------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Weekly News (Need State Assistance In Florida? Better Pass A Drug Test - Florida House Approves Measure To Drug Test Welfare Recipients; British Protest To Legalize Marijuana Draws 10,000; California State Senate Committee Quashes Effort To Restrict Proposition 215; Oklahoma Legislature Poised To Authorize National Guard To Engage In State Marijuana Enforcement) From: NORMLFNDTN
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 19:22:37 EST Subject: NORML WPR 4/2/98 (II) A NON-PROFIT LEGAL, RESEARCH, AND EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION THE NORML FOUNDATION 1001 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW SUITE 710 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036 T 202-483-8751 o F 202-483-0057 E-MAIL NORMLFNDTN@AOL.COM Internet http://www.norml.org . . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana prohibition. April 2, 1998 Need State Assistance In Florida? Better Pass a Drug Test Florida House Approves Measure To Drug Test Welfare Recipients April 2, 1998, Tallahassee, FL: Recipients of state aid must prove that they are "drug-free," according to a measure passed by the Florida House on Tuesday. House Bill 271 requires all state welfare recipients to undergo random drug testing, and denies entitlements to those who consecutively test positive for marijuana. The bill now awaits Senate approval. "This bill subjects impoverished people to unreasonable searches as a mandatory condition of receiving public assistance," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. "This is bad policy and likely unconstitutional." Stroup said that the Supreme Court ruled a Georgia drug testing statute unconstitutional in 1997 because the state failed to demonstrate a "special need" substantial enough to override Fourth Amendment protections. He speculated that a similar court challenge could strike down Florida's pending legislation. Howard Simon, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, said the organization opposes state-mandated random drug testing. "It is not a crime to be poor in America," he said. "If there is no reasonable suspicion of drug abuse, then people have a right to be left alone and not forced to surrender their privacy rights." Under the pending law, individuals who test positive for marijuana once will be required to undergo a 90-day rehabilitation period. Repeat offenders will no longer receive state entitlements. The Louisiana legislature approved a similar measure in 1997, but has yet to develop a cost-efficient way to implement the program. "Random drug testing on this wide a scale will cost Florida taxpayers millions of dollars unnecessarily," Stroup said. For more information, please contact either the ACLU of Florida @ (305) 576-2337 or Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. *** British Protest To Legalize Marijuana Draws 10,000 April 2, 1998, London, England: Over 10,000 participants took to the streets of London on Saturday to show support for relaxing the nation's marijuana laws. The high profile protest, organized by the Independent on Sunday newspaper which is campaigning to decriminalize the drug, marked the first time in 30 years so many British citizens stood up for marijuana-law reform. "The widespread turnout is not surprising," said Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation. "Recent surveys and public opinion polls indicate that British voters solidly support legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational purposes." "What we want to see is [Parliament] debating [legalizing marijuana] openly, freely, and weighing the evidence from the World Health Organization and from the British Medical Council," said Independent on Sunday editor Rosie Boycott, who attended the march. Recently, the campaign gained supporters in Parliament, as well as business giants Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic Airways and Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop. A poll last month of 243 newly elected MPs revealed that 65 percent favored establishing a royal commission to reconsider the country's drug policies, the Independent on Sunday reported. However, Labour prime minister Tony Blair said that he intends to keep Britain's drug laws unchanged, and Home secretary Jack Straw says he will not sanction an open debate on the subject of marijuana decriminalization. Paul Flynn, a Labour member of Parliament who favors marijuana-law reform, said the government is plagued by "ignorance and hypocrisy" on the issue. For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751 or visit the website: www.marijuananews.com. *** California State Senate Committee Quashes Effort To Restrict Prop. 215 April 2, 1998, Sacramento, CA: The State Senate Health and Human Services Committee rejected legislation to curb the use of medical marijuana in California. Senate Bill 2113, introduced by Sen. Richard Rainey (R-Walnut Creek), sought to restrict the number of patients who qualify to use marijuana legally under state law to only those suffering from HIV, cancer, glaucoma, or spasticity disorders. The legislation omitted several medical conditions for which marijuana often provides relief such as chronic pain, neuralgia, migraines, and some psychiatric disorders. "The passage of this legislation would have made criminals overnight out of thousands of patients now legally using marijuana as a medicine," said NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. "The Health Committee made the courageous and compassionate choice to oppose this measure." Committee Chairwoman Diane Watson (D-Culver City), explained that the Senate had "in depth concerns" with the intent of S.B. 2113 and warned Rainey that he faced a "heap of opposition." Rainey later withdrew the bill from consideration. "The Senate Health Committee took a stand to preserve the will of the voters as expressed by the passage of Proposition 215," Stroup said. For more information, please contact either Dale Gieringer of California NORML @ (415) 563-5858 or Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. *** Oklahoma Legislature Poised To Authorize National Guard To Engage In State Marijuana Enforcement April 2, 1998, Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma politicians are in unanimous support of legislation that would allow the National Guard to join forces with state law enforcement officers in anti-drug operations. The measure, introduced by Rep. Dale Wells (D-33rd District), previously passed the House and the Senate Appropriations Committee without any opposition. The Senate is expected to vote on the issue shortly. "It is against the spirit and letter of the law for the military to be involved in domestic law enforcement," NORML Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. House Bill 2596 authorizes the Governor to "request volunteers of the National Guard to provide assistance to federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, within or outside the boundaries of this state, in drug interdiction and counter-drug activities." Oklahoma ranks as one of the leading states in marijuana eradication; however, law enforcement primarily targets only wild growing marijuana patches known as "ditchweed." This strain of marijuana will not intoxicate users when smoked. In 1996, "ditchweed" accounted for 96 percent of all marijuana plants eradicated by state and federal law enforcement in Oklahoma. "House Bill 2596 compromises long-standing principles of federal law and is an utter waste of taxpayers dollars," Stroup said. "Using National Guard personnel to eradicate 'ditchweed' will do nothing to improve public safety." For more information, please call either Michael Pearson of Oklahoma NORML @ (405) 840-4366 or Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. Copies of the NORML position paper: "National Guard Involvement in the Drug War are available upon request." -END- MORE THAN 11 MILLION MARIJUANA ARRESTS SINCE 1965...ANOTHER EVERY 49 SECONDS!
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Use Initiatives Vex Democratic Candidates (Biased Oregon Public Broadcasting Newscast Fails To Explain Who Is Vexed By The Interest In Drug Policy Issues At A Forum For Candidates Vying To Represent Legislative District 14 In Inner Southeast Portland) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "D. Paul Stanford"
Reply-To: "email@example.com" To: "'Restore Hemp!'" Subject: Oregon Public Broadcasting report on Marijuana in the Democratic Primary Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 00:06:46 -0700 This report was aired on the public broadcasting radio network in Oregon. This is also posted on Oregon Public Broadcasting's web site at: http://www.opb.org/nwnews/nwspecial_demosndrugs.asp The producer is Colin Fogarty. OPB NW News site: http://www.opb.org/nwnews/index.asp Drug Use Initiatives Vex Democratic Candidates April 2, 1998 HOST: The issue of drugs is percolating in debates on the stump. In November, Oregon voters will decide at least one measure that toughens penalties for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana. Proponents of pot are also gathering signatures for at least five other bills on drugs. Colin Fogarty reports. Colin Fogarty: About 50 voters crowd this Portland cafe for a candidate debate in southeast Portland. Six Democrats are vying to replace George Eighmey in the Oregon House (Dist. 14). There are many issues in the campaign but one that kept coming up was the drug policy in Oregon. The issue is central to Paul Stanford's campaign. He directs a group that advocates for legalization of pot. Paul Stanford, House Candidate (Dist. 14): We want to tax and regulate the sales of marijuana in state liquor stores, allow medical marijuana, and industrial hemp. I think that will lead to unprecedented economic growth and solve the budget crisis that we're experiencing here in Oregon and across the nation. Colin Fogarty: Stanford's Democratic opponents do not take as liberal a view toward marijuana. But his main point -- that drug education is more important that jail time for drug users -- found a sympathetic audience in southeast Portland. Another candidate, high school teacher Steve Farris says the debate over drugs should change. Steve Farris, House Candidate (Dist. 14): We know that preventative avenues save money, cost efficient, much more successful than locking people up. And until we move the conversation from the prison yard to the medical scene, we're going to have 56 federal agencies trying to solve this problem. Colin Fogarty: Lawmakers addressed the problem in 1997 by stiffening the penalties for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana. Prior to the bill, Oregon law treated the crime as similar to a traffic infraction. Opponents of the measure gathered enough signatures to force a referendum vote next November. Debate over the bill has focused on state budget priorities. Proponents say tougher penalties will curb drug use, but critics say the state can't afford to pay for more prisons. Democratic candidate Diane Rosenbaum. Diane Rosenbaum, House Candidate (Dist. 14): I think there's fiscal problems with it. I think there's civil rights problems with it. I think it's bad public policy and I think it's a great example of the kind of issue that the 1997 Legislature spent thousands of dollars wasting taxpayers money spending time on. Colin Fogarty: An indication of current public opinion about drugs came two years ago, when voters in Arizona and California approved the medical use of marijuana to treat certain illnesses. In Oregon, Democratic party activists advocated a similar measure in their platform convention last month. Robert Sacks, executive director of the party, stresses he's not speaking for the entire party. But he says public opinion on marijuana may be changing. Robert Sacks, Oregon Democratic Party: I don't think that the politicians form the debate. I think that the citizenry forms the debate, and that politicians react. I think it's safer for politicians to voice their positions, or perhaps take a more liberal position than they might have in years past. Colin Fogarty: A more liberal position on marijuana may come from experience with the drug, according to Andrew Kohut, with the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. He says the drug problem was a major concern among American voters in 1990, but now, far fewer people list it among top problem to deal with. Andrew Kohut, Pew Center for the People and the Press: The public is not sanguine about that we're on the other side of the drug problem. But it doesn't have the salience that it once had. Colin Fogarty: Oregonians have not voted on drug policy since 1986. Back then, a measure to legalize pot was overwhelmingly rejected. Drug measures on this year's ballot will show whether that opinion has changed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Help! (Federal Defendant And Medical Marijuana Patient Todd McCormick Of Bel Air, California, Says A Warrant Has Been Issued For His Arrest For Failing A Urine Test - Hearing 2 PM Tomorrow In Los Angeles) Date: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 19:48:27 -0800 From: Todd McCormick (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Phil Smith (email@example.com) Subject: HELP!FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WARRANT ISSUED FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENT TODD McCORMICK; McCORMICK TO SURRENDER TOMORROW; HEARING AT 2:00 PM April 2, 1998, LOS ANGELES. A federal warrant for the arrest of Todd McCormick was issued today. Around 2:30 this afternoon, seven U.S. Marshals entered Todd McCormick's house from an open back door, searched the house, but found him not at home. The Marshals waited an additional hour, and then left. Meanwhile, Todd McCormick's attorney arranged with the federal authorities for McCormick to turn himself in tomorrow morning, Friday, April 3, 1998, and appear before Federal Magistrate Judge McMahon at 2:00 PM. A press conference will be held directly outside the old federal courthouse as soon as the 2:00 hearing is completed. If McCormick is returned to federal custody, his attorney will meet the press to explain the outcome of the hearing. If Judge McMahon permits McCormick to remain on bail, both McCormick and his attorney will meet the press. McCormick, who had cancer nine times before he was ten, is accused of failing a urine test, which he has taken (and passed) several times each week since his release on bail in mid-August 1997. The federal government claims a urine sample taken some time in March revealed traces of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. "That's not surprising," said Peter McWilliams, McCormick's publisher, "Todd took legally prescribed Marinol(r) for the first half of March. Marinol(r) is a powerful synthetic form of TCH. For someone to continue to give positive THC results less than two weeks after stopping Marinol(r) is not uncommon." McCormick was ordered not to use Marinol(r) by Judge McMahon on March 17, 1998. For two weeks prior to that, McCormick was prescribed high doses of the medication by his physician. McCormick is facing life imprisonment for cultivating medical marijuana, legal under California law for patients since the passage of Proposition 215. While the federal government has taken only civil action against buyer's clubs that openly sell marijuana as well as grow it, McCormick-a longtime medical marijuana advocate-is obviously being treated quite differently. To contact Todd McCormick: 213-650-4906 (home number) *** Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 23:24:09 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Jim Rosenfield
