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The Week Online with DRCNet
(renamed "Drug War Chronicle" effective issue #300, August 2003)

Issue #198, 8/10/01

"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Phillip S. Smith, Editor
David Borden, Executive Director

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Washingtonians, DC suburbanites and visitors, come out to the Week Online 200th issue party! August 24, Velvet Lounge, 915 U Street, speeches, music, literature and camaraderie in the cause! Musical performers include Mike Daly of Whiskeytown, Wish You Were Gone and Monsoon; speakers will include representatives from DRCNet and other drug reformers. Admission $7, must be 21 or over, say you are there for the DRCNet benefit.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy conference Nov. 10-11 in DC -- see http://www.ssdp.org/conference2001/ for details.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Editorial: Nostalgia for the '80s
  2. With National Drug Treatment Binge Looming, Survivors Conference in Suburban DC Targets Abusive Programs
  3. Court Ruling Brings New York City Needle Exchange Suit a Step Closer to Class Action Status
  4. Two Steps Backward, No Steps Forward in Illinois: No to Hemp, Yes to Draconian Ecstasy Penalties
  5. Canadian Health Minister Has "Open Mind" on Marijuana Legalization
  6. Reams "Reeferendum" Underway in Virginia, Libertarian Candidate Enters Lt. Governor Race to Push Marijuana Reform
  7. Hawaii Pays Hemp Advocates $75,000 in Persecution Settlement
  8. Reformer Profile: Ethan Nadelmann
  9. T-shirts for Victory! Special New Offer and Appeal from DRCNet This Month
  10. Media Scan: Major Dan Forbes/Salon.com Scoop, National Review, OC Register, Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Economist
  11. Resources: Andean Regional Initiative, Salvia Divinorum, Australian National Crime Authority
  12. Action Alerts: Ecstasy Bill, HEA, Mandatory Minimums, Medical Marijuana, John Walters
  13. HEA Campaign Still Seeking Student Victim Cases -- New York Metropolitan Area Especially Urgent
  14. The Reformer's Calendar
(read last week's issue)

(visit the Week Online archives)


1. Editorial: Nostalgia for the '80s

David Borden, Executive Director, [email protected]

One might have thought that nostalgia for past eras -- the self-liberation and social consciousness of the 1960's, for example -- would be a help to the cause of rational drug policy reform, or at least not an impediment. After all, the prison binge at its current extent is unique to the past 25-30 years; Alcohol Prohibition and its repeal is still etched upon the national consciousness; and currently illegal drugs themselves were legal once upon a time that the eldest of our elders can still remember.

Unfortunately, nostalgia may turn out to be as much of an obstacle for reformers to overcome. The problem is that as time goes by, more of the past enters the window of time that is ripe for nostalgic reminiscing. When I and some friends met up at our college just a few years after graduating, it seemed too soon for our club to be having an "80's party," as they were that night. But by now the 80's are clearly fair game for nostalgia, and that presents a challenge for drug reformers.

That's because the 80's are a period of time for which certain data, if chosen and applied very selectively and without regard to their limitations or the actual cause and effect relationships underlying them, create an appearance that US drug policy -- i.e., the "war on drugs" and the "just say no" climate that accompanies it -- worked. The drug warriors' basic line is that during the 80's and early 90's, drug use in America fell dramatically, by as much as 2/3 in the case of the drug cocaine, but started to rise again in 1992.

Republican drug warriors take it a step further and argue that Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush led the nation in a vigorous drug war that reduced drug use and in America, but that the Democrats led by Bill Clinton "retreated" in the war on drugs and drug use consequently went back up. Bob Dole, for example, used that line in an attempt to re-ignite the 80's anti-drug fervor during his failed 1996 election bid. It tied in to the Reagan nostalgia movement, too
-- the kind of people who renamed National Airport and fantasize about adding their hero's likeness to the face of Mt. Rushmore.

It didn't work. Americans intuitively understand, as repeated polls illustrate, that our drug policy is a failure. And while the public mood is not always a sound measure of policy realities -- the ecstasy and OxyContin panics are good examples of how the public can be misled -- in this case the public perception is on target. The drug war has never worked, neither now nor in the 80's, and the stats that drug warriors use to create the appearance of past success are deceptive, simple-minded and fall far wayward of the mark for what should concern Americans with regard to substance abuse and related policies.

First, the government's own research calls the validity of the data, which is derived from self-reporting anonymous forms submitted to the government surveys, into serious question. One of the problems is underreporting -- that is, the unwillingness of some survey participants to confess to illegal drug use on a document being turned over to the government, albeit without their names on it. Research has suggested that the rate of underreporting increased during the '80s as the level of anti-drug rhetoric escalated and public opinions hardened. Hence, it is not clear that the drop in drug use was nearly as dramatic during that time period as the surveys suggest; it may only be that fewer people were willing to admit to using drugs.

It may also be that there was some decline in certain types of drug use. As harm reductionist Imani Woods said once, "'Just Say No' works for some people. Those are the people who fill out the National Household Survey." Yet the same 12 years that saw an uncertain drop in casual drug use, nevertheless saw no decline in the addiction rate; saw sharp increases in drug-related AIDS and hepatitis and in the violence rate; and saw the emergence of new and more dangerous forms of drugs such as crack cocaine, unknown in 1980 but widespread and taking a terrible toll by 1986. Though casual drug use by young people is not inconsequential, all the most problematic aspects of drug use, all the things about which Americans are really the most concerned when they say they are against drugs, grew worse or stayed as bad during this time of supposed success.

And proving that not all Reaganites were fooled by drug war rhetoric, conservative columnist William F. Buckley a few years ago blasted what he called "the planted axiom," the assumption that drug use during the '80s declined as a result of the drug war, at a time when alcohol and tobacco use dropped without the use of imprisonment. Indeed, to the extent that casual use did actually decline during that time, other measures prove that it cannot have been a result of supply-side anti-drug enforcement, which makes up the bulk of the drug war. Supply-side enforcement seeks to raise the price of drugs in order to decrease demand and make the supply more scarce.

Yet drug prices, as pointed out in the recent Economist magazine report, had plummeted to a fraction of their 1980 value by the end of the decade, and more teenagers than ever report having "easy" or "very easy" access to hard drugs than ever before. By its own direct measures, the drug war during the '80s failed very dramatically; any reduction in drug use during that time was more likely the result of suasion, not enforcement or interdiction.

Last but not least, warriors like drug czar nominee John Walters have lied outright in blaming rising post-Republican drug use on the drug war's de-escalation. In reality, no de-escalation took place, but rather a dramatic escalation in drug arrests, interdiction and prosecutions: More people were imprisoned for nonviolent drug offenses during Bill Clinton's two terms than during his Republican predecessors' three terms combined.

