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

Issue #233, 4/19/02

"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Phillip S. Smith, Editor
David Borden, Executive Director

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The Week Online runs an abbreviated edition this week because of mid-week travel to San Francisco for the national NORML conference.  But your respite will be brief.  The Week Online will be back to normal length next week with reports from the conference and our usual survey of drug policy news from around the country and the world.

In the meantime, we hope you will read this week's issue, albeit short, because there is important news as always, as well as a wide array of interesting events listed in our calendar.  If you're hungry for more, you can also reread our recent or older reporting or catch something you missed the first time in our archives at online.


  1. Federal Meth Bill Provision Would Send Promoters to Prison for Drug Use at Events
  2. Budget Woes Imperil Virginia Substance Abuse Funding, Governor Asks Legislature to Undo Drug Court Cuts
  3. DRCNet Interview:  Jeremy Bigwood on Colombia's Borders
  4. Drug War! Race & Party, NYC Saturday Night
  5. Save New York State Prison Art!
  6. Northeast Summit for New Drug Policies
  7. Alerts:  HEA, Bolivia, DEA Hemp Ban, SuperBowl Ad, Ecstasy Legislation, Mandatory Minimums, Medical Marijuana
  8. The Reformer's Calendar
(read last week's issue)

(visit the Week Online archives)

1. Federal Meth Bill Provision Would Send Promoters to Prison for Drug Use at Events

A bill quietly working its way through Congress garbed as an anti-methamphetamine measure contains a stealth provision that could lead to prison sentences for promoters of events where illegal drug use occurs.  Following recent congressional fashion, H.R. 3782 is cutely named the CLEAN-UP Methamphetamine Act of 2002, with the acronym standing for "Clean, Learn, Educate, Abolish, and Undermine Production."  But there is nothing cute about the bill's Section 305, which would insert the following language into section 416 (21 USC 856) of the Controlled Substances Act:

"Whoever knowingly promotes any rave, dance, music, or other entertainment event, that takes place under circumstances where a promoter knows or reasonably should know that a controlled substance will be used or distributed in violation of federal law or the law of the place where the event is held, shall be fined under Title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than nine years, or both."

The Electronic Music Defense and Education Fund (, a group created to defend the industry against attack from politicians unable or unwilling to differentiate between the rave culture and drug use, has raised the alarm about H.R. 3782.  Saying it is "extremely concerned," EMDEF noted that "this law could be used to prosecute the promoters of any well-attended entertainment event, whether it be a rave, a concert, a major league sports game, or even a high school dance."

The organization also pointed out that the bill could have a negative impact on on-site harm reduction efforts, such as those done by DanceSafe (, a group that provides pill-testing and safety information to rave-goers.  "This legislation would make event promoters less likely to allow drug prevention organizations and harm reduction groups to distribute their information inside an event for fear of self-incrimination," wrote EMDEF in a prepared statement.

H.R. 3782 is sponsored by Rep. Doug Ose (R-CA) and already has 42 cosponsors, including such usual drug war suspects as Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), Rep. Ben Gilman (D-NY), Rep. John Mica (R-FL), and Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), the author of the Higher Education Act's infamous anti-drug provision, who is currently in a primary fight for his political life.

The bulk of the bill is devoted to tightening the screws on meth producers by increasing penalties against laboratory operators and providing grants to law enforcement for training and equipment acquisition for clean-ups.

But Section 305 doesn't even mention methamphetamine; instead it refers to "a controlled substance," meaning that even marijuana use at rock concerts -- a commonplace occurrence since the mid-1960s -- could be enough to indict and convict promoters under the bill.  While the bill explicitly targets the rave culture, opportunities for prosecutions under the bill could well extend to county fairs, NBA games, high school proms, and just about any music event -- except, perhaps, performances by Attorney General Ashcroft's choral group.

2. Budget Woes Imperil Virginia Substance Abuse Funding, Governor Asks Legislature to Undo Drug Court Cuts

Facing its worst financial crisis in a decade, the Virginia legislature passed a $50.1 billion budget last month, but in so doing, it savaged the state's substance abuse treatment and prevention programs, juvenile justice programs, post-release programs for prisoners and drug court programs.  Now, as the legislature prepares to consider the governor's proposed amendments to the budget it passed, Democratic Gov. Mark Warner has asked it to restore $2.1 million for drug court funds.

