------------------------------------------------------------------- Urgent Message re: HB 3052 (An e-mail from Portland attorney and medical-marijuana patient advocate Leland Berger provides more details about the Oregon legislature's imminent vote on a bill sponsored by Rep. Kevin Mannix that would nullify much of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Chair Neil Bryant was erroneously informed by Marion County District Attorney Penn that HB 3052 was not controversial. Please call this short list of state senators to acquaint them with the facts.) From: LawBerger@aol.com From: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 00:54:26 EDT Subject: URGENT MESSAGE RE HB3052 To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Amy Klare accurately reported: > 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 Aside from this error, HB3052 makes two insignificant changes (more accuratley defining parental role for child patients and requiring 5 day notice to DA to assert affirmative defense) and the following significant changes which, IMHO, thwart the intent of the voters. * It (arguably) unconstitutionally denies mmj to child and adult prisoners. * It requires patients and caregivers to register grow sites and denies them the ability to grow at a third person's property * limits grows to one location (arguably limiting caregivers to one patient) * requires for proof of affirmative defense generally that patient have been diagnosed within 12 months of arrest, notwistanding California caselaw which denies patients right to assert Prop 215 defense if not in compliance until after arrest * requires for proof of affirmative defense for excessive quantities that physicians determine amount needed as medicine * guts choice of evils defense by requiring patient having taken a 'substantial step in compliance' to be able to raise the defense, and, the kicker, * exempts medical marijuana from things seized by the police which they otherwise have a legal duty to maintain. Floyd asks: > So what is AMR/OMR/Voter Power going to do? Will there be a Referendum to > stop HB3052? > > Floyd AMR/OMR, along with the Oregon ACLU, participated in the work group in the House which reached this compromise legislation. And the truth is they did a great job. We could have wound up with substantially worse legislation had they not identified certain issues as bottom line. They also have been most instumental in changing law enforcement attitudes about mmj. Voter Power has expressed our appreciation to OMR/ACLU, but we have also consistently taken the position that we won the election, the OMMA ain't broke and don't need fixin, all these concerns were rejected by the voters and if they become real can be dealt with next session, and the only problems we see are the lack of a federal distribution system (which we addressed by drafting HJM10, which passed out of committee only to be narrowly defeated on the house floor) and the lack of a fee waiver for patients who can't afford the $150 fee. I testified yesterday (tues 5/24) on these objections and stated this position. Unfortunately, the only senator who was there was Ginny Burdick (who took notes, and was interested, as was comm. counsel) Part of the reason for this is that Chair Neil Bryant was erroneously informed (by Marion County DA Penn) that this bill was not controversial. WELL, IT IS TO US. So, what needs to be done is for people to call or email their senator, ESPECIALLY senators on the Committee: Sen. Neil Bryant, Chair (R-Bend) 503-986-1727 Sen. Peter Courtney, Vice-Chair (D-Salem) 503-986-1717 Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) 503-986-1706 Sen. Kate Brown (D-Portland) 503-986-1700 (also the Senate Democratic Leader) Sen. David Nelson (R-Pendleton) 503-986-1729 Sen. Eileen Qutub (Extreme R-Beaverton) 503-986-1704 The toll-free line to find out about bills and to leave messages for lawmakers is: 1-800-332-2313. So, pick up the phone and call. I will be out of town thru Tuesday, and have done all I can do on this. Responding to Floyd's second question, I think a referendum is unlikely, but not impossible. All of us have better things to be working on. will be out of town next 6 days so please don't reply to me, call your senator. Thanks, Lee Berger Portland
------------------------------------------------------------------- Doctors in Oregon for class action lawsuit (A list subscriber forwards a message from the Action Class for Freedom of Therapeutic Cannabis, which is seeking an Oregon physician for its lawsuit being heard in Philadelphia challenging the federal ban on medical marijuana.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 12:47:59 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Arthur Livermore (email@example.com) Subject: DPFOR: Doctors in Oregon for class action lawsuit Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Are there any Oregon doctors who will join this effort to end the federal prohibition of marijuana for medicine? Please help. *** Joan Bello wrote: We will be soliciting doctor's approval of marijuana for medicine - i.e., affadavits of doctors and other health care workers in the country who would recommend cannabis for various medical treatments if it were available - We need some help - Lori Marz from Minnesota has prepared the paperwork and is coordinating the effort - now we need the doctors in oregon who would sign our form - can anyone there help to do the legwork? thanks for your attention, Joan *** Thank you, Arthur Livermore, Director Falcon Cove Biology Laboratory 44500 Tide Avenue Arch Cape, OR 97102 503-436-1882 firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tacoma Activist Busted (A list subscriber says medicinal-marijuana cultivator Charlie Grissom has been busted and feels abandoned.) From: "Bob Owen" (email@example.com) To: "HempTalk" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: HT: Tacoma Activist Busted Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 20:59:33 -0700 Organization: Washington Hemp Education Network Charlie Grissom was busted in Tacoma. He grew for Green Cross, I think. While I don't know the specifics yet, I've heard that he feels pretty alone and abandoned right now. We'll be learning more about it soon, but if you're so disposed, call him and give the encouragement you can. His number is 253-537-7328. If you call and find out more, put it on hemp-talk.
------------------------------------------------------------------- State Panel Nears Approval To Dispense Marijuana (The San Mateo County Times says a task force appointed by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer charged with implementing Proposition 215, comprised of everyone from patients to pot growers to police to physicians, meets again this afternoon in Sacramento. A legislative bill containing the task force's proposal should come up within a few weeks.) Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 02:27:50 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: State Panel Nears Approval To Dispense Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Dunbar Pubdate: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: San Mateo County Times Copyright: 1999 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newschoice.com/newspapers/alameda/smct/ Author: Josh Richman, Staff Writer STATE PANEL NEARS APPROVAL TO DISPENSE MARIJUANA Distribution For Medical Use May Get Endorsement A state task force could agree on a plan for legal distribution of medical marijuana as early as today, a spokesman for the group said Wednesday. At the least, a legislative bill containing the task force's proposal should come up within a few weeks. Its passage could reduce a major obstacle to implementing Proposition 215, the 1996 ballot measure that expressed California voters' will to allow use of marijuana as medicine. But whatever the state does, the federal government still holds a trump card -- the Controlled Substances Act, which still lists marijuana as a dangerous, addictive and medically non-useful drug. And federal efforts to move marijuana to a less restrictive category, or schedule, seem to have stalled for the moment. "No matter what we come up with, we're going to be in a dilemma until the feds reschedule -- that's just a given," said Santa Clara County Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu, whose boss, District Attorney George Kennedy, co-chairs California's medical marijuana task force. "Obviously, all our prayers would be answered if it would be rescheduled," she said. "Everyone is in agreement that a pharmacy would be the ideal place to dispense marijuana, and that could happen once it goes into another schedule." But the state can't sit on its hands waiting for Washington to act, said Nathan Barankin, spokesman for state Attorney General Bill Lockyer. Inaction while awaiting rescheduling "is an exercise in folly if you're looking for something to be at least partially implemented before we're too far into the next century," he said. "What's happening in the meanwhile is that people are running around making it up as they go along, and that's no good." That has been the case since Proposition 215 authorized medical use of marijuana in 1996 without providing a way for patients to get it legally. Cannabis buyers clubs sprung up, only to be closed by federal and state agencies as unauthorized dealers. Local police and prosecutors have had no guidance for dealing with buyers clubs, farms and even personal possession, so enforcement has been piecemeal. But Lockyer and Gov. Gray Davis have taken a much more sympathetic stance than their Republican predecessors, and Lockyer convened the task force to develop statewide enforcement standards and a distribution framework. "We have met four times as a full task force, and there have been working groups and drafting committees that have met regularly in between," said Rand Martin, chief of staff to state Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, and co-chairman of the task force with Kennedy. The task force, comprised of everyone from patients to pot growers to police to physicians, meets again this afternoon in Sacramento to dissect the latest proposal. "It is possible that the task force could come to agreement tomorrow on most if not all provisions of the draft," Martin said Wednesday, adding it's just as likely task force members will have to go back to their respective organizations for final approval. "I'm not sure how many of them have authority to immediately adopt something." Martin, Sinunu and Barankin wouldn't discuss any specifics of the draft proposal Wednesday. Vasconcellos has already introduced a bill to which the task force's plan will be added. Sinunu said she expects that will happen "within two weeks." U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has introduced a bill to move marijuana to a less restrictive drug schedule. Frank's spokesman said Wednesday the bill is lying dormant in a House committee with no forecast of movement in the foreseeable future. A rider attached to the federal omnibus budget bill told the Food and Drug Administration to report to Congress on efforts to enforce federal rules on marijuana and other Schedule I drugs. The report was due within 90 days of the bill's signing last October; it hasn't been delivered yet.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Chamber Of Commerce Snubs 'The Head Shop' (The Lompoc Record, in California, says Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce officials turned down one of the City's newest businesses for membership Wednesday. Critics of the business say it promotes the drug culture by selling water pipes, often known as bongs to marijuana users. David Gage, the owner, noted his business and the sale of those pipes is legal. He says the pipes are for tobacco use only. Gage said he was surprised by the board's decision because his store does not allow tobacco products to be sold to minors, while another business that belongs to the chamber has been in trouble with the law for such sales. "The vast majority come in and say 'This is a neat store. I'm really glad you're here,'" Gage said.) Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 20:17:50 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Chamber Of Commerce Snubs 'The Head Shop' Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Dunbar Pubdate: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Lompoc Record (CA) Copyright: 1999 The Lompoc Record Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.lompocrecord.com/ Author: Yadira Galindo, Record Staff Writer Note: Related article: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/a/n441/a09.html Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce officials turned down one of the City's newest businesses for membership in the group Wednesday, saying the business doesn't fit into the chamber's mission. The chamber's executive board voted 7-2 with two abstentions and six others out of town, against adding The Head Shop to the chamber, said Denny Anderson, chamber executive vice president. Head Shop has attracted attention and controversy since before it opened its doors May 1 because it sells products that Chamber President Robert Hudson wrote "does not keep with the purpose of the chamber and our mission statement to promote a strong local economy and quality of life." Hudson wrote the letter to The Head Shop Wednesday, as the chamber is in the middle of a long push trying to promote a strong downtown. David Gage, the owner of the store in the 100 block of South H Street, said the decision was wrong because his store brings taxes to the community as well as paying rent for space in downtown. "There is a small group of people in Lompoc that control people's freedom," said Gage. "It's sad. It really is. It's a shame." Critics of the business say it promotes the drug culture by selling water pipes, often known as bongs to marijuana users. Gage noted his business and the sale of those pipes is totally legal. He says the pipes he sells are for tobacco use only. To become a member of the chamber of commerce a business must submit an application with the chamber board. According to Anderson, every application is taken on a case-by-case basis. No other applications have been denied recently and the board's word is final, said Anderson. Gage said he was surprised by the board's decision because his store follows the law and does not allow the sale of tobacco products to minors. He alleged that a member business of the chamber has been in trouble with the law for selling tobacco products to minors and so he cannot understand why he would be denied membership, said Gage. Anderson denied having knowledge of any member businesses being in trouble with the law for any reason. The board's decision will not affect The Head Shop in any way, said Gage. He said the community has been very supportive of his business in the first month of operation. According to Gage the store has done very well this month and has gotten little negative comments from community members. "The vast majority (of the community) come in and say 'This is a neat store. I'm really glad you're here,'" said Gage.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prayers for Terence McKenna (List subscribers forward news that the Hawaiian "psychedelic philosopher" has been diagnosed with brain cancer and is not expected to live more than 90 days. Think good thoughts for Terence at 2 pm Sunday, May 30, PDT, 9 pm GMT.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 22:42:03 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Prayers for Terence McKenna. Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Dear friends, Have just received news that psychedelic philosopher Terence McKenna has received a very serious diagnosis of advanced frontal lobe cancer. The doctors expect that even with treatment Terence might only live another 90 days. The following announcement was made by a friend, and we are currently trying to find out where the gatherings mentioned are being held. Would encourage all of those who were touched by Terence's life to participate if they can. Sunday, May 30th, 2pm PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME (9pm GMT) .. Send your thoughts to Terence in a massive community effort. Two big gatherings in the Bay Area will be focusing as many positive thoughts as they can gather to Terence and his family at this exact time. From where ever you are at this time, add your thoughts into the fold. Terence has said that he would welcome cards and messages of love or good energy of all kinds sent his way for healing. The hospital address is: Queen's Medical Hospital, 1301 Punchbowl Street, Room 402, Bed #2, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813. His e-mail address is email@example.com but am not sure that he can read e-mail at this time. You can also read about some of his many contributions to the psychedelic community at: http://www.lycaeum.org/drugs/other/mckenna/ Highest regards, Julia Drug War or Drug Peace? Check out http://www.drugpeace.org -----Original Message----- From: Dale Gieringer (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Remembers@webtv.net (Remembers@webtv.net); email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Thursday, May 27, 1999 8:41 AM Subject: Fwd: Nov-LEADERS: Prayers for Terence McKenna. >>>Reply-To: Nora Callahan (email@example.com) >>Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ >> >>Hi all: >> >>This just in. Can anyone confirm? >> >>Nora >> >>From: John Humphrey (firstname.lastname@example.org) >>Organization: Los Angeles Freenet >>To: "email@example.com" (firstname.lastname@example.org) >>Subject: Nov-LEADERS: Prayers for Terence McKenna >>Sender: email@example.com >>Organization: November Coalition http://www.november.org/ >> >>> As you may know, author, philosopher, and psychonaut >>> Terence McKenna has been diagnosed with an advanced >>> frontal lobe brain tumor. Medical prognosis is poor. >>> >>> He has asked that together we send him our kind thoughts, >>> good vibes, and prayers this Sunday, May 31 at 2 pm >>> Pacific Daylight Time (5 pm EDT, 10 pm GMT). >>> >>> Please also pass this message along as appropriate. *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // firstname.lastname@example.org 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114 *** Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 02:22:27 -0700 (PDT) From: Den de (email@example.com) Subject: HT: Terence McKenna hospitalized... To: Hemp Talk *cannabist (firstname.lastname@example.org) Sender: email@example.com Found this at the http://www.cannabis.com/boards and thought I'd pass it on. DdC *** From: andy edmond Greetings, sorry it has been so long since I've written to the Lycaeum community - I've been busy with many other projects, but I needed to pass some news along, and ask for your help. I just got off the phone with Rob Montgomery who just delivered the news that Terence McKenna, one of our community's most dynamic personalities, is in the hospital after massive seizures on Saturday evening. Today the diagnosis came in that Terence has very advanced frontal lobe cancer. Without the sugar coating, the doctors expect that WITH treatment Terence might live another 90 days. They are working on treatment plan as I write, and we hope that his life might be sustained as long as modern medicine will allow him to live with us. There are the worse case scenarios, but the point of this mail is one of celebration, not of tragedy. It is rare that someone delivered such bad news can have a community of THOUSANDS of individuals support them through their trial. I would like to invite all Lycaeum members, and those they know to do to things to support this community member. Sunday, May 30th, 2pm PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME (9pm GMT) .. Send your thoughts in a massive community effort. Two big gatherings in the bay area will be focusing as many positive thoughts they can gather to Terence and his family at this exact time. From where ever you are at this time, add your thoughts into the fold. Soon as I have information on where you can send cards, flowers, and gifts to Terence to support him, I will send a second email with that information. Also please review Terence's work on the Lycaeum at: http://www.lycaeum.org/drugs/other/mckenna/ ... where you can get to understand the implications of this man's work on all our lives. andy edmond *** Andrew N. Edmond Lycaeum Director Nymserver Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.lycaeum.org/ http://www.nymserver.com/ *** Children of a future age, reading this indignant page, know that in a former time, a path to love was thought a crime - William Blake *** Mind Food of the Gods collected works by and about Terence McKenna http://nepenthes.lycaeum.org/McKenna/index.html *** 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
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp activist beaten by police (A terrorized list subscriber introduces and forwards a disturbing first-person account from Ben Valdez, Jr. Valdez was brutally beaten up May 20 by a squad of black-clad, ninja-masked police in Salt Lake City, Utah, who broke down his door on the basis of a wrong-name warrant.) To: email@example.com Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 20:36:52 -0700 From: "Herb Hempstead" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) Subject: Fwd: Hemp activist beaten by police --------- Forwarded Message --------- DATE: Thu, 27 May 1999 20:29:24 From: "Herb Hempstead" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "Ben Valdez" (email@example.com) Ben Valdez Beating Ben Valdez, Jr. is a hemp activist in Utah and a true American hero. He was recently brutally beaten and tortured by a squad of black-clad, ninja masked police in Salt Lake City, Utah. We don't' know who they are. We don't know what agencies or police forces they represent. The police are acting as if it were all a mistake. I have my doubts and some suspicions about the police's intent for several reasons. 1. Every civil right that a human being has was crushed that night in Salt Lake City by the heavy boot of a storm trooper. There have been many other incidents reported to me, by victims of the local constabulary. So it could have been a mistake, it's happened before. 2. It could just be a coincidence that they hit Ben Valdez, President of Mood For A Day and Hemp Power Utah. It could be a coincidence. Or they may have targeted Ben because of his out-spoken activism. His name is on the permit that we bought in order to hold an "Anti-Police State Rally" at the State Capitol prior to the beating incident. What are the odds of a hemp activist being accidentally beaten and tortured by black-clad, ninja masked, anonymous Task Force. These men are paid to be professionals. They gave him a very professional beating. I personally saw his body, a day and a half after the attack. He has bruises and scratches from head to toe. He has a boot print-bruise on the left side of his back. Yes, this man was systematically worked over by professionals. I was horrified at the sight of him. It's a wonder that he wasn't killed. I suppose it could have been an accident or a mistake. They may even try to claim that it was justified. They claim a lot of things don't they? It could be a coincidence. Or, they may have shown their true colors when they attacked the drum circle last month, and the "Hempenator" this month. 3. Ben has been threatened by the police before this incident. SO HAVE OTHERS. I, and several other Mood For a Day and Church of the Hemp Goddess members have been threatened by these people in the past. I personally am terrified for my life and the safety of my family. I'm not afraid of the Mafia or gangs. I'm not afraid of Yugoslavia or Russia or China. I am afraid of my government. Because I am the secretary and treasurer of Mood For A Day and I'm the High Priest of the Hemp Goddess. I was threatened by a man who identified himself as a Salt Lake County Sheriffs's Deputy, who promised to give me "The Special Treatment". I also have been threatened by Salt Lake City Policemen. These threats have been delivered in person and by email. They say that they know where we live and what we drive. I'm a property owner, will they beat me? Or kill me? Will they take my property with out due process when they do come for me? Will they traumatize my children? Will they verbally and emotionally abuse my wife and family? 4. We, Mood For A Day, recently won a lawsuit against Salt Lake County for violating our free speech rights at our booth at the county fair. I believe that Ben's beating was an escalation in a pattern of intimidation and abuse directed toward Utah's only hemp activist organization. They may actually win the "Drug War" but at what cost? We at Mood For A Day will continue to take the moral "High Road" and we hope to eventually win the "Peace on Drugs" and the "Peace on Hemp" and the "Peace on Medical marijuana". We will do this by patiently and publicly telling people the truth about hemp and the truth about Medical Cannabis and the truth about the police's war on the public at large. I personally am willing to lay down my life in the name of personal liberty. I may be closer to this than I realized. We, as a society must make a choice: "Will we be a drug free society or will we be a free civilization that values the individual's rights. Will these "Peace Officer's" be brought to justice? Why are peace officers allowed carry guns and night sticks? Why do officers of the law wear black uniforms and wear black face masks? Why do "Peace Officers" need flak jackets and automatic weapons? If drug abuse is a disease then why are people punished for being ill? Why is America no longer Free? Kindest Regards, Herb Hempstead The High priest of the Hemp Goddess Here is Ben Valdez's account in his own words: *** Date: Sun, 23 May 1999 23:54:25 -0700 From: "Ben Valdez" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Ben Valdez Beating To: "Herb Hempstead" (email@example.com) Thursday, 20 May, 1999 Approximately 10:00 PM There was a loud bang at the door, and then there was a crash. A battering ram broke the door, and caused it to fly open, missing my daughter by 3 inches. My wife immediately went to her knees, put her hands on her head, and asked for permission to get my daughter, who had ran away in terror. They yelled Police once. I never heard any of this, not the yell, the crash of the door, not my daughters screams. I was oblivious of this. I was upstairs, asleep. I usually fall asleep around 8:00 PM so I can be up at 3:30 AM for work. This night was a night like all others, I thought as I shut my eyes, and slept. When I opened my eyes again, there were people standing over me. I could not tell you how many, but I acted immediately on instinct. All I can remember was thinking, there are intruders in my home. There are criminals in my home. I must save my and wife and daughter. I rose and began to fight. I didn't know how many people were on me. I wasn't even fully awake. Somehow I was dragged from my bed, beaten, kicked down my stairs, (I still have the boot print on my back) and eventually taken outside, face down on my porch. I tried to lift my head but a boot ground it back into the cement. "I can't breathe", I yelled. "Wrong answer", I was told as my cheek bone became one with the pavement. "Can I please Breathe"? "Wrong Question", I was told by the boot at the back of my head. "Please tell me what to say so I can say the right thing", I begged. "May I please lift my head up and breathe" is what the boot told me. "May I please lift my head and breathe" I repeated. The boot stopped pushing my face into the cement and I tried to lift my head. I had been beaten, my neck having broken my fall. I was lucky my neck was not broken. When I finally got a glimpse of the name POLICE on a helmet or shirt or something, I though, the bad guys are wearing police clothing. It wasn't until I was handcuffed and had my pockets searched that I began to realize that this was indeed the Police. The time that transpired, from the door being bashed, to me being hand cuffed, was about 2 minutes of maximum time. At least from my shaken perspective. When I finally realized that the intruders who had dragged me from my sleep, who brutalized me, making me believe that my family was being murdered downstairs, were in fact Officers of the Peace, I began to tell my body to relax, and go into physical submission. I fought my adrenaline, and my instincts to protect my family. One Officer asked me why I had stuck him. I told him, "I didn't know who you were". "We announced ourselves as we came in", he said. I said, "I never heard you say anything, if I had, I would have never resisted". Then another officer came to me and asked me, "So, Jeremy, where are the drugs". I replied with, "My name is Not Jeremy, it is Ben Valdez. There was a moment of panic for the police officers. "What is the address here! What is the address here!" Was the echo through my home. I was then taken back inside, from the humiliation of my neighbors witnessing a surreal scene of what must have appeared to be the black clad gestapo looking for illegal Jews, and slumped me next to my wife and child. My daughter was still in shock, by the terrorist attack on our happy lives, by jack-booted government thugs. I did what I could to comfort her through the handcuffs and scrapes and bruises. It was difficult to make her feel safe as Salt Lakes Finest trashed my home in ninja styled masks and full combat gear. After it had been established that they had the correct address, they began to question me about my roommate. "Where is the cocaine, who does he deal to, where is he now". I responded with satisfactory answers to their questions. They established that I was not Jeremy, (they apparently had no idea what he looked like, or what part of the house he lived at). As I was being questioned, the police went through the entire house. They trashed every room in the house. A drug sniffing canine also went through everything. There was no cocaine found in my roommates room. He had one and one quarter ounce of marijuana in his room and some paraphernalia. My roommate claims that it helps him with his Tourettes Syndrome, and I have seen and possess some research that backs his belief. He is a Medical Cannabis user. After the police had gone through my office, they discovered a series of Cannabis related information. Everything from Hemp seed nutrition to the Bill of Rights. I have been involved in the local liberty movement concerning the Hemp issue. I was then separated from my wife and child. Still in hand cuffs, though slightly loosened by now, and was taken to the downstairs bathroom. I was asked about the literature I had and some Cannabis related art. What my fascination with the plant was. Why I was fixated on the Marijuana thing. I replied that my concerns were not with Cannabis, but with Liberty. That the Bill of Rights have all been violated by the War on Drugs, and that the War on Drugs was an excuse to rob the people of their basic human rights. To my surprise and amazement I had a group of officers listening to me. The original officer again asked me, "Yeah, but what I want to know is, why do you have so much marijuana stuff on the walls and in writing". As I attempted to explain my reasons, it occurred to me that if I had been LDS and had pictures of Joseph Smith on my walls there would have been no questions. So I used that as an example. I said, "Sir, when I was LDS, living in Texas, I was very passionate about my religion and missionary work. I took many opportunities to talk to people to convince them that Mormons were indeed Christian, and that we were not their worst nightmare. That we are not the devil". Another officer who had been listening said, "I think you are the devil", and laughed and walked away to do other things. I continues with the conversation with an Officer XXX. The man who was in charge of the operation. After explaining that the movement I am involved with is peace movement, he told me that they were not in fact Police Officers, but Peace Officers. I was nice, but in my traumatized mind, I was thinking, "If this is peace, then this is no longer America. This is the Fourth Reich". I then explained how I work to change laws and encourage other not to break the laws but to also work to change them. Something in the way the officers treated me had changed. There was more interest in my philosophy than where Jeremy was. One undercover narcotics officer came to me and asked about my involvement in the City Drum Circle Committee. I explained that we were working with City Administrators and the Police to communicate a message to all who use the park to obey the rules of the park, and to not use or bring legal or illegal drugs or alcohol to the park. Then another officer came directly to me and said through his mask, "I was one of the original arresting officers at the Park". I was truly interested in what this hooded individual had to say. I told him I would be anxious to hear what he had to say. He said, "No one ever gets to hear our side of the story. We don't have to privilege to speak our opinions all the time. I sympathized with him and attempted to de-escalate a potentially bad feeling. I asked the officer if I could tell him what my opinion was. He said "go ahead". I said, "My understanding of what happened at Liberty Park on the 18th of April is as follows. A man sold some drugs to a police officer. The officer attempted to make an arrest. The arrest was interfered with by some people. The Officers felt threatened and called for back up. The back up came in force and cleared the park. Most people left, but a few resisted and stayed behind. They were dealt with accordingly. The resisters had ample time to leave the park. They saw the officers clearing the park from a distance. They could have just left". I think this surprised them. The officer then said, if you are all about peace, why did they yell, Kill The Pigs, Stop The Pigs? I told them we are working on this. At one point. In the time we spent discussing the events at Liberty Park, the officer who called me the Devil, came back and said again, I really believe this guy is the Devil, and left again. After the police, or peace officers, had gathered what evidence they had, they cataloged it and finally let me out of the hand cuffs. It was approximately 12:30. I had spent about 2 or 3 hours in cuffs. As they left my home I found myself asking them all for their attention, I felt compelled to say something, and what came out of my mouth disgusted me and humiliated me even more. I thanked the police officers for not killing me. For having the wisdom to only rouse me from my sleep and beating me into submission. I then shook every police hand and they left. I collapsed, feeling gang raped. My life shattered. My vision of what America is, was gone. I and my family still and will forever deal with the day the stormtroopers invaded my home, and violated us. My daughter fears the door that almost took her life. I still see masked thugs pulling me from my security and violating my basic human rights when I close my eyes. When we have to stop at check points to make sure our papers are in order, and drug sniffing dogs go through every car, we no longer live in America, we live in a Police State. When an informant can give unreliable tips and destroy people lives, we no longer live in the Land of the Free, we live in a Police State. When a war, that can never be won, and has failed at every level to reach its stated objective, a drug-free society, is allowed to trash every one of the Bill of Rights, then we no longer have Liberty. We have a mockery. We have a Police State. Ben Valdez Jr. Husband, Father. *** Forwarded by Herb Hempstead Highpreist of the Hemp Goddess Kindest Regards.... *** "Those who are willing to trade liberty for security, deserve neither." Thomas Jefferson. "God was the first stoner, that's why he's the most high"! Tommy Chong (April 1999) "The right to be left alone - the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by a free people." - Justice Louis Brandeis, Olmstead v. U.S. (1928).
