DrugSense Weekly #176

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DRUGSENSE WEEKLY

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DrugSense Weekly, December 1, 2000 #176

Read This Publication On-line at: http://www.drugsense.org/current.htm

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TABLE OF CONTENTS:

* Feature Article

The War On Drugs And The Will Of The People
by Arianna Huffington

* Weekly News in Review

Drug Policy-

(1) Voters Getting Wise to the War on Drugs
(2) Citizens Quietly Rebel Against Drug War
(3) Drug-Law Reform Campaign Flexes its Muscles
(4) Police Seek Record of a Bookstore's Patrons
(5) Dope-Sensitive Dogs Sniff Out Problems in Schools
(6) U.S. Grows Killer Fungus to Fight Heroin
(7) Exiting Drug Czar Fought the War on Drugs to no End or Reason

Law Enforcement & Prisons-

(8) 3 of 4 Officers Convicted in Police Corruption Case
(9) Beyond The Verdict
(10) Panel Rebukes Police Leaders in Los Angeles
(11) Customs Reports Increased Drug Seizures
(12) Struggling to Find the Next Generation
(13) To Protect and Collect
(14) An Idea About Race and a War on Drugs Went Hand in Hand
(15) State, Federal Prison Population Passes 1.2 Million

Cannabis & Hemp-

(16) Court Tackles Medicinal-Pot Case
(17) Medical Pot To Be Studied In 60 Cases
(18) Cannabis May Be Legalised As Painkiller
(19) Medical Marijuana: Legislature Wades Into Dicey Issue

International News-

(20) Colombia Aid Package Loses a Key Supporter
(21) Colombia: McCaffrey Sees Tough Fight in Drug War
(22) Natives in Crack Crisis
(23) Fix: Gentriville or Poorhaven?
(24) Editorial: Government on Drugs
(25) Mexico: Fox Urges U.S. to Face its Drug Habit

* Hot Off The 'Net

Hint: Searching for News Articles
IOM Report on the Harmful Effects of Marijuana On-line
Altered States of Consciousness : A Social Research Conference

* This Just In

Drug Roadblocks Struck Down
Michele Kubby Testifies There Was No Intent

* Quote of the Week

Harold E. Stassen

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FEATURE ARTICLE
===============

The War On Drugs And The Will Of The People / by Arianna Huffington

The "will of the people" is all the rage these days.If it were a movie,
they'd be lining up the Oscars.If it were a stock, it would be
soaring.If it were a toy, it would be this year's Furby.It's getting
even better buzz than "the rule of law." "This is a time to honor the
true will of the people," said Al Gore last week, after earlier
claiming that all that mattered was "making sure that the will of the
American people is expressed and accurately received."

I'm glad everyone is now singing the praises of the innate and infinite
wisdom of the American voter. But while the people's choice for
president may come down to a smudged postmark on a rejected absentee
ballot, there's at least one issue on which the American people
provided a crystal clear indication of what their will is: the war on
drugs.They want a cease-fire.

Two weeks ago, voters in five states overwhelmingly passed drug policy
reform initiatives, including Proposition 36 in California, which will
shift the criminal justice system's focus from incarceration to
treatment.The measure garnered more than 60 percent of the popular
vote, 7 percent more than Al Gore received in the state, and 18 percent
more than George W. Bush. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a mandate.

In fact, since 1996, 17 of the 19 drug policy reform initiatives have
passed. But despite this rather unambiguous expression of the popular
will, politicians have repeatedly failed to honor it. For example, when
the people of California voted in 1996 to allow the medical use of
marijuana, then-Gov.Pete Wilson called it "a mistake" that "effectively
legalizes the sale of marijuana," while the federal government went to
court to overturn the wishes of the electorate.

But perhaps this year, with the margins of victory growing enviably
higher, politicians are beginning to see the writing -- smudges,
dimpled, hanging and otherwise -- on the voting booth wall. When
Proposition 36 passed despite being solidly opposed by the California
political establishment, the response of Gov. Gray Davis, who had
campaigned against it, was: "The people have spoken."

