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The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #162

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Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2000 12:43:22 -0500
From: DRCNet <drcnet@drcnet.org>
To: drc-natl@drcnet.org
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #162

The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #162 -- Dec. 1, 2000
A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network

Phillip S. Smith, Editor, psmith@drcnet.org
David Borden, Executive Director, borden@drcnet.org


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1. Supreme Court to Rule on Oakland Medical Marijuana Case,
Medical Necessity Defense Against Federal Prosecution at Issue
The Week Online has moved!

As part of its intransigent opposition to California's 1996
Proposition 215, which allows the medicinal use of marijuana, the
federal government in 1998 filed lawsuits against a handful of
cannabis co-ops distributing marijuana to patients. Now, after
many twists and turns, that case will be decided by the Supreme
Court. (See The Week Online has moved! for
DRCNet's most recent coverage.)

But despite the Los Angeles Times' breathless announcement that
the Supreme Court will "decide the fate of the medical marijuana
laws in California and other states," the court is not judging
California's medical marijuana law. Instead, it will review a
9th Circuit US Court of Appeals ruling allowing the clubs to stay
open under the shield of a medical necessity defense that would
protect them from federal prosecution.

In a possible hint at its forthcoming decision, the Supreme Court
on August 29th issued an emergency stay barring the Oakland
Cannabis Co-op from distributing marijuana to its 7,000 members.
Such intervention from on high while a dispute is pending
typically signals that the Supreme Court believes the lower court
is wrong.

The 9th Circuit's ruling "threatens the government's ability to
enforce the federal drug laws," government lawyers argued.

Upon winning the temporary order, US Solicitor General Seth
Waxman petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case and reverse
the 9th Circuit's ruling. Waxman told the justices that legally
distributing marijuana, even for limited medical purposes, would
"promote disrespect and disregard" for the drug laws. On Monday,
the court agreed to hear the case. It will be argued early next

The Oakland Cannabis Co-op and its attorneys remain unperturbed,

Attorney Robert A. Raich told the Times no matter how the court
rules, the ability of patients to grow and possess medical
marijuana under California law would not be affected.

But, Raich continued, the co-op is ready to fight. "We would
argue that medical necessity, an ancient defense that goes back
centuries in Anglo jurisprudence, continues to exist," said
Raich. "Patients have no other effective therapy... and they
have a right to access to that medicine."

Raich added that the Oakland co-op will argue that the Supreme
Court should respect the decision of California voters if it
wishes to be consistent with recent rulings on states' rights.

In comments to DRCNet, the co-op's Jeff Jones echoed Raich's
remarks. "We have faith that when the Supreme Court hears our
case it will consider the needs of the patients who are
suffering," he said. "We also hope the court will vindicate the
citizens of California and many other states who enacted a
compassionate medical marijuana law to allow patients to have
access to their medicine."

Federal prosecutors insist that state laws cannot conflict with
federal law and that marijuana has "no proven medical uses."

While a negative ruling from the Supreme Court would leave the
Oakland Cannabis Co-op and other medical marijuana distributors
open to federal prosecution, the federal government has so far
declined to pursue criminal cases against medical marijuana
providers. Instead, recognizing that medical marijuana has broad
popular support in the California electorate, the feds have
limited themselves to civil actions in the courts.

But the Oakland co-op's Jeff Jones isn't certain what a negative
ruling would mean under a new administration. "I'm afraid a Bush
administration would then use this to come in and systematically
shut down the clubs," he told DRCNet.

"Bush talked about states' rights, but I think he doesn't really
believe that," he added.

"With Gore," Jones speculated, "there would be more tolerance.
He doesn't even want to hear the word marijuana; he wouldn't want
to stir things up."

Even in the event of a negative ruling from the Supreme Court,
Jones remains confident that medical marijuana cannot be stopped
in California.

"If we lose this case, we will vigorously bring up a variety of
other arguments to take to the appeals court," he said.

"They may be able to shut down one possible defense, but they'll
never stop us cold."

Eight states in addition to California have recently enacted
medical marijuana laws: Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii (by action of
the legislature), Maine, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Colorado.
Washington, DC residents voted in 1998 to allow medical marijuana
use, but Congress blocked the measure from becoming law.

The Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative is online at
<Welcome to PIDC's Home Page>.


2. New Jersey Releases Huge Cache of Racial Profiling Documents:
Lots of Finger-Pointing, But Plenty of Blame to Go Around
The Week Online has moved!

