Portland NORML News - Saturday, June 5, 1999
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Supply firm questions timing of police raid (The Oregonian says the Marijuana
Task Force on Thursday raided the American Agriculture hydroponics supply
store in southeast Portland, as well as the homes of the store's owner and
manager. No arrests were forthcoming, suggesting nothing was found except an
excuse to close the business and intimidate the owners by confiscating
computers and business records. The raids came a month after a judge
questioned why police had investigated the business for four years without
bringing charges, and three months after it filed a federal lawsuit over the
MTF's illegal use of a "trap and trace" telephone tap. During a court hearing
May 4, Officer Nathan Shropshire testified that the Marijuana Task Force was
formed in February 1995 for the purpose of investigating American Agriculture
and owner Richard H. Martin Jr. When asked whether the purpose of the task
force had changed, Shropshire said no.)

Date: Sun, 06 Jun 1999 01:05:44 -0700
From: Paul Freedom (nepal@teleport.com)
To: Constitutional Cannabis Patriots (cp@telelists.com)
CRRH mailing list (restore@crrh.org)
Subject: [cp] [Fwd: Cops raid American Agriculture - MTF's "only" suspect

Looks like the Gestapo need to justify their unConstitutionl
behavior.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Cops raid American Agriculture--MTF's "only" suspect
(Oregonian6/5)
Resent-Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 11:28:16 -0700 (PDT)
Resent-From: Portland Copwatch (copwatch@teleport.com)
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 11:25:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: Portland Copwatch (copwatch@teleport.com)
To: Portland Copwatch (copwatch@teleport.com)

Copyright 1999 Oregon Live 

Supply firm questions timing of police raid

Police have investigated American Agriculture for years looking for
marijuana connections

Saturday, June 5, 1999

By David R. Anderson of The Oregonian staff

Portland police raided an agricultural supply store in Southeast
Portland that has been the subject of controversial telephone traces
by police in an attempt to find and arrest marijuana growers.

Police also raided the Beavercreek and West Linn homes of the owner
and manager of American Agriculture, seizing computers, business
records and other items they think are connected to marijuana
growing. Police made no arrests.

The Thursday raids came a month after a judge questioned why police
had not acted after more than four years of investigating American
Agriculture and three months after the business filed a federal
lawsuit claiming police had violated its civil rights.

"I thought their timing was interesting," said Spencer Neal, an
attorney representing the business. "It is, at best, suspicious."

Lawyers for American Agriculture sent a letter Friday to City Attorney
Jeff Rogers saying that the raids amounted to intimidation and
demanding that computers and documents be returned. Rogers was out of
the office Friday and was unavailable for comment.

However, there is no connection between the court cases and the timing
of the search warrants, said Capt. James Ferraris, head of the Drugs
and Vice Division. Ferraris said that the investigation continues and
that he could not comment further.

Police have used a so-called "trap and trace" on the telephone at
American Agriculture at 9220 S.E. Stark St. The trap provides police
with the telephone numbers of incoming calls without the knowledge of
American Agriculture. More than 20 criminal defendants facing drug
manufacturing charges are fighting those accusations, claiming the
trap was illegal.

During a court hearing May 4, Officer Nathan Shropshire testified that
the Marijuana Task Force was formed in February 1995 for the purpose
of investigating American Agriculture and owner Richard H. Martin Jr.
When asked whether the purpose of the task force had changed,
Shropshire said no.

Circuit Judge Michael Marcus wondered what more evidence police needed
against American Agriculture after investigating nearly 500 suspected
marijuana growers based on information from surveillance of the business
and its phone records. Marcus compared the four-year investigation to
planting petunias in a hole so deep that you need a ladder to climb out.

"At what point is the investigation something else?" Marcus said.

Shropshire's testimony about the task force also surprised Neal, who
said police clearly had used the information to arrest marijuana
growing suspects.

"That contradicts what he's said in earlier affidavits, and it's
simply dishonest," Neal said.

You can reach David Anderson at 503-294-7663 or by e-mail at
DavidAnderson@news.oregonian.com.

***

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http://www.teleport.com/~nepal/canpat.htm
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Sonoma Medical Marijuana Benefit June 18 (A news release from California
NORML says a benefit concert for the Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana
will feature Midnight Sun and Biocentrics 7 pm-midnight at the Sebastopol
Community Center.)

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 09:48:03 -0700
To: canorml@igc.org
From: canorml@igc.apc.org (Dale Gieringer)
Subject: Sonoma MedMJ Benefit June 18th

The Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana is hosting a benefit concert
featuring Midnight Sun and Biocentrics on Friday June 18th, 7 pm-midnight,
at the Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St. With educational
exhibits, Ed Rosenthal's Amazing 4:20 Slide Show, speakers including Chris
Conrad, Dr Francis Poderbarac, Martin Martinez, David Ford, Mary Pat Beck

Tickets: $10 at the door, $8 in advance from Hemp Solutions, 4th St.
Santa Rosa, Backdoor Disk and Tape, Guerneville 5 & 10, Copperfields
Sebastopol

Contact: SAMM, PO Box 312 Forestville 95436 (707) 522-0292

***

Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // canorml@igc.apc.org
2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Citizenship Revoked Without Court (The Associated Press says the 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled Friday that federal officials
don't have to go to court before revoking an immigrant's citizenship for
failure to disclose past crimes or arrests. The decision overturns a
nationwide injunction issued last year by U.S. District Judge Barbara
Rothstein of Seattle that protected more than 4,500 naturalized citizens from
administrative revocation of their citizenship by the INS. One of the nine
lead plaintiffs' "arrest" was for investigation of possessing a marijuana
plant that was actually a fern.)

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 11:56:08 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: Citizenship Revoked Without Court
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: EWCHIEF
Pubdate: Sat, 05 Jun 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press
Author: Bob Egelko, Associated Press Writer

CITIZENSHIP REVOKED WITHOUT COURT

SAN FRANCISCO - Federal officials don't have to go to court
before revoking an immigrant's citizenship for failure to disclose
past crimes or arrests, says a federal appeals court.

Friday's ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a
judge's nationwide injunction last year that protected more than 4,500
naturalized citizens from administrative revocation of their
citizenship by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein of Seattle said in her July 1998
ruling that the INS's authority to revoke citizenship without going to
court was in serious question.

But the appeals court, in a 2-1 ruling, said a 1990 law that
authorized the INS to grant naturalized citizenship contained the
implicit power to revoke it. Before 1990, only the courts could grant
or revoke citizenship.

Jonathan S. Franklin, a lawyer for the immigrants, said he would ask
the full appellate court for a rehearing.

"Citizenship is among a person's most cherished rights," he said.
"This is the first time any court has ever held that the INS may take
that right away on its own, without going before a judge."

INS spokeswoman Elaine Komis said the agency had not seen the ruling
and would have no comment.

Most of the immigrants face loss of citizenship for allegedly failing
to disclose past arrests in their citizenship applications. Franklin
said the INS has contended that virtually any arrest must be disclosed.

For example, he said, one of the nine lead plaintiffs was arrested for
investigation of possessing a marijuana plant that was actually a
fern. Another was arrested on a minor charge, got the case dismissed
and was told by the judge to treat it as if it had never happened.

Congressional critics have accused the INS of lax citizenship testing
that has allowed numerous criminals to slip through.

After a 1997 audit found errors in numerous cases, the INS identified
more than 6,300 cases of possible fraud and had reviewed 4,450 by the
time of the injunction last July. Of those, revocation notices were
issued in 2,722, and the other 1,908 were cleared.

The notices had led to final action in 61 cases, of which 16 resulted
in denaturalization and the rest were cleared or withdrawn, the INS
said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Tiburon NORML Party June 26 (A news release from California NORML says a
$100-per-ticket benefit for national NORML at the home of Dr. Richard Miller
in the East Bay community of Tiburon will feature R. Keith Stroup, Ethan
Nadelmann, Marsha Rosenbaum, Tony Serra and other reform luminaries.)

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 09:41:41 -0700
To: canorml@igc.org
From: canorml@igc.apc.org (Dale Gieringer)
Subject: Tiburon NORML Party June 26th

Dr. Richard Miller is hosting a benefit party for NORML at his home at
the top of Ring Mountain in Tiburon on Saturday, June 26 at 6:30 PM.

Learn about NORML's plans to expand its program in California.

Host committee: Dr. Richard Miller, R. Keith Stroup, Ethan Nadelmann,
Marsha Rosenbaum, Dale Gieringer, Tony Serra, Richard Wofle, Michael
Stepanian

Minimum contribution $100 requested.

