------------------------------------------------------------------- Philip Morris Targets Punitives (The Nation recaps a recent Associated Press article about lawyers for the tobacco company putting Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers on notice they intend to dispute the state's 60 percent share of a recent judgment against the company by a jury in Multnomah County due to the $206 billion tobacco settlement in November between the industry and 46 state attorneys general.) Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 18:27:24 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US OR: Philip Morris Targets Punitives Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: EWCHIEF Pubdate: Mon, 07 Jun 1999 Source: Nation, The (US) Copyright: 1999, The Nation Company Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.thenation.com/ Author: Bob Van Voris PHILIP MORRIS TARGETS PUNITIVES Says '98 Deal Means State Must Forgo Its Share Of Trial Award. Philip Morris Inc. thinks it has found a loophole to help take the sting out of an $80 million punitive damages award in March to the family of an Oregon man who died of cancer. Lawyers for the company, the largest cigarette manufacturer in the United States, on May 13 succeeded in getting Portland, Ore., state court Judge Anna J. Brown to knock the number down to $32 million. Williams v. Philip Morris, No. 9705-03957. And they have put Attorney General Hardy Myers on notice they intend to lay 60% of that figure off on the state of Oregon. Mr. Myers' office is fighting back, but whatever the outcome, critics fear it is just one of many unwelcome surprises that may result from the convoluted $206 billion agreement between the industry and 46 state attorneys general in November. The Oregon controversy began with a letter from Jeffrey M. Wintner, a lawyer at New York's Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, written several weeks after the jury in the Williams case delivered its verdict. Mr. Wintner pointed to a recent piece of Oregon tort reform legislation that calls for 60% of punitive damages to be paid to the state rather than to the plaintiffs. Mr. Wintner wrote that the state's share constitutes a released claim under the settlement and that Philip Morris does not have to pay. Mr. Myers answered that Philip Morris has it wrong, and his office will seek a ruling to back him up. The controversy may play out in other states as well. The Oregon statute is one of at least seven so-called split-award laws nationwide, said Andrea Curcio, a professor at Georgia State University College of Law. "One of the things that really worries me is nobody out there has taken a really close look at this thing," said Graham Kelder, a lawyer at the Tobacco Control Resource Center, an anti-tobacco group based in Boston. When the settlement was announced in November, attorneys general had less than a week to decide whether or not to sign. Some critics said that was not nearly enough time to give the deal proper consideration. And they pointed out several potential loopholes. For example, the agreement permits the companies to obtain an offset for the proceeds of any new federal excise taxes that are earmarked for the states. Mr. Kelder oversaw a two-month project, completed in March, to analyze the settlement agreement--all 60,000 words worth--with funding from the American Cancer Society. Another possible loophole was revealed recently when the Wawa store chain advertised a sale on Philip Morris' Marlboro cigarettes on Pennsylvania billboards, despite the fact that, under the agreement, tobacco companies are not to use billboards. Faced with criticism, Wawa took the sign down. This article appeared in the June 7, 1999 issue of The National Law Journal.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Phoenix police admit inflating street value of drug seizures (The Associated Press says the $500 million value police placed on nearly 997 kilograms of cocaine they seized last month works out to about $500 per gram. The DEA estimates the street value of cocaine at about $80 to $160 per gram. Phoenix police say the inflated values serve a purpose. "The significance is to try to say what the impact is on society," said Phoenix police Lt. Al Thiele. "That's how much they have to steal to pay for it.") From: "Bob Owen" (email@example.com) To: "HempTalk" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: HT: Phoenix police admit inflating street value of drug seizures Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 22:54:37 -0700 Organization: Washington Hemp Education Network Sender: email@example.com Monday, 7 June 1999 Phoenix police admit inflating street value of drug seizures PHOENIX (AP) - When Phoenix police seized nearly 997 kilograms of cocaine last month, they said the drugs would be worth about $500 million on the street. But other law enforcement agencies are questioning the formula used to reach that whopping number, The Tribune, a newspaper serving suburban Phoenix, reported yesterday. Phoenix police acknowledge that they're using the higher estimate in part to attract attention. The $500 million estimate works out to about $500 per gram of cocaine. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration estimates the street value of cocaine at about $80 to $160 per gram. Two weeks after the Phoenix seizure, a man with more than 1,200 pounds of cocaine in his pickup truck bed was arrested near Nogales, Ariz. Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said the cocaine had a street value of $45 million, or about $80 per gram. "Five hundred million seems a little exorbitant to me," Estrada said. Phoenix police say the inflated values serve a purpose. "The significance is to try to say what the impact is on society," said Phoenix police Lt. Al Thiele. "We all agreed to talk about what the retail value is. That's how much they have to steal to pay for it."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ohio State 1999 Hempfest (Heath Wintz of the marijuana-law reform group, For A Better Ohio, describes the 12th annual Spring Hempfest May 5 at Ohio State University in Columbus. Things went off without a hitch. Even the OSU police were supportive.) From: "Heath W." (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: "CRRH mailing list" (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: Ohio State 99 Hempfest Date: Mon, 07 Jun 1999 02:44:52 GMT Well, the beautiful day of June 5th provided a wonderful backdrop for the 12th annual Spring Hempfest. Clear, in the low 80's, nice breeze and some great musicians. Things went off without a hitch, bands all showed up on time at the 5 various stages, the hemp fashion show went great and we registered nearly 200 voters for the first time. Special thanks to Don Wirtshafter of the Ohio Hempery for sponsoring the fashion show. But the highlight of the day was the Ohio State University police. The OSU police gave us some flak early in the day, and then convienantly disappeared for the next 8 hours. When some uniformed officers came back, I greeted them before they had a chance to talk to anyone else. I anticipated getting some grief again for the cars not being moved to where they wanted them, but something strange actually happened. They praised us. The officer said that she respected what we were doing and supported how we were going about changing the laws with the ballot initiative and the Higher Ed. act petitions. They felt that the crowd was very peaceful and we had organized the event well. She later confided in me that she was off duty and was intending on buying some hemp goods from some of the vendors. The officers then stopped by For A Better Ohio's table and commended our organization's other members. I just wanted to point out a great example of educated law enforcement and how they have not bought into the brainwashing drug war rhetoric. I know that if the Columbus Police had jurisdiction where we planned the festival, we would not have gone unmolested. Chalk one up for the good guys. Thanks, Heath Wintz For A Better Ohio Student Coordinator, President, CSCC Chapter www.angelfire.com/oh2/ohiohemp -Fight the good Fight *** To subscribe, unsubscribe or switch to immediate or digest mode, please send your instructions to firstname.lastname@example.org. *** Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp CRRH P.O. Box 86741 Portland, OR 97286 Phone: (503) 235-4606 Fax:(503) 235-0120 Web: http://www.crrh.org/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ready supply and upper limits (A list subscriber makes some good points explaining why medical marijuana patients are concerned about state ballot initiatives sponsored by Americans for Medical Rights that severely restrict the number of plants patients can cultivate.) Date: Mon, 07 Jun 1999 16:45:53 -0700 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: Gerald Sutliff (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Ready supply and upper limits Sender: email@example.com Dear Dave of AMR, May, et al, One of the reasons that the upper limit is an issue with individuals with a medical need for marijuana is that currently they have no assurance of an, as needed, legal supply of adequate quantities of marijuana. If the reverse were true patients would be happy about walking around with only a two day supply. Just like one feels okay about driving around with an eighth of a tank of gas during the daytime in a major city (assuming one has cash or credit card). However, it's a different story out in the desert or in a strange city at 3:00 a.m. If the service station sign says, "Last gas for 200 miles," wouldn't we all fill up, even those with Hondas or those with a 3/4 full tank? When some hospitals experimented with allowing pain patients to adjust their own morphine drip rate it was found that they often used HALF AS MUCH as their doctor had been previously prescribing. Whereas when they were on a four, six or however long between injections schedule they used every bit they could get. Their logic was understandable. By making sure the patients feel insecure about their legal supply the governments insure controversy about the upper limits. vty, jerry sutliff -------------------------------------------------------------------
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