As promised last month and previewed in the Week Online
(The Week Online has moved!), New Jersey
Attorney General John J. Farmer Jr. on Monday released more than
90,000 pages of documents showing that New Jersey state troopers
stopped minority motorists in hugely disproportionate numbers for
drug searches along state highways.

Despite official statements to the contrary, the documents also
give the lie to New Jersey officials' assertions that they did
not attempt to cover-up evidence of racial profiling.

The fallout from the disclosures is already coming fast and
furious, even as state officials work frantically to spin the
public relations disaster in the best possible light.

Criminal defense attorneys said as many as 180 pending criminal
cases could be dismissed as tainted by unconstitutional racial
profiling stops.

A spokesman for the Attorney General's office told the New York
Times Farmer would review 105 pending criminal cases, but
Middlesex County public defender said that figure did not include
at least 20 cases in Middlesex alone. Farmer could dismiss some
or all of the criminal cases.

If he does not, State Superior Court Judge Walter Barisonek will
consider the consolidated criminal cases in a hearing set for
January 23rd. Defense attorneys said they will ask that any
remaining cases be thrown out.

There may be more criminal cases to revisit. William Buckman, a
Moorestown attorney who pioneered the racial profiling defense in
a 1996 Gloucester County case, told the Times he had already
begun hearing from prisoners hoping to have their convictions

"I am selectively looking into those cases and my conscience
dictates that I'll get involved in some of them," he said.

Expanding on the theme, he told the Bergen Record, "I hope more
people come forward. If the New Jersey justice system has any
moral strength and strength of character, it should be willing to
reopen cases where the convictions aren't sound."

The state may also have to pay out millions of dollars in damages
to motorists stopped under racial profiling guidelines who were
not arrested and to African American and Latino state troopers
who sued because they were forced to practice racial profiling.
Attorney General Farmer hinted that this week's disclosures made
the state's position even more difficult to defend.

"Where they are reasonable, we're going to settle these cases,"
he told the Record. "We'll certainly look into it much more
closely based on what we've discovered."

Meanwhile, Farmer and other state officials tried to make the
best of the mess.

In a statement released Monday, Gov. Christine Todd Whitman said,
"While racial profiling did not begin in this state or under this
administration, history will show that the end of racial
profiling in America did indeed begin in New Jersey and under
this administration."

Farmer told the Associated Press on Monday that state officials
had not tried to cover up the looming scandal, but had tried to
cope with race-based intelligence profiles from the DEA.

"What you'll see is an agency and a department struggling with
these uncertainties," said Farmer. "There was no overarching
conspiracy to cover this up. There was an attempt to understand
it. There was an attempt to put it in context."

Critics weren't buying it. "We find this spin to be an affront
and insult to the minority community in this state," Reginald
Jackson of the Black Ministers Council of New Jersey told a press
conference in Orange on Monday.

"When these documents are reviewed, it will show that the
practice of racial profiling has been going on knowingly for two
decades," said Jackson.

Similarly, state Assemblyman LeRoy Jones (D-Essex) told the press
conference, "It saddens and discourages me. Those comments reek
of insensitivity, just trying to find cover for obvious acts of
disobedience. We are not going to let Mr. Farmer spin this."

An October 12 article in the New York Times reported that as
early as 1996, internal state police audits provided evidence of
widespread profiling on the New Jersey Turnpike, but senior
officials rejected aggressive action against the problem and
withheld information from federal civil rights prosecutors.

Critics notwithstanding, New Jersey may have a point when it
comes to blaming federal drug warriors for promoting racial
profiling techniques. Some of the documents released show police
commanders and other state officials attempting to balance race-
based DEA intelligence reports with the need to practice
nondiscriminatory policing.

One 1997 memo from an aggrieved Deputy Attorney General George
Rover complained that the Justice Department, which at the time
was pressuring New Jersey to stop racial profiling, "cannot have
it both ways."

He complained that the DEA encouraged state troopers to
aggressively seek out drug offenders using race as a criteria and
cited DEA intelligence reports naming ethnic Chinese, West
African, Pakistani, Indian, and Colombian groups as "a major
threat to New Jersey at the wholesale drug level."

Other DEA training materials warned troopers to look for people
with dreadlocks and cars with two Latino males traveling

Farmer also sent some blame Washington's way. "The troopers in
the field were given a mixed message," he told the New York
Times. "On one hand, we were training them not to take race into
account. On the other hand, all the intelligence featured race
and ethnicity prominently. So what is your average trooper to
make of all this?"

University of Toledo law professor David Harris, who authored an
ACLU report on racial profiling called "Driving While Black,"
also pointed at the DEA.