------------------------------------------------------------------- Update on Kriho Case (The Jury Rights Project forwards a petition for rehearing that the Colorado Attorney General's office filed May 20 with the Colorado Court of Appeals. If the petition is denied, the state will probably take its appeal of the reversal of Laura Kriho's conviction for contempt of court to the Colorado Supreme Court.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 00:10:21 -0600 (MDT) From: Jury Rights Project (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Jury Rights Project (email@example.com) Subject: State Petition for Rehearing in Kriho Case Update on Kriho Case (5/27/99) The Colorado Attorney General's office filed the below Petition for Rehearing with the Colorado Court of Appeals on May 20, 1999. If this petition is denied, it is likely the state will appeal the reversal of Kriho's conviction to the Colorado Supreme Court. This document is available online, with hyperlinks, at: http://www.levellers.org/jrp/coa.prh.htm If you want to help Laura with phone calls, letters to the editor, or donations, see: http://www.levellers.org/jrp/kriho.whattodo.htm *** COLORADO COURT OF APPEALS Case No. 97CA0700 *** PETITION FOR REHEARING Appeal from the District Court of Jefferson (sic - should be Gilpin) County Honorable HENRY E. NIETO, Judge THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF COLORADO, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. LAURA J. KRIHO, Defendant-Appellant. *** ORDER REVERSED AND CAUSE REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS *** DIVISION I Opinion by ROTHENBERG Jones, concur Kapelke, J., concurs in part and dissents in part KEN SALAZAR Attorney General ROGER BILLOTE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL *** Pursuant to C.A.R. 40, the People respectfully petition for a rehearing on the following grounds: Evidence of Jury Deliberations This court's opinion concluded that evidence of jury deliberations should not have been, but was considered by the trial court in finding Ms. Kriho in contempt. This court reasoned that this required reversal of the trial court order and remand for a new trial. This conclusion, to a large extent, is based on the opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in United States v. Thomas, 116 F.3d 606 (2nd Cir. 1997). The Thomas case is focused on the issues of the propriety of a federal trial court's dismissal of a juror allegedly engaged in nullification during the course of deliberations in a criminal prosecution. The case is concerned with whether such alleged misconduct constitutes just cause for the dismissal of a deliberating juror under Rule 23 (b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure so that a jury of eleven persons may continue to deliberate and return a verdict; and what evidentiary standard must be met to support a dismissal on this ground. The Thomas opinion has a lengthy discussion of the need and advisability of jury confidentiality. However, much of the language appears to be dicta. Further, the context of the issues in Thomas is significantly different than the one in this case. Ms. Kriho's case did not involve an inquiry of jurors while they were deliberating. This case involved calling jurors to testify about what occurred in the jury room after a mistrial was declared. The contempt citation against Ms. Kriho did not center on the jury deliberations. The focus was on the allegation of concealment or false swearing during voir dire with the intent to be placed on the jury for the purpose of obstructing justice. The application of the evidentiary standard developed in Thomas to the testimony in this case is misplaced. This court has also incorrectly concluded that the entire testimony of juror Ronald Ramsey should have been excluded. Even accepting as correct this court's finding that evidence of jury deliberations should have been excluded, evidence of what Ms. Kriho said to Ramsey in a private conversation during a break in deliberations should be admissible in any possible retrial of this case. This court found no inconsistency between its conclusion in the case and the holding in Clark v. United States, 289 U.S. 1. This court found that the testimony about statements made during jury deliberations in Clark was "merely confirmatory," whereas in Ms. Kriho's case the statements made during deliberations "were pivotal to the prosecution's case." Slip op. at 29. The admission of testimony about Ms. Kriho said in jury deliberations (sic) was evidence going to Ms. Kriho's behavior and intent on voir dire. Admission of this testimony was entirely consistent with the holding in Clark, which is more closely related to the situation in this case than the holdings in Thomas. The Clark decision does not permit evidence of jury deliberations unless the trial court finds a prima facie case has been shown by the prosecution. This court concluded that this foundation requirement was not met in this case. However, the trial court made findings about what factors made up the prima facie case, and those findings were entirely sufficient. Any error in not making these findings prior to the admission of this evidence was harmless, given that that (sic) the circumstances warranted the admission of the evidence. Finally, the People would agree with the view articulated in the dissent that the admissibility of evidence concerning jury deliberations was not properly before this court, nor the propriety of the trial court's consideration of that evidence. See Slip op. at 53-57. Sufficiency of the Evidence This court found that, if evidence of jury deliberations was excluded, the only remaining evidence to support the prosecution theory that Ms. Kriho deliberately lied in order to further her own agenda regarding the drug laws and the jury system would be: 1) a transcript of the voir dire; 2) documents showing Ms. Kriho's prior arrest and deferred judgement; 3) her distribution of the nullification pamphlet after the mistrial was declared; 4) her letter to the editor of a local newspaper in 1994 stating an opinion on the use of industrial hemp; and 5) a July 1994 newspaper article about the Boulder Hemp Initiative Project's attempt to legalize marijuana use, quoting Ms. Kriho as a project organizer. The proper standard for the review of sufficiency of the evidence is whether the evidence, viewed as a whole, and in the light most favorable to the prosecution, is sufficient to support a conclusion by a reasonable person that the accused is guilty of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Kogan v. People, 756 P.2d 945 (Colo. 1988). Giving the prosecution the benefit of every reasonable inference which might be drawn from the totality of the evidence, a conclusion should be reached that Ms. Kriho deliberately withheld information or mislead the court and counsel during voir dire so that she could be placed on the jury to give effect to her opinions regarding the inappropriateness of criminal drug laws and the alleged right of juror's (sic) to ignore the law as given to them by the court. This court has misapplied the facts of this case to the appropriate standard. The Hemp Initiative Project This court agreed with Ms. Kriho's assertion that her failure to disclose her involvement in the Boulder Hemp Initiative Project cannot be a basis for a finding of contempt because she was not asked specific questions requesting such information during voir dire. However, the questions asked the jurors about "hobbies and special interests" were sufficient to create a duty for Ms. Kriho to inform the court and counsel of her membership in the Boulder Hemp Initiative Project which, among other things, supports the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. Ms. Kriho's membership in the group and her activities on its behalf was obviously a special interest that any reasonable person would know should be revealed in the context of the voir dire question. Prior Contacts with the Court System As this court noted, it is undisputed that Ms. Kriho failed to disclose her prior arrest and deferred judgment for possession of LSD. A review of the nature of the questions asked on voir dire establishes that any reasonable person would have known that she had a duty to disclose an involvement with the justice system as the one Ms. Kriho had. Her failure to disclose it supports a finding that the nondisclosure was done with an intent to obstruct justice. The trial's courts findings are not so inextricably intertwined with the evidence of jury deliberations that a finding of contempt needs to be vacated and remanded for a new trial. CONCLUSIONS For the above stated reasons, the People ask that the opinion be withdrawn, that a rehearing be granted, and a new opinion issued affirming the trial court order of contempt. KEN SALAZAR Attorney General ROGER G. BILLOTE, 16782* Assistant Attorney General Appellate Division Attorneys for Plaintiff-Appellee 1525 Sherman Street, 5th Floor Denver, Colorado 80203 Telephone: (303) 866-5785 FAX: (303) 866-3955 * Counsel of record *** Re-distributed by the: Jury Rights Project (firstname.lastname@example.org) Old Web page: http://www.lrt.org/jrp.homepage.htm New Web page: http://www.levellers.org/jrp To be added to or removed from the JRP mailing list, send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title. The JRP is dedicated to: * educating jurors about their right to acquit people who have been accused of victmless crimes and thereby veto bad laws; * protecting jurors from judicial and prosecutorial tyranny; * educating citizens about the history and power of juries; * distributing current news related to jurors and juries
------------------------------------------------------------------- Texas Heroin Massacre (Mike Gray in Rolling Stone magazine examines the much-publicized deaths of young heroin users in Plano, Texas - without challenging the heroin "overdose" myth. Gray erroneously blames the relative potency of black-tar heroin for its toxicity, implying that diluting heroin with any contaminant in the world will only make it safer, while also suggesting that kids can easily derive powdered heroin from black tar. But an otherwise well-researched article explains how the media came to identify Plano as the heroin capital of America - quite unfairly, since cities like Tampa, Florida; Baltimore; and Parsippany, New Jersey, were going through exactly the same thing. When Prime Time Live was about to hit town, one official said, "If this goes wrong, everybody's house is gonna be worth $50,000 less." A law-enforcement crackdown is about to yield disparately harsh sentences for the Hispanics involved, but the crisis continues because prohibition encourages everyone's participation in a conspiracy of silence and denial.) Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 14:25:00 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Texas Heroin Massacre Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: http://www.drugcrazy.com/ http://www.drugsense.org/crazy.htm Pubdate: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Rolling Stone (US) Issue: 813 Copyright: 1999 Straight Arrow Publishers Company, L.P. Contact: email@example.com Address: 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104-0298 Fax: (212) 767-8214 Website: http://www.rollingstone.com/ Forum: http://yourturn.rollingstone.com/webx?98@@webx1.html Author: Mike Gray Note: Mike Gray is the author of "Drug Crazy" (Random House). His last feature for Rolling Stone was "What Really Happened at Three Mile Island" (RS 291). TEXAS HEROIN MASSACRE The Jocks And Preps Of Plano, Texas, Couldn't Get Enough Of A New Drug. By The Time They Found Out What The Fine Brown Powder Really Was, Kids Had Already Started Dying. IN 1996, DR. LARRY ALEXANDER, an earnest young medic with sandy hair and a stylish goatee, came back to Plano, Texas, after a residency at an inner-city hospital in Kansas City that had left him reeling. He had seen enough murder there, enough coke, crack and crank to last a lifetime. Plano, by contrast, was a wealthy corporate nesting round north of Dallas - good schools, big houses, smoked-glass business parks and a hundred lighted ball fields - and statistically, the safest city in Texas. It had fewer murders in a year than Kansas City had on any given Saturday night. This smooth exterior, however, concealed a certain hollowness. Piano is a pop-up city, having risen from empty range land in less than a generation. During the last couple of decades, some 200,000 people have moved there to work for corporate giants like 7UP, JC-Penney and Frito-Lay. In the wide-open land to the west of the new freeway, developers built a sea of gated communities and subdivisions that have been described as "tract mansions." The city went through a bad patch in the early Eighties, when seven teenagers committed suicide and a dozen others attempted it in a one-year period. The national press blamed Piano's status as a sterile corporate dormitory where children had too much money and too little attention. And while Plano's 200,000 citizens are the same decent, well-meaning folks you'd find anywhere in Middle America, they hardly know one another. Once again, Piano was about to pay a terrible price for its splendid isolation, and one of the first to spot the impending danger was Larry Alexander. ER physicians like Alexander belong to a fairly exclusive club, and they tend to compare notes from one hospital to the next. In the fall of 1996, friends at Parkland Health and Hospital in Dallas, and at Methodist and Baylor, were telling him that heroin was back in style. His first reaction was that this was a Dallas problem; Plano had nothing to worry about. Then on New Year's Day 1997, he found himself looking at the body of Adam Wade Goforth, a nineteen-year-old Marine who had come home for the holidays only to die of a heroin overdose. During the next few weeks, Alexander saw a parade of overdose victims rushed into his emergency room, usually dropped off by terrified friends. "They're banging on the door, screaming, 'He's not breathing!'" Alexander says. "We drag the kid out of the back of a Suburban. He's blue. We put him on a gurney and run him back into the ER. The next thing I hear is tires peeling out. His friends take off, and we don't even know who he is." Less than a month after Goforth died, Alexander's ER team lost another teen; and six weeks after that, Victor Garcia, a middle-school soccer player who was barely fifteen, was found face down in a church parking lot. His friends had left him there after driving around with his dead body for a day and a half. By now it was clear that something was deeply wrong in Plano. Alexander checked with his contacts in the Dallas police department and they said that cheap black-tar heroin was flooding into the area from Mexico. What distinguished this stuff from anything they had seen before was its astonishing quality. The product on the street was five times more potent than the heroin that authorities were accustomed to seeing. Because it was so powerful, you didn't have to shoot it. You could just snort the powder. Soon, Alexander was handling three or four overdoses a night. He knew he had to get the word out about what was quickly becoming an epidemic, but his superiors suggested he keep quiet. In the next few months, he cornered one official after another and kept getting the same nervous response. "People don't want the community to be known as having a drug problem," says Alexander." The city council, the police department, big business, whatever. They don't want to talk about it." In three years, eighteen teenagers from Plano and its suburbs would die of heroin overdoses. In 1997 alone, another 75 to 100 would be brought back from the brink of death by Alexander and his colleagues. THE RIO DE LAS BALSAS, a wild mountain stream for most of its 500-mile tumble to the Pacific, divides the Mexican states of Michoacin and Guerrero, and somewhere up this river, in the jungle between the coast and the provincial capital of Ciudad Attamirano, is a tiny collection of adobe huts known as Pinzandaro. Watched over by the 12,000 foot peaks of the Sierra Madre del Sur, the village is distinguished by its moderate climate and its crushing poverty. One day in 1994, Irma Lopez Vega, a diminutive nineteen-year-old mestiza, decided she'd had enough. Ever since she quit school in the third grade to help feed her siblings, she had been working like a dog - cleaning other people's houses, putting in a full shift at the flour mill, selling enchiladas on the side - and all she had to show for it was the food on her table. Her husband, Ecliserio Martinez Garcia, a respected figure in the community, had grander dreams for his family, and when he decided to make the 500-mile trek north to the U.S. border, Irma was with him. They crossed the Rio Grande at Laredo, Texas, that summer and made their way to McKinney, about thirty miles north of Dallas and fifteen miles from Plano. Once there, they moved in with friends from home, Salvador Pineda Contreras and his wife, Marcruz. Salvador had a wood-frame bungalow on Walnut Street, within hailing distance of the Southern Pacific railroad. Once again, Irma Lopez was working like a slave, but now she was getting paid for it. The two women held down jobs at a local dry cleaner while helping their husbands build a business steam-cleaning the driveways and patios of the gringos. But they were sending, every spare nickel back home, and it was a struggle. When Ectiserio Martinez Garcia first laid eyes on Plano, he must have thought he was looking at El Dorado. The median household income, $54,000, beat the U.S. national figure by eighty percent, and the kids all drove sport utility vehicles. It was an upscale market for everything from jaguars to Learjets, but somehow nobody had thought to supply the place with high-quality heroin. Drugs, of course, were already on the scene, but you had to go all the way to Dallas, into unsavory neighborhoods. As one ghetto dealer puts it, "These white kids, they're scared to come to my neighborhood, so they come and buy double and triple what my people buy." Martinez was in a position to solve that problem. The village of Pinzandaro may have its drawbacks, but its climate is perfect for growing opium poppies. Of the sixty tons of heroin that Mexico produces each year, at least half comes from these mountains above Acapulco. The setup was simple. In these high mountain valleys, the poppies grow like weeds. Using friends and family, Martinez processed the local crop into high-grade black-tar heroin, shipped it north to the border at Laredo and hired couriers to mule the product into the U.S. a few ounces at a time. Once it got to McKinney, the heroin was ground into powder with an electric coffee mill, then cut with Dormin, an over-the-counter sleep aid, and packaged in gel caps. It was nerve-racking and desperate work, but for men like Ecliserio, accustomed to back breaking jobs and the routine dangers of life in Mexico, this was nothing. Late in 1996, Ecliserio delivered his first batch to his Plano contacts, four young Mexican-Americans who had lived in the area all their lives and had established a modest business selling cocaine to Plano teenagers. The three Meza brothers, all in their early twenties, and their sidekick, Santiago Mejia, 17, had known one another since childhood. They started offering free samples of the new stuff to their regular customers from the Plano high schools, and all of a sudden, demand went through the roof. The purity, even after the heroin was cut, was an astonishing thirty-five percent - so powerful, there was no need to search for a vein, or a spike, or a men's room, or a belt to tie off with. What's more, Dormin contains antihistamines, so it eliminated the telltale signs of heroin use: red eyes and a runny nose. As for terms, they were pretty good: ten bucks a cap and the first one's free. The Meza brothers operated out of "the Blue House," a saltbox at 1120 Avenue I, where a couple of the brothers usually lived full time. It was in the old part of Plano, east of the freeway. By late 1996, the scene at the Blue House was off the scale. "They were parked three deep all hours of the day and night," says a neighbor, who remembers kids in Beemers and Jeeps dashing n and out with their engines running. The stuff was called chiva, and the kids thought it was just the next drug in line - marijuana, LSD, ecstasy ... chiva. But this shit was fantastic. "Heroin is about as mellow as you can get," says one Plano college student who's been dealing since the eighth grade. "Nice vibrations, you have your eyes roll back for a couple hours, and at these wholesale prices, you can afford to do as much as you want." The party scene in Plano took an exciting and sinister turn. You would get a beep on your pager, summoning you to somebody's house where the parents weren't around, or maybe to a motel room, and there you'd find football players, cheerleaders, geeks and honor-roll students all doing chiva. The crowd was not the expected stoners and rebels. These were the students you were supposed to emulate. And they clearly had no idea what they were into. Collin County drug counselor Sabina Stern was stunned. "I would say, 'Have you ever used chiva?'" she says. "'Well, yeah.' "'Have you ever used heroin?' "'Oh, I'd never touch heroin." "They didn't know the difference. And I don't think it was a deliberate attempt to fool kids on the part of the Mexicans. Chiva is just the Mexican word for heroin." There was also a certain