For details, contact Cal NORML: 415-563-5858/canorml@igc.org

***

Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // canorml@igc.apc.org
2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Interview Not Exactly Impromptu (Houston Chronicle columnist John Makeig
describes his unusual interview with Harris County Court-at-Law Judge Janice
Law, who wisely protected herself by dragging in a court reporter and her
personal lawyer. Apparently the judge was feeling defensive about a jury that
acquitted a teen whose car allegedly smelled of marijuana, even though there
was no smoke. The judge defended her decision to let the jury smell a plastic
baggie of weed seized from the car.)

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 02:27:48 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US TX: OPED: Interview Not Exactly Impromptu
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Art Smart (ArtSmart@neosoft.com)
Pubdate: Sat, 05 Jun 1999
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/
Forum: http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html
Author: John Makeig

INTERVIEW NOT EXACTLY IMPROMPTU

There are news interviews, and then there are news interviews. And then
there are attempts to do a news interview with Harris County Court-at-Law
Judge Janice Law.

Wander up to her bench in the Criminal Courts Building on San Jacinto and
ask to speak with her, and an altogether new sort of phenomenon begins to
unfold.

For openers, Law insisted on her court reporter, Eliza Madrigal, not only
being present but also getting every word down on the court-reporting
machine. Then, as an afterthought, Law further decided that "my lawyer" had
to be there.

That brought Marshall Shelsy, counsel to the misdemeanor judges, to Law's
chambers, looking thoroughly confused. He usually gives judges opinions on
what they can and can't do legally, not referee news interviews.

The topic was an incident last month where a policeman testified he could
smell marijuana in a teen's car, even though no one was smoking at the time.
In his closing remarks, defense lawyer Victor Blaine suggested jurors smell
the baggie of weed themselves and decide.

Prosecutors complained that it was improper to let jurors do their own
"investigation" of the evidence. But Law still sent the marijuana back to
the jury room and before long Blaine's client was found not guilty.

When Shelsy and Madrigal were ready and Law was sitting in her robes at her
desk in her chambers, the interview commenced. Sort of.

"I had thought that I could not comment to you on this, and Mr. Shelsy
confirmed that, that the legal canons prevent me from commenting on my
rulings on why I rule a certain way; but Mr. Shelsy has graciously agreed to
give you some background on the issues," Law said, according to Madrigal's
official transcript.

For a quarter-hour, questions directed at Law were answered by Shelsy in a
strange show that probably would not have occurred in conversations with any
of the county's other 14 misdemeanor judges and 22 felony judges.

It was clear Law did not break any set-in-stone rules by giving jurors the
evidence to sniff. And both Shelsy and the judge were satisfied no juror
slipped any of the illegal weed into his or her pocket or took any of it
into a restroom to test it by fire.

John Makeig
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Alcohol's Effect On Fetuses Discussed (The Wisconsin State Journal covers a
lecture Friday by Kenneth Lyons Jones of the University of California at San
Diego to about 100 other developmental-toxicology scientists attending a
conference at UW-Madison. "Fetal alcohol syndrome is the most common
recognizable cause of mental retardation in the United States. It's a cause
that is totally preventable," he said. Showing slides of affected children,
Jones noted mass media often decry effects of illegal drugs such as
marijuana, cocaine and heroin. "You can tie them all in a bundle and they
don't have anywhere near the effect that alcohol does on the unborn baby,"
Jones said. While the mass media have been demonizing illegal drug users, the
number of expectant mothers who admitted drinking alcohol increased from 12.4
percent in 1991 to 16.3 percent in 1995.)

Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 05:40:36 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US WI: Alcohol's Effect On Fetuses Discussed
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: EWCHIEF
Pubdate: Sat, 05 Jun 1999
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Contact: wsjopine@statejournal.madison.com
Website: http://www.madison.com/

ALCOHOL'S EFFECT ON FETUSES DISCUSSED

Expectant Mothers Who Drink On Rise

The speaker paused and repeated his message for emphasis.

"Fetal alcohol syndrome is the most common recognizable cause of
mental retardation in the United States. It's a cause that is totally
preventable."

The speaker was Kenneth Lyons Jones of the University of
California-San Diego, and his audience was about 100 fellow scientists
studying developmental toxicology. They were attending a conference at
UW-Madison, and the Friday morning topic was chemically induced birth
defects in humans.

Researchers are trying to unravel the molecular mechanisms by which
substances such as alcohol disrupt human development. It's well
established that alcohol consumption by pregnant women can cause
devastating defects in their babies: low weight, small heads, facial
abnormalities, low intelligence, hyperactivity, joint problems.

Showing slides of affected children, Jones noted that media reports
often decry effects of illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and
heroin.

"You can tie them all in a bundle and they don't have anywhere near
the effect that alcohol does on the unborn baby," Jones said.

Despite the evidence, the number of expectant mothers who admitted
drinking alcohol increased from 12.4 percent in 1991 to 16.3 percent
in 1995.

"Unfortunately, we're not doing a very good job of educating pregnant
women about the deleterious effects of alcohol," Jones said.

Scientists suspect the devastation comes from alcohol's effects on the
baby's brain as it forms facial structures and controls movement in
the womb. But scientists don't know why some women drink a lot and
have apparently normal babies, while others drink less but damage
their infants.

"There is no safe amount for all women to drink during pregnancy,"
Jones said. Some risk factors are known, but genetic factors may be
critical. Metabolism may play a role.

(Known risk factors are a mother older than 30, of low socio-economic
status and of ethnic background, especially African American or
American Indian.)

In a conversation after his speech, Jones said research findings may
help educators craft better messages about the dangers of drinking
while pregnant.

"Women are militant about protecting their unborn baby," he said. "So
I think if pregnant women really got the message, they would not be
putting their child in harm's way."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Judging Youth (A letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune observes that
Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream that someday young people would be judged by
their character has been supplanted by the reality of judging young people by
their urine. Adults are telling youth that negative drug test results are
much more important than positive actions.)

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 15:21:51 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US IL: PUB LTE: Judging Youth
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Young
Pubdate: June 5, 1999
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 1999 Chicago Tribune Company
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/
Forum: http://www.chicagotribune.com/interact/boards/
Author: Stephen Young

JUDGING YOUTH

ROSELLE -- Jeffrey M. Gonyo's June 2 letter criticizing random drug tests
for students was right on target. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of a time
when young people would be judged by the content of their character. Today
we settle for judging young people by the content of their urine. Adults
are telling youth that negative test results are much more important than
positive actions. If King could see how our society equates chemical
integrity with moral integrity I think he would be very disappointed.

Stephen Young
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Kentuckians Get Out The Word About Hemp (The Lexington Herald-Leader says the
Woodford County Chamber of Commerce, with Mayor Fred Siegelman's blessing,
sponsored a ribbon-cutting yesterday at the new Kentucky Hemp Museum in
Versailles. Ironically, the activists who belong to the Kentucky Hemp Growers
Cooperative Association have been much more successful at promoting reform
bills in at least 12 other states than at home. The problem has always been
the Drug Enforcement Administration, but even the DEA is now coming around.
For example, the agency has stopped arguing that hemp cannot be distinguished
in the field from marijuana. Discussions, which have included the White House
drug czar, General Barry McCaffrey, are apparently at a delicate stage.)

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 15:21:42 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US KY: Kentuckians Get Out The Word About Hemp
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: AgFuture
Pubdate: Sat, 05 Jun 1999
Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
Copyright: 1999 Lexington Herald-Leader
Contact: hleditorial@herald-leader.com
Fax: 606-255-7236
Website: http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/heraldleader/
Forum: http://krwebx.infi.net/webxmulti/cgi-bin/WebX?lexingtn
Author: Janet Patton
Section: Business - Front Page

KENTUCKIANS GET OUT THE WORD ABOUT HEMP

Efforts in some states pave way for new crop

Bluegrass farmers' dream of growing U.S. hemp finally might be coming true,
but not in Kentucky.

North Dakota, spurred by the first-year profits of neighboring Canadian
farmers, legalized industrial hemp production in April.

But Hawaii will probably get it into the ground faster. On July 7, Gov.
Benjamin Cayetano will sign a bill authorizing 10 acres of variety trials.

"We're hoping to put seed in the ground in September," said Hawaii state
Rep. Cynthia Thielen. "I think it's quite embarrassing that Kentucky's so
far behind in this....Kentucky can watch our dust."

At least 12 other states, including Tennessee, have passed or are
considering pro-hemp legislation.

Ironically, this has happened in no small part because of the work of
Kentucky hemp activists, whose efforts to get legal permission to grow the
crop have made little progress in their own state.

