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Portland NORML News - Monday, March 1, 1999

Public Health Emergency: Oregon health officials remain silent as record drug
deaths fall hardest on the poor, minorities (A bulletin from Floyd Ferris
Landrath, who exchanges needles for intravenous drug users at the Harm
Reduction Zone in Portland, discusses the recent report that heroin-related
deaths in Oregon have hit a new high. Local health officials are showing the
usual dereliction of duty by failing to respond to a study on the health
emergency caused by the war on some drug users, published by Dr. Ernest
Drucker in the January-February issue of Public Health Reports, the official
journal of the U.S. Public Health Service.)

Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 02:27:45 -0800
To: Phil Smith (
From: Floyd F Landrath (

M-F, 4-6PM


Monday, March 1, 1999

Floyd Landrath, 235-4524 or


Oregon health officials remain silent as record
drug deaths fall hardest on the poor, minorities

by Floyd Ferris Landrath

Portland, Oregon -- I am sorry to report that both Multnomah County
Health Dept. and the Oregon Health Division are paralyzed by fear of
controversy over last year's record 235 drug related deaths in Oregon
(117 in Multnomah County). What makes these health officials freeze
like deer in a beam of headlights is a classic 'Catch-22.' On one
level it's a legal and philosophical conflict between cops and doctors,
jailers and healers. At another level it's ignorance and rigid
attitudes even within the public health itself. "How can you save
someone bent on killing them self," lamented one state health official
who wisely requested anonymity.

As the number of drug related deaths continues to soar each year, it
becomes painfully obvious that this problem is killing many who had no
intention of committing suicide. Even with the obvious social
disapproval and stigma attached to illegal drug addiction, only
extremists would support a death penalty for that alone. Yet in
effect, that's exactly what is taking place.

It does not look good for the future, especially with a glut of
heroin on the streets and even playgrounds these days, "drug counselors
warn that the toll likely will stay high because the addictive drug is
cheap, potent and widely available," according to a Feb. 10 report from
the Associated Press.

Reports from the Oregon Medical Examiner's Office offer grim credence
to that dire warning. For every year since 1988, with the notable
exception of 1991, drug related deaths in Oregon have seen a steady
increase. It went from 67 in 1988 to 235 in 1998, a nearly 200 percent
increase. Heroin related deaths went from 37 in 1988 to 179 in 1998, a
nearly 500 percent increase. In 1991, for reasons unknown, only 39
people died state-wide.

Dr. Ernest Drucker (1), a professor of epidemiology at Montefiore
Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine reports on drug-
related research in the January-February issue of the journal Public
Health Reports, the official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service.

Even though the federal government reports drug use has been in
decline since 1979, Drucker reports that between 1978 and 1994: drug-
related emergency room visits have gone up 60 percent (from 323,000
annually to 518,500) and overdose deaths increased by 400 percent (2500
to 10,000). Drucker also draws a direct correlation between increased
heroin-related fatalities to a dramatic rise in purity (from 6.7
percent in 1981 to 41.5 percent in 1996) and notes as contributing
factors both a sharp decline in price and abundant supply.

Inner-city minorities and the poor suffer most of the drug- and drug-
law related harm. Consider this: whites, blacks and Hispanics all use
drugs at about the same rate, yet blacks are 3.5 times more likely to
die from overdose and have 7.5 times more drug-related emergency room
visits than their white counterparts. Blacks are also four times more
likely than whites to be arrested and 20 times more likely to be
incarcerated for drugs. On average Hispanics fair little better than

One additional finding Dr. Drucker reports: Annual state and federal
drug enforcement expenses are estimated at more than $40 billion,
compared with less than $8 billion for all treatment, research, and
prevention in the U.S. from all government and private sources. Dr.
Drucker concludes, "From a public health point of view, drug
prohibition is a disaster. While our government officials claim
success in reducing drug use, drug-related deaths and diseases have
increased sharply. That's the best measure of the impact of our drug
policies - and they are failing."

There is a huge ethical and moral dilemma here, perhaps too big for
those now in charge of the public's health and safety. It may also,
one day, become a defining issue in this historic struggle for peace
and justice against a massive, out of control "war" against the poor.

There is much more we could do to reduce drug-related harm and death,
especially from heroin overdose. That's why we must be reasonable and
dispatch sacred political cows like this so-called War on Drugs that
has ravaged the Constitutional landscape and fouled the social waters
for far too long now.

More and more average, working-class people realize we should de-
criminalize drug addiction. That both the drugs might be better
controlled and the consumers better protected by those who are trained
and qualified in the fields of drug addiction, mental illness and the
public health. Unfortunately most of Congress is still way out in
right-field, too busy pounding the drug war drum to hear us.

In the long run the drug war will break us both financially and
morally. The more victims we create the more international drug
cartels will grow in order of magnitude on the spoils of that despair.
Yet, for every tax dollar that goes into prevention and treatment,
according to a recent Rand study, society saves $7 in future criminal-
justice cost.

We need more than "Zero Tolerance" and provide a complete 'menu' of
harm reduction, prevention and treatment options, especially to the
indigent. Even if that means we must undercut the street dealers and
supply the drugs under medical control while encouraging abstinence,
dose reduction and other positive steps (often it takes more than just
"12") toward eventual sobriety. To cut crime we need to get the hard-
core addicts, of which many also suffer mental illness - off our
streets, out of our neighborhoods and especially away from the kids who
they often sell drugs to.

Rational people like Dr. Drucker know there are more humane,
intelligent as well as cost-effective ways to reduce both drug access
by the young, and adult use and abuse without resorting to such an
expensive and socially damaging policy like this insane "war" on (some)
drugs and so many people. Unfortunately not all rational people are as
brave, or ethical, as Dr. Drucker.


(1) Dr. Drucker's full article is at:


"If drug abuse is a disease, then drug war is a crime."

Quiet Death In Oregon (A New York Times staff editorial in the International
Herald-Tribune says Oregon's unique physician-assisted suicide law seems to
show that it is possible to make law and bureaucratic rules that allow people
to take responsibility for themselves, without the state or anyone else
abusing them. That is cause for relief.)

Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 20:45:07 -0800
From: (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US OR: OPED: Quiet Death In Oregon
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: Peter Webster
Pubdate: 1 Mar 1999
Source: International Herald-Tribune
Copyright: International Herald Tribune 1999
Page: OP-ED
Author: New York Times editors


Eleven months ago in Oregon, a woman in her mid-80s took some pills
prescribed by her doctor, sipped some brandy, lay back in bed with her
family around her, and died. In that quiet way, after great debate across
an aging nation, a new era began. Oregon had become the only place in the
world in which assisted suicide was legal.

Its voters had twice approved assisted suicide, its courts had let the
people's decision stand, its public health bureaucracy had drafted 91 pages
of rules to govern how it would work, and a woman in the terminal stages of
breast cancer had filled out a one-page form, "Request for medication to
end my life in a humane and dignified manner." Two doctors confirmed that
she had less than six months to live.

Some doctors and religious leaders in Oregon remained opposed, some
pharmacists did not want to write lethal prescriptions, and some
legislators threatened to revise the law. These worries were reinforced by
disturbing stories from the Netherlands, where assisted suicide is
technically illegal but nevertheless has been practiced widely for 15
years, supposedly governed by standards established by the Royal Dutch
Medical Association. The stories suggested that some people had been given
assistance in dying even though they had not requested it.

Now, thanks to two recent reports, the experiences in Oregon and the
Netherlands can be compared. A report in the Journal of Medical Ethics
strongly suggests that the conflict between law and practice in the
Netherlands has created a fatal confusion. In one in five cases surveyed
there, euthanasia was performed on patients who had not requested it, and
on patients for whom other, untried treatments for their illnesses were
still available.

In Oregon, by contrast, a report by the State Health Division found that
there had been no run on death, no confusion and no abuse. Only 15 people,
eight men and seven women, were helped to die in 1998. Thirteen were cancer
patients, and many, their doctors said, were decisive personalities, or
people acting on long-held principles. A pattern had begun to emerge of
people dying in gatherings of family after eating barbiturates in chocolate

The Roman Catholic Archbishop in Portland has denounced their deaths as
dause for "sadness and shame. " Moral conscience always is grounds for
disagreement. But Oregon seems to have shown, on this most personal and
final of issues, that it is possible to make law and bureaucratic rules
that allow people to take responsibility for themselves, without the state
or anyone else abusing them. That is cause for relief.