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: TODD - show up at the hearing 2pm, April 3, 1998 Supporters are invited to show up at the hearing 2pm, April 3, 1998, courtroom of Federal Magistrate Judge McMahon, old Federal Building between Main & Spring, downtown, Los Angeles. >FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE > >WARRANT ISSUED FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENT TODD McCORMICK; >McCORMICK TO SURRENDER TOMORROW; HEARING AT 2:00 PM Jim Rosenfield
------------------------------------------------------------------- When All Else Fades, Keep Laughing . . . (Letter From Todd McCormick, A Cancer Patient Since The Age Of 9, Before He Turns Himself In For Failing A Urine Test) Date: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 01:51:24 -0800 From: Todd McCormick (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Phil Smith (email@example.com) Subject: When all else fades, keep laughing... Dear Friends, I am sad to inform you all that I am having to turn myself in to the federal marshals this morning at 9:00 AM at the downtown L.A. Federal building. I will be appearing before the court at 2:PM. It so appears that I am being accused of violating pre-trial service agreements by testing positive for THC shortly after a magistrate judge ordered me to stop using my prescription Marinol. It appears to me that the court does not understand the science behind THC or how long it stays in a patients system. I cannot understand how they could expect a person prescribed 3 to 4, 10mg marinol caps per day to suddenly have no THC in their system so shortly after being forced off the medication. I thought the court was expecting to watch the THC levels to drop gradually and not just disappear. But it seems it is so important in this tense political war over a flower to control the medical use of any and all cannabinoids that the government sent no less than ten to twelve federal marshals to pick up one medical marinol user. Which leads me to this letter. It is a very strange feeling to have to think; tomorrow my life could end as I now know it, what should I do tonight... Of course seeing and talking with my friends is a huge priority. In federal prison only immediate family and lawyers can visit me. So, I have never written an open letter to all my friends at once, but then, even when I had cancer ten times it did not feel as though someone was trying to intentionally hurt me, now I can see the people that hold the power over our freedom and our health but shed the responsibility of compassion and hide behind the shield of bureaucracy. If I were to have one thing to say before I walk off to prison it would be: Do not be daunted by their cruelty, PLEASE continue to fight for the freedom we know we genuinely deserve. The government may hope by attacking me and others they dissuade you from standing up and demanding change. Lyricist from an old Steppenwolf song called "The Ostrich" just came to mind, I might as well share them while I have the chance. "You're free to speak your mind my friend, as long as you agree with me. Don't criticize the fatherland or those that shape your destiny, cause if you do, you'll loose your job, your mind and all the friends you knew, we'll send out our boys in blue, they'll find a way to silence you." And they say music doesn't influence a child, Ha! While your checking out old sixty's tunes for inspiration, be sure to listen closely to Steppenwolf's other major influence over my youth titled "Don't step on the grass Sam". You guessed it, Marihuana and Uncle Sam. Well then, I send my love to all and hope for a beam of light to shine down upon the law makers that hold us all hostage in this "War on Drugs". Wage Peace. Love, Todd
------------------------------------------------------------------- Felony Charges In Pot Case (The Santa Rosa, California, 'Press Democrat' Says Yvette Rubio, 31, Arrested In September For Growing 51 Marijuana Plants For The Ukiah Cannabis Buyers' Club, Is To Be Arraigned Monday In Northern Lake County Municipal Court - Prosecutors Waited Until Courts Ruled CBCs Aren't Protected By Proposition 215) Date: Fri,3 Apr 1998 16:47:58 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rose Ann Fuhrman) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Felony charges in pot case Newshawk: Rose Ann Fuhrman The Santa Rosa Press Democrat Section B (Empire News) page 1 April 2, 1998 Contact: email@example.com P.O. Box 569, Santa Rosa, CA 95402 (limit letters to 250 words or less) Felony charges in pot case by Andrew LaMar Press Democrat Bureau Ukiah -- Yvette Rubio, the woman arrested last fall for growing marijuana she said was for the Ukiah Cannabis Buyers' Club, has been charged with felony counts of possession and cultivation of marijuana for sale. Rubio, 31, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Northern Lake County Municipal Court. If convicted, she could be sentenced to three years in state prison. In September, authorities seized 51 plants from Rubio's property, which is on the western border of Lake County. The plants were surrounded by fences with copies of contracts identifying the crop as a supply for a medical marijuana club. At the time, Rubio was acting as the primary caregiver for Cherrie Lovett, the founder of the Ukiah club, according to her attorney Dave Nelson. Lovett also uses marijuana as treatment for a medical condition. "Their intentions were good, and nobody disputes that," Helson said. But according to prosecutors, the recent ruling against Dennis Peron, the founder of San Francisco's Cannabis Cultivators' Club, makes clear marijuna cannot be grown in any way as a commericial enterprise. Proposition 215, the measure legalizing medical use of marijuana approved by voters in 1996, does not offer blanket protection to people who provide the drug to patients, said Stephen Hedstrom, Lake County district attorney. "That proposition didn't create a huge loophole in the marijuana laws," Hedstrom said. Hedstrom waited for resolution of the Peron case before deciding whether to pursue charges against Rubio, he said. The state Supreme Court endorsed an appellate court ruling on Feb. 25. Hedstrom refused to talk about the Rubio case but said that the Peron ruling applies. The ruling says anyone who sells or gives marijuana to a patient or primary caregiver authorized to acquire it still violates the law. The proposition allows patients to grow their own cannabis ore a primary caregiver to furnish it to a patient, Herdstrom said. The problem with Proposition 215 is it allows medical use of marijuana without spelling out how patients should get it, Nelson said. Rubio's case differs from Peron's because she was growing marijuana as a caregiver, he added. When Rubio was arrested, she was following the law as she knew it, Nelson said. "What we don't like is the felony prosecution," Nelson said. "She's got plans in her life. She wants to go to school. It's a killer."
------------------------------------------------------------------- News Analysis - Medical Privacy At Issue In Pot Club Records Seizure ('San Francisco Chronicle' Says Medical And Civil Liberties Groups Across The Country Have Denounced The Seizure Of Medical Records By Police In San Jose, California, After Their Raid On The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center) Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 20:29:12 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: News Analysis: Medical Privacy at Issue in Pot Club Records Seizure Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
and "Tom O'Connell" Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 Author: Sabin Russell, Chronicle Staff Writer NEWS ANALYSIS: MEDICAL PRIVACY AT ISSUE IN POT CLUB RECORDS SEIZURE Civil liberty groups, doctors denounce San Jose police raid It is one of an AIDS patient's worst nightmares: Medical records bearing the intimate details of illness are seized by police and pored over by strangers. Last week, it happened in San Jose to some 270 patrons of the Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center, a club that provides marijuana to chronically ill patients under the rules established by Proposition 215. As San Jose police began sifting through the files, medical and civil liberties groups across the country denounced the seizure as a major breach of the confidential doctor-patient relationship. ``This is potentially a grave threat to everyone,'' said Ben Schatz, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association --a national organization based in San Francisco. ``No physician, even indirectly, wants to be part of a police probe." Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Kristina Warcholski reiterated the agency's determination to keep the materials found in the files confidential. "We don't want the AIDS community to be in fear," she said. "We're just looking for evidence of a crime." The crime that prosecutors believe took place at the cannabis center is that some patients may have gotten pot for their conditions without obtaining a doctor's recommendation. To prove their case, they are calling doctors listed on the medical records to see if the recommendations to obtain marijuana are genuine. Warcholski dismisses the notion that the privacy of patient medical records has been breached. She contends that the copies of files that patients brought to the club cannot be shielded by privacy laws because they are not medical records in the strict sense of the law. They were not stored in a doctor's office or hospital and had been turned over voluntarily to the club by patients. "There is no doctor-patient privilege here" she said. "These are not considered medical records. They are considered `client files.' " Dorothy Ehrlich, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, called that logic ``very disturbing'' and said her organization is closely monitoring the case. "We would hope that they would bend over backwards to assure that medical records are given the highest level of protection,'' she said. ``Renaming them `client files' doesn't fix that.'' Ehrlich said that there should be no blanket shielding of medical records from law enforcement but that such breaches of privacy should be rare -- requiring the same sort of judicial review as wiretapping, for instance. The case also has drawn the attention of the state's largest organization of doctors. ``What's going on down there now puts patients and their doctors in a very difficult position,'' said Alice Mead, attorney for the California Medical Association. Although the association opposed Proposition 215 during the November elections, Mead said, the issues raised by the raid go beyond the debate over the value of medical marijuana. ``We have always opposed wide-scale intrusion into patient medical information.'' The police raid has angered and frightened clients of the club, many of whom felt they were acting responsibly and following state law. ``I am thinking about starting a business,'' said ``Hilda,'' a woman in her late 20s who is infected with the AIDS virus. She asked that her name be changed for this article. ``It requires a background check with the police department. Will they hold this against me?'' After the seizure of the medical records, San Jose police have been making scores of calls to physicians named on the medical records in an attempt to confirm the information provided. However, state law forbids doctors from discussing patient records without permission from the patients or a court order. Even if the patient files at the pot club are deemed to be medical records, there is no guarantee that either federal or state law would shield them from the eyes of prosecutors. California's constitution is one of the few in the country that contains a right to privacy, but prosecutors have prevailed in challenges to seizures of patient records in Medicare fraud cases. Although a 1993 Harris Poll found that most Americans believe federal law protects the privacy of their medical records, in fact no such law exists. "Californians enjoy much greater privacy protections than people in most of the rest of the states," said Janlori Goldman, director of the Health Privacy Project at Georgetown University. "The federal government has really fallen down on its responsibilities,'' she said. ``We have stronger privacy laws for video rental records.'' Nevertheless, Congress was mandated to come up with privacy protection legislation for medical records by August 1999 under a provision of a health insurance reform package passed last year. When the Clinton administration issued its proposed package in September, however, privacy advocates howled because the plan would give law enforcement agencies free rein to rifle through medical records -- without even notifying the patient. Supporters of laws to maintain the privacy of medical records say such protection is essential for the health and safety of the public. ``When people don't trust that information shared with doctors will be treated confidentially, they withhold information,'' said Goldman. ``They lie, they ask doctors to lie on claim forms, or they avoid care all together.'' With the stakes so high for both doctors and patients, the seizure of the pot club medical records appears destined for a court challenge. The outcome may determine not only the fate of San Jose's pot club but the degree of privacy afforded any medical record in the state. Meanwhile, patients who thought their medical records were sacrosanct must adjust to the idea that nonmedical personnel are perusing them. "It will have a chilling effect," said cannabis center attorney Riccardo Ippolito. "People will think it's safer for me to buy on the street because drug dealers are not going to ask if I have AIDS." 1998 San Francisco Chronicle
