------------------------------------------------------------------- Rush To Vengeance - Vivid Documentary Skillfully Weaves In Bigger Questions Of The Three Strikes Law (Chicago Tribune television critic Steve Johnson says Michael J. Moore's 75-minute documentary about California's "three strikes" law, "The Legacy: Murder & Media, Politics & Prison," opening the season for "P.O.V." Tuesday night, is a vivid portrait of how populist politics, the press's and public's disregard for details and an emotion-stirring crime can turn a seemingly simple idea into monumentally short-sighted policy.) Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 17:13:26 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US IL: Rush To Vengeance Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Pubdate: Mon, 31 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: Steve Johnson RUSH TO VENGEANCE VIVID DOCUMENTARY SKILLFULLY WEAVES IN BIGGER QUESTIONS OF THE THREE STRIKES LAW Especially in the permit-no-subtlety world of talk radio and get-tough-on-crime politics, it sounds like a great idea: Pass a law that tells criminals, "Three strikes and you're out of society for at least 25 years." Such a notion was on the table in 1994 in California, and it gave filmmaker Michael J. Moore the more sound concept to chronicle the campaign for its passage. Moore's 75-minute documentary is a vivid portrait of how populist politics, the press' and public's disregard for details and an emotion-stirring crime can turn a seemingly simple idea into monumentally short-sighted policy. "The Legacy: Murder & Media, Politics & Prison" (11 p.m. Tuesday, WTTW-Ch. 11) is the first film of the season for "P.O.V.," the first-rate public-television summer series that showcases the work of independent documentarians. The nine-week 1999 season includes films on Japanese-American internment ("Rabbit in the Moon," July 6) and a Mississippi county's battle over religion in schools ("School Prayer: A Community at War," July 20). The series is off to a compelling start with "The Legacy," a film whose tendency to belabor its points cannot overwhelm a fascinating and appalling story that begins with two murdered girls but leads toward the question of whether the United States is conducting a kind of race war in its rush to incarcerate young minority men. Mike Reynolds and Marc Klaas both had daughters killed in California by paroled felons; Klaas' daughter was Polly, whose plight became widely known during the two months between her disappearance and the discovery of her body. At the time of Polly's abduction, Reynolds was working hard to get a "Three Strikes and You're Out" law passed in remembrance of his slain daughter Kimber, and getting nowhere. But the attention the Klaas case drew and the identification of her killer suddenly gave Reynolds the symbol he needed. Not only could he get enough signatures to place his measure before voters as a ballot initiative, but campaigning politicians hastened to endorse it and legislators rapidly made it law. Never mind, most everybody agreed, what the few naysayers pointed out: that Reynolds' version of Three Strikes did not differentiate between violent and non-violent felonies, meaning men could, and later would, go to prison for a quarter-century and more for stealing a can of beer, if that happened to be their third offense. In the rush to vengeance, also ignored were the cries of judges, who felt it was one more restriction on their ability to be just; the arguments of social activists, who warned that this law would have a disproportionate effect on black men, especially; and the analysis of the few politicians looking beyond the next election, who foresaw a state bankrupting itself, or at least sabotaging its vaunted public university system, in its zeal to build and fill prisons. At first, Marc Klaas signed on to the Three Strikes campaign. But when his father began to look closer at the law, he saw its flaws and convinced his son they did not want Polly's legacy to be locking men up and throwing the key away for drug possession or writing bad checks. So the Klaases began an ultimately futile statewide countercampaign, trying to stop an overloaded bandwagon that was moving at race-car speed. And they had to listen as Polly was taken from them again, this time by Reynolds and his allies. Reynolds says in an interview, chillingly, that Polly couldn't help who her father was. The film is told mostly through first-person interviews and contemporary news footage, and as it progresses Moore skillfully weaves in the bigger questions. By the end, his statistics and interviews and observation add up to an indictment of making criminal-justice policy in moments of high emotion. California's violent crime rate did go down in the three years after Three Strikes, the film says, but no more so than in states without such laws. And by 1998 one in five California inmates was being sentenced under the law -- in 80 percent of those cases for non-violent crimes.