Clicking For Contraband (The San Francisco Chronicle says the black market
has never been more accessible. Anyone with a computer and an Internet
account can find all sorts of contraband for sale on the Web: machine guns,
marijuana, prescription drugs, switchblade knives, endangered species, Cuban
cigars and much more. Even when law enforcers are aware of black market
activity, it is not easy to take action.)
Not to mention tax-free cigarettes . . .
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 05:18:16 -0800 From: (MAPNews) To: Subject: MN: US CA: Clicking For Contraband Sender: Reply-To: Organization: Media Awareness Project Newshawk: (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Monday, March 1, 1999 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: Website: Forum: Section: Front Page Author: Jamie Beckett, Jon Swartz, Chronicle Staff Writers CLICKING FOR CONTRABAND The law can't catch up to the Internet, where any desire can be satisfied for a price The black market has never been more accessible. Anyone with a computer and an Internet account can find all sorts of contraband for sale on the Web: machine guns, marijuana, prescription drugs, switchblade knives, endangered species, Cuban cigars and much more. Although these goods are highly regulated or outright illegal in the United States, they are available to Americans 24 hours a day on the Internet. Of course, most of these goods are also available on street corners, and some are even advertised in newspapers and magazines. But the Internet makes it so much easier for everyone, even children. There is no need for clandestine meetings with shady characters in dark alleys. All that's needed is a PC, a credit card and a little patience. It is also easy for Internet criminals to stay one step ahead of the law. Their underworld is anonymous, borderless, fast-moving and nearly impossible to track. Web outlaws move from site to site, change e-mail addresses or switch online identities. Most federal agencies say they lack the money, manpower or expertise to pursue these black marketeers. When they do go after online criminals, they target child pornographers or software pirates, not yuppies buying Cuban cigars. ``We have neither the time nor the resources to surf the Internet,'' said George Grotz, special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in San Francisco. ``The Internet is growing so rapidly and . . . the laws to control technology lag behind that technology.'' Some online merchants sell their illegal wares on popular sites such as Yahoo Auctions, Excite Classifieds or eBay, the nation's No. 1 online auction house. Others, more discreet, advertise on message boards or on their own Web sites. Thomas Bellas Jr., a Chicago gun merchant, used the Internet to sell a 9mm semiautomatic handgun and 50 rounds of ammunition for $460 to a 17-year-old Alabama boy, who had posed as an adult by using his father's driver's license number. In what is believed to be the first arrest for an online gun sale, Bellas, 57, was charged last year with selling a handgun directly to an out-of-state customer instead of transporting it to a registered gun dealer, as required by law. He was also charged with selling a gun to a minor. In court papers, Bellas said he sold at least 30 handguns over the Net illegally, according to Jerry Singer, a spokesman in the Chicago office of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Bellas had indicated that he would plead guilty, Singer said. But in January, before he entered a plea, Bellas died of a heart attack while shoveling snow. A Chronicle search turned up hundreds of illegal sites or sellers. Although this story does not list Web site addresses, most of them can be found using a search engine. Here is what we found: GUNS LOTS OF Them, on auctions, in online classifieds and on gun-sale Web sites. Most of the gun trade is probably legal, but it often is hard to tell. The laws are complicated and difficult to enforce on the Web. Federal law requires a gun shipped across state lines to be sent to a licensed firearms dealer. The law requires buyers of some types of firearms, such as machine guns and sawed-off shotguns, to register the gun and pay a tax. Gun laws for Internet sales are the same as those for sales in stores or through the mail. But enforcing them on the Web can be a long shot, because buyers and sellers generally don't know each other and don't know if basic facts such as age and address are correct. Making things more complicated, California and several other states have special restrictions on gun sales, such as a ban on machine guns and stiff regulations regarding assault weapons. The ATF is investigating several trafficking cases, sources said, including a ``significant'' operation with links to the West Coast that could break this spring. SWITCHBLADE KNIVES U.S. Customs law prohibits anyone from bringing a switchblade knife into this country. But they are advertised widely on the Web. Switch Blade Knife Makers offers six different knives priced between $31 and $35. For would-be customers worried about the law and other technicalities, there is a handy `Help'' section on the site, which reads like this: Q: My customs don't allow switchblades import. Can you ship to me anyway? A: Yes we can ;-) Until a few days ago, the sale of switchblades was so loosely policed on eBay that a seller named ``Bladeguy'' advertised: ``Secret Agent Covert Autoknives -- Banned by Feds!'' Bladeguy and his knives no longer show up on eBay. The San Jose online auctioneer relies heavily on users to watch out for illegal goods. When they are notified of illegal auctions, eBay shuts them down. eBay also hired a team of former police officers to search for and remove ads for contraband, said Steve Westly, vice president of marketing for the company. He also noted that eBay recently decided to remove auctions for guns and ammunition. Many online knife merchants are based outside the United States and may not be violating their own country's laws. At the U.S. border, banned goods are the responsibility of Customs, one of the few federal agencies that has an active cyber-crime unit. But the agency's Cyber Smuggling Investigations Center concentrates less on switchblades and more on high-profile crimes such as the import and export of child pornography, pirated software and music, and illegal trade in U.S. technology and munitions, said spokesman Claude Davenport. MARIJUANA It Doesn't come cheaply, but pot and pot seeds, which are illegal to sell or possess in this country, are openly for sale on Web. ``I see the Internet as a large medium that can help many people get their Cannabis, even if it is forbidden in your own country,'' Leo Pafort, a merchant based in Amsterdam, says on his Web site. Pot is legal in the Netherlands. Pafort's prices range from $10 to $15 a gram. He did not return e- mails requesting information or an interview. For those willing to grow their own, at least a half-dozen Web entrepreneurs can supply seeds. One offers more than 100 varieties with such names as ``Bazooka'' and ``Hypno'' and prices from $25 to $175 for packets of 10 or 12 seeds. None of the seed sellers contacted would discuss their businesses. The makings of more-dangerous drugs are also available. Poppy seeds that produce the narcotic opium and can be used to make heroin were openly advertised on nearly 20 eBay auctions recently. Bids opened as low as $2 for packets of 1,000 seeds. The Internet ``is something we're monitoring, and we're learning more and more about it,'' said Terry Parham, a spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. ``It's unrealistic for us to take the time to surf the Web just looking for certain (illegal) things.'' PRESCRIPTION DRUGS Who needs a prescription? Not the intrepid Internet shopper. Sites are selling the anti-anxiety drug Valium, antidepressant Prozac, impotence drug Viagra and other controlled substances that cannot legally be dispensed without a doctor's prescription. ``Never any prescription needed,'' says the Web site for one merchant, Pharmacy International, which advertises itself as a U.S.-based exporter of ``lifestyle drugs.'' ``Our company does not do any business in the USA,'' said Michael Beckers, a Pharmacy International official responding to an e-mail from The Chronicle. Yet the Florida company's Web site provides instructions for ordering within the United States and details U.S. shipping and handling charges. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is ``concerned about the potential for selling illegal, unapproved or counterfeit drugs on the Internet,'' said Dr. Randy Wykoff, associate commissioner for operations. GAMBLING Online gaming is illegal under a 1961 federal law that bars interstate gambling over telephone lines. Although that has deterred U.S. operators, it has not stopped offshore companies from setting up global online casinos in places like the Caribbean and Central America. Law enforcement agencies, including the California attorney general's office, concede that enforcement of the 1961 law is nearly impossible. Most of the sites are offshore, where gambling is legal, and domestic bettors would be difficult to pinpoint. ENDANGERED SPECIES U.S. law prohibits the sale or transfer of endangered species across state lines. An international agreement signed by 146 countries bars the import or export of hundreds of types of animals. Separate laws cover the sale of eagles and migratory birds. Even so, they are for sale on the Web. On one online bulletin board, a Canadian advertises the sale of ``a small collection of Black Rhino horns,'' which are prized for their medicinal properties. Federal officials say that is against the law. Many nations including Canada and the United States also ban the import or export of endangered black rhinos, said Paul Chang, a senior special agent for the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife. According to Chang, the horns could sell for $40,000 apiece. The seller, Calvin Kania, disagrees. ``We would not jeopardize our family name or business in dealing in illegal items,'' he said in an e-mail. He said he has the necessary permits to sell them. Chang said no such permits exist. Bob Snow, a federal Fish and Wildlife special agent in Northern California, has been investigating illegal wildlife traffic on the Web and particularly on auction giant eBay. Snow said he has found protected migratory birds and endangered wildlife for sale on eBay. The auction site will soon include in its guidelines a ban on selling endangered wildlife. CUBAN CIGARS On the Web, a good smoke is easy to find. Dozens of sellers advertise Cuban cigars, which are illegal to import into the United States, but legal in many other countries. At least two Web sites devoted to the cigar trade offer Cuban varieties. They also show up on Yahoo Auctions, Excite classifieds and eBay, where 17 Cuban cigar auctions were advertised recently. ``Legal concerns are not really present,'' said an eBay customer named Randy, who has bought the cigars on the Net for some time. Many sellers ship Cuban stogies via U.S. mail, disguising their return address and the origin of the cigars. ``I ship them through the mail. Customs cannot open every box,'' said one eBay seller. One Midwestern cigar merchant has a roving Web site intended to keep him safe from law enforcement. Every time he changes his Web address, he must e-mail his customers. Why bother? Online profit margins are fatter than what he can get on the street. Davenport, the Customs agent, said his agency was not aware of illegal cigar trade on the Web. Even when law enforcers are aware of black market activity, it is not easy to take action. ``This new world of Internet access presents problems that federal and state investigators have not faced before,'' said Hilary McLean, spokeswoman for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. ``It's difficult to track, because of the relative anonymity of online users. These sellers can be anywhere in the world, and that requires a significant investment to investigate.'' Resources are not the only issue. The government is also torn between fighting crime on the Internet and letting it grow unfettered into a robust free market. ``The Internet is a tremendous enabler. But with all the good, there comes some bad activities, unfortunately,'' America Online CEO Steve Case said. ``It is the responsibility of the industry to self-police its behavior,'' Case said. ``The worst possible thing that could happen to the Net is too much government regulation. That would derail growth and innovation.'' Politicians are largely unaware of the problem, and have proposed no legislation to specifically curtail sales of illegal goods online. When told that AK-47 rifles are for sale on the Web, U.S. Representative Tom Campbell was taken aback. ``My first reaction is, `Where are the law-enforcement agencies? It's terrible that existing laws can be bypassed in such a widespread manner. I'm especially concerned about the sale of automatic weapons.'' Although Campbell, R-Campbell, said he is hesitant to impose laws on the Internet, ``we need to redirect resources for authorities to enforce (existing) laws.'' Another problem with enforcement is that there is no single agency in charge of online crime. ``We're aware there are all kinds of illegal things out there, but the jurisdiction for particular items falls under the ATF (guns), DEA (drugs) and others,'' said Paul Luehr, the Federal Trade Commission's assistant director. ``A lot of cases are dropping to the ground because no one is in charge,'' said Norm Willox, CEO of the National Fraud Center in Horsham, Pa. ``Someone needs to centralize the (reporting) process.'' The government is taking a step in that direction. Several federal agencies, including the FBI, are creating a national call center for Internet crime, sources said. The center would field consumer complaints, conduct a preliminary investigation and then notify the appropriate state or national agency. Until that is set up, consumers who want to report any type of illegal activity online can contact the FTC at 202-FTC-HELP or fill out an online complaint at

Juvenile Jail Sought (The San Jose Mercury News says the Alameda County Board
of Supervisors is proposing to spend $250 million to build a 540-bed jail for
kids to relieve crowding at its juvenile hall, despite some concerns that too
many children will end up locked away. Targeted to open in 2003, the jail
would be second in size only to Los Angeles' facilities, which hold about
1,500 children. Alameda County probation officials say the expansion is
desperately needed, in part because a rise in juvenile crime is predicted
over the next several years.)

Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 05:18:11 -0800
From: (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Juvenile Jail Sought
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (
Pubdate: 1 Mar 1999
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Mercury Center
Author: Renee Koury


Proposed facility to ease crowding

Alameda County is proposing to build the state's second-largest jail for
kids to relieve crowding at its juvenile hall, despite some concerns that
too many children will end up locked away.

The board of supervisors is expected to go after funding next month for the
540-bed, $250 million complex, which would nearly double current capacity
and allow for hundreds more beds if needed. Targeted to open in 2003, the
hall would be second in size only to Los Angeles' facilities, which hold
about 1,500 children.

Alameda County probation officials say the expansion is desperately needed
because the county's 1950s-era hall in the San Leandro hills is overcrowded
and not up to seismic code, and a rise in juvenile crime is predicted over
the next several years.

Supporters such as Supervisor Scott Haggerty also favor the tough-on-crime

``Let's face it,'' he said. ``The juvenile population is becoming more
dangerous. We have to have the facilities to deal with that growing
population. I think it's important that we try to set our kids on the right
path the first time. When I went to school, we solved problems with our
fists, and now they solve them with guns and knives and we have to tell
them it's not OK.''

But youth advocates say such funding should go instead toward steering boys
and girls away from crime. Dan Macallair, associate director of the Center
on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco, said that if the county
builds more beds, more bad kids will come.

``This is beyond belief,'' said Macallair, who likened Alameda County's
proposal to a sort of ``field of bad dreams.''

``If you build 500 beds, then you'll find 500 kids to fill them up. It's
bureaucratic convenience. If the beds are there, it becomes very easy to
just dump the kids there, he said. The kids are just cycled back onto the
streets, and they get into the same old problems. The public is being sold
a bill of goods.''

Despite a decline in crime -- juvenile crime in Alameda County went down 35
percent from 1990 to 1997 -- the juvenile hall has reported overcrowding
every year since 1992.

Officials say the jail is full in part because kids are staying longer. The
hall is intended only as a holding facility while they await court
hearings, but with more serious offenses to deal with, court takes longer.
The average stay has gone up from a couple of days to 23 days. One boy
stayed two years while awaiting his murder trial.

There are also few places where kids can be sent to serve out sentences,
such as group homes and ranches, according to Supervisor Gail Steele. And
on one recent day, 99 kids in juvenile hall were awaiting placement in
foster homes.

With a capacity of 299, the hall averages about 340 inmates per night. Many
youngsters sleep on plastic bunks in makeshift dormitories in the day
rooms, or double up in cells meant for one. Visiting rooms sometimes double
as X-ray labs or dining rooms, and medical and counseling services are

The crowding violates state codes, but state inspectors concede the county
is doing all it can to make do.

``It's getting unbearable in here,'' said juvenile hall Director James
Ladner during a recent tour. ``When you take a place that's this crowded
and you put in a lot of kids together who don't particularly like each
other, you can just imagine what it's like.''

And the situation is likely to get worse. The number of kids brought into
juvenile hall will gradually climb from 9,800 during 1997 to a projected
12,000 to 13,000 kids during 2007, according to a consultant's report. Much
of the increase will stem from more girls getting into trouble with the
law, according to the report by Rosser International consultants of
Georgia. The report predicts as many as 4,100 girl inmates by 2007.

The hall also does not meet earthquake standards and it is surrounded by
two prongs of the Hayward fault, said construction manager Lou Shikany. The
new complex will be built near the existing hall, but with a stout design
to resist quakes.

Overcrowding is common at juvenile halls throughout the state. However,
some Bay Area counties are handling the situation without expansion.

San Mateo County has rejected proposals for a larger juvenile hall in favor
of a ``youth services campus,'' where troubled teens will get help for drug
addiction, sexual abuse and emotional problems. Santa Clara and San
=46rancisco counties are both trying to avoid expansion and funnel
troublesome kids into remedial programs instead.