------------------------------------------------------------------- San Jose Pot Club Limits Clients ('San Jose Mercury News' Quotes A Phone Message At The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center Wednesday Saying It Will No Longer Accept New Clients 'Due To Recent Events Forced Upon Us By The San Jose Police Department And The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office') Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 10:07:35 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: S.J. Pot Club Limits Clients Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (email@example.com) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 Author: Bill Romano - Mercury News Staff Writer S.J. POT CLUB LIMITS CLIENTS The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center said Wednesday it will no longer accept new clients because of the club's legal troubles. A voice on the center's answering machine informed callers that the cutoff was "due to recent events forced upon us by the San Jose Police Department and the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office." The voice was that of Peter Baez, co-founder of the year-old center on Meridian Avenue, which serves about 270 members who can legally obtain up to an ounce of marijuana a week with a physician's approval. Many of the clinic's clients suffer from AIDS and cancer while others have glaucoma or other illnesses. Baez, who was arrested last week on a charge of selling pot to a client without a prescription -- an allegation he strongly denies -- said three people who came to sign up had to be turned away on Wednesday because of the dwindling marijuana. They had been sent there by the Pace Clinic, which treats AIDS patients. During Baez's arrest, police had confiscated office records and patient files. When they departed, Baez said they left behind 2 1/2 pounds of marijuana. The center's assets have been frozen in connection with the case. "This has put us in a situation that is not going to benefit our patients," Baez said. "We'll continue to give it out until it's gone." After that, "we'll have to make some tough decisions," he added. Baez's arrest was an unusual development for an operation that has generally gotten along well with law enforcement agencies, avoiding some of the conflicts other California cannabis clubs have encountered since voters passed Proposition 215, the 1996 medical marijuana initiative. The state law faces a challenge in federal court by the Clinton administration, which seeks to overturn it on grounds that the measure is superceded by a federal ban on the sale of marijuana. Troubles for Baez and the cannabis center began to smolder when a San Jose man, Enrique Robles, was convicted on a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana. Robles claimed he was getting the marijuana for medical purposes. Police said he had no prescription. Authorities said Baez had allegedly sold Robles marijuana numerous times between Oct. 22, 1997 and Feb 25. Without naming Robles, the club said it had oral approval from a doctor to sell marijuana in the case that led to Baez's arrest. The district attorney's office said a check to three doctors, whose neames were obtained from the center, revealed that all denied having authorized a prescription for Robles.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Saga Starts With Expired Car Tag, Ends In Tragedy ('Orange County Register' Update About Chad MacDonald, 17, Turned Into A Drug Informant By Police In Brea, California, Only To Be Tortured And Killed) Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 10:13:32 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Saga Starts With Expired Car Tag, Ends in Tragedy Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 Author: Kim Christensen and Stuart Pfeifer-Orange County Register SAGA STARTS WITH EXPIRED CAR TAG, ENDS IN TRAGEDY Case documents provide details of troubled teen's final months. BREA-On Jan. 6, Brea police stopped a white Nissan pickup that had an expired registration tag. Behind the wheel was Chad MacDonald, 17, whose name had been "floating around Yorba Linda as being involved with selling narcotics," according to the officer's report. MacDonald said he no longer was involved with drugs,the report states, and then let the officer search the truck. Inside were 10.99 grams of methamphetamine and a long glass pipe used to smoke it. MacDonald at first denied the drugs were his but admitted to it during his booking, police said. "I'm really sorry for lying to you earlier, but I just froze up," he reportedly told police. "I will do anything to correct my mistakes." When asked if he would cooperate with narcotics detectives, police say he readily agreed. "Yes, I will give them plenty of information about people involve with dealing drugs in Yorba Linda," police say he told them. Lloyd Charton, the lawyer for MacDonald's mother, contends that the teen-ager's work as an undercover informant led to his torture and strangulation at the hands of suspected drug dealers. Police insist the killing had nothing to do with them. While much about the case remains in dispute, records released Wednesday fill in some of the blanks in the final two months of the teen-ager's life. Police say the teen was "extremely eager" to work as an informant and that his mother, Cindy MacDonald, gave her permission without reservation. In exchange for his help, police say, they agreed only to send a letter to the district attorney detailing his level of cooperation. No promises were made about dropping the drug charges, and MacDonald and his mother knew he would be terminated as an informant if he were arrested again, police say. On Jan.7, police cleared MacDonald's use as an informant with Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust, who heads the narcotics unit. Prosecutors now say they believed the youth only would provide information and never knew MacDonald had made an undercover buy. "If everyone knew the full picture ... I think someone would have tried discouraging his use as a narcotics buyer," Assistant District Attorney John Conley said Wednesday. Records show that on Jan. 15, MacDonald bought eight-tenths of a gram of methamphetamine from a female he knew well. Officers searched the house the next day but made no arrests. MacDonald came through for police again on Jan. 26, when he gave a detective information about a meth lab in Orange, records show. Police raided the house three days later and arrested two people. While police say MacDonald made only the one buy in January, his involvement with them continued well into the next month, records show. Brea police Detective James Griffing called the prosecutor handling his drug case Feb. 17 and asked him to seek a delay in court proceedings, records show. "Brea Detective Griffin says (MacDonald) owes him one more bust. He wants about 30 days for minor to come through for him," Deputy District Attorney Kal Kaliban noted. Two days later, MacDonald's pickup was stopped by police again, this time for following another vehicle too closely. The officer said MacDonald was jittery and told him he was on his way to get truck parts. But MacDonald kept changing his story, the officer said, and when asked if he had any contraband, he pulled out two small containers of meth. MacDonald insisted he had bought the drugs at the behest of police and asked the officer to contact the detective. MacDonald spoke by cellular phone with the detective, then let the patrol officer talk with him. "(He) said MacDonald was dirty and to go ahead and arrest him," the officer reported. Police say the detective ended MacDonald's stint as an informant that day. But five days later, Cindy MacDonald apparently still believed her son was working for the police. She called Kaliban and told him Griffin was "keeping her son involved with drugs" and that it scared her, records show. Kaliban said he called Griffin and was told that MacDonald had been cut from the program and that police wanted the drug charges against him prosecuted. Brea police say they had no further contact with MacDonald. Two weeks later, the teen and his girlfriend went to a suspected drug house in Norwalk, where she was beaten and raped and he was tortured and strangled. The ensuing controversy has spawned self-examination by all involved. "This has put everyone on notice of how dangerous it is to use minors," Conley said. His office is considering a written policy about the use of juvenile police informants, which is legal. Brea Police Chief Bill Lentini said Wednesday that he department regrets MacDonald's death, but he steadfastly insists that police are not responsible for it. "It's difficult to live with the fact that a young person lost their life - absolutely," he said. "Whatever Mr. Charton thinks, we do care down here and did care about Chad MacDonald and would not have sent him into that kind of danger."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Slain Teen Was Eager To Inform, Chief Says (More From 'Orange County Register' On The Chad MacDonald Case) Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 10:05:45 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Slain Teen Was Eager To Inform, Chief Says Sender: email@example.com Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 Author: Stuart Pfeifer and Kim Christensen SLAIN TEEN WAS EAGER TO INFORM, CHIEF SAYS A judge allows police to release information on Chad MacDonald's case. Chad Allen MacDonald and his mother were both eager participants in the slain teen-ager's work as a drug informant for Brea police, Chief Bill Lentini said Wednesday. Lentini made that assertion after Juvenile Court Judge Ronald Owen ordered the release of dozens of pages of documents about the case and ruled that police and prosecutors could discuss it. The records indicate that MacDonald, 17, was recruited as an informant by Brea police after his Jan. 6 arrest for maethamphetamine possession. He made one undercover, supervised drug buy Jan. 15 - six weeks before he was strangled by suspected drug dealers - and also led police to a drug lab. A Brea detective told the prosecutor in MacDonald's case that the teen "owes him one more bust." Deputy District Attorney Kal Kaliban wrote in the case file that he would drop charges if MacDonald provided sufficient help to police. But police say they ousted MacDonald as an informant Feb. 19 after he was arrested again for possessing the drug. That means MacDonald was not working for them March 1, when he went to a reputed drug house in Norwalk and was tortured and slain, the chief said. Lloyd Charton, the attorney for MacDonald's mother, contends that MacDonald might be alive today if he had been prosecuted or placed in a drug treatment program instead of becoming an informant. Five days before MacDonald's death, Kaliban wrote that the teen "is probably in real need of 'Breakthrough,'" the county's lockdown treatment program.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reign Of Terror (Letter To Editor Of 'The Oklahoman' Wants To Know Fate Of Mother Jailed For Possession Of A Small Amount Of Marijuana Whose Five Children Were Taken Away To Foster Care Without Due Process) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 12:56:06 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US OK: PUB LTE: Reign of Terror Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: OK NORML Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 Source: Oklahoman, The (OK) Contact: http://www.oklahoman.com/?ed-writeus Website: http://www.oklahoman.com/ REIGN OF TERROR To the Editor: Your front-page report about the mother jailed for possession of a small amount of marijuana, her five children taken away into foster care, was sad. Hearings? Trials? No need at all! One of the younger children, no doubt scared and misinformed by the phony DARE program, told her teacher her mother smoked pot and immediately the law closed in. These are real people, really traumatized. At least let us know what is their fate. What a reign of terror! If there really was child abuse in this home, let's read about it and conduct hearings with due, lawful process. Had this family been prominent (rich) lawyers, doctors, politicians or heirs to fortunes in Tulsa or Oklahoma City, would this door-kicked-in police raid have happened? Note that these victims are small-town Indians. They should sue every official in this ugly affair. Claire Ann Crawford, Alex
------------------------------------------------------------------- Substance Abuses Hurt Economy, Study Shows ('Associated Press' Item In 'Tulsa World' Notes Propaganda Publicized In Yesterday's 'Oklahoman')Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 12:56:06 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US OK: Substance Abuses Hurt Economy, Study Shows Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: OK NORML Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 Source: Tulsa World (OK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com Author: Associated Press SUBSTANCE ABUSES HURT ECONOMY, STUDY SHOWS OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma economy loses an estimated $7.6 billion per year as the result of alcohol abuse and illegal drug use, according to a new study. "It costs every household in the state . . . over $1,000 a year" in federal, state and local taxes, said Michael Lapolla, the director of the Center for Health Policy Research at Oklahoma State University. Lapolla presented the study Tuesday to the Governor's Task Force on Substance Abuse, which had requested the report. The study says about $5.8 billion of the annual effect is in the "lost productivity" of illegal drug users and alcohol abusers. Researchers estimated that 61 percent of lost productivity is due to alcohol abuse, with 37 percent due to illegal drugs. The study says people hurt the economy when they become disabled and nonproductive. "We assumed that these costs are equally distributed in the population rather than being concentrated at the lower income levels," the researchers wrote. "Therefore, we assumed lost wages to be the state median income rather than the minimum wage." Federal taxpayers pay $860 million of the cost in Oklahoma, while state taxes cover $330 million, and local taxes take care of $130 million, the researchers say.