Portland NORML News - Thursday, April 16, 1998

NORML Weekly News (New Zealand Report Urges Government To Legalize Marijuana,
Exposes US Role In Maintaining Worldwide Prohibition; San Francisco
Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ordered Closed By Judge; Iowa Legislature
Okays Bill Enhancing Marijuana Penalties, Granting Police Power
To Drug Test Drivers; Oklahoma Rally To Be Held Monday To Address Plight
Of Medical Marijuana Patients)

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 19:14:16 EDT
Subject: NORML WPR 4/16/98 (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 16, 1998


New Zealand Report Urges Government To Legalize Marijuana,
Exposes U.S. Role In Maintaining Worldwide Prohibition

April 16, 1998, Wellington, New Zealand: Legalizing marijuana would
protect public health and raise tax revenue, according to a report
released by the New Zealand Drug Policy Forum Trust. Responding to the
report, a spokesman for the Parliament's health select committee
announced that the government will hold an inquiry into the effects and
legal status of the drug.

The NZDPFT report states that "New Zealand politicians [must] ... take
control of cannabis commerce." It recommends the government to establish
a "Tobacco, Alcohol, and Cannabis Authority" to develop and enforce
"regulations concerning the production, distribution, sale, and use of
these three substances." Regulations would include age and point-of-sale
restrictions, and providing legal penalties for "specified forms of
misbehavior caused by deliberate taking of a drug." Cultivation of
marijuana for personal use and non-profit distribution of the drug would
not fall under the commission's authority.

"New Zealand must learn to live with cannabis," the report concludes.
"Cannabis has clearly become a part of our culture. It's responsible use
by adults should therefore be normalized."

The policy paper also highlights the role of the United States in
opposing drug reform efforts in other nations. "A related hurdle to
reforming New Zealand's cannabis policies will come in the form of
resistance from the United States," the NZDPFT states. "Whether present
day politicians can withstand such pressure on [this] issue ... remains
to be seen, but by anticipating and preparing for [it] the chances are
good that we will be 'permitted' to opt out of U.S.-inspired cannabis
policies." The report cites a 1996 meeting between the DEA and the
Australian government where U.S. officials warned the country not to
"make any radical break with the past or with our allies" on marijuana

The Drug Policy Forum Trust is composed of several highly respected
scientists and health care professionals.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML
Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. A copy of the report is available online
at: http://www.nzdf.org.nz/1998.htm.


San Francisco Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ordered Closed By Judge

April 16, 1998, San Francisco, CA: A Superior Court judge granted an
injunction on Wednesday calling for the closure of California's largest
medical marijuana dispensary. Club proprietor Dennis Peron, who says his
operation serves some 9,000 patients, told reporters that he will defy
the order.

"You cannot just throw people out in the street; you cannot just stop
the will of the people," he said. "We are fighting for the will of the
people here."

Judge David Garcia said that the club overstepped the provisions of the
state's medical marijuana law that legalized the possession and
cultivation of the drug for medical use. "The Court finds uncontradicted
evidence in this record that defendant Peron is currently engaging in the
illegal sales of marijuana," Garcia declared.

Garcia's decision reversed his January 1996 ruling authorizing the club
to engage in the not-for-profit sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Garcia's earlier ruling was rejected by the state Court of Appeals,
First Appellate District.

This latest decision okays state Attorney General Dan Lungren's request
for a nuisance abatement order allowing the club to be seized and closed
by either the county sheriff or the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement.

NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said that medical
marijuana dispensaries such as the San Francisco Cultivators' Club
perform a legitimate public health service for the community. "Cannabis
buyers' clubs remain the only viable source of medical marijuana in
California short of home cultivation or purchasing marijuana on the
street," he said. "To close these clubs would force thousands of
seriously ill patients to suffer needlessly and force many patients to
enter the black market or go without the marijuana they need to survive."

For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @
(202) 483-5500 or Dale Gieringer of California NORML @ (415) 563-5858.
Dennis peron may be contacted at Californians for Compassionate Use @
(415) 621-3986.


Iowa Legislature Okays Bill Enhancing Marijuana Penalties, Granting
Police Power To Drug Test Drivers

April 16, 1998, Des Moines, IA: The Iowa Legislature overwhelmingly
approved a bill enhancing marijuana penalties for repeat offenders, and
enabling police officers to conduct drug tests on drivers who appear to
be operating under the influence of marijuana. Senate Bill 2391 now
awaits action from Republican Gov. Terry Branstad.

Carl Olsen, head of Iowa NORML, called the measure "incredibly harsh"
and cautioned that the new law could entangle many casual marijuana users
in the criminal justice system. "People who now face a maximum six month
jail term in Iowa for the simple possession of small amounts of marijuana
will face two years in prison and a $5,000 fine for third and subsequent
offenses," he said.

Senate Bill 2391 also allows law enforcement to check motorists for the
presence of marijuana metabolites -- presumably by urine or blood tests
-- if there is a reasonable suspicion to believe the motorist is driving
under the influence of the drug. Because the law sets no legal threshold
for drugs other than alcohol, S.B. 2391 states that the detection of any
amount of marijuana metabolites is grounds for obtaining a conviction of
driving while intoxicated. The law fails to specify how or where police
will administer the drug tests.

