutic Cannabis at: Lifeservices Post Office Box 4314 Boca Raton, Florida 33429 561-750-0554 email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Jenkintown Survey Finds Drug Abuse High Among Youth (The Philadelphia Inquirer says a survey of 285 Jenkintown students in February by the Atlanta-based drug-warrior group, the National Parents' Resource for Drug Education, or PRIDE, found alcohol was the drug of choice for the majority of students in grades six through 12. However, 61 percent of 10th graders said they used marijuana, almost twice the national average of 33 percent. Among high school seniors, 55 percent said they smoked marijuana, compared with a national average of 38 percent. School officials said a DARE program and several antidrug student groups were helping, though 75 of the 285 students reported they had been in trouble with police.) Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 16:45:58 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US PA: Jenkintown Survey Finds Drug Abuse High Among Youth Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Mike Gogulski Pubdate: Wed, 26 May 1999 Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) Copyright: 1999 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. Contact: Inquirer.Opinion@phillynews.com Website: http://www.phillynews.com/ Forum: http://interactive.phillynews.com/talk-show/ Author: Kate Campbell JENKINTOWN SURVEY FINDS DRUG ABUSE HIGH AMONG YOUTH ALCOHOL Alcohol and marijuana use topped U.S. average, according to students. JENKINTOWN -- School district officials have released the results of a drug survey that showed alcohol to be the drug of choice for the majority of students in grades six through 12. Alcohol use exceeded the national average among Jenkintown's eighth through 12th graders, district officials said at a meeting Monday. The PRIDE survey, conducted by the Atlanta-based National Parents' Resource for Drug Education, was administered to 285 Jenkintown students in February. This was the fourth year students in Jenkintown participated in the survey. The tiny district, which has only two schools, had a total enrollment of 610 this year. In addition to which drugs were used, the report also included statistics on when they were used, their accessibility, and students' perception of the danger of drugs. "Fifty-five percent of eighth graders thought it was very easy to get beer," said Judy Meier, Jenkintown High School guidance counselor. Equally troubling, Meier said, was a dramatic jump in drug and alcohol use between the seventh and eighth grades. "As students get older, they don't worry as much" about the harmful effects of substance abuse, she said of the survey's findings. "There is use, and it does exist here." Sixty-one percent of 10th graders said they used marijuana, the survey found, almost twice the national average of 33 percent. Among high school seniors, 55 percent said they smoked marijuana, compared with a national average of 38 percent, Meier said. Because some students exaggerated in the anonymous survey, administrators said, a margin of error should be expected. Although the survey indicated that drug use in Jenkintown occurs mostly on weekends and less frequently at school, the small group of parents in attendance at Monday's meeting were concerned. The bulk of the responsibility for addressing drug and alcohol awareness, one mother said, was with the parents. "The teachers are doing everything they can," said parent Gigi Burns, who added that she had tried to get district administrators to focus on a local drug and alcohol problem. "I'm upset with the community's refusal to step forward and recognize the problem," Burns said. She said she would continue to generate community discussion on what she called a growing problem here. A police-run Drug Abuse Resistance Education program and several antidrug student groups in the district were helping, school officials said. Still, 75 of the 285 students polled reported that they had been in trouble with police, Meier said. Calls placed to the district's superintendent and the principals of the elementary and high schools were not returned yesterday. The numbers of children using drugs and alcohol in the district surprised Jenkintown Police Chief Craig Rickard, who spoke at the meeting. "I'm stunned, frankly," Rickard said. "I can see where my work is here."