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Sentencing Law May Not Curb Crime, Task Force Is Told ('Tulsa World' Notes A Joint Legislative Task Force Examining Oklahoma's 'Truth In Sentencing' Law Was Given Information Wednesday Showing No Decrease In Crime Even Though Oklahoma Is Incarcerating Nearly Five Times The Number Of Inmates It Did 20 Years Ago) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 12:56:06 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US OK: New Sentencing Law May Not Curb Crime, Task Force Is Told Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: OK NORML Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 Source: Tulsa World (OK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com Author: Chuck Ervin World Capitol Bureau 4/2/98 NEW SENTENCING LAW MAY NOT CURB CRIME, TASK FORCE IS TOLD OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahomans who expect a major drop in crime after a new truth-in-sentencing law takes effect July 1 and inmates begin serving much longer sentences may be disappointed, if history is any guide. Information presented to a joint legislative task force Wednesday fails to show any decrease in crime, even though Oklahoma is incarcerating nearly five times the number of inmates it did 20 years ago. A joint task force is gathering information on the impact of truth in sentencing before revising the law. Passed last year, the law mandates that violent criminals serve 85 percent of their sentences and nonviolent offenders serve 75 percent of their sentences before being eligible for parole. Some lawmakers are concerned about the estimated cost of the new law, however, and wonder whether the benefits are worth it. It is estimated that a bill to revise the truth-in-sentencing law could cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion over the next 10 years. Information presented to the task force Wednesday by Department of Corrections statistician Bill Chown shows that the number of murders in Oklahoma have remained almost constant for the past 20 years -- at an average of 247 a year -- even though the number of incarcerations during that period has more than quadrupled. There also was no correlation between increased incarceration and the number of arrests annually -- one way of determining the rise or fall of crime. From 1980 to 1996, while the state's prison population was increasing from about 4,500 to nearly 20,000, the number of total arrests in the state remained constant at approximately 150,000 a year. The number of index crimes, another way of measuring the most serious crimes, also remained constant at around 5,500 per 100,000 population annually from 1988 to 1996, despite the huge increase in the prison population. One category did shoot up over the past two decades -- drug-related crime. In 1980, there were 7,812 drug arrests. In 1996, the number of arrests totaled 12,756. The number of incarcerations has kept pace. In 1980, there were 150 people incarcerated for drug crimes. In 1997, the number sent to prison for drug crimes was 2,158. Mike Connelly of the Oklahoma Criminal Justice Research Center said there are some studies showing increased incarceration has an impact in some areas, including serial rape and other serial crimes. Connelly said incarceration also affects murder in larger urban centers because of the high number of murders related to drugs. And he said there are indications that there may be some impact on arson and burglary, although action other than incarceration might have the same effect. In answer to a question from Rep. Fred Morgan, R-Oklahoma City, Chown said his models do not take into consideration the cost in anguish to crime victims and society but only the cost of incarceration. And Sen. Howard Hendrick, R-Bethany, pointed out it is impossible to tell what the crime rate might have been if more people weren't being locked up, even though crime rates apparently didn't go down. Chown conceded he could not guarantee the murder rate would stay at 247 a year, if there was a major reduction in the number of inmates incarcerated. Chown pointed out, however, that 80 percent of the inmates who come into prison each year are new incarcerations. He said "incapacitation,'' taking criminals off the street and locking them up, wouldn't prevent their crimes because most have never been to prison when their crimes are committed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Patrol Seizes Cocaine Load - Haul Worth Millions ('The Oklahoman' Says An Oklahoma Highway Patrol Officer Busted An Eastbound Van On Interstate 40 Near Elk City Containing 326 Pounds Of Cocaine Valued At More Than $50 Million, The Second Largest Interdiction On Record In The State Since A 500-Pound Bust In 1996 - Three Suspects Face 30 Years In Prison Each) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 12:56:06 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US OK: Patrol Seizes Cocaine Load -- Haul Worth Millions Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: OK NORML Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 Source: Oklahoman, The (OK) Contact: http://www.oklahoman.com/?ed-writeus Website: http://www.oklahoman.com/ Author: Ron Jackson Staff Writer PATROL SEIZES COCAINE LOAD -- HAUL WORTH MILLIONS Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers on Wednesday proudly displayed the fruits of their latest -- and second greatest -- drug haul in state history. The seizure, which took place in Beckham County, featured 326 1/2 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value in excess of $50 million. The bust was so large, in fact, that the patrol isn't releasing the name of the trooper who confiscated this latest cocaine mother lode. ''We don't want to endanger him or have anything come back on him,'' Lt. Stewart Meyer said. Javier S. Moscoso, 25, was driving a van eastbound on Interstate 40 on Saturday night when he was stopped near Elk City. The trooper discovered the registration of the New York license plate on the van didn't correspond with the vehicle. ''The trooper then had a conversation with the driver (Moscoso),'' Meyer explained. ''During this communication, the trooper suspected something else was wrong.'' Upon further inspection, the trooper discovered a 4-inch rise in the floorboard of the van. Beneath the van's plush, green carpet were 133 packages of cocaine, coated with mustard in hopes of throwing off a search dog. ''By the way,'' cracked one trooper, ''mustard doesn't work.'' Moscoso was traveling with at least two other passengers -- Alexandra Moscoso, 22, and Allen Justin Borland, 35. Drug trafficking charges were filed against all three Monday by the district attorney's office, and each could face up to 30 years in prison if found guilty. Judge Doug Haught set bail for each at $100,000. All three remain in the Beckham County jail. ''Everything we do comes as a result of working traffic, because that's what we do,'' Meyer said. ''Several times we come across drug seizures, fugitives and felons.'' The top haul was 500 pounds in 1996.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Says Man Can't Be Arrested Because Of Marijuana Odor In His Car ('Associated Press' Article In 'St Paul Pioneer Press' Says The Second District Court Of Appeals Ruled Wednesday A Madison, Wisconsin, Police Officer's Nose Can't Tell If A Man Smoked Marijuana, Even If The Man's Car Reeked Of Pot) Date: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 10:10:50 -0400 From: "R. Lake"
Subject: MN: US WI: Court Says Man Can't Be Arrested Because of Marijuana Odor In His Car To: DrugSense News Service Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: davewest Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 Source: St Paul Pioneer Press Author: Andrew Blasko, Associated Press Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.pioneerplanet.com/ COURT SAYS MAN CAN'T BE ARRESTED BECAUSE OF MARIJUANA ODOR IN HIS CAR A MADISON, WIS. police officer's nose can't tell if a man smoked marijuana, even if the man's ear reeked of pot when he pulled over and asked the officer for directions, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. The officer did not have enough probable cause to arrest Timothy Secrist because a whiff of pot odor from Secrist's car does not necessarily mean he smoked it, the 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled. "Smells linger, and, especially in an automobile, a persistent odor may be strong and appear recent even though it has lingered for hours or even days," Judge Richard Brown wrote for the court. The court overturned Waukesha County Circuit Judge Donald Hassin's ruling, which said the New Berlin police officer did have probable cause and convicted Secrist. District Attorney Paul Bucher of Waukesha County said the ruling may confuse law enforcement officers when they pull over cars and notice something suspicious. "What do they want us to tell to our police officers?" Bucher said. "My understanding of the Fourth Amendment is that you must be reasonable, not always correct," Secrist's attorney, Patrick Donnelly, said the officer probably could have arrested his client legally had he done more investigation. "He just jumped the gun a bit here, I think," Donnelly said. "It's really not an earth-shattering decision." Secrist, of West Allis, stopped in his car to ask for directions from a New Berlin police officer, who was directing traffic for a 1996 Fourth of July parade, court records say, The officer smelled marijuana odor coming from Secrist's car and arrested him for possessing the drug. The officer then searched the car and found a marijuana cigarette and a clip used to hold it, according to court records. Secrist, 24, asked a judge to throw out the evidence because it was seized after an illegal arrest. The trial court denied his motion, The appeals court overturned the lower court's ruling because the officer did not see Secrist actually smoke marijuana. The ruling noted that the officer did not see any smoke come from the car, or notice that Secrist's balance or speech was impaired. "The smell of marijuana lingers, and thus it could have been smoked five minutes ago or several hours ago," Brown wrote, "There was no indication as to when the marijuana had been smoked or by whom,"
------------------------------------------------------------------- One Dead, One Critical In North Side Shooting ('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Says Police And Neighbors Attribute The Shootings To The Illegal Drug Market) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 19:25:57 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US WI: One Dead, One Critical in North Side Shooting Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 Author: Jessica McBride of the Journal Sentinel staff ONE DEAD, ONE CRITICAL IN NORTH SIDE SHOOTING An 18-year-old man, shot several times in the head, died in a double shooting early Wednesday that left another man clinging to life, police said. Police said they did not have a motive for the shooting, but residents in the 2400 block of W. Capitol Drive said they believed it was drug related. Lt. Earnell Lucas, public information officer, said the surviving victim, 32, was shot repeatedly, "over his entire body." Lucas said that victim had been discovered by police lying along W. Capitol Drive. He was listed in critical condition Wednesday. Lucas said police were not releasing the dead man's name late Wednesday because they had not located his next of kin. He refused to release the name of the other victim. The 18-year-old man has an extensive police record, including a drug arrest, and did not live where he was shot. The shootings occurred outside a brick apartment building in the 2400 block of W. Capitol Drive about 12:30 a.m., Lucas said. Lucas said officers heard the shots and discovered the dead man lying on the sidewalk. They noticed that a third man who was standing in the area fled, and officers later saw him drop a handgun, Lucas said. Lucas said officers saw that man enter an apartment building in the 2400 block of W. Capitol Drive. They arrested two men, ages 19 and 43, including the one seen at the shooting site. Lucas said the pair was being held on outstanding warrants and was being questioned in connection with the slaying. A sign on a nearby building reads "drug free zone," but neighbors said drugs plague the area, a mix of apartment buildings and businesses. "The word in the neighborhood is it's all about people trying to sell drugs," said Kal Zakzouk, an employee at Citgo Quik Mart at the corner of 27th and Capitol. "You're in a section of the city that the city doesn't care about." "It's supposed to be something about drugs," said Tim Johnson, a customer at the service station. "Nine times out of 10, people get killed around here because of drugs."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Navy Sets Stage To Try Recruiter Who Complained ('Boston Globe' Says The Whistleblower Informed His Commanding Officer In Boston In August That Fellow Recruiters Were Giving Prospective Recruits A Substance To Drink That Masks Evidence Of Drug Use In Urine Tests) Date: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 16:46:30 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US MA: Navy Sets Stage To Try Recruiter Who Complained Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Dick Evans" Source: Boston Globe (MA) Author: Paul Langner, Globe Staff Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 NAVY SETS STAGE TO TRY RECRUITER WHO COMPLAINED The Navy presented its charges yesterday against a recruiter who alleged illegal recruiting practices in the Holyoke station and who now faces a court-martial. Robert Natereli, a metrologist first class, informed his commanding officer in Boston in August that fellow recruiters were giving prospective recruits a substance to drink that masks evidence of drug use in urine tests. He also accused one recruiter of forging papers to make it appear as if a potential prospect had a high school graduation certificate. The Navy has not yet taken any action on the allegations. But Natereli faces one charge of failure to obey a lawful order, two charges of dereliction of duty, and two charges of making a false official statement. No date has been set for trial. ''He's a whistle-blower,'' said his civilian lawyer, Stephen Hrones. ''And the Navy doesn't like whistle-blowers.'' If convicted, Natereli faces a bad-conduct discharge. Yesterday's presentation of charges and specifications is equivalent to arraignment, the lawyer said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Stop Of Black Cop Is Ruled Unlawful ('Orange County Register' Says Black Miami-Dade Police Major Aaron Campbell Has Claimed He Was Stopped In Orlando, Florida, Because As A Black Man From South Florida He Fit A Racial Profile Deputies Use To Stop Motorists And Search Them For Drugs) Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 10:08:13 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US FL: Police Stop of Black Cop is Ruled Unlawful Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 POLICE STOP OF BLACK COP IS RULED UNLAWFUL A black Miami-Dade police major on trial for battering sheriff's deputies and resisting arrest during a traffic stop in Orlando,Fla., won a major victory Wednesday when a judge ruled that he was unlawfully stopped. Aaron Campbell has claimed he was stopped because as a black man from South Florida he fit a racial profile deputies use to stop motorists and search them for drugs. Orange County Circuit Judge Thomas Mihok also threw out two of the six charges Campbell was facing.