"The presence of non-psychoactive marijuana metabolites in the urine is
not evidence of impairment," warned Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director
of The NORML Foundation. St. Pierre noted that metabolites often remain
in the urine for days and sometimes weeks after the intoxicating effects
of marijuana have worn off. "You could have someone who smoked marijuana
on Sunday be arrested on Tuesday and charged with driving under the
influence," he said.

Attorney Tanya Kangas, Director of Litigation for The NORML Foundation,
questioned the constitutionality of the drug-testing proposal.
"Implementing S.B. 2391 will violate privacy and search protections," she
said. "Blood tests are excessively invasive; urine tests do not indicate
impairment and cannot be collected consistent with constitutional
standards for traffic stop searches. We can restrict people from driving
while impaired without violating the Constitution as this law proposes."

For more information, please contact either Carl Olsen of Iowa NORML @
(515) 262-6957 or Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500.


Oklahoma Rally To Be Held Monday To Address Plight Of Medical Marijuana

April 16, 1998, Oklahoma City, OK: A demonstration will be held on
Monday at the Oklahoma State Capitol to bring attention to the plight of
medical marijuana patients. The rally will focus on Will Foster, a 39
year old Tulsa native, who is currently serving a 93 year jail sentence
for cultivating marijuana for his personal medical use. Foster was a
first time offender who suffers from chronic rheumatoid arthritis. State
law did not permit him the opportunity to raise a defense of medical
necessity at his trial.

Adam Smith, assistant director of the Drug Reform Coordination Network,
Will's wife Meg Foster, Michael Pearson of Oklahoma NORML, and Michael
Camfield of the American Civil Liberties Union, will speak at the event,
which is scheduled to be filmed by the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

For more information, please contact either Michael Pearson of Oklahoma
NORML @ (405) 840-4367 or Adam Smith of DRC Net @ (202) 293-8340.



McMinnville - Drug Team Tallies Arrests (Salem, Oregon, 'Statesman Journal'
Says The Yamhill County Interagency Narcotics Team Arrested 28 Suspects
On 64 Drug-Related Charges During The First Quarter Of 1998 -
To Report Suspected Drug Activity In Confidence,
Call The Team's Tip Line, 503-472-6565)

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 07:47:34 -0700
From: Paul Freedom (nepal@teleport.com)
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

The Statesman Journal
Salem, Oregon
April 16, 1998


The Yamhill County Interagency Narcotics Team
arrested 28 suspects on 64 drug-related charges during
the first quarter of 1998, officials said Tuesday.

Through March, the team seized 2 pounds 12 ounces
of marijuana, nearly 4 ounces of methamphetamine, 1.2
grams of tar heroin and 125 marijuana plants.

To report suspected drug activity in confidence, call the
team's tip line, (503) 472-6565.

-- Statesman Journal Staff Reports--

Judge Orders Pot Club Closed Again ('San Francisco Examiner'
Says Superior Court Judge David Garcia On Wednesday
Ordered The San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators' Club To Close,
Citing Founder Dennis Peron's Admission He Sold Medical Marijuana
To Primary Caregivers - Peron Says He'll Appeal)

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:52:45 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Orders Pot Club Closed Again
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998
Author: Tyche Hendricks and Anastasia Hendrix of the Examiner Staff


A Superior Court judge has ordered the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators'
Club to close, saying founder Dennis Peron admitted selling marijuana to

Wednesday's ruling did not address the question of whether the club could
legally operate as a primary caregiver for its members under Proposition
215, the November 1996 medical marijuana initiative that Peron sponsored.

Instead, Judge David Garcia cited Peron's admission that he had sold
marijuana through the club to people who were acting as primary caregivers
for bedridden or hospital-bound patients. Those sales are not authorized
under any interpretation of Proposition 215 and justify an order
permanently closing the club, Garcia said.

Peron said he had no intention of shutting his operation and added that he
had halted all sales to non-patients as soon as he learned of the judge's

"There are too many technicalities (within the laws), and I never knew
(selling to primary caregivers instead of patients) was against the law,"
he said. "We'll be here until they bring the troops in."

Peron said he planned to appeal the ruling, which he blamed on Attorney
General Dan Lungren's ambition to be governor.

"This is a one-man vendetta," he said. "I know it is not over. This
scenario is going to continue until we have a new attorney general."

Lungren said the decision to shut the San Francisco club reaffirmed his
belief that marijuana clubs were illegal.

"Today's decision is based on the club's own admission that they were
selling to other cannabis buyers' clubs, which is clearly against the law,"
he said. "The only individual who can provide marijuana under state law to
another person is a primary caregiver -- a person who tends to all of an
individual's needs, not just supplying the marijuana."

Garcia ordered the operators of the Cannabis Cultivators' Club to cease
"selling, serving, storing, keeping, manufacturing, cultivating or giving
away marijuana at 1444 Market Street," and prohibits them from selling from
any location to primary caregivers.

However, the ruling says the defendants can legally cultivate and provide
marijuana to patients for whom they are bona fide primary caregivers.

Under the court order, the San Francisco sheriff is empowered to take
possession of the club's property, or, "if the sheriff declines," the state
Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement will do the job.

Sheriff Michael Hennessey said he was consulting with the city attorney to
determine whether that wording meant he had the option to decline to
enforce the order.

"If it means I'd be in contempt of the judge's order, I'll comply," he
said. "But the state has pursued this matter and has secured the order and
apparently is prepared to enforce it. I'd rather not expend local resources
on this issue if it's not required."