It is more than mere nostalgia that makes these one- and two- decade old statistics important to drug reformers today. As the new Bush administration's drug policy team slowly but surely settles into place -- people like Walters or DEA chief Asa Hutchinson -- 1980's drug warrior nostalgia is likely to resurge at least somewhat. They shouldn't be allowed to get away with historical revisionism.

This issue of the Week Online deals with a particularly nasty, little-discussed consequence of the 80's drug war: the formation of abusive drug treatment programs using destructive mind control techniques to manipulate parents and children and subject large numbers of young people to emotional and sometimes physical abuse. One of the worst examples was a Florida program called "Straight, Inc." whose founders are powerful friends of some of the drug war's top leaders. This dark legacy continues to take new forms as negative publicity and lawsuits disable the previous ones.

Let the true drug war history of the 80's be told.


2. With National Drug Treatment Binge Looming, Survivors Conference in Suburban DC Targets Abusive Programs

"I saw many people beaten and restrained. I was beaten and restrained myself. I repeatedly carved on my own arms with my fingernails until I was covered in blood repeatedly, and I saw many others do the same. I was forced to ask for permission each time I wiped myself after a movement of the bowels. I was told that masturbation (a normal thing for a 17-year-old boy) was just a part of my drug problem and that masturbation would lead me back to drugs and eventually death. I was told that I had manipulated those adults in my past into having sex with me so that I could get drugs from them. The fact is I was being sexually abused for three years before I even tried any drugs. Every single day that I was in the program I saw someone getting abused. Verbal Assault is the primary therapeutic tool in these programs. Physical battery was a daily occurrence. Any client who was not fully participatory was poked and physically prodded until the client exploded in rage, then the client would be violently and physically restrained, sometimes for hours at a stretch. I saw people getting their heads dunked in toilets, I saw staff members physically abuse clients. I saw people being kidnapped and carried across state lines to return to the program. Kids jumped out of second floor windows naked to escape. Personally, I was told by one foster parent that I would be shot in the leg if I tried to get out of his home. He explained that he would simply say that I had tried to commit suicide and that no one would believe me if I told the truth. To this very day, I orgasm in silence because that was the only way to do so in the program, making noise meant risking public humiliation and verbal assault the next day for self gratification."

"I wish that this were a case of only a couple of specific egregious abuse, but in fact it is a case of systemic egregious abuse. Abuse was the process. Break down a kid completely and rebuild him. Straight made no bones about that, it was policy. I am pretty sure SAFE operates in the same way, but I have to leave it up to you reporters to find out for sure. Elan, in Maine operates in similar fashion, as do hundreds of overseas "boot camps" as well as domestic ones. In Atlanta, when Straight closed its doors, a new program opened up immediately and accepted the transfers from Straight. The new program is called Phoenix Institute for Adolescents. Straight was systematically abusive. Straight admitted me when I was clearly the victim of sexual abuse, and convinced me that I was so bad, and such a horrific drug addict that I had brought all this on myself, that I was to blame for all that had happened, and that I was going to be a drug addict forever. Of course I never was a drug addict, but I learned to act like one very well."

So Straight survivor James Lloyd reprised for DRCNet the story he told a Bethesda conference on abusive drug treatment programs in late July. (Lloyd wants to communicate with others and can be reached at [email protected].) Scandalously, his story is far from an aberration. An increasingly prominent part of the US anti-drug policy is the resort to treatment for drug offenders. Not only have the Clinton and Bush administrations raised both the profile and the funding levels for drug treatment, but powerful forces within the drug reform movement have also championed the treatment cause as an alternative to imprisonment, thus potentially creating a steady supply of captive customers for this growth industry.

Lost in the movement uproar over the suitability and efficacy of drug treatment, however, has been the issue of treatment programs whose methods range from the merely abusive to the clearly criminal. The conference hosted by the Trebach Institute (http://www.trebach.org) in suburban Bethesda, Maryland, on July 21 and 22 marked the beginning of a renewed campaign to combat abusive treatment programs. In doing so, conference organizers brought to the fore the overlap of the turn to drug treatment with the issue of abusive treatment in general, and in particular, abusive treatment programs geared toward controlling and reshaping teenagers who act out for any number of reasons.

And not a moment too soon, if recent chilling news accounts are any guide. At least three teenagers have died so far this year in outdoor "camps" designed to whip kids into shape through the application of harsh, confrontational "tough love" methods. In February, Ryan Lewis, 14, hung himself at a West Virginia "wilderness therapy" camp. That same month, Michael Wiltsie, 12, died in a Florida camp after being restrained by a 320-pound camp counselor for more than half an hour. Last month, Tony Haynes, 14, died at an Arizona boot camp. Other students at the camp told investigators Haynes was physically abused and forced to eat dirt before he died.

At least 31 teenagers have died in such camps since 1980, according to the New York Times. Shocking as these deaths may be, they are only the extreme end of a spectrum of abusive treatment modalities that rely on techniques more akin to the brainwashing of POWS than to the common image of compassionate care for troubled youths. At the conference, speaker after speaker arose to denounce "treatment" that turns the stomach of civilized people: forced confinement, physical beatings, prolonged restraint, forced consumption of foods, prolonged deprival of foods; as well as insidious psychological tortures including prolonged sleep deprivation, marathon confrontational humiliation sessions and vicious attacks on vulnerable young psyches. (Numerous web sites provide these gut-wrenching survivors' tales, including http://www.thestraights.com/straight/, http://www.nospank.org/boot.htm [on boot camps], and http://www.fornits.com/anonanon/, all of which also provide links to even more horror stories.)

In a presentation attendees said was typical of abusive treatment programs, Rosslyn Araiza-Jordan, 31, related her experience in the KIDS of El Paso treatment center in 1986. She was misdiagnosed upon entry to the program, she said. "When I went into KIDS, I was diagnosed as a 'druggie,'" she told the audience. "I had done marijuana a total of three times and drank about as many times. I was displaying bulimic behavior. I admit and agree that my behavior was far from a normal teenager's, but it was not due to drug abuse."

Araiza-Jordan told how counselors forced her to eat seafood to which she was allergic. "They told me I was lying and that I had to eat this food," she said, and when she continued to refuse she was forced to carry it for several hours. Eventually she was placed in four-point restraints for several hours, then the food was forced down her throat. "Almost instantly, I began to swell. My throat began to close and my face became very swollen. They took me to an intake room, after several hours I was given Benadryl to reduce the swelling. They refused to take me to a hospital for this reaction," she said.

Araiza-Jordan also explained the "Quiet Room," where she was beaten and screamed at by more than 20 fellow residents at the counselors' behest. "People pushed me around and restrained me to the wall," she related. "Some people spat in my face, some pulled and ripped at my clothes. I vomited all over myself, and they even rubbed fecal matter on my face. Finally, as if the experience couldn't have been more shameful, they had a male staff member read very intimate sexual incidents out of the moral inventory that I had to write."