Santa Clara puts many of its juvenile offenders on electronic ankle
bracelets, which sound an alarm if they leave a prescribed area. Santa
Clara also has established neighborhood accountability boards in which
first-time offenders go before their neighbors, who decide on a punishment
such as restitution. And the county steers offenders into programs that
address problems such as drug addiction or learning disabilities.

Such programs are a better use for the kind of money -- about $38,000 a
child in Alameda County -- spent to provide guards, counselors, staffing
and services at juvenile halls, Macallair said. Staffing for the new hall
alone could exceed $20 million a year.

``Take the $145 a day it takes to warehouse a kid in juvenile hall and buy
comprehensive services for three kids,'' he said. ``Hire someone from the
community to work with them full time. Put food in the kid's cupboard.
These kids come from situations that most people don't comprehend.''

The arguments hit home with many local officials, including Supervisor
Steele, who has fought for years for more programs to help disadvantaged
children. Still, she reluctantly supports the new juvenile hall plan,
saying the crowding situation is so dire and the facility so outdated that
the county can no longer wait for social programs to make a dent in crime.

``What (Macallair) is saying is right, and I agree,'' Steele said. ``But we
cannot continue in that facility the way it is. It's inhumane. Our (county)
population is 1.3 million and growing. We have many depressed areas and a
failed educational system. And many of these kids have done some bad stuff.
What are we supposed to do? If we're going to build a building, we have to
build it to last 40 years, not make it too small.''

Bill Seeks To Clarify Who Gets Drug Loot (The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says
the large amount of supposedly drug-tainted cash forfeited to police has
prompted Sen. Wayne Dowd, D-Texarkana, to introduce Senate Bill 555. Dowd's
bill seeks to resolve some of the conflict between state and federal
authorities over which entity gets the booty in such seizures and how seized
property is recorded. Dowd claimed that agencies are taking forfeiture cases
to federal court so they can keep more of the loot. Dowd also said he had
heard stories of prosecutors using forfeited vehicles for personal use. SB
555 would put an end to prosecutors' practice of releasing some people while
signing forfeiture orders against their property. Dowd said no one's property
should be taken without a judge's order.)
Link to 'Westbound I-40 pours drug cash on police'
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 20:58:26 -0800 From: (MAPNews) To: Subject: MN: US AR: Bill Seeks To Clarify Who Gets Drug Loot Sender: Reply-To: Organization: Media Awareness Project Newshawk: James Markes Pubdate: 1 Mar 1999 Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (AR) Copyright: 1999, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. Contact: Website: Author: Elizabeth McFarland - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette BILL SEEKS TO CLARIFY WHO GETS DRUG LOOT Last March, the Arkansas Highway Police seized $3.17 million in cash found in a tractor-trailer at a weigh station near West Memphis. The money was seized because it appeared to bear narcotics residue. The large amount of cash involved in the seizure has been a catalyst for the introduction of Senate Bill 555 by Sen. Wayne Dowd, D-Texarkana. His bill seeks to resolve some of the conflict between state and federal authorities over which entity gets the booty in such seizures and how the seized assets are recorded. "There's an uneasiness I sense among legislators about the high dollar amount and volume of some of these cash and property forfeitures going on around here," Dowd said last week. "It just doesn't seem to be kept up with well." He also said there are different interpretations among law enforcement agencies as to who gets the money and property. State law says the seizing entity keeps up to $250,000. Any remainder goes to a state fund to be distributed in local law enforcement grants by the Arkansas Drug and Alcohol Abuse Coordinating Council. Dowd said some entities interpret that to mean $250,000 per defendant in a case, which can lessen the amount going to the state fund if the case has multiple defendants. He also claimed that agencies are taking the cases to federal court so they can keep more of the forfeited amount. Dowd said if the federal government is involved, it takes 15 percent and the local entity can keep 85 percent. That arrangement also leaves the state fund high and dry. SB 555 would prohibit transfer of property seized by state or local agencies unless a circuit judge orders it. "It ain't going to stop it, but it at least makes it be done publicly," Dowd said. North Little Rock Police Chief William Nolan said his agency does a lot of forfeitures through the federal government. "The federal government has a very easy system, and a lot of cases are made with the federal government," he said. Nolan said the department takes in $100,000 to $120,000 a year in forfeitures. To Nolan's knowledge, no local or state agency has had a seizure exceeding the $250,000 cap in state court. He said he was not familiar enough with the bill to state an opinion. Dowd and co-sponsor Sen. Jim Hill, D-Nashville, became involved in the issue two years ago after they sought to find money to upgrade the State Crime Laboratory and to set up a regional crime lab at Hope. "We felt like raking a little money off of these forfeitures would help solve that problem," Dowd said. "We tried to redistribute that a little, and law enforcement just came unglued, including these rural counties where we were trying to put some of the money. It's beyond me." He said the forfeited assets are supposed to go for drug-fighting expend itures. Instead, the money is being used at times to free county and city revenues for other purposes. "It ain't going to fight drugs, it's going to pay for the local police operation," he said. Nolan said that's not the case with his department. "It doesn't supplant the budget," he said. "We are only allowed to pay for things not budgeted. We can't pay for officers or squad cars because those are in the budget." Another problem SB 555 seeks to address is keeping track of the seized assets. Dowd said current audit trails are "just terrible." "They turn in inventory maybe weeks after a seizure," he said. "It winds up forfeited. The forfeiture order is not quite the same as the original seizure inventory and money gets counted wrong. It's weird." Nolan said his department sets up a separate fund and follows strict guidelines with its forfeiture money. Dowd said he has heard stories of prosecutors using forfeited vehicles for personal use. Part of the problem is with the structure of drug task forces. The task forces are not a legal entity, but are made up of officers from local and state forces who work together. Judges can't assign vehicles and other property to the task force, so "nobody's accountable for the car. You go back three years and say 'Where's the car?' 'Well, so and so had it and now he works in California,' " Dowd said. The bill would require the seizing authority to file an inventory report within 48 hours, signed by the officer and the person from whom they are taking the property. The agency must file a petition for forfeiture within 60 days of the seizure. If a person claims he doesn't know anything about the seized property, as the truck driver did in the West Memphis case, the prosecutor can release the person and sign a forfeiture order. Dowd's bill would put an end to that practice. He said no one's property should be taken without a judge's order.

Crack's Legacy: Second Of Two Articles: Soldiers of the Drug War Remain on
Duty (The New York Times says it was the escalation of the drug war that
brought military-style policing, particularly SWAT teams, into most American
cities. The police said they felt outgunned and underarmored against gangs.
But now that the worst violence associated with the gang and crack wars of
the '80s has faded, the police presence has remained and, in many cases,
escalated. The expanding role of SWAT teams across the country has been fed
by the forfeiture laws that allow the police to keep much of what they take
in raids. But there are no figures on the total amount of property seized by
all police departments nationwide.)

Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 22:50:50 +0000
From: Peter Webster (
Subject: [] Crack's Legacy: Second Of Two Articles
Pubdate: Mon, 01 Mar 1999
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 1999 The New York Times Company
Related article/Part I -


Soldiers of the Drug War Remain on Duty

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Late on a chilly October night three years ago, Larry
Harper told his family that he felt life was no longer worth living, and
headed out the door with a handgun. He had slipped back to using crack
cocaine after being in drug treatment, and was ashamed to face his wife and

The family called the Albuquerque police for help. In response, a
paramilitary unit -- nine men clad in camouflage and armed with automatic
rifles and stun grenades -- stormed into the park where Harper had gone in

"Let's go get the bad guy" were the last words Hope Harper heard as the
Special Weapons and Tactics squad brushed by her on a hunt for her husband,
leaving the family in the dark at the edge of the park.

Police marksmen chased Harper through the woods, found him cowering behind a
juniper tree, and shot and killed him from 43 feet away. He had committed no
crime and had threatened only himself. The police said the fact that he was
holding a gun made him a target.

Harper, a 33-year-old plumber, was one of 32 people killed by Albuquerque
officers in the last 10 years, 11 of them by the SWAT team. The police here
have killed more people than any other department of its size in the United

The Harper case proved to be the one that broke the Albuquerque SWAT team.
The family sued. And last fall, the city dismantled the squad as a full-time
unit and paid the family $200,000 in an out-of-court settlement.

Why a city of 400,000 would need a full-time paramilitary unit is a question
that should have been asked years ago, said the new police chief, Jerry
Galvin. The answer, a decade ago, would have been crack cocaine and the
heavily armed gangs fighting over the crack trade. But what started as a
response to the violent front of the war on drugs has evolved, here and in
cities across the nation, into a new world of policing.

Special Weapons and Tactics squads, once used exclusively for the rare urban
terrorist incident or shootout, transformed themselves through the crack
years into everyday parts of city life. In large urban areas, paramilitary
units now do everything from routine street patrols to nightly raids of
houses. Even small towns have formed paramilitary police units. The Cape Cod
town of Harwich, Mass., for example, population 11,000, has trained a 10-man
SWAT team.

Encouraged by federal grants, surplus equipment handed out by the military
and seizure laws that allow police departments to keep much of what their
special units take in raids, the Kevlar-helmeted brigades have grown
dramatically, even in the face of plummeting crime figures.

"It is the militarization of Mayberry," said Dr. Peter Kraska, a professor
of criminal justice at Eastern Kentucky University, who surveyed police
departments nationwide and found that their deployment of paramilitary units
had grown tenfold since the early 1980s. "This is unprecedented in American
policing and you have to ask yourself: What are the unintended

It was the escalation of the drug war that brought military-style policing
into most American cities. The police felt outgunned and underarmored
against gangs. But now that the worst violence associated with the gang and
crack wars of the '80s has faded, the police presence has remained and, in
many cases, escalated.

Some police officers say the expansion of SWAT into a role as the fist of
the drug war and beyond is good police work. With proper training, these
units should reduce loss of life, not add to it, they say. And some
communities plagued by violence and turf battles over drugs say they welcome
a paramilitary presence in their neighborhoods.

During a routine SWAT patrol in a poor neighborhood in Fresno, Calif., Sgt.
Randy Dobbins said: "You look at the way we're dressed and all these weapons
and this helicopter overhead -- we could not do this if people in the
community didn't support us. Some people are afraid to be seen with us, but
a lot of others come out and cheer us when we show up."

Kraska found that nearly 90 percent of the police departments he surveyed in
cities of more than 50,000 people had paramilitary units, as did about 75
percent of the departments of communities under 50,000.

In South Bend, Ind., the police have used SWAT teams to serve warrants on
small-time marijuana dealers. In St. Petersburg, Fla., the teams were
deployed, to considerable criticism, to ensure order during a civic parade.

Dressed in black or olive camouflage known as battle dress uniforms, the
paramilitary squads use armored personnel carriers, stun grenades and
Heckler & Koch MP5s, which are submachine guns advertised to police
departments with the line "From the Gulf War to the Drug War -- battle

When earlier this month New York police officers fatally shot a West African
immigrant named Amadou Diallo, firing 41 bullets at the unarmed man, it was
considered by some critics as a logical consequence of a police department
that views patrolling certain neighborhoods as war duty.

In other cities, Kraska found in his study, police paramilitary units got
into trouble when they were used beyond their original mission.

Some police chiefs and academics acknowledge the enormous growth of
paramilitary police but dispute the criticism of how they are used. Most
SWAT teams rarely shoot anyone, and 96 percent of all raids end with no
shots fired, according to the National Tactical Officers Association.

"You want people who are highly trained and highly disciplined," said David
Klinger, a professor of sociology at the University of Houston, who is
studying SWAT teams.

"It makes sense to me for Bubba Bob the sheriff to have on his staff a
couple of guys or girls who have been through extensive tactical training,"
Klinger, a former Los Angeles police officer, added. "But if what you have
is some cowboy idiot who wants to be the tough guy, that doesn't help

Most of the squads stay in existence because there is too much incentive not
to, police officers say. Forfeiture laws passed by Congress at the height of
the crack scare were designed to take the profit out of drug dealing; assets
like cars, boats, guns and cash can be seized, regardless of whether the
person who owns them is later convicted.