------------------------------------------------------------------- America's Jails Are Jammed ('Scripps Howard News Service' Notes A Recent Survey Of Local Jails By The US Justice Department Shows The Number Of Inmates Increased By 9.4 Percent Between Mid-1996 And Mid-1997, The Largest Jump This Decade, But For The First Time Since 1990, Jail Capacity, Measured By The Total Number Of Beds, Did Not Keep Pace With The Rising Number Of Inmates) Date: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 18:04:25 -0400 From: "R. Lake"
Subject: MN: US: Wire: America's Jails are Jammed To: DrugSense News Service Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Mike Gogulski Pubdate: 2 Apr 1998 Source: Scripps Howard News Service Author: Russ Freyman, Governing Magazine AMERICA'S JAILS ARE JAMMED Hardly anyone could have missed the great prison-building boom a few years back. All told, during the first half of the 1990s, states spent nearly $15 billion and added some 400,000 beds to alleviate overcrowding. That increase in capacity, coupled with a significant slowdown in the prison population growth rate since 1994, has brought the construction craze to an end. So it may come as something of a surprise to learn that across the nation, thousands of inmates still are lacking beds, basic medical assistance and sufficient oversight. For the most part, however, these are not prisons problems. They are jail problems. "We have people on the floor here routinely," says Mark Schlect, jail administrator in Kenosha County, Wis., "and we have for many years now." The jail population nationwide is at an all-time high, despite downturns in most crime rates. A recent survey of jails by the U.S. Justice Department shows that the number of jail inmates increased by 9.4 percent between mid-1996 and mid-1997, the largest jump this decade. And for the first time since 1990, jail capacity, measured by the total number of beds, did not keep pace with the rising number of inmates. Still, the public seems largely uninterested in taking steps to remedy the situation. Money to build more jail cells would have to come directly from local taxpayers, whereas prison costs can be spread out over an entire state. Another factor is that the danger posed by those in the local lockup is perceived to be significantly less than that of prison inmates. (Prisons generally confine people serving time for felonies; jails generally confine people serving time for less-severe crimes.) These days, though, county jails hold many different types of offenders: those awaiting arraignment or trial; temporary detainees, such as juveniles or those in need of medical attention; convicted offenders sentenced to less than a year; those awaiting the final paperwork before being transferred to state or federal prison; and those who should be in prison but are not because of overcrowding. In addition, according to Ken Kerle of the American Jail Association, jails hold more of the mentally disturbed than psychiatric hospitals. All together, jails process more than 26 million people each year, and the exact population of individual facilities changes by the hour. Clearly, it is difficult to characterize typical jail inhabitants -- with one major exception: Experts estimate that more than 70 percent are drug users. Mandatory minimum sentences for drug dealers and users, along with three-or even two-strike laws in many states, have resulted in a clogged criminal justice system, and therefore, more time in holding pens for those facing charges. "Jail crowding is a result, largely, of the sentencing decisions we've chosen as a society," says Jennie Gainsborough of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project. But harsher sentencing policies and the increased scope of drug laws don't carry corresponding spending directed toward jails. And while overcrowding at the state level can be a source of problems at the county level: When a state prison cannot accept a convicted felon, the jail holds him or her until it can. In 1993, 11 percent of the jail population nationwide should have been in state prisons. Although that figure has now dropped to 6 percent, most of the decrease is attributable to a single state -- Texas. Some say that there is an "if you build it, they will come" phenomenon associated with jails. Once there is room, judges will send convicts or those awaiting trial to the open facilities. Alternatives to incarceration being tried in various places include electronic monitoring and other types of pre-trial supervision; work-release and community service initiatives; and substance-abuse programs. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities are an expensive option, however, and one that judges have been reluctant to use, lest they be viewed as being soft on crime. Copyright (c) 1998 Scripps Howard
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hell No, We Won't Throw Away The Key (Article In Canada's 'NOW' Magazine, Reprinted From 'Salon,' Says Serious Acts Of Civil Disobedience Against The United States' Drug Sentencing Laws Are Being Staged, Not By Pot-Smoking Hippies And Wild-Eyed Libertarians, But By Prosecutors And Senior Judges, One Of Them A Reagan Appointee) Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 09:45:40 -0500 From: Carey Ker
Subject: Art: Hell no, we won't throw away the key To: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: NOW, April 2, 1998, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Please note: This was reprinted from SALON magazine (http://www.salon.com) Hell no, we won't throw away the key Serious civil disobedience against the nation's drug sentencing laws are being staged, not by pot-smoking hippies and wild-eyed libertarians, but by prosecutors and senior judges, one of them a Reagan appointee. By Bruce Shapiro SERIOUS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AGAINST THE NATION'S DRUG SENTENCING LAWS ARE BEING STAGED -- BY PROSECUTORS AND SENIOR JUDGES. What furious debate over the parameters of morality, legality and personal behavior has the American political and judicial system been at vehement war with itself over? No, not the ever-morphing linton/Jones/Starr/Lewinsky/Willey scandal, but an issue likely to affect vastly more people. Drugs. Drug use, drug policy, drug enforcement. While the press has been consumed with Tailgate, slowly simmering discord over the war on illegal drugs has suddenly reached a rolling boil. Some skirmishes have filtered through to public consciousness. Last Monday it was Drug Czar vs. AIDS Czar: White House drug policy advisor Barry McCaffrey lambasted White House director of HIV policy Sandra Thurman's advocacy of federally funded sterile needle-exchange programs for addicts. Needle-exchange efforts, McCaffrey complained in a letter leaked to Congress, undermine "an unambiguous 'no use' message." The following day, it was California vs. the feds. The Justice Department went to court seeking an injunction shutting down six Northern California medical marijuana clubs, operating under the protective umbrella of Proposition 215 passed by state voters last November. Last week, four California mayors wrote to the White House demanding that the Justice Department "respect local expertise" on medical marijuana and abandon the crackdown. If Attorney General Janet Reno's shutdown of marijuana clubs moves forward, San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan is threatening to employ city workers to distribute the drug to those who medically require it -- perhaps the most dramatic act of local law-enforcement defiance of the Justice Department since the days of racial segregation. But one of the most incendiary and startling confrontations has been conducted behind the scenes, in the normally staid chambers of the Washington, D.C., federal courts. The cast of characters: a crack addict and petty street-level dealer named Alvin Webb; U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin, named to the bench by Ronald Reagan after serving as the CIA's top lawyer; and Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, best known as the jurist whose Supreme Court nomination in 1987 went down the tubes when Ginsburg admitted smoking pot in the 1970s. Alvin Webb smoked and sold crack on the streets of the nation's capital for three years. He was a junkie, never a high-powered dealer. "The suppliers would just give me the stuff to give to the people ... I never received any money," he testified. "All I received was just drugs for that." An undercover DEA agent bought crack from Webb on two occasions in February 1994: five grams on the first occasion, then six -- small amounts that would have meant little jail time. Then, according to court records, the DEA agent deliberately decided to ratchet up his third purchase from Webb -- 55 grams -- because under federal sentencing guidelines that meant a mandatory prison sentence of nine years or more. Webb obtained the court's permission to enroll in a drug rehab program, which might have allowed him to qualify for a lower sentence, but he failed at rehab after a month, ending up back on the streets smoking crack. He was caught 18 months later and was finally brought before Judge Sporkin for sentencing last year. Thus far, a familiar story of a crack addict in the criminal justice system. So imagine Webb's surprise -- and the federal prosecutor's -- when Sporkin the Reaganite took one look at the case and decided, then and there, that he simply could not reconcile the harsh prison sentence required by federal drug laws with the shattered individual standing before his bench. "If you were in a different economic bracket in this country, you'd probably be out at the Betty Ford Clinic," Sporkin said to Webb, according to court records. He blasted prosecutors who wanted Webb's sentence extended even further to punish him for his 18 months on the street. "It's because he doesn't control his own body. That's the problem. He doesn't control himself. He's out of control. He didn't do it to defy anybody. He hasn't done it in a defiant act. He did it because it's impossible for him." It wasn't just Webb's pitiable state that roused Sporkin's conscience. It was the DEA's routinely Kafkaesque practice of "sentencing entrapment" -- in this case, the DEA agent's deliberate instigation of a larger drug buy in order to trigger a heavier sentence. All this led Sporkin to commit a rare judicial version of civil disobedience (much as Hallinan now threatens in San Francisco). He declined to hand Webb the huge sentence required by law, which he describes as "grossly disproportional to the crime." Instead of a decade behind bars, Sporkin sentenced Webb to 41 months, worrying that "even 41 months is much too long for you." What's more, Sporkin virtually dared the outraged U.S. attorney's office to challenge his ruling: "I realize that you people hold all the weapons in this war on drugs, and I'll give you an easy one to get me reversed," he declared. And appeal the Justice Department did: to a three-judge appeals court panel headed by Judge Douglas Ginsburg, the former pot smoker. And it was Ginsburg who four weeks ago wrote a blistering take-down of Sporkin, thundering that the latter's attack of judicial conscience "wreaked havoc with the administration of justice." Sporkin, Ginsburg charged, "abused his discretion," and -- worse! -- "The United States Attorney and the Federal Public Defender each had to write learned briefs and this court had to hear argument and write an opinion -- all at considerable expense to the public." Ginsburg, in a unanimous appeals court ruling, ordered Sporkin to impose a sentence of 70-to-87 months (slightly lower than it otherwise would have been because of recalculations under the complicated sentencing guidelines). But Sporkin had not walked so far out on a limb only to be blown back by Ginsburg's tirade. Rather than impose the appeals court's longer sentence on Webb, he decided to take himself off the case in protest. And in a memorandum that has been circulating in Washington legal circles for several weeks, he blasted both Ginsburg's "intemperate remarks" as well as the whole system of drug prosecution. "A humane society does not incarcerate its sick and feeble," Sporkin wrote. "Clearly a sentencing system that considers only the amount of drugs involved and ignores completely the reasons for the actors' conduct would be contrary to this nation's values." Surprisingly, this Reagan-appointed pillar of the Washington establishment is not the only judge in town to protest such insane drug laws. In the D.C. circuit alone, Senior Judge David Oberdorfer has called 10-to-20-year mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug dealers cruel and unusual punishment. A handful of judges in New York and elsewhere have taken similar stands. Such cases of judicial civil disobedience, like this week's needle-exchange controversy and California's confrontation with the feds over medical marijuana, reveal deep and growing fissures in the official consensus on drug policy. It's notable that none of the figures involved are wild-eyed libertarians: They are jurists, prosecutors, White House officials, mayors. When the history of the war on drugs is written, early 1998 may come to be seen as a defining moment, rather like the Tet offensive in a different war 30 years ago, revealing fundamental rifts from which broader resistance and protest may yet emerge. Bruce Shapiro writes the Law & Order column for the Nation, and is a regular contributor to Salon.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Bill Clears Senate Panel ('Washington Post' Says The US Senate Commerce Committee Voted 19-1 Yesterday To Establish The Nation's First Comprehensive Tobacco Policy That Would Sharply Increase Cigarette Prices And Further Restrict Marketing - Tobacco Industry Threatens To Fight The Plan In Court If It Is Not Amended To Their Liking) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 12:56:06 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US: Tobacco Bill Clears Senate Panel Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Mike Gogulski Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 Source: Washington Post Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Ceci Connolly and Saundra Torry Washington Post Staff Writers TOBACCO BILL CLEARS SENATE PANEL $516 Billion Measure Hikes Fees, Restricts Ads, Limits Liability The Senate Commerce Committee voted overwhelmingly yesterday to establish the nation's first comprehensive tobacco policy, a tough measure that aims to reduce youth smoking through steep cigarette price increases and harsh restrictions sales and marketing. The 19 to 1 vote represented a major step forward in the long, slow march to resolve an onslaught of lawsuits against the embattled industry and tackle the nation's leading cause of preventable death. It was the first action by Congress since the opposing factions in America's fight over tobacco signed an unprecedented agreement last June. "This is the crossing of the threshold," said David A. Kessler, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration who first proposed regulating cigarettes like a drug. Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his colleagues have broken the hold the industry has had over the Congress." Still, the real fight has yet to begin. Although the legislation grants some of the legal protections the industry sought, company executives are threatening to fight the plan in court if it is not amended to their liking. Saying the bill "contains a number of illegal, punitive and fundamentally unsound provisions," tobacco lobbyist J. Phil Carlton predicted McCain's bill could revitalize the black market or even bankrupt some companies. Tobacco company stock prices dropped at the end of the day yesterday. Tobacco industry opponents complain the bill does not go far enough in penalizing the industry or improving public health. They hope to abolish all civil liability protections and raise the price tag of the legislation. Indeed, no one spoke well of the document, not even its primary author. "It is by no means perfect," said McCain who spent the past several weeks horse-trading with his colleagues, White House officials and anti-smoking advocates. "However, our task was to craft a bill that reflects the best possible consensus." In broad terms, the 400-page bill would impose a fee of $1.10 on every pack of cigarettes over the next five years, restrict tobacco advertising and marketing, limit the industry's civil liability to $6.5 billion a year and exact additional payments from the companies if teenage smoking does not decline by 60 percent in 10 years. The committee estimates that it will cost the industry about $516 billion over the next 25 years. Committee members acknowledged that several of the most contentious issues would probably have to be revisited, such as precisely how much legal relief to give the industry, whether the proposed advertising restrictions are constitutional and how much to pay lawyers who filed lawsuits against the industry. For instance, White House officials say they plan to fight on the Senate floor for stronger penalties against companies that fail to significantly reduce teenage smoking. In yesterday's day-long session, McCain beat back virtually every noteworthy amendment, convincing committee members it was better to send a flawed version to the full Senate than no version. Known for his independent streak, McCain showed no favoritism in his no-amendments strategy. Sen. John F. Kerry, (D-Mass.) failed to raise the price increase to $1.50 per pack, while Sen. Wendell H. Ford (D-Ky.) lost his bid to reduce the annual payments by tobacco companies. An amendment eliminating the $6.5 billion liability cap failed as did several attempts to grant similar protections to other industries, such as biomedical companies. And still to be settled is a dispute over whether to impose fees, require cigarette warning labels and take other measures to reduce youth smoking overseas. The fiercest debate in a cordial day of haggling came over the question of whether Congress needs to bargain with cigarette makers to extract advertising concessions and back penalties if teenage smoking is not brought down to acceptable levels. "I have no sympathy for the people that sell these products," said Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), who said his mother and father-in-law died of lung cancer. However, Breaux said he believes the ad restrictions are unconstitutional and can only be gotten through deal-making with the industry. "We should not push them so far we lose these very important portions of the bill." But experts on health issues such as Kessler and Matthew Myers, head of the National Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, argue the restrictions can be written narrowly enough to withstand legal challenges. Ford, a tobacco ally who filed 47 amendments, warned that even though the bill contains $28.5 billion to help ease the impact on tobacco farmers, he was not satisfied. "If my farmers are not taken care of, this carpet is going to turn red," he said. Sen. John D. Ashcroft (R-Mo.), the lone dissenter, said he objected to the legal protections the bill would grant cigarette companies. If the day did not resolve many of the thornier policy questions, it did provide a likely road map for the coming battle. Elena Kagan, the White House deputy domestic policy adviser, said the committee included a "spectrum" of opinions similar to the entire Senate. "The fight in the larger Senate may echo this." Not surprisingly, the real battles will come over money -- how much to pay lawyers, how much to charge companies and most importantly, how to divvy the tobacco dividend. McCain intentionally left open the question of how to spend the billions that could come pouring in from higher cigarette prices and company penalties. "I fear that if we get into a food fight over distribution of funds" it might derail the measure and should instead be left for President Clinton and a handful of congressional leaders to work out. But that did not stop the lawmakers from devoting much time and energy to giving speeches on what they want to do with the money. Some wanted money set aside for veterans; others worried about protecting miners afflicted with black lung disease. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici has said he wants the money given to Medicare. "I guess the chairman wouldn't go for a flood control project?," joked Breaux. In the end, the committee approved a nonbinding amendment that listed its favorite recipients, including child-care programs, smoking cessation efforts and cancer research. McCain's bill now goes to the full Senate, although it is possible congressional leaders will continue to negotiate in private and offer a revised version in coming weeks. The House, meanwhile, has been unable to write tobacco legislation and may simply wait for the Senate bill. "Chances are better today than they were yesterday because of legislation coming out of the Commerce Committee," said Florida Sen. Connie Mack, a member of the GOP leadership. "Given how intricate this legislation is and how politically difficult it is, we still have a major task ahead of us."