glamour attached to being on the inside. You'd see hand signals at a party and a bunch of kids would disappear into the back bedroom, or a car would pull up in the driveway and your boyfriend would duck out with part of the football squad and come back with a whole different attitude. Chris Cooper, a gentle, easygoing twenty-year-old African-American with a quick smile, recalls those days. "It was not peer pressure," he says, "but it was just, my friends had moved on to it, and I was kinda wondering, what did it feel like? I had five or ten close friends. We'd go clubbin' in downtown Dallas, Fort Worth, anywhere there's a party. "But very shortly, weekends degenerated into finding a place that you didn't have to move from. "I can remember doing it with a friend," says Cooper, "and he was telling me, 'Man, I heard if you do it seven days in a row, you start feeling bad.' And I was like, 'Hey, I've been doing it about eight or nine days in a row.' So I didn't do it for a day and I was like, 'Yeah, what is this? This is kinda weird.' And then I did some, and right when I did it, I was feeling like crap and then whoo!" That was Chris Cooper's first clue that maybe he was in over his head. His mother, a TV newswoman, had moved to Piano, she says, "because it was safe. "Chris had been using for several weeks before he began to get nervous about it, and by the time it dawned on him and everybody else that they were dealing with a major addiction, it was too late. Dozens of kids were deeply involved, and some who had started as users were about to become dealers. John Aaron Pruett, 18, was one of the first serious users to get busted. Initially his parents were supportive, and they got him into rehab. But when he relapsed, they were told that tough love was the answer. So they cut off his income, which cured his cash surplus but not his addiction. Pruett, slight and dark-haired, started dealing. He'd buy the chiva uncut from the Mezas and mix it with the Dormin himself. His apartment, on Preston Road, a couple of minutes from the Piano senior high schools, became a major branch of the Blue House. Emily Stevenson, a cute, long-haired former cheerleader and an honor student, got into chiva like you get into ice cream. "I did it and I liked it and kept on doing it," she says. She became such a fixture at the Blue House that they invited her into the business. She and Santiago Mejia became best friends, and Emily wound up handling the books for him, She also provided the wheels for the resupply runs to McKinney until her parents took her car away. Later, when Santiago needed a place to lay low, she stashed him in her bedroom closet. In spite of the growing awareness about the downside of this new craze, there were still plenty of people willing to try chiva. For one thing, not everyone who used it got addicted. According to the U.S. Department of Health, most people who try heroin do not become addicted. And when the kids in Plano saw that some of their friends were able to take it or leave it, they decided that chiva couldn't be all that dangerous. The kids who did get hooked, however, were in for a jolt. Milan Malina, 19, was a sensitive-artist-and-poet type. His mother, Joanne, had raised him on opera. "I used to play Pavarotti while he was still in the crib," she says. The family was extremely close. His father, George, suffered a heart attack some months earlier and Milan had said, "If you die, I don't want to go on living." Likable and outgoing, Milan made friends easily. He had some problems with school, though, and dropped out in his senior year. But he finished his GED, and in January '97 he was checking out the University of California at Santa Barbara campus when he was busted for driving while intoxicated. He spent three days in jail before his girlfriend was able to bail him out. In the fallout from this brush with the law, he confessed to his parents what they had already suspected: that he was in trouble with drugs and desperate to quit. They made a few quick phone calls and found Dr. John Talmadge, a psychiatrist and addiction expert at the University of North Texas. Right from the start, Talmadge was encouraged. "Milan was poised, intelligent, very natural," says Talmadge. "He looked like the cover of GQ - kind of a young Al Pacino. I was expecting somebody tough or street-wise. He struck me as almost innocent." Talmadge's evaluation was glowing. "We have an acronym, YAVIS: young, attractive, verbal, insightful and successful. If somebody has all five, they have a good prognosis. Milan had an excellent chance." Talmadge felt that Milan was so motivated that outpatient therapy alone would do the trick. Events proved Talmadge right. When Milan celebrated his twentieth birthday, at the beginning of June, he had been clean for four months. He was enrolled in the local junior college, scheduled to start classes the following Monday. His parents were beaming. But there was an ominous note in the otherwise upbeat celebration. When he spoke to a friend in California that night, he told her, "My friends here don't like me anymore. They like the high Milan. They don't like the clean Milan.' That Saturday night, he decided to give his friends a treat: the high Milan. A bunch of the guys were getting together to watch a hockey game at a house on a golf course where one of the boys lived with his father. With Dad gone for the weekend and the maid in another part of the house, they passed around joints and champagne. Chris Cooper was there. He and Milan had been friends since freshman gym class. When the discussion got around to chiva, everybody was in. Chris and Milan made the drug run together. Along with his friends, Milan snorted a couple of caps of chiva. By the end of the evening, he couldn't stay on his feet. His pals put him to bed and told him to sleep it off. When Chris decided to call it a night, Milan seemed safely asleep. Chris didn't think twice about him -- people passed out all the time. Any junkie will tell you not to sit around drinking while you're waiting to score. Alcohol and heroin don't mix. They are both downers, and they reinforce each other, shutting off the part of the brain that reminds you to breathe. But the alcohol wasn't Milan's only problem. He was also seriously asthmatic, and though he had been told since he was a small boy not to take certain cold medications containing antihistamines-which dry out the lungs and can trigger asthma attacks - he probably did not realize that the chiva he was snorting was full of antihistamines. On top of this, he had been clean for several months, so he had the low tolerance of a first-time user. "They said he was snoring throughout the night," recalls his dad. "The reality is, he was aspirating his vomit." A few hours after Chris had gone home, he got an urgent phone call: Milan was in the hospital. Chris threw on some clothes and got there as fast as he could. In the waiting room, seven of his buddies were standing around in shock. A police officer was interviewing them. Then Milan's parents came out of the emergency room. George Malina found a chaplain in the waiting room. He asked the priest to escort Milan's friends in to see the body. He wanted them to have a chance to say goodbye. And he wanted them to grasp the enormity of what had happened. The chaplain led them in and pulled back the sheet. There was Milan's face - blue, caked with blood, eyes closed for all time. Some reacted in stunned silence; the rest were sobbing. "They wanted us to see what had happened, to really took at him," says Cooper. He looks away. "It was awful." GEORGE MALINA wanted to find out who was responsible. and he wanted to make sure none of these other kids ended up like Milan. He went to the police and demanded an investigation. The police said there was nothing to investigate. They said that Milan had brought this on himself, yes, he was a victim, but he was also a perpetrator. Case closed. "They were very condescending to us," says Joanne Malina. "They made us feel like we as the parents were at fault, that we were the cause of his death." The determination to keep a lid on this story - spurred, no doubt, by an honest concern for property values - extended to neighboring suburbs like Richardson and Addison, as well. But Piano authorities were particularly jumpy. For years, whenever city officials showed up at conventions, it was, "Oh, Plano, the suicide capital." It had taken a decade to bury that smear. As the police chief said later, "There's no way you can package nine, ten, twelve deaths in something that is going to be positive." But George Malina was willing to let it be known that his son had died of a heroin overdose if that could save some other kid. And when he found out that Larry Alexander had said the same thing months earlier - and was stonewalled - Malina was outraged. "Whatever guilt the parents have to carry," he says, "they carry. But shouldn't the authorities have the responsibility to give us an alert?" By then, however, it was academic. A reporter for the Plano Star-Courier had pieced the story together from the obituaries. She tracked down Alexander at work, and he gave up the whole story - the extent of heroin use, the deaths, the town's denial in the wake of the disaster. The article ran right after Milan's death, and within hours the Dallas Morning News was on the case. Before long, Diane Sawyer was on the line. Finally unleashed, Alexander began lecturing to students all over town, trying to educate them about heroin - but for a lot of them, it was already too late. The overdoses and the deaths continued. In November 1997, sixteen-year-old Erin Baker, a Plano Senior High junior, became victim number thirteen. The authorities were mystified. The bodies piling up seemed to have no impact on the users. Kids would sometimes attend a friend's funeral and, after sobbing at a graveside, immediately go out and score. "I don't think people who don't use understand how addictive heroin is," says Sarah, 18. "I went to one funeral and got high right afterward. I felt bad, but I was just numb." Another addict agrees: "I've taken friends to the hospital and then gone right back to where we were and kept on using." Chris Cooper knows what they're talking about. "I had three or four pretty good friends die," he says. "It didn't stop me." But after that scene with Milan in the ER, he quit using and was clean for nearly two months - just sheer will-power. One day, however, he decided to try one little cap, and in no time he was right back where he'd started. Finally he told his mom he needed help. Chris was lucky. Decent long-term treatment usually costs a fortune, and the health insurance that most of us have will get you a ten-day detox at the most. But Chris' mom was able to find him a safe haven an hour southeast of Dallas, at the House of Isaiah, a private treatment center run by former L.A. Rams linebacker Isaiah Robertson. Modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, the twelve-step program relies on spiritual guidance for its forty or so clients. After he completed the six-month course, Chris decided to spend another year at the center's halfway house, in Fort Worth. Living there, he got a job working construction and cut himself off from his old life in Piano. "I thought, 'Man, I'm doing good now,' he says. But while Chris was getting his life back together in the city, events in Piano were moving along another set of rails. The night Milan died, Chris had been interviewed by the cops, but nothing ever came of it, and he managed to convince himself he was in the clear. But just after five on the morning of July 22nd, 1998, Chris was getting ready for work when he got a frantic call from his mother: FBI agents were outside her front door. Within a few hours he was in front of a federal judge. The charge was something he'd never even heard of: conspiracy to distribute heroin that caused a death. Thirty minutes later he was in a cell - "the lowest, the scariest point in my life," Chris says. When his lawyer showed up, he learned that he faced a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years. "When I heard those words," he says, "I remember thinking, 'You fucked up, you really did it this time.' It's hard to describe that feeling. I was nineteen." IN THE NORMAL COURSE of events, Plano police chief Bruce Glasscock rarely had to deal with anything more thrilling than an overturned semi on Central Expressway. There had always been drugs in Plano - marijuana, a little cocaine - but they were out of sight, under control. Now here was an explosion of serious narcotics right under his nose. And while the city fathers may have been reticent with the public, they weren't shy about putting heat on Glasscock. Almost immediately, one of his top detectives identified the source of the problem. In fact, he could practically see it out the back window of the police station: The Blue House was three blocks away. As predicted, the press pegged Plano as the heroin capital of America - quite unfairly, since cities like Tampa, Florida; Baltimore; and Parsippany, New Jersey, were going through exactly the same thing at that moment. But the Plano angle had legs. For one thing, the kids there kept dying. When Prime Time Live was about to hit town, one official said, "If this goes wrong, everybody's house is gonna be worth $50,000 less." TO stem the hysteria, Glasscock needed a bold gesture. Unfortunately, Texas law doesn't allow the taking of scalps. Under state drug measures, Plano's heroin dealers would face sentences of no more than ten years. But if Glasscock called in the feds, the authorities could invoke a seldom-used law passed during the drug-war hysteria of the Eighties. That law says you can get a sentence equal to a murder rap if a drug sale leads to someone's death. In late September 1997, when the furor following Malina's death was building, Glasscock called on assistant U.S. attorney Bill Baldwin in Tyler, Texas, and together they mobilized a federally funded task force. By October, this enforcement team had hit Plano like a commands battalion. Undercover agents were all over the place, and since most of their targets were amateurs, arrests were made in no time. Glasscock focused his investigation on the Mezas' Blue House and reached into the schools as well, bringing in local police-academy recruits to infiltrate Plano high schools. One twenty-eight-year-old earned the trust of her new peers as she revisited her own adolescence, leaving her purse open to conspicuously show off a pack of cigarettes; she would act uninterested in class, mouthing off to her teachers, slyly revealing her newly pierced tongue. The undercover operative quickly learned where to buy marijuana and, later, chiva, and before she knew it, she was being introduced to Plano's biggest dealers. On July 23rd, 1998, Baldwin, Glasscock and the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration held a joint press conference. A thirty-six-count federal indictment was handed out. It named twenty-nine people, everyone from Ecliserio Martinez Garcia all the way down to Chris Cooper. Count Six made it clear to Cooper why he was essential to the case. He was the ultimate link in the chain that led from the Mexican dealers to the dead body of Milan Malina. Of the twenty-nine people, seven were illegal aliens like Ecliserio and therefore perfectly cast as villains. Glasscock, Baldwin and the DEA also hauled in fourteen local Piano kids - the town's own: good students, sons of prominent citizens. If convicted, they would be in their forties when they got out. Among the parents of the kids who died, George Malina seemed to have the clearest fix on what had happened in Plano, and he was outraged by the indictments. His empathy extended even to the young man who was accused of murdering his son. "Chris Cooper shouldn't be sent to jail," he said. "it could just as easily have been the other way around." Malina, in fact, doesn't believe his son was a victim of heroin. He blames the drug war itself. "It was easier to get heroin than it was to get beer," he says. "Chiva became a party favor." He feels that the kids were let down by the very people who were supposed to protect them. To begin with - in spite of Red Ribbon Days, Nancy Reagan and "Just Say No" - the school system left these kids totally unprepared for the arrival of heroin. At Plano-district schools, they had drug-sniffing dogs cruising the lockers, but they had not bothered to tell the students anything useful. Like the fact that chive is the Mexican word for heroin. But the blame goes far beyond Plano. It goes to some of the fundamental assumptions of the drug war, like the idea that we can cut narcotics off at the border. The amount of heroin needed to supply Plano for a year would fit in "a gallon jug," admits police chief Glasscock. The mules were simply walking it across on monthly trips home. It was hidden in compartments in the heels of their shoes. And it's important to remember that the only reason the Mexicans set up shop in Plano was the money. If they could have earned a decent living growing some legitimate crop down in Guerrero, they would no doubt have jumped at the chance. SINCE ANY JURY in Piano would likely turn into a lynch mob, the trial was shifted to Beaumont, down by the Gulf Coast, some 340 miles away. When it finally got under way, on February 2nd, one thing was clear about the government's strategy: The Mexicans were going to pay. The kids from Piano had all pleaded to lesser charges. All they had had to do to reduce their prison time was give up a few Mexicans. Armed with the testimony of the Plano kids, prosecutors set out to convince the jury that the Martinez gang was a major international drug conspiracy, overlooking the fact that none of these so-called criminal masterminds could even afford to pay for a lawyer. The defense attorneys for the Mexicans were court appointed, all gringos who had to communicate with their clients through interpreters. One of the defendants would not even talk to his lawyer. Jose Cleotilde Solis - "Little Cocho" - was one of the part-time players associated with the Blue House. During the big sweep of '97, he was busted with ten grams of coke and six grams of heroin. Like some of the other defendants in the federal case, he had already been tried in Texas state court, in 1998. And while it may seem unreasonable to convict somebody twice for the same events, it's not unusual in drug-war prosecutions. At the state trial, believing he would probably get probation, Solis pleaded guilty, and the judge handed him twenty-one years. These days, not surprisingly, Solis doesn't speak to lawyers. All he does is read his Bible. The defense lawyers did their best to paint the federal charges as arbitrary and excessive, but in the end, the prosecutors held all the cards. Ecliserio Martinez Garcia, for example, had confessed and pleaded guilty in an earlier trial; according to Martinez's lawyer, the government had agreed not to use that confession but ended up disclosing it anyway. The best that the defenders could do was to chip away at the conspiracy charges, which carried the heaviest penalties. That seemed like a possible opening, since the idea that the government had nailed some international cartel was clearly laughable. "They were trying to make these individuals out as kingpins," says attorney Garland Cardwell. "My client was the other Solis brother [Hilario] and he had been working a steady job for five or six years at a telecommunications company. He was making monthly payments on a '95 Ford pickup. If he was making all this dough off the sale of heroin, I don't know where it was going." In fact, none of the defendants seemed to be living very high on the hog. When Martinez was busted in McKinney, he was driving a four-year-old Dodge Caravan. But despite the whiff of class warfare and racism hovering over the proceedings, the jurors quickly returned with the inevitable conclusion. They found all the Mexicans guilty of all the charges, except for Irma Lopez Vega. But before the feds could toss her back over the border, the state of Texas announced that it would retry Irma Lopez Vega in state court on the same charges. SENTENCING for the Piano twenty-nine will probably come down in a month or so. The betting is that most of the kids will do OK but the Mexicans will go down for the full count. Of the kids, John Aaron Pruett is looking at the longest stretch. He faces a twenty-year sentence, though he may get several years sliced off in return for his testimony. Chris Cooper ultimately pleaded guilty to using a telephone in the sale of heroin, and he's almost certainly going to do four years in the federal pen. In the wake of this overwhelming state and federal effort to prosecute the dealers, the heroin deaths continue. With the March 30th death of twenty-one-year-old David Allen of Bedford, the body count for the northern suburbs of Dallas and Fort Worth rose to at least thirty-four. In Plano proper, the scene is less frantic, because kids don't bring overdose victims to the hospital there anymore. They know better. As Larry Alexander points out, the overdose rate is rising in the surrounding suburbs. And while Chief Bruce Glasscock may feel that the heroin situation in Plano is "under control," a brief tour of the old neighborhood suggests otherwise. "I could have drugs on this table in forty-five minutes," says a friend of Chris Cooper's who is still trying to kick. "It's more available now than ever. Back then I only had one guy I could call. They busted him. Now I got three guys I can call."