------------------------------------------------------------------- High Times Magazine Releases Its First Comprehensive Report On Marijuana in the U.S. (A company press release on Business Wire says the July issue, due out June 1, will feature the magazine's first comprehensive U.S. marijuana report, "Marijuana By The Numbers." Based on the U.S. government's own numbers and independent research by High Times, the report concludes, among other things, that marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers $27 billion a year, almost twice the social costs of marijuana use. More than one-third of adult Americans have smoked marijuana, including at least 11 million in the past month.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 11:18:25 -0700 (PDT) From: Den de (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: HT: High Times Magazine Releases Its First Comprehensive Report On Marijuana in the US To: Hemp Talk *cannabist (email@example.com) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org High Times Magazine Releases Its First Comprehensive Report On Marijuana in the US Updated 1:29 PM ET May 26, 1999 NEW YORK (BUSINESS WIRE) - One third of all adults in this country have tried marijuana at least once. So why don't more people know the facts? On June 1st (in the July issue of High Times), the magazine the DEA turns to for information on marijuana will release its first comprehensive U.S. marijuana report, "Marijuana By The Numbers." How many Americans smoke pot? How many of them are being arrested? How much does the War on Drugs cost us? Is today's pot really stronger than what was smoked in the '60's? The answers are finally available. Among the findings: * More than one-third of adult Americans have smoked marijuana, with at least 11 million getting high at least once a month. * Marijuana is one of the top five cash crops in America, with California, Tennessee and Kentucky the leading producers. * Today's marijuana is not significantly more potent than what was sold in the '70s, but top-quality sinsemilla is much easier to find. * Marijuana arrests exceeded 700,000 this past year and, if the projected trend continues, they will top 1 million in 2001. * Pot-smokers are most likely to be arrested in the Northeast (New York, Washington, DC, and New Jersey) and in the Deep South. * Marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers $27 billion a year, almost twice the social costs of marijuana use. The costs of enforcing marijuana laws and the income lost by people jailed for marijuana have doubled since 1992, and far exceed the costs of drug education and treatment and counseling for marijuana users. "We're very proud of this report. It is the premiere place one can go for critical information on marijuana in the U.S," commented High Times' publisher, Mike Edison. "This is an objective, scientific report, and it reinforces High Times' place as the number one authority on the subject." The complete report, based on the U.S. government's own numbers and independent research by High Times, is in the July issue of High Times, on sale June 1st. High Times, the Most Notorious Magazine in the World, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. *** Peace not WoD! Cannabis:Food, Fuel, Fiber, FARMaceuticals! http://homepages.go.com/homepages/m/a/r/marthag1/ddc.htm *** hemp-talk - email@example.com is a discussion/information list about hemp politics in Washington State. To unsubscribe, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the text "unsubscribe hemp-talk". For more details see http://www.hemp.net/lists.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Probing Drug Claims (According to the Calgary Herald, Calgary police say they are investigating Grant Krieger, who was featured in a Herald article Tuesday claiming he intends to distribute marijuana for medicinal purposes through the Universal Compassion Club.) Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 01:04:38 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Police Probing Drug Claims Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Wed. 26, May 1999 Source: Calgary Herald (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/ Author: Jeff Adams, Calgary Herald POLICE PROBING DRUG CLAIMS Calgary police say they are investigating a man featured in a Herald article Tuesday who claimed he intends to distribute marijuana for medicinal purposes. `We will investigate his activities just as we would investigate anyone else about whom we receive information about trafficking,' said Staff Sgt. Paul Laventure of the drug unit, after the story about Calgarian Grant Krieger. `If Mr. Krieger is in fact trafficking in marijuana, he will be be charged.' Krieger is serving an 18-month suspended sentence for trafficking after a late-1998 conviction. The 44-year-old man says he smokes marijuana to help him cope with multiple sclerosis (MS), and opposes laws stopping Canadians from using marijuana as a medical aid. In Tuesday's Herald, Krieger is shown handing a bag - allegedly containing marijuana - to a Turner Valley-area women who says the drug has helped her achieve a miraculous recovery from fibromyalgia. Krieger told the Herald he's established a so-called Universal Compassion Club for people wanting marijuana for medical purposes, and is recruiting drug suppliers for the club. He said he plans to be a supplier too. Because some of Krieger's club members could be from outside Calgary, RCMP say they may also investigate. `I don't want to get in a debate with him about the medicinal uses of marijuana,' said Staff Sgt. Bernie Smith of the Calgary RCMP's drug section.
------------------------------------------------------------------- MPs Back Move Toward Legalized Medicinal Pot (The Montreal Gazette says the Canadian House of Commons voted last night to urge the federal government to "take steps" toward legalizing marijuana for medical use. Members of the governing Liberal Party united with opposition MPs to approve, 204-29, a diluted version of a Bloc Quebecois motion calling for legalization of the herb so those ill with cancer, AIDS and epilepsy can ease their suffering without fear of prosecution.) Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 08:07:00 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: MPs Back Move Toward Legalized Medicinal Pot Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Wed, 26 May 1999 Source: Montreal Gazette (Canada) Copyright: 1999 The Gazette, a division of Southam Inc. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.montrealgazette.com/ Forum: http://forums.canada.com/~montreal Author: David Gamble MPS BACK MOVE TOWARD LEGALIZED MEDICINAL POT The House of Commons voted last night to urge the federal government to "take steps" toward legalizing marijuana for medical use. Governing Liberals united with opposition MPs to approve, by a 204-29 vote, a diluted version of a Bloc Quebecois motion calling for legalization of the street drug so those ill with cancer, AIDS and epilepsy can ease their suffering without fear of prosecution. The reworded motion reflects Health Minister Allan Rock's commitment in March to begin clinical trials of medical marijuana, but like Rock it makes no commitment as to whether the drug will be made available to patients as treatment rather than research. Rock has promised to unveil his "research plan" next month. His spokesman, Derek Kent, played down the importance of last night's vote: "That timetable remains the same." But Bloc MP Bernard Bigras defended the Commons' vote as necessary, arguing that little has happened since Rock's initial announcement and the sick who use marijuana are still being