------------------------------------------------------------------- DEA Admits 'Sufficient Grounds' To Re-Schedule Marijuana (US Drug Enforcement Administration Acknowledges Evidence Cannabis Is Not Addictive Or A Drug Of Abuse - Then Hands Case To US Health And Human Services Department - Press Release From Lawyer For 'High Times' Says Legally Binding Results Will Likely Mean An End To Marijuana Prohibition) Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 18:54:25 EST Reply-To: Gettman_J@mediasoft.net Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Jon Gettman
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: DEA Finds Sufficient Grounds (2) January 13, 1998 For Immediate Release DEA FINALLY CONFIRMS THE EXISTENCE OF SUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO REMOVE MARIJUANA FROM HARD DRUGS SCHEDULE OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES DEA REFERS MARIJUANA RESCHEDULING PETITION TO HHS Introduction Recent scientific evidence has forced the US Government through its Justice Department agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to commence legally binding procedures that will likely result in the end of marijuana prohibition. On December 19th, DEA formally asked the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct "a scientific and medical evaluation of the available data and provide a scheduling recommendation" for marijuana and other cannabinoid drugs. This DEA request of HHS means that the DEA has for the first time made its own determination that sufficient grounds exist to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Schedule I is supposed to be limited to hard drugs with addictive propensities and with no legitimate medical usage. The DEA request was made in response to an administrative petition filed July 10, 1995 by Petitioners Jon Gettman and Trans High Corporation, publisher of High Times Magazine. The Petition presents evidence and argument that marijuana and cannabinoids lack the "high potential for abuse" required for Schedule I and Schedule II drugs under the (CSA). Trans-High Corporation, the publishers of High Times, joined with Mr. Gettman in mid-1995 to provide support for the petition during the administrative rule-making process. Petitioners are represented by the Law Offices of Michael Kennedy, which today released a copy of a letter from DEA notifying petitioners of the HHS referral. Petitioners are represented by the Law Offices of Michael Kennedy in New York City, which today released a copy of the letter from DEA notifying Petitioners of the HHS referral. Background. According to a July 27, 1995, letter from DEA Deputy Administrator Stephen Greene, accepting the Petition for filing: "The DEA shall determine within a reasonable period of time whether there are sufficient grounds to justify removing marijuana . . . from Schedule I . . .(S)hould DEA determine that there are sufficient grounds, then it must request a medical and scientific recommendation from the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services." Thus DEA can request the advice of HHS only after DEA's investigation confirms that sufficient grounds exist to remove marijuana from Schedule I. According to the CSA the findings and recommendations of HHS with regard to scientific and medical matters are binding on DEA. DEA has never before voluntarily referred a marijuana rescheduling petition to HHS for binding review. The Gettman/High times Petition demonstrates that HHS has never produced a finding that marijuana actually has the high potential for abuse similar to heroin or cocaine. A high potential for abuse is required for Schedule I treatment. Further, the legislative history of the CSA indicates that Congress only intended for marijuana to remain in Schedule I or II if such a finding could be produced. This Petition challenges the government to produce such a finding (where none exists) or be legally required to end marijuana prohibition by removing marijuana from Schedule I. Removal of marijuana from Schedule I will require the federal government to sanction legal distribution of marijuana for medical uses, research and prescriptions and adopt a regulatory rather than a prohibitory model for marijuana. The end of prohibition and the advent of regulation will represent a radical change in the legal status of marijuana in the United States. The Petition argues that the discovery of the Cannabinoid Receptor System, which has enabled scientists to explain the cause of marijuana's characteristic effects, and provides a basis for making detailed distinctions among the biological effects of marijuana and other drugs. These distinctions provide the scientific basis for demonstrating that marijuana does not have the same high potential for abuse as other Schedule I or II drugs. DEA reversal of position. The DEA to HHS referral represents a historic turn-around for DEA. Gettman first asked DEA to refer marijuana to HHS for the appropriate scientific and medical evaluation back in October of 1994. In March 1995, in a letter to Gettman's congressman, DEA claimed that "unless a substance has an accepted medical use in the United States, in can only be placed in Schedule I." By letter dated April 21, 1995, DEA Administrator Thomas Constantine stated that DEA was: "unaware of any new scientific studies of marijuana that would lead us to re-evaluate its classification at this time . . . If Mr. Gettman has access to scientific data concerning marijuana which he wishes to bring to our attention, we will be pleased to consider it, should he care to share the documentation with us." The Gettman/High Times Petition provided the specific scientific documentation that caused the DEA to reverse itself and to acknowledge for the first time ever that a sufficient scientific basis exists for reclassification of marijuana out of Schedule I Petitioners. Jon Gettman served as National Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) from 1986 to 1989, and has provided articles and columns for High Times since 1985. Gettman is currently working on his doctorate in public policy and regional economic development at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Mr. Gettman issued the following statement: "People are sent to jail every day because of mistaken assumptions about the abuse potential of marijuana, assumptions that have never been scientifically proved. DEA's recognition of this is a welcome and important step, and in many respects recognition of the importance of the scientific work of individuals such as Allyn Howlett, William Devane, Miles Herkenham, Leo Hollister, Denise Kandel, Norman Zinberg, Lester Grinspoon and other scientists on whose work my petition rests. But this is also recognition that in many respects marijuana prohibition has been a cruel hoax on the American people. People think marijuana is in Schedule I for scientific reasons, and that these reasons legitimize prohibition, arrests and prison terms. DEA has just acknowledged that there is a lot of scientific knowledge they haven't considered when they justify marijuana's Schedule I status. In other words, DEA has presented a distorted picture of marijuana to government officials and to the public. I hope our petition will contribute to resolving some of the confusion created by these distortions." High Times Magazine, by its Editor in Chief, Peter Gorman, issued the following statement: "High Times is thrilled that the DEA has acknowledged that there was never sufficient reason to place cannabis in Schedule I of the CSA, and proud that the petition originated with Jon Gettman's two part series on "Marijuana and the Brain" which appeared in our pages in March and July 1995. We hope that journalists from all media who have covered the War on Drugs will recognize the importance of the DEA's admission regarding the scheduling of cannabis -- which could potentially result in the end of prohibition of this benign and medically helpful herb -- and will report it with the same vigor with which they have reported other DEA findings. High Times looks forward to the results of the Department of Health and human Services' investigation of the scientific and medical data regarding cannabis with great anticipation." *** Contact information: Law Offices of Michael Kennedy 425 Park Ave. - 26th Floor New York City, NY 10002 Phone: (212) 935-4500 Fax: (212) 980-6881 Jon Gettman Email: Gettman_J@mediasoft.net *** Portland NORML notes - Portland NORML was the first to post the 'High Times' articles, on both Usenet and the World Wide Web. The articles and this site debuted at about the same time in 1995. *** Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 21:56:33 EST Reply-To: Gettman_J@mediasoft.net Originator: email@example.com From: Jon Gettman To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: DEA documentation of petition significance Here is important source material that defines the significance of the petition referral in DEA's own words. The three letters from DEA are valuable documentation that the HHS referral of the petition means that "sufficient grounds" exist for the removal of marijuana from schedules I and II. March 1, 1995 Thomas Constantine (DEA) to Rep. Frank Wolf http://www.norml.org/research/coors/fwtc395.shtml In this March 1, 1995 letter DEA argues that "accepted medical use" is the only issue that matters under the CSA, and that a reconsideration of marijuana's abuse potential may be interesting but of no legal