"I cannot understand why a state with your history in hemp won't consider
this crop," Thielen said. Hawaii is looking to replace idle sugar
plantations with hemp fields that could eventually fuel an ethanol plant.

Through some high-profile legal wrangling, sometimes involving actor Woody
Harrelson, and constant Internet efforts, the Kentucky Hemp Growers
Cooperative Association has begun to make a name for itself nationally and
at home.

It is a measure of the group's efforts that yesterday the Woodford County
Chamber of Commerce, with Mayor Fred Siegelman's blessing, sponsored the
ribbon-cutting at the new Kentucky Hemp Museum in Versailles.

Lexington Mayor Pam Miller will give the opening address at the co-op's
annual meeting this month in Fayette County, said Joe Hickey, the
association's Executive Director.

Hickey and association President Andy Graves have testified before state
legislatures in Oregon and Missouri. Winchester farmer Gale Glenn sits on
the North American Industrial Hemp Council board.

'Our worst enemies'

Glenn has been very vocal about advocates of legalizing marijuana who try
to hitch onto hemp's bandwagon.

"They are our worst enemies," Glenn has been quoted as saying. "If
marijuana didn't exist, hemp would be growing here on hundreds of thousands
of acres."

Hemp advocates strive to put as much distance between hemp and marijuana as
possible.

"There's not a tie-dyed T-shirt in the group," said James Woolsey, the
former CIA director who now lobbies for the hemp council. He blames the
lack of action in most states on "inertia and public relations."

That is what the Kentucky activists have worked hard to change, and they
have found many receptive to their message. But at home, the hemp movement
has been slow to grow.

"I don't know of any legislator yet who's said they were willing to put
forth a bill," said Rep. Joe Barrows, D-Versailles. "I think it would be
appropriate for us to do a little research ourselves, a controlled
experimental effort."

Of Thielen's criticism, he said, "We're not any different than most places.
The first reaction is the understandable confusion between hemp and
marijuana. I don't think we've gotten entirely past that point. There's
still a real reluctance in law enforcement."

'The problem: THC'

The problem for all states has always been the Drug Enforcement
Administration. The DEA reading of the law is that hemp is marijuana and
therefore is illegal to grow because it contains THC, the drug that
produces marijuana's high, said Bud Scholtz, hemp council chairman.

But a recent letter to Thielen from a DEA administrator appears to soften
that position.

"The DEA is currently reviewing the security regulations ... as part of the
review, DEA will consider setting the level of THC content for ... hemp
that may be grown for industrial purposes," wrote Gregory Williams, chief
of DEA operations on April 23.

"This review is based on the premise that public and commercial interest
may be better served if the cultivation of Cannabis sativa L., hemp is
authorized by the appropriate Federal and State entities."

Discussions, which have included DEA drug czar Barry McCaffrey, are
apparently at a delicate stage. "We're making good progress," Scholtz said.
"We had talks with General McCaffrey recently, but I don't want to make a
comment on that right now."

The review is still in progress, DEA spokeswoman Rogene Wade confirmed
yesterday. "The DEA is reviewing the security issue that would be
associated with the manufacture (of hemp)," she said. The agency is looking
at the types of data that would be required for licensure, she said.

It is not actually illegal to grow hemp (or marijuana, for that matter);
you just need a federal license to do it. But, say hemp activists, you
can't get a license.

That's what states ready to grow hemp hope will change soon.

The fight in other states has not been easy. In Hawaii, Thielen said, the
police lobby tried to kill the bill. "Practically all of the legislators
were not aware of the distinction between the plants," she said.

In Oregon, pro-hemp legislation was killed out of "ignorance," said state
Rep. Floyd Prozanski. In Oregon, hemp could become a renewable source of
paper pulp. "In some states, they know it's rope, not dope. Other states
are pigeonholed. The DEA's going to have to come around."

'Signs of softening'

There are further signs that may be happening.

The DEA stopped arguing that hemp cannot be distinguished in the field from
marijuana. "That's been pretty much shot down," Scholtz said.

It's grown in 33 countries, including Canada, largely without law
enforcement difficulties, he said.

Manufacturers have found plenty of uses for hemp -- the Kentucky Hemp
Museum displays dozens of modern products ranging from feed to clothing to
fiberboard to lip balm.

"You can eat it, wear it and live in it," said Jake Graves, the Fayette
County farmer and chairman of the Kentucky Hemp Museum board.

Whether there would be any money in it is something economists do not agree
on.

One University of Kentucky study found there would be little market for a
Kentucky-grown product in a market flooded with cheap, foreign hemp. But
another UK study last year estimated Kentucky farmers could make up to $600
an acre.

Canadian farmers are clearing $300 an acre in profit, said North Dakota
Rep. David Monson, who sponsored that state's bill.

Monson pointed out that until the federal government lets them, North
Dakota farmers can't grow hemp either.

"I'd say there's a fairly decent possibility that it could happen next
year," Monson said. "North Dakota is behind that all the way from the
grass-roots to our governor."

Now, he said, other states need to get involved. "If every state would do
it, the federal government couldn't ignore it," he said. "Every time a
state introduces legislation, it goes a step farther."

(SIDEBAR)

What's the difference?

Is there a difference between hemp and marijuana or is it all cannabis sativa?

"Yes, there's a difference," said Scott Smith, UK agriculture associate
dean, "in terms of the active ingredient, THC.

"Botanically, they're the same species of plant ... but very different
varieties."

Industrial Hemp contains less than 1 percent THC, while marijuana varieties
typically have 5 to 20 percent.

There are also differences in how hemp is grown and harvested. So, no
matter how much you eat or smoke hemp products, you can't get high.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

A Conspirator for the Constitution (Washington Post columnist Nat Hentoff
says John Whitehead, an attorney and president of the Rutherford Institute,
was identified by "some members of the press" as one of the leading
figures in a massive right-wing conspiracy against the President alleged by
Hillary Rodham Clinton. It turns out Whitehead is an eloquent and insightful
critic of the assault on the Fourth Amendment and other Constitutional rights
in the name of the drug war by the Clinton administration and the U.S.
Supreme Court.)

Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 01:40:19 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US VA: OPED: A Conspirator for the Constitution
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Dunbar
Pubdate: Sat, 05 June 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: Nat Hentoff

A CONSPIRATOR FOR THE CONSTITUTION

After Hillary Rodham Clinton revealed the existence of a massive right-wing
conspiracy against her husband, some members of the press fingered John
Whitehead -- an attorney and president of the Rutherford Institute -- as one
of the leading conspirators. After all, the Rutherford Institute had helped
fund the Paula Jones lawsuit against the president.

Here are some recent indications of what Whitehead is actually up to. He
writes a syndicated newspaper column, Freedom Under Fire, which appears in
more than 100 newspapers around the country.

Focusing on random drug testing -- without reasonable suspicion -- of public
school students, Whitehead accuses the Supreme Court of failing to give
students a clear lesson about the Fourth Amendment:

"The same students that are being educated about the Constitution and the
Bill of Rights in their government classes are being stripped of their own
constitutional rights when the bell rings and the class is over."

Whitehead insists the time has come for the Supreme Court to inform the
schools that the "Fourth Amendment's constitutional protection from unlawful
search and seizure applies to everyone, regardless of age or education."
Especially now with the "oppressive safety measures" after the Littleton,
Colo. shootings.

Is there any member of Congress these days who will so boldly challenge the
rampant "zero tolerance" approach of school authorities? Even among the very
few civil libertarians at the Capitol?

In another column, Whitehead is appalled at the April Supreme Court decision
that a police search of a car can include the personal belongings of
passengers who themselves are under no suspicion of unlawful activity.

Whatever happened, asks Whitehead, to "innocent until proved guilty"? From
now on, "associating with friends in a car or sharing a ride to work carries
a criminal risk. . . . By allowing the police such unfettered discretion . .
. the Supreme Court decision will force people to forfeit their rights at
the automobile door" -- as students forfeit their rights at the schoolhouse
door.

In his column on law enforcement agents' profiling of airplane passengers,
Whitehead quotes from Georgetown University Law School Prof. David Cole's
carefully documented book, "No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American
Criminal Justice System." Cole charts the degradation of our abstractly
cherished Bill of Rights.

Whitehead cites Cole's report that "the list of characteristics used by law
enforcement officers to identify drug traffickers includes:

"Being one of the first to deplane, the last to deplane or deplaning in the
middle; buying a first-class ticket or buying a coach ticket; using a
one-way ticket or using a round-trip ticket; traveling with a companion or
alone; and wearing expensive clothing or dressing casually."