But the laws have given the police a profit motive for fighting drugs,
because their departments can use what they seize to subsidize their budgets
or buy extra equipment.

And since the end of the Cold War, the military's giveaway of surplus
hardware has proved irresistible to many SWAT teams. An amphibious armored
personnel carrier has just been picked up by the Boone County sheriff's
office in Indiana, and bayonets were recently accepted, then rejected, by
the police in Los Angeles.

"I was offered tanks, bazookas, anything I wanted," said Nick Pastore,
former police chief of New Haven, Conn. "I turned it all down, because it
feeds a mind-set that you're not a police officer serving a community,
you're a soldier at war."

The Patrol: Police in Armor, Residents on Bikes

"War" is the word most often used in Fresno, a depressed city of about
400,000 people in the San Joaquin Valley. In Fresno, more than in any other
city, paramilitary police have become a part of everyday life.

On a night when the moon was full and night temperatures so low that the
oranges held a wisp of frost, the Fresno SWAT squad, called the Violent
Crime Suppression Unit, was back in familiar territory: the poor and largely
black section of town known as the Dog Pound, where drug dealing is

"You wouldn't believe what this place used to be like," said Dobbins,
leading a group of camouflaged officers on their nightly patrol. "People
were prisoners of their homes. Police officers were shot at routinely. The
bad guys had no fear."

An 11-year veteran, Dobbins is proud of the fact that crime has fallen in
Fresno, as elsewhere. Like other members of the unit, he has a semiautomatic
Beretta pistol, a Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun and a 12-round shotgun
called the Street Sweeper at his disposal.

Since its start, the Fresno unit has tried to recruit ethnic minorities,
though it remains overwhelmingly white. The 34-member unit has access to two
helicopters equipped with night-vision goggles and people-detecting heat
sensors, an armored personnel carrier with a turret, and an armored van that
serves as a portable headquarters.

The armored personnel carrier, a gift from the military with the words
"FRESNO SWAT" brightly painted on it, is used mainly to serve drug warrants
in potentially dangerous situations.

"A lot of people don't like the perception," Dobbins said. "They wonder why
the heck does the Police Department need this kind of equipment. But you
can't understand what it's like to be shot at, and what a difference it
makes when you're in one of these."

The neighborhood was relatively quiet. Two pedestrians were stopped and
searched for drugs. A car with a missing headlight was stopped; its driver
was handcuffed and told to sit on the sidewalk while the trunk was searched.
Nothing was found.

Several cars from the unit went on a high-speed chase of a stolen car. The
occupants, tracked by dogs, dashed from the car and were chased through
several yards but escaped.

Pointing to a small house behind a high fence, said to be a drug haven,
Dobbins said, "We've raided this house five times." Drugs, mostly crack
cocaine, are what keep the Violent Crime Suppression Unit in business.
People are stopped for minor offenses, and can then be arrested for
possessing drugs or having outstanding warrants.

"I'd say anyone we're going to find milling around here is usually involved
with crack or high on crack," said Günter Miss, a former Los Angeles police
officer now with Fresno's SWAT squad. He described his work as "a lot of

Most of the young men seen on the neighborhood streets were riding bikes.
"That's what has happened to a lot of the drug dealers," Dobbins said.
"We've impounded their cars."

People in the community seemed to accept all the action, the police lights,
the constant presence of screeching tires and barking dogs that sound like
firecrackers, as the price of a certain kind of peace. City officials say
they have received very few complaints from citizens, and random interviews
confirmed that.

"There used to be drug addicts everywhere," said Lydia Covarrubio, who has
lived in Fresno for 30 years, speaking as officers with dogs chased two
people through back yards in her neighborhood.

In 1994, Fresno had a record 85 homicides and 2,810 robberies, and officers
were fired at a dozen times. The crime spike was blamed on gangs selling

"There was a real sense that the bad guys had control of the streets," said
the Fresno police chief, Ed Winchester. "We were desperate. But we certainly
could not have deployed heavily armed SWAT-like units without the support of
the community."

The unit became a permanent part of the department the following year, in
1995. In four years, crime has fallen dramatically, matching the plunge
across the nation. Winchester said the paramilitary units deserved part of
the credit, though he acknowledged other factors.

The drop in crime raises a question about how long the city needs to keep
paramilitary patrols on the streets.

"If we pulled out, the drug dealers would come back with a vengeance," said
Lt. Greg Coleman, the unit commander. "Drug dealers are replaced right away.
If you arrest one, there's another to take his place."

So they are left with each other, the officers with submachine guns and
helicopters, and the drug dealers on bicycles, in what the police say is a
ceaseless struggle.

The Message: Small Arrests Show Who Is in Control

With a population of 57,000, Meriden, Conn., does not fit the image of an
urban crime nightmare. But in Meriden, as in Fresno, crack and other drugs
prompted a desperate move to create a special paramilitary unit.

Meriden formed its SWAT team in 1986, when crack cocaine was starting to
appear all over the United States. The unit now has 29 members who are used
nearly full time. Other small cities and towns have SWAT-trained officers
but use them only occasionally.

"Street-level drug dealing just took off with crack," said Lt. Steve Lagere,
who heads the Meriden SWAT team. "We could pull up to the projects and have
five youths selling drugs at one time, right out in the open."

Now in Meriden, as in Fresno, the team arrests people for minor offenses,
attacking small crimes as a way to send a larger message about who is in
control. About 90 percent of the unit's deployments, Lagere said, involve
drug-related work, primarily in the city's housing projects and surrounding
neighborhoods, which tend to be black and Hispanic.

Kraska's survey found that paramilitary units in small and medium-sized
communities were most often used to knock down the doors of houses to search
for drugs.

The police acknowledge the change. Some shrug; others are alarmed. "I don't
think it was intended to be used this way," Lagere said. But a well-trained
tactical squad can better serve a drug warrant in a potentially dangerous
situation than a community police officer can, he added.

"The way I look at it is, my officers are not of the military, shoot-first
assault style," he said. "We have a different attitude. We're going to use
everything we can to ensure there is little violence. And we don't care if
we're dealing with the lowest vermin in the street, it's 'yes sir, no sir.'
We never dehumanize these people."

Overall crime is down about 30 percent in the past five years, Lagere said.
But when asked if the original purpose of establishing the paramilitary
unit -- to reduce heavy drug use and dealing, by maintaining a heavy show of
force -- had been achieved, he was less sure. Like most police officers
interviewed in the trenches of the drug war, he expressed a sense of

"We ought to be looking at some other option," he said. "It's politically
incorrect to say that as a cop. You really can't discuss it much here,
because people will think you're soft on drugs. But I don't see crack use
going up or down, no matter what we've tried to do."

Down the Quinnipiac River from Meriden, the city of New Haven has been
through a similar scourge of drugs and violence. And in the last five years,
it has also seen crime rates fall dramatically. But the city did not expand
the role of its rarely used SWAT team. Instead, the police say, they brought
the crime rate down by rejecting the militarized approach.

"I had some tough-guy cops in my department pushing for bigger and more
hardware," said Pastore, who was the police chief from 1990 to 1997. "They
used to say, 'It's a war out there.' They like SWAT because it's an

New Haven, a city of 130,000, emphasized community policing, making officers
walk the beat on city streets or in housing projects. "The approach you take
creates a mind-set," Pastore said. "If you think everyone who uses drugs is
the enemy, then you're more likely to declare war on the people."

Lagere, in Meriden, said his town used both community policing and a heavy
SWAT presence. The SWAT team has never killed anyone, he said. But other
police officers argue that using paramilitary squads for assaults, sweeps
and raids increases the likelihood of accidents or shootings.

They point to two cases in New England. When the SWAT team in Fitchburg,
Mass., stormed an apartment looking for a drug dealer in December 1996, it
ended up gutting an entire apartment house. A stun grenade, designed as
distraction, flashed in a predictable burst but also ignited a sofa, which
grew into a fire that consumed the building. Six officers were injured, and
24 people were left without a home.

In another case, a SWAT team's drug raid on the wrong apartment in Boston
led to the death of a minister, the Rev. Accelyne Williams, from a heart
attack. A settlement with Williams' widow cost the city $1 million.

The Evolution: Less Militaristic and More Selective

As small and midsized cities expand the reach of their drug-fighting
paramilitary squads, the nation's original SWAT team, in Los Angeles, has
gone in the opposite direction.

The unit that introduced the term SWAT into the popular lexicon was formed
in 1966, largely in response to a fear of urban terrorism and riots. Over
the years, the Los Angeles squad became notorious for its battering rams
connected to armored carriers, its constant helicopter presence, its
assault-style raids.

"The idea back then was a lot more militaristic," said Officer Eduardo
Funes, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department. Now the 67-member
team reacts to extremely violent situations, rather than carrying out
assaults. It is rare for it to be called out on suicide threats or drug
warrants, unless there is a strong likelihood of gunfire, Funes said.

"It's not like you see on those TV shows like 'Cops' or in the movies,"
Funes said. "The philosophy is to have a well-trained, well-armed group of
police officers who can respond and back up other officers in dangerous

What fed the expanding role of SWAT teams across the country were the
forfeiture laws that allow the police to keep much of what they take in
raids. There are no figures on the total amount of property seized by all
police departments nationwide, but the federal government seized more than
$4 billion in assets from 1986 to 1996.

Critics say that the more police departments conduct forfeiture raids, the
more they come to rely on them. "I call them forfeiture junkies," Pastore

The Supreme Court has upheld the forfeiture laws, but a few states,
including California, have changed the statutes so that a conviction is
required before the police can keep the property.

Surplus military gear has also flooded into SWAT squads' lockers. Between
1995 and 1997 alone, the Department of Defense gave police departments 1.2
million pieces of military hardware, including 73 grenade launchers and 112
armored personnel carriers.

But Klinger, who patrolled the streets of South Central Los Angeles before
he became a scholar on police behavior, said he does not think the raids
ultimately do much to curb drug use.

"We should legalize drugs, and law enforcement should get out of the
business of treating drugs as a crime problem," Klinger said. "This is not
an unusual position in the tactical squad community."

The Alternatives: Measuring Success by Those Who Live

When Sam Walker, a professor of criminal justice at the University of
Nebraska at Omaha, reviewed the cases of all the people killed by the
Albuquerque police, he was stunned.

"The rate of killings by police was just off the charts," said Walker, who
was hired by the city to study the department. "They had an organizational
culture within their SWAT team that led them to escalate situations upward,
rather than de-escalating."

That is precisely what happened to Larry Harper, his family believes. At the
time the police shot him, as he cowered behind a tree, he wanted to live and
was ready to go home, said his brother James Harper.

"I keep thinking of my brother crying out, 'Leave me alone, I haven't done
anything,' and their response, which was to kill him," said Harper, who
comes from a line of law-enforcement officers.

Galvin, the Albuquerque police chief, also saw a need for change after he
was hired last year. "I did away with the SWAT team," Galvin said in an
interview. "We have SWAT capability, because I think it is a necessary
function of any police department. But there is no longer a full-time unit
in place."

Most drug raids, suicide calls and other types of volatile police actions do
not need a full paramilitary response, he said. "If you have a mind-set that
the goal is to take out a citizen, it will happen," Galvin said. "A
successful intervention for us now is one where nobody gets killed."

In Dallas, the paramilitary unit has been taken off most drug raids, which
are carried out instead by the narcotics squad. In Seattle, the SWAT team is
also out of the business of drug raids and suicide calls. Nor do the Seattle
police use a helicopter.

But in Fresno, or Meriden, or Champaign, Ill., where the SWAT teams serve
most of the drug warrants, there are no plans to retreat. The officers in
camouflage and helmets, carrying MP5s and Street Sweeper shotguns, are part
of the night.