consequence. March 14, 1995 Jon Gettman to Sen. John Warner http://www.norml.org/research/coors/jwjg0314.shtml In this March 14, 1995 letter I ask my U.S. Senator to remind DEA that the argument they advanced in their letter of March 1, 1995 was explicitly rejected by the US Court of Appeals in 1977. April 21, 1995 Thomas Constantine (DEA) to Sen. John Warner http://www.norml.org/research/coors/jwtc495.shtml In this April 21, 1995 letter DEA changes their argument. They monitor scientific research, and know of no findings that would provide grounds for a review of marijuana's schedule I status. However I was invited to submit such information if I could provide documentation. July 27, 1995 Stgephen Greene (DEA) to Jon Gettman http://www.norml.org/research/coors/jgsg795.shtml In this July 27, 1995 letter DEA acknowledges recepit of the petition and explains that a referral to HHS means that "sufficient grounds" exist for removal. If sufficient grounds do not exist, they will deny the petition. The December 19, 1997 letter notifying my attorneys of the referall to HHS is not yet available on-line. However the significance of the referral is established in the letters above from DEA. Accepted medical use is not the only issue - established by the change in Constantine's reply from 3/1/95 to 4/21/95. DEA was not aware of all the relevant scientific research in early 1995 - established by the referral to HHS 12/19/97 based on 1988 - 1994 research, reconciled with DEA statements in the 4/21/95 letter. "Sufficient grounds" exist for the removal of all cannabinoids from schedules I and II - defined by the DEA's letter of 6/27/95 and established by their referral of the petition to HHS after a 29 month review. Jon Gettman *** Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 00:31:06 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: TerraCore Communications (email@example.com) Subject: More News about the possible end of cannabis prohibition When I read the latest octa99 email about the possible end to cannabis prohibition I thought it so hard to believe I had to check and verify it wasn't a prank, like the one about 2 years ago that Cuba had legalized the herb. More information about this late-breaking story is available on the High Times website at http://www.hightimes.com/ht/welcome.html *** Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 03:22:31 EST Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: DEA Petition story I am distressed that the news media, other than CNN, have apparently not picked up on the DEA petition story despite the press release. Surely in the context of the federal action to close down the CBCs the development is highly newsworthy. What's going on? Should we send copies of the press release to papers asking indignantly why this story was not picked up? Or what? David
------------------------------------------------------------------- Making Crime Pay ('St. Paul Pioneer Press' Report On Prisons For Profit Notes 1996 Study By GAO Found 'No Credible Evidence' Of Savings, Yet Correction Corporation Of America In Less Than 20 Years Has Taken Over Almost Half The 140 Private Prisons In The US - Profit Taking By Investors Leads To High Turnover Among Guards, High Rate Of Violence, Exploitation Of Inmates) Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 02:01:38 -0800 Subject: US MN: Making Crime Pay Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Dave West (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press Contact: Reader Advocate: Nancy Conner email@example.com FAX: 612-228-5564 Website: http://www.pioneerplanet.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 Author: David Morris MAKING CRIME PAY Private prisons exploit inmates and the penal system in the name of turning a profit. If it has a payroll, privatize it. So goes the reigning doctrine of the day. The urge to privatize invades all sectors, all services, even when common sense screams for us to pause and reconsider. One of the most painfully thoughtless examples of this stampede is the privatization of U.S. prisons. The initial justification for privatizing prisons was that it would save the taxpayers a ton of money. It hasn't. A 1996 study by the General Accounting Office found "no credible evidence" of such savings. But money isn't really the issue. Liberty and dignity are. Investors in prison corporations expect to double their money every five years. To meet that goal, costs per inmate must be minimized, the jail cells must he fully occupied, and the inmates themselves must be exploited. Private prisons are dangerous for prisoners and for our social fabric. In 1992, Tennessee turned over operation of one state prison, South Central, to the Correction Corporation of America, a company less than 20 years old that runs almost half the private prisons in the country. In 1996, state investigators compared the operations of South Central with those of a comparable state-run prison. The investigators found the costs to the taxpayer of the private prison were about the same as those of a public facility. Since a portion of the private plant's revenue goes to investors, less is available for prison care and guard training. As a result, as Eric Bates reports in The Nation, the CCA prison has become a dangerous place. The employee turnover rate was double that at state prisons. Violent incidents have been 50 percent more common than in state facilities. The best way to maximize the revenue generated by each prisoner is to maximize the cell time of that prisoner. A 1992 study by the New Mexico Corrections Department showed that women at prisons run by CCA lost "good time" -- which leads to weekend leaves or early release, both of which reduce corporate revenues -- nearly eight times as often as men at a state-run lockup. There is another way prison corporations make money from their wards: having their slave labor compete with free labor. Sales of prison goods soared from $392 million in 1980 to $1.31 billion in 1994. Prison laborers now make clothes, car parts, computer components, shoes, furniture and many other items. Although state prisons pay minimum wage to inmates, Counterpunch magazine notes that private prisons pay as little as 17 cents an hour. The maximum pay scale at a CCA prison in Tennessee is 50 cents an hour for "highly skilled positions." One Texas state representative even suggested touting "competitive" prison labor in order to lure Nike into shifting production from Indonesia to Texas. Since the profits of private prison corporations largely depend on expansion, the industry uses its increasing clout to lobby for more severe sentencing laws, like the three-strikes-and-you're-out law in California. Indeed, CCA has become one of the most generous campaign contributors in California. The California corrections officers association is the second most generous lobby in Sacramento. Ten years ago just five private prisons existed, housing about 2,000 inmates. Today some 140 prisons, housing almost 70,000 inmates, are owned or administered by private companies. The private prison population may increase by 500 percent over the next decade. Meanwhile, the number of prisoners in this country has more than doubled since 1980, Today we have the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world. In 1995, for the first time, more money was spent building new prisons than new universities. We have created an incentive structure dangerous to those in jails, and that same incentive structure endangers those of us outside of jails as well. The new ownership structure of prisons rewards investors for imprisoning us and keeping us in prison and exploiting us while there. This is a bad idea run amok. It's time to blow the whistle and declare a moratorium on all further privatization of prisons. Morris is a Twin Cities author, lecturer and consultant. Readers can write to him at 1313 Fifth St. S.E.. Suite 306, Minneapolis, Minn. 55414.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton Plan To Fight Drug Use In Prisons ('San Francisco Examiner' Quotes McCaffrey Saying Last Year, 9 Percent Of Those Checked Tested Positive For Drugs Behind Bars, And The Rate Was 'Much' Worse In State And Local Jails Than In Federal Prisons) Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 13:25:38 -0800 Subject: MN: US: SFX: Clinton Plan to Fight Drug Use in Prisons Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Examiner Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 Website: http://www.examiner.com CLINTON PLAN TO FIGHT DRUG USE IN PRISONS $200 million slated for cleaning up jails WASHINGTON - President Clinton says he will push states to toughen penalties for drug trafficking in prisons and will earmark $200 million to promote drug abstinence and treatment in the criminal justice system. "Fighting drugs in our prisons and among prisoners is absolutely critical ultimately to keeping drugs off the streets and away from our children," Clinton said Monday. "Somehow, jail time has to be cold turkey for those who are addicted and must represent unemployment for those who are drug dealers," said retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Across the nation, 1.6 million men and women are in federal, state and local prisons. Last year, 9 percent of those checked tested positive for drugs behind bars, McCaffrey said. The problem was much worse in state and local jails than in federal prisons, he said. Controlling drugs in prison is important because between to 80 percent of prison population is incarcerated because of drug- or alcohol-related crimes, McCaffrey said. The initiative was the latest in a series of anti-crime issues by the president. Once the domain of Republicans, law-and-order measures have become a mainstay of Clinton's presidency, including tougher handgun controls and a plan to put 100,000 more police on the streets. Clinton directed Attorney General Janet Reno to draft legislation, in consultation with states, that would require them to toughen penalties for drug trafficking into and within correctional facilities. States that did not comply could lose prison construction funds from the federal government. Clinton also instructed Reno to take steps requiring states to determine the level of drug use in their prisons and report annually.