And thank God, because it's in Davis' state that their voices will have
the greatest impact since a third of California's inmates are behind
bars on drug charges. Under Proposition 36, up to 36,000 nonviolent
drug offenders and parole violators are expected to be put into
treatment programs instead. The initiative earmarks $120 million
annually to fund these programs, as well as family counseling and job
and literacy training.

With its shift from high-cost imprisonment to low-cost,
high-common-sense treatment, Proposition 36 is estimated to save
taxpayers more than $200 million a year -- and an additional half a
billion dollars by eliminating the need for new prisons. As UC
Berkeley professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore pointed out, "California has
spent more than $5 billion building and expanding more than 23 prisons
in the past 20 years, while only one new university has been built from
the ground up."

At the same time, voters in Utah and Oregon passed by enormous margins
-- 69 and 66 percent, respectively -- initiatives designed to make it
harder for police to seize the property of suspected drug offenders.
Just as significantly, all proceeds from forfeited assets will now be
used to fund drug treatment or public education programs instead of to
fill the coffers of law enforcement agencies. Both measures were backed
by people from across the ideological spectrum concerned with property
rights, civil rights and racial justice.

And in Nevada and Colorado, voters passed initiatives making marijuana
legal for medical use -- joining Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii,
Maine, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia.

Meanwhile, post-election editorials in papers across the country
reflected the public's radical rethinking of the drug war.Newsweek even
devoted its election week cover story to "America's Prison Generation,"
about the 14 million mostly black or Latino Americans who will spend
part of their lives behind bars -- the huge increase being largely the
result of drug war policies.

As for our two presidents-in-waiting, they have said remarkably little
about the drug war -- other than that they plan to get tougher on it.
But if either candidate enjoyed the support that drug reform did, he'd
be packing boxes now. The resounding success of drug policy reform
initiatives makes it clear that whoever ends up occupying the Oval
Office had better change his tune if he intends to do more than pay lip
service to honoring the will of the people.

US CA: Column: The War On Drugs And The Will Of The People

URL: US CA: Column: The War On Drugs And The Will Of The People
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com
Website: The San Diego Union-Tribune - San Diego, California & National News
Related: http://www.ariannaonline.com/

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WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW


=============================================

Domestic News- Policy
----------------------------------

COMMENT: (1-3)

At least a few commentators were sufficiently detached from the
wrangling over a failed Presidential Election to notice that November
7 had produced significant changes in the drug policy arena.

The Washington Post's Judy Mann took a pro-reform view; Joe McNamara
traced the changes back to Prop 215, and Mark Mauer of the
conservative San Diego Union-Tribune did a neat job of summarizing the
views held by the sponsors of the successful initiatives.

===

(1) VOTERS GETTING WISE TO THE WAR ON DRUGS

The tide is turning in the public's attitude toward the war on drugs.
Successful initiatives in five states show growing support for sensible
drug policies such as treatment and rehabilitation that turn addicts
into useful members of society as opposed to costly incarceration that
doesn't.

[snip]

Momentum for reform is gathering a head of steam now, certainly at the
state level. Members of Congress need to start paying attention.
Voters have signaled that they want drug laws reformed to protect civil
rights and to promote public health.

In this year's elections, solid majorities in five conservative and
liberal western states said very clearly that they want smarter, safer,
more effective and more constitutional policies.

Sanity is threatening to make a comeback.

[snip]

Pubdate: Wed, 15 Nov 2000
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2000 The Washington Post Company
Contact: letters@washpost.com
Feedback: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News & Analysis
Author: Judy Mann
URL: US: Column: Voters Getting Wise To The War On Drugs

===

(2) CITIZENS QUIETLY REBEL AGAINST DRUG WAR

Public Tries New Options as Prosecution Appears to Harm, Not Help, Users

California voters approved a radically different approach this November
to dealing with the drug problem. By a difference of 61 to 39 percent,
or by roughly 2 million votes, people backed probation and treatment
instead of jail for non-violent crimes of drug possession or drug use.