Whitehead goes on to tell what happened to Lawrence Boze. At Los Angeles
International Airport, he was taken from a ticket counter and detained in a
security area. He and his bags were searched, and he was interrogated as to
his identity and where and why he was traveling.

Boze kept demanding an explanation for this abrupt interference with his
travel plans. The only answer he got was that he matched "the profile."
Boze, former president of the National Bar Association, is black. When
nothing of police interest was found, he was sent on his way.

Whitehead also writes of a Chicago travel agent, Patricia Appleton, "who has
been repeatedly stopped and searched -- even strip-searched -- by U.S.
Customs Service inspectors." During one trip, the well-dressed black
passenger was traveling alone. Writes Whitehead: "Stripped, forced to bend
over and grab her ankles, she equated the humiliation and vulnerability she
felt to when she was brutally raped when she was 15." Appleton is one of "84
African-American women who have filed a class action suit against the U.S.
Customs Service."

I am sure John Whitehead would be glad to put the White House on the mailing
list for his Freedom Under Fire columns. In the spirit of Supreme Court
Justice Hugo Black, he also sends a free pocket-size copy of the
Constitution to anyone who writes to him at the Rutherford Institute in
Charlottesville, Va.

The president, who has eviscerated the right to habeas corpus, could benefit
from Whitehead's offer.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

RCMP Weeding Out B.C. Pot Growers (The Calgary Herald shows extreme bias and
betrays its journalistic mission in an article claiming the Mounties are
using increasing arrests "to crush the marijuana culture in the Kootenay
region." Unfortunately, just as in Portland and other North American cities,
the local newspaper fails to explain there are probably 10 marijuana growers
for every prison cell in the region and every law-abiding citizen is going to
have to work about five full-time jobs in order to afford the taxes it would
take to create the police state necessary to detect, arrest, prosecute and
imprison even half of them. Similarly, the newspaper fails to explain that
all taxpayers are doing is eliminating the most incompetent growers and
personal-use cultivators with the least security, thereby subsidizing the
largest, best organized and most ruthless ones. However, the paper does note
the stepped up enforcement is threatening availability of medicine at the
Universal Compassion Club, Grant Krieger's new medical-marijuana dispensary
in Calgary.)

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 15:21:43 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Canada: RCMP Weeding Out BC Pot Growers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: daystar1@home.com
Pubdate: Saturday, June 5, 1999
Source: Calgary Herald (Canada)
Contact: letters@theherald.southam.ca
Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/
Author: Brock Ketcham

RCMP WEEDING OUT B.C. POT GROWERS

It was just after daybreak, Dec.11, 1998

Ten heavily armed RCMP officers stormed a house on a small acreage outside
the remote village of Winlaw in the West Kootenanys, about 50 kilometres
northwest of Nelson.

An informant had told the RCMP they might find something more than tools in
a ramshackle workshop by the house. But all they found was a workbench.

Then a tiny hole in the wall aroused a Mountie's curiosity, and he poked an
object inside.

A hydraulic lift raised the bench from the floor, exposing an elevator. The
Mountie and fellow officers hopped aboard and soon found themselves in a
three-room underground structure filled with a crop of hydroponically grown
marijuana.

`It was definitely not a ma-and-pa type of operation,' recalls Nelson RCMP
Const. Carol Kurbel.

The raid is part of a wave of police actions in recent month to crush the
marijuana culture in the Kootenay region.

The farmer awaits trial on a pot cultivation charge. Other growers
throughout the West and East Kootenays - as well as the remainder of
British Columbia - feel under siege by RCMP who have put the province's
legion of pot growers at the top of their drug-enforcement priorities.

Mounties have 146 investigations under way in the Kootenay region alone,
says Nelson RCMP Const. Tom Clark.

And 1,285 people in B.C. were charged with cultivation of marijuana in 1997
- the most recent year for which RCMP statistics are available - compare
with 805 in 1996.

The cultivation of `B.C. Bud', renowned among pot users worldwide for its
potency, has been largely the domain of 1960s-era hippies, draft dodgers
and other laid-back folk who grew the illegal substance with little risk of
police scrutiny or stiff penalties in court.

But times are changing, says Sgt. Chuck Doucette, head of the B.C. drug
awareness section in Vancouver.

Organized criminals ranging from Hell's Angels to ethnic gang members
realized they could make huge profits with little legal risk.

Three years ago, the RCMP decided to shift much of their drug investigation
resources from heroin and cocaine traffickers - and the results have been
becoming apparent, Doucette says.

Neighbours are encouraged through newspaper ads to report pot growers to
police. `Everybody who's growing dope is starting to look over their
shoulders now,' says Clark, the RCMP's drug expert for the West
Kootenay-Boundary region. `That's what we want.'

Growers in Grand Forks, a community in the Boundary - a fertile, semi-arid
region between the Kootenays and the Okanagan along the U.S. border - told
the Herald that paranoia is taking hold in the decades-old industry.

In Grand Forks, 14 growers have been arrested in the past month, says Paul
Dimotoff, a 51-year-old man who has grown pot in this little city for 28
years. `It's a real apprehensive mood,' says Dimotoff. 'You're looking at
everybody now.'

Dimotoff says growers are honest, peaceful people who do not deserve to be
treated like gangsters. `This vendetta by the RCMP is absolutely absurd,'
he says. `They are bullies with badges.'

Al Demosky, 65, a musician and dabbler in small business who has lived here
for more than half a century, says growers may have become visible to the
RCMP through their own greed.

`I've got only two plants,' Demosky says. `They (RCMP) can get them, but
first they've got to find them.'

`I don't sell it - it's only for my own use...and my friends.'

The RCMP's Doucette says big league criminals have established a strong
presence in pot cultivation and are organizing crops `almost like
franchises,' telling underlings what equipment to use and how to care for
the plants.

`They know somebody is growing - they move in,' Doucette says. `It's whoa -
you're now growing for me.'`

Meanwhile, the stepped up enforcement is threatening availability of B.C.'s
potent pot product for the Universal Compassion Club (UCC), a new Calgary
group that provides pot to seriously ill people, says pot crusader and
club founder Grant Krieger.

Dimitoff agrees, `It will start to have an impact on compassion clubs,'
says the grower, who cultivates cannabis for personal use and for medicinal
clubs. `It already has.'

Krieger, 44, who returned to Calgary two weeks ago from Grand Forks, where
he spent three days lining up suppliers for UCC, says `they're taking away
an industry that's just getting ready to start - they're trying to shut it
down."

Last Monday thieves broke into a house UCC is renting and stole the club's
stash of cannabis plants and ready-to-smoke pot, worth about $8,000.

But Krieger, who has multiple sclerosis, remains determined to have the
club up and running by mid-June. The club has 25 members and Krieger
supplies them with pot from indoor growers in Calgary. He is travelling
across Canada to establish contact with other suppliers.

Doucette, says once the RCMP realized pot cultivation in B.C. was no longer
the exclusive domain of `mom and pop operators and hippies,' they began
creating `Green Teams' - squads that specialize in shutting down growers.

The RCMP also reassigned individual Mounties in detachments too small for
such teams to work on cultivation cases full-time.

Doucette, says the lenient fines or suspended sentences once handed down by
the courts made pot cultivation a congenial criminal enterprise. But with
growers showing up in court by the hundreds, judges are handing out stiffer
sentences, he says.

Clark says that in one recent case in Nakusp, a judge fined the grower
$7,500. Fines of the magnitude are five times the amount levied in B.C.
only a few years ago, he says.

Doucette, scoffs at a belief among B.C. growers that U.S. Drug Enforcement
Agency funding is behind the RCMP crackdown.

`Boy - I wish,' he said.

While RCMP applaud Ottawa's decision to create a safe supply of pot for
medical reasons, they have no sympathy for compassion clubs. `We take a
firm stance that we disagree with medicinal pot because it is illegal,'
Doucette says.

But Dimotoff says no amount of law enforcement will make him quit.

`This vocation I have chosen harms no one,' he says. `I am livid that so
much time is spent locating and harassing the medicine growers.

`I talk daily to growers who echo my sentiments. We are all fed up. My
friends wish to remain safely hidden. I an too old to care about that, and
fear neither jail nor coffin.'
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Puritanical About Pleasure (A letter to the editor of the Globe and Mail, in
Toronto, criticizes the Canadian government's quest to remove any
psychoactive effect from marijuana before allowing it to be used as
medicine.)