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Opinion On Campus (Excerpts from an article in the National Review's "Special Education Supplement" document the opinions of the Class of '98 about whether marijuana and other currently illegal substances should be "legalized." Seniors at seven of the 12 colleges surveyed came much closer to approving legal marijuana than they did as freshmen, ranging from 42 percent to 48 percent. But prohibitionists always outnumbered those favoring reform, though at some schools, prohibition mustered only a plurality of support. At all twelve schools, majorities ranging from 72 percent to 94 percent opposed "legalizing" all drugs, a response indistinguishable from 1995.) Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 10:48:23 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Opinion On Campus Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Mike Gogulski Pubdate: Mon, 31 May 1999 Source: National Review (US) Section: Special Education Supplement, pp. 33-43 Copyright: 1999 National Review Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nationalreview.com/ Forum: http://www.nationalreview.com/soapbox/soapbox.html Note: These are excerpts from relevant sections The entire report is available online at http://www.nationalreview.com/31may99/campus_opinion99.doc SPECIAL REPORT OPINION ON CAMPUS In the next few pages, we report the results of the follow-up survey of the college Class of '98 promised to you just after we first polled them as freshmen back in 1995 (our September 25 issue). Early last year, we mailed the same questionnaire to those students, seniors by then, as the final phase of a project for the Educational Reviewer designed to contrast political, cultural, and religious attitudes upon college entry and nearer graduation. Our text does just that-contrast first-year and fourth-year responses. The tables display the 1995/freshmen percentages in a row labeled "freshmen" while those of 1998/seniors are in the row below, bold and italicized. Fractional percentages, which had been dropped in 1995, were rounded last year. In both surveys, the percentage not replying to each question was omitted. As in 1995, the twelve colleges and universities included were: Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.; The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.; Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis.; the University of California at Irvine; the University of Indiana at Bloomington; the University of California at Los Angeles; the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee; three Ivies - Dartmouth, Yale, and Brown; the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; and Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. [...] OPENNESS [...] Seniors on seven campuses came much closer to approval (ranging from 42 percent to 48 percent) of legalizing marijuana (Question 19) than they did as freshmen. But opponents still held the only majorities (Liberty, The Citadel, Marquette), though that's two fewer than in 1995-UC-Irvine and Indiana slipped to pluralities in opposition (48 percent and 46 percent). At all twelve schools, majorities ranging from 72 percent to 94 percent opposed legalizing all drugs (Question 20). That is indistinguishable from their 1995 response. Indicate your views on the following political proposals for the United States by writing in a letter signifying the following: A. Definitely in favor. B. Somewhat in favor. C. Indifferent/no opinion. D. Somewhat opposed. E. Definitely opposed. [...] 19. Legalizing marijuana A B C D E Liberty freshmen 8 0 0 5 86 seniors 6 4 4 6 79 The Citadel freshmen 4 23 21 18 32 seniors 11 10 7 9 63 Marquette freshmen 13 19 18 17 31 seniors 8 15 11 18 48 UC-Irvine freshmen 4 6 9 25 54 seniors 17 17 18 11 37 Indiana freshmen 15 20 9 31 23 seniors 17 21 16 11 35 UCLA freshmen 11 18 24 8 39 seniors 20 27 20 8 25 U. Wisconsin freshmen 16 23 12 15 32 seniors 18 25 14 10 33 Dartmouth freshmen 18 21 16 13 30 seniors 22 22 17 10 29 U. Michigan freshmen 18 21 9 16 34 seniors 17 31 15 15 22 Stanford freshmen 18 13 24 11 32 seniors 13 29 21 14 22 Yale freshmen 16 20 15 12 35 seniors 17 25 20 11 27 Brown freshmen 15 17 22 15 29 seniors 23 23 14 16 24 20. Legalizing all drugs A B C D E Liberty freshmen 0 4 0 4 90 seniors 2 1 2 4 90 The Citadel freshmen 1 6 5 6 80 seniors 1 2 4 5 88 Marquette freshmen 0 9 4 15 70 seniors 0 1 7 7 85 UC-Irvine freshmen 3 5 6 17 67 seniors 10 3 8 25 54 Indiana freshmen 2 3 6 13 75 seniors 7 4 8 13 68 UCLA freshmen 2 6 15 14 61 seniors 5 11 6 16 62 U.Wisconsin freshmen 3 11 5 14 65 seniors 6 9 13 8 64 Dartmouth freshmen 3 13 2 19 61 seniors 2 8 3 17 70 U. Michigan freshmen 3 5 2 20 68 seniors 3 15 8 16 58 Stanford freshmen 8 14 4 15 57 seniors 2 7 7 23 60 Yale freshmen 4 11 5 16 62 seniors 6 7 5 25 57 Brown freshmen 9 16 1 14 58 seniors 3 10 8 17 62 [...]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Putting Alcohol in Ads on Drugs Is Resisted (The New York Times recaps how the White House drug czar, General Barry McCaffrey, is battling a bill introduced in Congress at his own suggestion by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., that would allow the inclusion of anti-drinking messages in the government's $1 billion anti-drug campaign. "To say that MADD is a little upset over Gen. McCaffrey and the direction he has chosen to take would probably be an understatement," said Karolyn Nunnallee, the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Society of Addiction Medicine and other medical, church and community groups also support the bill. Opposition in the House is forming around Rep. Anne Northup, R-Ky., who says, ". . . drugs are unique and we shouldn't confuse the messages and diminish them. . . . The message about drugs is don't ever do it, not at any age and type. That is not the message about alcohol, just like it's not the message of sex.") Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 11:16:36 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: NYT: Putting Alcohol in Ads on Drugs Is Resisted Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dick Evans Pubdate: Mon, 31 May 1999 Source: New York Times (NY) Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Forum: http://www10.nytimes.com/comment/ Author: Christopher S. Wren PUTTING ALCOHOL IN ADS ON DRUGS IS RESISTED Evidence abounds that beer is more popular with adolescents than marijuana. Yet while the government is spending $195 million this year on its national media campaign to dissuade adolescents from using illicit drugs, not a penny of the appropriated tax dollars goes to warn about the dangers of drinking. So this month, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., introduced an amendment allowing underage drinking to be included among the advertising campaign's targets. Her effort has not pleased beer wholesalers, some other members of Congress or even the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy. "We are neither endorsing nor opposing that proposal for inclusion of alcohol in the media campaign," said Robert Weiner, the spokesman for Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the director of national drug policy. Teen-agers' wider use of alcohol over drugs has been documented in the annual survey of adolescent drug use by researchers at the University of Michigan. In 1998, the survey reported, 74 percent of the high school seniors sampled said they had drunk alcohol in the previous year, and nearly one-third said they had gotten drunk within the last month. In comparison, 38 percent of the seniors said they had smoked marijuana during the previous year. McCaffrey himself has expressed concern about alcohol use by the young. "It's the biggest drug abuse problem for adolescents, and it's linked to the use of other, illegal drugs," he said at a news conference on Feb. 8. But a month later, McCaffrey told a House Appropriations subcommittee that he lacked the authority to spend federal money on anti-alcohol messages in the media campaign, which has now reached 102 cities across the country. The law passed by Congress creating the antidrug media campaign does not define "drug." But the earlier law creating the White House national drug control office limits its authority to combating controlled substances, thereby excluding alcohol. Ms. Roybal-Allard, a subcommittee member, said she was sufficiently upset by McCaffrey's remarks to put forward her amendment, which may be voted on next month. "They're not getting at the root of the problem, which is underage drinking," she said in a telephone interview from Washington. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., joined Ms. Roybal-Allard as a co-sponsor. "You're finding more young people dying of alcohol-related problems than of drugs," Wolf said. He said he wanted to let McCaffrey include underage drinking in the media campaign "if he thinks it's appropriate." But the White House drug control office says it does not want to tinker with the campaign's efforts to change youth attitudes about drugs, and possibly dilute the message about drugs. Charles Blanchard, the chief counsel for McCaffrey, said that media outlets had been asked to match the federal funds they get for running the antidrug ads by supplying additional public service announcements or programming. He estimated that 15 percent of these would address underage drinking. Even if these anti-alcohol messages appear, critics say, they would account for little more than 7 percent of the advertising messages in the campaign. Karolyn Nunnallee, the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, accused the White House drug office of ignoring the problem of underage drinking. "To say that MADD is a little upset over Gen. McCaffrey and the direction he has chosen to take would probably be an understatement," Mrs. Nunnallee said in a telephone interview from her home in Fort Meade, Fla. The American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Society of Addiction Medicine and other medical, church and community groups also support the amendment. Opposition in the House is forming around Rep. Anne Northup, R-Ky., who promises to kill the amendment when it comes up for a vote. "I think everybody appreciates Ms. Roybal-Allard's concern," Mrs. Northup said. But, she added, "there are a number of people that believe that drugs are unique and we shouldn't confuse the messages and diminish them." "The message about drugs is don't ever do it, not at any age and type," Ms. Northup said. "That is not the message about alcohol, just like it's not the message of sex." George Hacker, director of the alcohol policies project for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit education and advocacy