When Araiza-Jordan turned 18 and, as an adult, had the right to leave the KIDS center, the center held her against her will and against the law. Her parents eventually retrieved her from the center. Her tale is so horrifying that any civilized person hopes it is an aberration. But as the testimony of speaker after speaker demonstrated, it is all too common.

But even tales such as Araiza-Jordan's did not convince some parents in attendance that the treatment programs in question were flawed. In an opening night discussion, at least two parents with children who either are in or had graduated from such programs stood up to provide a vigorous defense of their program at least.

"You don't have to be stupid to be brainwashed," treatment survivor Ginger Warbis told DRCNet, adding that she welcomed the participation of people who believe in the usefulness of such programs. "I think we had a great mix of people together in one room, and through the discussion we were able to gain some insights. These people who stood up for SAFE (one of the targeted programs) were articulate advocates on their position. We need to be able to deal with these people."

For James Lloyd, the parents who stood up for SAFE were disturbing. "Hearing the cult lingo and their inability to communicate in terms outside of the lingo was really scary to me," he told DRCNet. "I acknowledge that these people believe things have changed since Straight's days, but from the picture they paint it is pretty much the same. One major point that they made was that clients are no longer allowed to touch each other. But I wonder really how far that goes. Let's suppose I am in the program and 16 years old. If I stand up to leave and walk out, how will SAFE stop me from doing so without touching me?" he asked.

Such maltreatment has historically been associated with treatment modalities patterned after Synanon, according to Wesley Fager, the parent of a youth who suffered from an abusive treatment program and author of the online book, "A Clockwork Straight," (http://www.fornits.com/straight/). Fager connected the dots between Synanon, which specialized in brutal verbal confrontation to cure heroin addiction and which later devolved into a cult, and its lineal descendants, including the Seed, Straight, Inc., the KIDS chain of treatment centers, the LIFE chain, and numerous others listed on his web site.

And although this subject was barely touched on the conference, the confrontational, "tough love" approach to drug treatment pioneered by Synanon remains a dominant treatment model to this day. While they may forego the egregious physical abuses documented at the conference, "therapeutic community" treatment programs, including such prominent and loudly lauded organizations as Walden House, Daytop Village and Phoenix House rely on precisely the same ego-destroying regime of confrontation, degradation, and humiliation.

Given her experience with the Seed, another Synanon-based program, Warbis is skeptical of any therapeutic community. "I wouldn't put my kid in one," she told DRCNet. But people who are considering such an option, said Warbis, must ensure that "at a bare minimum every program must adhere to the basic rule that anyone who comes to one of these communities has the right to leave." Without that right, said Warbis, "you have situation of intense psychological coercion, physical abuses can happen, and then the community convinces you to color what happened in a slightly better light."

Fager also connected the dots between Straight, Inc., the upper echelons of the Republican Party, and the organized drug war. The founders of Straight, Inc. are Mel and Betty Sembler, a prominent Florida couple who dabbled in real estate development and politics, said Fager. Mel Sembler was recently head of fundraising for the Republican National Committee and has been nominated by President Bush to be ambassador to Italy. Betty Sembler eventually shut down the Straight, Inc. Foundation and reopened it as the Drug Free America Foundation, from which she wages war against drug reformers and for which she was honored with a Betty Sembler day by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush last August.

For Florida drug reform activist Jodi James, the conference was a call to action, especially as Florida prepares for a Prop 36-style initiative. "Many of the centers being discussed have a legacy in Florida and are still operating," she told DRCNet. "And we're getting ready to force everyone into treatment. I've been somewhat involved with building the survivors network, but I didn't realize how devastating the long-term effects of these programs are, what these families have gone through. It is amazing that after 20 years some of these people are still suffering from what they went through. Many of them were shamed into believing they were bad, sick persons."

Straight, Inc. and many of its cousins may have been run out of business -- KIDS of North Jersey, for example, had to pay out a $4.5 million settlement to one teen abused in its center -- but the problem of abusive treatment remains. As the nation relies ever more heavily on drug treatment, the potential for further horror stories from the treatment gulag is real and present. Attendees at the Trebach Institute's conference saw it as a good first step, but only the beginning of a lengthy struggle for sanity and justice.

Attendees at the conference appear to be ready and eager for that struggle. "We're looking at the possibility of holding another conference like this is Florida," James told DRCNet, "and we are discussing concrete ways to get the issue before the media and the public." Ginger Warbis agrees. "I'll be working to see more people taking an interest in this issue," she told DRCNet. "It isn't going away. These abusive programs pretty well predominate the industry."

And she has a suggestion of whom to target: "Bridges of America is a pretty big company that takes a lot (maybe mostly) court referrals. I spoke with a recent client a couple of weeks ago who described it as very similar to the types of psychological abuses most often alleged against Straight/Synanon type places, except that they're short term and do allow some outside contact fairly early on."

Straight survivor John Wenning traveled from Portland, Oregon, to attend the conference. He, too, plans on working to shut down similar programs. "I hadn't thought about how surreal that place was for years," he told DRCNet, "but the conference brought it all back. I wasn't physically abused, but the day-to-day misery was bad enough. I've been talking with people like Ginger Warbis and Wes Fager, and just knowing that these kinds of places are still around motivates me to want to see them shut down."

Like many of the treatment abuse survivors at the conference, for the treatment industry Wenning is a sort of Frankenstein's monster. Not only did treatment not create the docile, ego-stripped client it boasted it could, it instead created a determined foe. "I've gotten into drug policy, I've been involved with NORML and Common Sense for Drug Policy, as well as the ACLU and Amnesty International. I think prohibition is wrong, and I believe that the philosophy that sees addiction as a chronic, progressive, organic disease is deeply mistaken."

(This conference addressed so many issues, all with far-reaching ramifications, that it is impossible to mention, let alone do justice, to all of them. Conference organizers at the Trebach Institute, however, have promised to post extensive conference coverage on their website and have audio and videotapes available for a nominal fee. Check http://www.trebach.org to see all that this article failed to cover.)


3. Court Ruling Brings New York City Needle Exchange Suit a Step Closer to Class Action Status

A civil lawsuit filed last November on behalf of injection drug users is now on the verge of blossoming into a class action lawsuit. "James Roe," "John B.," and Hilton Perez, all card-carrying members of a legally operating needle exchange program (NEP) were arrested by the New York Police Department (NYPD) in different incidents in the last two years. "Roe," for example, was arrested in a Greenwich Village anti-drug sweep in 1999 after police found traces of heroin in a syringe he carried. Attorneys for the Urban Justice Center's Harm Reduction Legal Project filed suit against the city, arguing that police illegally targeted registered NEP participants who, under a special provision of city law, could legally possess syringes (see http://www.drcnet.org/wol/165.html#needle2 for background).