Contrast that generous margin with the closeness of the presidential
election. Some day, I believe, the passage of Proposition 36 may be
compared to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the tearing down of
the Berlin Wall.

Those two stunning political reversals seemed to occur overnight, to
the bewilderment of most experts. In retrospect, the collapse of the
Soviet bloc was not that sudden.

[snip]

A similar public disenchantment with the drug war could be seen in the 1996
presidential election. .

[snip]

Pubdate: Sun, 26 Nov 2000
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2000 San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: The Mercury News - Bay Area news, sports, business, entertainment, lifestyle and commentary
Author: Joseph D. McNamara, Overload Warning
URL: US CA: OPED: Citizens Quietly Rebel Against Drug War

===

(3) DRUG-LAW REFORM CAMPAIGN FLEXES ITS MUSCLES

George Soros, the Czech-American billionaire and international
financier, has spent about $30 million promoting drug-law reform the
past six years. Ethan Nadelmann, a rabbi's son, former Princeton
professor and Soros' top lieutenant, is an eloquent campaigner who
insists the war on drugs is an utter failure with dire social
consequences.

Cheech and Chong they are not.

[snip]

Zimmerman and Nadelmann resist the "legalizer" label opponents have
tried to pin on them.

Rather, their message is that drugs are here to stay in our society and
the criminal-justice approach to the drug problem is doomed.

Reducing addiction and abuse through treatment and education is the
only sensible solution, they contend. The country may be ready for
that, may even be ready for decriminalization -- but not outright
legalization.

"At this point, legalization of recreational drug use would not be
approved by voters in any state," said Zimmerman, "so we're not going
to waste time with it."

[snip]

Pubdate: Tue, 14 Nov 2000
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
Section: Lifestyle Page: E-1
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com
Website: The San Diego Union-Tribune - San Diego, California & National News
Author: Mark Sauer; Staff Writer
URL: US: Drug-Law Reform Campaign Flexes Its Muscles

===

COMMENT: (4-7)

Despite- or perhaps goaded by - such voter sentiment, those running
the drug war seem to consider their cause sufficient justification for
whatever intrusion into personal freedom or environmental integrity
they think might deter drug use.

That attitude has been personified by the actions of the
soon-to-depart Drug Czar (although not always by his rhetoric). Robyn
Blumner expressed the hope of many that his replacement will be an
improvement.

===

(4) POLICE SEEK RECORD OF A BOOKSTORE'S PATRONS

DENVER, Nov. 22 - In the course of raiding an illegal methamphetamine
laboratory in a trailer home last March in the Denver suburb of
Thornton, agents of a local drug task force found two books, "Advanced
Techniques of Clandestine Psychedelic and Amphetamine Manufacture" by
an author named Uncle Fester and "The Construction and Operation of
Clandestine Drug Laboratories" by Jack B. Nimble.

[snip]

But using sales receipts of books to solve a crime has raised concerns
among booksellers, publishers and privacy groups, who are watching the
case closely for its implications on the First Amendment's rights of
free speech and privacy.

[snip]

Pubdate: Thu, 23 Nov 2000
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2000 The New York Times Company
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
Author: Michael Janofsky
URL: US CO: Police Seek Record Of A Bookstore's Patrons

===

(5) DOPE-SENSITIVE DOGS SNIFF OUT PROBLEMS IN SCHOOLS BEFORE THEY START

If you could virtually eliminate the threat of drugs, alcohol,
explosives and guns from our local public school campuses, would you do
it? If you could do it without touching the money intended for
educational programs, would that make your decision easier?

[snip]

With all these pluses, how could anyone not want to see the program in
our schools? Some have a misplaced view that the dogs are an invasion
of privacy, impinging on students' rights.