organization that is rallying support for the amendment, pointed out that Ms. Northup received more than $38,000 in donations from liquor and beer interests between 1997 and 1998. But Ms. Northup said that had nothing to do with her opposition to the amendment. "I've seen this tactic a lot where anybody who's against anything, the first thing people do is pull your campaign contributions," she said. "That way you don't have to have a conversation about the quality of the discussion." Tamara Tyrrell, the director of public affairs for the National Beer Wholesalers' Association, said the amendment "is not the proper way to solve the problem" of underage drinking. Beer wholesalers already spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on alcohol awareness programs, she said. "We feel that the drug czar should be focused on illegal drugs," Ms. Tyrrell said, "and alcohol is a legal product and, when consumed responsibly, it has even healthy benefits for certain people." The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a coalition of advertising and public relations professionals that is coordinating the antidrug media campaign, has also found itself in the awkward position of opposing the amendment. "You can't simply assume that the antidrug campaign can be widened to include something as huge as underage drinking," said Stephen Dnistrian, the partnership's spokesman. He said the alcohol industry spends close to $3 billion a year on marketing and promotion, a sum that dwarfs the government's $195 million appropriation for the antidrug media campaign. "We have concern about killing one campaign to help another that will have virtually no impact," Dnistrian said. This is not the first time the issue has been raised. Blanchard said that the Office of National Drug Control Policy tried last year to include underage drinking as part of its mandate, but the proposal never reached the House floor. But Blanchard added, "Even if we were given the authority, we wouldn't immediately include alcohol" because it could confuse the antidrug campaign "and neither message would punch through." "We don't feel you could mindlessly tack it onto this campaign," he said. "It has to be done right." Ms. Roybal-Allard said the solution could be as simple as concluding each antidrug message by asking parents to "talk to your children about drugs -- and alcohol." In fact, the White House's national drug strategy has as its first goal to "educate and enable America's youth to reject illegal drugs as well as alcohol and tobacco." The strategy also identifies drinking as a gateway to illicit drug use. It says that adults who started drinking as children are nearly eight times more likely to use cocaine than adults who did not do so. The House Appropriations Committee has not yet considered the amendment on underage drinking because some Democratic members of Congress have attached gun-control amendments to the legislation, which is a Treasury and general government appropriations bill. A vote looks unlikely before mid-June. With enough public support, Ms. Roybal-Allard said, "I think we're going to win on this. I just can't imagine someone voting against it." But, she added, "The industries opposing it are very, very powerful."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ill will (U.S. News & World Report says the U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee wants to slash four of the seven jobs in the drug czar's legislative affairs office because it is often slow to respond to Congress - an unforgivable political sin. Bob Weiner, the drug czar's spokesman, says "It's a pissing match between staffs . . . it ain't going to go anywhere.") From: GranVizier@webtv.net Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 21:20:30 -0400 (EDT) To: email@example.com Subject: [cp] [CZAR] in p---ing match http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/990531/31whispers.htm Ill will Battles between Washington staffs are usually kept secret, but the name-calling between the drug czar's office and the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds it is spilling into public. The panel charges in a report that the drug czar's legislative affairs office is often slow to respond to Congress - an unforgivable political sin. As punishment, it wants to slash four of seven jobs in the shop. Reacting, drug czar spokesman Bob Weiner says his gang has issues with House staffers but "we've kept those sentiments private." He adds: "It's a p - - - ing match between staffs . . . it ain't going to go anywhere." Bang, you're it We don't know if it's coincidence or not, but as the Secret Service prepares to protect the next crowd of presidential wannabes from a growing number of nut-case threats, it's holstering more powerful firepower. Instead of the standard-issue 9-mm pistol, the service is going with the more powerful .357 handgun. And it's scrapping the Israeli Uzi submachine gun for the Hechler and Koch version. *** Subscribe to CzarWatch at: http://www.egroups.com/group/czarwatch
