Portland NORML News - Thursday, April 2, 1998

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)

Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 19:22:37 EST
Subject: NORML WPR 4/2/98 (II)

T 202-483-8751 o F 202-483-0057
Internet http://www.norml.org

. . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana

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

"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

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:


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."



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: stanford@crrh.org
From: "D. Paul Stanford" 
Reply-To: "stanford@crrh.org" 
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:
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


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 (todd@a-vision.com)
To: Phil Smith (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org)
Subject: HELP!
Link to earlier story
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: drctalk@drcnet.org Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org 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 (todd@a-vision.com)
To: Phil Smith (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org)
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

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

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

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: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: rose@sonic.net (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: letters@pressdemo.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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: News Analysis: Medical Privacy at Issue in Pot Club Records Seizure
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World"  and "Tom O'Connell"

Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998
Author: Sabin Russell, Chronicle Staff Writer


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

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

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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: S.J. Pot Club Limits Clients
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (jwjohnson@netmagic.net)
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998
Author: Bill Romano - Mercury News Staff Writer


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

"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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Saga Starts With Expired Car Tag, Ends in Tragedy
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998
Author: Kim Christensen and Stuart Pfeifer-Orange County Register


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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Slain Teen Was Eager To Inform, Chief Says
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998
Author: Stuart Pfeifer and Kim Christensen


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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US OK: PUB LTE: Reign of Terror
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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/


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')
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 12:56:06 -0800 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: Olafur Brentmar Subject: MN: US OK: Substance Abuses Hurt Economy, Study Shows Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: OK NORML Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 Source: Tulsa World (OK) Contact: tulsaworld@mail.webtek.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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US OK: New Sentencing Law May Not Curb Crime, Task Force Is Told
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: OK NORML 
Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998
Source: Tulsa World (OK)
Contact: tulsaworld@mail.webtek.com
Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com
Author: Chuck Ervin World Capitol Bureau 4/2/98


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

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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US OK: Patrol Seizes Cocaine Load -- Haul Worth Millions
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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


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

''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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: davewest 
Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998
Source: St Paul Pioneer Press
Author: Andrew Blasko, Associated Press
Contact: letters@pioneerpress.com
Website: http://www.pioneerplanet.com/


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US WI: One Dead, One Critical in North Side Shooting
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998
Author: Jessica McBride of the Journal Sentinel staff


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

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

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Dick Evans" 
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Author: Paul Langner, Globe Staff
Contact: letters@globe.com
Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/
Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998


The Navy presented its charges yesterday against a recruiter who alleged
illegal recruiting practices in the Holyoke station and who now faces a

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

''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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US FL: Police Stop of Black Cop is Ruled Unlawful
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998


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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Mike Gogulski
Pubdate: 2 Apr 1998
Source: Scripps Howard News Service
Author: Russ Freyman, Governing Magazine


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

"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

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

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: mattalk@islandnet.com
Newshawk: carey.ker@utoronto.ca
Source: NOW, April 2, 1998,
Contact: letters@now.com

Please note: This was reprinted from SALON magazine

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


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

"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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US: Tobacco Bill Clears Senate Panel
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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


$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

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

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

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

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

"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: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
Subject: DrugSense FOCUS Alert Needle Exchange


DrugSense FOCUS Alert #58

HHS (Health and Human Suffering) Secretary Donna Shalala on another junket??



National Coalition to Save Lives Now


April 1 and no determination on needle exchange?

Join thousands from all over the US and Call HHS and the White House and


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




EVERY DAY 33 more American men, women and children will contract HIV. Will
this administration continue to do nothing?



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 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

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: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: adbryan@onramp.net
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: documents@gao.gov
To: daybook@www.gao.gov
Subject: Newly Available GAO Reports and Testimonies, April 2, 1998
Sender: owner-daybook@www.gao.gov
Reply-To: documents@gao.gov

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.


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:


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:


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: majordomo@www.gao.gov
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: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
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: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Pot trial of MS sufferer on hold
Date: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 08:29:30 -0800
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: London Free Press
Contact: letters@lfpress.com
Pubdate: April 2, 1998
Author: Don Murray -- Free Press Court Reporter


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.


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.


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

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: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.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/


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

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

"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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Canada: To Toke Or Not To Toke?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: tim.meehan@utoronto.ca (Tim Meehan)
Pubdate: Thu, Apr 2 1998
Source: Toronto Sun (Canada)
Page: 18
Contact: editor@sunpub.com
Website: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoSun/
Author: Michael Harris (mharris@istar.ca)

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

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

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 mharris@istar.ca or visit his home page.
He is The Sun's national affairs columnist. Letters to the editor should be
sent to editor@sunpub.com.

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Canada: Dope,Booze Pedlars Targeted By Natives
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "D. Harper" 
Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998
Source: Calgary Herald (Canada)
Contact: letters@theherald.southam.ca
Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/


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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Calgary Herald
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "D. Harper" 
Source: Calgary Herald (Canada)
Contact: letters@theherald.southam.ca
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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Canada: Pot Seized On Reserve
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "D. Harper" 
Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998
Source: Calgary Herald (Canada)
Contact: letters@theherald.southam.ca
Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/
Note: In Brief - from Herald News Service


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Australia: Drug Trade With PNG Funded By Our Guns
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Russell, Ken KW" 
Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998
Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Contact: dtmletr@ozemail.com.au
Author: Charles Miranda


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

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

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

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: drctalk@drcnet.org, mattalk@islandnet.com, update@adca.org.au
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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: New Zealand: Probe On Cannabis Planned
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Olafur Brentmar
Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998
Source: The Press (NZ)
Contact: editorial@press.co.nz.
Website: http://www.press.co.nz/


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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Ireland: Smokers Queue Up in Bid to Get Tobacco Firms to Cough Up
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Examiner, The (Ireland)
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie
Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 1998
Author: Neans McSweeney


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

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: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Harry Bego (hbego@knoware.nl)
by way of Maximillien Baudelaire (baudmax@li.net)
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.


Lange Nieuwstraat 145, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (3) 226 4511/Telefax: +32 (3) 226 3476
e-mail: encod@glo.be

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.

Lange Nieuwstraat 145, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (3) 226 4511/Telefax: +32 (3) 226 3476
e-mail: encod@glo.be


The Legalize! Initiative is the international action forum for all
people concerned about the effects of current drug policy. Join us at
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