harassed by police. Bigras urged Rock to use his power to exempt individuals from Criminal Code prosecution on compassionate grounds, noting that the Commons has now joined the Ontario Superior Court, which this month gave Toronto AIDS activist Jim Wakeford the legal right to grow and use marijuana. Rock has said the federal government won't appeal that court ruling. After the vote, Bigras said the Bloc "will now ensure that the government keeps its word on this question." "We still don't have the research protocol," he said. The Bloc voted against the Liberal amendments, but turned around and supported the watered-down version, arguing that it still sends a message to the government. "I'm sure I'll have ill people coming to see me in the coming days, saying that these clinical trials won't give them access to marijuana for three years, so what we're saying is we favour clinical tests but we need immediate access to marijuana," Bigras said. Wakeford won the right to grow and smoke marijuana for his own use under a constitutional exemption from prosecution granted by an Ontario Superior Court judge, who criticized Ottawa for foot-dragging in handling exemption applications from dying patients. He is only the second Canadian to use the drug with legal immunity. Terry Parker of Toronto, who has epilepsy, won the right in November 1997, but the Crown has appealed that ruling. In the United States, some states allow pot use by the terminally ill, despite some warnings from experts that it may not be the wonder drug advocates say it is. The medical establishment has noted that, as a painkiller, marijuana is not that potent and it has side-effects like confusion and sedation.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medicinal marijuana wins conditional OK (The Canadian Press version in the Calgary Sun) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Medicinal marijuana wins conditional OK Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 07:24:45 -0700 Lines: 29 Source: Calgary Sun (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Wednesday, May 26, 1999 Medicinal marijuana wins conditional OK By CP OTTAWA -- The federal government has moved one step closer to permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes. A Bloc Quebecois motion calling for the legalization of pot for medical reasons passed last night in the House of Commons, with a few amendments. The motion calls on the government to "take steps immediately" to develop clinical trials, guidelines for its use and a safe supply of marijuana for people who need it for medical reasons. Earlier this spring, Health Minister Allan Rock promised clinical trials into the medicinal use of marijuana. Following the vote, Rock said he will publicize the government's plan for legalizing medical pot, likely before the House breaks for the summer. Ontario social activist Jim Wakeford won the legal right to grow and smoke marijuana earlier this month by receiving an interim constitutional exemption from prosecution.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Legislation Supported (A lengthier Canadian Press version) Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 16:02:53 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Wire: Pot Legislation Supported Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Chris Clay (http://www.thecompassionclub.org/) Pubdate: May 26, 1999 Source: Canadian Press (Canada) Copyright: 1999 The Canadian Press (CP). POT LEGISLATION SUPPORTED OTTAWA - The federal government has moved one step closer to permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes. A Bloc Quebecois motion calling for the legalization of pot for medical reasons passed Tuesday night in the House of Commons, with a few amendments. The motion calls on the government to"take steps immediately" to develop clinical trials, guidelines for its use and a safe supply of marijuana for people who need it for medical reasons. Earlier this spring, Health Minister Allan Rock promised clinical trials into the medicinal use of marijuana. Following the vote, Rock said he will publicize the government's plan for legalizing medical pot, likely before the House breaks for the summer. Some are predicting that will happen June 9. "I've asked (government researchers) before the House rises in June to give me a plan: how is one going to qualify for inclusion in the clinical trials, how many people will be involved, how will we make the marijuana available -- all the details of how the research is going to be conducted." Within that time, Rock added, he will also release the government's decisions on some of the applications by Canadians who have sought permission to use the drug for medical reasons. That includes Jim Wakeford, an Ontario social activist who has AIDS. Wakeford won the legal right to grow and smoke marijuana earlier this month by receiving an interim constitutional exemption from prosecution. Ontario Superior Court Judge Harry LaForme issued the order while the federal government decides on Wakeford's application for an exemption from prosecution. He was just the second Canadian allowed to use the drug with legal impunity. Toronto epileptic Terry Parker was the first.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Commons Backs Pot Law (A brief Toronto Star version) Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 16:00:43 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Commons Backs Pot Law Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Haans Pubdate: Wednesday, May 26, 1999 Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Copyright: 1999, The Toronto Star Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Page: A6 COMMONS BACKS POT LAW The federal government is nearer permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes. A Bloq motion urging the legalization of pot for medical reasons passed last night, with a few amendments. The motion calls on the government to "take steps immediately" to develop clinical trials, guidelines for use and a safe supply of marijuana for people who need it for medical reasons.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Australia More Open Than United States (A letter to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, in Australia, from a woman who has just returned after living in the United States for the past year, applauds the open discussion prompted by the recent New South Wales drug summit. In America, "the drug issue was never raised, either in the media or in general conversation." Americans "tend to 'cover up' rather than try to heal the problem.") Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 10:43:44 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: PUB LTE: Australia More Open Than United States Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Wed, 26 May 1999 Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Author: Janice Creenaune Note: Title supplied by newshawk AUSTRALIA MORE OPEN THAN UNITED STATES Even more pleasing than the surprising events that have arisen from the recent Drug Summit is the very fact that there are so many newspaper articles, letters to the editor and open discussion on the drug issue. After living in the United States for the past year - where the drug issue was never raised, either in the media or in general conversation - it is so pleasing to return home to so many forth-right opinions even if, at this stage, there is little agreement. In the US they are aware of their drug problems but tend to "cover up" rather than try to heal the problem. Here, in this country, we are at least attempting to find solutions. It is a great start. Janice Creenaune, Austinmer, May 24.