District Attorney Terence Hallinan was more outspoken in his dismay at the

"This is a really bad situation," he said Wednesday night, vowing to do
"whatever I can do to make sure these patients are able to legally obtain
marijuana for legitimate medical purposes."

Peron's club and five others in Northern California are also the target of
a civil suit by the U.S. Justice Department, which says they are violating
federal marijuana laws and must be closed.

The club has been allowed to operate by San Francisco authorities. But
Lungren ordered a raid in August 1996 by state agents and obtained a
criminal indictment from an Alameda County grand jury against Peron and
five others. He also got an injunction shutting the club.

Garcia let it reopen in early 1997 after passage of Prop. 215, which
allowed patients or their primary caregivers to cultivate and possess
marijuana if the drug is recommended by a doctor to ease the effects of
cancer therapy, AIDS and other illnesses. In that ruling, the judge said
the club could act as a caregiver.

The 1st District Court of Appeal then overruled Garcia and said the club
was not a primary caregiver. But the court said someone who consistently
provided care for a patient could charge for the cost of growing and
supplying marijuana, language that Peron argued would permit his club to

However, Lungren returned to Garcia's court and sought the club's immediate
closure, describing it as a drug house that could not operate legally under
Proposition 215.

Wednesday's ruling leaves open the possibility that Peron or others might
legally supply marijuana at another location to patients for whom they are
primary caregivers.

Jim Herron Zamora of The Examiner staff and the
Associated Press contributed to this report.

1998 San Francisco Examiner

Judge Orders Shutdown Of San Francisco Pot Club
('San Francisco Chronicle' Version)

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 09:46:16 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Orders Shutdown of S.F. Pot Club
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998
Author: Glen Martin, Chronicle Staff Writer


Organization's founder says he'll keep selling

In a huge blow to the medical marijuana movement, a San Francisco Superior
Court judge yesterday ordered the immediate closure of San Francisco's
Cannabis Cultivators Club, the nation's largest dispenser of medicinal pot.

Superior Court Judge David Garcia rejected the argument of the club's
founder, Dennis Peron, that the mass sale of medical marijuana was legal
under Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative passed by state
voters in 1996.

Reached at the club yesterday, Peron sounded shaken, sometimes on the verge
of tears.

``This isn't the greatest day in my life,'' he said, ``but it gives me
resolve to fight all the more.''

Peron said the club would continue to operate in spite of Garcia's orders.

``There are sick people living in this building,'' he said. ``This is their
social club, the only place they have to go. We serve 9,000 people here. If
(narcotics agents) want to close it, they're going to have to bring in the
tanks and stage another Waco.''

The San Francisco Sheriff's Department has proved unwilling in the past to
shut medical marijuana clubs, so any action would probably fall to state

Matt Ross, a spokesman for Attorney General Dan Lungren, said he did not
know when or if state agents would move to close down the club.

In 1996, before the passage of Proposition 215, state narcotics officers
shut the club, on 1444 Market St., during a raid. A criminal case is still
pending against Peron and several co-defendants as a result of that action.

Before yesterday's ruling, Peron had argued that he could provide marijuana
to sick and injured people because he was a ``primary caregiver'' as
defined by the language of the initiative.

But Garcia said that only patients and their immediate caregivers could
possess and cultivate pot under Proposition 215. Under his ruling,
marijuana clubs and other outlets do not fall within that category, and pot
may not be exchanged between one caregiver and another.

Garcia ruled that the evidence that Peron was engaging in the illegal sale
of marijuana ``was uncontradicted.'' And he granted a nuisance abatement
order that allows either the San Francisco County Sheriff's Department or
the California Bureau of Narcotics to close the club and seize its

Peron said the judge's ruling is the latest in a series of attempts to
undermine the will of the voters.

``It's all this technicality crap,'' he said. ``They hinge the whole thing
on `caregivers.' It's not about caregivers. It's about a system that won't
give up -- it's about automatic hate.''

Peron said that as he understands the judge's orders, ``we can do what
we're doing as long as we are being reimbursed directly by the patients,
not other caregivers.''

Lungren said Garcia's decision was based on admissions by San Francisco
Cannabis Club staff members that they were selling to other clubs.

``That's clearly against the law,'' he said. ``(Under state law), the only
individual who can provide marijuana to another person is a primary
caregiver, a person who attends to all an individual's needs, not just the

Lungren said he wanted to put the debate about cannabis clubs behind him
and instead finance studies to determine whether marijuana has any genuine
medical efficacy.

Ross, the spokesman for Lungren, said state agents would not move against
primary caregivers who were legitimately growing pot specifically for their

``We've said in the past that we wouldn't do that,'' he said.

San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan expressed dismay at the
court order.

``I'm afraid we'll have a burst of illegal marijuana dealing in the city,''
Hallinan said. ``It's a sad situation.''

1998 San Francisco Chronicle

Judge Orders Closure Of Marijuana Club ('Orange County Register' Version)

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:58:17 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Orders Closure Of Marijuana Club
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, 16 Apr 1998


A judge ordered San Francisco's largest medical marijuana club closed
Wednesday, saying founder Dennis Peron has admitted selling marijuana to

Superior Court Judge David Garcia sidestepped the question of whether the
Cannabis Cultivators' Club could operate legally as a "primary caregiver"
for the club's 9,000 members under Proposition 215, the 1996 medical
marijuana initiative.