[snip]

Pubdate: Thu, 23 Nov 2000
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: Los Angeles Times
Author: Rene Amy
Note: Rene Amy is a parent - activist and a onetime candidate for the
Pasadena Board of Education.
URL: US CA: Dope-Sensitive Dogs Sniff Out Problems In Schools

===

(6) U.S. GROWS KILLER FUNGUS TO FIGHT HEROIN

A secret U.S.-funded biological weapon to wipe out the heroin trade is
in the final stages of development, raising fears in the scientific
community that a monster germ will wreak an "ecological catastrophe."
For the past two years, scientists funded by the U.S. and British
governments have been developing a killer fungus that they say destroys
the opium poppies that produce the raw material for heroin.

[snip]

Pubdate: Sun, 19 Nov 2000
Source: New York Post (NY)
Copyright: 2000, N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.
Contact: letters@nypost.com
Website: http://nypostonline.com/
Author: Niles Lathem
URL: US: U.S. Grows Killer Fungus To Fight Heroin

===

(7) EXITING DRUG CZAR FOUGHT THE WAR ON DRUGS TO NO END OR REASON

Having announced he will leave office in January, White House Drug Czar
Gen. Barry McCaffrey is patting himself on the back as he heads for the
exit. Says McCaffrey. "I'm enormously proud of what we've done." Those
who have watched his four-year reign can't help but wonder: What would
make him so proud? Richard Nixon was proud of bombing Cambodia, but the
results were much the same - a lot of death and ruin for not much
societal gain.

The drug war today is as hopelessly unwinnable and deeply destructive
as it was when the White House Office of National Drug Control was
created in 1988.

[snip]

McCaffrey says he's leaving to write a book and possibly go back to
college-level teaching. For those of us looking for a leader with the
courage to act sensibly toward the nation's drug problem, we won't be
sorry to see this old soldier fade away.

[snip]

Pubdate: Sun, 19 Nov 2000
Source: St. Petersburg Times (FL)
Copyright: 2000 St. Petersburg Times
Contact: letters@sptimes.com
Website: http://www.sptimes.com/
Section: Perspective,Page D1
Author: Robyn Blumner
URL: US FL: Column: Exiting Drug Czar Fought The War On Drugs To No

=============================================

Law Enforcement & Prisons
---------------------------------------

COMMENT: (8-10)

The first trial generated by the year-plus LAPD Rampart Division
scandal ended in convictions for three of the four officers charged.
Although in many respects a welcome surprise, the result wasn't seen
by most as a definitive answer to the department's pervasive long-term
problems.

===

(8) 3 OF 4 OFFICERS CONVICTED IN POLICE CORRUPTION CASE

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15 In the first case to go to trial in a major police
corruption scandal here, three of four officers charged with framing
gang members and planting evidence were convicted today in State
Superior Court. The guilty verdicts, on charges that included
conspiracy to obstruct justice and filing false police reports, were
regarded as a resounding success for the embattled district attorney's
office.

[snip]

The verdict was also a surprise since prosecutors had lost a string of
crucial rulings that had gutted part of their case and prohibited them from
introducing important evidence. .

[snip]

Pubdate: Thu, 16 Nov 2000
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2000 The New York Times Company
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
Author: James Sterngold
URL: US CA: 3 Of 4 Officers Convicted In Police Corruption Case
Related: Overload Warning

===

(09) BEYOND THE VERDICT

The Real Rampart Scandal Is Citywide

The guilty verdicts against Rampart officers last week were immediately
hailed as confirmation that there was indeed a scandal at the LAPD. In
fact, the jury verdicts showed that there are two Rampart scandals. One
centers closely on Rafael Perez, the admitted rogue cop whose
sensational confessions launched the scandal in the first place; the
other is much broader, and goes beyond the dimensions of the compact
inner-city Rampart Division. The two are quite distinct, and the
differences are critical to the continuing, and so far fruitless,
efforts to reform the city's police force.