"The DEA has been the great evangelizer for racial profiling on
the highways," he told the Times. "They had used the technique
in airports to nab drug couriers and thought this held great
promise on the highways. So they taught it to local departments,
and because the DEA agents weren't the ones actually pulling over
the cars, they've never really been held accountable for it."

Visit Race and Criminal Justice for further information on
this issue. Recent coverage in the Bergen Record (northern New
Jersey) includes:

Memos confirm profiling awareness (11/30)
North Jersey

Profiling papers support all sides (11/29)
North Jersey

Profiling was used in war on drugs (11/28)
North Jersey

Documents on racial profiling reveal much (11/26)
North Jersey

A new report by the North Carolina Center for Crime and Justice
Research (NCCCJR) at North Carolina State University and the
Center for Criminal Justice Research & International Initiatives
(CCJRII) at North Carolina Central University, "Evaluating North
Carolina State Highway Patrol Data: Citations, Warnings, and
Searches in 1998," can be found online at


3. Supreme Court Bans Random Drug Roadblocks
The Week Online has moved!

Police cannot use random roadblocks to search out drug law
violators, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday. The ruling, on a
case in which Indianapolis police put up checkpoints for
precisely that purpose in inner city neighborhoods, came on a 6-3
vote, with Chief Justice William Rehnquist and conservative
Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissenting.

The majority opinion, written by Justice O'Connor, found that the
city's use of drug-sniffing dogs to check all vehicles was an
unreasonable and therefore unconstitutional search barred by the
Fourth Amendment.

The ruling maintained a distinction between random stops or
searches designed to catch criminals, such as the present case,
and those whose primary reason is to benefit the public good or
public safety, such as sobriety checkpoints and border checks.

O'Connor wrote that the constitutional protections requiring
police to have reasonable suspicion before stopping and searching
a car would not allow that reasoning to be applied to cases in
which law enforcement ends are paramount.

"If this case were to rest on such a high level of generality,
there would be little check on the authorities' ability to
construct roadblocks for almost any conceivable law enforcement
purpose," she wrote.

"We have never approved a checkpoint program whose primary
purpose was to detect evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing,"
O'Connor wrote. "Rather, our checkpoint cases have recognized
only limited exceptions to the general rule that a seizure must
be accompanied by some measure of individualized suspicion."

And, O'Connor continued, if the Court allowed such random
searches, "the Fourth Amendment would do little to prevent such
intrusions from becoming a routine part of American life."

In his dissent, joined by Scalia and Thomas, Chief Justice
Rehnquist wrote that the test for random stops was "whether they
serve a significant state interest with minimal intrusion on
motorists." Rehnquist, who earlier also supported the sobriety
checks and border checkpoints, found that random stops and
searches by drug-sniffing dogs "are executed in a regularized and
neutral manner. And they only minimally intrude upon the privacy
of motorists. They should therefore be constitutional."

And Clarence Thomas gave new evidence that his legal mind is a
strange universe, indeed, when he signed onto Rehnquist's
dissent, but also questioned the legality of any "indiscriminate
stops of individuals not suspected of wrongdoing," which was not
directly at issue in the case.

Although the Rehnquist court has long been considered pro-police,
this ruling, along with a handful of others suggests a trend on
the Supreme Court toward reining in some of the excesses of law

Earlier this year the court ruled unanimously that police may not
stop and search someone based solely on an anonymous tip that the
person is carrying a weapon. Also this year, the court ruled
that Border Patrol agents could not search passengers' bags as
part of a routine immigration search.

Brooklyn Law School professor Susan Herman told the Washington
Post the decisions suggest that "the court wants to hold the line
and to recognize that there are rules."


4. Implementing Proposition 36, California's Substance Abuse and
Crime Prevention Act
The Week Online has moved!

As medical marijuana advocates and others have found out,
steering an initiative to victory in the voting booth is one
thing; actually seeing it properly implemented is another. While
California's Prop. 36 differs from the medical marijuana
initiatives in that it does not face intractable opposition from
the federal government, it does have entrenched foes who could
attempt to sabotage it.

And, given California's national importance and the fact that
Prop. 36 represents a ground-breaking departure from 20 years of
lock 'em up drug policy, its success or failure will be of
critical importance to the future of drug policy reform.

The Campaign for New Drug Policies (http://www.drugreform.org)
scored a huge success at the polls, with some 61% of voters
approving its Proposition 36, which will divert thousands of drug
possession offenders from state prisons to drug treatment

It did so in the face of stiff opposition from police,
prosecutors, and drug court professionals, but now proponents of
the new law will need the cooperation of these groups to make the
program work.