Instead, Garcia cited Peron's admission that he had sold marijuana to
people who were acting as primary caregivers for bedridden or hospital-bound
patients. Those sales are not authorized under Prop. 215, Garcia said.

Marvin Chavez's Trial (Update From Orange County, California, Correspondent
Notes The Co-Founder Of The Orange County Cannabis Co-op Is Being Held
In Jail On $100,000 Bail - Body-Neck Brace Disallowed
Because It Could Be Used As A Weapon - Next Hearing May 7)

From: FilmMakerZ (FilmMakerZ@aol.com)
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 21:12:11 EDT
Subject: Marvin Chavez's trial

Marvin Chavez was in court again today for charges pertaining to his
involvement with the Orange County Cannabis Co-op. He is being held in
custody, and bail was set at $100,000. It looks as if they are going to
combine Marvin's case and that of Jack Shachter, who was also arrested on
April 9, and is still in custody. There have been several additional charges
brought against Marvin since his arrest.

The DA, Carl Armbrust, was incompassionate, as usual. He had a warrant issued
for the arrest of one ill patient who had been subpoenaed but wasn't in court.

Marvin didn't look very well. He appeared to be in a lot of pain and was
quite pale. He is senselessly suffering in jail. He normally wears a body-neck
brace, but hasn't been allowed to have it since his incarceration because the
jail personnel say it could be used as a weapon!

Club members are looking for funds to post Marvin's bail. If you have
information on any organization which may be able to help, it would be

Marvin is scheduled to appear in court in Orange County again on Thursday, May

On 4-20 'Politically Incorrect' Smokes (Los Angeles Cancer Patient
And Medical Marijuana Defendant Todd McCormick To Appear
With Actor And Hemp Activist Woody Harrelson On ABC's 'Politically Incorrect
With Bill Maher' Monday Night, April 20)
Link to transcript
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 14:26:10 -0700 From: Todd McCormick Subject: On 4-20 Politically Incorrect Smokes Dear Friends, This is just a little note to let you all know that on Monday, April 20th, Woody (Harrelson) and I will be doing Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. Oh and the subject will be, Hmmm, let me see, Cannabis! Politically Incorrect is aired on ABC (owned by Disney) usually at midnight across the Nation. Hey friends in Holland, does it make it to your tv? Also by the way, Peter Jennings is rearing his 'Pot of Gold' Special about growing good old grass on Saturday April 18th, also on ABC, is Disney trying to tell us something? An hour of television really worth watching. And I believe Tuesday PBS is airing a program on the war on drugs, or the war on marijuana. I'm not sure which topic but check your local listings. Peace for now, Todd *** Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 16:37:21 EDT Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org From: Todd McCormick (todd@a-vision.com) To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: POLITICALLY INCORRECT WILL BE... Dear Friends, I was just informed by the folks at Politically Incorrect that the episode we are shooting today will be aired May 14th, 1998. Because Woody has been so busy and difficult to schedule they are filming two shows today. So re-set those VCRs to this new date. Peace, Todd

Court Releases Police Transcripts In Slaying Of Teen Drug Informant
('San Diego Union Tribune' Quotes The Lawyer For The Mother Of Slain
And Tortured 17-Year-Old Chad MacDonald Saying At A News Conference
Yesterday That The Transcripts Of Brea, California, Police Recordings
Support Cindy MacDonald's Story That Police Forced Chad To His Death)

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 10:02:14 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Court Releases Police Transcripts in Slaying of Teen Drug Informant
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Tom Murlowski 
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com
Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998
Author: Larry Gerber - Associated Press


SANTA ANA -- The worried mother of a 17-year-old drug informant called Brea
police after his disappearance and was told that the department wasn't
responsible, according to police transcripts cited yesterday by her

Cindy MacDonald didn't know at the time that her son Chad was already dead,
allegedly tortured and strangled by methamphetamine dealers. Two people
have been arrested.

Lawyer Lloyd Charton said at a news conference yesterday that the
transcripts of Brea police recordings released by a juvenile court judge
supported Cindy MacDonald's story that police forced Chad to his death. She
maintains they pressed him to snitch on dealers instead of putting him in
rehabilitation after his arrest for methamphetamine possession.

Brea Police Chief William Lentini said some of the juvenile court records
-- mainly audio tape transcripts -- were released only to the family and
not to police.

"Until we know specifically what has been made public, we have no way of
knowing if we would be in violation of the court order by commenting,"
Lentini said.

He added La Brea police had nothing to do with the death.

The case has touched off debate about using minors for police work.

Cindy MacDonald gave written consent to the undercover work. And police
maintain the boy wasn't working for them when he was killed because a
second drug arrest had already led to his dismissal as an informant.

Chad MacDonald's body was found March 3 after he and a girlfriend visited a
drug house in Norwalk. The girl was beaten, raped and shot. She survived.

Originally arrested Jan. 6, MacDonald made one supervised methamphetamine
buy for Brea police and gave other information on drug dealers, police
records say.

When he was arrested again Feb. 19, Chad told police word was out that he
was a snitch, according to the transcripts.

"I've already been harassed, like majorly," he tells officers. "I been hit
over the head with a glass. My tires have been slashed."