------------------------------------------------------------------- Chelmsford Man Praises The Healing Herb (The Sudbury Star, in Ontario, says medical-marijuana patient Barry Burkholder is in constant pain and suffers from chronic arthritis, clinical depression and hepatitis C. Both he and some medical experts say marijuana relieves the symptoms of his various physical and emotional afflictions. For example, Dr. Beverly Potter's book, "The Healing Magic of Cannabis," makes grandiose claims for the healing herb. Potter says pot has a soothing, even a restorative effect on arthritis, back pain, asthma, depression, epilepsy, glaucoma, insomnia, menstrual cramps, migraine headaches and multiple sclerosis. Even so, Burkholder was arrested last September and charged with possessing cannabis oil for the purpose of trafficking.)Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 13:55:50 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Chelmsford Man Praises The Healing Herb Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Haans Pubdate: Monday, May 31, 1999 Source: Sudbury Star (Canada) Copyright: 1999 The Sudbury Star Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 33 MacKenzie St., Sudbury, Ont., P3C 4Y1 Fax: (705) 674-6834 Website: http://www.thesudburystar.com Author: Rob O'Flanagan CHELMSFORD MAN PRAISES THE HEALING HERB Barry Burkholder places his hands on the kitchen table of his Chelmsford home. They resemble, at first glance, the bent, gnarled roots of a tree. Reddish, chapped and disfigured, they are like most of the bones in the 34-year-old's body racked with excruciating pain every day of his life. When he forces them to move, his fingers creak and crack as though he is rolling several marbles between his hands. But in a few moments, something quite surprising happens. Burkholder lights a cannabis cigarette and takes two quick drags inhaling deeply, holding the smoke in his lungs before exhaling with a long, soothing sign of relief. His aching fingers become more flexible; his pain is relieved. Wherever there is cartilage in my body, there is constant pain, says Burkholder, who suffers from chronic arthritis, clinical depression and hepatitis C. Pot, he and some medical experts say, relieves the symptoms of all of his various physical and emotional afflictions. Sometimes, I tell my wife that my feet hurt so bad, I'd like to cut them right off, Burkholder says. But within a few minutes after taking my `medicine,' my pain goes away and I'm able to carrying on my daily chores. Although Burkholder has a history of self-destructive behaviour, pot despite its reputation as a brain-squelching substance is decidedly non-destructive to his body and mind, he says. I've been an addictive person most of my life, Burkholder says. I was drunk or stoned most of the time. Pills, alcohol, cocaine, acid, mushrooms anything I could get my hands on. I loved pharmaceuticals, especially. You know, prescription drugs. But I've finally cleaned myself up. I've been sober and drug-free for three years. I've got a beautiful wife, children and a new home. I even found God. I mean, things are good, and I want to live a good life for as long as I have left. The pot helps me deal with my pain so I can enjoy my life more. It does wonders. But wonder drug or not, pot is still illegal in this country, and that was made blatantly clear to Burkholder last September when he was arrested and charged with the offense of possession for the purpose of trafficking. To him, his supply of pot oil was a pain-killer; to the law, it was an illegal drug. A lot of people who use cannabis for medical purposes have been arrested, Burkholder says. The police came right into my home and charged me. I mean, should my children have to face the chance of losing their daddy because he was using the one thing that made him feel better, the one thing that wouldn't make him an addict again? It's just not fair. It was after being arrested that Burkholder discovered, for the first time, a national network of organizations, lawyers and politicians who are fighting to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes. Burkholder jumped at the opportunity for assistance and to be a part of their cause. He started his own page on the Internet www.legalize.com/herbgarden/burkie to publicize his situation. He asked his doctor to write a letter on his behalf to the Compassionate Cannabis Club of Sturgeon Falls, an organization which provides medical marijuana to people suffering from serious ailments. Witnessing Burkholder's somewhat miraculous pain relief would give even an anti-pot purist pause for thought. Maybe there are legitimate healing properties in the stinky weed. Dr. Beverly Potter's book The Healing Magic of Cannabis makes grandiose claims for the healing herb. Potter says pot has a soothing, even a restorative effect on arthritis, back pain, asthma, depression, epilepsy, glaucoma, insomnia, menstrual cramps, migraine headaches and multiple sclerosis to name a few. The knowledge of these healing wonders is nothing new. Marijuana has been smoked or consumed for centuries as a natural medication, the book suggests. Activists are pressuring federal Health Minister Allan Rock to enact legislation which will legalize pot use for medical purposes. They cite doctors and researchers who claim the drug is non-toxic, non-addictive, does not cause crime, has no potential for harm or danger, and does not lead to the use of stronger drugs. Doctors such as Lester Grinspoon of the Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Mass., argue that, in time, marijuana may ultimately turn out to be a very important medicine, especially for people suffering from arthritis and rheumatic diseases that debilitate people like Burkholder. For Burkholder, who does not want to use addictive drugs, it is his only medicine.