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton Orders Steps To Combat Prison Drug Use (More From 'Reuters' On The Prohibitionists' Latest Utopian Pipe Dream) Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 23:59:46 -0800 Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Clinton Orders Steps to Combat Prison Drug Use Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Source: Reuters Pubdate: Tuesday, 13 January 1998 CLINTON ORDERS STEPS TO COMBAT PRISON DRUG USE WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Clinton Monday ordered new steps to crack down on drug use by prison inmates and the White House said he would propose nearly $200 million in additional measures to fight drugs in prisons. "Fighting drugs in our prisons and among prisoners is absolutely critical ultimately to keeping drugs off the streets and away from our children," Clinton said at an Oval Office ceremony. Clinton ordered Attorney General Janet Reno to require states to report annually on their progress in fighting drugs in prisons. He also asked Reno to develop legislation requiring states to boost penalties for drug trafficking in prison, and to make it easier for states to use federal prison-construction aid for anti-drug programs. The White House said Clinton would propose $197 million in new spending in his fiscal 1999 budget request to promote "coerced abstinence" and drug treatment for prisoners. Some of that money would go toward measures announced Monday, but most is for plans to be announced later, White House aides said. "Jail time has to be cold turkey for those who are addicted, and must represent unemployment for those who are drug dealers," Barry McCaffrey, head of the White House anti-drug effort, told reporters before Clinton signed the order.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lawmaker Seeks Summit On Medicinal Marijuana ('San Jose Mercury News' Reports John Vasconcellos, Chairman Of The California Senate Public Safety Committee, Will Invite Governor Pete Wilson, Attorney General Dan Lungren And US Attorney General Janet Reno To Join The Committee At A Summit Within The Next Month) Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 13:25:22 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Lawmaker Seeks Summit on Medicinal Marijuana Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 LAWMAKER SEEKS SUMMIT ON MEDICINAL MARIJUANA SACRAMENTO (AP) -- With sharp criticism of President Clinton, a state senator urged state and federal officials Monday to take part in a summit on how to implement California's medicinal marijuana initiative. Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-San Jose, said he was ``appalled and outraged'' by federal and state responses to voters' approval of Proposition 215. ``It seems to me that fascism is rearing its ugly head,'' he said. The November 1996 ballot measure changed state law to allow patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and certain other illnesses to possess and grow marijuana for medical use, with a doctor's recommendation. But the Clinton administration has resisted the initiative. On Friday, the Justice Department filed civil suits against six marijuana buyers' clubs in Northern California, saying they violated federal laws against marijuana possession, cultivation and distribution. Vasconcellos, chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee, said he would invite Gov. Pete Wilson, state Attorney General Dan Lungren and U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to join members of the committee at a summit in the next month to discuss implementing the proposition. ``I keep hoping that the president I voted for has some common sense, some compassion,'' Vasconcellos said. ``It might have been better if he had inhaled.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- State Senator Wants A Marijuana Summit ('Orange County Register' Makes California Senator John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, Seem A Bit Extreme) Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 13:25:31 -0800 Subject: MN: US CA: State Senator Wants a Marijuana Summit Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Tuesday, January 13, 1998 STATE SENATOR WANTS A MARIJUANA SUMMIT A state senator urged state and federal officials Monday to take part in a summit on how to implement California's medical marijuana initiative. Sen, John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, said he was "appalled and outraged" by federal and state responses to voters' approval of Proposition 215. "It seems to me that fascism is rearing its ugly head," he said. The 1996 ballot measure changed state law to allow patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and a variety of other illnesses to possess and grow marijuana for medical use, with a doctor's recommendation. But Friday, the Justice Department filed civil suits against six marijuana buyers clubs, saying they violated federal laws against possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Man In Wheelchair Faces Third Strike (California's 'Three Strikes' Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Law Continues To Inflict Disproportionate Punishment On Victimless Offenders) Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 13:26:01 -0800 Subject: MN: US CA: Man in Wheelchair Faces Third Strike Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Tuesday, January 13, 1998 Author: Stuart Pfeifer-The Orange County Register MAN IN WHEELCHAIR FACES THIRD STRIKE He says his disability makes the possible punishment excessive. He allegedly bought a macadamia nut he thought was rock cocaine. A marshal's deputy pushed the suspect into the courtroom Monday wheelchair to the defense table. Fost Morris, 56, who lost both legs to diabetes, who suffered three heart attacks in recent years, whose right arm is scarred from cancer surgery, hardly struck an imposing courtroom presence as he launched what he viewed as a fight for his life. This time, the fight that had nothing to do with life-threatening disease. Morris could get 25 years to life under California's "three strikes, you're out" law. Santa Ana police say Morris tried to buy on cocaine rock during an undercover sting in August. He actually bought a decoy - a macadamia nut. Robbery and burglary convictions between 1959 and 1981 make him eligible for the "three strikes" punishment. Central Orange County Municipal Court Judge Steven L. Perk refused Monday - for the second time in the case - to offer Morris anything less than the maximum punishment. Rulings by the California Supreme Court allow judges to ignore defendants' previous convictions if they feel 25 years to life in prison would be excessive. But Perk said Morris' record is too serious to offer him anything less. Morris, in an interview at Orange County Jail, said he is baffled that the judge and the District Attorney's Office want to give him the maximum punishment. No longer, Morris said, is he the gun-toting thug who struck fear in people he robbed in Texas, Los Angeles and San Diego more than 20 years ago. Today, in the medical ward of Orange Count Jail, Morris needs other inmates to help him take a shower. County nurses offer him medical attention around the clock. Keeping him in custody, he said, is a wast of money. "What can I do? I'm dying in a wheelchair," Morris said at the jail visiting booth. "I'm not doing crime. I'm paralyzed." Deputy District Attorney Steve Bickel said that while the attempted purchase of a single chunk of rock cocaine is not a serious offense, Morris is a serious felon. Morris admits that he has spent 28 of his 56 years behind bars. He has 11 felony convictions, eight of them serious enough to be considered strikes under California law, Bickel said. "Looking at him, I do feel sorry for him. The guy's a double-amputee. He's got no legs," Bickel said. "(But) At some point, you have to say, enough is enough." You have to put a stop to it. The guy has a 40-year felony record." The prosecutor does not buy Morris' insistence that he should be spared a lengthy sentence because of the disabilities. In 1995, Morris received his last previous felony conviction - petty theft with a prior theft conviction - for placing a fifth of whiskey in his wheelchair and pushing himself out of a south Orange County supermarket. "Who's to say he can't get a gun and shoot somebody from a wheelchair?" Bickel said. "He can go in and steal in his wheelchair. What if he rolled into a jewelry store and stole a diamond?" Deputy Public Defender Maria Hernandez said voters who passed the "three strikes" law in 1994 did not have in mind sick, disabled drug addicts such as Morris, caught buying a roasted nut. It was a Santa Ana police drug operation on West Camile Street that landed Morris in trouble again. He was sitting in the passenger seat of his friend's Geosedan when he gave $20 to undercover officer Ernesto Conde in exchange for what he thought would be a piece of rock cocaine, police said. Officers swarmed in for the arrest, then had to carry Morris out of the car. His folded-up wheelchair was in the back seat. He has been in jail ever since, held on $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to return to court Jan.27 for arraignment in Superior Court. Morris told a reporter he hopes a new judge will consider showing leniency. "They're sentencing me to death for a macadamia nut," he said. "They might as well give me the death penalty. This is a death sentence for me."