The family had arranged drug rehabilitation outside California, Charton
said. Cindy MacDonald alluded to rehab when speaking with police Lt. Billy
Hutchinson shortly before Chad's body was found, according to the

"When I was brought down to that station I should have picked him (up) and
removed him from (the) state . . . rather than letting him do this," she

"Well, let me tell you something, Cindy," Hutchinson says. "He was mixed up
with these people before the Brea Police Department got involved. So don't
even allude, don't even suggest, that we had something to do with this."

Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.

Company Starts Test Of Cocaine Vaccine ('Reuters' Notes ImmuLogic
In Massachusetts, With NIDA Funding, Has Started Phase I Safety Tests
Of A Vaccine Purported To Prevent Users From Getting High -
NIDA Believes 10 Percent Of All People Who Try Cocaine
Eventually Become Addicted)

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:44:22 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Company Starts Test of Cocaine Vaccine
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. biotechnology company said Thursday it was
starting tests on a cocaine vaccine that would stop users getting a high
from the drug. Massachusetts-based ImmuLogic said it was starting Phase I
safety tests of the vaccine, which it said had shown promise in trials
using rats.

``The vaccine is intended to be used as part of a comprehensive treatment
program to prevent relapse. We hope that this vaccine will provide
effective therapy for the treatment of the serious disease of cocaine
addiction,'' Dr. Joseph Marr, ImmuLogic's president, said in a statement.

``The idea behind it is that the vaccine will induce antibodies that will
recognize cocaine,'' Barbara Fox, vice-president of immunology at the firm,
said in a telephone interview.

``If the patient then uses cocaine, the antibody binds the drug and cocaine
can't get into the patient's brain. The patient can't get high.''

Studies have shown that cocaine acts on dopamine, a neurotransmitter that
carries signals between brain cells and which is important to movement and
motivation. High levels of dopamine create feelings of euphoria.

Cocaine blocks the re-uptake of dopamine, keeping it from being absorbed
back into cells and thus keeping more of it around for longer.

In 1995 a team at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California,
said they had created an anti-cocaine vaccine using a chemical very similar
to cocaine, known as a conjugate, to create antibodies against the drug.

``(Ours) is a very similar sort of approach,'' Fox said.

The ImmuLogic vaccine is synthesized from a derivative of cocaine, which is
attached to a protein and to alum, a chemical commonly used in vaccines.
The identity of the protein carrier is being kept secret by the company.

Fox said the vaccine had shown good results in rats. ``In animal
experiments it's been able to prevent rats from taking cocaine, so we think
it's all very encouraging,'' she said.

Test rats addicted to cocaine and trained to self-administer it by pressing
a lever stopped doing so once immunized with the vaccine.

``We think that's a pretty good model,'' Fox said.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is helping fund the study. NIDA
estimates that 10 percent of people who try cocaine go on to become
addicted. Surveys show some 22 million Americans have tried the drug.

Sources - Needle-Exchange Funding Ban To Be Lifted (CNN
Cites Unnamed 'Sources' Who Say Clinton Administration
Will Override General McCaffrey's Objections And Allow Funding
For Needle Exchanges)

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 21:51:29 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Dave Fratello 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: CNN: Needle funding ban to be lifted

(from CNN website)

Sources: Needle-exchange funding ban to be lifted

April 16, 1998
Web posted at: 6:02 p.m. EDT (2202 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Clinton administration is poised to lift a ban on
using federal funds to pay for needle exchange programs, designed to stop the
spread of HIV among intravenous drug users, CNN has learned.

However, individuals close to the issue say the decision was made over the
objections of White House drug policy director Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who, in a
letter to Congress last month, said that "we owe our children an
unambiguous 'no use' message."

Sources say that an announcement on lifting the 10-year-old ban could come
as soon as Friday. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala signed
off on the change and forwarded it to the White House for final approval,
sources say.

However, an aide to Shalala denies that any final decision has been made.

Critics of needle exchange programs believe they help facilitate drug use
by addicts.

However, several scientific studies have shown that the programs reduce the
rate of HIV transmission among addicts without increasing their drug use.

About 80 needle exchange programs are operating around the country, according
to the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, which runs one of those programs.
However, none of those programs can use federal money to pay for clean needles
that are distributed to addicts.

Deadly Prescriptions ('San Francisco Chronicle' Belatedly Notes Report
In 'Journal Of The American Medical Association' Finding An Average
Of 106,000 Patients Die In American Hospitals Every Year
From Adverse Reactions To Prescription Medicines)

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 09:50:07 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Deadly Prescriptions
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998


IS THERE any place left that's safe?

Now they tell us an average of 106,000 patients die in American hospitals
every year from adverse reactions to prescribed medications.

The Journal of the American Medical Association reported this week on the
lethal side effects of prescribed drugs, and said another 2.2 million
patients suffer serious, but nonfatal reactions to medications approved by
their physicians.

But the sickening and fatal drug reactions were not the fault of physicians
who prescribe the medicines or patients who take them, wrote Dr. Bruce
Pomeranz, principal author of JAMA article. He said the deaths occur
because virtually all medications can have side effects and some are fatal
even in proper doses.

``We're not saying, don't take drugs. They have wonderful benefits,'' said
Pom eranz, a neuroscience professor at the University of Toronto. ``But
what we're arguing is that there should be increased awareness also of side
effects, which until now have not been too well understood.''