According to the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center on Avenue C, where "Roe" got his needles, clients were often caught up in police anti-drug dragnets. NEP registration cards sometimes worked to prevent arrest, but other times they did not. "Roe" told the New York Times that police cut up his NEP card during his arrest.

In an August 1 ruling, federal district court Judge Robert Sweet, a well-known advocate for drug reform, granted a motion asking that the suit be considered for class-action status, meaning that other registered injection drug users arrested by police could join the lawsuit. Because the plaintiff is seeking monetary damages, the granting of class-action status could have a significant financial impact on the city in the event of a victory.

"At least one hundred and as many as 5,000 people" arrested by the NYPD while registered as NEP participants could join the suit, Urban Justice Center attorney Corrinne Carey told DRCNet. Carey added that the case could affect all NEP participants, some 30,000 people. "We're trying to cover all of the people who are members or potential members of the program," said Carey. "Although the press coverage said we got class-action status, that is a little premature. Judge Sweet allowed us to amend our complaint to include class allegations," she explained. "That is an indication that the judge will grant class-action status."

But Carey and the plaintiffs are seeking more than monetary damages; they want positive change in the city's, and particularly, the NYPD's approach to NEPs and their clients. "We are asking that those people who are enrolled in NEPs or potentially enrolled not be arrested for drug possession charges based on unusable residue in syringes," said Carey. "NEPs won't work if people can't carry needles with residues. We're also asking for more training for police officers," Carey added, "because it is clear under the law that you can't be arrested, but it continues to happen. And we are asking that people who don't have their cards on them at the time not be arrested pending investigation. People shouldn't be arrested for having syringes," she said.

The needle exchange program supplies more than 3 million needles each year in New York City in an effort to stem the spread of AIDS and other infectious diseases. The program is taxpayer funded and had worked with city officials to craft an exception from drug paraphernalia laws for program participants.

The editorial page writers at Rupert Murdoch's New York Post took great exception to Sweet's ruling, and they weren't too happy with the Urban Justice Center, either. In an editorial permeated with derogatory, emotion-laden rhetoric --it ran under the header, "The Druggies' Judge" -- the Post maintained that:

"Sweet, in his ongoing bid to strike down every law against the use of dangerous drugs, has now opened a door that could wipe out the NYPD's highly effective sweeps of high-drug areas. This ruling was part of "the judge's larger drug-legalization campaign," the Post thundered.

As for the Urban Justice Center, a nonprofit organization that advocates for poor and homeless New Yorkers, the Post was still irritated with it for daring to challenge the city's policy of forcing the city's homeless into shelters. While the Center argues that NEPs are a harm reduction measure that serve the public health and that police harassment of program participants thus threatens the public health -- a notion the Post finds "preposterous" -- the Post's editorial writers deign to tell their readers "what this case really is about: A left-wing activist group intent on blocking every effort to bring positive change to this city, and a judge who likewise thinks that New York would be better off if drugs were available for the asking."

"That's the Post for you," laughed Carey. "The Human Rights Law Project is committed to idea of harm reduction and opposing those laws which cause more harm than the drugs themselves. We work on a number of different issues for this city's most downtrodden."


4. Two Steps Backward, No Steps Forward in Illinois: No to Hemp, Yes to Draconian Ecstasy Penalties

Last week, Illinois Gov. George Ryan, a Republican, vetoed a bill that would have authorized research on possible hemp production in the state. Days later, he signed into law an anti-Ecstasy bill that will make Illinois' law one of the harshest in the nation.

The hemp bill, which twice passed both houses of the state legislature, would have provided for five years of privately funded research into hemp as an agricultural crop, with the end goal of eventually legalizing hemp production in the state.

While paying lip service to the good intentions of the hemp bill's sponsors and backers, Ryan's veto message played to a presumed drug war audience. "This legislation nonetheless plays into the national strategy of groups seeking to remove existing criminal penalties for cannabis/marijuana possession and use," he wrote.

In February, Ryan had vetoed an earlier version of the hemp bill, saying he had concerns about problems for law enforcement and doubts about whether hemp could be a viable crop for Illinois farmers. After that veto, hemp bill sponsors rewrote the bill to address law enforcement concerns, but that still wasn't good enough for Ryan.

"Everybody seemed to miss the point of this whole thing," Illinois farmer and industrial hemp supporter Gary Knecht told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I find it disappointing that in today's world, we can be against research. We're going backward."

State Sen. Evelyn Bowles (D-Edwardsville), who sponsored the senate version of the bill, vowed over the weekend to override the governor's veto. She told the Alton Telegraph she would do "everything I can to work for an override. I feel like we need to do this study," she said. "Why continue to not know? That bothers me, to not want to know. I want to know things." She told the local paper she would work with the house bill's sponsor, Rep. Ron Lawfer (R-Stockton) to organize an override attempt.

It will be a close battle. To override a governor's veto, a three-fifth's majority in both houses must vote in favor of the bill. The bill got 67% support in the senate and 62.6% in the house. "If we can hold those people and maybe even a few extras, I think we can do it," Bowles said.

If Ryan couldn't stomach the idea of hemp research, he was certainly happy to sign on to what could be the nation's harshest Ecstasy penalties. Under the new law, which will take effect on January 1, persons possessing as few as 15 Ecstasy tablets will face a mandatory minimum six-year prison sentence. Under current law, persons possessing up to 900 Ecstasy tablets were eligible for probation. The new law brings Ecstasy and other "club drug" punishments in line with those currently reserved for serious drugs such as heroin and cocaine. The new law also contains provisions allowing authorities to charge Ecstasy dealers with "drug-induced homicide" if someone dies after ingesting the drug.

The latest example in the trend of passing legislation on the basis of rare but highly-publicized cases, the law is also known as "Kelley's Law," named after Kelley McEnery Baker who died after taking Ecstasy in 1999. Baker died in New Jersey, not Illinois, but that did not stop her parents, who are Illinois residents, from pushing for a new law there, nor did it stop Illinois politicians from climbing on board.

"This bill strengthens the penalties for people who give drugs to our kids," Gov. Ryan said at the signing ceremony. "It's one that is overdue, and one that I hope will serve notice to dealers -- that you will be punished severely if you hurt children with your drugs."

Ryan called Ecstasy "a dangerous drug that kills." Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), the bill's senate sponsor also hammered home the Ecstasy fatality theme. "People think that because there's a cutesy name like Ecstasy that the drug somehow is not as dangerous as heroin, cocaine, and LSD, but the number of deaths recently show it absolutely is as dangerous," he said at the signing ceremony.