Local prosecutors, for example, could refuse to plea-bargain more
serious offenses or decline to prosecute cases under the act.
County supervisors could allocate funds for probation instead of
treatment programs. Police could bring stiffer charges.

"Officials in some counties have been calling this 'the doper
initiative,'" Contra Costa county's head of treatment programs
Chuck Deutschman told the Associated Press. "Obviously, if
you're viewing it as the doper initiative, you're going to be
less interested in treatment."

Questions have also arisen about when and where treatment
programs for the estimated 36,000 persons who will need them will

CNDP's Dave Fratello acknowledged to the Associated Press that
"this will be a real challenge to our friends in the treatment
community. They are going to have the eyes of the world
on them," he said. "They are going to be forced to prove that
this works on a very large scale."

Other skeptics doubt that the $120 million budgeted by the act
each year will cover the costs of drug tests, expanded county
probation offices, and licensing new treatment facilities.

CNDP head Bill Zimmerman, who ran the Prop. 36 campaign, as well
as the medical marijuana initiatives in California and six other
states, remains undaunted. In a conversation with DRCNet, he
predicted that "the bumps will be relatively small."

The effort has political cover now, Zimmerman argued. "No
elected official wants to be on the wrong side of a 61% voter
majority," he said.

Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, who opposed the measure, is a case in
point. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, he said
he and his staff will help to implement the measure.

"The people have spoken," Davis told the Chronicle.

Indeed, within days after the election, Davis filled the long-
vacant position of head of the Department of Alcohol and Drug
Programs, naming Kathryn Jett to the post
(The Week Online has moved!).

Jett, said Zimmerman, "has a history of being committed to

As for opposition from state and local officials, Zimmerman told
DRCNet it would be less than expected.

"There may be some variation from county to county," he said,
"but there are real incentives to implement the system. There
are local treatment providers, probation officers, and drug court
judges who want to see it work."

"There will always be bureaucrats with a stake in its
implementation, sufficient forces working for it to overcome
people who want to stand in the way," he continued.

Program supporters are making active efforts to bring in
opponents, Zimmerman added. "For instance, we are sponsoring a
conference bringing together opponents and proponents to
establish an agenda all stakeholders can live with."

Once again noting the political power that comes with a clear
electoral victory, Zimmerman noted that, "Many opponents are
agreeing to participate in response to the decision of the

And again, on the question of adequate funding, the election
victory has altered the political equation.

Although Zimmerman indicated that CNDP's research showed $120
million annually would cover treatment, probation, and court
costs, and cited a RAND Corporation study that agreed, he argued
that getting more money if needed would not now pose a great

"I think we can get additional funds to help facilitate
implementation of the measure now because the political situation
has changed very dramatically," he said. "Elected officials had
been reluctant to fund drug reform measures in the past, but now
we have a mandate from voters that they want treatment and not

"This will give legislators in Sacramento much more backbone than
in the past. Politicians follow public opinion and when they see
a majority forming, their first impulse is to get out in front of
the parade," continued Zimmerman. "Now you're seeing many who
were formerly reluctant to support the measure coming around."

Coming up with the needed treatment programs will be a challenge
Zimmerman conceded. "But the sentencing provisions don't take
effect until July 1st. Between now and then we have $60 million

"The 36,000 diverted from prison to treatment each year aren't
coming in one clump," Zimmerman pointed out. "More like 3,000 a
month will need treatment, and with the level of preparation we
have, we should be able to have sufficient increased capacity."

The bottom line, said Zimmerman, was the power of the vote. "We
control this issue now."


5. Vancouver Mayor Unveils "Four Pillar" Drug Strategy:
Impatient Activists Announce Safe Injection Project
The Week Online has moved!

Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen last week released a long-awaited
draft of a new "Vancouver Agreement" to deal with the city's
intractable hard drug problem. If implemented as is, the plan
would mark the most far-reaching drug reform yet tried in any
North American city.

Drug overdose deaths have averaged 147 per year in the 1990s, and
portions of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside host one of the
hemisphere's most wide-open hard drug scenes, with all the
attendant social ills, including thousands of drug users infected
with HIV or Hepatitis C, rampant prostitution, and widespread
fear of drug-related crime.

The draft was completed after months of input from stakeholders
on all sides of the issue, from law enforcement and angry
community and merchant associations to health care providers,
harm reduction activists, and drug users themselves.

But the draft is open for further discussion and community review
until early next year, and parts of the plan could change.