Lawyer says people's militia may be answer to combating police brutality
(The Associated Press says New York City attorney Roger Wareham and a civil
rights group called the December 12th Movement are planning a commmunity
forum Monday evening at a Harlem church. The purpose of the meeting is to
consider forming a people's militia, because local, state and federal
officials have failed to address the problem of police brutality in the

From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (
To: "_Drug Policy --" (
Subject: Lawyer says people's militia may be answer
to combating police brutality
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 19:19:11 -0800

Lawyer says people's militia may be answer to combating police brutality

By Donna De La Cruz
Associated Press
03/01/99 19:15

NEW YORK (AP) - Local, state and federal officials have failed to address
the problem of police brutality in the city, said a lawyer who suggested
forming a people's militia on Monday.

Roger Wareham and the civil rights group ''December 12th Movement'' was to
hold a discussion Monday evening at a Harlem church on the legal right to a
people's militia.

''There we will examine our constitutional right to educate, organize and
mobilize our communities to defend and protect ourselves from illegal police
terror,'' Wareham said at a news conference held to discuss police brutality
in the wake of Amadou Diallo's shooting death on Feb. 4 by four officers in
the Bronx.

Rep. John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee,
also spoke at the news conference but did not comment on Wareham's remarks.

Conyers said he would ask Rep. Henry Hyde, chairman of the Judiciary
Committee, to hold hearings on police brutality nationwide, and if
necessary, he would ask President Clinton to look into the issue.

Wareham, who represented organizers of last summer's Million Youth March,
said he did not think the government could stop police brutality, because it
hasn't in the past.

''As the murders and abuses of blacks and Latinos escalate, it is obvious
that what has been tried before is not working. Some new initiatives must be
put forward,'' he said.

In his remarks, Conyers claimed New York City has more police brutality
incidents than any other city, and described Diallo's shooting as ghastly
and repugnant. The four officers fired 41 bullets at Diallo, who was
unarmed, hitting him 19 times.

Conyers also criticized Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Police Commissioner
Howard Safir for not immediately denouncing the shooting.

Also Monday in Albany, more than two dozen members of the state
Legislature's Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caucus endorsed a package of
bills they said would reduce instances of police brutality against

They include measures requiring all new New York City police officers to
live within the five boroughs, the repeal of the ''48-hour rule'' which
allows officers involved in a shooting to remain silent for two days before
giving supervisors a statement and for all on-duty police officers to face
drug and alcohol testing after a weapon is discharged.

The legislators also want a bill passed requiring all New York City police
officers to have clips in their service firearms with 10 or fewer bullets.
The clips in 9mm service weapons now hold 16 rounds. That bill is designed
to give officers fewer shots if they get into a panic situation, Assemblyman
Herman Farrell, D-Manhattan, said.

''It does not in any way harm the police officers, but it might help the
civilians,'' Farrell said.

The chairman of the caucus, Manhattan Democratic Assemblyman Keith Wright,
said the shooting of Amadou Diallo is the last straw.

''We as communities of color will not lose another of our innocents because
of the repeated acts of wanton lawlessness by officers sworn to uphold the
law,'' Wright said.

The caucus also called on Republican Gov. George Pataki to appoint a special
prosecutor to investigate the Diallo shooting.


When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an
e-mail to Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put
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N.J. Police Superintendent Is Fired (The Associated Press follows up on
yesterday's news about New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman firing State
Police Superintendent Col. Carl Williams on Sunday after he said in an
interview with the Star-Ledger of Newark that minority groups were more
likely to be involved in drug trafficking.)

Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999 09:42:20 -0800
From: Paul Freedom (
Organization: Oregon Liberatarian Patriots
To: Constitutional Cannabis Patriots (
Subject: [cp] N.J. Police Superintendent Is Fired
List-Unsubscribe: (

MARCH 01, 04:46 EST

N.J. Police Superintendent Is Fired

Associated Press Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Less than two weeks ago, Gov. Christie Whitman
stood firmly behind New Jersey's top cop when a black ministers' group
demanded his resignation, citing a racial profiling controversy.

But after State Police Superintendent Col. Carl A. Williams Jr. was quoted
in The Star-Ledger of Newark on Sunday as saying that minorities were
more likely to be involved in drug crimes, Whitman swiftly fired him.

``The comments were insensitive and absolutely counter to bolstering
confidence in law enforcement,'' said Whitman's spokesman, Pete
McDonough. ``There are vast segments of the New Jersey public whose
confidence in the system is shaken.''

The state Council of Black Ministers and the state chapter of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People had been calling for
Williams' ouster for weeks, saying he wasn't acknowledging a history of
racist practices on the part of the state police.

Minority groups say Williams stated what a lot of his colleagues probably

``If these feelings are of the state superintendent, one can only imagine
how deep they may be among the rank and file,'' said the Rev. Reginald
Jackson, executive director of the Black Ministers Council of New Jersey.

Williams and the State Police have come under fire over allegations that
the agency practices racial profiling, targeting minorities for traffic
stops. The issue was inflamed by the April 1998 shooting of three minority
men during a stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Troopers said they fired on the
unarmed men in a van because the vehicle was backing up at them.

In The Star-Ledger interview, Williams said he did not condone racial
profiling, but said it is naive to think race is not an issue in drug

``Two weeks ago, the president of the United States went to Mexico to
talk to the president of Mexico about drugs. He didn't go to Ireland. He
didn't go to England,'' Williams said.

``Today with this drug problem, the drug problem is cocaine or marijuana.
It is most likely a minority group that's involved with that,'' said
Williams. ``They aren't going to ask some Irishman to be a part of their
(gang) because they don't trust them.''

But he said some generalizations can be made. ``If you're looking at the
methamphetamine market, that seems to be controlled by the motorcycle
gangs, which are basically predominantly white,'' he said. ``If you're
looking at heroin and stuff like that, your involvement there is more or
less Jamaicans.''

Whitman said the state's law enforcement system must be carried out
free of bias. She said Williams' comments ``are inconsistent with our
efforts to enhance public confidence in the state police.''

``His views are dastardly, his thoughts are ill and sickened, and he's unfit
to hold such a critical, important office that protects,'' said Assemblyman
LeRoy D. Jones. ``He's a racist in the worst kind because he doesn't even
know it.''

Williams, 58, was tapped for the $89,963 superintendent post in 1994. He
has been in law enforcement for almost 35 years. Williams was not
available for comment, and a State Police spokesman did not return
messages seeking comment.

Last week, The Associated Press reported that The Justice Department's
Civil Rights Division has been investigating New Jersey's state police for
two years.

Earlier this year, State Attorney General Peter Verniero ordered his office
to review State Police policies to determine if troopers engage in racial
profiling and to ensure that ``all policies promote fairness.''


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N.J. Police Leader Fired As Critics Claim Bias (The version in the Charlotte
Observer, in North Carolina)

Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 04:48:06 -0800
From: (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NJ: N.J. Police Leader Fired As Critics Claim Bias
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: 1 Mar 1999
Source: Charlotte Observer (NC)
Copyright: 1999 The Charlotte Observer
Author: S. Mitra Kalita, Associated Press



-- Gov. Christie Whitman fired the head of the New Jersey State Police on
Sunday after he said in a newspaper interview that minority groups were
more likely to be involved in drug trafficking than others.

The Black Ministers Council of New Jersey and the state chapter of the
NAACP had been calling for State Police Superintendent Col. Carl Williams'
ouster for weeks, saying he was not acknowledging a history of racist
procedures by the State Police.

Whitman said Sunday the state's law enforcement system must be carried out
free of bias. She said Williams' comments "are inconsistent with our
efforts to enhance public confidence in the State Police."

Her spokesman, Pete McDonough, said Williams' comments were the last straw
in an already hostile situation between minorities and police officers.

Williams has come under fire over allegations that the agency practices
racial profiling, targeting minorities for traffic stops.

In an interview with The Star-Ledger of Newark published Sunday, Williams
said he did not condone racial profiling, but said it is naive to think
race is not an issue in drug crimes.

"Two weeks ago, the president of the United States went to Mexico to talk
to the president of Mexico about drugs. He didn't go to Ireland. He didn't
go to England," Williams said.

"Today with this drug problem, the drug problem is cocaine or marijuana. It
is most likely a minority group that's involved with that," said Williams.

Williams, 58, has repeatedly said he has never condoned racial profiling.
But he told the newspaper some generalizations can be made.

"If you're looking at the methamphetamine market, that seems to be
controlled by the motorcycle gangs, which are basically predominantly
white," he said. "If you're looking at heroin and stuff like that, your
involvement there is more or less Jamaicans."

McDonough said Williams' comments were unacceptable.

"The comments were insensitive and absolutely counter to bolstering
confidence in law enforcement," McDonough said. "There are vast segments of
the New Jersey public whose confidence in the system is shaken."

NJ Gov. Ousts Police Superintendent (The UPI version)

Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 04:39:00 -0800
From: (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NJ: Wire: NJ Gov. Ousts Police Superintendent
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: 1 Mar 1999
Source: United Press International
Copyright: 1999 United Press International
Note: Headline by MAP Editor


(TRENTON) - New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman ousted the head of the state
police after a published interview quoted him as saying he believes most of
the nation's cocaine and marijuana business is conducted by minorities.
Whitman said State Police Superintendent Carl Williams' reported comments
are inconsistent with efforts to enhance public confidence in the state
police. Williams is quoted as saying minority groups are most likely to be
involved with cocaine or marijuana, predominately white motorcycle gangs
control the methamphetamine market, and Jamaicans more or less control the
heroin trade.

Williams said he has never in his 30 years as a state trooper known an
officer who profiled based on skin color or nationality, but said profiling
by looking for signs that a person might be a lawbreaker is good police work.

In 1996, a state judge ruled the State Police were using racial profiling
to stop black motorists on the southern end of the New Jersey Turnpike. The
issue boiled over again last April when troopers shot three unarmed
minority men during a stop on the turnpike. The officers claim the van was
trying to back over them.

Police Chief Fired Over Remarks (The New York Times version in the San Jose
Mercury News)

Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 21:29:41 -0800
From: (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NJ: Police Chief Fired Over Remarks
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (
Pubdate: Mon, 1 Mar 1999
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Mercury Center
Author: ROBERT D. MCFADDEN, New York Times


N.J. superintendent linked drugs, crime to minority

New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman ousted the superintendent of the state
police Sunday after a published report quoted him saying it was naive to
think race was not an issue in drug crimes and that cocaine and marijuana
traffickers were most likely to be members of minority groups.

Her decision came the same day the Star-Ledger of Newark published a lengthy
report quoting the police superintendent, Col. Carl Williams, in a
wide-ranging interview as linking minority groups with drug trafficking and
making other comments that seemed to fuel a racial controversy around the
New Jersey State Police.

``Two weeks ago, the president of the United States went to Mexico to talk
to the president of Mexico about drugs,'' Williams was quoted as saying.
``He didn't go to Ireland. He didn't go to England. Today, with this drug
problem, the drug problem is cocaine or marijuana. It is most likely a
minority group that's involved with that.''

In a late afternoon statement in Trenton, the governor said: ``I have valued
Col. Williams' service, and his career record is an honorable one. However,
his comments today are inconsistent with our efforts to enhance public
confidence in the state police. I have therefore asked for his immediate

Black state legislators, religious leaders, civil-rights advocates and
others who had sought Williams' removal called the resignation a step in the
right direction, but said much would depend on the selection of a successor
and on establishing what they called new directions within the 2,700-member
state police force. Whitman named Lt. Col. Michael Fedorko, the
second-in-command, as acting superintendent.

Williams, 58, who rose through the ranks in a 35-year state police career,
did not comment publicly on his dismissal. He had been under fire for weeks
over charges that state troopers had unfairly targeted black drivers on
state highways, a practice known as racial profiling, and that he had
refused to acknowledge a long history of racist procedures by his force.

Despite the criticism and calls for Williams' resignation, Whitman, who had
appointed him superintendent in 1994, defended him publicly, and political
observers in Trenton said she had been prepared to stand by him, despite
misgivings by members of her administration about what some saw as his
tendency toward insensitive outspokenness.