But it's not much comfort to the 35 million patients admitted to U.S.
hospitals, when 7 percent of them experience side effects from their

This is a problem too long ignored by the medical industry, especially when
hospitals have the ability to use computers to monitor patients, their
reactions to their medications and changes in lab test results.

It is only at the hospital level that tracking systems work, but few
hospitals have them, according to doctors familiar with such computerized
setups. With proper tracking, many dangerous side effects are preventable.
Some medicines have safer alternatives and harmful interactions between
drugs can be more carefully avoided. But until such prudent precautions are
taken in all hospitals, most patients are left with a Hobson's choice --
refuse to take their medicine or risk an adverse reaction or even death.

1998 San Francisco Chronicle

Drug Use At Border Concerns Authorities ('Orange County Register'
Refuses To Acknowledge The Drug War's Role In Exacerbating
Illegal Hard-Drug Use At The Mexican Border Town Of San Luis Rio Colorado)

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:41:54 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Mexico: Drug Use At Border Concerns Authorities
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, 16 Apr 1998
Author: Tracey Eaton - The Dallas Morning News


Mexican town tries to deal with increases in walkthrough drug shacks and crime.

SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Mexico - Always the innovators, drug dealers in this
dusty border town have come up with a novel way to dispense
narcotics: They've opened walk-through windows.

Indeed, it isn't difficult to find addicts on the streets of San Luis, with
some 100 shooting galleries, rundown shacks and abandoned houses where
users inject drugs.

The customer walks up to an abandoned house, forks over $10 or $12, sticks
his arm through an opening and some anonymous soul on the other side
injects him with his drug of choice.

"It's a quick way to get a fix," said a 55-year-old rail-thin recovering
addict. "These little houses are open 24 hours a day. You can get drugs any

Walk-through windows and other innovations are aimed at feeding a growing
number of addicts all along Mexico's northern border. U.S. and Mexican
officials are alarmed by the trend and vow to crack down on rising
consumption as part of a new bilateral strategy.

Residents of Mexico's northern states are particularly worried about
skyrocketing drug use, according to a national survey by The Dallas Morning
News and the MORI de Mexico polling firm.

Eighty-three percent of those surveyed in the north said drug addiction had
risen. Nationally, the poll showed.

Mexican families in the north say they're also troubled by the violence
that often accompanies drug use. Seventy-five percent said they felt
threatened by rising crime rates, compared with 60 percent nationally and
as low as 43 percent in central states.

San Luis Rio Colorado, a city of 200,000 across the border from Yuma,
Ariz., in the northwestern corner of Sonora state, is one of Mexico's hot
spots for drug consumption.

A visit to some of the city's bustling drug rehabilitation centers helps
illustrate the severity of the drug problem.

Crowded and underfunded, the centers are like pockets of resistance under
attack during a war, said Luis Navarro, who directs three rehabilitation

"Addicts arrive at all hours, some crying, others yelling hysterically. And
more and more of them are teen-agers," Navarro said.

"I had one kid come in who was 14 and said he had been using heroin since
the age of 9," he said. "It's not like it was in the '70s. Back then, if
you wanted heroin, the hard stuff, you had to cross the border into Arizona
to get it. No more. Now you can get drugs on practically every street

Federal authorities say drug use has climbed not only along the border but
also in Mexico City, where an estimated 40 of every 1,000 youths used
cocaine in 1997, compared with 15 of every 1,000 in 1993.

Overall drug use in Mexico remains low.

Fewer than five in 1,000 citizens are thought to consume narcotics, as
compared with 60 in 1,000 Americans, according to U.N. estimates.

Town officials in San Luis estimate that local addicts, thought to number
at least 6,000 are responsible for 80 percent of all reported crimes.

Methamphetamine, nicknamed cristal in Mexico, is the latest rage.

"I think cristal is the most dangerous drug there is," said Navarro. "It
does more damage to your body and it does it faster. You don't need to do
drugs for 15 or 20 years to destroy your brain and end up in a nuthouse.
With cristal, you can do it in a matter of months."

Navarro runs two rehabilitation centers in San Luis and one in nearby
Mexicali, tending to about 400 patients in all.

The fee for three months' treatment is 400 pesos, or about $48. The tiny
centers are crowded and have few comforts of home.

Many of those at the center said they paid for drugs by stealing.

"I robbed my mother, my father, my brothers. I cheated people on the
streets. I was always stealing, stealing and stealing," said Alfredo
Fernandez, 35, now assistant director of the centers in San Luis.

One day, he said, his mother told him she was going to give him a present.
He thought she was going to part with some family land, which he planned to
sell to buy more drugs.

"Instead she gave me papers showing she had bought two coffins - one for me
and one for her," he said. "It was her way of telling me that if I didn't
stop using drugs, I would kill myself and that it would kill her, too. I
started to wake up after that."

Clinton's Talks To Focus On Trade, Drugs ('Associated Press' Article
In Massachusetts' 'Standard-Times' Notes US President
Has Arrived In Santiago, Chile, For A Two-Day State Visit)

Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 18:21:49 -0400
From: Mike Gogulski 
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US MA: Clinton's talks to focus on trade, drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Source: Standard-Times (MA)
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
Website: http://www.s-t.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998
Author: Eduardo Gallardo, Associated Press Writer

Clinton's talks to focus on trade, drugs

SANTIAGO, Chile -- After a two-day state visit, President Clinton will join
33 other leaders at a summit launching formal talks to establish a
free-trade area involving every nation in the Americas except Cuba.