Some Vancouver drug users and harm reduction advocates are
unwilling to wait and see. The Harm Reduction Action Society,
which includes public health professionals and members of VANDU,
the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, trumped the mayor's
proposals with its announcement that it is going ahead with plans
to establish two pilot safe injection sites, where hard drug
users can inject in clean surroundings without fear of police

The latest draft of the Vancouver Agreement, "A Framework for
Action: A Four-Pillar Approach to Drug Problems in Vancouver"
adopts the four pillars -- prevention, treatment, enforcement,
and harm reduction -- which support progressive drug reform
efforts in European cities such as Geneva, Frankfurt, and

It names four goals:

* To create an integrated response at the local, provincial, and
national levels, which the report called the "overarching goal"
and the "key element" in achieving the other goals.

* To restore public order by "reducing the open drug scene,"
particularly at the notorious Downtown Eastside intersection of
Main and Hastings.

* To tackle the drug-related health crisis by "reducing harm to
communities and individuals."

* To establish a sort of drug czar, or "single accountable agent
to coordinate implementation of the actions in this framework."

The report lists 24 recommendations for action, many of which
will be non-controversial, such as expanding treatment services,
improving drug education, and starting police "drug action teams"
to respond to neighborhood concerns.

Other recommendations, especially some harm reduction measures,
would be North American firsts. Recommendations for services for
people who continue to use drugs ("low threshold" services), for
a task force to examine safe injection sites, and that the city
participate in a North American study of prescribed heroin for
intractable users implicitly accept that some people will use

Dean Wilson, a Harm Reduction Action Society board member who
also belongs to VANDU, told DRCNet that Mayor Owens deserves
congratulations for his political courage.

"He came out and did the right thing," said Wilson. "He put a
lot of good ideas on the public agenda, and we will participate
in the debate to come."

"Right now, we've got a three-pillar policy, with no harm
reduction and one pillar, the police, being much taller than the
others," Wilson noted.

Wilson approved of the safe injection study and the heroin
maintenance study, and was optimistic that both programs would be

He has special reason to be optimistic about the opening of safe
injection sites. His group has vowed to make it so by
Valentine's Day.

They announced last week that they would open two sites without
waiting for city policy. They have sought government funding --
so far unsuccessfully -- but say they will come up with private
funding to open the sites in any case.

Harm Reduction Action Society board member Warren O'Briain told
the Vancouver Sun, "They save lives otherwise lost to overdoses.
We know that safe injection rooms help the most marginalized and
at-risk drug users to get health care, counseling, and treatment.
We are asking the three levels of government to step up to the

Wilson was more adamant. "We will not tolerate another 400
people dying in this province," he vowed, "if it takes civil
disobedience, it takes civil disobedience."

"We may wait until Easter to open if we are having fruitful
discussions with the mayor," Wilson added, "but if things aren't
going well by January, we will open a guerrilla site."

When questioned about whether he supported the group's safe
injection sites, Mayor Owens first tried to evade the question,
but then told the Vancouver Sun the plan was "premature and

In other comments leading to an inter-provincial tiff, Owens
worried aloud that a safe injection site would attract drug users
from across Canada, especially neighboring Alberta.

Wilson, however, suggests that the mayor would support safe
injection sites. "I think the mayor is concerned about political
exposure and about getting stuck with paying for it," he said.

No matter, said Wilson. "We're going to open them up, and I
think everyone will get on board. We feel the city is more than
ready to support them if they open. We don't want a standalone
thing either, we'll have social workers and all that."

"The thing is, we know we can stop this overdose in the alley
stuff, these at-risk behaviors, and we can save lives."

Even though Mayor Owen does not publicly support safe injection
sites, another government entity involved has expressed cautious
interest. The Vancouver/Richmond Health Board would consider
contributing funding to a pilot program, the board's vice-
president for community health services, Jack Altman, told the

"Certainly we would be interested in exploring this approach, but
we're not going to get out in front," Altman said. "But if we
sat down around a table and people said it may make sense, it
might be a good pilot project for us."

The Vancouver police have not commented on how they would respond
to safe injection sites.


6. Mexico: New Regime, New Attitude Toward Drug War?
The Week Online has moved!

Vicente Fox, a 58-year-old conservative businessman and former
governor of Guanajuato state, was sworn in as Mexico's president
on December 1st. His July election marked an historic change of
regime in Mexico, which for the last 70 years had been ruled by
the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

In carefully chosen remarks directed at US audiences and in some
of his cabinet selections, Fox has provided signals that his
administration wants to revisit Mexico's cooperation with hard-
line US drug policies.