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Focus Alert Needle Exchange (DrugSense Asks Activists To Contact US Health And Human Services To Demand Federal Funding For Needle Exchange Programs) Date: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 09:06:36 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: DrugSense FOCUS Alert Needle Exchange PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE DrugSense FOCUS Alert #58 HHS (Health and Human Suffering) Secretary Donna Shalala on another junket?? WRITE A LETTER MAKE A PHONE CALL- HELP CHANGE THE WORLD *** National Coalition to Save Lives Now Is ANYONE HOME AT HHS?--CALL OR WRITE TODAY. April 1 and no determination on needle exchange? Join thousands from all over the US and Call HHS and the White House and demand FEDERAL FUNDS FOR NEEDLE EXCHANGE NOW!!!!! SHALALA'S INACTION: On March 31st 1998 the Congressionally imposed moratorium on the use of federal funds for needle exchange programs ends. In order for funds to be used, however, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala must first make a public health determination regarding the effectiveness of needle exchange programs. To date, Secretary Shalala has not made the determination. The President's Own Advisory Council Has 'No Confidence' On March 17 the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS unanimously passed a resolution both documenting the need for the Secretary to make the public health determination and expressing no confidence" in the Clinton Administration's commitment and willingness to achieve its stated goal of reducing the number of new HIV infections. What YOU Can Do IF YOU TAKE NO OTHER ACTION THIS YEAR, PLEASE DROP EVERYTHING TODAY AND FLOOD THE SECRETARY'S OFFICE WITH CALLS. DEMAND THAT SHE TAKE ACTION TO FREE UP FEDERAL FUNDS FOR NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS. CALL TWICE, THREE TIMES, MORE.. FAX HER A COPY Of THE PORTRAIT AT http://www.harmreduction.org/ncsln/ EVERY DAY 33 more American men, women and children will contract HIV. Will this administration continue to do nothing? *** CONTACT INFO Contact Secretary Shalala and urge her to allow the science and make the public health determination. Secretary Shalala directly at (202) 690-6343. If the line is busy call HHS general number at (202) 690-4000, Shalala's press office can also be reached at (202) 690 6343 fax Secretary Shalala at (202) 690-4166 Donna Shalala Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC20201 Also, don't forget to contact President Clinton and urge him to keep his promise to reduce the number of new HIV infections by directing Secretary Shalala to make the public health determination immediately. President Clinton 202-456 1414. *** PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER OR TELL US WHAT YOU DID (Phone fax etc.) Please post your letters or report your action to the MAPTalk list if you are subscribed, or return a copy to me at this address by simply hitting REPLY to this FOCUS Alert or emailing to MGreer@mapinc.org *** Forwarded in cooperation with The Harm Reduction Coalition Mark Greer Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc. d/b/a DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Newly Available GAO Reports And Testimonies (US Government Accounting Office Posts URL For New Report, 'Money Laundering - FinCEN Needs To Better Communicate Regulatory Priorities And Time Lines') Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 10:47:56 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Newly Available GAO Reports and Testimonies, April 2, 1998 - Begin Included Message - Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 07:43:38 -0500 From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Newly Available GAO Reports and Testimonies, April 2, 1998 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org April 2, 1998 The following items were added to GAO's World Wide Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format. - Money Laundering: FinCEN Needs to Better Communicate Regulatory Priorities and Time Lines. GGD-98-18. 21 pp. plus 7 appendices (33 pp.) February 6, 1998. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/gg98018.pdf These reports and testimonies will also be added to our WAIS database in ASCII and PDF formats within the next 24 hours. This database can be searched from the World Wide Web from the search page at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces160.shtml If you are using speech synthesizer equipment or lack World Wide Web access you may search this database with GPO's public swais client by telnetting to: swais.access.gpo.gov Any individual report may be retrieved directly from that archive in text and PDF formats with the following URL: http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?RPTNO replacing RPTNO with the report number (e.g., GAO/OCG-98-1). To UNSUBSCRIBE from the GAO Daybook mailing list, send an e-mail message to: email@example.com with: unsubscribe daybook (your_email_address) in the message body. Please do not reply to this message to unsubscribe from the mailing list. Thank you.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Frontline Special (Don Wirtshafter Of The Ohio Hempery Says Public Broadcasting Service On April 28 Will Televise 'Busted - America's War On Marijuana' - According To Affiliate Newsletter, Documentary Explores 'The Impact Of Current US Policy On Stemming The Tide Of Marijuana Use And Looks At How Marijuana Law Enforcement Is Affecting American Life') Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 06:37:59 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Don Wirtshafter
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Frontline Special Organization: Ohio Hempery 1-800-BUY-HEMP I just noticed that the long-awaited PBS Frontline special is scheduled for broadcast on Tuesday, April 28th. Here is the news from our local affiliate newsletter. "9:00 Frontline Busted: America's War on Marijuana. Explores the impact of current U.S. policy on stemming the tide of marijuana use and looks at how marijuana law enforcement is affecting American life." I spoke with the producer of this show while it was in production. Based on that conversation, I have high hopes this will be excellent coverage. We should consider what we should do to get the word out so that America sees this piece. *** Don Wirtshafter, Ohio Hempery Inc. Products the Earth Can Afford Order Line 1-800-BUY-HEMP shop on line: http://www.hempery.com Call or write for our free catalog: 7002 S.R. 329, Guysville, OH 45735 (740) 662-4367 fax (740) 662-6446
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Trial Of MS Sufferer On Hold ('London Free Press' In London, Ontario, Says A Judge Has Postponed The Scheduled April 27 Trial Of London Medical Marijuana Patient Lynn Harichy For Possession So That The Province's Top Court Can Rule On The Medical Defence Issue) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: Pot trial of MS sufferer on hold Date: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 08:29:30 -0800 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: London Free Press Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: April 2, 1998 Author: Don Murray -- Free Press Court Reporter POT TRIAL OF MS SUFFERER ON HOLD UNTIL RULING ON MEDICAL DEFENCE CREDIT: By Don Murray -- Free Press Court Reporter Mindful that a milestone marijuana-as-medicine case is working its way toward the Ontario Court of Appeal this fall, a judge has postponed the trial of London's Lynn Harichy. Harichy, 36, was to go on trial April 27 on a single charge of possessing marijuana, which she insists she needs to ease the spasms and pain of multiple sclerosis. TOP COURT CASE On Wednesday, Judge Alan Baker of Ontario Court, provincial division, said he wasn't willing to try Harichy's case until the province's top court has ruled on the same medical defence issue. Federal prosecutor Bill Buchner said the Crown agrees to the adjournment sought by the defence team. Harichy's four-day trial is now set for Nov. 17 to 19 and Nov. 23. Meanwhile, the top court will hear the Crown appeal of the case of a Toronto man who came out on top in a court battle after his pot-growing operation was busted in 1996. In a precedent-setting Charter of Rights and Freedoms case, a Toronto judge ruled Terry Parker had a medical need to smoke marijuana as treatment for epilepsy, and the best way for him to obtain it was to grow it. The judge stayed charges of cultivating and possession against Parker, 42, but convicted him of a trafficking charge because he admitted giving joints to other seizure sufferers. He was sentenced to time served and put on probation for a year. The court also ordered police to return three confiscated marijuana plants to Parker, but they apparently had already been destroyed. APPEAL IN CLAY CASE Also bound for the Court of Appeal is the case of former Londoner Christopher Clay, who was found guilty of possessing and selling marijuana after a highly publicized trial last summer. Clay, now living in Vancouver, is a crusader for the legalization of pot, arguing that keeping it a criminal substance violates the Charter. Copyright 1998 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Politicising Pot ('Hour' Magazine In Montreal Recounts The Odyssey Of 'Backyard Bob' Hamon, Whose Bust For Marijuana Cultivation In 1983 Led To The First Constitutional Challenge Of Canadian Pot Prohibition - Now Hamon Focuses On The Political Process, And Worked The Issue Recently As A Delegate At The Liberal Party Convention) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: Politicising Pot Date: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 10:27:02 -0800 Newshawk: Charlie McKenzie Source: HOUR Magazine (Montréal, circ.75,000) Issue: Vo. 6 No. 13 Pubdate: April 2, 1998 Section: POT SHOTS - Dispatches from the Hemp War front Page: p.9 Author: Charlie McKenzie Website: http://www.hour.qc.ca/ POLITICISING POT Legalisation advocates have the momentum When the delegate from St-Eustache took the floor at the federal Liberal Party convention two weeks ago, it was yet another step on a long trail that began in a Quebec pot field 15 years ago. In 1983, the ink was barely dry on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms when "Backyard Bob" Hamon of Ormstown was busted for cultivation and possession of marijuana. With little public support and zero funding, he embarked on a 10-year odyssey through the courts in the first-ever constitutional challenge to Canada's marijuana laws. His battle ended when the Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal. He was ultimately convicted, but today's pot advocates readily acknowledge his trail-blazing fight. "It was a valiant effort that set the stage for a number of the challenges that are now before the courts," says Chris Clay. Clay should know. A few years ago, he was the mild-mannered proprietor of a London, Ontario, hemp store. When arrested and charged with "trafficking marijuana," he followed Bob's example and embarked on a constitutional challenge of his own. He raised funds by selling "Victory Bonds" on the Internet - redeemable in pot once the laws are changed - and recruited Toronto law professor Alan Young to the cause. When his case came up, they caught the Crown by surprise by putting the law itself on trial. Among the defence witnesses was Lynn Harichey, a multiple sclerosis victim and mother of two, who described how marijuana was the only medicine that eased her pain and made life bearable. Others testified as to its effectiveness in helping cope with AIDS, cancer, muscular dystrophy, glaucoma and epilepsy. Though Chris Clay was eventually found guilty, Justice John McCart lashed out at the stupidity of the pot laws and challenged federal politicians to change them. Had Clay presented a simple case of medical marijuana, he said, his verdict would have been much different. So different, that a few days later Lynn Harichey was inspired to show up on the steps of the London police station with a joint in hand to be promptly and publicly arrested. Her trial is scheduled for late April. In December a Toronto judge ruled that Terry Parker, an epileptic, had a clear constitutional right to possess and grow cannabis to help control his seizures. The judge ordered Parker's confiscated pot plants be returned to him but police claim they were "probably destroyed." Emboldened by these recent court decisions and public-opinion polls following the Ross Rebagliati-Olympics fiasco, Canadian cannabis advocates are now flexing their political and constitutional muscles. Toronto AIDS sufferer Jim Wakeford is suing the federal government to provide him with marijuana. Wakeford argues that outlawing the pot needed to fight the nausea caused by the disease and by the 40 prescription pills he takes daily is a violation of his Charter rights. And in Regina, multiple sclerosis sufferer Grant Krieger is fighting a similar battle for his legal supply of marijuana. The fight is also being waged on other fronts. In Vancouver, a compassion club providing free marijuana to the sick and needy has become an accepted part of the local landscape. The Toronto-based Medical Marijuana Resource Centre recently announced formation of several such clubs throughout Southern Ontario (membership is restricted to those able to prove they have serious or terminal diseases). Medical marijuana clubs are also planned for Montreal and Quebec City later this year. In some cases, the pot laws are not only being challenged; they're being flagrantly assaulted. In perhaps one of the dumbest busts in recent memory, three weeks ago Vancouver police conducted a daytime raid on the city's latest tourist attraction, the Cannabis Café, headquarters of HempBC. Among those arrested was Mark Emery, the Paul Watson of the marijuana movement, who observers say will not only go the constitutional distance but will dance circles around his prosecutors in the process. For veteran pot warrior Backyard Bob Hamon, all of this comes as good news, but he's already been there and done that. Now that he has had his day in court, he's content taking the battle where he thinks it should have been fought in the first place, the political mainstream. "Our courts will simply not accept that they have the power to overturn political decisions," he said. "That's what the Chris Clay decision was all about." This is how Hamon ended up as delegate to the recent Liberal convention. He went there to push the drug question, and in a nationally televised broadcast, probably watched by dozens across the country, he faced Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and asked him point-blank: "Mr Prime Minister, I had a dream that you and the Liberal Party would lead us out this morass of death and destruction that has been our nation's drug policy." Then, pausing for effect, he added, "Was I wrong?" Chrétien didn't answer. He glared at Hamon a moment, then without a word passed the microphone over to Justice Minister Anne McLelland. With a full five minutes of mindless rhetoric, ever mindful of the TV camera's glare, she paid glowing tribute to Hamon's long struggle and expressed her heartfelt concerns for the critical issues that he had so eloquently raised. She punctuated her remarks with equally heartfelt assurances that she and her cabinet colleagues would earnestly and urgently "study the problem." While not exactly the straight answer or ringing endorsement that he'd hoped for, Hamon, ever the good soldier, refused to criticize his Liberal colleagues. "I'm not disappointed," he said afterward. "I believe Anne McClelland has her heart in the right place and eventually she'll help our nation's drug addicts. I also believe [Health Minister] Allan Rock understands enough about the issue to finally act and he will do something soon to allow medical cannabis." He does regret that political parties and governments in general have not supported any of the numerous resolutions they have passed over the years that promised to treat drug use as a social and health problem. "Every year," he said, "there's a thousand or so heroin deaths that could have been prevented, and that hurts." Though firmly entrenched now in the political mainstream, (read: federal Liberals), Backyard Bob has the highest regard for the younger generation of cannabis advocates who are following his footsteps through the courts. "Absolutely," he says. "When it comes to the marijuana laws, I believe you should always fight. Never give in and never give up. "And if you can afford it," he adds, "make a federal case out of it." If you steal a clean slate, does it go on your record?