[snip]

Pubdate: Fri, 24 Nov 2000
Source: LA Weekly (CA)
Copyright: 2000, Los Angeles Weekly, Inc.
Contact: letters@laweekly.com
Website: Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
Author: Charles Rappleye
URL: US CA: Beyond The Verdict
Related: Overload Warning

===

(10) PANEL REBUKES POLICE LEADERS IN LOS ANGELES

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16 -- A panel of experts issued a long-awaited report
today on corruption in the Los Angeles Police Department, harshly
criticizing what it characterized as the force's dictatorial and
detached management and recommending a shift in power from the top
officers to the civilian police commission.

[snip]

Pubdate: Fri, 17 Nov 2000
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2000 The New York Times Company
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
Author: James Sterngold
URL: US CA: Panel Rebukes Police Leaders In Los Angeles
Related: Overload Warning

===

COMMENT: (11-15)

Do record '99 drug seizures by Customs represent victory or defeat for
our policy? Hint: Dan Baum's I996 "Smoke and Mirrors" was subtitled
"The Politics of Failure."

By the same token, do the recruitment problems facing our police
departments suggest: a) a practical limit on drug war expansion, b)
D.A.R.E. ineffectiveness, or c) both?

Muckraking KC Star journalist Karen Dillon reported some important
details on how local and federal authorities have cooperated on asset
forfeiture from a regional conference of 16 state governments.

Meanwhile, a review of New Jersey records revealed that federal drug
policies played a significant role in the racial profiling abuses the
state was finally forced to admit and another significant
incarceration milestone was passed: 1.2 million inmates (an additional
800,000 languish in jails).

===

(11) CUSTOMS REPORTS INCREASED DRUG SEIZURES

WASHINGTON - Customs inspectors last year seized more heroin, marijuana
and other illegal drugs that were attempted to be smuggled into the
United States. A record amount of the hallucinogenic drug "ecstasy"
also was confiscated.

The Customs Service, citing statistics it compiled, said yesterday that
it seized a total of 1.54 million pounds of illegal drugs in fiscal
year 2000, which ended Sept. 30. That marked an 11.6 percent increase
over the 1.38 million pounds seized the previous year.

[snip]

Pubdate: Fri, 17 Nov 2000
Source: Philadelphia Daily News (PA)
Copyright: 2000 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.
Contact: Dailynews.opinion@phillynews.com
Website: Philadelphia local news, sports, jobs, cars, homes - Philly.com
Author: Associated Press
URL: US: Customs Reports Increased Drug Seizures

===

(12) STRUGGLING TO FIND THE NEXT GENERATION

Police departments across the nation, struggling to hire tens of
thousands of new officers in a tight labor market, are having to wade
through a depleted talent pool in which recruits are more likely than
ever to have used drugs, to be out of shape and to lie about their
pasts. From New York City to Phoenix, police officials say it's never
been more difficult to find promising recruits.

[snip]

But reports from several urban departments . highlight continuing
questions about how law enforcement should deal with post-boomer
generations of recruits who increasingly are likely to have grown up
experimenting not just with marijuana but with more addictive drugs
such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.

[snip]

Pubdate: Tue, 21 Nov 2000
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2000 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Contact: editor@usatoday.com
Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm
Author: Kevin Johnson
URL: US: Struggling To Find The Next Generation

===

(13) TO PROTECT AND COLLECT

SOUTHERN LAWMAKERS DISCUSS DRUG MONEY FORFEITURE

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The debate over the way police handle drug money
they seize became a major focus of lawmakers from 16 southern states
who gathered here this weekend.

"This is almost as controversial as the presidential election," said
Dana Dembrow, a Maryland lawmaker. Forfeiture was the subject of one of
two main sessions at the four-day winter meeting of the Southern
Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments.