While he has pledged to attack drug-related crime and corruption,
Fox took advantage of pre-inaugural interviews with US media
outlets to jab at US portrayals of Mexico as corrupt and efforts
to blame it for America's drug habit.

In remarks typical of his spate of interviews, Fox told CBS' 60
Minutes last Sunday, "The billions and billions of dollars
generated by drug consumption comes from the United States. And
those billions of dollars are used to bribe Mexican officials or
Mexican policemen. Let's face that we have a problem, that each
one of us has it, and let's meet it together."

"We Mexicans are smart, but not that smart to be able to smuggle
all those drugs by ourselves," he continued. "So there must be
some corruption in the United States."

Talk is one thing, but with a pair of appointments to his
cabinet, Fox has put well-known advocates of drug policy reform
in two critical posts. He named author and political scientist
Jorge Castaneda as Foreign Minister and former Mexico City police
chief Alejandro Gertz Manero to head the newly created Public
Security Ministry.

Castaneda has advocated repeatedly and eloquently for drug
legalization, most notably in a widely read September 1999 essay
in Newsweek. (That essay, as well as detailed analysis of these
appointments and much more is available from Narco News at
Narco News Reprints Mexican Leader's Column on Drug Legalization online.)

After being named Foreign Minister, Castaneda took pains to
reiterate his position. On November 24th, he told Mexico City's
La Jornada that drug policy was one of the key issues in
bilateral relations with the US, that the US must end its annual
certification of Mexico's compliance with US drug war aims, and
that bilateral drug policy needs "a new focus."

He also bluntly restated his pro-decriminalization position. To
resolve the drug problem, he told La Jornada, requires, "the
decriminalization in the long run of certain currently illegal
substances... and the use of market mechanisms to minimize the
profits derived from the prohibited character of the drug trade."

Although almost unanimously described in the US media as a
leftist, Castaneda has left his youthful leftism behind. In his
1993 book, "Utopia Unarmed: The Latin American Left After the
Cold War," he attacked Cuba, trashed Latin American guerrilla
movements, and argued that only playing within the rules of the
global economic system would bring desired change.

He has also signaled that although he will adopt a more
aggressive posture toward the United States and wants to
renegotiate NAFTA, he fully supports the neo-liberal economic
policies of his boss.

Alejandro Gertz Manero, Fox's choice to head the new Ministry of
Public Security, is a former president of the University of the
Americas in Mexico City and current Mexico City police chief.
The new position is a critical one in Fox's plan to radically
restructure the Mexican law enforcement apparatus.

Gertz Manero has received high marks from observers for his
crime-fighting and anti-corruption efforts in Mexico City and,
like Castaneda, has explicitly addressed the failure of current
drug policies.

As first reported in English by Narco News, Gertz Manero called
for "a Holland-style" drug policy earlier this year.

In a May column in El Universal (Mexico City), he called for a
"third path," writing that: "The production and transit
countries for drugs, like Cambodia, Colombia and Mexico, live
with their own hell, while their institutions are infiltrated by
drug traffickers and suffer a constant decay, their social
structures brutally erode without finding answers or viable

"The third path has worked for countries like Holland that try to
end the economic pressures of drug trafficking and recognize that
drug addicts are ill, taking charge to allow the free use of
drugs by those addicts inside of a therapeutic project, so that
those who have irredeemably fallen into this vice do not become
instruments of the economic interests of crime."

Whether and to what degree Castaneda and Gertz Manero bring drug
policy to the fore remains to be seen, but with these
appointments the Fox administration has positioned itself to be
able take on the US drug warriors if it chooses.

The drug warriors are certainly watching. In September, outgoing
drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey publicly warned Fox against
pulling the Mexican military out of the anti-drug effort. Fox
had proposed "demilitarizing" drug law enforcement.

Again in November, McCaffrey warned Fox against eliminating the
military's role in drug enforcement. Sounding like a character
from the Godfather, McCaffrey told Fox, "Be careful what you do,"
the San Diego Union Tribune reported.

In an interview with the same paper, DEA administrator Donnie
Marshall threw down some markers for the Fox government. Warning
that the US "is not satisfied with the results we've seen from
Mexico," Marshall told the paper whether or not leading Mexican
drug cartel figures are extradited to the US will be a crucial
indicator that Mexico is meeting US goals.

Marshall also supported the certification process, claiming it
had produced "substantial progress" in Colombia in recent years.


7. Pharmaceutical Firms Fund Drug Court Lobbying Group
The Week Online has moved!

The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), a
nonprofit organization that lobbies for drug courts, is receiving
money from pharmaceutical companies that stand to profit from
broad, court-ordered surveillance and testing of drug users, the
Gainesville (Florida) Sun reported on Sunday.