While the legislature's cuts to the drug court and SABRE (Substance Abuse Reduction Effort) program totaled $18 million, Warner is seeking enough funding only to partially restore the drug courts.  The drug courts, which allow defendants to voluntarily submit to a rigorous program of drug testing and supervision in exchange for avoiding a possible prison sentence, had operated in 13 jurisdictions in the state and nine more were slated to open this year.

Drug court advocates had lobbied Warner to restore the funds in the few weeks since the session ended.  Roanoke Circuit Court Judge Diane Strickland, who helped start the state's first drug court, joined with Richmond Circuit Court Judge Margaret Spencer and Fredericksburg Commonwealth Attorney Charles Sharp on April 1 to persuade the governor to restore the funding.  He didn't need much persuading, they told the Roanoke Times.

After the meeting, Warner moved to restore the funds.  "I think they built a very good case that these dollars were well spent," he told the Times.  "Keeping those folks in an alternative to full incarceration made common sense and good fiscal sense," the governor said.

According to drug court advocates, keeping a defendant in the drug court program costs $4,000 per year.  The cost of jailing the state's 30,000 prisoners comes to more than $22,000 per prisoner per year.  According to a recent study of the state's drug courts by researchers at Virginia Tech, the number of participants who have successfully completed the program is running at 68%, up from 60% in 1999.  Only seven percent of the graduates have received new convictions, the study found.

Drug courts in Virginia typically receive federal funding, but only if matched by state or local funds.  Without the restoration of state funding, the drug courts would collapse, advocates said.

Virginia is not alone in having its drug courts face a financial squeeze, said Susan Weinstein of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.  "But none has been so drastic as Virginia, to wipe out an entire program," she told the Times.

Roanoke stopped its drug court program in March, when it became apparent that state funding would not be forthcoming.  According to Judge Strickland, the drug court squeeze is leading to unprecedented legal dilemmas.  "My first priority is not to turn these people out of the program," she told the Times.  "There's a real legal issue to address here that has never been addressed before:  What do you do when the commonwealth and the defense have entered into an agreement, and it can't be carried out?" she asked.  "This is new territory to be charted, and I'm trying to prevent charting that territory."

But while Warner's move could result in the restoration of funds for the drug courts, it leaves untouched the cuts directed at treatment and prevention programs, including treatment within prisons.  According to V. Morgan Moss, co-director of the Center for Therapeutic Justice in Williamsburg, the new status quo is "the most catastrophic cut in offender substance abuse treatment ever in Virginia."

"It's a disaster," said Jean Auldridge, director of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE).  "I shudder to think what's going to happen," she told the Hampton Roads Daily Press.  "We want to be smart on crime, and being smart is helping people who need help.

"This will affect tens of thousands of offenders with substance abuse problems at all different levels," Auldridge said.  "Without this important assistance, we will surely see a rise in the number of men and women who are imprisoned for crimes ranging from simple possession, crimes to support drug habits and crimes that are enabled by substance abuse."

Virginia newspapers have been calling for restoration of the drug treatment funds, but neither the governor nor the legislature appears to be listening.  The Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot called that posture "penny-wise and pound-foolish."

3. DRCNet Interview:  Jeremy Bigwood on Colombia's Borders

Jeremy Bigwood is an independent investigator, journalist and photographer who has covered Latin America since 1976.  His work has received funding from the John T. and Catherine P. MacArthur Foundation and the Open Society Institute, among others.  Bigwood has done extensive research on chemical herbicides, including mycoherbicides in the context of coca eradication programs.  In February, Bigwood was a technical advisor to the Ecuadorian delegation at a tripartite meeting between Colombia, Ecuador and the United States, to establish a "buffer zone" along the Colombia-Ecuador border where spraying to eradicate Colombian coca crops would be banned.  DRCNet spoke with Bigwood about the meeting and about instability on Colombia's eastern border with Venezuela.

Week Online:  What were the talks about?