------------------------------------------------------------------- What If Cigarettes Were Illegal? (Another letter to the editor of the Sydney Morning World wonders to what levels people would stoop and what would happen to the price of a cigarette on the black market, if we threw offenders into jail, ostracised users and their families, and limited the supply of quit-smoking programs and technology.) Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 11:44:49 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: PUB LTE: What If Cigarettes Were Illegal? Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Wed, 26 May 1999 Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Author: Paul Gittings Note: Title supplied by newshawk WHAT IF CIGARETTES WERE ILLEGAL? Re Dr Ashley Berry's letter (Herald, May 24), the good doctor is right that it is probably the case that no cigarette smoker has "pimped, bashed or stolen for a packet of fags". However, if we were to make cigarettes illegal tomorrow, throw offenders into jail, ostracise the users and their families, limit the supply of quit smoking programs, limit the supply and availability of nicotine patches, gums, etc, what would happen to the price of a cigarette on the black market? To what levels would people stoop to get their next drag? Of course, such a scenario would never occur. We are a just and caring society. We would look after people with such addiction. We wouldn't ostracise them or their families; we would spend heaps on quit smoking campaigns; we would, to a certain extent, tolerate their addiction and would never consider it a criminal problem but a health one. Why the difference in society attitudes against two substances, both of which are addictive drugs and both of which kill? Beats me. I'll have a drink and ponder on it. Paul Gittings, Russell Lea May 25
------------------------------------------------------------------- Under-25s Targeted In Tough Plan To Break Cycle Of Drugs and Crime (The Scotsman says the British Government yesterday announced ambitious targets to halve the use of hard drugs among young people in England and Wales as part of a tough 10-year plan. Announcing the plan in parliament, Jack Cunningham, the Cabinet Office minister, said the focus was on heroin and cocaine misuse, which is a big cause of crime. The RAC also seized the opportunity to appeal to the Government to address the problem of motorists who drive under the influence of drugs.) Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 16:05:58 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Under-25s Targeted In Tough Plan To Break Cycle Of Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: 26 May 1999 Source: Scotsman (UK) Copyright: The Scotsman Publications Ltd 1999 Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Forum: http://www.scotsman.com/ Author: Paul Peachey UNDER-25S TARGETED IN TOUGH PLAN TO BREAK CYCLE OF DRUGS AND CRIME Ambitious targets to halve the use of hard drugs among young people in England and Wales were announced by the Government yesterday as part of a tough 10-year plan. Repeat offenders and the under-25s emerged as key targets to break the cycle of crime and drug abuse as the first annual report by Keith Hellawell, the drugs tsar, was published. Announcing the plans in parliament, Jack Cunningham, the Cabinet Office minister, said the plan focused on heroin and cocaine misuse, which is a big cause of crime. The RAC also seized the opportunity to appeal to the Government to address the problem of motorists who drive under the influence of drugs. It is estimated that three million people regularly take illegal drugs in the United Kingdom, and a survey found that 85 per cent of the 22 to 25-year-olds believe that their peer group regularly drive after taking drugs. Government plans published yesterday suggest drug addicts should be sent to rehabilitation clinics instead of jail in an effort to halve the reoffending rate for drug addicts by 2008. It will depend on the outcome of trials in Croydon, south London, Gloucester and Liverpool. Dr Cunningham said: "If they show not to be an efficient use of resources then we shall have to make changes." Similar studies in the United States showed that offenders coerced on to drug programmes fared no worse than people who went on them voluntarily. Paul Cavadino, the director of policy for the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO), said: "This is the most significant package of measures to divert offenders from crime announced in the last decade. "Conventional punishments do nothing to stop offenders using drugs but simply produce a vicious circle of crime, imprisonment and a rapid return to drug use." A heroin or crack cocaine addict can spend up to UKP20,000 a year on drugs and accounted for 30 per cent of all crime. Dr Cunningham said that cheaper, purer heroin was hitting the streets with children experimenting from the age of 13. Mr Hellawell announced that UKP3 million seized from drug traffickers would be used to tackle the problem during 1999-2000 rising to million in 2001-2. Plans include cutting the use of heroin and cocaine by young people by 25 per cent by 2005 and 50 per cent by 2008 and the number of 11 to 16-year-olds using Class A drugs by 20 per cent by 2002. A further 36 million would be spent to identify the true scale of the drug problem. But the Conservatives cautioned against a let-up on other drug controls. Tory MP Ann Winterton, said the country wanted "to see effective deterrents of drug use and trafficking and they want to see tough penalties". She added there should be "no soft message on drugs." Dr Cunningham promised no let-up and criticised public figures who glamorised drug-taking. Speaking on the day that the former England rugby union captain Lawrence Dallaglio admitted experimenting with drugs, Dr Cunningham said: "We have had recently a whole series of high profile cases, which are very, very damaging to the well being of the young people of this country." Meanwhile the RAC wants an awareness campaign to cut the number of deaths on the roads involving drugs. Government statistics show 18 per cent of such deaths were drug-drivers. This was three times the number found in research conducted 10 years ago.