DuPont Pharmaceuticals and Roche Diagnostics, a subsidiary of
Hoffman-La Roche Inc., are providing $100,000 each to the
association over a four-year period. DuPont makes naltrexone,
used to treat heroin and alcohol abusers, while Roche Diagnostics
sells drug-testing equipment.

The companies had originally pledged the funds to the National
Drug Court Institute, a training and education organization
formed jointly by the NADCP and the Office of National Drug
Control Policy and federally funded to the tune of $1 million per
year. But NADCP President Jerry Tauber told the Sun the money
was shifted to the association after the companies complained
they were not getting sufficient exposure through the institute.
Tauber also cited concerns about mixing public and private funds
at the institute.

He appeared much less concerned about potential ethical
conflicts, although he did attempt to minimize the companies'
influence, telling the Sun that corporate contributions make up
only 3% of the NADCP budget.

He also told the Sun that it was "only natural" that the
companies would contribute to "causes that are good for the
country and good for them."

"These folks, sure, are interested in the survival of drug courts
and their health because [drug courts] are ultimately customers,"
Tauber said.

DuPont also defended the contributions. Company spokesman Tom
Barry told the Sun the money was part of DuPont's efforts to
promote education about drug courts and their expansion. "This
isn't a marketing effort," he said.

According to Barry, DuPont does not heavily market naltrexone,
which it sells under the trade name ReVia, because cheaper
generic versions are available.

But the Sun found at least one case where DuPont's efforts have
paid off. In Buchanan County, Missouri, Circuit Court Judge
Patrick Rob presides over a drug court, where some driving while
intoxicated offenders are prescribed ReVia. Roy told the Sun he
heard about the drug at an NADCP convention where DuPont gave a
presentation on using naltrexone in drug courts for alcoholics.

Although NADCP President Tauber remains sanguine, some
association members are more attuned to the ethical questions
raised by such self-interested corporate sponsorship of groups
attempting to influence drug policy.

"The question of potential ethical conflicts always looms out
there and needs to loom out there," Randy Monchick, North
Carolina's drug court administrator, told the Sun. "NADCP needs
to seriously consider that and be aware of it."

The National Association of Drug Court Professionals has a web
site at <NADCP Home | NADCP>.


8. Newsbrief: Let's Get On the Hemp-Go-Round
The Week Online has moved!

At Kentucky's state capitol in Frankfort on Tuesday a nice bit of
political theater illustrated the surreal nature of US hemp

As reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader, it featured a former
Kentucky governor, some would-be Kentucky hemp farmers, and a
carload of Oglala Sioux from South Dakota.

Louie Nunn, the Republican ex-governor turned industrial hemp
supporter, ceremonially presented the tribe members with a
truckload of hemp parked just outside the capitol rotunda. The
gift of hemp from the Kentucky Hemp Growers' Cooperative will
help build and insulate houses on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The scene was colorful and camera-friendly, but it also made some
points about hemp policy. The hemp wasn't from Kentucky; it
cannot be legally grown there. Instead, it came from Canada.

"It's a detour around bureaucratic wrangling," Oglala Sioux land
director Milo Yellow Hair told the Herald-Leader. "We have to
point out how ludicrous this all is. Industrial hemp is a
multimillion-dollar industry."

"But neither American Indians nor Kentucky farmers can tap into

As DRCNet reported last September 15th
(The Week Online has moved!), the Oglala
found that out the hard way when a heavily-armed gang of DEA,
FBI, US Marshals, and state police raided the tribe's
experimental hemp fields in August.

"It doesn't make much sense that this product can be shipped in
from Canada, we can ship it to South Dakota, we can stand here
and talk about it but we can't grow it," said Andy Graves of the
Kentucky Hemp Growers' Co-op.

Nunn and the co-op members took the opportunity to laud the
virtues of industrial hemp as well. "Not only will hemp be a
great alternative crop, but with its many uses, it could bring an
industrial revolution to this state 20 years from now," said

He told the gathering he planned to travel along with the
Kentucky hemp shipment to educate people about the crop and its

Yellow Hair and the other tribe members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe
were grateful for the gift.

"When we needed hemp, Kentuckians stood up and helped us," Yellow
Hair Said. "It's a very symbolic move, and we want to build on

(Also read our "Hemp Lunacy" editorial about the Oglala hemp
incident, The Week Online has moved! from the
same issue.)