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Setback For Fetal Rights In Wisconsin Alcohol Case (The Chicago Tribune says the Wisconsin 2nd District Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed a lower court and ruled that a woman who drank herself into a stupor in her ninth month of pregnancy cannot be charged with attempted murder of her fetus. The only state that criminalizes such behavior is South Carolina. In 1996, that state's Supreme Court upheld the child-neglect prosecution of a woman who had used crack cocaine while pregnant. Courts in 21 other states have rejected criminal prosecution of pregnant women for behavior that harms their fetuses, but the U.S. Supreme Court has so far been silent on the issue.) Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 09:54:13 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WI: A Setback For Fetal Rights In Wisconsin Alcohol Case Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Pubdate: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Copyright: 1999 Chicago Tribune Company Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ Forum: http://www.chicagotribune.com/interact/boards/ Author: Judy Peres A SETBACK FOR FETAL RIGHTS IN WISCONSIN ALCOHOL CASE In a legal battle that pitted the rights of pregnant women against those of their unborn children, a Wisconsin appellate court ruled Wednesday that a woman who drank herself into a stupor in her ninth month of pregnancy cannot be charged with attempted murder of her fetus. "We are persuaded that the term `human being' (as used in the relevant criminal statutes) was not intended to refer to an unborn child and that (the woman's) prenatal conduct does not constitute attempted first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless injury," the 2nd District Court of Appeals said in reversing a lower-court ruling. Deborah Zimmerman, 37, of Franksville, Wis., was charged in 1996, shortly after giving birth to a daughter. The newborn, who attorneys said is now healthy and living with a foster family, suffered from low birth weight and was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.199 percent. Zimmerman's blood-alcohol level exceeded 0.3 percent at the time of delivery, three times the legal standard for intoxication in Wisconsin. At the hospital, according to prosecutors, Zimmerman reportedly told a nurse, "I'm just going to go home and keep drinking and drink myself to death and I'm going to kill this thing because I don't want it anyways." Her lawyer, however, said she was not trying to harm the child. The state appellate court's action is far from unique. Courts in 21 other states have rejected criminal prosecution of pregnant women for behavior that harms their fetuses, said Priscilla Smith, deputy director of litigation at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy in Washington. The only state that criminalizes such behavior is South Carolina. In 1996, that state's Supreme Court upheld the child-neglect prosecution of Cornelia Whitner, who had used crack cocaine while pregnant. The court accepted the argument of state Atty. Gen. Charlie Condon that Whitner's fetus was "a fellow South Carolinian" entitled to protection even from its mother. The U.S. Supreme Court has been silent on the issue, declining to hear an appeal in the Whitner case. But in Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision guaranteeing women a constitutional right to abortion, the justices ruled that fetuses are not "persons." Wisconsin recently became the third state, after Minnesota and South Dakota, to allow judges to commit pregnant substance abusers for inpatient treatment. "But they can't send them to jail," Smith said. Smith acted as lead counsel for Zimmerman, who remained in jail while lawyers battled the legality of the charges against her. The state of Wisconsin had argued that Zimmerman should be prosecuted for attempted murder based on its "born alive" law. The law says a person can be charged with murder if he harms a pregnant woman and if her fetus subsequently is born alive but then dies. Prosecutors argued that the law should be extended to attempted murder if a fetus is born with injuries but survives. The appellate court, in Wednesday's decision, said that was not the legislature's intent. The decision was supported by public health organizations, abortion-rights advocates and civil liberties groups. Doctors' organizations, including the American Medical Association, oppose punitive policies against pregnant women who abuse drugs or alcohol because they are concerned that people would be discouraged from seeking prenatal care altogether, or wouldn't tell their doctors the truth about their behavior. Civil libertarians argue that such laws violate the constitutional rights of pregnant women. As the appellate court stated Wednesday, if Zimmerman could be prosecuted for drinking, "a woman could risk criminal charges for any perceived self-destructive behavior during her pregnancy," including smoking, excessive exercise or dieting. Even some anti-abortion groups oppose criminalizing harmful behavior by pregnant women, for fear such legislation would prompt women to have abortions rather than face prosecution. Courts and legislatures across the country have confronted the question of whether, and when, states may restrict women's behavior to protect their unborn children. In the mid-1980s a California woman, Pamela Rae Stewart, was jailed for contributing to the death of her newborn son. Prosecutors argued she withheld medical care from the unborn child by failing to obey a doctor's orders to stay off her feet and refrain from taking drugs and having sex with her husband during her pregnancy. But a municipal judge later ruled Stewart had committed no crime. Three years ago, Florida's Supreme Court ruled that Kawana Ashley, a pregnant woman who had shot herself in the stomach, could not be charged under a homicide statute. In Illinois, the Winnebago County state's attorney tried to bring manslaughter charges in 1989 against Melanie Green of Rockford, who the prosecutor said had caused the death of her 2-day-old daughter by taking illegal drugs during her pregnancy. But a grand jury refused to indict. It's not a crime in Illinois for a pregnant woman to harm her unborn child, but state law does protect fetuses from harmful actions by others. A 1986 law allows criminal charges to be brought for death or injury to a fetus. Under that law, a driver may be prosecuted for reckless homicide if he broadsides the car of a pregnant woman and causes her to miscarry, even if she isn't otherwise hurt. Another Wisconsin law also is under judicial scrutiny this week. A trial to determine the constitutionality of the state's so-called partial-birth abortion law is scheduled to begin Thursday in U.S. District Court in Madison. The law, which calls for mandatory life imprisonment for abortion providers, went into effect last May. It was immediately challenged by several doctors and clinics, who argued the statute is unconstitutionally vague and appeared to criminalize all abortions, not just late-term procedures. District Court Judge John Shabaz refused to block implementation of the law, prompting Wisconsin physicians to stop performing all abortions for several days. The federal Court of Appeals in Chicago subsequently reversed Shabaz and enjoined the law, pending trial. Lawyers for the clinics have promised to return to the Court of Appeals if Shabaz rules for the state and lifts the injunction. Similar legal battles are going on in other states, including Illinois. Twenty-eight states have passed laws banning what they call partial-birth abortions. But because they are so broadly worded, courts in 19 states have blocked or severely limited their implementation.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Silver Softens Drug Law Stance (The Times Union, in Albany, New York, says Sheldon Silver, the Democratic Speaker of the New York state Assembly, seems to be backing away from his previous opposition to reforming the state's Rockefeller-era mandatory-minimum sentencing guidelines for drug offenders. However, Silver said at a closed-door meeting of his Democratic conference earlier this week that he was opposed to Gov. George Pataki's proposal, which links reform to the elimination of parole for all felons.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 12:18:09 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NY: Silver Softens Drug Law Stance Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Capital Region NORML Pubdate: Thu 27 May 1999 Source: Times Union (NY) Copyright: 1999, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation Contact: email@example.com Address: Box 15000, Albany, NY 12212 Feedback: http://www.timesunion.com/react/ Website: http://www.timesunion.com/ Forum: http://www.timesunion.com/react/forums/ Author: Lara Jakes, Staff Writer SILVER SOFTENS DRUG LAW STANCE Albany -- Assembly Speaker Has Opened Door Ever So Slightly To Revision Of Tough Rockefeller-Era Penalties, Democrats Say Under fire from his Assembly membership, Speaker Sheldon Silver is backing away from an apparent stand against reforming the state's Rockefeller Drug Laws, officials said Wednesday. Silver said at a closed-door meeting of his Democratic conference earlier this week that he was opposed only to Gov. George Pataki's proposal -- which links reform of the tough laws to the elimination of parole for all felons. But according to several legislators at the meeting, Silver refused to say how far he would agree to scale back the drug laws -- or if he would at all. That appears to be a turnaround from Silver's position a week ago, when his spokeswoman said the Assembly leadership worried its members would appear "soft on crime" in the November 2000 election if they voted for reforms this year. "The speaker's statement was terse to the point of saying, 'We're not doing the governor's Rockefeller Drug Law reforms,' but I wanted to know if he could clarify the broader point," said Assemblyman Alexander "Pete" Grannis, D-Manhattan, who questioned Silver at the meeting of the Democratic conference Monday. "He would only say we're not doing the governor's bill. ... If by that answer, we aren't going to engage in any way, at any level, on reform of the bill, I don't know. We're not talking about the issue. I don't know where we are." Silver's spokeswoman, Patricia Lynch, refused to comment on the meeting but said that a story last week in The New York Times on the governor's reform proposals was "absolutely accurate." The article reported that the Assembly leadership "appears unwilling to support other such efforts this year." Assembly Democrats, who have for years pushed reforms to the Rockefeller laws, were infuriated. Under the laws, enacted in 1973, a person with no prior record and no history of violence who is convicted of a single sale of two ounces or possession of four ounces of a narcotic, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years to life. No other state has such a tough law, nor does the federal government. Lawmakers and advocates had hoped that 1999 -- an off-election year -- would be ripe for reform, and were encouraged when Pataki and Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye both called for change in the measures. Moreover, they assumed that if any legislative body would balk at reforms, it would be the Republican-controlled Senate, which has long taken a conservative stance on curbing crime. Still, Silver's short explanation of his views at the conference meeting gave some Assembly members a glimmer of hope that reforms would be at least discussed this year. "I think the door is still open -- albeit faintly," said Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, D-Queens, who is author of a bill that would repeal the prison sentences imposed under the Rockefeller laws. "What is needed to build consensus is an appropriate bill, if mine is not. We will work toward that." Few Assembly Democrats disagree with Silver's position that Pataki's proposal does not go far enough in reforming the Rockefeller laws to justify eliminating parole for all felony offenders. Pataki's plan would allow appeals courts to cut minimum prison terms by a third for first-time drug transporters, or "mules," and expose drug kingpins to a mandatory 15-year-to-life term. In exchange, however, the governor would demand "determinate sentencing" -- specific prison terms for specific felonies. That's widely regarded as too tough of a measure to be a fair trade. But Pataki's reform proposal -- the first to offer major changes by a governor since the laws were enacted -- also is considered by many lawmakers to be an opening stake for future negotiations. It "at least had the potential for starting a dialogue," Grannis said. How far Pataki would be willing to compromise is unclear. "Certainly he's shown that he's willing to work with responsible individuals who have sensible ideas to reforming criminal justice" issues, said Pataki spokesman Patrick McCarthy. Polls indicate that only about a third of voters statewide would consider their lawmakers "soft on drugs" if prison terms are scaled back. But one advocate warned Wednesday that voters would react more negatively to their elected officials if no action is taken to reform the Rockefeller laws. "No one has really stood up to the speaker and said, 'We believe this should be done this session, and we should put a proposal forward,'" said Terri Derikart, spokeswoman for the New York chapter of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. "The family members I spoke to (about Silver's refusal to take up reforms) were extremely disappointed, disillusioned and depressed. They were outraged, and said they'd be calling their assemblyman." Grannis agreed. "Lots of people in many parts of the state think this is an important issue for us to get involved in, and are not at all fearful of us doing the right thing as being construed that we are 'soft on crime,'" he said. "If we feel constrained to do it in an off (election) year, and won't do it in an election year, my guess is that it's doomed."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Strawberry Pleads No Contest (The Washington Post says one-time star outfielder Darryl Strawberry was sentenced yesterday in Florida to 18 months of probation and drug testing, after his bust for offering $50 to an undercover policewoman led to the discovery of cocaine in his wallet. Strawberry, who is recovering from colon cancer, is on administrative leave from the New York Yankees and faces the possibility of suspension from baseball as a multiple offender of its drug aftercare program.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 14:29:34 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US FL: Strawberry Pleads No Contest Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Dunbar Pubdate: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Page: D08 Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071 Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: News Services STRAWBERRY PLEADS NO CONTEST Yankees OF Darryl Strawberry pleaded no contest yesterday to drug and solicitation charges, a move that could lead to further punishment by Major League Baseball. Strawberry, 37, was sentenced to 18 months of probation and must be tested for drugs twice a week during that time, Florida Circuit Judge Jack Espinosa Jr. said. He also must stay out of bars. Strawberry, who is recovering from colon cancer, must undergo more drug treatment, perform 100 hours of community service and pay $456 in court costs and fees. He is on administrative leave from the Yankees and faces the possibility of suspension from baseball as a multiple offender of its drug aftercare program. "Now that Darryl Strawberry's legal proceeding has been resolved, I will promptly review all of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter in order to determine what action is appropriate under baseball's drug policy," Commissioner Bud Selig said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Production, Analysis And Distribution Of Cannabis And Marijuana Cigarettes (A news release from the National Institute on Drug Abuse website says NIDA is "soliciting proposals from qualified organizations having the capability to grow, harvest, extract, analyze, store and manufacture marijuana cigarettes, and distribute cannabis, and marijuana cigarettes to NIH grantees and other researchers to support basic and clinical research." RFP No. N01DA-9-7078 will be available electronically on or about June 14 at the NIDA website.) From: "Rick Bayer" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "Rick Bayer" (email@example.com) Subject: non government cannabis growing Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 11:53:48 -0700 Dear OMMA supporters Anyone interested? My understanding is that the current federal mj cigarettes are now around 4% THC. I am glad that they may let private industry show that they can produce a better medical product. Now we need to get it rescheduled and in pharmacies. This data below is from http://www.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not99-099.html and thanks to "you know who you are" for the tip. Rick Richard E. Bayer, MD 6800 SW Canyon Drive Portland, OR 97225 503-292-1035 (voice) 503-297-0754 (fax) mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org *** PRODUCTION, ANALYSIS AND DISTRIBUTION OF CANNABIS AND MARIJUANA CIGARETTES Release Date: May 27, 1999 RFP AVAILABLE: N01DA-9-7078 P.T. National Institute on Drug Abuse The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is soliciting proposals from qualified organizations having the capability to grow, harvest, extract, analyze, store and manufacture marijuana cigarettes, and distribute cannabis, and marijuana cigarettes to NIH grantees and other researchers to support basic and clinical research. The offeror must possess the necessary field or growing facility, laboratory space, instrumentation and experience to conduct the work. Appropriate security approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for growing, and manufacturing of marijuana cigarettes, storage facilities and DEA Schedule I registration for marijuana and THC are essential. Source information previously submitted to this office or any other office will not be considered. Therefore, the interested organizations must submit organizational data and background, qualifications of professional personnel, and specific experience in the area of this project. It is anticipated that a five-year incrementally funded completion contract will be awarded through this procurement with option quantities for additional growing and manufacturing. RFP No. N01DA-9-7078 will be available electronically on or about June 14, 1999 and may be accessed through the NIDA website at URL: http://www.nida.nih.gov/RFP/RFPList.html. Responses to the RFP will be due approximately 45 calendar days thereafter. Please note that the RFP for this acquisition will be issued in a streamlined format which will include only the Work Statement, Deliverables and Reporting Requirements, Special Requirements and Mandatory Qualifications, Technical Evaluation Criteria, and other necessary Proposal Preparation Instructions. All information required for the submission of a proposal will be contained in or accessible through the electronic RFP package. Any responsible offeror may submit a proposal which will be considered by the Government. Point of Contact: Kenneth E. Goodling, Contracting Officer National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH Contracts Management Branch, OPRM 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 3105, MSC 9543 Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9543 Electronic Mail Address: email@example.com Telephone: (301) 443-6677 Fax: (301) 443-7595 *** Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 17:25:34 -0800 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Dave Fratello (email@example.com) Subject: NIDA RFP for pvt. mj sources Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org The NIDA RFP for private marijuana farming (text below) & cigarette manufacture almost seems like real news. It even comes on the heels of the government's newly professed openness to making research marijuana available for private studies. It would be a great double-whammy to see the gov't expanding the possible sources for marijuana for such studies. NIDA's spokesman even joked last week that the agency "isn't known for growing primo stuff." Maybe someone else could. (Okay, of course someone else could.) But check out the fine print of the RFP. Among the requirements, a grant applicant must have: * field for growing * laboratory * EXPERIENCE * DEA-approved security * DEA Sch. I license ("essential") Seems like a startup would have a pretty hard time demonstrating all these factors, and could have the application discarded solely on that basis. Oh, and the application is due in a couple months. Good luck getting your DEA approval before then. There is a reference within the text to this being a 5-year grant. Odds are this is a once-every-five-years pro forma process for U-Mississippi to get their grant renewed. Is there a good way to call NIDA on the apparent openness of the process, and get a real competing proposal in? - Dave Fratello *** Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 10:59:46 -0700 To: Dave Fratello (email@example.com) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Re: ARO: NIDA - grant req. for mj grows Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Dave - I think you're right that this is just an RFP to renew El Sohly's grant. - Dale