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 12:09:03 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Puritanical About Pleasure
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Pubdate: Saturday, June 5, 1999
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 1999, The Globe and Mail Company
Contact: letters@globeandmail.ca
Website: http://www.globeandmail.ca/
Forum: http://forums.theglobeandmail.com/
Author: Andrew Peplowski

PURITANICAL ABOUT PLEASURE

Re Clinical Pot Leaves You Sober, Yet Feeling No Pain -- June 3:

So the Canadian government is considering a clinical trial of
marijuana that will leave its subjects sober.

Typical! Let's take the only possible physical pleasure someone living
with AIDS, cancer or MS may experience and remove it from the equation.

Given all the usual side effects of the drugs used to treat these
diseases, wouldn't it be nice if this time the patients might enjoy
the treatment?

Andrew Peplowski
Pointe-Claire, Que.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

MP's Shows The Depth Of Ignorance (A letter to the editor of the Calgary
Herald criticizes politicians in Canada who justify their opposition to
medical marijuana with concerns about children's perceptions. Adolescents
don't listen well to politicians or police for information on damages of
drugs: exaggerating the dangers of cannabis will not solve anything. And
Calgary Centre MP Eric Lowther's contention that medications exist that "do
everything and more" than cannabis is the epitome of all the ignorance
surrounding cannabis.)

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 12:02:39 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: MP's Shows The Depth Of Ignorance
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: daystar1@home.com
Pubdate: Saturday, June 5, 1999
Source: Calgary Herald (Canada)
Contact: letters@theherald.southam.ca
Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/
Author: Daniel Tourigny

MP's SHOWS THE DEPTH OF IGNORANCE

The comments made by some of the MP's shows the depth of ignorance
politicians have in the cannabis debate. Some politicians in Canada,
much like American politicians, relay concerns about a child's
perception of cannabis and that `wide availability' will result from
legalizing cannabis. The fallacy with this argument is that
adolescents don't listen well to politicians or police for information
on damages of drugs: exaggerating the dangers of cannabis will not
solve anything.

Cannabis is already widely available, and it's difficult to believe it
would become more so if it were legalized. In fact, the `criminal
baggage' carried with this illegal weed would be largely shed it it
were regulated, much like cigarettes and alcohol.

Calgary Centre MP Eric Lowther's contention that medications exist
that `do everything and more' than cannabis attempts to discredit
every sick person forced to turn to the streets to find the substance
that eases their problems, when other legal measures fail.

Certainly, he is the epitome of all the ignorance surrounding cannabis.

Daniel Tourigny
Victoria, B.C.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

MPs Have Pot Legalization All Wrong (A letter to the editor of the Calgary
Herald rebuts MP Art Hanger's contention that "By legalizing weed, we're
sending the wrong message to young people that it is no worse than smoking.
It is certainly worse than smoking." By allowing tobacco to be legal the
message is: "Tobacco is less harmful than marijuana." That is clearly a
falsehood. Nearly every year half a million U.S. citizens die every year from
tobacco-related diseases, but none from marijuana.)

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 11:57:36 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: MPs Have Pot Legalization All Wrong
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: daystar1@home.com
Pubdate: Saturday, June 5, 1999
Source: Calgary Herald (Canada)
Contact: letters@theherald.southam.ca
Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/
Author: Gerald M. Sutcliff

MPS HAVE POT LEGALIZATION ALL WRONG

Re: `legalizing pot sends wrong message, say Calgary MP's,' Calgary Herald,
May 30.

You quoted MP Art Hanger as saying,'By legalizing weed, we're
sending the wrong message to young people that it is no worse than
smoking. It is certainly worse than smoking.' I hope the media won't
let Hanger get away with such a statement without providing supporting
evidence.

By allowing tobacco to be legal the message is: `Tobacco is less
harmful than marijuana.' That is clearly a falsehood. Nearly every
year half a million United States citizens die every year from
tobacco-related diseases while there hasn't been one such death from
marijuana in the last year or the year before.

Gerald M. Sutcliff
Emeryville, Calf.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Mice, Cocaine Prove Canucks Are Mellow (According to the Edmonton Sun, a
study published in yesterday's issue of Science magazine says scientists are
at a loss to explain why identical laboratory experiments in the United
States and Canada involving cocaine and cloned lab mice yielded significantly
different results. The study is causing ripples in the scientific community
because it suggests slight environmental differences can be as much of a
factor as slight differences in genetics. Dr. John Crabbe, a behavioural
neuroscientist at Oregon Health Services University in Portland, said "We
went nuts trying to control differences. We sent probably 2,000 e-mails and
phone calls to try to eliminate every possible environmental difference. Yet
three strains of Edmonton mice responded more to coke. They ran around more.
Why? When you get the answer, let me know.")

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 12:05:31 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Canada: Mice, Cocaine Prove Canucks Are Mellow
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Pubdate: Saturday, June 5, 1999
Source: Edmonton Sun (Canada)
Copyright: 1999, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Contact: sun.letters@ccinet.ab.ca
Website: http://www.canoe.ca/EdmontonSun/
Forum: http://www.canoe.ca/Chat/home.html
Author: Bernard Pilon

MICE, COCAINE PROVE CANUCKS ARE MELLOW

It took cloned rodents ripped on cocaine to uncover the truth:
Canadians really are just, like, more mellow, eh?

Like it or not, Europeans generally sum up Canucks as less-excitable
cousins to the brash Yanks.

Along comes a cross-border study suggesting maybe, just maybe, that
arctic-tinged air and Canadian tap water may make us more mellow.

It certainly did something strange to a bunch of mice in a University
of Alberta lab in April 1998.

"It's one of those things that came out that's a bit of a surprise,"
said Dr. John Crabbe, a behavioural neuroscientist at Oregon Health
Services University in Portland.

Crabbe - joined by U of A psychologist Dr. Douglas Wahlsten and
another colleague in Albany, New York - injected small amounts of
cocaine into 128 genetically similar rodents, all 77 days old and
living under identical conditions.

You'd think they'd react identically. You'd think wrong.

According to a study published in yesterday's issue of Science
magazine, some of the Edmonton mice got visibly higher on coke than
American rodents.

At the same time, however, Crabbe said they were less "wired" - and
just quietly hung around in a maze, soaking up their surroundings,
until the high went down.

"We went nuts trying to control differences.

"We sent probably 2,000 e-mails and phone calls to try to eliminate
every possible environmental difference (before doing the tests),"
said Crabbe.

"Yet three strains of Edmonton mice responded more to coke. They ran
around more. Why? When you get the answer, let me know," said Crabbe.

The study is causing ripples in the scientific community because it
suggests slight environmental differences - ranging from their
handlers' behaviour to chemicals found in tap water - can be as much
of a factor in scientific experiments that crave consistency as slight
differences in genetics. 
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Unproven Drug Allegations Rend U.S. Relations With Mexico City (The Houston
Chronicle says a top-level meeting of Cabinet ministers that ended in Mexico
City Friday was originally intended to be a showcase of chummy U.S.-Mexican
relations. But it illustrated instead how the two countries can't seem to get
past the divisive issue of drugs. The showcase was upset by articles in the
Washington Post and the New York Times that cited unnamed U.S. officials who
accused the family of Carlos Hank Gonzalez, one of Mexico's richest, and Jose
Liebano Saenz, the private secretary to President Ernesto Zedillo, of having
links to the country's drug cartels. Mexican Secretary of State Rosario Green
told reporters that the stories were shadowy efforts to throw the meeting off
balance. She demanded that the Clinton administration hand over any proof.
Before major meetings between U.S. and Mexican officials, stories
consistently appear in the American press that suggest drug corruption at the
highest levels of Mexico's government and society. Green put it off to
"conservative" elements on the U.S.-side of the drug debate. Some analysts
say the leaks may be coming from American law enforcement agencies.)

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 01:29:42 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US TX: Unproven Drug Allegations
Rend US Relations With Mexico City
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Art Smart (ArtSmart@neosoft.com)
Pubdate: Sat, 05 Jun 1999
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/
Forum: http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html
Author: Michael Riley

UNPROVEN DRUG ALLEGATIONS REND US RELATIONS WITH MEXICO CITY

Attorney General Janet Reno said unfounded reports of drug trafficking by
high Mexican officials were unfair.

MEXICO CITY -- A top-level meeting of Cabinet ministers that ended here
Friday was originally intended to be a showcase of chummy U.S.-Mexican
relations. But it illustrated instead how the two countries can't seem to
get past the divisive issue of drugs.

The day before several U.S. Cabinet members and their aides flew in for the
meeting, The Washington Post and The New York Times ran separate front-page
articles that accused one of Mexico's richest families and the private
secretary to President Ernesto Zedillo of having suspected links to the
country's drug cartels. Both stories cited unnamed U.S. government officials
as their sources.