Politically-driven hyperbole notwithstanding, the number of Ecstasy deaths in Illinois is minimal. The Illinois Department of Public Health's Center for Health Statistics could not come up with any hard numbers, nor could the governor's office, nor could the Dept. of Public Safety. One death commonly referred to as an "Ecstasy overdose," that of 20-year-old Ohio resident James Roberts, occurred following his ingestion in March of both Ecstasy and ketamine, a powerful animal tranquilizer. Two other deaths in suburban Chicago last summer which helped to fuel the anti-Ecstasy frenzy were actually caused by another drug, PMA, which was fraudulently sold as Ecstasy. While the number of Ecstasy deaths in Illinois in recent years must hover in or near the single digits -- inferring from the most recent data (1998) which placed annual deaths nationally from Ecstasy in the single digits -- the number of people who have died in Chicago from the recent heat wave is 21.


5. Canadian Health Minister Has "Open Mind" on Marijuana Legalization

Canadian Health Minister Allan Rock said last week that he supports a forthcoming parliamentary inquiry into the country's marijuana laws and that he has an "open mind" about what they may propose.

"Of course we will pay close attention to what they recommend," Rock told reporters in Flin Flon, Manitoba, as he visited an underground mine where the first government-sanctioned marijuana crop is being grown. "I think [legalization or decriminalization] is a question worth examining," said Rock. "They might look at that option, they might look at other options. I don't know, and I've got to tell you, I've got an open mind."

A House of Commons special committee will this fall hold hearings on marijuana law reform at various locations across the country.

Rock told reporters that when he was federal justice minister it was his job to pay lawyers to prosecute marijuana crimes, even though many prosecutions were against "young kids" in possession of small amounts. "The question often arose as to whether that was a good use of dollars, whether it's a good use of the criminal justice system, and whether some other approach might be taken which would reflect society's views, perhaps differently," said Rock.

"I think there's a lot to think about here. I'm glad the committee is going to be working on it. I'm glad that people are going to be asking these questions and looking at different approaches. I think it's time for a discussion in Canada about all this, and I look forward to the results," Rock continued.

The health minister hinted that he might favor decriminalization, or treating possession cases like traffic offenses, where offenders would be ticketed and fined rather than arrested and being saddled with a criminal history.

As for US displeasure with moves toward marijuana reform, Rock was unconcerned. "We are going our own road on this," he said. "We are Canadians. We have made our own judgment. We are reflecting our own values. I will look first to Canadian needs and interests, rather than opinions of others around the world," he said.

The marijuana being grown at Flin Flon, some 3,000 plants, will yield 185 kilograms of smokable weed this year and 450 kilos per year for the next four years. Prairie Plant Systems of Saskatoon was awarded a $4 million contract to produce a government supply, which will be used for research and distributed to registered medical marijuana patients under new, less restrictive, rules that went into effect at the beginning of this month. Under the new rules, patients must be seriously ill and must convince a physician that no other medicine works as well for their ailment.

According to pool reporters who accompanied Rock into the mine turned pot plantation, a new sign at the entrance to the underground greenhouse named the operation in honor of the health minister. "The Rock Garden," it read.

Rock, a baby boomer who once invited John Lennon to Ottawa for a peace conference, has as much as admitted his own past use of the drug. "As a former attorney-general of Canada, I'm keenly aware that there's a right against self-incrimination in this country," he once replied to a question about his own marijuana use. "I fully intend to invoke that right."


6. Reams "Reeferendum" Underway in Virginia, Libertarian Candidate Enters Lt. Governor Race to Push Marijuana Reform

The Virginia Lt. Governor's race, normally an inconsequential affair because of the largely ceremonial nature of the office, just got a bit more interesting. Gary Reams, a Northern Virginia telecommunications industry manager, has entered the race on the Libertarian ticket. But Reams has a twist: he is campaigning solely on the marijuana issue and calls his campaign a referendum on marijuana prohibition, or more alliteratively, the Reams Reeferendum (http://www.reamsreeferendum.com).

"What makes this campaign unique is that I am specifically, loudly and repeatedly telling people this is not a vote for Gary Reams, or the Libertarian Party, or libertarianism, this is a vote for marijuana reform," Reams told DRCNet. "If people vote for me, the only thing anyone can claim is that those were votes to change the marijuana laws. Even on my campaign literature, I restrict myself to this one issue. In a state that does not have an initiative process, this is as close as we can get to a true referendum on the marijuana laws."

Virginia requires signed petitions from 10,000 voters to qualify candidates for state-wide office. Reams turned in 23,000 in June and qualified for the ballot earlier this month, along with Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Bill Redpath. He would like to get at least as many votes as he got signatures, but even that could be an uphill battle. Libertarian Party presidential candidate Harry Browne got only 15,198 votes in Virginia last fall. In 1997, third-party gubernatorial candidate Sue Harris DeBauche got 26,000 votes, just 1.5 percent of the total.

Reams has no illusions about becoming the next lieutenant governor of Virginia, but he does believe he can beat those totals. "Libertarians or third party candidates have only polled 2% or 3% in the past," he conceded, "and anything above that threshold will be a measure of our success. If we got to double digits, that would be a tremendous success," he said.

"There are only something like a thousand Libertarian party members in the state," Reams told DRCNet. "My base is Libertarian, and I'm proud to be a Libertarian, but when people vote for me this year, they are voting for the Reeferendum. Support for the Reeferendum cuts across all demographic lines, all age lines. I chose this issue because I think there is consensus that the marijuana laws have gone too far, that prohibition doesn't work. I think a large part of the population agrees, but the main parties have failed to address it. This campaign is an opportunity for voters to signal the government that the laws have gone too far and it is time for reform," Reams explained.

And it is an opportunity to focus attention on marijuana reform in an off-year. Only Virginia and one other state are holding state-wide elections this year. According to Reams' calculations, with the dearth of other political campaign news this fall, his Virginia race could garner national attention. "Virginia is right in the front yard of the nation's capital," Reams said, "and a lot of pundits and national politicians live in the Washington suburbs, so this could have a real political impact. When mainstream politicians see there is a sizeable constituency for marijuana law reform, they will begin to pay attention. If we do well in this campaign, we will be noticed. This could be the most significant electoral drug reform effort in the nation this year."

Reams is no stranger to political activism or third parties. An active Quaker, Reams cut his teeth on environmental and anti-nuclear politics and worked on the 1980 Citizens Party presidential campaign of Barry Commoner. Tired of being marginalized, he became a Democratic party activist during the 1980s, but that extended dalliance ended in 1992. "I was always big on civil liberties, for tolerance, and against prohibition," said Reams, "and I came to see that the Democrats were not defenders of personal civil liberties. I was very disillusioned." He has since become active in the Virginia Libertarian Party, where he was twice elected state chairman. He resigned that position to undertake this campaign.

"I've always been against this drug war," Reams said. "It's just gotten progressively worse over the past 30 years, escalating until it has no bounds, no limits, and the prohibitionists have no restraint. The drug war cuts across issues; it involves the budget, foreign policy, the criminal justice system, racism, public health and safety."