[snip]

The Kansas City Star found police were evading state laws across the
country, including in Missouri, by handing off property and cash they
seize in drug cases to a federal agency, such as the Drug Enforcement
Administration. The agency keeps a cut, usually 20 percent, and returns
the rest to police. ..

[snip]

Pubdate: Mon, 20 Nov 2000
Source: Kansas City Star (MO)
Copyright: 2000 The Kansas City Star
Contact: letters@kcstar.com
Feedback: http://www.kansascity.com/Discussion/
Website: KC Breaking News, Sports & Crime | The Kansas City Star
Author: Karen Dillon - The Kansas City Star
URL: US FL: To Protect and Collect

===

(14) AN IDEA ABOUT RACE AND A WAR ON DRUGS WENT HAND IN HAND

The File On Racial Profiling

Until last year, no governor or State Police superintendent had ever
acknowledged racial profiling occurred under his or her watch. But the
documents released yesterday show that over the past 15 years the top
ranks of state government whipsawed between zealous attempts to stop
drug trafficking and concerns that their tactics were unfair to
minorities.

[snip]

Pubdate: Tue, 28 Nov 2000
Source: Star-Ledger (NJ)
Copyright: 2000 Newark Morning Ledger Co.
Contact: eletters@starledger.com
Website: The Star-Ledger | New Jersey Newspaper - NJ.com
Author: Dunstan Mcnichol And Ron Marsico
URL: US NJ: An Idea About Race And A War On Drugs Went Hand In Hand

===

Pubdate: Tue, 14 Nov 2000
Source: Alameda Times-Star (CA)
Copyright: 2000 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers
Contact: triblet@angnewspapers.com
Website: Home - Digital First Media
Author: Mike Martinez, Staff Writer
URL: US CA: Police Seize 96 Cars In Two Stings

===

(15) STATE, FEDERAL PRISON POPULATION PASSES 1.2 MILLION

The number of inmates in state and federal prisons hit an all-time high
this year, as the prosecution of drug crimes pushed the convict
population past the 1.2 million mark, according to a Department of
Justice study.

Federal crime initiatives along the Southwest border fueled the
increase after Attorney General Janet Reno assigned the highest
priority to the prosecution of drug crimes.

[snip]

Pubdate: Sun, 26 Nov 2000
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 2000 Houston Chronicle
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: Home
Author: Deborah Tedford
URL: US: State, Federal Prison Population Passes 1.2 Million

=============================================

Cannabis & Hemp-
---------------------------

COMMENT: (16-19)

When medical use initiatives first passed in Arizona and California in
1996, it was widely assumed the feds weren't anxious for a Supreme
Court test; however, complex maneuvering during the intervening four
years has finally produced one. Ironically, San Mateo County- just
across the bay- will begin a federally sanctioned clinical study at
about the same time the Oakland CBC case is being reviewed.

Medical use is also a hot issue in other English speaking countries,
with Ireland becoming the latest to begin discussions at government
levels.

Meanwhile, some of the states with recently passed initiatives are
learning that implementation in the face of a resistant state
bureaucracy is far from easy.

(16) COURT TACKLES MEDICINAL-POT CASE

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether people who
provide marijuana to seriously ill people to ease their misery should
be exempt from federal anti-drug laws. The court accepted a dispute
from California, where voters in 1996 adopted a proposition allowing
patients to grow and use marijuana for medical needs. Eight other
states have similar laws. The case could affect patients' access to
marijuana nationwide and steer debate over the benefits and harms of
using the drug for pain relief and other treatment.

[snip]

Pubdate: Tue, 28 Nov 2000
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2000 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Contact: editor@usatoday.com
Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm
Author: Joan Biskupic
URL: US: Court Tackles Medicinal-Pot Case

===

(17) MEDICAL POT TO BE STUDIED IN 60 CASES

San Mateo Will Monitor Effect On AIDS Patients

San Mateo County will distribute free marijuana to selected AIDS
patients early next year as part of a first-of-its-kind study to
determine the drug's potential benefits, county officials said
yesterday. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has agreed to
provide government-grown marijuana to 60 patients for a 12-week study
that could begin as early as January, said Supervisor Mike Nevin. San
Mateo County officials first proposed the project in 1997, and the DEA
signed off on the plan yesterday.