------------------------------------------------------------------- Special Interest: Fighting Spirits (The Washington Post says the White House drug czar, Barry R. McCaffrey, has betrayed his own congressional allies and scuttled his own reform proposal, which would have allowed part of his $1 billion anti-drug advertising budget to target alcohol abuse. U.S. representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., and Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., sponsored such legislation at his request. Studies by McCaffrey's office claim alcohol is a "gateway drug" leading to illicit drug use, and the bill had the support of the American Medical Association and the Center for Science in the Public Interest. However, the liquor lobby rallied the opposition, which now includes the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and McCaffrey's own office, which circulated a paper on Capitol Hill warning of the high costs of an anti-alcohol campaign. McCaffrey spokesman Bob Weiner said McCaffrey would now support the amendment only if it were changed to give him authority for such ads without mandating them.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 08:06:24 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Special Interest: Fighting Spirits Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Rob Ryan Pubdate: Thurs, 27 May 1999 Source: Washington Post (DC) Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071 Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Bill McAllister SPECIAL INTEREST: FIGHTING SPIRITS Sometimes it's those little issues that can spark the most spirited lobbying. Just ask Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) and Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.). After they heard Clinton drug czar Barry R. McCaffrey bemoaning his lack of authority to include warnings about alcohol abuse in his office's anti-drug ads, they agreed to help. No sooner had they offered legislation that would give him the authority for such ads than the liquor lobby descended. "Your support for this amendment would make the drug czar's position untenable and reduce his ability to wage the war on drugs," David K. Rehr, senior vice president of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, told Roybal-Allard in a memo. An aide to former representative Vin Weber (R-Minn.), Rehr has led the fight against the legislation, arguing that McCaffrey's "limited" funds should be devoted to entirely to anti-drug ads. "This is being led by people who are attempting to tie beer as close as they can to drugs," he said. "It ain't all the same." Wolf countered that studies by McCaffrey's office show that alcohol is a "gateway drug" that often is a first step toward illicit drugs. "I'm not anti-beer," said the Northern Virginia lawmaker, who admits surprise at the fierce opposition his amendment has drawn. A coalition of health groups, including the American Medical Association and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, is backing the Roybal-Allard-Wolf amendment. It is opposed by the Wine Institute and the Distilled Spirits Council, but Rehr's biggest - and most surprising - allies are the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a private group that supports the czar's programs, and McCaffrey's own office, which circulated a paper on Capitol Hill warning of the high costs of launching an anti-alcohol campaign. McCaffrey spokesman Bob Weiner said McCaffrey now supports the amendment, provided it gives him permissive authority for such ads and does not mandate them. Rehr said he was taken aback by the czar's change and promised to fight the legislation if it clears the House Appropriations Committee next month. "It's the wrong language on the wrong bill at the wrong time," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Canada Might OK Medical Marijuana (The Associated Press says a measure calling for the legalization of pot for medical reasons passed Tuesday night in the Canadian House of Commons.) Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 17:00:03 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Canada Might Ok Medical Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: AOLNews Pubdate: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press CANADA MIGHT OK MEDICAL MARIJUANA OTTAWA - Canada's federal government has moved one step closer to permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes. A measure calling for the legalization of pot for medical reasons passed Tuesday night in the House of Commons. The bill motion, tabled by an opposition party, 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. Victims of AIDS and cancer have been lobbying for years for the right to use marijuana as a pain killer and appetite stimulant. In March, Health Minister Allan Rock promised clinical trials into the medicinal use of marijuana. In the United States, the Clinton administration released new guidelines May 21 to ease the availability of marijuana for medical research, a move officials believe will quicken the pace of studies into the drug's possible beneficial uses. The new guidelines, ``an extension of an existing process,'' will make it easier for academic researchers to obtain samples of research-grade marijuana grown by the government, said Campbell Gardett, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Legalization Too Late For Local Man (The Sudbury Star, in Ontario, describes the prosecution for possession and trafficking of Barry Burkholder of Chelmsford, who says he needs the healing power of cannabis to deal with the pain of chronic arthritis and various ailments associated with hepatitis C. On Wednesday, the federal government moved a step closer to legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, after a Bloc Quebecois motion calling for the legalization of pot for medical reasons passed Tuesday night in the House of Commons.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 17:21:17 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: MMJ: Marijuana Legalization Too Late For Local Man Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Lynn Harichy Pubdate: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Sudbury Star (Canada) Copyright: 1999 The Sudbury Star Contact: email@example.com Address: 33 MacKenzie St., Sudbury, Ont., P3C 4Y1 Fax: (705) 674-6834 Website: http://www.thesudburystar.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Rob O'Flanagan MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION TOO LATE FOR LOCAL MAN A Chelmsford man is up on charges of possession and trafficking in a substance he calls a painkiller. That substance is marijuana. Barry Burkholder, 34, says he needs the healing power of cannabis to deal with the pain of chronic arthritis and with various ailments associated with recently-diagnosed hepatitis C. Burkholder says he contracted hepatitis C 14 years ago from an unsterilized tattoo needle. Sometimes his pain is so bad, he says, he cannot turn a door knob. His seven-year-old daughter, Nicole, has to help him up from the floor when he falls. Doctors continue to prescribe drugs which Burkholder believes are addictive and dangerous to his malfunctioning liver. The one thing he feels good about taking, and which makes him feel good, is pot. On Wednesday, the federal government moved a step closer to legalizing 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. 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. But Burkholder is not optimistic. "If it passes and becomes law, that will be great," said Burkholder, whose fingers are permanently bent from a debilitating strain of arthritis which is hereditary. "But they're not moving fast enough. (Health Minister) Allan Rock keeps talking about doing trials, but trials have already been done. There is already sufficient proof that cannabis helps people deal with their pain. The pot takes the pain from the arthritis away. It helps me sleep and it reduces depression. My liver can't take these prescription drugs, but I can't legally use marijuana." "And if I can't, my death will be slow and painful. Now, I have this criminal charge against me, and my children are about to lose their daddy over it." Following Tuesday's vote, Rock said he would move quickly to publicize the government's plan for legalizing pot for medical reasons. Burkholder says he will apply for permission to use the drug. To date, two people in Canada can grow and use marijuana without being charged. They are Jim Wakeford, an Ontario man living with AIDS, and Terry Parker, a Toronto man who has epilepsy. "I've been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking," says Burkholder. "But pot is my medicine. I don't traffic in the stuff, I smoke it to relieve my pain." With files from the Canadian Press
------------------------------------------------------------------- Delay Burns Pot Smoker (The London Free Press, in Ontario, says the Canadian government may be a step closer to permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes, but multiple sclerosis patient Lynn Harichy isn't holding her breath. "I've heard Allan Rock make promises before," said Harichy, who is facing trial Sept. 27 on a charge of possessing marijuana.) Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 10:30:17 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Delay Burns Pot Smoker Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Lynn Harichy Pubdate: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: London Free Press (Canada) Copyright: 1999 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canoe.ca/LondonFreePress/home.html Forum: http://www.lfpress.com/londoncalling/SelectForum.asp Author: Christine Dirks, Free Press Reporter DELAY BURNS POT SMOKER The federal government may be a step closer to permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes but advocate Lynn Harichy isn't holding her breath. "I've heard Allan Rock make promises before," said Harichy, 38. "People want it legalized now. They're suffering. They don't need years of tests and studies." Health Minister Rock has asked government researchers for a plan on legalizing marijuana for medicinal use before the House breaks in June. Harichy has multiple sclerosis and says she smokes pot several times a day to relieve symptoms. "A part of me says, 'Yes, this is great. The government is finally going to stop treating people who are sick as criminals.' Another part says, 'Wait and see.'" Without the pot she can't control her shaking, hold on to things properly or walk straight, Harichy said. People who need pot for medical reasons should be able to get it from a pharmacy, she said. Harichy is facing trial Sept. 27 for one charge of possession of marijuana. The charge was laid Sept. 15, 1997, when Harichy lit up a joint on the steps of the London police station. She said it was an act of civil disobedience. *** Note: Our newshawk and activist, Lynn Harichy, has had many news stories about her published, of which 71 are in our news archives. The story above says "Harichy is facing trial Sept. 27 for one charge of possession of marijuana. The charge was laid Sept. 15, 1997, when Harichy lit up a joint on the steps of the London police station. She said it was an act of civil disobedience." For Lynn, this has never been just an act of civil disobedience, but an act with the goal of mounting a Constitutional Challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Lynn and I sat together in the London court room in 1997 when judge J.F. McCart denied the Constitutional Challenge in the Chris Clay trial. Judge McCart stated that the results may well have been different had the case been about medical use. This Lynn saw as an invitation, which she took at the local police station some weeks later. Her lawyer is Osgoode Hall law professor and constitutional expert Alan Young, who defends similar cases, as shown by the over 250 items mentioning him in our archives. Readers who would like to chat with Lynn may find her in the MAP CHAT room most Saturday and Sunday evenings from about 9:00 p.m. Eastern time at: http://www.mapinc.org/chat/ and some photos of Lynn with the media at her first court appearance are at: http://www.drugsense.org/lynn/ Richard Lake [MAP] Sr. Editor
------------------------------------------------------------------- Southern Air Force Report Details Bleak Conditions At Ecuador Base (Inside the Pentagon says a military base at Manta, on the Pacific coast in Ecuador, that the United States wants to develop into a "forward operating location" for U.S. counterdrug forces is in bleak condition. The site must undergo extensive repairs and improvements if it is going to host U.S. forces even on a temporary basis, according to a May 10 assessment by an officer in the U.S. Southern Command's Air Force component. The report recommends that, for the time being, Manta should be used only if "absolutely necessary.") Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 01:23:24 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Southern Air Force Report Details Bleak Conditions At Ecuador Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Isenberg, David Pubdate: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Inside the Pentagon Page: 1 Address: 1225 Jefferson Davis Hwy #1400, Arlington, VA. Author: Elaine M. Grossman SOUTHERN AIR FORCE REPORT DETAILS BLEAK CONDITIONS AT ECUADOR BASE Site Judged Unready For U.S Force Visits A military base in Ecuador the United States wants to develop into a "forward operating location" for U.S. counterdrug forces is in bleak condition and must undergo extensive repairs and improvements before it is ready to host U.S. forces even on a temporary basis, according to a recent assessment authored by an officer in the U.S. Southern Command's Air Force component. The May 10 report, reviewed by Inside the Pentagon, pertains to conditions at an Ecuadorian military base at Manta, on the Pacific coast of the South American nation. The United States on April 1 signed an interim agreement with Ecuador that will allow U.S. military forces to use the site on an "expeditionary" basis through the end of the year (ITP, April 8, p21). Meanwhile, bilateral negotiations are ongoing on a proposed long-term agreement that would allow continued U.S. military access at this forward operating location, or FOL. Problems plaguing Manta range from runways so dilapidated that they are unusable by military aircraft to lax safety standards and extremely limited supplies of electricity and water. Rectifying the most serious problems will require at least six months, at which time "limited" operations by Navy P-3C maritime patrol aircraft and Air Force C-130 tactical airlifters can be conducted, the report states. But it will be two years before a critical platform in the war against drugs -- the Air Force E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft -- can operate out of Manta, according to the assessment. Manta is one of three FOLs the U.S. Southern Command has pursued in order to replace the access to the region afforded until recently by Howard AFB in Panama. With all U.S. bases in Panama closing by the end of the year, SOUTHCOM has sought to station forces at and operate out of the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba and Curacao, in addition to Manta. SOUTHCOM also hopes to eventually establish a fourth FOL at Liberia, Costa Rica. The Manta location alone, though, was found earlier this year by a site survey to need such substantial modifications that it may eat up at least twice the $50 million in funds budgeted for start-up at all three initial FOLs (ITP, April 8, p1). Each of the two Caribbean islands was judged by the military site surveyors to require about $50 million in near-term improvements. On April 16, Defense Secretary William Cohen issued a memo stating the Pentagon "is fully committed to ensuring that necessary steps are taken to bring the FOLs to full operational status" (ITP, April 22, p1). At Manta, those steps may be a bit more extensive than Cohen imagined. Among the obstacles documented in the new report are: "Concrete is severely deteriorating" at the Manta airfield, and debris that is dangerous for aircraft "is abundant in the first 500-1,000 feet of the runway," according to the report. "Tennis-ball-size bits of concrete [are] lying about in places." "An eroded ditch over three feet deep runs just along the runway edge," reads the assessment. "Overgrown with grass, it is just one such obscured detriment to airfield operations." The 1998 El Nino rains wreaked havoc on the airfield, with one end of the runway underwater for three months last year, the officer reports. The runway still appears to have water problems; "in one place," according to the assessment, "drainage seems to be seeping from under the runway itself." "Lighting is substandard" at the airfield, according to the report. At the same time, "power cables for runway and taxiway edge lighting are not buried, but run above ground over and along the taxiways. Aircraft repeatedly run over them." The "runway was recently painted, but paint is not reflective and would be of little use at night or during periods of inclement weather." "Trash abounds on the airfield," the report continues. "For example, paint cans and lids from the recent painting effort were simply thrown off to the side of the runway. Safety folks estimate there are at least three truckloads of trash littering the field, creating a substantial FOD [foreign object debris] hazard." The airfield was also found to have few directional signs or markers. "You have to be familiar with the airfield to know exactly where you are or where you are going," according to the report. "This could be a problem for transient crews, especially at night." "Base power is commercially produced hydroelectricity," the report states. "During dry periods, electricity is rationed to as little as two hours each day. The base has an emergency internal power supply, but it is broken down and cables are deteriorating, so it doesn't work. If it did, it would not cover added U.S. power needs when our facilities are constructed." As a result, the United States will have to build a power facility at the base, the officer concludes. "Base water is non-potable and only provides 50 percent of present demand," the report states. "We will have to build a water plant to make up for increased U.S. demand and provide water that is potable." "Cost factors for major construction projects are not readily available," the report reads. "Labor costs seem to be ridiculously low; however, that is based on local unskilled labor with a reputation for poor workmanship." Currently, firefighting capabilities at the base must be limited to P-3 operations, and could not handle larger aircraft like the E-3 AWACS. But "even for limited ops, we will be operating at increased risk in the event of a fire or emergency landing," the officer finds. "Firefighters have no breathing devices or other gear that would allow them to assist aircrew members trying to escape a burning aircraft. In fact, local firefighters admit they have no [intention] of getting close to a burning aircraft." Manta's air traffic control tower "is only manned during daylight hours, although the field is operational 24 hours [a] day. Manning consists of one individual working 12-hour shifts. . . . All controllers have only the most rudimentary understanding of English. Their ability to handle an emergency situation is doubtful." The air traffic control tower itself is "antiquated," writes the officer. "Visibility is degraded by dirty/scratched plexiglass and a shading that was applied to the windows years ago, but is now deteriorating." Security at the Manta airfield is plentiful, but has notable gaps, according to the report. "The airfield is fenced, but the fence does not encircle the airfield," the report reads. "Roads from various points on the base spill onto the airfield. These are unmarked and unguarded." The officer notes that the "easy access to the runway is not just a people problem. Domestic animals, mostly dogs and cats from the housing area, freely roam the airfield." Other wildlife also abounds and poses potentially serious risks to aircraft. "Bird activity is horrendous," the report observes. Cannons to scare them off were not operating during the days the officer spent on base. "There's a garbage dump less than half a mile from the airfield that adds to some of the attraction" -- for the birds, that is, reports the officer. But the "greatest draw" for birds is the refuse left behind by local fishermen. "The catch is cleaned and the remains are dumped into the ocean to wash up on shore. . . . It is not unusual to see 100 vultures circling the airfield or alighting on the runway/taxiway at any given time." If life on base at Manta sounds dicey, the situation outside the gates may be downright life-threatening. "Traffic safety is unheard of, driving techniques are aggressive, and roads are abysmal," the report states. "Off-base medical care is presently substandard and should be avoided if at all possible," according to the assessment. One U.S. military physician visited the downtown Manta emergency room, "and in the short time there saw a gunshot victim, a stabbing victim, and two near fatalities from a car accident. He assessed the care they received as dismal." The officer notes in the report that "while many border on the trivial, there are enough minor problems to build a chain of events that could result in a mishap." Although there is some pressure on the Navy from SOUTHCOM to begin implementing the interim agreement soon by initiating flights into Manta, the Southern Air Forces officer writing the May 10 report advises otherwise. It will take about six months to improve the airfield and the office space for military personnel that will manage U.S. operations at the base, according to the report. "Therefore, I recommend we suspend any DOD air activity from Manta until roughly Nov. '99," states the officer in the report. "U.S. Navy personnel recommend Guayaquil as a good interim P-3 operating location until Manta is ready," the report adds, referring to Ecuador's largest city, located south of Manta. Defense officials say SOUTHCOM Commander-in-Chief Gen. Charles Wilhelm is pressing the Navy to begin P-3 expeditionary visits to Manta beginning in June. "If the CINC insists on using Manta [before November] despite the many problems," according to the report, "I recommend deployments be limited to one to two days in duration and only when driven by the highest-priority missions." The report notes that Curacao and Aruba boast modern and well-maintained facilities. "Manta, on the other hand, is a more remote location that is suffering from years of neglect and nature's abuses. We cannot dismiss that reality with a wave of the hand, and no amount of money can reduce the time required to get things up to speed," according to the assessment. For the time being, Manta should only be used if absolutely necessary, the report recommends. "Mission requirements will need to outweigh the substantial risk until we can correct the deficiencies that exist," the report states.