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Trials Win AMA Approval (The Age says delegates to the Australian Medical Association's national conference in Canberra yesterday passed a motion put forward by Victorian doctors endorsing the use of heroin-maitenance trials to manage, and ultimately treat, addiction to the drug. The AMA's stance increases pressure on the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, to end his opposition to alternative therapies for heroin addicts.) Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 10:05:13 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: Drug Trials Win AMA Approval Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Kenneth William Russell Pubdate: Mon, 31 May 1999 Source: Age, The (Australia) Copyright: 1999 David Syme & Co Ltd Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.theage.com.au/ Author: Adrian Rollins, Canberra DRUG TRIALS WIN AMA APPROVAL Australian doctors yesterday voted to support the use of heroin trials to manage, and ultimately treat, addiction to the drug. Delegates to the Australian Medical Association's national conference in Canberra yesterday passed a motion put forward by Victorian doctors endorsing the use of heroin trials, increasing the pressure on the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, to end his opposition to alternative therapies for drug-users. The association's national conference, which voted for the measure, also convincingly returned Dr David Brand as president. The federal vice-president, Dr Sandra Hacker, who was also comfortably re-elected, said law enforcement had failed to curb the use of heroin and it had to be tackled as a health issue. Dr Hacker said the increasing number of deaths among young heroin-users made the need for alternative approaches critical. Victorian doctor Allan Zimet, who put the motion for a heroin trial, said present drug policies had failed. ``It is now time to try the medical approach which promotes healing rather than punishment,'' he said. ``The Swiss heroin trial has shown that prescribed heroin delivered in a controlled environment with counselling improves the health of addicts and decreases drug-related crime. Prescribed heroin may assist addicts to regain control of their lives.'' The AMA has, however, come out against injecting rooms. Dr Brand said there was no such thing as a ``safe'' injecting room. Mr Howard has consistently ruled out the introduction of heroin trials, most recently at the premiers' conference in April where Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory both argued for the measure. Instead, the Government has favored law enforcement through its $290million Tough on Drugs strategy and treatment through a $220million program unveiled at the conference. Dr Brand was comfortably returned as AMA president despite the challenge mounted by a dissident group led by former president Dr Bruce Shepherd. In the leadership ballot, Dr Brand received 92 votes to Dr Shepherd's 42. But his leadership woes are not over. Dr Shepherd vowed yesterday to pursue his campaign to unseat Dr Brand at an emergency general meeting in Brisbane in June. Dr Shepherd believes that under Dr Brand the AMA has become too close to the Government and he will be writing to all members in the lead-up to the meeting. The continued challenge comes amid negotiations between the AMA and the Government over plans to cap doctor's rebates for treating patients. Dr Shepherd's group is hostile to any such agreement. Dr Shepherd said yesterday's vote ``could have been a lot worse'', particularly because national conference delegates were a ``very select group''. But Dr Brand said he was confident of surviving the Brisbane meeting, particularly as his leadership had been vindicated so strongly yesterday. A spokesman for the federal Health Minister, Dr Michael Wooldridge, said the Government ``looks forward to continuing constructive dialogue with the AMA''.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prescribed Heroin Will Save Lives, Say Doctors (The version in the Australian) Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 11:11:44 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: Prescribed Heroin Will Save Lives, Say Doctors Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Kenneth William Russell Pubdate: Mon, 31 May 1999 Source: Australian, The (Australia) Copyright: News Limited 1999 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/ Author: John Kerin PRESCRIBED HEROIN WILL SAVE LIVES, SAY DOCTORS DOCTORS yesterday backed a trial of prescribed heroin, saying current approaches were failing addicts. The proposal, put forward by Victorian doctors, was endorsed by the Australian Medical Association's national conference in Canberra. "It is now time to try the medical approach, which promotes healing rather than punishment," said AMA