The campaign is beginning to pick up steam. Reams first picked up press coverage with an appearance at a 4:20 festival at Virginia Tech in April and has begun to garner more now that he is officially on the ballot. He is also hitting the airwaves, thanks to local radio shows; he is setting up meetings with local newspaper reporters and editors; and he is planning a Reeferendum golf tournament (see the web site for details) for the non-tie-dye set. "We want to get beyond the counterculture," he explained, "and show those folks how they benefit from ending marijuana prohibition."

But he can use all the help he can find, he told DRCNet. "Anyone who is interested should go to the web site and register," he said. "Even if you're not from Virginia, you can write letters. Even if they don't get published, the more letters these newspapers get, the more likely they are to take us seriously."

And November 6 will only be the end of the beginning, said Reams. "We hope we will do well, get lots of votes with tremendous impact and tremendous coverage, but however well we do, we will walk away from this in Virginia with a budding coalition of longtime activists. After the election, we will build on that and be able to better coordinate our efforts to bring about more rapid change."


7. Hawaii Pays Hemp Advocates $75,000 in Persecution Settlement

A ten-year legal battle over hemp seed has ended on Hawaii's Big Island with the Hawaii County Council agreeing to settle a lawsuit by hemp advocates who accused county prosecutors of violating their civil rights. Aaron Anderson, 64, and Roger Christie, 52, won the award after a relentless fight that traversed Hawaii criminal and civil courts and a federal district court for years. On a 6-3 vote, the council agreed to pay out $75,000 to the plaintiffs and their lawyers to end the case.

The case began when Anderson and Christie, a pair of loud hemp and marijuana advocates, ordered 25 pounds of sterilized Chinese hemp seed from a North Dakota distributor to use in baked goods and other hemp promotion purposes. Police seized the shipment after a drug dog alerted them to the Federal Express package. Although Drug Enforcement Administration officials told local prosecutors the seeds were legal under federal law, the local prosecutors indicted both men for marijuana possession almost a year later.

Prosecutors argued that state law banned the seeds, but defense attorneys were able to show that state laws contradicted each other. A federal district court judge agreed, ruling that the seeds were hemp product, not marijuana, and were therefore legal.

Prosecutors eventually dropped the case against Christie, but took Anderson to trial on "commercial marijuana" charges carrying a 10-year sentence. That case ended with a hung jury. Prosecutors then offered to let Anderson plea to a misdemeanor charge in return for their public promise not to prosecute any more hemp seed cases. Anderson refused, demanding a retrial on the felony charge. Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura then dropped the charges.

Then it was the hemp advocates' turn. Anderson and Christie filed lawsuits against Hawaii County in federal and state court arguing that they were unconstitutionally singled out for prosecution because of their prominent advocacy for marijuana legalization. They were able to point to incidents where prosecutors committed acts or statements reeking of selective prosecution.

According to earlier testimony, Deputy Prosecutor Kay Iopa was caught telling a judge in chambers that her office would not prosecute a little old lady with some hemp seeds, but it would have a different attitude toward "a hemp grower that is very vocally, very outwardly advocating the legalization of marijuana."

For the record, no testimony was ever presented that Anderson and Christie grew hemp.

Prosecutors also failed to prosecute businesses on the island which were selling hemp seed at the same time they were trying to send Anderson for prison for ten years for receiving hemp seed.

And during negotiations over a possible plea bargain, Deputy Prosecutor Iopa refused a settlement offer in which Anderson would promise not to sue the county. In addition to such a promise, Iopa also wanted a guarantee that "these two guys [would] stop writing letters to the newspapers about this case," according to Anderson's attorney, Steven Strauss.

Deputy Corporation Counsel Joseph Kamelamela responded in federal court in April that Iopa's insistence that Anderson write no more letters to the editor was not pressure. "There is really no evidence to show he had to forfeit his right to free speech," he said. "The basis of the prosecution was not motivated to chill his first amendment rights."

"The government abused its power," Strauss told the federal district court jury. "They did illegal and unconstitutional things for the wrong reason because they didn't like what Mr. Anderson was doing."

Anderson lost the $1 million federal civil rights case, but, according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, six of the eight jurors later told Anderson they thought he had been mistreated. The narrowly drawn jury instructions, they said, prevented them from rendering a positive verdict.

The Hawaii County Council was not prepared to take another chance in court. Instead, it took the $75,000 hit. Legal expenses will take the largest hunk, $27,000, while Christie will receive $12,000 and Anderson $20,000. Anderson told local reporters he plans to use some of it to get his teeth fixed.

He also had a parting shot for lead County Prosecutor Jay Kimura, who oversaw the prosecutions. Kimura is a "constitutional pervert" for pursuing the case, Anderson declared. Kimura has made no public reply.

(Visit http://www.drcnet.org/wol/094.html#andersoncase for past DRCNet coverage of this case.)


8. Reformer Profile: Ethan Nadelmann

Special to DRCNet, by Steve Beitler

"We won't win until the average parent believes drug reform protects kids better than the war on drugs," prominent drug reformer Ethan Nadelmann told more than 50 people at the San Francisco Medical Society on July 25. Nadelmann's visit was sponsored by The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation, the reform group he leads as executive director. His free-form talk blended highlights of his personal trajectory as a reformer with his views on California's Proposition 36 and developments in Europe and Canada, among other topics. On a day he described as one where he had "more questions than answers," Nadelmann raised plenty of questions for the audience to wrestle with as well.

To win over those parents, reformers need to keep working on many fronts, especially the political one, where grassroots organizing, public education and support for local reformers will continue to produce incremental victories that move reform ahead, said Nadelmann. That cautious pragmatism also shaped his response as a funding gatekeeper for the drug reform movement. "These days, when somebody has a great idea, my first question is, 'What's the most cost-effective way to get that message or idea out? What's your distribution plan?' I'm a political tactician now," Nadelmann said.

It wasn't always that way. Nadelmann's turn toward drug reform began in his undergraduate days in the late '70s, when, he told the audience, he learned that a "zero-tolerance attitude punishes young people for nothing more than being young people." Then, during a stint at the US State Department, he developed a growing interest in the intersection of criminal justice and foreign policy as he observed the workings of US policy in Central and Latin America at close range.

The experience produced a surprising solicitude for drug warriors. "In the mid-80's I interviewed hundreds of CIA and DEA guys as well as bankers in that region," he said. "I learned that DEA guys are people too. We can't dehumanize them. They would talk about the people they would bust and they'd get torn up over it." The audience let that slide. Nadelmann professed astonishment at both the stupidity and the silliness he encountered during his tour of duty. He told the audience of "the massive ignorance about drugs even at the highest levels" of these organizations and the obsessive security precautions they engendered. He recounted (legally) poring through classified files: "Those files were secret, but they mostly had newspaper articles in them."