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Fairfax Board Plans New War On Drug Use By County's Youth Police ('Washington Post' Covers Drug War On Youth In Fairfax County, Virginia) Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 21:31:16 -0500 Subject: MN: US VA: WP: Fairfax Board Plans New War On Drug Use by County's Youth Police Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Washington Post Section: Metro, page B01 Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Pubdate: Tuesday, January 13, 1998 Author: Eric Lipton, Washington Post Staff Writer FAIRFAX BOARD PLANS NEW WAR ON DRUG USE BY COUNTY'S YOUTH POLICE, SCHOOL OFFICIALS ASKED FOR OPTIONS Fairfax County supervisors instructed the police chief, county executive and school superintendent yesterday to immediately prepare a new battle plan to combat the growing problem of drug abuse by county youths. Stationing police officers in middle schools and creating a new detective squad specializing in arresting juvenile drug dealers and users are among the options under consideration, supervisors said. "It is shocking how prevalent drugs are among our youths and how easy it is for them to buy them," said Supervisor Elaine N. McConnell (R-Springfield). "And the public is just not aware how severe this problem is." The board's actions came in response to a Washington Post report last month detailing the dramatic growth in arrests of juveniles on drug charges and the role of county youths as both consumers and dealers of drugs. An estimated 12,000 county youths have received drug treatment in the last four years. In the last year alone, 560 juveniles were arrested in Fairfax and its independent towns for drug crimes, nearly 12 times as many as a decade ago. McConnell initiated yesterday's debate by suggesting that the county immediately allocate $300,000 to hire five detectives to strengthen the narcotics squad. But supervisors instead agreed to give the police chief, in consultation with the county executive and school superintendent, a chance to come up with his own plan. "We have got to try to reach out to these kids before they become entrenched in the drug culture," said Police Chief M. Douglas Scott. "Once they are in it, it is like being in a gang; it is much harder to get them out." So far, Scott said, the police department has had a hard time combating the problem. Placing an undercover officer in a school in 1995 produced limited results, he said, in part because it is difficult to infiltrate the drug network among county teenagers. And using a teenager as an undercover informant is risky, Scott said. Also, he said, the department has a policy of making arrests immediately when officers find juveniles involved with drugs, instead of spending time working up the chain in an attempt to arrest the dealers. "It is a complex problem," Scott said. "If we had the answer, we could bottle it and sell it across the nation." Fairfax already has police officers stationed at each of its 23 high schools and secondary schools, but supervisors and Scott agreed yesterday that the county needs to consider putting officers in its 20 middle schools, to reach students at the age when drug use often begins. Scott also said he wants to find the money needed to maintain a gang task force created in the last year, noting that gangs are often involved in drugs. And he said he will consider proposing a new division of the department's narcotics squad to investigate drug activity by young people, a plan praised by the county board. "We need a specialized team of trained professionals to focus on this challenge," said Supervisor Robert B. Dix Jr. (R-Hunter Mill). "There is clear evidence that the need is significant enough to justify the investment." A $1.9 million federal grant will help finance expansion of the county's anti-drug effort, officials said. The money will be used to help hire 25 police officers, adding to the current force of 1,077 and making it easier to shift experienced patrol officers to specialized squads. Supervisors yesterday also addressed two other threats to young people in the county. Dix announced that two alcohol wholesalers -- Guiffre Distributing Co., of Springfield, and King Wholesale Inc., of Chantilly -- had donated $5,600 to buy 28 pairs of goggles that simulate the effect of being drunk. The goggles, one pair of which will go to each county high school, distort the wearer's vision, making it all but impossible to walk a straight line, as was demonstrated yesterday morning by Chairman Katherine K. Hanley (D), who tried them out. "You can't do this," Hanley said, nearly falling over as she tried to take a step along a line that had been taped to the floor in the board chambers. "It is unbelievable." Also, the board voted to ask the General Assembly to pass legislation allowing Fairfax to ban guns from its teen and recreation centers, as well as the grounds that surround them. A judge last month overturned a county regulation banning weapons in Fairfax government buildings, ruling that Fairfax needed specific legislative authority to adopt such a regulation. Five Democrats on the county board said yesterday that they wanted to ask the legislature for the power to ban weapons in all buildings, but Republicans successfully argued that the request was too broad and would never win support in Richmond. The Republicans -- joined by Democrat Gerald W. Hyland (Mount Vernon) -- also moved to amend the proposal to ensure that residents with permits for concealed weapons would be exempt from a ban. "That is probably the most that is going to get through the General Assembly," said Supervisor Stuart Mendelsohn (R-Dranesville).
------------------------------------------------------------------- Church's Leader Faces Drug Charges (Wisconsin's 'Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Reports Bishop Of Holy Angels Old Catholic Church Busted For Pot Possession, Paraphernalia) Newshawk: "Frank S. World" (email@example.com) Pubdate: 13 Jan 1998 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Author: David Doege of the Journal Sentinel staff Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ CHURCH'S LEADER FACES DRUG CHARGES The bishop of a small church who was arrested with his deacon last month on drug charges was formally charged Monday with two misdemeanor counts stemming from the sweep. Loyd Crumpton, bishop of Holy Angels Old Catholic Church, 1510 N. 70th St., was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, misdemeanors that carry jail terms totaling up to seven months and fines of up to $1,500. The prosecutor who issued the charges said they are the only charges Crumpton is expected to face, but authorities' review of the case is continuing. "There are some other people that are ordered back in about a month," Assistant District Attorney Patrick J. Kenney said. Crumpton, 58, was arrested with the deacon, Gerald Glock, 47, and 14 other suspects. The raid was conducted by an interdepartmental task force seeking to break up what it said was a marijuana and cocaine distribution network. Glock later acknowledged to a reporter that he was a "drug addict" who was caught with a small amount of cocaine. He denied, however, that he was involved in drug dealing. During the Dec. 2 raid of the duplex where Crumpton lived, police seized a total of 7 1/2 grams of marijuana from three locations, several pipes and other paraphernalia, according to the complaint issued Monday. Crumpton told police, according to the complaint, that the marijuana was for his personal use and that the pipes were his as well. "The defendant further stated that he uses the marijuana to help him relax and that the most that he has ever purchased at any one time is a quarter-ounce of marijuana for $25," the complaint says. No drugs were found during a search of the church itself, according to police.