[snip]

Pubdate: Thu, 23 Nov 2000
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2000 San Francisco Chronicle
Page: A25
Contact: letters@sfchronicle.com
Feedback: http://www.sfgate.com/select.feedback.html
Website: Home
URL: US CA: Medical Pot To Be Studied In 60 Cases

===

(18) CANNABIS MAY BE LEGALISED AS PAINKILLER

PATIENTS with chronic pain may soon be given cannabis to ease their
suffering as the Government considers legalising the drug for medicinal
purposes. Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs
Strategy Eoin Ryan said the Government would consider the initiative
after meeting his British counterpart Mo Mowlam in Dublin earlier this
week.

Minister Mowlam, who heads the UK Drugs Strategy, said she hoped to
have a cannabis prescription system in place by 2003. A Government
backed trial was due to be completed by the end of next year, after
which the cannabis based product would go before the British medical
regulatory body for approval, she said.

[snip]

Pubdate: Sat, 18 Nov 2000
Source: Irish Examiner (Ireland)
Copyright: Examiner Publications Ltd, 2000
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie
Website: Irish Examiner | Irish Examiner
Author: Cormac O'Keeffe
URL: Ireland: Cannabis May Be Legalised As Painkiller

===

(19) MEDICAL MARIJUANA: LEGISLATURE WADES INTO DICEY ISSUE

Many Obstacles To Implementing Law

CARSON CITY -- Oregon medical marijuana advocate Barry Stull figures he
knows what will happen when Nevada legislators try to carry out the
wishes of voters and devise a way for patients to smoke pot.

"The people opposed to marijuana will try to make it fail, no matter
what you do," he said. "Police have been taught to oppose it. It is
going to be a struggle.

[snip]

Pubdate: Sun, 26 Nov 2000
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV)
Copyright: Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2000
Contact: letters@lvrj.com
Website: Las Vegas Review-Journal
Author: Ed Vogel
URL: File Not Found

===

=============================================

International News
---------------------------

COMMENT: (20-21)

Of all the overseas issues involving America's drug war, Plan Colombia
is the one uppermost in most peoples' minds; that program quietly lost
a major supporter, but its chief architect seemed not to notice.

===

(20) COLOMBIA AID PACKAGE LOSES A KEY SUPPORTER

Congressman Objects to Funding of Military

Rep. Benjamin Gilman, chairman of the House International Relations
Committee, has abruptly withdrawn his support from the decision to
funnel $1.3 billion in mostly military aid to Colombia, arguing that
the United States is on the brink of a "major mistake." Gilman, R-N.Y.,
sent a letter this week to the White House drug policy coordinator,
Gen. Barry McCaffrey, contending that the U.S. plan to increase the
role of the Colombian military in the drug fight will end disastrously
because the military has undermined its political support with a
history of corruption and human rights abuses. That position echoes
other critics of the plan.

[snip]

Pubdate: Fri, 17 Nov 2000
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2000 San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: Home
URL: US: Colombia Aid Package Loses a Key Supporter

===

(21) COLOMBIA: MCCAFFREY SEES TOUGH FIGHT IN DRUG WAR

Bogota, Colombia - White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey on Monday
predicted heavy fighting in an approaching U.S.-backed anti-drug
offensive and warned that there would be repercussions for Colombia's
neighbors.

But with "vital" U.S. interests at stake, and insurgents growing
stronger through deepening ties to the drug trade, McCaffrey said he
saw no alternative to the $1.3 billion effort set to get under way in
January.