Victorian board member Allan Zimet. "Current drug policies have failed to curb increases in the number of drug-related deaths and drug-associated crime. "The Swiss heroin trial has shown that prescribed heroin delivered in a controlled environment with counselling improves the health of addicts and decreases drug-related crime," he said. "Prescribed heroin may assist addicts to regain control of their lives. Prescription and counselling allows them to focus on gaining employment, housing and address their reasons for using heroin rather than fixating on their next hit." AMA president David Brand also called on the Government to devote the tax it collected from underage smokers - at least $64 million annually to a campaign to reduce the number of smoking-related deaths, currently at 18,000 a year. The AMA also launched a campaign aimed at passive smokers. Australian Council on Smoking and Health spokesman Keith Woollard said that the campaign, to be conducted through doctors' surgeries around the country, was aimed at getting non-smokers not to put themselves at risk by attending bars and other venues where smoking was allowed. Queensland and the Northern Territory tied for the association's annual ashtray awards for those States that had done the least to curb smoking in the previous 12 months.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Britain In Grip Of Drugs Culture (The Toronto Star says Britain is in a drugs frenzy, with an epidemic of tabloid stories about high-flying celebrities and low-life "addicts" laying bare the extent of the craze. The Office for National Statistics estimates Britons spends up to $16 billion a year on illegal drugs, with some 300 million drug deals believed to take place in London alone. "What we are finding is the normalization of drug-taking," said drugs tsar Keith Hellawell. Last week the government unveiled tough new targets to crack down on drug abuse.) Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 12:35:26 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Wire: Britain In Grip Of Drugs Culture Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Mike Maunz Pubdate: Mon, 31 May 1999 Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Copyright: 1999, The Toronto Star Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Forum: http://www.thestar.com/editorial/disc_board/ Author: Reuters BRITAIN IN GRIP OF DRUGS CULTURE LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is in a drugs frenzy with an epidemic of stories about high-flying celebrities and low-life addicts laying bare the extent of the craze. To hear the tabloid press tell it, top sportsmen regularly snort cocaine, posh society is awash with pills and powders while recreational users have even penetrated the BBC. From a celebrated novelist who took heroin in the washroom of the prime minister's plane to the pop star who compares getting high to drinking tea, drugs are omnipresent. "Celebrities using drugs just reflect the rest of society. Drugs are very much part and parcel of youth culture and are likely to remain so," said Mike Goodman, director of Release, a national drugs and legal advice charity. Heroin use is rising among the young and poor as prices drop while cocaine is as common as Chianti in many professional circles, cash-rich and weary from the working week. The Office for National Statistics estimates Britain spends up to $16 billion on illegal drugs each year, with some 300 million drug deals believed to take place in London alone. "What we are finding is the normalization of drug-taking," said Keith Hellawell, the official charged with spearheading the government's drive against drugs, who released his first report on the epidemic in May. Be it designers dressing waifish models in "heroin chic" or advertisers selling mundane household products with trippy imagery, narcotics are entrenched in daily life. "Drugs are all over and they're here to stay. It's just irresponsible of all these celebrities to get caught," Lotte McGrand of Dazed and Confused, a magazine with the pulse of youth culture, said. "Drugs are so common it would be even hipper for kids not to take them." Social Trends, an annual survey by the government, says eight per cent of 12-year-olds, 30 per cent of 14-year-olds and 40 per cent of 16-year-olds have tried drugs at least once. Teenage ecstasy deaths barely warrant a mention in a jaded press and Britain's thriving club and music industries weave drugs ever tighter into the fabric of youth culture. Next month sees the release of Human Traffic, an insider's view of drugs and clubs in Wales touted as this summer's hit film just as Trainspotting stole headlines with its gritty portrayal of life among Scotland's junkies. "People in Europe are much more fearful about drugs, but in Britain, drugs are all over and are out there every weekend. You might be scared this is the last drug you'll ever take, but people still want to run the risk," McGrand said. A study of all 15 European Union members shows three times as many young Britons had experimented with the rave drug ecstasy than their counterparts in France or Germany. Young Britons were also much more likely to have used hallucinogens, amphetamines and solvents, according