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lindesmith Center Drug Policy Seminar Series (Winter 1998 Programs Open To Public In New York, San Francisco) From: email@example.com Date: Tue, 13 Jan 98 14:10:17 EST Subject: Drug Policy Seminar Series, Winter 1998 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.lindesmith.org/ T H E L I N D E S M I T H C E N T E R DRUG POLICY SEMINAR SERIES Winter 1998 *** Thursday, January 22, 4 pm Psychedelics and Psychotherapy Myron Stolaroff and Richard Yensen, Ph.D., examine applications of psychedelics to psychotherapy and substance abuse treatment. Stolaroff, founder of The International Center for Advanced Study in Menlo Park, California, and author of The Secret Chief: Conversations with a Pioneer of the Underground Psychedeic Therapy Movement and Thanatos to Eros, analyzes uses of psychedelics in therapy based on his past research and experience as an elder in the field of psychedelic exploration. Yensen, director of the Orenda Institute where he is the co-holder of a research protocol for the use of LSD in psychotherapy, discusses ongoing scientific investigations. *** Monday, February 9th, 4 pm Harm Reduction Case Management for Drug Users *Co-sponsored with the Harm Reduction Coalition Stuart Fisk, RN, Stacey Rubin, and Kelly McGowan sketch a model for harm reduction case management. Fisk, based at the Pittsburgh AIDS Education and Training Center and a member of the Harm Reduction Working Group, provides strategies for engaging HIV+ drug users in medical services. Rubin, Director of Harm Reduction at Streetwork Project, Victim Services, and a member of the Harm Reduction Working Group, describes case management with street-based drug-using youth and the utilization of holistic health services. McGowan, Director of Harm Reduction and Transgender Services at the Positive Health Project, examines networking and co-supervision possibilities among harm reduction-oriented case managers serving active drug users. This seminar is moderated by Sara Kershnar, Director of Education and Training at the Harm Reduction Coalition. *** Tuesday, February 24th, 4pm Pregnant and Parenting Women Who Use Drugs Stephen Kandall, MD, Marsha Rosenbaum, Ph.D., and Carol E. Tracy, Esq., examine the complex medical, social, and political issues of pregnant and parenting women who use drugs. Kandall, Chief of Neonatology at Beth Israel Medical Center, Professor of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and author of Substance and Shadow: Women and Addiction in the United States (Harvard University Press), describes his clinical experience with drug-exposed babies and implications for medical and public policies. Rosenbaum, Director of the San Francisco office of the Lindesmith Center and co-author, with Dr. Sheigla B. Murphy, of Wayward Wombs: Pregnancy and Drug Use (working title, Rutgers University Press), analyzes problems and solutions in the lives of pregnant and parenting women who use drugs. Carol E. Tracy, Esq., Executive Director of the Women's Law Project in Philadelphia, assess opportunities for community and legal activism on these issues. *** Monday, March 2nd, 4 pm Ibogaine Treatment Ken Alper, MD, Ph.D., Geerte Frencken, and Howard Lotsof examine the feasibility and effectiveness of ibogaine in treating chemical dependence. Alper, assistant professor of psychology and neurology at New York University Medical Center, offers a possible model of ibogaine's action based on evidence of its effectiveness in treating cocaine dependence. Frencken, founder and director of International Addicts Self-Help and a researcher with National Development Research Institute, stresses the importance of a comprehensive approach to ibogaine treatment. Lotsof, president of NDA International and the first to discover ibogaine's utility in treating chemical dependence, examines the history and politics of ibogaine. Seminars are held at the Open Society Institute, New York, NY 400 West 59th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), 3rd Floor. All are welcome, but seating is limited. Please call The Lindesmith Center at (212) 548-0695 or email email@example.com to reserve a place. *** THE LINDESMITH CENTER-SAN FRANCISCO SEMINAR Thursday, February 5, 5-7pm Hepatitis C: The New Epidemic Joanne Imperial, MD, Stanford University Joey Tranchina, Director of Harm Reduction Projects for HCV Global Foundation Reda Sobky, MD, Medical Director of HAART, Fort Help, and Castro Valley Methadone Clinics John Irwin, Ph.D., patient Seminar is held at the San Francisco Medical Society, 1409 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA Open to the public; please RSVP to (415) 921-4987
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Should Be Legalized For Medical, Healing Purposes (Letter To Editor Of 'Lethbridge Herald,' Canada) Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 10:11:40 To: Mattalk@islandnet.com From: Kathy galbraith (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: PUB LTE:Lethbridge Herald:Mj should be legalized.. Lethbridge Herald Tuesday, Jan.13 Marijuana should be legalized for medical, healing purposes Editor In response to your article of Dec.11, "Portions of marijuana law unconstitutional, judge rules", of course this herbal medicine should be available for proper and responsible use. As a long-time student and practitioner of herbal medicine and natural healing methods, I wondered why most herbal texts do not even mention marijuana/cannabis/hemp. The best and most comprehensive text in my library, School of Natural Healing, by Dr. John R. Christopher, lists it as a sleep aid, relaxant, pain killer, antispasmodic, and female corrective. Latest evidence shows it is effective for relieving the pain and spasms of MS, seizures of epilepsy, migraines, ghost-pain of amputees, chronic pain of some sorts, some depressions, premenstrual disorder, glaucoma, AIDS wasting and nausea, and cancer nausea. Queen Victoria used it, as prescribed by her physician, for PMS and migraines. The British Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine have both asked that it be made available to those who need it immediately, and patients who have been denied it have been desperate enough to get themselves arrested just to protest the status quo. (Lynn Harichy, mother, grandmother, medical student, MS sufferer in London, Ont.) No one has ever died from a pot overdose, it does not kill or harm the cells of the body. There are many ways to use it besides smoking; a chronic pain patient from Halifax says one mj brownie lasts longer and works better than several Tylenol 3's. Surely it is time to adopt a rational, compassionate approach instead of allowing pot sales to line the pockets of biker-gangs who don't care whether they sell to a cancer patient or a child in the schoolyard. Recent polls show the majority of Canadians favor changing the law to allow responsible use. Regulation would put cannabis where it belongs, in the drugstore, health food store and herb garden, alongside the other herbs God gave us to use, like parsley, sage, garlic and mint. Kathy Galbraith Midwife, teacher, student of natural healing Raymond
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Processing Plant (KittyHawk Securities In Victoria, British Columbia, To Finance $1.5 Million Of $4 Million Kenex Industrial Hemp Plant In Southwestern Ontario, Canada) Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 15:21:44 -0400 (AST) From: Chris Donald (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: New hemp processing factory for Ontario gets funding ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 12:50:52 -0500 From: John E. Dvorak (email@example.com) From: "C. Penn" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Hemp Processing Plant From: Hemptech Web site: Hemptech.com January 13, 1998 Jean M. Laprise, President of Kenex Ltd. is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement with KittyHawk Securities Ltd. in Victoria, B.C. to provide equity financing for Kenex of up to one and a half million dollars. Kenex is investing in excess of four million dollars in a plant for the processing of industrial hemp being grown in south-western Ontario. Hemp stalk and hemp seed grown in 1997 is in storage awaiting completion of the new facility which exceeds 20,000 square feet. The hemp stalks will be processed into numerous fibre and core products. The seeds will be pressed for high quality hemp oil and hemp meal which is rich in protein. B.C. residents interested in industrial hemp as an investment should contact Fraser Smith at KittyHawk Securities Ltd. (250)652-0825 to request an Offering Memorandum, or by email or by fax (250) 652-0835. KENEX, Ltd has a great website: kenex.org Grower information meetings We have not yet confirmed dates and locations for grower information meetings in February or March for Essex, Kent and Lambton county growers. Our schedule is extremely tight in January and we will have more information on licencing for these meetings if we postpone them slightly. For growers and interested parties further east, there will be an interesting program on hemp. It is sponsored by the Brant Agri-Business Opportunities Association. The program will take place at the Paris Fairgrounds in Paris, Ontario, near Brantford. The date is March 11, 1998. For further information call (519) 442-4054. Kenex will be making a presentation at this event along with Bill Baxter from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food as well as Ruth Shamai of the Natural Order and Dr. Ann Cook of the University of Tennessee. Progress R&D on molded hemp panels is going well and is quite encouraging. A significant amount of work is in progress with various players in the automotive industry. More containers of processing equipment are scheduled to arrive from overseas next week as we move forward with the assembly of the processing plant. Hemp seed Kenex plans to have the following seed varieties available for growers or processors that wish to buy seed for 1998. FEDORA-19 FELINA-34 FUTURA-77 FEDRINA-74 KOMPOLTI IRENE SECUIENI-1 LOVRIN-110 UNIKO-B All of these varieties are on the approved O.E.C.D. list. We also plan to have small amounts of Yugoslavian, Polish and Ukrainian seed available for research purposes. As you may already know all Kenex sales must be made in accordance with the Health Canada seed distribution regulations. Some varieties are in very short supply and will be sold on a first come first serve basis. *** Candi Penn, Board of Directors Secretary HIA - Hemp Industries Assoc. PO Box 1080, Occidental, CA 95465 1-500-HIA-HEMP & 707 874-3648 FAX: 707 874-1104 Email: email@example.com Websites: http://thehia.org & http://hempstores.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Kingston Stores Busted (More On The Police Raid Of Ontario Hemp Stores Last Week) Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 15:03:03 -0500 (EST) To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Michael Foster