By 1987 Nadelmann was at Princeton University, where he taught politics and public affairs and formed the Princeton Working Group on the Future of Drug Use and Alternatives to Drug Prohibition. The group did not exist in a void. By then, the drug reform movement was growing in strength and scope, Nadelmann recalled. As mainstream America grappled with its crack cocaine hysteria, Kevin Zeese and Arnold Trebach were starting the Drug Policy Foundation in the nation's capital, and Mayor Kurt Schmoke of Baltimore was speaking out publicly on the failure of the war on drugs.

Parlaying his work and growing visibility into contacts with others interested in supporting reform, Nadelmann used a lunch with financier George Soros to lay the groundwork for a new, well financed organization, The Lindesmith Center. From there, Nadelmann encountered other wealthy reformers, such as businessman/educator John Sperling, who opened his eyes to the possibilities of the ballot initiative process, and business luminaries George Zimmer (who was in the San Francisco audience) and Peter Lewis, who wanted to work on medical marijuana and other reform goals. Thus was born the 800-pound gorilla of the contemporary drug reform movement.

Nadelmann's San Francisco stop came three weeks after California's Proposition 36, which mandates treatment for first- and second-time non-violent drug offenders, took effect. The proposition was on Nadelmann's mind. His organization, the merged Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation, is running one of the main watchdog efforts on the new law's implementation and has much political capital invested in its success.

"This is probably the greatest prison sentencing reform in US history," Nadelmann said, but warned his listeners that challenges lay ahead. "We have to make 36 work as well as possible; we've got to deliver on its promise. This is tough because the people who have to make it work are a lot of the people who opposed it."

There's also a need to publicize the successes of Prop. 36 to help build a positive public perception, he added. Last but not least, implementation of the initiative has to be consistent with harm reduction principles. For Nadelmann, this means no punitive drug testing and full restoration of patient-physician confidentiality. He didn't explain how making drug treatment part of the criminal justice system would accomplish all this, but he did acknowledge the ongoing debate within the reform movement over coerced treatment. "I know some people say it just puts a benign face on prohibition. But I believe that if reform wins legitimacy in small steps, it builds public confidence and lays the groundwork for further reform."

But he is also looking abroad and he likes what he sees. "There's been a great shift in public opinion in Canada and the United Kingdom," he said. "In the UK, the debate has shifted from whether cannabis should be decriminalized or legalized to how to do this responsibly. There's also forward movement in Belgium and Portugal -- even France is moving in a good direction. Switzerland is looking at models for legal regulation of marijuana," he added.

Nadelmann also offered concrete suggestions for building momentum toward reform. Above all, "learn, learn, learn" about drug policy and reform. "The more you know, the better advocate you can be." Reformers also need to "put ourselves in other people's shoes, especially those people who are skeptical." He urged audience members to keep in mind that "advocacy is about communication, not self-expression," and that effective communication requires the careful use of language that puts ideas across in terms that people can both understand and relate to. Finally, he urged people to "help us keep building a movement by organizing, by supporting your local reformers and by working on drug policy issues that are particularly important to you."


9. T-shirts for Victory! Special New Offer and Appeal from DRCNet This Month

In conjunction with our friends at Students for Sensible Drug Policy, DRCNet is this month offering SSDP t-shirts -- featuring the colorful "What Is Wrong With This Picture" graphic depicting the impact of the drug war on our schools -- free to new and renewing DRCNet members contributing $35 or more. Or, donate $60 or more and also receive SSDP's "Talk To Your Parents About Drugs" t-shirt.

In addition to your DRCNet membership and t-shirt, your contribution will (with your permission) get you a complimentary one-year membership in SSDP, and will support our combined effort to overturn the drug offender/college financial aid ban, an effort that is going into fast mode this month as we try to repeal this bad law once and for all! Please visit http://www.drcnet.org/augustoffer.html to donate by credit card or print out a form to mail in with your donation -- or just send your check or money order to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036 and include a note to let us know it is for this offer.

Please make sure to enter the size shirt you want in the comment box at the bottom of our donation form: baby-tee, small, medium, large or extra-large. Also, you may substitute the "Talk To Your Parents About Drugs" shirt for "What Is Wrong With This Picture?" by leaving a note in the same comment box with that request. (Please also leave a note if you want both; we haven't upgraded our web form yet to automate all these options.)

Again, visit http://www.drcnet.org/augustoffer.html to donate or just send your donation to the address listed above. Visit http://www.drcnet.org/augustoffer2.html to see what the two t-shirts look like. Thank you for your support; with your help the war against the drug war will be won and justice will prevail!


10. Media Scan: Major Dan Forbes/Salon.com Scoop, National Review, OC Register, Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Economist

The ONDCP's program of financial credits for anti-drug TV content appears to have violated their stated policy of not granting credits for news reporting or editorials. The news venue: Channel One, a network that beams news and commercials into classrooms around the country. Dan Forbes breaks the story again in Salon.com:
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2001/08/08/channel/index_np.html

Richard Lowry, editor of the conservative magazine National Review, calls for marijuana legalization in an editorial published last week:
http://www.nationalreview.com/20aug01/lowry082001.shtml

Also in National Review, Ben Domenech dissents from some of Lowry's points while agreeing with his overall conclusion:
http://www.nationalreview.com/dissent/dissent080701.shtml

And, Dick Cowan's dissents from Domenech's dissent:
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-cowan080901.shtml

The Orange County Register's Alan Bock editorializes on the government-orchestrated OxyContin panic and the war on drugs:
http://www.ocregister.com/commentary/columns/bockdrg080501.shtml

New York City's Village Voice has a feature story on one of the families impacted by the "Tulia 46" situation in Texas:
http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0131/gonnerman.php

Two weeks ago the Week Online reported on and reacted to Rolling Stone magazine's survey of opinion leaders' opinions on US drug policy. The Rolling Stone piece in its entirety is now available on the Microsoft Network web site at:
http://entertainment.msn.com/music/features/drugwar.asp

Two weeks ago we also featured the Economist magazine's special report making "The Case for Legalising Drugs." It's so worth reading that we list it here again:
http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=706591


11. Resources: Andean Regional Initiative, Salvia Divinorum, Australian National Crime Authority

Foreign Policy in Focus, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies and the Interhemispheric Resource Center, has released a new briefing, "Andean Regional Initiative: A Policy Fated to Fail," by Gina Amatangelo of the Washington Office on Latin America -- an important overview of this issue in the wake of Congress pouring more hundreds of millions into the quagmire. Read it at http://www.fpif.org/briefs/vol6/v6n29andean.html -- and check out FPIF's full line-up of drug war reports at http://www.fpif.org/indices/topics/drugs.html online.