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ministers Pledge To Halve UK Drug Abuse (The version in Britain's Independent) Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 16:45:55 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Ministers Pledge To Halve Uk Drug Abuse Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Thurs, 26 May 1999 Source: Independent, The (UK) Copyright: 1999 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd. Contact: email@example.com Address: 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Author: Jason Bennetto Crime Correspondent MINISTERS PLEDGE TO HALVE UK DRUG ABUSE AN ambitious programme drastically to reduce heroin and cocaine abuse, stop schoolchildren taking drugs, and wean addicts away from their criminal lifestyles, was unveiled by the Government yesterday. The strategy for the next decade concentrates on treating users at clinics and rehabilitation centres rather than punishing them in jail. Under the plans, the Government hopes to halve the reoffending rate for drug addicts by 2008, and to achieve the same reduction in the number of young people using heroin and cocaine. The number of children aged 11 to 16 using class A drugs should be reduced by a fifth by 2002, and the number of treatment places will be doubled to about 100,000 by 2008. About UKP15m of assets seized from drug-dealers are to be ploughed back into preventive work during the next three years, to fund the proposals. Drugs agencies, however, were startled at the scale of the targets set by the Government and questioned whether the proposals were feasible without massive additional funding. The issue was further thrown into confusion when it emerged at the launch of the national strategy that the Government had not compiled statistics to measure its strategy against. It will therefore be impossible to calculate whether the cuts promised have been successful. The multi-stranded strategy targets heroin and crack cocaine abuse and the rising level of drug-taking among teenagers. New research has identified outbreaks of heroin use in smaller cities, towns and rural areas throughout the United Kingdom. Crack cocaine and heroin users are responsible for a vast amount of crime - with a typical addict's habit costing between UKP10,000 and UKP20,000 a year. Surveys have also found that children are experimenting with drugs at an increasingly young age, with around a quarter of 14- and 15-year-olds having taken illegal drugs. Keith Hellawell, the Government's anti-drugs co-ordinator, published his first national plan to tackle the problem yesterday, and it included a proposal to double the number of drug abusers in treatment programmes by 2008. There are around 30,000 people currently being treated in the UK, but an estimated 200,000 people have serious problems.Assets seized from traffickers could be used as funding along with some of the extra UKP217m the Government has pledged for anti-drugs initiatives. By 2002, all schools should have special anti-drugs programmes, under the proposals made yesterday. These will include "life-skill" teaching, and education for parents. The strategy also aims to reduce within three years the number of 11- to 16-year-olds who use class A drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and ecstasy. Jack Cunningham, Minister for the Cabinet Office, who helped launch the plan, explained that the switch in focus to treatment programmes was to try and prevent addicts from returning to a life of crime. He said during 1999-2000 the number of people arrested and referred to drug treatment programmes would be doubled. Asked his opinion about the recent series of public figures who have been accused of cocaine taking, Mr Cunningham said: "It's deplorable, it's giving an abysmal, appalling example to young people. There's no glamour in drug-taking. It wrecks lives, it wrecks health and ruins families." The Government is particularly keen to reduce the level of repeat offending by drug users. Mr Hellawell said new Home Office research showed that 30 per cent of crimes were drug-linked, and the strategy aims to cut offending by a half. Last year more than five million crimes were reported to the police in England and Wales, more than 100,000 of which were for drug offences. Mr Hellawell admitted, however, as with all the targets, that there were not any accurate figures to calculate how many people were responsible for drug-related crimes. In an attempt to gain a more accurate impression of the scale of the national drug problem, UKP6m is to be spent on research. Roger Howard, chief executive of the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse, said he was "concerned that drug services on the ground will find themselves under substantial pressure to meet such ambitious objectives". Paul Cavadino of the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, said: "This is the most significant package of measures to divert offenders from crime announced in the last decade."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Smugglers Are Still Ahead In Drugs War (The Times, in Britain, says that even as the Government announced ambitious new goals designed to reduce hard drugs abuse, Dr Jack Cunningham, the Cabinet enforcer who has responsibility for co-ordinating drugs policy, admitted the war against drugs in Britain was being lost, with more substances being smuggled into the country causing a collapse in street prices and threatening a new heroin epidemic. His warning came after a grim assessment of the £1.4 billion drugs war by Customs and Excise concluded there was increased demand in the country, leading to more substances coming in.) Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 17:08:24 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Smugglers Are Still Ahead In Drugs War Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: May 26 1999 Source: Times, The (UK) Copyright: 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Author: Richard Ford, Home Correspondent SMUGGLERS ARE STILL AHEAD IN DRUGS WAR The war against drugs in Britain is being lost, with more substances being smuggled into the country causing a collapse in street prices and threatening a new heroin epidemic. Jack Cunningham, the Cabinet enforcer, issued a warning of the danger facing young people from a flood of cheaper and purer heroin as the Government set ambitious new targets designed to reduce hard drugs abuse. Dr Cunningham highlighted the failure of attempts to control illegal import of drugs when he said that though seizures had increased significantly there had hardly been any effect on supplies reaching the streets. "Seizures of illegal drugs have increased tenfold but the availability on the streets has not declined. We know that heroin is available in higher quantities in greater purity than ever before". The minister, who has responsibility for co-ordinating drugs policy added: "If you have a purer, cheaper product on the streets it clearly poses a serious threat to young people. Whether it is an epidemic is too early to say but that is the situation we are facing. We clearly have to watch this situation very, very carefully." His warning came after a grim assessment of the effectiveness of the UKP1.4 billion fight to curb drugs by Customs and Excise which said that there was increased demand in the country leading to more substances coming in. Dr Cunningham accused sports stars and public figures who took cocaine of undermining the drive to curb drugs abuse. "It gives an abysmal, appalling example to young people. There is no glamour in drug-taking and associating drug-taking with success in life is pathetic. There is no doubt if some sports star or huge public figure presents themselves as a drug-taker, it does have an undermining effect on what we are trying to achieve." Dame Valerie Strachan, chairman of Customs and Excise, told MPs that the country had a serious drugs problem. "I do not delude myself that we are winning the war against drugs." She was speaking only hours before Dr Cunningham and Keith Hellawell, the Government's drugs supremo, announced targets to curb heroin and cocaine abuse and a renewed drive to break the link between drug-taking and criminal activity. Unveiling a ten-year strategy, both men said that there would be a shift towards drugs education and prevention. The plan set a series of targets. The proportion of people aged 16-25 using cocaine and heroin is to be cut by half by 2008 and by 25 per cent by 2003, the number of 11-16 year olds using Class A drugs is to be cut by 20 per cent by 2002. Other targets include reducing by half by 2008 repeat offending by drug-using criminals and by 25 per cent by 2005; increasing the number of drug users in treatment programmes by 66 per cent by 2003 and 100 per cent by 2008. Dr Cunningham defended the absence of any baseline figures in the plan by arguing that existing statistics were "fragile" and "inadequate". Drugs charities welcomed the Government's new targets but cautioned that drug services would be placed under substantial pressure unless more money was found to help them to meet rising demand. In some cases people can wait six months to get treatment and some residential centres have been forced to close through lack of funding. Steve Taylor, of the Standing Conference of Drug Abuse, said it would take a long time to achieve a significant drop in misuse of drugs. "This is like trying to turn round a supertanker."
------------------------------------------------------------------- What A Waste As Drugs Tsar Keith Hellawell Publishes His First Annual Audit (An op-ed in the Guardian, in Britain, by Professor Howard Parker, director of the drugs research centre at Manchester University, argues that the coming shortfall in treatment funding could have been avoided but for misplaced faith in prevention and enforcement. The overall budget is biased against treatment, even though we know what works, because the other two sectors are generously funded for political, not proficiency, reasons.) Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 20:44:00 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: What A Waste As Drugs Tsar Keith Hellawell Publishes His First Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF Pubdate: Wed, 26 May 1999 Source: Guardian, The (UK) Copyright: Guardian Media Group 1999 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ WHAT A WASTE AS DRUGS TSAR KEITH HELLAWELL PUBLISHES HIS FIRST ANNUAL AUDIT Howard Parker argues that millions have been poured down the drain on prevention and enforcement rather than treatment There are few public service sectors left which are not now subject to routine audit and inspection. Each service has mission statements, charters, performance indicators and effectiveness reviews. Most are published and public debate is routine. Best value has even found its way into local authority services. Yet one burgeoning service industry, drugs interventions - through prevention, enforcement and treatment - remains largely unaccountable. Despite an annual bill of pounds 1.5 billion, rising rapidly, there are no routine audits, inspections or league tables. The treatment sector is funded by an odd mix of local authority community care money plus large doses of health trust money (from the DoH). And because `voluntaries' play a key role, the whole industry is propped up by vast amounts of ad hoc money from the European social fund and the National Lotteries Board - whose audits are regarded as superficial and easily satisfied. The `effective' manager here is the one who gets early wind