------------------------------------------------------------------- To Toke Or Not To Toke? ('Toronto Star' Columnist Michael Harris Says Canadian Adults Who Smoke Cannabis Should Continue To Go To Jail Because, He Asserts Without Any Credible Basis, That 'Legalization' Would Lead To More, Not Fewer Drug Users, And More Drug Addicts, And 'Child Tokers') Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 23:12:22 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Canada: To Toke Or Not To Toke? Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tim Meehan) Pubdate: Thu, Apr 2 1998 Source: Toronto Sun (Canada) Page: 18 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoSun/ Author: Michael Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org) OTTAWA -- While the south-of-49 press hunts for an American woman who hasn't slept with Bill Clinton, one of those thematic debates is stirring again like tulip bulbs in spongy gardens: The legalization of marijuana. About once a year, the toking masses gather their courage and try to persuade the rest of us that our pot laws are on a par with Salem's treatment of suspected witches or the Volstead Act: An idea whose time has come -- and, with any degree of enlightenment, will soon be gone. After years of funny, semi-persuasive and occasionally abusive e-mails from suburban outlaws, flower children grown a little droopy around the petals, and high-flying libertarians, I think I have the arguments pretty well taped. The Smoke People say marijuana is a lot less harmful than cigarettes or alcohol. I call this the Lesser of Evils argument. It is not without merit. I have never yet been accosted at a party by someone three tokes to the wind who wanted to see which one of us had a glass jaw. I have run into several drunken sots morphed into raging bulls and royal pains by too much booze. So okay. If you don't mind glassy-eyed stares and the odd non-sequitur over the chip dip, pot is less of a threat in a socialsetting than several of our official vices. Big-Ticket Flop Another point made by the Legalizers is that the war on drugs is pretty much a big-ticket flop -- something like welfare or regional industrial expansion. Despite billions spent on drug enforcement, including sending smugglers to the slammer until their bond issues mature, the hills are alive with the smell of Mary Jane. Most times when something doesn't work, we pack it in. So, the Legalizers argue, why not pack in the War on Drugs and usher in a Peace for Addicts? If you buy weed at a Marijuana Control Board, no more undercover cops would get shot in the face. Nor would junkies be abandoned to the mean streets of their addictions and the heartless manipulation of pushers. Nor would 10-year-olds die in the crossfire of drug turf wars. And so the mantra goes. The highest merit of the They'll Do It Anyway argument is how those billions saved from futile policing will be put to work rescuing the addicted. You know, the way part of the casino take goes to pay for the treatment of compulsive gamblers. Legalizers say that there is a better use for all that drug money than building villas for smugglers. It should be plowed back into the health-care system. Although a bit perverse, the logical figure-eight of the Smoke People ends something like this: By legalizing a product we recognize as pernicious, we actually improve the plight of those consumers being consumed by their chosen product. Then there is the Pot Never Did Anything To Me argument. This is basically unanswerable. Over the years, I have had people tell me that under, or is that above, the influence, they don't stumble through every day like a stoned zombie. They are potheads in moderation. They can handle their pot. Others use the Pot Actually Makes Me Better argument. Much like all those would-be Jacques Villeneuves who think they handle the 401 better after a blast or two of tequila. I have even heard from those who claim that pot makes them better lovers, better drivers, better writers, better putters and much, much happier dudes, until the elevator that took them up returns to the ground floor and things look just as ratty as they did before they struck that match. I do not wish to rain on their smoke-ringed parades. Perhaps everything they say is true. Perhaps perception is reality. Perhaps, breaking the law agrees with them. Who knows? But this argument is like the obverse of the one that says one reefer and you're on your way to a cold-water heroin flat. A little too extreme to win converts to the A Toke-a-Day Keeps the Whatever Away school of thought. Finally, there is the Last Rights argument, the notion that if pot can ease the pain of the sick and dying, then it ought to be legalized for medical use. Hence all those pot clubs where the infirm can send what ails them up in a puff of smoke. Rosie DiManno of The Star is to be praised for pushing the logic of the Legalizers to the limit. She recently wrote that all drugs should be legalized, working on the theory that most of the arguments for legalizing marijuana work for heroin, cocaine and speed. By across-the-board legalization, we exchange a massive criminal justice problem for an enormous health crisis. Of course, both are insoluble. Social Fatigue To some, that is a fair exchange. After all, if there was no speed limit, there would be no more speeding violations, right? To me, it is a staggering cop-out. Despite all the bobbing and weaving, the driving force behind legalizing marijuana and other drugs comes down to two things: Deep social fatigue with the dirty work of standing up to the things that are killing us -- and the tragically unhip view that drugs are just another form of good, clean fun. Like booze or cigarettes, except not so bad for you. I admit that impairing your wits is big business in these sour and soulless times. But it pays to remember that there is only one reason people smoke dope: To feel good without actually doing anything in particular to justify or sustain that feeling. Dope is a magic potion that temporarily transforms dumpy lives. The Blue Jays are back in business, so let me give it to you in baseball parlance. It is the view that you can win the game on a series of unearned runs. Just what we need, yes? Another activity that fuels a vapid, institutional sense of entitlement in an age when individual responsibility is viewed as a maudlin holdover from the moralizing ages. But even the people who have tried to give me a stern toking-to over the years admit that with legalization, there will be more, not fewer, drug users. And more drug addicts. And child tokers. Is the goal then to create a society where substance abusers can get an early start and look forward to a comfortable old age? In the old days, the Mob ran drugs, booze and gambling. It was then called organized crime. As we nose toward the millennium, governments have muscled in on most of the Mob's old territory. You could call that progress, after a joint or two. Michael Harris can be e-mailed at email@example.com or visit his home page. He is The Sun's national affairs columnist. Letters to the editor should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dope, Booze Pedlars Targeted By Natives ('Calgary Herald' Says The Iskut Aboriginal Community Consultative Group Has Tried Putting Up Public Notices And Even Sending Letters To Sellers Of Alcohol And Other Illegal Drugs - Confrontation Is Next) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 12:56:06 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Canada: Dope,Booze Pedlars Targeted By Natives Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "D. Harper" Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 Source: Calgary Herald (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/ DOPE,BOOZE PEDLARS TARGETED BY NATIVES ISKUT, B.C .- Drug dealers and bootleggers in this tiny northwestern British Columbia town have been given notice-stop doing business or get out. Fed up with drug and alcohol problems in their village, the Iskut Aboriginal Community Consultative Group decided to go directly after criminals by putting up public notices. When that didn't work, they sent letters to dealers. And if the letters don't work, group members say they'll confront the culprits in public-perhaps even camp out at suspected drug houses to deter sales and shame dealers. "We know who they are and we aren't going to take it any more," says group member Sally Harvard. In the community of about 350 residents, said Harvard, there are 15 to 20 bootleggers and drug dealers. The nearest liquor store is in Dease Lake, an hour's drive away. "You go out at night and see kids as young as 11 stoned out of their minds or drunk." she said. "It's pretty disheartening to see things like that. We want to put a stop to it. We will put a stop to it." The public notices warned dealers they'd be confronted. "We're tired of the alcohol and drug abuse that has been passed down from generation to generation," the notes said. "It's time we break that cycle together." They didn't work. So the group sent letters to dealers saying they'd face escalating action. The next step is calling dealers to a meeting with the group, the band council and the RCMP. If that doesn't work, the group hasn't ruled out public confrontation or banishing them from the reserve. "If all else fails we may have to," said Harvard. Similar community groups have been started in other northern towns and they all work closely with police. Const. Jim Cooley of Dease Lake RCMP said getting communities involved is the only way to solve the problems of drug and alcohol abuse.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Bumper Pot Crops Keep 'Green Team' Busy (Letter To Editor Of 'Calgary Herald' About Police Efforts To Eradicate Indoor Marijuana Cultivation Wonders 'Why We Are Supposed To Perceive A House Sitting Quietly As A Problem' When The Problem Is Crimes With Real Victims) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 12:56:06 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Calgary Herald Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "D. Harper" Source: Calgary Herald (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 To The Editor: Re: "Bumper pot crops keep 'Green Team' busy," Calgary Herald, March 15. You neglect to mention why we are supposed to perceive a house sitting quietly (maybe even empty) in our neighbourhood as a 'problem'. The real problem is - murder, assaults, rapes, house break-ins, stolen cars and other crimes where personal safety or property is violated. Why are we supposed to make no distinction between victimless crime and real crime ? Can the police explain why we are supposed to forsake all our moral and legal obligations to our neighbours, and trespass and snoop around their yards in order to "Look for the electricity meter in the back to be altered" Inciting this type of behaviour among neighbours does nothing but breed more fear, distrust and violence that is likely to result in more crime. D.L. Harper
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Seized On Reserve ('Calgary Herald' Says More Than 20 Officers Raided Two Houses Tuesday In Kahnawake, On The Mohawk Indian Reservation, Seizing 1,500 Cannabis Plants, Arresting Seven People And Shooting Two Rottweillers) Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 23:56:06 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Canada: Pot Seized On Reserve Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "D. Harper" Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 Source: Calgary Herald (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/ Note: In Brief - from Herald News Service POT SEIZED ON RESERVE Mohawk peacekeepers in Kahnawake seized 1,500 pot plants, arrested seven people and shot two Rottweillers on Tuesday in the biggest drug operation on the reserve. "It's a damaging blow to the drug trade in Kahnawake." Chief Warren Lahache said. "And we're not finished yet. We still have several other dealers under surveillance." Armed with search warrants, more than 20 officers raided two houses.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Trade With PNG Funded By Our Guns (Australia's 'Daily Telegraph' Alleges Australian Weapons Are Being Swapped For Drugs In A Growing Trade Which Is Arming Papua New Guinean Rebels And Seeing High-Grade Cannabis Flood The Local Market) Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 18:45:33 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Australia: Drug Trade With PNG Funded By Our Guns Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Russell, Ken KW" Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Charles Miranda DRUG TRADE WITH PNG FUNDED BY OUR GUNS AUSTRALIAN guns are being swapped for drugs in a growing trade which is arming Papua New Guinean rebels and seeing high-grade cannabis flood the local market. The Daily Telegraph has learned there has been an increase in the black market sale of weapons to PNG since the introduction of new national gun laws and the end of the gun buyback scheme. Police suspect the major off-shore buyers are rebel groups, such as the Free Papua Movement, and local criminal gangs. According to a Federal Police intelligence report, the outlawed weapons are being bought and swapped with Papua New Guineans and other islanders for large quantities of cannabis. Criminal syndicates in Australia then distribute the drugs along the eastern seaboard. Recent seizures included a .357 Magnum revolver, pump-action shotgun, pistols, SKK and SKS Chinese assault rifles and hundreds of kilos of cannabis. There are currently more than a dozen Australians and PNG locals facing court for possession of some of the weapons. The seizures were made by the AFP and other agencies in Australia and throughout the complex archipelago of islands including Badu, Daru, Horn and Boigu. AFP Northern Region general manager Mick Keelty said while drugs entered the country everywhere, including Sydney Airport, the Torres Strait was of concern. He said PNG had an established market for firearms and the organised trade was hard to detect because of geography. PNG's western province is only a few kilometres from the Cape and shallow waters are easily crossed. "The trafficking of cannabis in exchange for firearms following the completion of the buyback scheme has seen a marked rise in the exchange price," he said. "But these are not the only concerns of a law-enforcement nature. The fact that an infrastructure exists to facilitate cultivation, packaging, transporting and distribution should be a warning not to be complacent." The AFP will now base an agent on Thursday Island and conduct a series of island operations involving police and Customs officers from Australia and PNG. AFP intelligence also suggested problems were being compounded by lack of PNG police resources and an expected tide of refugees, as a result of the Asian economic meltdown, landing in Australia. Justice Minister Amanda Vanstone said steps were being taken to close the guns, drugs and illegal migrants breaches. "We are concerned by that and we are taking appropriate steps to stop the practice," she said yesterday.