to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs. This month Tom Parker Bowles, godson of Prince Charles and a friend to Britain's young princes, was caught in a classic "honey trap" when he allegedly offered to buy cocaine for a reporter posing as a debutante at the Cannes film festival. Days later, the captain of England's rugby team was forced to resign when he too was lured into boasts of drug use and dealing by an undercover tabloid reporter. Drugs have even invaded the soccer field with Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler answering taunts from the stands by pretending to snort cocaine off the goal line. A children's television host, a popular actor, a BBC disc jockey - the list of alleged users fingered in the press grows ever longer. "It's deplorable. It's giving an abysmal, appalling example to young people. There's no glamour in drug-taking. It wrecks lives, it wrecks health and ruins families," Jack Cunningham, the minister coordinating government drugs strategy, said. Last week the government unveiled tough new targets to crack down on drug abuse, emphasizing treatment over punishment. It wants to cut the number of young people using heroin or cocaine by a quarter by 2005 and a half by 2008, saying addicts are responsible for 30 per cent of all crime. Few experts see a quick fix as long as drugs keep growing purer, cheaper and ever more prevalent. But Cunningham says there is no choice. "We simply have to get to grips with it. "Whether or not it leads to an epidemic is too early to say, but it's the situation we are facing."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Swiss Hemp Grower Sent To Jail (The Associated Press notes briefly a court in Martigny, Switzerland, on Monday sentenced Bernard Rappaz to 16 months in prison for producing 8.5 tons of dried cannabis and selling it stuffed in cushions, which were advertised as having therapeutic qualities. The guilty verdict derived from a federal "narcotics" law. A list subscriber forwards more details from a Swiss hempster, including confirmation that appeals are available, and even likely to prevail.) Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 18:52:46 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Switzerland: WIRE: Swiss Hemp Grower Sent To Jail Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF Pubdate: Mon, 31 May 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press SWISS HEMP GROWER SENT TO JAIL MARTIGNY, Switzerland (AP) A Swiss court sentenced a hemp grower on Monday to 16 months in prison for producing tons of the dried plant and selling it stuffed in cushions. Bernard Rappaz, who was found guilty of offenses under federal narcotics law, was also ordered to pay about $20,000 in fines and court costs. Hemp and marijuana are both derived from the cannabis plant. Rappaz was convicted of producing 8.5 tons of dried hemp, and selling some of the plants in the form of cushions, which were advertised as having therapeutic qualities. The court ordered the destruction of the hemp, seized in 1996. Three other defendants were acquitted. *** From: "Boris Ryser" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) To: "D. Paul Stanford" (firstname.lastname@example.org), "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Swiss Hemp Grower Sent To Jail comments Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 17:45:19 +0200 Dear Peter, Let me explain more than the journalist does below... as that Swiss hemp grower is the one I am working with... ---Message d'origine--- De: D. Paul Stanford (firstname.lastname@example.org); CRRH mailing list (email@example.com) > Newshawk: EWCHIEF > Pubdate: Mon, 31 May 1999 > Source: Associated Press > Copyright: 1999 Associated Press > > SWISS HEMP GROWER SENT TO JAIL... No, there is a "appeal" at the upper province court... until then he is free. > The court ordered the destruction of the hemp, seized in 1996. This is not confirmed. And that judge had to give it back.... and indeed gave more than the half of an illegal seizure... >Three other defendants were acquitted. ...that means total victory for these three, that means that all they did, and do, is now considered as legal... They are, all three, equal bosses of that company, Valchanvre, which is a co-op of 4 growers, managing semi-industrial "good" hemp work and ordering dozens of growers to grow for our co-op some of our best seeds... As you can now understand this is not a catastrophe.... but just the first step of a justice scene (with appeals to upper courts... up to the federal court and we'll win for sure...!) Freedom of growing! Our company, Valchanvre, pioneer in Switzerland in used to deal with justice and federal authorities and this: up from the seventies. We have a site of course http://www.omedia.ch/silicon/valchanvre/ Visit it and look how many products we manufactured. All these products are full legal and sold everywhere in our country - our pot won a second prize at last Amsterdam cannabis (HT) Cup and the first prize at the first Swiss canna cup (January 99). Your Boris Ryser "fédération suisse des consommateurs de cannabis" firstname.lastname@example.org -------------------------------------------------------------------
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