Clinton arrived here this morning for meetings with President Eduardo Frei
and a speech Friday before a joint session of Congress in the port city of

Frei said there is no fixed agenda for his discussions with Clinton because
"relations between our countries are good enough as to allow us to discuss
any subjects."

Trade between Chile and the United States, which boomed to nearly $7 billion
in 1997, has been affected by several disputes that are expected to be
discussed by Frei and Clinton. They include dumping accusations against
Chilean salmon producers and others related to Chile's sales of grapes and
wood products.

Economy Minister Alvaro Garcia said Chile and the United States might soon
sign an accord establishing a mechanism to settle their trade differences,
but it wasn't known whether the accord would be ready for Clinton's visit.

What is sure to be signed by the presidents, Frei said, is an agreement for
cooperation in education, including an exchange of teachers and students.

Over the weekend, Frei will be host for the second Summit of the Americas
where talks will focus on trade, drugs, democracy and education.

Trade is expected to be the dominant topic, including Clinton's failure to
get fast-track negotiating authorization from Congress. That stopped talks
for Chile's entry into NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Accord made up
of Canada, Mexico and the United States.

In the first Summit of the Americas in 1994 in Miami, the three NAFTA
partners invited Chile to join. But Frei has refused to negotiate unless
Clinton gets fast-track authorization, which would ensure Congress would
either approve or reject, but not amend, trade accords signed with foreign

This week, Frei called the lack of fast track "an internal problem of the
United States. Not our problem."

He said that "we in Latin America will continue to advance" toward a
regional free-trade area and that the presidents attending the summit would
agree to open formal talks by June.

In Washington, Commerce Secretary William Daley said the lack of fast-track
authority from Congress does not preclude progress toward forming the free
trade area.

Security throughout the city for Clinton and the summit appears tight,
although clearly not perfect: Erika Rae Rose, a State Department protocol
official, was robbed of her bag with some $3,000 while lunching at a
restaurant in the fashionable Las Condes neighborhood.

Clinton's audience Friday in Congress may include former dictator Gen.
Augusto Pinochet, who, at 82, is now a senator-for-life.

The Netherlands - Dutch Marijuana Use Lower Than US ('Reuters' Article
Broadcast By CNN Notes New Survey By The Centre For Drug Research
At The University Of Amsterdam Showing Only 2 Percent To 3 Percent
Of Dutch Over The Age Of 12 Had Used Marijuana Over A One-Month Period,
Compared To Around 5 Percent In The United States)

Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 15:53:55 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: The Netherlands: Dutch Marijuana Use Lower Than U.S
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: CNN
Author: Reuters
Contact: cnn.feedback@cnn.com
Website: http://www.cnn.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998


AMSTERDAM, April 16 (Reuters) - The Dutch are less inclined to smoke
marijuana than U.S. citizens, although the drug is widely available in
Dutch coffee shops, according to a study.

The survey by the Centre for Drug Research at the University of Amsterdam
found only two to three percent of Dutch over the age of 12 had used
marijuana over a one-month period.

In the United States, where it is illegal to grow, purchase or use
marijuana, a 1996 government study concluded around five percent of the
population used the drug at least once a month, the Dutch researchers said.

For the past 20 years, Dutch over 18 have been able to buy and use small
quantities of marijuana in so-called coffee shops. There are around 300 of
these in Amsterdam alone.

The Centre for Drug Research conducted its study in three cities --
Amsterdam, Tilburg and Utrecht. Previous surveys, which concentrated solely
on Amsterdam, had suggested up to 6.5 percent of the Dutch population
regularly used marijuana.

A Fresh Line On Drugs (Staff Editorial In Britain's 'Times'
Says Prohibition Is Not Working And A Royal Commission Should Be Appointed
To Examine The Nature Of Britain's Drug Problem And Make Recommendations)

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:47:04 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: OPED: A Fresh Line on Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Times The (UK)
Contact: letters@the-times.co.uk
Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998


The Government should appoint a royal commission to examine the nature of
Britain's drug problem and make recommendations. The "war" against drugs
may or may not be being lost; there is disagreement even about that, but
this is certainly one of the classic cases for a commission. A great social
evil is destroying the lives of many young people; there is no consensus on
the factual basis of the spread of this contagion, or on the medical
dangers of particular drugs; there is certainly no consensus on the best
way to deal with the problem. Without an authoritative examination of the
evidence, policy recommendations can only be speculative opinions.

The news from the front is bad. On Tuesday Customs and Excise announced
that heroin seizures in 1997 had increased by 135 per cent against the
previous year; there has been a steady rise in heroin seizures both by
Customs and police for most of the 1990s. This is the best guide we have to
the level of importation and abuse. It cannot be a precise one, but it
seems certain that heroin use has been rising rapidly. There are stories of
heroin dealers targeting the young with free samples and so on; the
evidence for this is less certain, but it seems only too likely to be true.