Subject: Kingston Stores busted Hi folks! I've been offline for a week. Bill Stevenson from 'Erehwon' in Kingston sent me the following info following the Jan 7 bust of his store and 'Off The Wall'. Both these stores share the same block. 'Erehwon' is much like 'Crosstown Traffic' in that it carries offbeat literature and music in addition to serving the cannabis community. 'Off The Wall' specializes in skater-type clothing with a small selection of bongs contained to a small showcase which faces the back wall of the store. A third store 'Western Rock' was apparently hit at the same time. 'Kingston Hemporium' operated by Dylan Maxwell of 'New Earth' in Montreal was untouched but he pulled all pipes from the retail store he shares with another business called 'The Jungle' upon hearing of the raids. I can find no evidence that this raid was covered by the 'Kingston Whig Standard'. Dylan tells me that he faxed info on this to 'The Ottawa Citizen' but I have seen no mention of it there. What Bill sez: "Police confiscated pipes, patches, screens, baggies, scales, keychains, books, hats, magazines, trading cards, hemp wallets and hemp handbags. We were made to remove from sale all pot or hemp related t-shirts (THC, Skunkwear) and posters and even Bob Marley pins and leather chain wallets with leaf pictures were removed. With no definition of what the definition of 'pipes' is according to 462.2, they charged us with selling a 'hash' pipe and paraphernalia for illicit drug use. This was despite signs stating these products were recommended for tobacco or herbal use and not available to persons under the age of nineteen years of age due to Ontario tobacco rules." Apparently grow guides and copies of Cannabis Canada were seized even though Bill pointed out that these had been ruled legal a couple of years ago by Ontario Court Justice Ellen MacDonald. This is a major violation of these peoples' rights and I can't believe the lack of publicity on this event so far. It appears that Alan Young will be adding this case to his roster. I wish there were more lawyers with that degree of integrity. The first day in court is Feb 24. Bill Stevenson can be contacted c/o Erehwon Trading 225 Princess St Kingston Ontario K7C 1B3 phone/fax (613) 542-0803
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexico Holds Two US Students For Gun-Running ('New York Times' Says The Investigation Involves More Than 1,000 Automatic Rifles And Other Firearms Transferred To 'Drug Traffickers') Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 02:00:49 -0800 Subject: MN: Mexico Holds Two U.S. Students for Gun-Running Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: New York Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 Author: Sam Dillon MEXICO HOLDS TWO U.S. STUDENTS FOR GUN-RUNNING MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican authorities said Tuesday that they are holding two American college students for questioning in connection with the transfer of more than 1,000 automatic rifles and other firearms to drug traffickers. Hugo Ambriz Duarte, 26, a business student at El Paso Community College, and his brother Rene, 24, a business administration student at the University of Texas at El Paso, were detained by an elite federal police unit Saturday in Ciudad Juarez, which forms a single metropolitan area with El Paso. They were then flown to Mexico City. Officials familiar with the investigation said the apparent involvement of the American students in gun-running appeared to exemplify the increasing tendency by Mexican traffickers to recruit collaborators among youths living north of the border. In another case, a San Diego man who had been recruited as a teenager by Mexican traffickers died in Tijuana as he attempted to assassinate a newspaper publisher in November. Under police questioning, the brothers acknowledged having sold arms to the Juarez drug cartel, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the federal attorney general's office. Relatives of the brothers who spoke to reporters in El Paso, however, said the two were innocent. The statement said the men were detained after a complaint presented by the U.S. authorities, who have asserted that the ``the Ambriz Duarte brothers introduced into Mexico more than 1,000 firearms, including hundreds of AK-47 rifles.'' The report said some of the weapons were later confiscated from members of the cartel. The brothers' detention initially caused a furor in Juarez because they were reported kidnapped. A senior Mexican official, however, said the detention was carried out in a strictly legal fashion. The brothers were seized by eight federal agents traveling in two unmarked vehicles, who blocked their Dodge Ram Charger on a Juarez street, dragged the two out and drove them away, along with their Dodge, which was later found abandoned. A young woman who had been with them was temporarily stranded. The brothers were among nine people detained by armed men in several incidents in Juarez on Saturday. Four businessmen who were seized have reappeared, saying they were robbed by the armed men who detained them. Three men are still missing, although police are trying to determine whether a body found Sunday, bound and bearing signs of torture, is one of the missing. Nearly 100 persons have disappeared in Juarez in recent years, most of them after having been detained by state or federal agents. In some cases, a special prosecutor who is investigating the disappearances, says, the agents carrying out the detentions appear to have been working for narcotics traffickers. In other cases, the victims appear to have been detained for interrogation by drug agents as part of official investigations before they vanished. Against this backdrop, the Ambrizes' detention was initially reported in newspapers as part of a new wave of drug-related kidnappings. But a U.S. Embassy officer was allowed to visit the Ambriz brothers in Mexico City, an official said Tuesday. Details first became public when, under questioning by reporters Monday, Arturo Chavez Chavez, the attorney general of the state of Chihuahua, where Juarez is located, expressed displeasure that officials based in Juarez had not been advised of the brothers' detention. He said he would protest the detention because the commando unit of federal agents had not notified state or local police that they were traveling to Juarez to seize the suspects, an action that risked provoking a battle with the other law enforcement organizations. Several times in recent years, blood has been shed during armed clashes between federal and state police in Juarez. ``We have a serious problem again because the federal agents didn't notify us, and if there had been a unit of the state judicial police or another force, probably there would have been a battle,'' he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Straw's Son Gets Police Caution (Britain's 'Guardian' Claims Home Secretary 'Politically Undamaged') Newshawk: Petur Thorsteinsson Source: The Guardian Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: 13 Jan 1998 Author: Luke Harding STRAW'S SON GETS POLICE CAUTION The long-running media saga enveloping the Home Secretary Jack Straw was brought to a predictable conclusion last night when his son William was cautioned by police. Scotland Yard said William, aged 17, received the caution following allegations he had supplied cannabis to a Mirror reporter. He earlier attended Kennington police station, in south London, with his father. A police spokesman said no further action would be taken against Mirror reporter Dawn Alford, who was arrested by police after she bought 1.92 grammes of cannabis resin from the teenager. Mr Straw, who appears to have emerged politically undamaged, last night appealed to the media to show continued restraint in covering the case. "William is learning the lessons of this episode and he of course has my support in doing so," he said. "I am grateful for the restraint shown towards him by most of the media. I hope they will continue to agree he should not suffer additionally simply because he is my son, nor should my family. "I have no plans to make any further public comment about William." Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan was "delighted" that Ms Alford had been "exonerated of any wrong-doing". He said: "It was a scandal that she was arrested simply for doing her job. " William Straw had been "rightly cautioned". The Mirror was last night preparing to publish tape-recordings of the encounter between Ms Alford and the teenager at a south London pub before Christmas in an effort to prove he had not been "coerced into selling drugs against his will", Mr Morgan said. Mr Straw was identified 12 days ago as the minister involved after a High Court judge lifted the ban on naming his son. The ban had degenerated into a political and legal fiasco.