She abruptly reversed course Sunday after the Star-Ledger's report.
Williams, in a three-hour interview that took place late last week, was
quoted as saying racial profiling would not be condoned and that troopers
must stop motorists only ``on the basis of a traffic violation.'' He added:
``As far as racial profiling is concerned, that is absolutely not right. It
never has been condoned in the state police, and it never will be.''

But he also said certain crimes were associated with certain racial and
ethnic groups. ``If you are looking at the methamphetamine market, that
seems to be controlled by the motorcycle gangs, which are basically white,''
he said. ``If you are looking at heroin and stuff like that, your
involvement there is more or less Jamaican.''

The newspaper also paraphrased Williams as saying it would be naive to think
race was not an issue in drug trafficking, and that drug violations were not
the only crimes associated with ethnic groups.

Although contending that he had never known a state police officer who used
profiles based on skin color or nationality, Williams was quoted as saying
that he had taken steps to counter such profiling.

Emergency Last Minute Plea For Help (A bulletin from a publicist for the
federal medical marijuana class action lawsuit being litigated by Lawrence
Elliott Hirsch seeks donors to help as many patients as possible attend oral
arguments March 3 in Philadelphia.)

Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999 11:45:28 -0800
From: "James R. Dawson" (
Organization: FAIRLAW.ORG

Dear friends,

Three years ago my friend Guy Mount of Holy Smoke fame Cyber-introduced
me to a lady named Joan Bello, who had recently moved to Florida from
New York. Our friendship bloomed and through Joan I met Lawrence Elliott
Hirsch, an enlightened attorney from the big city of Philadelphia. Larry
had a dream of helping sick people who used cannabis medicinally, of
being able to receive the same medicine that eight other Americans now
receive from the Federal Government. Along with a few other med mj
activists and their supporters we set out to find the sick and suffering
among us and the Action Class for Freedom from Government Prohibition of
Therapeutic Cannabis was born.

On March 3, 1999 those same sick people and their supporters have a
chance to present themselves before a Federal court of law and in
particular a hearing of our class action lawsuit before Judge Marvin
Katz, a federal court Judge.

We the Action Class have received a great outpouring of support from the
med MJ activists and the Reform movement as a whole. We thank you from
the bottom of our hearts. But we are not there yet. We need and want as
many plaintiff/patients to be there as is possible, that is why we are
making this plea.

At 3:00 PM EST today Monday, March 1st, the hotel we have reserved for
patients coming to Philadelphia from all over the country, is releasing
our Hirsch/Class Action reserved block of rooms to others if we do not
come up with the funds beforehand. We desperately need more of you to
fax this form to Best Western.

(FAX # 215-557-9448. The form is here print it out if you need to:)

Best Western
501 North 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA

Please these patient/plaintiffs that are coming to Philadelphia expect a
place to lay their heads and we do not want them sleeping on the streets!

We still need you to be generous with your donation on your credit card
to the Hirsch/Class Action block of rooms. We need 25 rooms and we only
have about 10. This is for a two night stay @ $100.00 a night.

Won't you please help us show the world that we medicinal cannabis
(marijuana) users are ordinary people from all walks of life? They are your
brother or sister, your boss, the judge in the courtroom and the cop on the
beat. We are not criminals; we are sick and suffering American citizens who
need compassion instead of a prison cell. Go ahead and make that call. Do it
for change!


James Dawson
on behalf of the Action Class.

I can be reached at ICQ29950171

Link to 'Good news - medical marijuana class action lawsuit'


It is not about legalizing marijuana; it is about legalizing freedom.
(Richard Cowan)


The "Action Class" for the Freedom of Therapeutic Cannabis 1997-98-99
We are an "Action Class" which connotes non-passive, lawful, dynamic forward
movement, in concert with each other, continually forming alliances and
growing toward the ideal of freedom and equality for all.


We are a grassroots convergence OF the people Funding the actions of the
class BY the people Allowing us to work FOR the people!


Joan Bello writing on the "Action Class" for the
Freedom of Therapeutic Cannabis 1997-98-99


The Action Class for Freedom of Government Prohibition
of Therapeutic Cannabis Plea for members and $$$


The government's own programs PROVE that marijuana is a safe and effective
medicine! There are currently eight(8) human test subjects who are provided
marijuana from the government's own pot farm. Am I so different from them
that I am denied equal access to this most beneficial medicinal herb?


Will Foster 93 sentence slashed to 20 Years by appeals court Judge!


Will's Parole DENIED!!

It's official. On January 20th notification was received that Governor
Keating had refused Will's parole. This is a slap in the face to common
sense and equal justice....Write the Governor of Oklahoma and tell him
what you think about his refusal to sign Will Fosters' Parole Papers

Free Will Foster NOW!

Treatment of Tourette's Syndrome With Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (The
March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry features a report by four
German physicians about their single-subject experiment documenting the
efficacy of the primary psychoactive substance in marijuana as medicine for
the neuropsychiatric disorder.)
Link to 3/11/99 related article
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 23:58:34 -0800 From: (MAPNews) To: Subject: MN: US: Treatment of Tourette's Syndrome With Sender: Reply-To: Organization: Media Awareness Project Newshawk: Peter Webster ( Pubdate: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 Source: American Journal (US) Section: American Journal of Psychiatry 156:3 March 1999 Contact: Author: KIRSTEN R. MULLER-VAHL, M.D.; UD0 SCHNEIDER, M.D.; HANS KOLBE. M.D.; HINDERK M. EMRICH, M.D. TREATMENT OF TOURETTE'S SYNDROME WITH DELTA-9-TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL TO THE EDITOR: Tourette's syndrome is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder of unknown etiology. Earlier reports suggested beneficial effects in Tourette's syndrome when smoking marijuana (Cannabis sativa) (1, 2, 3). We report a successful treatment of Tourette's syndrome with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC), the major psychoactive ingredient of marijuana. Mr. A., a 25-year-old-man, was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at age 6. Motor and vocal tics starred as age 10. During adolescence, he developed obsessive-compulsive behavior, anxiety, lack of impulse control, and self-injurious behavior. The diagnosis of Tourette's syndrome according to DSM-IV criteria was made at age 22. At age 19, he started smoking marijuana. When using 2-3 gm/day he noted a marked improvement of both vocal and motor tics and associated behavioral disorders. Therefore he stopped less effective medical treatment with pimozide. In an uncontrolled open clinical trial, we investigated whether delta-9-THC is effective in the therapy of Tourette's syndrome. Written informed consent was obtained from the patient after complete description of the study. The local ethics committee approved the study. Mr. A was treated once with 10 mg of delta-9-THC. (He was unmedicated and had stopped smoking marijuana 3 days before.) Using the section on tic symptoms of the Tourette's Syndrome Global Scale, we found that Mr. A's total tic severity score was 41 before treatment and was reduced to 7 just 2 hours after treatment. Both motor and vocal tics improved and coprolalia disappeared. The improvement began 30 minutes after treatment and lasted for about 7 hours; no adverse effects occurred. To measure cognitive functions, we performed neuropsychological tests, which showed improved signal detection and sustained attention and reaction time after treatment. Mr. A himself noted an improvement of motor and vocal tics of about 70%. Furthermore, he felt an amelioration in attention, impulse control, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and premonitory feeling. This is the first report of a successful treatment of Tourette's syndrome with delta-9-THC. Furthermore, for the first time, patients' subjective experiences when smoking marijuana were confirmed by using a valid and reliable rating scale and by excluding the fact of using an illegal drug. In addition, our findings give evidence that beneficial effects of marijuana may be due to the most psychoactive ingredient -- delta-9-THC. So far, it is unclear whether beneficial effects are caused by unspecific mechanisms like reduction of anxiety, sedation, or placebo effects. We hypothesize, however, that there may be an interaction between delta-9-THC and specific cannabinoid receptors located in basal ganglia (4). We are planning to confirm these preliminary results in a doubleblind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. REFERENCES 1. Sandyk R. Awerbuch G. Marijuana and Tourette's syndrome. J Clin Psychopharmacol 1988; 8: 444 - 445 2. Hemming M, Yelllowlees PM: Effective treatment of Tourette's syndrome with marijuana. J Clin psychopharmacol 1993; 7: 389 - 391 3. Muller-Vahl KR, Kolbe H, Dengler R; Gilles de la Tourette-Syndrom; Einfluss von Nikotin, Alkohol und marihuana auf die linkische Symptomatikt. Nervenarz 1997; 68: 985 - 989 4. Herkenham M, Lynn AB, Little MD, Johnson MR, Melvin LS, de Costa BR, Rice KC. Cannabinoid receptor localization in brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1990; 87: 1932 - 1936 KIRSTEN R. MULLER-VAHL, M.D. UD0 SCHNEIDER, M.D. HANS KOLBE. M.D. HINDERK M. EMRICH, M.D. Hannover, Germany

Dear Abby: Battle Lines In Drug War Not So Easily Drawn (Abigail Van Buren,
America's venerable syndicated advice columnist, says marijuana laws are
overdue for an overhaul, that she looks favorably on the use of marijuana as
medicine, and recommends parents learn the facts about marijuana by reading
"Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts," by Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D., and John P.
Morgan, M.D., published by the Lindesmith Center.)

From: Ty Trippet (
Subject: Dear Abby: Battle Lines In Drug War Not So Easily Drawn
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 11:48:21 -0500

Chicago Tribune, March 1, 1999 Monday


Abigail Van Buren.

Dear Abby: I'm responding to the letter in your column from our federal drug
czar, Barry R. McCaffrey. The general is not an M.D. or social worker, and
isn't qualified to speak on the drug problem. None of what he suggests will
prevent drug abuse. Furthermore, he recently made himself look foolish with
his inaccurate statement that Holland has a higher crime rate than the United
States due to Holland's liberal drug policies. In fact, Holland has a much
Lower crime rate and a lower rate of drug abuse than the U.S. Obviously,
Holland's moderate approach works far better than our draconian criminal

The United States should follow Holland's good example and make a distinction
between marijuana and hard drugs. The alleged dangers of marijuana have been
absurdly exaggerated. There is a growing mountain of hard scientific evidence
that marijuana is not harmful unless used in very large doses. By lying about
the dangers of marijuana, we cast doubt on the warnings about truly dangerous
cocaine, LSD, heroin and designer drugs.

We shouldn't ruin the lives of young people - or anyone else - by jailing
them for smoking marijuana, nor should sick people be denied medical

I have read your columns for 25 years, Abby. You have good sense. I hope
you'll seriously consider that prohibition is not preventing abuse or
addiction, but is instead greatly worsening the drug situation. Prohibition
didn't work with alcohol, and is an even bigger failure with marijuana.

Steve J. Wilcott, San Francisco

Dear Steve: I agree that marijuana laws are overdue for an overhaul. I also
favor the medical use of marijuana - if it's prescribed by a physician. I
cannot understand why the federal government should interfere with the
doctor-patient relationship, nor why it would ignore the will of a majority
of voters who have legally approved such legislation.

However, regardless of whether Gen. McCaffrey is right or wrong about the
crime rate in Holland, I'm staunchly behind his effort to initiate dialogue
between concerned parents and children about drugs. Honest dialogue is
essential. Parents must level with their children about which drugs are
dangerous and which are not, or they'll lose their credibility and be
disregarded. This is especially important at a time when drug dealers offer
an array of new designer drugs - some virtually undetectable, and some of
which can be fatal.

An excellent book on the subject of marijuana is "Marijuana Myths, Marijuana
Facts" by Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D., and John P. Morgan, M.D., published by the
Lindesmith Center in New York. It can be ordered through Bookworld Cos. By
calling 800-444-2524. The cost is $12.95 per book, plus $3.95 per book
shipping and handling. When ordering, please provide the following ISBN
number: 0-9641568-4-9.


Ty Trippet
Director of Communications
The Lindesmith Center

400 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019


From: "sburbank" (
To: "DPFOR" (
Subject: DPFOR: March 1st, DEAR ABBY
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 10:54:09 -0800
Organization: DrugSense

Don't forget, MAMA has distributed copies "MM,MF" to every public library
and branch in Oregon.


Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse
2255 State Road, Mosier, OR 97040
phone or fax 541-298-1031

Join MAMA today!

McCaffrey Denies Rumors of Resignation (An excerpt from Semena, a magazine
in Colombia, quotes General Barry McCaffrey, the White House drug czar,
denying a recent Washington Times claim that he will leave soon for the
American Red Cross.)

Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999 18:25:01 -0500
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (
From: Paul Wolf (
Subject: Semana: McCaffrey Denies Rumors of Resignation

This is an exerpt from a 3/1 interview with the Colombian
magazine "Semana."


Semana: It is said that you are going to leave your job soon.

BM: These rumors that I'm leaving and where I'm going are
totally false. I'm planning to remain in this place, I am
honored to do it. I didn't ask for this job, it happened
because the President asked it of me, and because of what
my 82 year old father suggested it might do. I returned my
pension to take this civilian job, and they left me only
two years. [I think this means "I had only two years to go"]

"Colombia es una amenaza" Marzo 1 de 1999, Edición 878

SEMANA: Se ha dicho que usted va a dejar su cargo pronto.

B.M.: Esos rumores de que me iba y a dónde me iba son totalmente falsos.
Planeo quedarme en este puesto, estoy honrado de hacerlo. No pedí este
cargo, lo hice porque el presidente me lo pidió y porque mi padre de 82
años me aconsejó que lo hiciera. Devolví mi pensión para poder ocupar este
puesto civil y me quedan solo dos años.

Hemp BC's Final "Show-Cause Showdown" With the City (A news release and call
to action issued by Cannabis Culture magazine, in Vancouver, British
Columbia, notes a city hearing on March 8 will be the hemp store's last
chance to renew its business licence. Actually, the "decision" seems to have
been made already. The only thing that might make a difference is a public
outcry. Hemp BC's Sister Icee has already attended four of the city council
hearings. The hearings, characterized by the local media as a "kangaroo
court," have been fraught with shows of bad faith, disrespect for the Supreme
Court of BC, and blatant lying by the city and its lawyers. Fear-mongering
police officers, instrumental in past busts against Hemp BC, have been called
as witnesses to slander Icee's store. In the gallery, a disaffected public
hiss and boo at the outrageous injustice of the city's machinations.)

From: (Cannabis Culture)
Subject: CC: Hemp BC's Final Showdown
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999 21:50:39 -0800
Lines: 229
Organization: Cannabis Culture (


If the Public Doesn't Do Something, Hemp BC Could Soon Be Gone

By Reverend Damuzi

March 8 is Hemp BC's last day in city hearings to decide if the store
will get a business licence. But the "decision" seems already made. The
only thing that might make a difference is public outcry.

Hemp BC's Sister Icee has already attended four of the city council
hearings. The hearings, characterized by the local media as a "Kangaroo
Court", have been fraught with shows of bad faith, disrespect for the
Supreme Court of BC, and blatant lying by the city and its lawyers.
Fear-mongering police officers, instrumental in past busts against Hemp
BC, have been called as witnesses to slander Icee's store. In the
gallery, a disaffected public hiss and boo at the outrageous injustice
of the city's machinations.

Meanwhile, Mayor Philip Owen, who was forced to dismiss himself because
of personal bias, sits behind a curtain, a twisted caricature of the
grand Wizard of Oz, pulling the strings of his stand-in, Deputy Mayor
George Puil.


After raiding Hemp BC repeatedly over the last few years, after beating
those who protested the raids, after harassing and intimidating
customers of the store, it may seem that the city had exhausted its
means of shutting the store down. But it hadn't.

Sister Icee, present owner of Hemp BC, has been waiting for a business
license which she was promised months ago, in exchange for an agreement
not to promote paraphernalia in the windows of Hemp BC.

The city stalled with the false excuse that Icee had "drug" charges
against her, as a result of a raid on September 30, 1998 (see CC #15).
Her "drug" charges were actually 462.2 charges, for the promotion and
sale of "illicit drug paraphernalia," and not actual drug charges at
all. Sister Icee quickly launched a defamation suit against the city.

The September raid had been partially justified by "operation intruder"
a conspiracy, by Vancouver Police and the US Marines, to smoke
marijuana in the Cannabis Cafe, Hemp BC's companion store on April 30.
Vancouver Police Officer Mark Bragagnola and US marine Stacy Sherman
faced charges of marijuana possession, as they did not acquire the
necessary government authorization to purchase or smoke marijuana. The
Justice of the Peace, however, conveniently decided not to pursue the
charges in court.

Meanwhile, the proceedings against Hemp BC continued. The city set a
date to dispatch with Sister Icee once and for all. A city council
"hearing" was called. But it seemed that the outcome had already been

"Hemp BC will be toast," Mayor Owen said.

Sister Icee fought back with a Supreme Court injunction against the
proceedings. In what appeared to be a show of good faith on the part of
the city, Icee's and the city's lawyers reached a deal. The hearing
would continue, but it would focus only on matters concerning the
business license, not on 462.2 charges against Icee. Additionally,
Mayor Owen dismissed himself as chair of city hearings into Hemp BC's
application for a business license because of his obvious bias. But it
was all a rouse.

On December 8, 1998, the first date of the hearing, city council was
ready to make a decision even before Icee arrived. Deputy Mayor George
Puil was hand-picked to tow Philip Owen's political line against Hemp
BC. Despite the Supreme Court agreement, every councillor had been
provided with a binder full of information relating to 462.2 charges
against Sister Icee and other charges against the store's former owner,
Marc Emery.

As the hearing progressed, the city's demonstration of bad faith
continued. While questioning the city license inspector, city lawyer
John Nelson repeatedly made reference to charges against Emery and
Sister Icee. Although Sister Icee's lawyers objected, Deputy Mayor
George Puil rudely brushed aside the objections and continued with the

In the galleries, onlookers grumbled and shouted about the city's show
of bad faith. Two city councillors, Nancy Chiavario and Alan Herber,
also commented on the impropriety of the hearings. When the day had
ended, Puil announced that the hearings would continue on December 10,
despite an agreement that they would continue on January 26, 1999.

"I'll hold the hearings on Christmas Day if I have to," said Grinch
Puil, "and I don't care who can come."

The next day, the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers roundly
condemned Deputy Mayor Puil's blatant violation of deals made with Hemp
BC in Supreme Court.

On December 10, the slander against Hemp BC in city council
accelerated. It seemed Puil intended to push for an injunction against
the store despite long-forgotten deals made in Supreme Court. One
officer, Constable Jones, claimed that a body found in a dumpster down
the block from Hemp BC a week and a half before the hearing was the
result of the store's presence in the area.

Despite continued slander against Hemp BC, however, Puil held back from
concluding the proceedings, and deferred them until January 26, 1999.
Perhaps he was influenced by the reaction of media the day before.


At the hearing on January 26th, city lawyers continued to refer to
462.2 charges of selling "illicit drug paraphernalia" against Icee, the
store's owner, despite promises from the city in Supreme Court to
refrain from such references.

"It was a joke," says Sean Price, a volunteer at the store. "The whole
462.2 issue. It also jeopardizes Icee's criminal trial because all the
information has been made public at the city hearing. This is a
show-cause hearing for a business license, not a court of law."

Among those testifying were officers who have been instrumental in
raiding Hemp BC in the past.

"All the police come up and just blab bull shit into the microphone,"
recounts Sean. "They had all the big players there, too: Tyldsley,
Thurber, Cope, Bragagnola, Loes."

Meanwhile, Philip Owen, who had to excuse himself from the hearings
because of personal bias in the matter (he wants Hemp BC gone), has
become like the Wizard of Oz.

"There he is," says Sean, "in the back of the room behind a curtain,
listening to the whole thing."

On February 4, the atrocity continued. Sister Icee recounts how the
city's lawyers attacked her character at the February 4 hearing.

"City legal wrapped up their case with some video clips, a Roger's
interview I did with Marc. Each segment lasted 3 seconds. Then they
turned it off. Just enough to show what they wanted everyone to see.
There was one in which I said 'I smoke pot' and he clicked it off and
he said, 'that's that'. The second lasted the same length and it
described how I used marijuana for medicine for both my children
instead of pharmaceuticals. And I thought, 'that made me look good.'
Then I looked around and realized where I was."

Still, the public in the gallery have been supportive of Icee and Hemp
BC, cheering her and booing the perverted city process with ironic

"After that," says Icee, "the gallery erupted into cheers - someone
yelled, 'burn her at the stake!'"

Personal attacks against Sister Icee are a continued violation of the
city's agreement to refrain from introducing any evidence not related
to the running of the store.

"It's taking a long time because every second word is us disputing and
objecting to their evidence. They are breaking their word. They're not
respecting the criminal code or the charter."

Hemp BC also had the opportunity to introduce evidence, but Icee feels
her lawyers' words went unheeded by city council.

"Nothing came of it. We called some witnesses that said Hemp BC
benefitted the area and we presented a petition with 10,000 signatures,
all of them from inside the store."

Unless Hemp BC gets outstanding public support, it may be facing a
whole new round of police raids and intimidations as a business without
a licence. The whole store might be shut down and dismantled. Come to
the hearing on March 8 and show your support as a member of the
cannabis community, or prepare to say goodbye to Canada's most
important activist institution.

Hemp BC's last hearing is March 8, 7:00 pm, 3rd floor council chambers
at Vancouver City Hall, 453 West 12th (near West 12th and Cambie). If
you can't be there to show your support, then call the councilors and
the Mayor, e-mail them, send them a fax, and/or send them a letter.


Contact Sister Icee and show her your support.

Sister Icee of Hemp BC: (604) 681-4620;

Contact these people at city hall and express your disgust with the
biased city hearings, the lack of good faith and the lies. There are
only six councilors left in the process. Others have been removed for
various reasons. Councilors Herbert, Ballamy, Sullivan have expressed
varying degrees of concern over the city's biased process. According to
Sister Icee, Lynne Kennedy and George Puil are the most outspoken
against Hemp BC. The sixth councilor left in the process is Don Lee.
Your opinions might make the difference in how they vote - if enough
people call.

Mayor and councilors: Vancouver City Hall, 435 West 12th, Vancouver,
BC, V5Y 1V4;; fax (604)
873-7750 (for councilors only)

Mayor Philip Owen: (604) 873-7621; fax (604) 873-7685
Deputy Mayor George Puil: (604) 873-7249
Councilor Alan Herbert: (604) 873-7241
Councilor Don Ballamy: (604) 873-7240
Councilor Sam Sullivan: (604) 873-7245
Councilor Don Lee: (604) 873-7247
Councilor Nancy Chiavario: (604) 873-7248
Councilor Daniel Lee: (604) 873-7246
Councilor Jennifer Clarke: (604) 873-7244

Gordon Price: (604) 873-7243
Alan Herbert: (604) 873-7241
Lynne Kennedy: (604) 873-7245

Dan Loehndorf
Assistant Editor
Cannabis Culture Magazine


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Write to: 324 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, CANADA, V6B 1A1
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Culture online at

Censoring Pot (A letter to the editor of the National Post says the United
Nations' International Narcotics Control Board recent criticism of Canadians'
freedom of speech deserves the scrutiny of the International Misleading
Rhetoric Control Board.)

Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 21:31:11 -0800
From: (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Censoring Pot
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Pubdate: Mon, 01 Mar 1999
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: Southam Inc.
Author: Robert C. Wilson


Re: Canada contributing to global drug trade, UN body says (Feb. 23).

According to the UN's International Narcotics Control Board, Canada
gets bad marks for tolerating the production of high-quality marijuana
and refusing to shut down cannabis-related Web sites.

Maybe the headline should have been, "Canada scores highly for
agricultural efforts and respect for human rights." Whether the INCB
approves it or not, many of us believe cannabis is a useful substance
and that its legalization ought to be freely debated -- on-line or in
Parliament, preferably both.