There has also been a large increase in seizures of cocaine and synthetic
drugs; the cocaine seizures are up by about 80 per cent. The recently
appointed "drugs tsar" Keith Hellawell says that "the overall use of
illicit drugs has plateaued"; this more optimistic view seems to be true
only of cannabis, where the seizures, though huge, were only slightly up on
the previous year. Paul Flynn, the Labour MP who is the vice-chairman of
the Drugs Misuse Group in the Commons, says that the seizure figures show
the "abject failure" of the present policies on drugs, and points to the
tripling of deaths from heroin over the past three years.

One of the benefits of a royal commission should be that such an inquiry
would distinguish properly between the different drugs. The attraction of
these illegal drugs, and of many legal drugs as well, is that they give
people a high. The drawback is that they present health risks or reduce
social competence. No two drugs have the same effect on the mood, and no
two drugs present an identical risk to health. For instance, nicotine is an
admirable drug in terms of mood alteration it gives a mild lift - and of
social competence. Cigarette smokers can actually concentrate better on
their work. Unfortunately it is highly addictive and has lethal long-term
effects on health.

One lobby, which has been led by The Independent, wants to take cannabis
out of the illegal group and put it with caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. It
is not possible to know whether this lobby is justified without better
information about the long-term effects on health of using cannabis. Some
doctors believe that substantial long-term use damages the brain, but this
is exactly the sort of issue a royal commission could examine in detail.

There are claims made for the drug policies of The Netherlands where the
decriminalisation of cannabis is said to have reduced the use of hard
drugs. Undoubtedly one of the dangers of including relatively mild drugs in
the illegal group is that users of these drugs are introduced to suppliers
who are criminals. If, by decriminalising cannabis, one could separate the
large number of cannabis users from the much more dangerous hard drugs
culture, that would plainly be a gain. Whatever its medical effects, there
are hundreds of thousands of people who have used cannabis, if only in
their student days, and now hold down responsible jobs. A royal commission
could examine the experience of The Netherlands in an impartial way.

Other drugs have different effects. Ecstasy can lead to sudden death; LSD
can produce bizarre and sometimes dangerous hallucinations, and can be
followed by recurrent incidents of a schizoid character; cocaine and heroin
are both major and damaging drugs of addiction. Yet even in these cases,
there is an argument for trying to take them back out of the hands of
criminals, and treating addiction primarily as a medical problem.

The drugs business is enormously profitable, and it is profitable because
it is illegal. If cocaine or heroin were ordinary refined agricultural
products, sold in the open market, they would be extremely cheap, as cheap
as any other processed plants. If they were cheap, no criminal fortunes
could be made from selling them, and no one would have a motive to seduce
children into addiction. Some people would still become addicts, simply
because the product was inexpensive and available, like laudanum in the
19th century. We cannot tell whether this state of affairs would produce
more or fewer addicts; it would, however, remove the criminal profit, and
not drive people to crime to pay for their habit.

The average heroin addict is said to steal goods worth more than 40,000
every year. Some police officers, who deal with these drug-related crimes,
believe that universal drug decriminalisation would both remove the profit
of dealing and remove the pressure to commit crimes to pay for drugs. These
arguments should be examined with an open mind.

Hard drugs are now available throughout the industrialised world; the only
countries where they are not almost universally available seem to be those
too poor to pay for them. In Boston it is easier for a college student to
buy drugs than alcohol; the laws restricting drugs are flouted, those
forbidding the sale of alcohol to people under 21 are successfully

A few weeks ago I was reading the local paper in Somerset; it reported a
crack cocaine case in Midsomer Norton. If one can buy crack in Midsomer
Norton, one can buy it almost anywhere in Britain.

One of the side-effects of the global drug business is that it produces a
complex of corruption, ranging from the petty corruption of local
policemen, through the corruption of banking by money-laundering, to the
wholesale corruption of ministers and governments in some countries. As
with the experiment of prohibition of alcohol in the United States, the
prohibition of drugs naturally leads to the creation of criminal empires.
Sixty-five years after the United States repealed prohibition, these
organised crime networks still exist and flourish. Once they have been
brought into existence by huge criminal profits, they are extremely
difficult to get rid of.

The main concern for the Government must be the protection of the young.
The drugs culture is no respecter of social class; it is to be found in
prosperous suburbs as well as in inner-city estates. But the opportunities
for the drug culture to expand are greatest where there are few jobs and
strong local gangs. Some estates in Manchester seem to be under the virtual
control of these drug gangs. Strong policing and heavy sentences have been
tried in the United States to break these gangs; as a result there are
400,000 Americans, mostly young and mostly black or Hispanic, in prison on
drugs offences. They have often been sentenced to very long terms. That is
proportionately more people than are in prison for all offences in Britain.
Tough law enforcement may be necessary, but is not an answer.

Indeed the United States is an example of how not to deal with drugs. The
problem has to be tackled in social, medical and educational terms, as well
as in terms of law enforcement. The Americans have put too much pressure on
other nations to imitate their over-simple pattern of response.

Many people fear that any inquiry would in some way weaken the drive
against drugs. Yet Britain's policy is not working, and it is hard to see
how a state of ignorance can help to make it work. The present policy is
not protecting the young; it is not destroying the criminal network; it has
not prevented drugs becoming universally available in Britain. In any
social disaster on this scale, the natural course is to review the
evidence, listen to the arguments, establish the options and suggest which
might work best. That would be rational government. We cannot simply go on
sending each generation of children over the top to take their chance of
having their lives ruined and of being turned into criminals.



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