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Straw's Son Cautioned In Drug Case ('The Scotsman' Says A Tape Recording Of A 'Mirror' Reporter Purchasing Hash From The 17-Year-Old Son Of The British Home Secretary ' Clearly Disproved Any Claims That The Teenager Had Been Entrapped By The Paper') Newshawk: shug (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 Source: The Scotsman Author: John Penman, Political Editor Website: http://www.scotsman.com Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com STRAW'S SON CAUTIONED IN DRUG CASE Teenager Escapes Charges After Visit To Police Station With Home Secretary THE teenage son of the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, was last night cautioned by police for selling cannabis to an investigative reporter. William Straw, 17, was told that he had escaped criminal charges when he attended Kennington police station in London with his father. Scotland Yard also disclosed that no further action would be taken against the newspaper reporter Dawn Alford, who was arrested and bailed when she attended a police interview last month. A second youth, believed to be a 17-year-old friend of William Straw, who was with him in the pub where the incident happened, has been told he will also be cautioned by police. Mr Straw will hope that last night's decision will draw a line under the affair which has dragged on for three weeks, sometimes taking on farcical dimensions. When the Mirror newspaper broke the story on Christmas Eve, it did not name Mr Straw or his son, citing legal reasons for not doing so. As the affair dragged on, the name of the Cabinet minister involved began to leak out and Mr Straw, anonymously, said that he had wanted to speak about the incident. But he was identified only after The Scotsman and the Scottish Daily Mail, which were not restricted by English law, named Mr Straw and the Attorney General followed by dropping an injunction barring English newspapers from doing the same. Mr Straw last night appealed to the media to exercise continued restraint in its coverage of the case. "William is now learning the lessons of this episode and he of course has my support in doing so," he said. "I am grateful for the restraint shown towards him by most of the media. I hope that they will continue to agree that he should not suffer additionally simply because he is my son, nor should my family." William Straw is now 'learning the lessons of this episode', his father said last night. Piers Morgan, the editor of the Mirror, said Ms Alford had been "completely exonerated" by the police decision to take no further action against her. "It was a scandal that she was arrested for simply doing her job as an experienced investigative reporter," he said. "The fact that police have now decided not to proceed with the ludicrous action against her indicates that they, belatedly, have realised how wrong the arrest was in the first place." He said transcripts of a tape of her meeting with William recorded by Ms Alford clearly disproved any claims that the teenager had been entrapped by the paper. "As we have maintained all along, any suggestion that he was coerced into selling drugs against his natural will is unsustainable." Mr Straw, who admitted he had been embarrassed by what had happened, appears to have emerged from the affair unscathed politically, despite his entrenched opposition to the legalisation of cannabis and his hardline on the parents of unruly children. William has been told by Oxford University that his place to study at New College next year is safe. The decision to caution him means that he will not acquire a criminal record although details will be kept by Kennington police station. Harry Fletcher, the assistant general secretary of the National Association of Probation Officers, said it would not be unusual to caution someone in William's situation. "A young person, first time offender from a stable home supplying a small amount of cannabis would almost certainly be cautioned," he said. "But the extraordinary circumstances of this case where it is a law minister's son, and the involvement of journalists, make it difficult to call. "I was expecting them not to proceed with it so I would say this was towards the top end of the spectrum." Mark Stephens, a senior partner in a London law firm, said he was not surprised by the outcome. "It seems to me there would be no possibility of a successful prosecution in this case," he said. "The chain of custody of the drugs was broken." The difficulty, he said, was proving that the substance which was handed over to the journalist outside the pub was the same that was later sent to the laboratory for analysis. In a police station, any suspected drugs would be immediately put in a sealed bag and labelled in front of a witness before being sent off. He added: "William Straw has admitted what the prosecution could not have proved. A caution is an admission of guilt and what happens now is that he will be given an even bigger dressing down than his father probably gave him by a senior officer." A Scottish law expert said yesterday that a 17-year old charged with the same offence as William Straw would face similar treatment in the Scottish courts. Professor Peter Young, of Edinburgh University, said: "Although there is no formal system of police cautioning in Scotland, I believe that the procurator-fiscal would take a lenient view if it was a first offence. The fiscal could offer a fixed penalty of around 50UKP as an alternative or simply issue a warning to the person concerned."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pressure For Drugs U-Turn ('Evening News' Reports British Home Secretary Jack Straw Urged To 'Go Dutch' And Legalise Cannabis, Just Hours After His Son Is Cautioned By Police For Selling Drugs) Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 02:00:56 -0800 Subject: MN: UK: Pressure for Drugs U-Turn Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (CLCIA) Source : Evening News, Norwich, UK Contact : EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 PRESSURE FOR DRUGS U-TURN Home Secretary Jack Straw was today urged by one of his own backbenchers to 'Go Dutch' and legalise cannabis just hours after his son William was cautioned by police for selling drugs. Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West and vice-chairman of the Commons Drugs Misuse group, applauded the police's decision not to prosecute the 17-year-old after he admitted supplying cannabis to an undercover reporter. He said the teenager had had a 'lucky escape' and urged his father to adopt an 'intelligent' drugs policy like Holland's, where cannabis has been decriminalised. Mr Flynn told the Home Secretary: "It was right not tom prosecute Jack Straw's son, although the lives of other youngstesr have been wrecked for similar and lesser offences. "Many have lost jobs, been expelled from schools and jailed for possession or dealing." The backbencher said: "The Home Secretary should celebrate his lucky escape by visiting Holland and learning from a successful anti-drugs policy. "Twenty years of cannabis decriminalisation there has cut all drugs use. No police, courts or prison time is wasted chasing cannabis users." Heroin abuse in Holland, Mr Flynn argued, had declined every year to a third of Britain's use and claimed: "Young people are not moving from cannabis to hard drugs." He said there had been no Dutch ecstasy or glue sniffing deaths. The MP visited the Amsterdam last week and advised Mr Straw to follow suit.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Respectable' Pair Jailed For Cocaine Smuggling (Britain's 'Guardian' Reports Traces Of Cocaine On Bank Notes Were Enough To Convict The Couple In Rochdale, Greater Manchester) Newshawk: Petur Thorsteinsson (email@example.com) Source: The Guardian Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: 13 Jan 1998 Author: David Ward 'RESPECTABLE' PAIR JAILED FOR COCAINE SMUGGLING A "respectable suburban" husband and wife were jailed for smuggling cocaine yesterday despite never having been caught in possession of significant quantities of the drug. Convictions in such cases are extremely rare and Customs and Excise investigators likened the case to a killer convicted of murder where no body is found. Ronald and Sylvia Benn, both aged 40, were said to have bought expensive cars, hired a butler and turned their home in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, into a palace with profits from their part in a £500,000 international narcotics racket. Investigators using a procedure known as Condor found traces of cocaine in their vacuum cleaner and on bank notes retrieved from a hoard of cash uncovered in their BMW as they prepared to board a ferry for Holland. The banknote evidence was enough to convict them at a week-long trial at Manchester crown court last year and yesterday Benn was sentenced to nine years and his wife to six. Investigators used a "shake and vac" method in which banknotes are shaken over a foil sheet, with drug traces then swept up with a miniature vacuum cleaner. The Benns were stopped by Customs as they set off on their 17th trip to Holland in less than 18 months. More than £63,000 in cash was found in the boot of their car. Judge Anthony Hammond was told that in a few months the couple had settled debts of £30,000, paid off part of their mortgage, begun taking holidays in expensive foreign hotels and bought shares in two Blackpool hotels. Mr Benn bought his wife a red Mercedes convertible sports car as a birthday present and they built an underground garage. A local man was employed as butler. The Benns often took their two teenage daughters with them on their trips to Holland to allay suspicion but their regular journeys and extravagant lifestyle attracted Customs officers' attention. The judge said the smuggling operation had been designed to net profits of more than £500,000 and it was estimated more than £160,000 could have passed through the couple's hands. He said: "I will not read each of you a lecture about the evil of drugs. It is well known and well documented. Serious sentences are called for these offences." Stephen Riorden QC, for Ronald Benn, who has a previous conviction for drugs possession, said he had become involved in something that was not in his nature. David Fish QC, representing Mrs Benn, said the case was a tragedy for her. Neighbours said the Benns had appeared to be like any other family. One said: "There was nothing out of the ordinary about them. But we did notice new cars and that Mrs Benn started doing her shopping in a taxi."