One wonders how much of Canada's financial contribution to the UN is
spent on this kind of sanctimonious finger-wagging. The International
Misleading Rhetoric Control Board ought to look into it.

Robert C. Wilson,

Mexico Drug Certification Likely (The Associated Press says congressional
critics of the Clinton administration's decision to certify Mexico as an ally
in the United States' war on some drug users are moving to formally challenge
the president. But opponents - mostly in the House - seem unlikely to muster
the necessary votes.)

Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 17:27:57 -0800
From: (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Mexico Drug Certification Likely
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: Mon, 01 Mar 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press
Author: Tom Raum, Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON - Some congressional critics of President Clinton's
certification of Mexico as an ally in the drug war are moving to
formally challenge the decision. But they seem unlikely to muster the
votes needed, and some are conceding it could be an exercise in futility.

"Clearly there are not the votes to succeed with a challenge, and
having a divisive battle on the floor makes no sense," Sen. Dianne
Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement.

Feinstein was a leader in the 1998 effort to block the annual
certification of Mexico as an anti-drug partner, but says she won't
challenge the president this year, even though she still has serious
reservations about his decision.

Most of the vocal criticism of the president's move is coming from the
House side.

House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., said, "Mexico has not done
enough to meet the requirements of our law." And Rep. Benjamin Gilman,
R-N.Y., chairman of the House International Relations Committee,
called Mexico's record "dismal" and said Clinton's certification
"cannot stand."

Reps. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., and Clay Shaw, R-Fla., were expected to
introduce a decertification resolution today.

Rep. John L. Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the Government Reform
subcommittee on counternarcotics, scheduled a hearing for Thursday and
said he believed the decertification resolution would draw substantial

"In terms of cooperation, we get a big fat zero from Mexico on
specifics," Mica said in an interview.

But congressional leadership aides said it seemed doubtful the
resolution could win a majority in both chambers, let alone the
two-thirds that would be needed to override a near-certain veto.
Congress has 30 days, until April 1, to act.

In its annual review of 28 countries that produce or serve as conduits
for illegal drugs, the administration on Friday cited only two Burma
and Afghanistan for not fully cooperating in counternarcotics efforts.

By law, countries found not to be fully cooperative are decertified
and can be subject to economic sanctions.

Critics of the decision claim Mexico has an abysmal record in fighting
drug trafficking.

But both Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and House Speaker
Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., have hinted they don't plan to make a major
effort to block the certification.

"It's not even on my radar screen," said John Czwartacki, a spokesman
for Lott. Even so, he said, "options are being mulled."

Even so, Mica said the speaker "has asked us to do a thorough review"
and he did not think Hastert was "closed to decertification."

In the Senate, the opposition is more muted.

A bipartisan group of eight senators, led by Sen. Charles E. Grassley,
R- Iowa, sent a letter to Clinton requesting that the process for
measuring Mexico's progress be reviewed and that next year's
decision be tied to specific accomplishments.

"The government of Mexico has taken steps to improve its law
enforcement cooperation," the letter said. "But far more, we believe,
needs to be done." Feinstein and Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., who last
year led the effort to overturn the certification, were among those
who signed the generally conciliatory letter.

Coverdell is the chairman of a U.S.-Mexico legislative conference in
Atlanta this spring. Congressional aides suggested he does not want to
anger the Mexicans by actively pressing for drug decertification at
this time.

Paraguay Suggests Politics Behind U.S. Drugs Policy (Reuters says Paraguay
attacked U.S. drug policy on Monday, after the United States' government
decertified Paraguay Friday as an ally in its war on some drug users.
Paraguay suggested political considerations unrelated to the drug war
explained how the United States' government went about certifying or not
certifying various nations.)

Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 21:26:20 -0800
From: (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Paraguay: Wire: Paraguay Suggests Politics Behind U.S. Drugs
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: General Pulaski
Pubdate: 1 Mar 1999
Source: Reuters
Copyright: 1999 Reuters Limited.


ASUNCION, Paraguay, March 1 (Reuters) - Paraguay's government attacked U.S.
drug policy on Monday, suggesting political considerations lie behind its
practice of certifying countries' fight against illegal narcotics.

On Friday the United States decertified Paraguay as an ally in the war on
drugs although it waived any penalties to preserve national U.S. interests.
Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico where all certified.

"I suppose they don't consume any drugs in the United States because they
haven't caught any big criminals there for the last 20 years," Paraguay's
President Raul Cubas told journalists.

"On the other hand, there are other countries that are producers (of drugs)
which are certified. I think there is something else behind this."

On Friday, Paraguay's government reacted angrily to the U.S. decision but
said it understood Washington's concerns as the United States is the
largest drug market in the world.

The United States said it decertified Paraguay largely over its view that
the South American country was not doing enough to stop the flow of
smuggled Bolivian cocaine through its borders.

Washington said Paraguay's efforts to fight drug smuggling were paralysed
in 1998 due to presidential elections.

Opposition politicians said Cubas' government has irked the United States
with its refusal to put former Gen. Lino Oviedo behind bars for an
attempted coup in 1996.

The Supreme Court has ordered that Oviedo serve a 10-year prison sentence
for the coup attempt, but Cubas has refused to obey the order to jail his
one time political mentor.

Prescriptions Put 80,000 In Hospital: Study (According to the Age, in
Melbourne, Australia, a study released today in the Journal of Quality in
Clinical Practice, written by Ms Libby Roughead, a pharmacist at the school
of pharmacy and medical science at the University of South Australia, More
than 80,000 people are taken to hospital each year because of adverse drug
reactions, between 32 per cent and 69 per cent of them avoidable. Between 2.4
per cent and 3.6 per cent of all Australian public hospital admissions were
likely to be "drug-related," costing hospitals at least $900 million
annually. Meanwhile, a study by the Royal Australian College of General
Practitioners found that 50 per cent of adverse events in general practice
were drug-related. Apparently neither study estimated the number of
pharmaceutical-related deaths.)

Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 12:50:03 -0800
From: (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Australia: Prescriptions Put 80,000 In Hospital: Study
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: (Russell, Ken KW)
Pubdate: 1 Mar 1999
Source: Age, The (Australia)
Copyright: 1999 David Syme & Co Ltd
Author: Darren Gray


More than 80,000 people are taken to hospital each year because of adverse
drug reactions, many of them avoidable, according to a study released today
in the Journal of Quality in Clinical Practice.

Cardiovascular drugs, antibiotics, blood-thinning drugs and
anti-inflammatory drugs were the main pharmaceuticals linked with adverse
reactions in a study by Ms Libby Roughead, a pharmacist at the school of
pharmacy and medical science, at the University of South Australia.

The drugs were implicated in serious illnesses such as gastrointestinal
bleeding, heart failure, immunosuppresion, potentially fatal heartbeat
abnormalities and seizures.

It has been estimated that between 32 per cent and 69 per cent of all
medication-related hospital cases are avoidable.

Ms Roughead reviewed 14 medical studies in her report and found that
between 2.4 per cent and 3.6 per cent of all Australian public hospital
admissions were likely to be drug-related.

``Medication-related hospital admissions are a significant public health
problem in Australia,'' Ms Roughead said.

Adverse drug reactions were an enormous economic cost to the health system,
costing hundreds of millions of dollars a year, she said.

Another study in the journal estimated that such events in health-care
management cost hospitals $900 million a year. Including adverse events at
nursing homes and in general and specialist practice, the total cost of
adverse events would be closer to $1.2 billion, estimated the researchers,
from the Australian Patient Safety Foundation.

``This is an amount equal to that estimated for all other forms of injury
combined,'' they said.

The researchers also reported that hospital admissions from an adverse drug
or health treatment cost more, on average, than other admissions.

They estimated how much specific adverse events cost the health system each
year: surgical wound infections cost nearly $140 million; hospital
admissions for gastrointestinal bleeds caused by anti-inflammatory drugs
cost $30 million; unnecessary operations cost $29 million; falls in
hospitals cost $2.1 million.

A 1992 study of more than 14,000 medical records found 2353 adverse events.

Meanwhile, a study by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
found that 50 per cent of adverse events in general practice were

In hospitals, it is believed that 20 per cent of adverse events are drug

Dr Chris Hogan, the Victorian chairman of the Royal Australian College of
General Practitioners, said a wide range of factors contributed to adverse
drug reactions and health events.

``There are several ways that these things can be avoided,'' he said. ``The
first thing is that if each doctor who treats a patient is fully aware of
all the medications a patient is taking - including over-the-counter and
natural medicines.

Too many patient did not actually know what medication they were on, he said.

Other adverse reactions occurred because people took someone else's pills
or expired medication, he said.

Parents Fit Secret Cameras To Spy On Their Children (The Daily Telegraph, in
Britain, says American parents, who 30 years ago got high and hallucinated
that there was a police state in placid middle America, are resorting to
Cold War espionage techniques to fight drug and alcohol abuse, bugging
their children's telephones, installing secret cameras in clock radios and
sending strands of hair retrieved from pillows for analysis at drug

Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 20:58:21 -0800
From: (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Parents Fit Secret Cameras To Spy On Their Children
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (
Pubdate: 1 Mar 1999
Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)
Copyright: of Telegraph Group Limited 1999


AMERICAN parents are bugging their children's telephones, installing secret
cameras in clock radios and sending strands of hair retrieved from pillows
for analysis at drug laboratories.

They are resorting to Cold War espionage techniques and science to fight
drug and alcohol abuse which many turned into a way of life during their
hippy days a generation ago. Baby Boomers with teenage children are
resorting to ever more desperate measures to prevent their offspring taking
drugs. "I felt absolutely filthy," June Gertig, 55-year-old mother, told a
newspaper after tape-recording her teenage son's telephone calls. "It's the
last thing I wanted to do, turn into the KGB in our own house."

Baby Boomers, who 30 years ago got high and hallucinated that there was a
police state in placid middle America, are hiring companies to bring
sniffer dogs into their homes to track down traces of dope. Radio shops
sell home surveillance equipment. Telephone bugs cost UKP20, and you can
buy a chemical analysis kit on the Internet for UKP45 if you want proof,
from the hair in your daughter's comb, for example, that she is taking
drugs. Aerosol sprays and special chemical-soaked cotton wipes, as simple
as home pregnancy kits, are available to see if there is cannabis or other
narcotic residues on car seats or other surfaces.

Drive Right is a small computer which can be attached to steering wheels to
monitor whether Junior is driving recklessly, and maybe drunk, when he
borrows the car for the evening. One company in Virginia is contacted on
average 12 times a month by parents who want it to bring its dogs to nose
around delinquent children's bedrooms for secret caches of narcotics.

For many of the rebellious Sixties generation which railed against
supposedly oppressive parents, the responsibilities of parenthood have been
a rude shock, and they regret their reckless youthful abandon. "I guess you
get wiser as you get older," said one, "and maybe every generation regrets
what it used to do, but I'm amazed looking back that we really thought
smoking dope was a harmless pleasure."

Parental spies run the risk, if caught, of destroying the remnants of trust
in their relationship with their children. But many say they are willing to
take that chance if it is the price of preventing their children from
ruining their lives with recreational drug abuse. Drugs counsellors say
parents should not be deflected from protecting their offspring, even by
devious means, out of a misplaced fear that to do so would breach some
principle about a child's privacy rights.

Most parent sleuths refuse to be identified. Others whose children have
caught them bugging, taping and filming say "all hell broke loose". Some
give up spying before they are caught because they cannot bear the feelings
of guilt.

But the trend is growing because it catches children and perhaps stops them
in time. Most American teenagers have telephones and televisions in their
rooms, and many have computers and Internet access. Parents increasingly
feel that they should be able to get to their children, even surreptitiously,
because the rest of the world does. They say that usually they are using
espionage as a last resort to confirm suspicions. Most, when they catch
their children admitting drug use to friends on the phone, or sneaking
boyfriends in through a window at night, feel vindicated rather than

Sexual affairs can be stopped before there is an unwanted pregnancy and
drug addicts sent off to rehabilitation.



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