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Overturns Drug Conviction / Marijuana Advocates Welcome Court Ruling (Two stories from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation say Judge Robert Ducker, citing medical reasons, has ordered that no conviction be recorded in the case of Lynette Whalen, a Byron Bay woman with lymphatic cancer. Four months ago she was convicted and fined $1,000 for growing seven cannabis plants. Patient advocates say it's not unprecedented.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 16:01:21 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: MMJ: Transcript: Court Overturns Drug Conviction Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Skull, Temple of Pubdate: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Australia) Copyright: 1999 Australian Broadcasting Corporation Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.abc.net.au/ Authors: Paul Kielly and Helen Merkell Report: 7:54am AEST COURT OVERTURNS DRUG CONVICTION PAUL KIELLY: A Byron Bay woman's had a four month old Cannabis conviction overturned in the Lismore district court on medical grounds. 40 year old Lynette Whalen says she uses the drug to treat painful symptoms of her lymphatic cancer, which she was diagnosed with four years ago. Four months ago Byron Bay Magistrate Pat Caldwell ordered her to pay a thousand dollar fine over seven plants Police found at ther home. Judge Robert Ducker upheld an appeal this week in Lismore, finding the offence proven but that no conviction would be recorded. Ms. Whalen says the state Government should follow the lead of other states in decriminalising or allowing users to grow limited amounts of Cannabis. She says other drugs she's taken since the earlier conviction have done her more harm than good. LYNETTE WHALEN: Strong anti-anxiety tablets which I've never taken in my life before and it's been hard. Tablet form that you don't know what you're taking, that's my opinion anyway. I've tried all sorts of medications and it seems to be the one that works for me. *** Report: 1:40pm AEST MARIJUANA ADVOCATES WELCOME COURT RULING PAUL KIELLY: Advocates of medical marijuana have welcomed the quashing of a conviction for cannabis against a Byron Bay woman, but say the case has not set a precedent. The Lismore District Court ruled that no conviction be recorded against Lynette Whalen, who says she uses the drug to alleviate pain from cancer. The Byron Bay court had fined her $1,000 over seven plants. Her solicitor, Steve Bolt, says the decision shows how courts should be treating the issue for those who have a medicinal use for cannabis. Nimbin doctor David Helliwell says it is a case where everyone appears to have done the right thing, having discussed the issue with her doctor. Dr Helliwell says while the validity of medical marijuana still hinges on individual judges, the ruling means doctors can speak more openly. DR DAVID HELLIWELL: We can now actually explain to patients pharmacologically why cannabis is helpful," he said. Five years ago I couldn't. The data's coming in clearly that cannabis is a drug, we knew that. Cannabis acts on brain receptors and has a role in the management of some medications.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Speaking Of Which (The Daily Yomiuri, in Tokyo, prints a feature article on entrepreneur Koichi Maeda, Japan's most dedicated hemp advocate. "I first became interested in a certain part of the hemp plant about 30 years ago," says Maeda, who is coming up on 50. "But over the past six or seven years, I have become interested in the entire plant." He is the author of "Marijuana Seishun Ryoko," or "A Young Man's Marijuana Travels," a book that has sold 75,000 copies. In it, he draws from his travels in 50 countries to describe various adventures and experiences. Maeda opened Tokyo's first hemp restaurant - Asa Café - in 1998. "I opened on Aug. 15 to commemorate Japan's defeat," he said. "Hemp was legal in Japan until the end of World War II, when it was banned by the Occupation Forces. It was a part of our culture, it was used in Shinto rituals. Even today, the Emperor wears hemp clothing on some occasions. For the last 50 years we have been alienated from our hemp culture, we are still ruled by the American occupation.") Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 23:50:51 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Japan: Speaking Of Which Sender: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Frank S. World Pubdate: Thurs, 27 May 1999 Source: Daily Yomiuri Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/main/main-e.htm Copyright: 1999 The Yomiuri Shimbun Author: Darron Hargreaves, Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer SPEAKING OF WHICH Entrepreneur Koichi Maeda is Japan's most vociferous and dedicated hemp advocate, for several reasons. There is the obvious one, which he makes no bones about. He is the author of "Marijuana Seishun Ryoko" (A Young Man's Marijuana Travels), a book that has sold 75,000 copies in Japan. In it, he draws from his travels in 50 countries to describe various adventures and experiences. "I first became interested in a certain part of the hemp plant about 30 years ago," says Maeda, who is coming up on 50. "But over the past six or seven years, I have become interested in the entire plant." Maeda is convinced that hemp is one of the most valuable, versatile plants in the world and he is continually amazed that its cultivation has been outlawed in Japan and many other parts of the world. He will point out that hemp is used to make clothing, rope, paper, building materials, cosmetics and medicine. He is not alone. Hemp activists around the world are clamoring for the legalization of "industrial" hemp. Its benefits are numerous and varied. According to an information package produced by the Environment Centre of Western Australia, hemp has enormous economic and environmental benefits. In summary, it claims that hemp has a very high yield, needs very little herbicide or pesticide, reduces pollution, reverses the greenhouse effect and stops deforestation. Hemp would create jobs and reduce Australia's trade deficit. It would no doubt work similar wonders in Japan. Plus, it makes pretty good eating, believe it or not. On Aug. 15, 1998, Maeda opened Tokyo's first hemp restaurant--Asa Cafe--in Shimokitazawa. It's a cozy little place that features hemp placemats, a hemp particle board wall, hemp flower designs and a menu comprising things you would never imagine could be made from hemp. Pizza, pasta, burgers, 100 percent hemp spring rolls, tofu, marmalade, hemp oil for the salads and even hemp milk to wash it down. The hempburger, served with vegetables and a bowl of hemp soup is surprisingly tasty and almost too nutritious for your own good. The milk, on ice, is delicious. It's hemp heaven, but for one niggling technical point necessitated by law. The THC content--the active ingredient in marijuana--of the menu items is practically nil. But that was hardly the point when Maeda opened Asa Cafe, 53 years to the day after Japan surrendered to the Allies to end World War II. He opened the restaurant to demonstrate the versatility of hemp and protest what he feels is the government's weak-kneed approach to hemp legislation. "I opened on Aug. 15 to commemorate Japan's defeat," he said. "Hemp was legal in Japan until the end of World War II, when it was banned by the Occupation Forces. It was a part of our culture, it was used in Shinto rituals. Even today, the Emperor wears hemp clothing on some occasions. For the last 50 years we have been alienated from our hemp culture, we are still ruled by the American occupation." According to Maeda, the only place where hemp plants can be legally grown in Japan is in Tokushima Prefecture, on a group of islands near Osaka, where it is allowed only if a special permit is obtained. "The government seems to think hemp is the most dangerous plant in the world, but the Health ministry has never investigated it," he said. "Never. So why prohibit it? It is very stupid, yet they put heavy fines on the people who grow or use it. It is ridiculous." Maeda, who also runs a similar restaurant in Osaka, admits he doesn't make money on Asa Cafe. "I never planned on making a profit," he says. "I just want to lose as little as possible." A few blocks from the cafe he operates a hemp clothing and "paraphernalia" shop called Taimado. "Now, this place makes a profit," he said with a quick grin as he stood among the handbags and T-shirts and various smoking implements and accessories. Of great interest to Maeda is the possibility that the U.S. federal government may legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in December. Some states have already approved it, but a federal ruling, he feels, may prompt some action in Japan. "We always follow the lead of the United States," he said. "I believe that eventually (legalization) will happen here, but it will be a very slow process. Maybe 100 years." In the meantime, there are hempburgers to be had. Funny thing though, once you've munched down a few hemp dishes, you get this overpowering urge to light up a smoke....
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medicinal cannabis (A letter to the editor of the Times, in Britain, from the chairman of the Royal College of Nursing's Forum for the Development of Mental Health Nursing Practice notes the Townswomen's Guild has joined the campaign to allow the seriously and terminally ill to use cannabis medicinally. Politicians should return cannabis to the medicinal status it held before the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 13:04:27 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: MMJ: PUB LTE: Medicinal cannabis Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Craig VanDeVooren Pubdate: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Times, The (UK) Copyright: 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Author: David Harding-Price MEDICINAL CANNABIS Sir, The Townswomen's Guild is backing the campaign to allow the seriously and terminally ill to use cannabis medicinally. The Guild is a most welcomed ally. Anecdotal evidence has for some time shown that cannabis alleviates pain in some medical conditions, particularly terminal ones, and also improves the quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis. Why do politicians not return cannabis to the medicinal status it held before the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971? The argument that to do so would lead to increased misuse of cannabis does not stand up. Having been involved with an addictions unit, I know that the people most likely to benefit from prescribed cannabis are highly unlikely to sell their prescriptions to other people. Yours faithfully, David Harding-Price, Chairman, Forum for the Development of Mental Health Nursing Practice Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, London W1M 0AB. May 23.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hockney Says Drugs Are Fine But Not For Art (The Times says David Hockney, Britain's most celebrated contemporary artist, breezed into London from his California home yesterday and had an immediate brush with controversy. Holding court at the Royal Academy of Arts, he called for the legalisation of cocaine and marijuana and insisted that years of drug-taking had not harmed him in any way. But, he hastened to add, he had never indulged when working because "drugs and art don't mix." He also noted two close friends had died from alcohol rather than illegal substances.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 16:01:28 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Hockney Says Drugs Are Fine But Not For Art 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: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Times, The (UK) Copyright: 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Author: Dalya Alberge HOCKNEY SAYS DRUGS ARE FINE BUT NOT FOR ART On the eve of his London show the artist tells Dalya Alberge why marijuana should be legal David Hockney, Britain's most celebrated contemporary artist, breezed into London from his California home yesterday and had an immediate brush with controversy. Holding court at the Royal Academy of Arts, he called for the legalisation of cocaine and marijuana and insisted that years of drug-taking had not harmed him in any way. But, he hastened to add, he had never indulged in stimulants when working because "drugs and art don't mix". "You have to be very clear-headed," he said. Drugs made you "too pleased with everything", and to create great work "you have to struggle". The comments came just a day after the Government issued a warning on the dangers facing young people from a flood of heroin and cocaine. Posing for the media in front of his panoramas of the Grand Canyon, which will be unveiled for the first time in Britain at the Summer Exhibition from June 7 to August 15, he confessed to a regular "joint" with a glass of whisky in the evening. Dismissing government policy as naive, he said: "They are trying to ban cigarette advertising. They don't advertise marijuana and cocaine - and they seem to be doing quite well. "I remember Jack Straw in 1968 saying 'you can't legalise marijuana as we haven't got enough information'. Thirty years later, he's said exactly the same thing. I don't know what life has taught him, I've learnt quite a lot. I've smoked a lot of marijuana. It hasn't harmed me." He said that two close friends had died from alcohol rather than illegal substances. A Cabinet Office spokesman yesterday refuted Hockney's claims. She said: "We don't see it (drugs) as something recreational but something that wrecks lives on an individual and community level. There are degrees of drug misuse. At worst, it kills." The Royal Academy has devoted an entire room to Hockney this year, marking a departure for the Summer Exhibition. More than 1,000 works by established and unknown artists have been assembled for this year's exhibition. Hockney's space will feature a series of mirrors, angled so that his paintings, rather than the onlooker, are caught in the reflections. He said the Royal Academy had been "a bit sceptical" about the mirrored creation. "When they saw them, they agreed they worked," he said. The Bradford-born artist, one of the Royal Academy's most distinguished members, has visited the Grand Canyon every three months for the past ten years. From a series of studies and photographs, he has created paintings spread across a grid of dozens of small canvases. "I am drawn to it," he said. "You feel the space that can be defined by its edge."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Actor In Drug 'Sting' Gets Nine Months (The Daily Telegraph, in Britain, says John Alford, the former star of London's Burning, was jailed yesterday on charges of supplying cannabis and cocaine. Alford, 27, blamed the News of the World for entrapping him into supplying the drugs to a reporter posing as an Arab prince.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 16:01:24 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Actor In Drug 'Sting' Gets Nine Months 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: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Daily Telegraph (UK) Copyright: of Telegraph Group Limited 1999 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Author: Sue Clough, Courts Correspondent ACTOR IN DRUG 'STING' GETS NINE MONTHS John Alford, the former London's Burning star, was jailed for nine months yesterday. He had been taken in by a newspaper "sting" that exposed him as a drug supplier. Alford, 27, who defended himself in the trial earlier this month at Snaresbrook Crown Court, was convicted of supplying cannabis and cocaine. He blamed the News of the World for entrapping him into supplying the drugs to an undercover reporter posing as an Arab prince. In mitigation, David Etherington, QC, accused the newspaper of setting out to snare someone who was "naive, over-anxious to please and easily dazzled". During the trial Alford admitted he had been a cocaine user from the age of 13 to 23 and had spent up to UKP500 a week on his habit. The actor, who lost his UKP50,000-a-year role in the television series after the newspaper article, was "undoubtedly motivated by a desire to earn even more money", said Judge Stephen Robbins. He added: "There was a strong element of entrapment but you willingly went along with the idea. You had plenty of opportunity when you left ... to fetch these drugs to distance yourself from it."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Actor Jailed For Dealing In Drugs (The Guardian version) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 16:01:25 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Actor Jailed For Dealing In Drugs 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: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Guardian, The (UK) Copyright: Guardian Media Group 1999 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ ACTOR JAILED FOR DEALING IN DRUGS John Alford, the star of the television series London's Burning, was jailed yesterday for nine months for supplying cocaine and cannabis. The disgraced actor, sacked from the series when his involvement with drugs became public, was caught on camera clinching a deal with an undercover journalist pretending to be an Arabian royal. Judge Stephen Robbins told Alford, 27, below, that although entrapment by the News of the World played a part in the situation, he was "undoubtedly motivated by the desire to earn even more money than [he was] earning as a successful actor." The judge said: "There was a strong element of entrapment, but you willingly went along with the idea. You had plenty of opportunity when you left to fetch these drugs to distance yourself from it." The judge told the former TV firefighter that he also had to bear in mind that he had previously used cocaine heavily himself, spending sometimes up to UKP500 on his habit, before weaning himself off it. He reminded the actor, who was ordered to pay UKP3,000 costs, that he had told the court of seeing friends "go down the road to hell from this drug". The judge said: "People in such circumstances who then agree to supply that very same drug can expect little mercy from the courts."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Nine Months For Drug Case TV Star (The Scotsman version) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 14:58:04 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Nine Months For Drug Case Tv Star Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: 27 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: Melvyn Howe NINE MONTHS FOR DRUG CASE TV STAR THE downfall of the former London's Burning star John Alford was completed yesterday when he was jailed for nine months for supplying cocaine and cannabis. The disgraced actor, sacked from the ITV series when his involvement with drugs was disclosed, was caught on camera clinching a deal with an undercover tabloid journalist posing as Arab royalty. Alford, 27, who has described himself as "the biggest mug on the planet", seemed resigned to his fate at Snaresbrook Crown Court in London. Judge Stephen Robbins said: "You were undoubtedly motivated by the desire to earn even more money than you were earning as a successful actor, believing you would be opening a nightclub in Dubai. There was a strong element of entrapment, but you willingly went along with the idea. You had plenty of opportunity when you left - to fetch these drugs, to distance yourself from it." He also reminded the actor that he had told the court of seeing friends "go down the road to hell from this drug [cocaine]". The judge said: "People in such circumstances who then agree to supply that very same drug can and should expect little mercy from the courts." Alford was jailed for nine months for supplying 2,037 grams of cocaine to a News of the World's investigator in August 1997, with a two-month term to run concurrently for a similar count involving 11.9 grams of cannabis resin. The actor will have to pay UKP3,000 towards prosecution costs, as well as meet a UKP300 confiscation order - the money given to him by the reporter to buy the drugs - or face a further 14 days in prison. Earlier, David Etherington, QC, defending, said promises of big-time film contacts and a "cave of other treasures" resulted in "formidable temptation" for someone the News of the World regarded as a "child". The whole package, said the barrister, was "clever, cynical, made to order" and "rather sickening". Mr Etherington told the court that "any right-thinking person would have some feeling of revulsion about the manner and the casualness" with which those involved in his client's downfall had discussed his destruction shortly before his arrival at the Savoy hotel. He added: "Perhaps the public, having had an excess of these sort of cases in recent weeks, are beginning to question quite what is going on in these sort of operations and whether they are quite so much in the public good as they are told."