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Legalising Dope Will Create More Addicts (And Six More Brief But Varied Letters To The Editor Of Britain's 'Sun') Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 02:01:04 -0800 Subject: MN: UK: LTE's: Legalising Dope Will Create More Addicts Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (CLCIA) Source : The Sun (UK) Contact : email@example.com Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 LEGALISING DOPE WILL CREATE MORE ADDICTS 1 : A cannabis wrecked family: Cannabis has ruined my family. My daughter was introduced to it at 15 by her boyfriend. They got my son addicted at 12. My wife has been addicted for 8 years and my youngest daughter at 14. Ecastcy, cocaine and speed -- you name it, my daughter has tried it. Should it be legalised? Ask my two granddaughters. They say 'no'. Name and address supplied 2. A friend and I started smoking cannabis at 13 and after three years I tried other drugs. They nearly wrecked my life and I gave them up before it was too late - unlike my friend who died from a heroin overdose aged 22. Imagine how many more tragedies there would be if buying cannabis was as easy as ordering a pint of lager. Ray Cottington, Hornchurch, Essex. 3. We should not legalise cannabis because it is the first step to hard drug addiction. I speak with experience - it happened to one of my relatives. P.P Lambeth, SE London 4. I'm a 40-year-old ex soldier who started smoking cannabis at the age of 11 at boarding school, even though both my parents were police officers. I've never progressed to harder drugs so it need not be the stepping stone to ruination. In the army most of my friends smoked it and I often smelt it in the officers' quarters. It has proved more effective than legal medicines - and it is probably a lot cheaper. PO, Bishop Aukland, Co. Durham 5. I do not think cannabis should be legalised but it should definitely be made available on prescription. This would possibly end up reducing NHS drug bills. J. Fletcher, Derby 6. I am a city broker and have smoked cannabis fives times a week for more than 10 years. I find it relaxing after a hard day and so do many of my colleagues. I think it should be legalised, but from specialist outlets with information readily available. D. Williams, Epping, Essex 7. My husband has multiple sclerosis and finds smoking cannabis greatly relieves his suffering. I wish the Government would reconsider legalising cannabis as a prescribed drug for people like my husband. Name and address supplied.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dunphy Apology For Irresponsible Drugs Comments (Ireland's 'Examiner' Recaps 'Today FM' Anchorman's Statements On Cocaine To 'Ireland On Sunday' - 'Fucking Yes. I Take It If I Am Offered. I Would Be A Regular User Of Marijuana') Newshawk: Zosimos (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 Author: Dan Collins Source: The Examiner (Ireland) Contact: email@example.com DUNPHY APOLOGY FOR IRRESPONSIBLE DRUGS COMMENTS ONE of this country's most effusive journalists has said his views on illegal drugs, quoted in a newspaper, were irresponsible and should not have been uttered in the public domain. Last night, Eamon Dunphy, anchorman with Today FM and presenter of the popular The Last Word programme, withdrew the comments which appeared in Ireland On Sunday. "There is no one else to blame, not the newspaper and not the journalist who interviewed me. I am the one to blame, the buck stops here," he said. When asked in the newspaper interview if offered would he take cocaine, Mr Dunphy responded - "F***ing yes. I take it if I am offered. I would be a regular user of marijuana, but I am not a regular user of coke. You can't get good coke in this town." He also told Ireland On Sunday that he desired to try crack but said it was impossible to buy on the streets. Last night, a regretful Mr Dunphy said he had made those comments in a jocose and tongue-in-cheek fashion and regretted if they had offended people, including the gardaí, who are "seriously engaged in dealing with the consequences of drugs." He was withdrawing his comments "out of respect for those people. This was no fault of anybody's, except mine." Mr Dunphy stressed he was not being flippant about the "dreadful contemporary reality of drugs. I am fully cognisant of the havoc and destruction which drug abuse has caused to far too many families in Ireland and I certainly do not wish to undermine the work of many groups and individuals in their efforts to discourage abuse." And he issued an unreserved apology for his remarks "to the very many people to whom they have caused offence." Yesterday, a spokesman for the National Drugs Unit said he was surprised by Mr Dunphy's remarks in relation to crack cocaine, one of the most addictive substances on the black market.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lobby Grows For Medicinal Marijuana ('Le Monde' Reports Jurists With The Movement For Controlled Legalisation - MLC - Ask French Health Minister Bernard Kouchner To Authorise The Import Of Cannabis For Therapeutic Uses - Doctors Recommending It For Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Tinnitus, Headaches, HIV Infection And 'Psychological Support') From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Lobby grows for 'medicinal marijuana' - Le Monde (fwd) Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 22:20:51 -0800 -------- Forwarded message -------- Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 22:10:32 -0800 (PST) From: "Dave Cull" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Lobby grows for 'medicinal marijuana' Le Monde/International Lobby grows for 'medicinal marijuana' January 13 Laurence Follea THE Movement for Controlled Legalisation (MLC), which advocates the sale of narcotics under state control, has just asked the French health minister, Bernard Kouchner, to authorise the import of 10kg of cannabis for therapeutic use. The jurists of the MLC base their arguments on articles of the public health code that give the health authorities the right to authorise the import and use of narcotics for medical or scientific research. The Swiss company Valchanvre has offered to supply, free, 10kg of its Walliser Queen variety of cannabis for the MLC's experiment. The use of cannabis as a medicine was recently legalised in California. Germany is considering prescribing drugs containing the active ingredient of cannabis for AIDS sufferers, and the Netherlands is looking into the possibility of "medical marijuana" being paid for by social security. Ten patients who are MLC members and have medical certificates showing that they suffer from such ailments as epilepsy, glaucoma, tinnitus, headaches or HIV infection, have written to Kouchner describing the relief they derive from cannabis. Some of them have been in trouble with the law because of their practice. Eugène Gaudet, a doctor in the southern town of Millau, has certified that when one of his patients, a 20-year-old epileptic, smoked cannabis he was able to relax: "The fact that he has smoked such products has created no incident likely to jeopardise the harmonious family environment or his ability to work normally." Janine Cervoni, who has been treating a young HIV-positive patient at the Lariboisière Hospital in Paris, stresses the role that cannabis plays as a "psychological support" for her patient. Pierre Lembeye, a Paris psychiatrist, has noted a genuine therapeutic affect on one of his patients, who suffers from hearing disorders. "The patient has tried cannabis since 1977. He has an immediate feeling of relaxation and an appreciable reduction in his hearing disorders. "These isolated medical observations do not constitute scientific proof, and the virtues of cannabis have yet to be confirmed. In a recent editorial, however, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine came out in favour of the "compassionate" use of such products by terminal patients. Kouchner himself is in favour of such an approach. But it remains to be seen what action he will take in response to the MLC's request. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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