9. Media Scan
The Week Online has moved!

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen editorializes on the
Robert Downey Jr. arrest:


Sources report that ABC News 20/20 will air a piece on the Tulia,
Texas mass drug sting, this Monday evening, 12/4. Check Monday
afternoon to verify.


10. The Reformer's Calendar
The Week Online has moved!

(Please submit listings of events related to drug policy and
related areas to calendar@drcnet.org.)

December 2, New Haven, CT, 9:30am-6:30pm, First Conference on
Drug Policy and the Prison Overcrowding Crisis in Connecticut.
At Yale University, Lindsley Chittenden room 101, 203, 204 and
205, open to the public. For further information, contact Luke
Bronin at luke.bronin@yale.edu or Adam Hurter at (860) 285-8831
or ahurter@wesleyan.edu.

January 13, 2001, St. Petersburg, FL, Families Against Mandatory
Minimums Regional Workshop, location to be determined. Call
(202) 822-6700 for information or to register.

March 9-11, 2001, New York, NY, Critical Resistance: Beyond the
Prison Industrial Complex. Northeast regional conference,
following on the large national gathering in 1998, to focus on
the impacts of the prison industrial complex in Maine, Vermont,
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New
York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and
Washington, DC. Visit Critical Resistance for
further information, or call (212) 561-0912 or e-mail

April 1-5, 2001, New Delhi, India, 12th International Conference
on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm. Sponsored by the
International Harm Reduction Coalition, for information visit
http://www.ihrc-india2001.org on the web, e-mail
showtime@vsnl.com, call 91-11-6237417-18, fax 91-11-6217493 or
write to Showtime Events Pvt. Ltd., S-567, Greater Kailash - II,
New Delhi 110 048, India.

April 19-21, Washington, DC, 2001 NORML Conference. Call (202)
293-8340 for information. Registration and other information to
be made available soon at <NORML.org - Working to Reform Marijuana Laws - NORML.org - Working to Reform Marijuana Laws>.

April 25-28, Minneapolis, MN, North American Syringe Exchange
Convention. Sponsored by the North American Syringe Exchange
Network, for further information call (253) 272-4857, e-mail
nasen@seanet.com or visit NASEN | North American Syringe Exchange Network on the web. At
the Marriott City Center Hotel, 30 South Seventh Street.


11. Editorial: On the Nation's Highways
The Week Online has moved!

David Borden, Executive Director, borden@drcnet.org

TV news viewers the last two days were treated to glimpses of
some of Florida's Ryder rental trucks. To Tallahassee they went,
Palm Beach and Miami-Dade ballots aboard, news copters in tow,
doing their part to select the legally determinate winner of a
statistically indeterminate election.

They might have traveled on some of the big US highways or
Interstates -- roads like I-95 or US-1, stretching from Florida
to Maine -- on their way passing through the Garden State, New
Jersey, the focus of a pitched debate on the state police
practice of racial profiling. The statistics there are anything
but indeterminate -- New Jersey police did engage in racial
profiling, all parties now agree, and engaged in it widely -- on
the highways and everywhere else.

The primary culprit in the profiling debacle is the war on drugs.
Unlike crimes against persons, which have a complaining victim,
drug crimes involve consenting parties who wish very much to keep
their transactions private. In order to find drugs, police adopt
highly intrusive tactics -- stop and frisks, vehicle searches, no
knock warrants, etc. -- and in order to decide where and when to
intrude, they've adopted the use of profiles, racial and other.

The profiles, of course, are a self-fulfilling prophecy -- if you
primarily search African Americans and Latinos, then those are
the people you'll catch with drugs -- because those are the
people you've searched. Yet we know from research that drug use
and sales occur at approximately the same rate in both our
minority and majority communities.

One of the consequences of racial profiling, therefore, is a
disproportionately high conviction rate of African Americans on
felony drug charges: Though blacks make up 13% of the population
and 13% of drug users, they constitute more than 55% of those
convicted for drug offenses. And under many states' felony
disenfranchisement law, large numbers of black men have
permanently lost the right to vote.

Felony disenfranchisement is properly regarded by African
American leaders as one of the most important civil rights issues
facing Americans today. In Florida, according to salon.com, a
full third of all adult African American men have been
disenfranchised for felony convictions. Only a small percentage
of them would actually have had to vote in order to swing the
current election in that state and thereby the nation.

Racial profiling, then, has impacted on our democracy, to the
highest corridors of government. And so, we watch the Ryder
trucks, transfixed by a legally valid but statistically
meaningless election frenzy. Racial profiling, felony
disenfranchisement and the drug war are all to blame.


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