The articles provoked a swift reaction here. Furious, Mexican Secretary of
State Rosario Green told reporters that the stories were shadowy efforts to
throw the meeting off balance. She demanded that the Clinton administration
hand over any proof to support the charges.

The incident once again illustrated how efforts to improve the United
States' relationship with Mexico, its second-largest trading partner, has
been consistently frustrated by suspicions in Washington of drug corruption
in Mexico City.

"Drugs obscure everything," said Delal Baer, an expert in U.S.-Mexican
relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in
Washington.

"Can we work the positive elements of the agenda without becoming obsessed
with the problems? It doesn't seem like we can," he said.

The annual get-together of high-level Mexican and American officials, called
the Bi-National Commission, was created several years ago as a
confidence-building measure for officials of both countries and as a way to
deal with increasingly complex issues facing both countries. This year's
meeting took up items ranging from trade to immigration. In all, more than
600 officials participated, and the meeting was divided into 16 working
groups.

Although Secretary of State Madeleine Albright remained in Washington
because of developments in Yugoslavia, Attorney General Janet Reno, White
House drug czar Barry McCaffrey, and the secretaries of interior,
transportation, commerce and housing and urban development attended the
meeting.

Key issues like immigration and health seemed to slip behind the shadow
created by drugs.

Green's angry press conference on Thursday displayed a frustration over what
many Mexicans see as a consistent tactic: Before major meetings between U.S.
and Mexican officials, stories appear in the American press that suggest
drug corruption at the highest levels of Mexico's government and society.

"It must be a strategy. It's a way of saying, `We're really concerned about
these issues and want to bring them to the table,' " said Sigrid Arzt, a
political scientist in Mexico City.

"These are sensitive issues to bring up directly," she said, "but by the
time the meetings begin, all the Mexican officials have been alerted to them
through leaks in the press."

The question of exactly who is behind the strategy is less clear, Artz and
others here say.

Green put it off to "conservative" elements on the U.S.-side of the drug
debate. Some analysts say the leaks may be coming from American law
enforcement agencies.

But others say the Clinton administration is split between doves, who see
cooperation with Mexico as the key to improved drug-fighting, and hawks, who
believe Mexico ought to be taken to task for the impunity enjoyed by the
drug gangsters who ship 70 percent of cocaine consumed in the United States.

"This is really about a power struggle taking place inside the Beltway,"
Baer said.

That division is fracturing U.S. policy towards Mexico and becoming an
increasing embarrassment for the White House.

The Washington Post article cited a National Drug Intelligence Center report
that concluded the family of Mexican billionaire Carlos Hank Gonzalez -- a
major financier of Mexico's long-ruling party, known as the PRI -- was so
involved in money laundering and the distribution of drugs that its
political and financial empire amounted to "a significant criminal threat to
the United States."

The New York Times reported that Zedillo's private secretary and de facto
chief of staff, Jose Liebano Saenz, had been investigated on allegations of
drug corruption.

After his arrival here, McCaffrey, the U.S. drug czar, distanced himself
from the media reports, telling reporters that he did not have any
information on either the Hank Gonzalez family or Saenz that was worth
taking to Mexican authorities.

McCaffrey directed his ire toward the media.

"If this was classified information around national security, we'd be out
there polygraphing people and we'd prosecute," McCaffrey said, "because it
would be jeopardizing U.S. national interest."

Still, the New York Times report struck many here as especially unfair.

Mexico's attorney general's office said it has already thoroughly
investigated Saenz at his own insistence and cleared him.

Mexican investigators said many informants who accused him of having links
with the country's drug cartels turned out to be unreliable and that at
least one failed a lie-detector test.

For her part, Reno told reporters Friday, "I cannot conclude, based on
information I have, that (Saenz) is guilty of any wrongdoing,"

She added, "It's unfair and just plain wrong ... to make judgments based on
fragmentary reports."

The two press reports, analysts say, point to an underlying problem with the
drug-corruption allegations that Clinton administration officials have
leveled against high-level Mexicans in recent years.

Intelligence information from wiretaps and unnamed informants used in the
allegations does not have to meet the same high standard of proof as
evidence in a court of law, they say.

They add that since the U.S. officials leak the allegations without allowing
the media to identify them, the Clinton administration is losing credibility
here.

"This just does not push the ball down the court in U.S.-Mexican relations,"
Baer said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

1st Executions In 5 Years Spark Scant Outcry On Drug-Riven Island (The
Chicago Tribune says the Caribbean island of Trinidad ended a five-year
moratorium on capital punishment Friday, hanging the first three members of a
"gang of eight" convicted of killing four people during a 1994 drug dispute.
"Throughout the Caribbean, there is a growing clamor for capital punishment
to deter violent crime associated with drug-smuggling." The eight hangings
may clear the way for dozens of other executions in the Caribbean.)

Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 01:44:35 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Trinidad: 1st Executions In 5 Years Spark Scant Outcry On
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Young
Pubdate: Sat, 05 June 1999
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 1999 Chicago Tribune Company
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/
Forum: http://www.chicagotribune.com/interact/boards/
Author: From Tribune News Services

1ST EXECUTIONS IN 5 YEARS SPARK SCANT OUTCRY ON DRUG-RIVEN ISLAND

PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD -- Trinidad hanged three convicted murderers Friday,
ending a five-year hiatus in using the death penalty and possibly leading
the way for dozens of other executions in the Caribbean.

Reputed drug lord Dole Chadee "gave no trouble and went to the gallows" at
dawn, Prisons Commissioner Cipriani Baptiste said. Joey Ramiah and
Ramkhalawan Singh followed; three more are to hang Saturday and three others
on Monday.

Chadee and his "gang of eight" were convicted of killing Hamilton Baboolal
and three family members in a 1994 drug dispute.

Port-of-Spain's Roman Catholic churches tolled death knells to protest the
executions. But only one protester stood vigil outside the Port-of-Spain
Prison--a testimony to the popularity of the death penalty in a region riven
with drug trafficking.

English-speaking Caribbean nations, with a population of 5 million, have
about 250 people on Death Row--more than 100 in Trinidad alone. The total is
one of the highest death sentence rates in the world, Amnesty International
has said.

After years without executions in the region, the Bahamas hanged two men
last year and St. Kitts and Nevis hanged one man. Throughout the Caribbean,
there is a growing clamor for capital punishment to deter violent crime
associated with drug-smuggling.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Trinidad executes 8 killers (A lengthier version in the Oakland Tribune
identifies the source as the Associated Press.)

Date: Sat, 05 Jun 1999 10:22:27 -0700
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: Gerald Sutliff (gsutliff@dnai.com)
Subject: Trinidad executes 8 killers
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

Dear Talkers,

Here in below is a small example of the misery we export with our obsession
with puritanical pharmacology:

***

Subject: Trinidad executes 3 killers
Source: Oakland Tribune (CA), World News, 5 June 1999
Contact: triblet@angnewspapers.com
Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff

Trinidad executes 3 killers

AP Wire story

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad -- Trinidad hanged three convicted murderers
Friday, ending a five-year hiatus in using the death penalty and possibly
leading the way for dozens of other executions in the Caribbean.

Reputed drug lord Dole Chadee "gave no trouble and went to the gallows" at
dawn. Prisons Commissioner Ciprtani Baaptiste said. Joey Ramiah and
Ramkhalawan Singh followed; three more are to hang today and three others
Monday.

Chadee and his "gang of eight" were convicted of killing Hamilton "Mice"
Baboolal and three family members in a 1994 drug dispute.

Chadde instructed the gunmen to kill the whole family, including two
children. The killers spared the children -- but gunned down Baboolal, his
sister and his parents.

Port-of-Spain's Roman Catholic churches tolled death knells to protest the
executions. But only one protester stood vigil outside decaying yellow walls
of Port-of-Spain Prison - a testimony to the popularity of the death penalty
in a region riven with drug trafficking.

Prison officials refused Chadee's wife Chandra a final visit Thursday. "All
I want to do is to hold him," she sobbed.

The three men were buried by prisoners in unmarked graves Friday afternoon.

English-speaking Caribbean nations, with a population of 5 million, have
about 250 people on death row -- more that 10 in Trinidad alone. The total
is one of the highest death-sentence rates in the world, Amnesty
International has said.

After years without executions in the region, the Bahamas hanged two men
last year and St. Kitts and Nevis hanged one man.

Throughout the Caribbean, there is a growing clamor for capital punishment
to deter violent crime associated with drug-smuggling.