of the visit and manages to get enough staff and punters into the day room, workshop or drop-in to give the impression of activity while persuading the critical staff to take their flexi-time. This dash for cash culture pervades drugs services. Extraordinarily, there is still no formal education and training route into the industry. With no national standards and few courses in further or higher education, nursing, teaching, youth and community and social work qualifications are all accepted, as are degrees from the University of Life as an ex-addict. Appointing medical practitioners is equally `flexible', with national adverts routinely producing no high quality applicants: specialists in the industry are often migrants from psychiatry or general practice who are self learners in the specialism. All this was understandable during the 1980s, but no government since then has taken responsibility. This neglect will, unless rectified, lead to a crisis - particularly in treatment delivery - early in the new millennium. For the first time in the UK we have a drugs co-ordination strategy. There are targets to reduce over 10 years adolescent drug taking and heroin use among under 25s; to increase the number of problem drug users receiving treatment and to reduce drug related crime. Some of these targets will be met (reducing drug related school exclusions), some will not (reducing the number of heroin users) and some are probably unmeasurable. This strategy is being managed by the UK anti drugs coordinator unit, drugs tsars and a network of over 100 drug action teams (in England and Wales) to provide the delivery infrastructure. And over the next few years further new money will flow into the industry from the voluntary sector and the treasury. England and Wales will receive an additional pounds 214 million of taxpayers' money. Most of this is to provide a new option to the courts to coerce drug driven offenders into treatment as an alternative to custody. This policy is based on robust `what works' evidence, and is likely to do well if the courts are imaginative enough and the supervision and treatment services are of a high enough standard. Prisons are also receiving a significant testing and treatment provision. Other areas which will benefit include dedicated young persons' services and rehabilitation schemes which are funded at the local authority/community care level. However, all this will still not be enough. We already have waiting lists of up to six months at drug units, and there is a new, largely `untreated' population of heroin and crack cocaine users netted in the criminal justice system who are not on any waiting lists. Despite having the largest recreational drugs scene in Europe across the 1990s, the UK has not had the most problematic. During the first half of the 1990s heroin use and crack use were climbing fairly slowly. However as we leave the 1990s the prognosis looks bleak. Britain (not Northern Ireland) is in the early stages of a second heroin epidemic involving very young users which is particularly affecting Scotland and north and south west England. The new heroin users are in small cities and towns with no heroin history and therefore no services. Those metropolitan areas in England which hosted heroin outbreaks in the 1980s - London, Manchester and Liverpool - are currently not as affected, but they are seeing an increase in cocaine powder and crack cocaine use. This is a worrying scenario - a high demand for treatment services for heroin in the regions with few services and high levels of stimulant, and crack use in the metropolitan areas which are traditionally geared to prescribing methadone. Yet we don't have a cocaine substitute to prescribe - there is no cocadone. The epidemiological forecast is thus bleak as the traditionally separate recreational and problem drugs arenas begin to overlap. The coming shortfall in treatment provision could have been avoided but for misplaced faith in prevention and enforcement. The overall budget is biased against treatment, even though we know what works, because the other two sectors are generously funded for political, not proficiency, reasons. The rhetoric says we must educate our children from the nursery to resist drugs and we must lock up the dealers of death and throw away the key. Alas neither approach works - more people are taking more drugs more often - and as insiders well know millions of pounds of taxpayers' money have been wasted in both sectors. Yet this cannot be discussed because there is no impartial, `objective' scrutiny. No one has the authority to ask the right questions beyond ad hoc parliamentary committees. Instead, the whole apparatus bumbles on in bad faith. No scrutinies are undertaken and what little inspectorial apparatus there was is now delegated to help health trusts commission new drugs services. All three staff of the substance misuse advisory service are this way employed! Symbolic gestures at templating good practice are under way, and local drug action teams are being pressed to be more articulate about the local plans. But all this is window dressing. The big picture remains unshown. This is why we need an Offdrug to provide a comprehensive review of the industry and ensure it becomes more effective and efficient and far more subject to both parliamentary and public scrutiny. The government is missing the boat over drugs because having devolved - some would say unloaded - the problem on to the drug tsar's office, Labour is muffling the significance of the unfolding situation. If political credibility becomes the lever for change then so be it. A more fitting motivation would be the thousands of very young, increasingly addicted heroin users around Britain whom no one is currently helping until they become burglars or chaotic injecting poly drug users. Professor Howard Parker directs the drugs research centre in the department of social policy and social work at Manchester University.