------------------------------------------------------------------- War The Enforcer Can't Win (Scotsman columnist Edward Pearce says the new drive against drugs will actually do more harm than good. A different approach is needed - and we could start by legalising soft drugs. There was a time when homosexual relations were thought unspeakably horrific. Decent people flinched in nausea. The most compassionate talked of illness rather than crime, but policemen were employed to haunt public urinals to hunt for smiles and smile back, to engage in part-way complicity and to lie their heads off when hauling off the morally deformed to social ruin in the courts. This is what the tabloids now do with any celebrity who can be crucified for drug consumption. The accompanying hatreds are much the same. The viciousness of virtue is quite special.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 14:35:49 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: War The Enforcer Can't Win Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: 27 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/ WAR THE ENFORCER CAN'T WIN The new drive against drugs will actually do more harm than good, says Edward Pearce. A different approach is needed - and we could start by legalising soft drugs In seeking to limit availability, "our aim is to reduce access to all drugs amongst young people significantly, and to reduce access to all drugs which cause the greatest harm, particularly heroin and cocaine, by 25 per cent by 2005 and by 50 per cent by 2008". The words, precise in the way of the silliest undertakings, are those of Dr Jack Cunningham, not altogether a bad chap, not really the idiot he is making himself here on behalf of a collective Cabinet idiocy. But he is proclaiming the Blair Government's latest contribution to the profits of drug dealing and making, amid the cumulus of futile aspiration, one verifiably wrong statement. Heroin and cocaine are not the drugs which cause the greatest harm. The nameless substances with which heroine and cocaine are frequently cut do that. Taken regularly in pure form, heroin and cocaine are not liquorice allsorts, but they can actually be lived with, attend a steady working career, can matter less than excitable politicians think. And with Mr Blair's mind, Mr Straw's instincts and Dr Cunningham's Bittern boom at work, expect the harm caused by taking heavy drugs to increase. The idea underlying yesterday's preposterous statement is the seizure of more drugs and their profits to finance what are called Drug Action Teams and a Drug Prevention Advisory Service, titles in capital letters to speak resonant purpose - new Faberge Easter eggs for the "Drugs Czar"! And if another drive against drugs - ie more policemen, more undercover operations, more false heroics - should in any degree succeed, it will be met by an appropriately greater adulteration of the drugs sold, and a corresponding increase in that "greater harm". Caused, let us add, by fools of politicians. The standard way to handle any shortfall in the turnover of shirtbuttons is to increase profit per unit sold. There are two ways of doing that with drugs. A higher price multiplies petty crime; cutting kills people. There was a time when homosexual relations were thought unspeakably horrific. Decent people flinched in nausea. The most compassionate talked of illness rather than crime, but policemen were employed to haunt public urinals to hunt for smiles and smile back, to engage in part-way complicity and to lie their heads off when hauling off the morally deformed to social ruin in the courts. This is what the tabloids now do with any celebrity who can be crucified for drug consumption. The accompanying hatreds are much the same. "He'll have his hair cut now," cackled a group of prostitutes at the manacled Oscar Wilde. Perm any three News of the World headlines. The viciousness of virtue is quite special. We don't do that any more, and indeed homosexuals have grown a bit boring. We don't do it because our morality has changed. Sexual variance is seen as legitimate. Let's spell this out so that it can't be misunderstood. The time is not far away when our already changing morality will have moved quite as far on drugs. We are going to reach quite soon a consensus that drugs are a choice the way whisky and beer are choices, that addicted involvement is not wisdom, but that drug-taking will be the chosen recreation of many people and that railing against it is pointless. Only one MP, Paul Flynn of Newport, had the courage on Tuesday to offer any resistance to the Enforcer's noisy assertion of received standard fallacy. But go back to debates about sexual deviancy in the 1940s, read DJ West's absurd Pelican book of 1955, and you will see the same fixed, unreflective horror, the same statutory intolerance. Mr Flynn suggested heretically that soft drugs should be legalised. Cannabis at least should be legal the way beer is legal. Apart from inducing pacific and inert moods rather than belligerence, your unadulterated spliff is on a rough metabolic par with your unadulterated pint of Deuchars. Somebody once tried to prohibit the drinking of beer. Step forward the Jack Cunningham of his day, United States Congressman Andrew Volstead. The act bearing his name passed the American legislature in 1918. It established 14 festive years of corporate criminality as the needs of the market were met by rather obvious looking mafiosi in error-of-taste suits, facilitated by systemic bribery of the police and local government and, with a spiked commodity terrors were added beyond the resources of ordinary alcohol. There was a market for beer and whisky then which was always going to be met and was accommodated through black channels. There is a similar demand for every kind of drug today and it is met by the black market. Consider Sydney Smith's account of Mrs Partington of Sidmouth: "In the winter of 1824 there set in a great flood upon that town ... Dame Partington who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door of her house with mop and patterns, trundling her mop, squeezing out the sea-water and vigorously pushing away the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was roused. Mrs Partington's spirit was up; but I need not tell you the contest was unequal. The Atlantic Ocean beat Mrs Partington." Have I quoted that before? It is all politics. Smith was talking about electoral reform, a grander thing than substances. But there is no real difference. Demand is demand - for a commodity or forms of government. Any minister orating about the war on drugs stands exactly where Mrs Partington stood - up to the knees! There exists, not perhaps the Atlantic, but a fair-sized sea, and it will beat Dr Cunningham. There are three problems in this field - the harm done to users, criminal distribution and the great volume of theft committed to meet the criminals' price. Given pure drugs, almost certainly the physical harm would decline heavily. That can be achieved by opening a legal market and given individual financial strictures, prescribing free. The legal market will not adulterate cocaine any more than it now adulterates TCP, and who steals to go to Boots? So what should we do now that Blairism in all its argument-proof prissiness never will? Refusing any longer to do what we cannot usefully do, we legalise soft drugs. We expand widely on the field experiments of the two Drs Marks who have been guiding patients to legally supplied hard drugs, to monitor how people will cope who rely on drugs but not on criminal suppliers. If, over two years, those tests validate the point that life improves with lawful regularity, we should proceed to the legalisation of all drugs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ten-Year Mandatory Drug Term From Today (The Irish Times says the Criminal Justice Act, 1999, passed into law yesterday, mandating a 10-year jail sentence for anyone caught possessing a supply of drugs estimated by the courts to be worth £10,000 or more. At present garda officially estimate the value of cannabis on a basis of its "final" street value of £10 per gram, so possession of a kilo or more of the herb could result in the mandatory 10-year sentence.) Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 16:50:51 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Ireland: Ten-Year Mandatory Drug Term From Today 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: Thu, 27 May 1999 Source: Irish Times (Ireland) Copyright: 1999 The Irish Times Contact: email@example.com Address: Letters to Editor, The Irish Times, 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2, Ireland Fax: + 353 1 671 9407 Website: http://www.ireland.com/ Author: Jim Cusack, Security Correspondent TEN-YEAR MANDATORY DRUG TERM FROM TODAY Possession for supply of drugs estimated by the courts to be worth IEP10,000 or more will result in a mandatory 10-year jail sentence from today, following the introduction of new laws. The Minister for Justice's Act, first mooted while he was opposition spokesman on justice over three years ago, passed into law yesterday as the Criminal Justice Act, 1999. Part II of the Act creates a new offence of possession of drugs with intent to supply with a value of IEP10,000 or more, for which there will be a mandatory 10-year sentence. At present garda officially estimated the value of cannabis on a basis of its "final" street value of IEP10 per gram, so possession of a kilo or more of the drug could, from now, result in the mandatory 10-year sentence. Along with the laws allowing the seizure of suspected criminal assets, the State now has some of the toughest anti-crime and anti-drugs legislation in the developed world. In a statement yesterday, Mr O'Donoghue said: "It is important that the message goes out widely that from today people who commit the offence of possessing drugs with a value of IEP10,000 with intent to supply will face minimum, mandatory 10-year prison sentences. "That is the stark reality which drug-pushers now face and if they take that risk they will have no one to blame but themselves. "The Criminal Justice Act, 1999, is a flagship measure in my extensive programme of criminal law reform. "While there is no room for complacency, the Act is further evidence of the Government's zero-tolerance approach to crime, an approach which all the available evidence vindicates, not least the unprecedented reductions which have been taking place in the crime rate," he said. The new Criminal Justice Act also includes provisions making it an offence punishable by up to 10 years in prison to intimidate a witness. This measure was announced by the Minister after it emerged the IRA intimidated witnesses in the case in which five of its members faced charges of murdering Det Garda Jerry McCabe. After the witnesses withdrew from the case the murder charges were dropped and defendants pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Other provisions in the Criminal Justice Act will come into force as quickly as possible and include automatic inquiries into the assets of drug-traffickers.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Weekly Action Report on Drug Policies, Year 5, No. 21 (A summary of European and international drug policy news, from CORA, in Italy) Date: 27 May 1999 17:46:13 -0000 From: CORA Fax_EN (firstname.lastname@example.org) Delivered-To: mailing list CORAFax_EN@listbot.com Subject: CORAFax #21 ANTIPROHIBITIONIST OF THE ENTIRE WORLD .... Year 5 #21, May 27 1999 *** Weekly Action Report on Drug Policies *** Edited by the CORA - Radical Antiprohibitionist Coordination, federated to - TRP-Transnational Radical Party (NGO, consultive status, I) - The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War *** - WEB INFO CORA http://www.agora.it/coranet - MAIL INFO CORA mailto:email@example.com - SUBSCRIBE the Mailing List CORA http://www.radicalparty.org/elist/elist_cora.htm *** director: Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved *** CORA NEWS *** Giulio Manfredi, of the CORA, says that the Turin meeting "Nuove Droghe" could be useful to introduce effective prevention policies regarding the new synthetic drugs. He openly disagrees with the municipal councillor Mr. D'Ambrosio, who is against both *** CLIPPINGS The anti prohibitionists have launched an appeal to the candidates for European Parliament in favour of de-penalisation of all drugs and of legalisation of light drugs. They also ask for more effective harm reduction strategies and for a reform of international agreements. Forum Droghe, the association who is sponsoring the appeal, hopes that the forthcoming elections will represent a turning point towards more human and tolerant policies. *** NEWS FROM THE WORLD *** 000625 27/05/99 ADDICTION L'ESPRESSO Modern pharmacology is making considerable progress in the battle against drug addiction. Pills against cocaine, heroin, alcohol and cigarettes have in fact been launched on the market. These medicines act directly on the molecules of the brain that cause the craving. *** 000626 20/05/99 E.U. / SPAIN INITIATIVE EL PAIS 20-25/05 / CAMBIO 16 21/05 Andalusia and Catalunia are waiting for the Ministry of Health to approve their plans for controlled distribution of heroin. In the meantime the Uncdp (the UN supervising office on drugs) has invited the two governmentes to not imitate the Swiss plan. *** 000622 21/05/99 E.U. / ITALY / ROME JUSTICE CORRIERE DELLA SERA The Court of Cassation has accepted the state of anger and stress that drove a father to kill his heroin addict daughter as a valid extenuatory circumstance. It seems that the girl had been an addict for twenty years. *** 000623 21/05/99 E.U. / GB JUSTICE THE TIMES MP Paul Flynn has condemned the decision of imprisoning a arthritic man who was condemned to 12 months for having held a conference on the therapeutic use of cannabis. The sentence had not been enforced up to this day. *** 000624 21/05/99 E.U. / GB PREVENTION THE TIMES The Eton prevention programme against drug circulation in schools has achieved the result of seven student expulsion in four years, thus reducing noticeably the phenomenon. *** 000627 21/05/99 E.U. / NL WAR ON DRUGS CAMBIO 16 The novelist Larry Collins explains his contrariety to legalisation of light drugs by citing the policy that is adopted in Holland. It has been a failure, in his opinion. *** 000628 26/05/99 AMERICA / USA WAR ON DRUGS HERALD TRIBUNE Thomas Constantine, for the past five years director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, has publicly announced his intentions to retire. He has also put everyone on notice about the dangers represented by the infiltration of Mexican drug traffickers in the USA. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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