"People have been forced to live in jails of their own construction,
barricading their houses and business places with iron bars, double locks,
electronic alarms," The Express of Trinidad raged this week. "(This) has
fueled the depth of feeling in favor of the death penalty."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Trinidad Hangs Drug-Gang Members (The Los Angeles Times version)

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 10:22:11 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Trinidad: Trinidad Hangs Drug-Gang Members
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Mike Gogulski and M & M Family
Pubdate: Sat, 05 Jun 1999
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Mercury Center
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Author: Mark Fineman, Los Angeles Times

TRINIDAD HANGS DRUG-GANG MEMBERS

Island nation intends to send message with 9 executions

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- As the sun rose Friday behind the Northern Ridge
near here, and the 6 a.m. bell pealed at nearby St. Mary's College, the trap
door snapped open beneath Dole Chadee's feet in the State Prison gallows
room. Trinidad's most notorious murderer, drug lord and gang leader had been
hanged.

Joey Ramiah was the next to die. And then, at 8:44 a.m., it was Ramkalawan
Singh's turn.

Three more will hang today, and another three Monday, until all nine members
of the gang that slaughtered the Baboolal family over an apparent drug
dispute five years ago are dead.

Marking the moment with prayer and protest, the church bell at the capital's
Roman Catholic Cathedral tolled nine times at 8 a.m. -- a reminder,
Archbishop Anthony Pantin said, that "enough blood has been spilled."

But with hourly news bulletins, street-corner banter and banner headlines
announcing "Hanging Time," many in this crime-weary nation of 1.3 million
heaved a sigh of relief that what they consider justice had been done.

"Everybody will think before they kill now," concluded Marjorie Clark, a
50-year-old hospital worker in the somber crowd that gathered at dawn
outside the 187-year-old stone prison.

In staging these hangings -- with a single exception, Trinidad and Tobago's
first executions in two decades -- this twin-island nation means to send a
message to drug traffickers and contract killers who are littering the
Caribbean with cocaine and corpses.

It also is leading the way for neighboring island states seeking to brush
aside legal challenges and lengthy appeals and implement the death penalty.
The Trinidad hangings set the stage for executions expected in the months
ahead in Barbados, the Bahamas, Jamaica and other Caribbean nations.

But for Trinidad on Friday, hanging day was rife with irony: It was a major
victory for Attorney General Ramesh Maharaj, a onetime attorney for death
row inmates and a human rights crusader who partially withdrew from
international rights bodies while pushing hard for the hangings. His own
brother is on death row in Florida.

After years of frustrating judicial delays, Friday's hangings, Maharaj said,
prove that "punishment is a deterrent to crime."

The judicial body that cleared away the last roadblock to the gallows early
Friday was London's Privy Council, the highest appeal court for most of the
Caribbean's former British colonies. The council in the past has been the
biggest obstacle to imposing capital punishment in the region.

The council -- based in a nation that has banned the death penalty at home
and that has lobbied its former colonies to follow suit -- blocked dozens of
executions in the region by issuing a ruling in 1993 that limited the amount
of time convicted killers should have to spend on death row.

But in turning down a final desperate appeal just three hours before
Chadee -- hooded and robed, with hands bound -- stepped up to the gallows,
the Privy Council finally ceded Trinidad's constitutional right to enforce a
law that states: "Every person convicted of murder shall suffer death."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Trinidad Sends Three Killers To The Gallows (The version in Britain's
Guardian)

Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 19:48:43 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Trinidad: Trinidad Sends Three Killers To The Gallows
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Pubdate: June 5, 1999
Source: Guardian, The (UK)
Copyright: Guardian Media Group 1999
Contact: letters@guardian.co.uk
Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
Authors: Clare Dyer in London and Ira Mathur in Port of Spain

TRINIDAD SENDS THREE KILLERS TO THE GALLOWS

Three convicted murderers were executed in Trinidad yesterday, moments
after three senior British judges rejected a last-ditch appeal from two of
the men.

Dole Chadee, Joey Ramiah and Ramkalawan Singh, the first murderers to be
hanged in Trinidad for five years, were part of a drugs gang of nine found
guilty of killing four members of the Baboolal family in Williamsville,
Trinidad, in 1994. The other six gang members are expected to be hanged
today and Monday.

British lawyers, acting free of charge, tried hard to save the men from the
gallows.

The cases have shone a spotlight on the role of the judicial committee of
the privy council - the law lords wearing another hat which still acts as
the final court of appeal for Jamaica, Trinidad and some other former
colonies. The judges sit in Downing Street, central London, deciding the
fate of death row inmates in crime-ridden parts of the Caribbean, where the
local populace strongly supports the death penalty.

The Trinidad commissioner of prisons, Cipriani Baptiste, emerged from Royal
jail in Port of Spain three times between the first hanging at 6.05am and
the third at 8.44am. He said all three men had gone calmly to the noose,
and it had taken "about a minute" for each to die.

Spectators included several people whose friends or relatives had been
murder victims. They asked a lone man demonstrating against the death
penalty how he would feel if his wife's, children's or brother's throats
were slit.

The mood on the streets and on call-in radio programmes was sober and
reflective. Most people expressed satisfaction at the hangings; only a few
called them barbaric.

Trinidad, which has about 90 prisoners on death row, is leading Caribbean
nations in trying to set up a regional supreme court to replace the privy
council. The last man to be hanged was Glen Ashby in 1994, while the privy
council was still considering his case.

Trinidad's attorney general, Ramesh Maharaj, said the latest executions
were necessary to restore public confidence in the law. "The
non-implemention of the death penalty in the Caribbean has caused the
justice system to be undermined and for members of the public to question
it." A recent survey by the University of the West Indies found 75% of
people in Trinidad and Tobago had lost faith in the justice system.

Mr Maharaj, leader of the house of representatives, also rejected criticism
of the executions from groups such as Amnesty International. "There is a
misconception that the death penalty is a human rights issue, but it is not.

"The international declaration of human rights authorises states to carry
out the death penalty in accordance with the due process of law. Trinidad
and Tobago respects other countries where they decide what punishment fits
a particular crime, and we would expect others to do the same with
punishments decided upon by the sovereign people of Trinidad and Tobago.

"We got this punishment from the British and adopted it. If it is cruel and
unusual it must have been in the UK as well, but it's a lawful punishment
to be given by the state for serious crimes."

He said the cases had no bearing on the attempts to set up the regional
supreme court, which he predicted could be in place within a year.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

EU Protests As Three Are Hanged In Trinidad (The Daily Telegraph version)

Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 15:17:59 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Trinidad: EU Protests As Three Are Hanged In Trinidad
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Pubdate: Sat, 05 June 1999
Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)
Copyright: of Telegraph Group Limited 1999
Contact: dtletters@telegraph.co.uk
Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
Author: Mark Wilson

EU PROTESTS AS THREE ARE HANGED IN TRINIDAD

PORT OF SPAIN - A drug dealer and two accomplices were hanged for murder in
Trinidad yesterday despite last-minute manoeuvres by lawyers to stop the
first executions for five years.

Dole Chadee, 49, was hanged at 6am, in the first of nine scheduled
executions. The accomplices went to the gallows later in the morning; three
more are expected to be hanged today and a further three on Monday. More
executions are likely to follow.

Britain's high commissioner joined a protest by European Union diplomats
three weeks ago, telling Trinidad's Foreign Minister, Ralph Maraj, of their
governments' opposition to the death penalty. Germany, which now holds the
EU presidency, sent a further statement to the Trinidad government yesterday.

Chadee's hanging was the first in Trinidad since 1994 - when the convicted
man died 10 minutes before a stay of execution faxed from the Privy Council
arrived - and only the second since 1979. Chadee was convicted of ordering
the murder of a cane farmer, Deo Baboolal, 47, his wife, Rookmin, and two
children.

He was a drug dealer said to have millions of pounds in Isle of Man
accounts. One of two gang members who gave evidence against him was
murdered, and such was the fear of him that 200 possible jurors were
questioned before 12 could be found to try him.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Trinidad Three Hanged Despite Pleas (The Independent version)

Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 15:17:58 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Trinidad: Trinidad Three Hanged Despite Pleas
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Pubdate: Sat, 05 June 1999
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Copyright: 1999 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Address: 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Author: David Usborne

TRINIDAD THREE HANGED DESPITE PLEAS

PORT OF SPAIN - Early yesterday warders in Frederick Street Prison, in the
old quarter of Port of Spain, led a thickset inmate from his cell to the
gallows outside, covered his head with a hood and placed the noose of the
rope around his neck. At 6am the signal was given and the hangman pulled a
wooden lever. A trapdoor snapped open and the 47-year-old man, Dole Chadee,
swung.