Salvia divinorum is a potent psychoactive plant traditionally used by the Mazatecs for divination. Presently, the plant is legal worldwide, but recent news coverage (July 2001) calling attention to the fact that the plant is both psychoactive and legal has heightened the interest of governments in controlling the plant. In an effort to monitor the changing climate surrounding Saliva divinorum, the Alchemind Society's Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics has established the Salvia Divinorum Monitor, a central Internet site with the latest news concerning the plant's legal status. Visit the Salvia Divinorum Monitor at http://www.alchemind.org/DLL/salvia_divinorum_monitor.htm online.

The Australian National Crime Authority has recommended medical prescription of heroin for dependent users to be supplied from government storage. Australia's prime minister has already rejected the Authority's recommendations without explanation. To read the report, visit http://www.nca.gov.au/html/medpub.htm -- then click on publications and visit NCA Commentary 2001.


12. Action Alerts: Ecstasy Bill, HEA, Mandatory Minimums, Medical Marijuana, John Walters

Click on the links below for information on these issues and web forms to help you contact Congress:

Oppose New Anti-Ecstasy Bill
http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/ecstasywar/

Oppose Drug Czar Nominee John Walters
http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/walters/

Repeal the Higher Education Act Drug Provision
http://www.raiseyourvoice.com

Repeal Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences
http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/justice/

Support Medical Marijuana
http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/medicalmarijuana/


13. HEA Campaign Still Seeking Student Victim Cases -- New York Metropolitan Area Especially Urgent

Have you or someone you know or know of lost financial aid for college because of a drug conviction? The Higher Education Act Reform Campaign urgently needs to find students in the greater New York City area who fit this description. The need is urgent because some of the most major media outlets in the country are asking for them, and they want to do the stories now!

Please contact DRCNet at (202) 293-8340 or Students for Sensible Drug Policy at (202) 293-4414 if you can help, or e-mail [email protected]. Visit http://www.raiseyourvoice.com for further information on this campaign.


14. The Reformer's Calendar

(Please submit listings of events related to drug policy and related areas to [email protected].)

August 10-15, Philadelphia, PA, Coalition Against the American Correctional Association (CA-ACA), protest against the ACA summer conference, including a counter-conference, demonstrations and actions. For information, e-mail [email protected] or [email protected] or visit http://www.stoptheaca.org online.

August 11, 2:00-4:00pm, Laguna Beach, CA, November Coalition vigil against the drug war. At Main Beach and Coast Highway (south end), call (509) 684-1550 or e-mail [email protected] for further information.

August 18-19, 10:00am-8:00pm, Seattle, WA, "10th Annual Seattle Hempfest." Visit http://www.seattlehempfest.com for further information.

August 22, 7:00pm, November Coalition Community Meeting. At the Peace and Justice Center, 144 Harvard SE, call (505) 342-8090 for further information.

August 24, 4:30-6:00pm, Albuquerque, NM, Drug War Vigil. Sponsored by the November Coalition, in front of the new Bernalillo County courthouse, 400 Lomas Blvd. NW. For further information, call (505) 342-8090.

August 24, 7:00pm, Washington, DC, DRCNet Week Online 200th Issue Party. At the Velvet Lounge 915 U St., featuring speeches and music. $7 at the door, 21 and over, say you are there for the DRCNet benefit.

August 24, 9:00pm, Brooklyn, NY, Screening of "Tulia, Texas, Scenes from the Drug War." At Peter's Car Corp., 265 McKibbin Street, near the L train, Montrose Ave. station, walk three blocks downhill on Bushwick Ave. to McKibbin. For rain updates call (718) 404-3903 ext. 4818, suggested donation $6.

September 8, noon-evening, Melbourne, FL, Grand Opening Birthday Bash at the Florida Cannabis Action Network's Legal Support Office. At 703 E. New Haven Ave. (SR 192 Uptown), featuring music, speakers and more. For further information, to donate to the office or access the legal support staff, contact Kevin Aplin at (321) 726-6656 or Jodi James or Kay Lee at (321) 253-3673 or (321) 255-9790.

September 15, noon-6:00pm, Boston, MA, "Twelfth Annual Fall Freedom Rally." At the Boston Common, sponsored by the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition. For further information call (781) 944-2266, visit http://www.masscann.org or e-mail [email protected].

September 23-26, Philadelphia, PA, International Community Corrections Association 37th Annual Conference, on Reintegration and Re-entry of the Offender into the Family. $350 for conference and pre-conference workshops, reduced rate deadline 8/31. For info, call (608) 785-0200, fax (608) 784-5335 or write to ICCA Annual Conference, P.O. Box 1987, La Crosse, WI 54602.

September 27-28, Washington, DC, "National Mobilization on Colombia, featuring workshops, meetings, lobbying and nonviolent demonstrations. Sponsored by the Chicago Religious Leadership Network, Colombia Human Rights Committee, Colombia Support Network, Global Exchange, United Church of Christ and Witness for Peace. Visit http://www.ColombiaMobilization.org for info.

October 1-3, Ottawa, Canada, "Women's Critical Resistance: From Victimization to Criminalization," at the Government Conference Centre. For information or to submit a presentation proposal, call (613) 238-2422 for information or write to Kim Pate, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, 701-151 Slater St., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P5H3.

October 6-7, Phoenix, AZ, "Freedom Summit," annual libertarian seminar. At the Embassy Suites Hotel, visit http://www.freedomsummit.com for further information.

October 7-10, St. Louis, MO, American Methadone Treatment Association Conference 2001. For further information, e-mail [email protected] or call (212) 566-5555.

October 26-27, Cortland, NY, "Thinking About Prisons: Theory and Practice." At SUNY Cortland, call (607) 753-2727 for info.

November 13, 6:00-8:00pm, New York, NY, "Women, Prison and Family." At Audrey Cohen College, 75 Varick St., for information call (212) 343-1234.

November 14-16, Barcelona, Spain, First Latin Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm. For further information, e-mail [email protected], visit http://www.igia.org/clat/ or call Enric Granados at 00 34 93 415 25 99.

March 3-7, 2002, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 13th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm and 2nd International Harm Reduction Congress on Women and Drugs. Sponsored by the International Harm Reduction Association, visit http://www.ihrc2002.net or e-mail [email protected] for further information.

May 3-4, 2002, Portland, OR, Second National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, focus on Analgesia and Other Indications. Sponsored by Patients Out of Time and Legacy Emmanuel Hospital, for further information visit http://www.medicalcannabis.com or call (804) 263-4484.

December 1-4, 2002, Seattle, WA, Fourth National Harm Reduction Conference. Featuring keynote speaker Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former US Surgeon General, at the Sheraton Seattle. For further information, visit http://www.harmreduction.org or call (212) 213-6376.


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Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

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