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Inquiry Planned ('The Dominion' In Wellington Says The Health Select Committee For New Zealand's Parliament Will Hold An Inquiry Into The Effects Of Cannabis On Mental Health, The Committee Chairman Announced Yesterday) Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 21:50:47 +1200 (NZST) To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Subject: NZ: Cannabis inquiry planned Source: The Dominion (Wellington), p.2 Pubdate: Thursday, 2 April 1998 Cannabis inquiry planned Parliament's health select committee would hold an inquiry into the effects of cannabis, committee chairman Brian Neeson said yesterday. "Given the current level of public interest in the cannabis issue, the intention of the inquiry is to gain as much information as possible about the effects of cannabis on mental health," he said. Its terms of reference would be: · The effect of cannabis on people's development. · The role of cannabis as a trigger for mental illness. · The effects of cannabis on Maori mental health. · The adequacy of services for those with drug-related mental illnesses. The committee will report to Parliament and make recommendations to the Government. The closing date for submissions is May 15. The Government has ruled out any move to decriminalise cannabis till the inquiry is carried out. Associate Health Minister Roger Sowry has dismissed a report from a group of doctors and professionals calling on the Government to legalise the drug and take control of the market. - NZPA
------------------------------------------------------------------- Probe On Cannabis Planned (Version In The New Zealand 'Press') Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 12:42:18 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: New Zealand: Probe On Cannabis Planned Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Olafur Brentmar Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 Source: The Press (NZ) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.press.co.nz/ PROBE ON CANNABIS PLANNED WELLINGTON -- Parliament's health select committee will hold an inquiry into the effects of cannabis, says committee chairman Brian Neeson. "Given the current level of public interest in the cannabis issue, the intention of the inquiry is to gain as much information as possible about the effects of cannabis on mental health," he said. All members of the cross-party committee supported the inquiry, he said. Its terms of reference would be: * The effect of cannabis on people's development. * The role of cannabis as a trigger for mental illness. * The effects of cannabis on Maori mental health. * The adequacy of services for those with drug-related mental illnesses. The committee will report to Parliament and make recommendations to the Government. Submissions will have called for and the closing date is May 15. The Government has ruled out any move to decriminalise cannabis until the inquiry is held. Associate Health Minister Roger Sowry has dismissed a report from a group of doctors and professionals calling on the Government to legalise the drug and take control of the market. The report from the Drug Policy Forum Trust says such a move would protect public health and minimise cannabis abuse. Mr Sowry said he was disappointed the report did not address or acknowledge the harmful effects of cannabis use. Drug Policy Forum Trust head Dr David Hadorn accused Mr Sowry of putting up smokescreens and stalling on the issue of cannabis law reform. He said there was plenty of research, which he had sent to Mr Sowry, which showed the health effects of cannabis were no worse than alcohol or tobacco. He said legalising cannabis would make it easier to educate and deal with health problems. -- NZPA
------------------------------------------------------------------- Smokers Queue Up In Bid To Get Tobacco Firms To Cough Up (Ireland's 'Examiner' Says Three Legal Firms In Dublin Who Are Bidding To Bring A Test Tobacco Case Into Irish Court Have Been Inundated With Queries From Addicts And Those Who Claim To Be Adversely Affected By Passive Smoking) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 19:25:35 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Ireland: Smokers Queue Up in Bid to Get Tobacco Firms to Cough Up Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke"
Source: Examiner, The (Ireland) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 Author: Neans McSweeney SMOKERS QUEUE UP IN BID TO GET TOBACCO FIRMS TO COUGH UP SMOKERS who've suffered lung and heart disorders are queuing up to take claims against the world's largest tobacco companies. Three legal firms are bidding to bring the test case into Irish courtrooms. All have been inundated with queries from addicts and those affected by passive smoking. Dublin firms, Ward & Fitzpatrick and Peter McDonnell are all choc-a-block with queries, as is Cork-based solicitor, Declan Guilfoyle. "We're getting 20 to 30 inquiries a day. We're putting our cases together but have no indication as to when the first case will be brought," explained Declan Guilfoyle. Tobacco firms have huge sums of money and solicitors know they won't want to part with it quickly. But they anticipate the test case will be brought soon and that such action will spur a further deluge of claims. "We realise all too well, that if you are dying, no amount of money will compensate. There's no way of estimating how much compensation will be awarded - it's all up to the judges. How much do you place on the value of a human life?" he added. Firms such as Guilfoyles have published special brochures explaining the claims procedures to those who believe their health has been affected by tobacco smoke. This year, smoking-related diseases will kill six times more people than in any other category of fatalities, the brochure explains. "If you have been diagnosed with a cigarette-related illness then you should immediately seek legal advice and investigate as to whether or not you would have a justifiable claim against tobacco manufacturers. Any such claim may include compensation for loss of wages, medical expenses and costs, pain and suffering and other damages. There is no exact calculation of the amount of damages that may be recovered but this will ultimately be decided by the courts," the brochure adds. Solicitors involved in the claims are liaising closely with ASH, the anti-smoking lobby. Claims are also being brought by passive smokers but it is thought those affected in the first instance will make up the bulk of the claims. The legal battles will focus on whether the disclaimer published on cigarette packets in recent years is strong enough. Little attention focused on the adverse affects of smoking on the 40's and 50's. It was only in the late 70's that the harmful affects of smoking really came to light, the solicitors claim. Cigarette firms, meanwhile, continue to insist that smoking is not as harmful to your health. The comments come as new research shows low-tar cigarettes are just as harmful as stronger brands. Smokers using low-tar brands tend to try to draw in more smoke and suffer lung disorders such as adenocarcinomas, a previously rare form of lung cancer.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Analysis Of The UNGASS PrepCom Meeting Held In Vienna March 16-18 (Written By Joep Oomen, Secretary Of ENCOD - The European NGO Council On Drugs And Development - Who Was Present In Vienna) Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 16:33:34 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Harry Bego (email@example.com) by way of Maximillien Baudelaire (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: LGL-GBL: March 16-18 UNGASS PrepCom meeting: analysis. The following important analysis of the UNGASS PrepCom meeting which was held in Vienna, March 16-18, was written by Joep Oomen, secretary of ENCOD, who was present in Vienna. If you feel any remaining hesitation about getting involved in the activities that will surround UNGASS - this is for you. Please distribute. *** EUROPEAN NGO COUNCIL ON DRUGS & DEVELOPMENT Lange Nieuwstraat 145, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium Telephone: +32 (3) 226 4511/Telefax: +32 (3) 226 3476 e-mail: email@example.com Within three months, the United Nations' General Assembly's Special Session on Drugs will take place in New York. Those of us who had the opportunity to participate in the Preparatory Conference held by the UN Narcotic Drugs Commission in Vienna around the midth of May, were able to receive a first impression of what this UNGASS will contribute to the principles of the global drugs control policy at the start of the next milennium. Before going to Vienna, we already knew that no pleasant surprise would be awaiting us. But we did not count with the fact that the experience would turn out to be terrifying. It is hard to find another word that describes the sensation one has when learning of the new plan that UNDCP's Executive Secretary, Italian Pino Arlacchi presented in Vienna to 'Eliminate coca and opium cultivation' in the next 10 years. The worst of this plan is not that it proposes seriously that it is possible to erradicate illicit cultivation entirely within a limited amount of time and without committing serious violations of the human rights of the population involved. That it does not include a single serious reference to the need of greater coherence between drugs control policy and socio-economic and financial policy in general, with the aim of eliminating the causes of millions of people's dependency of the illicit economy. Nor is the worst that this plan bases its optimism in the so-called success-stories that UNDCP and other bilateral cooperation agencies have obtained in the past years with their alternative development projects, while actually on the spot where they take place, the design and the execution of these projects are heavily criticised, not only by the beneficiaries, but also by official evaluators. It is not the worst that the authors of this plan maintain that it is possible to distinguish between commercial and peasant producer, that the first will receive the stick and the second the carrot. Meanwhile, they know very well that if something can be concluded from 35 years of fight against drugs, it is that those who receive the stick, are in majority the small and weakest links of the drugs trade chain, and that while existing power relations do not change, especially not in developing countries, this will stay the same. Nor is the worst that in this plan, the cannabis plant is not even mentioned. Apparently, UNDCP is yet preparing itself for the inevitable legalisation of the consumption of this plant, just like the British American Tobacco company is doing. According to the British newspaper The Observer, the BAT would be ready to process and distribute cigarettes with marihuana in them. Therewith, the scenario that is most feared by Third World countries would become real: a product whose cultivation is already dominated by farmers in the industrialised world (Holland, USA) would be legalised and even promoted, while the cultivation of products that still mainly proceed from the South would continue to be repressed. But this aspect should also wake up those consumer countries where so-called 'harm reduction' strategies are practicised. Here, there is increasing recognition for the fact that the problem is not so much formed by the substance, but in the person and his/her surroundings. Or said in a different way, elimination of the supply would not make sense if there is not found a way to regulate the demand. That Mr. Arlacchi's plan contains these messages is not the worst. What is the worst, is that the international community accepts it. In the meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, not a single governmental delegation, not even those from the Third World, was really criticising the plan. This implies two things: either the delegates believe in the senario that is drawn for them, which means that there is a serious lack of information between governmental civil servants at resp. high and low level. Or, they do not believe it, but they support it because they do not dare to say the other thing aloud. In reality, it does not matter which of the two things is going on. What matters is that when they approve a plan that wants to erradicate totally in 10 years, the governments of the world will make themselves accomplices of another ten years filled with misery, human rights violations and more obstacles to real solutions. That is, it seems right to start doubting if the governments of the world really care about finding a solution to the problem. By Joep Oomen. EUROPEAN NGO COUNCIL ON DRUGS & DEVELOPMENT Lange Nieuwstraat 145, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium Telephone: +32 (3) 226 4511/Telefax: +32 (3) 226 3476 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org *** The Legalize! Initiative is the international action forum for all people concerned about the effects of current drug policy. Join us at http://www.legalize.org. email@example.com is our general discussion list. For introductory information, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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