Thus, after three years of legal wrangling that extended to the Privy
Council in London and awoke old resentments across the Caribbean about
Britain's still lingering judicial oversight in its former colonies, the
government of Trinidad and Tobago had carried out the country's first
hanging in five years.

By Monday morning it will be more than Chadee who will have met his end on
Frederick Street. Two other men were hanged yesterday, at one-hour intervals.

Another three are due to go to the gallows today and a third group of three
are to be executed in the same manner at dawn on Monday.

In going through with the executions Trinidad and Tobago was rejecting a
last-minute petition for the death sentences to be commuted, from Amnesty
International and figures including Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

A final appeal to the law lords in London yesterday morning also failed.
Similar efforts by defence lawyers in the nation's own courts on Thursday
were rejected.

In a lonely lament for the condemned men the bells of the Roman Catholic
cathedral in Port of Spain tolled at 7.55am. Otherwise, remorse was not the
mood in this bustling Caribbean capital city.

Polls have shown a nation unmoved by international protests against the
executions, with more than 80 per cent consistently favouring the death
penalty. Chadee, moreover, was a figure never likely to win sympathy.

A former drug baron made rich by the cocaine traffic from Latin America to
the United States, Chadee was the feared leader of a gang of nine convicted
in September 1996 for a multiple murder. Chadee had dispatched the other
eight men to the home of Hamilton Baloolal, who had allegedly slighted him.

Ordered to take revenge, his henchmen shot Baloolal first and then his wife,
his sister and his crippled father.

Yesterday, in the small crowd that had gathered outside the forbidding
30ft-high walls of the jail, only one voice dared speak out against the
executions.

"We are going to take nine lives in an utterly barbaric way," complained
Ishmail Samad, an ornithologist who leads bird-watching tours on the island.
"We should not be allowing Dole Chadee to pull us down to his level."

Mr Samad, an isolated figure on the fringe of the crowd, carried a four-foot
placard with a quote above the name of Arthur Koestler: "The gallows is not
merely a machine of death but the oldest symbol of the tendency in Mankind
to drive it towards moral destruction."

Others held radios giving commentaries on the executions as they occurred.
News of the demise of Chadee came shortly after. The second convict,
Ramkalawan Singh, who weighed only 90lb, was hanged at 7.27am. The third, Joey

Ramiah, died at 8.30am.

There was only one gallows refurbished for yesterday's hangings. Fresh ropes
were attached and boiled and stretched to allow maximum tautness and each
body was left to hang for an hour after the opening of the
trapdoor to ensure the man was dead.

The enthusiasm here for capital punishment has been fed by a frustration
with rising violence and crime on the twin islands, much of it associated
with gangs and the drug trade.

The popular hunger to see Chadee swing has been palpable for weeks. "Time's
Up" blared the headline on the front page of the Trinidad Guar-dian
yesterday. Winston Mathews, who was among those outside the prison walls
after news of Chadee's execution was confirmed, said: "He is reaching Hell
already. He should be in the Devil's arms now. I want him to go into the
fire and for the fire to heat up some more."

A construction worker who declined to give his name was angered even to be
asked whether executing Chadee and his accomplices was justified.

Innocent people were being gunned down on the islands all the time, he said,
acting out such killings.

"They are on the ground, their hands around their head, and BOOM! We have to
face that animals are living among us."

And nobody comes more dangerous than Chadee, he said. "If the fella has gone
there to Hell, the Devil himself is going to run from him."

The case of the "Trinidad Nine" crystallised frustration felt in Britain's
former Caribbean colonies with the continuing role of the Privy Council as
their court of last resort. Most people in the region consider the council a
vestige of colonialism.

Next month nine Caribbean members of the Commonwealth are expected to agree
on replacing the council with a shared supreme court of their own.
Frustration with the system boiled over in 1993, when the Privy Council
ruled that condemned prisoners in the former Caribbean colonies should have
their death sentences commuted if they had been on Death Row for more than
five years.

Yesterday's hangings, which the council eventually declined to block, could
spell an early end for Death Row inmates across the region. In Trinidad and
Tobago alone there are more than a hundred, all in the Frederick Street jail.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Bootleg Wheeze That's Costing The Exchequer A Packet (Scotsman columnist John
Ivison recounts Canada's failed experiment with prohibitory cigarette taxes
as a rebuttal to the World Bank's recent report arguing that increasing
cigarette taxes are a good way to cut smoking.)

Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 14:55:15 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UK: Bootleg Wheeze That's Costing The Exchequer A Packet
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: shug@shuggie.demon.co.uk
Pubdate: Sat, 5 June 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: John Ivison

BOOTLEG WHEEZE THAT'S COSTING THE EXCHEQUER A PACKET

There could be lessons to be learned from Canada's experience of combating
the cigarette smugglers, reports John Ivison in North America

A NUMBER of years ago, I interviewed for a job at a newspaper in Cornwall,
Ontario, a sleepy town mid-way between Montreal and Toronto.

Nothing much ever happens there, but the town was woken from its somnolence
just before I arrived. Someone had taken a pot-shot at the mayor after - in
an unguarded moment - he made public his opposition to the local cigarette
smuggling trade.

This was particularly ill-judged because smuggling provided the staple
income of the restless, and heavily-armed, native Indian reservation.

My reason for bringing this up is to give some indication of how serious a
business cigarette smuggling was in Canada in the early nineties. The reason
it was particularly acute was because Canada had pioneered a policy of
punitive taxation on smokers which saw the cost of a packet of 25 wheezers
double to around $$6.50 (Canadian) in Ontario (prices varied in different
provinces).

Despite the subsequent failure of this policy, it has surfaced again in
official circles as the panacea to cut global tobacco consumption. Late last
month the World Bank released a report arguing that increasing cigarette
taxes was a good way to cut smoking.

Defying its customary line of opposition to government intervention in the
marketplace, it said that there was a solid case for tobacco taxes as an
instrument of health policy and that price increases were highly effective
in reducing demand. It estimated that a 10 per cent price increase worldwide
would cause 40 million smokers to quit and prevent at least 10 million
tobacco-related deaths.

Loath as I am to align myself with the angels of death in the tobacco
industry - it is a bit like saying Peter Sutcliffe was nice to his mum - the
Canadian experience with cigarette smuggling does not support the World
Bank's case. The increasingly violent smuggling trade, centred on Cornwall,
saw millions of dollars of cigarettes shipped over the border from the
United States without any duty being paid. The success of the smuggling
operation was in no small part due to the connivance and, in many cases,
actual participation of the tobacco industry.

Cases now making their way through courts in Canada and the US reveal that
the major tobacco companies sponsored the business and knowingly supplied
the smugglers. RJR Macdonald, a subsidiary of RJR Nabisco, admitted in
December that it smuggled more than US $$600 million worth of cigarettes
into Canada.

The company paid a $10 million forfeiture and a $5.2 million fine.

Don Brown, chairman of Imperial Tobacco, part of the Imasco conglomerate,
told a court that after years of fighting against high taxes the company
decided that if you can't beat the smugglers you might as well join them.

The government, faced with lax tax evasion laws and a police force often
unwilling to act against heavily-armed smugglers, was forced to repeal much
of its tax legislation and the price of a packet fell back to around the $$3
(Canadian) level. Overnight, the smuggling issue was resolved and smugglers
are now more involved with liquor.

Anti-smoking policy in Canada is currently centred on restricting tobacco
advertising and more modest tax increases. However, the US has decided to
ignore the Canadian model and increase federal cigarette taxes by about $2
(US) a pack, arguing that it has stronger penalties for smuggling and the
resources to enforce laws.

Larry Summers, the soon-to-be new Treasury secretary, defended the law by
saying that the fact 80 per cent of the Canadian population lives within a
two-hour drive of the US border made smuggling easier. "The dispersal of the
US population means that a US resident is less likely than a Canadian to be
able to cross the border routinely for casual cigarette smuggling," he said.

The US may be able to hermetically seal itself from the rest of the world,
but the explosion of cross-Channel traffic suggests that the UK cannot.

Tobacco companies sifting through the litter on football terraces have
discovered that one in five discarded packs was a bootleg import - a figure
which, if extrapolated, would cost the exchequer UKP1.5 billion a year in
lost excise.

Small wonder when the average cost for a pack is UKP3.90 in Britain, but
only UKP1.70 on the Continent.

The smugglers in this case may be toting nothing more deadly than a Yorkie
bar but the effect on the national coffers is the same.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

[End]

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