------------------------------------------------------------------- This Man Is Paid £106,000 A Year To Stop Britain's Youth Taking Drugs. Is He Worth It? (The Independent says that 16 months after Keith Hellawell was appointed "drugs tsar" by the British Government to spearhead a new anti-drugs crusade, criticism is mounting that he has failed to grasp the detail of his job. "He is aloof, uninspiring and out of touch," said a senior academic in the drugs field yesterday. "Worst of all, he is out of his depth. He is simply not bright enough. He can't hold all the balls up in the air." In a recent radio interview, Hellawell told listeners that doctors are not allowed to prescribe diamorphine, more commonly known as heroin, to addicts - which isn't true. One observer described his appointment as a poisoned chalice. "New Labour has unloaded the political embarrassment of its failing drugs policy on to the drugs tsar," he said. "As a figurehead, Keith Hellawell serves that purpose.") Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 17:28:46 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: This Man Is Paid UKP106,000 A Year To Stop Britain's Youth 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: 26 May 1999 Source: Independent, The (UK) Copyright: 1999 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Author: Kathy Marks THIS MAN IS PAID UKP106,000 A YEAR TO STOP BRITAIN'S YOUTH TAKING DRUGS. IS HE WORTH IT? Keith Hellawell, the Government's "drugs tsar", told listeners to a recent radio interview that doctors are not allowed to prescribe diamorphine, more commonly known as heroin, to addicts. Quite what the listeners made of this remark is not clear. But all over Whitehall - at the Home Office, the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office, where Mr Hellawell is based - civil servants cringed with embarrassment. The gaffe - doctors can indeed prescribe diamorphine, provided they have a special licence - illustrates a recurring criticism of the UK anti-drugs co-ordinator, to give him his proper title: that he has failed to grasp the detail of his job. "He is aloof, uninspiring and out of touch," said a senior academic in the drugs field yesterday. "Worst of all, he is out of his depth. He is simply not bright enough. He can't hold all the balls up in the air." Harsh words, but they were not untypical of the views expressed by drugs experts and voluntary workers yesterday, 16 months after Mr Hellawell was appointed by the Government to spearhead a new anti-drugs crusade. Mr Hellawell, a former chief constable of West Yorkshire, was selected for the UKP106,000-a-year post because of his long-standing interest in drugs issues and his reputation for being prepared to "think the unthinkable". Ironically, the initial concerns expressed about him - that, because of his background, he would concentrate exclusively on law enforcement aspects of the job - have proved unfounded. In fact, he has shifted the emphasis to education and rehabilitation, making clear that he believes the problem cannot be solved by simply arresting and locking up addicts. His 10-year strategy, unveiled in April last year, included a new penalty obliging criminals to undergo treatment for drug addiction. It also promised improved drugs education in schools and the establishment of a national Drugs Prevention Advisory Service to support local drug action teams in the community. Even Mr Hellawell's detractors say the strategy looks good on paper, encompassing every conceivable angle. There is also grudging admiration for his success in squeezing UKP217m out of the Treasury to implement it. But there remains widespread scepticism about whether Mr Hellawell, a former miner who now drives a Porsche, has the authority, courage and vision to pick his way through the political minefield and make real progress in the fight against drugs. Many observers draw a contrast with his deputy, Mike Trace, who is seen as brighter, more accessible and more in touch with youth issues. Mr Trace, who rides a motorbike, is a former social worker who worked in the voluntary drugs field. "Mike Trace holds the whole thing together. He has a far better grasp of the detail and he works his socks off," said one Hellawell critic. "He is immensely relaxed and well-respected." Out in the field, experts picked their words more carefully. Mr Hellawell, after all, is the public face of government drugs policy and voluntary agencies are largely dependent on government funding. "It would be suicide to criticise him," said one. Roger Howard, chief executive of the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse, was among the few prepared to speak on the record yesterday. He praised Mr Hellawell for his willingness to heed the views of people working at the sharp end. Mike Goodman, director of Release, the drugs charity, described Mr Hellawell, diplomatically, as a safe pair of hands. "Certainly we could have done worse," he said. "He's not a great communicator, but he is amiable, and parts of his strategy are very good. I wish that he would be more outspoken sometimes, that he would tackle the difficult issues such as decriminalisation, which I believe that he supports." This is a persistent criticism made of Mr Hellawell: that he has abandoned his liberal, occasionally maverick, views and is toeing the Government's hard line on drugs. As a police officer, he was prepared to advocate reform of the "absurd" laws on prostitution and the legalisation of brothels. He also said, in an interview on the BBC's Panorama programme, that he foresaw the day when cannabis would be legal. After being appointed to his post, he disowned that comment. There is no doubt that Mr Hellawell is in a difficult position. He is "drugs tsar", modelled on an American concept, but unlike his American counterparts he has no budget, no independence and no real power. He is, in reality, just a special adviser, yet, unlike other government special advisers, he has a high profile. There is no doubt, too, that he has suffered from snobbishness and elitism at the hands of some senior civil servants, who resented an outsider - and, worst of all, a police officer - being parachuted in above their heads. "What's a copper doing in Whitehall?" people would whisper after he arrived. One government adviser on drugs, who knows him well, said yesterday: "There were people who fell over backwards at drinks parties when he was appointed. In reality, he has not done badly. But he does not have the sagacity to understand the larger issues. I doubt that the benefits of his job are worth the cost." Another observer described his appointment as a poisoned chalice. "New Labour has unloaded the political embarrassment of its failing drugs policy on to the drugs tsar," he said. "As a figurehead, Keith Hellawell serves that purpose." -------------------------------------------------------------------
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