[snip]

Pubdate: Thu, 23 Nov 2000
Source: Spokesman-Review (WA)
Copyright: 2000 Cowles Publishing Company
Contact: editor@spokesman.com
Website: The Spokesman-Review | Local News, Business, Entertainment, Sports & Weather for Eastern Washington
Note: Compiled from wire services
URL: Colombia: McCaffrey Sees Tough Fight In Drug War

===

COMMENT: (22-24)

Canada belatedly discovered serious substance abuse problems among its
long-neglected aboriginal population, and also heard an American-style
proposal for dealing with welfare recipients; all in the same week.

The Vancouver Sun published a somewhat disorganized ground-level view
of Vancouver's festering problems with hard drugs, a view focused
alternately on the most visible symptoms and attendant property values
rather than on the policies which created the mess in the first place.

===

(22) NATIVES IN CRACK CRISIS

Counsellor Calls Hard Drugs Curse Of A Generation

Gas-sniffing and solvent abuse is rampant on some B.C. reserves but
the new drug of choice for native youth is crack cocaine.

[snip]

Christian, 46, said heroin, solvents and cocaine are the curse of this
generation of aboriginal youth, especially because many are already
damaged by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or the lesser Fetal Alcohol Effects.

[snip]

Pubdate: Fri, 24 Nov 2000
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2000 The Province
Contact: provedpg@pacpress.southam.ca
Website: The Province
Author: Suzanne Fournier
URL: CN BC: Natives In Crack Crisis

===

(23) FIX: GENTRIVILLE OR POORHAVEN?

In the Downtown Eastside, controlling the drug culture is one thing
everyone can agree upon. After that, the fight is on.
Put in a resource centre for drug addicts on Powell Street? Get a
dot.com company to set up in the vacant Woodward's building on
Hastings Street? Hey, talk like that will get your head bitten off in
the notoriously polarized politics of the Downtown Eastside.

[snip]

Pubdate: Sat, 18 Nov 2000
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: The Vancouver Sun 2000
Contact: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Website: Vancouver Sun
Series: Searching for solutions: Fix on the Downtown Eastside,
Overload Warning
URL: CN BC: Fix: Gentriville Or Poorhaven?

===

(24) EDITORIAL: GOVERNMENT ON DRUGS

The Ontario government should scrap its plan to compel welfare
recipients to take drug tests and get treatment.

The government, led by Community and Social Services Minister and
Nepean-Carleton MPP John Baird, said yesterday it's holding a
"consultation" on mandatory testing and treatment of welfare
recipients. The government will meet with various organizations over
the next few weeks, then come up with a final policy.

[snip]

The kind of tough initiative announced yesterday does this government
no favours. It only feeds the public suspicion that the government, at
times, simply likes to be mean-spirited. In announcing the initiative,
the government cited the results of drug-treatment programs in half a
dozen U.S. states. The U.S. drug war has been seriously flawed: Ontario
needs to look at the entire picture, in context, before importing
American drug policies.

[snip]

Pubdate: Wed, 15 Nov 2000
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2000 The Ottawa Citizen
Contact: letters@thecitizen.southam.ca
Website: Ottawa Citizen
URL: CN ON: Editorial: Government On Drugs

===

COMMENT: (25)

On the eve of his inauguration, the President-Elect of Mexico took
advantage of the attention to twit the US about its role in creating
the "demand" side of the equation. Did he recognize that the critical
demand comes from criminal prohibition? Get real.

===

(25) MEXICO: FOX URGES U.S. TO FACE ITS DRUG HABIT

President-Elect Also Set To Push 'NAFTA-Plus'

SAN CRISTOBAL, Mexico -- Only days before his historic inauguration as
president, Vicente Fox said America should deal with its drug habit and
pledged to join the United States and Canada in what he called
"NAFTA-plus." In an interview before he takes office Friday, Fox said
the United States is too quick to write off Mexico as a corrupt haven
for drug smugglers, and too reluctant to look in the mirror.