Jeremy Bigwood:  They were meetings about setting up a buffer zone between Colombia and Ecuador.  There would be a belt of Colombian territory extending inward from the border where the Colombian government would not be allowed to spray any chemical herbicides as part of its coca eradication program.  Only manual eradication would be permitted.  There is a dispute over the width of the buffer zone -- Ecuador wants a 10 kilometer buffer, but Colombia offered three.  During that meeting, the head of the Colombian National Police offered eight to 10 kilometers, so there is some movement, but still no agreement.

WOL:  Who was at this meeting?

Bigwood:  The US had Richard Baca, in charge of the State Department's Colombia Narcotics Affairs Section.  The Colombian government had fairly broad representation, including police and health officials.  The Ecuadorians had representatives from the ministry of agriculture and livestock, the ministry of the environment, and the national police.

WOL:  What was your role at the meetings?

Bigwood:  I was there as a consultant to the Ecuadorian government's environment ministry to demonstrate the concerns associated with spraying chemical herbicides.  My expenses were paid by a Soros grant.  I put that money to good use; I documented the toxicity of some of these chemicals and wrote a scientific review for the Drug Policy Alliance.  I supported the Ecuadorian call for the buffer zone on ecological grounds.  The US and Colombia are frequently changing the formulations they use when they spray, and none of these formulations have been tested in tropical regions like northern Ecuador.  We based our concern on the scientific literature about the ingredients we knew were being applied in these herbicides.  Those ingredients were toxic to aquatic life, including fish, and various things found in the soil, such as fungi and nematodes.  For that reason, Ecuador wanted this area where chemical herbicides would not be sprayed.  We did not talk about the issue of damage to human beings, because we have no hard evidence, so our argument was based solely on damage to the ecology.  Until there is testing of these compounds in these conditions, Ecuador wants that buffer zone.

WOL:  Will they get it?

Bigwood:  Both the US and Colombia have agreed in principle, but we're still dealing with how big it will be.  Ecuador wants 10 kilometers.  The end result will be that there will be a buffer zone.  The Colombian National Police say they are already respecting a five-mile limit, which would be about 11 kilometers.  I expect to see an agreement with fixed figures coming out of these negotiations within a month.  Then, if the Colombians sign this agreement and turn around and break it, they can be taken to the Hague.  This is serious.  It will be a buffer zone for Ecuador, but there is none for Colombia.  This is a small step forward.

WOL:  Why is Ecuador so adamant?

Bigwood:  The Ecuadorians are concerned about fish, soil toxicity, and damage to insect life.  Many rivers from Colombia flow into Ecuador, so they're mainly worried about water toxicity.  They're also concerned about contaminants from sprayed areas near the border leaching into the ground water.  The government of Ecuador really believes that its future depends on the country's biodiversity.  It is a species-rich area and they're afraid they may lose a species -- a plant that could produce a new medicine, for example -- that they could exploit in the future, making them lots of money.  That's their major concern.

WOL:  Why has the US government agreed to this buffer zone?  Are they saying they accept the scientific evidence, or is this more to pacify the Ecuadorians?

Bigwood:  They won't tell me why they're doing this.  We had a rather hostile relationship when I was there, and they weren't really forthcoming, but they have agreed to the principle of a buffer zone.  In the meeting, they agreed that the particular formulations had never been tested and that the effects in tropical areas were unknown.  They agreed there was toxicity to aquatic life.  They can't argue with the scientific evidence that shows some danger to the environment.  And this is very important to the Ecuadorians.

WOL:  There is turmoil in another country bordering Colombia. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez last weekend was first ousted by a military coup with civilian support, then returned to power two days later by a counter-coup with civilian support.  The Bush administration, which dislikes Chavez for his left-leaning populism, his consorting with certain foreign leaders, and his alleged support of the FARC in Colombia, cheered the coup, but is now backpedaling furiously from any hint of support for such an anti-democratic move.  What's going on here, and how does it affect the situation in Colombia?

Bigwood:  What happens in Venezuela is very important for Colombia.  Venezuela is right next door.  Chavez does not favor Plan Colombia or the Colombian government, and both the Colombian and the US governments were very pleased when it looked like the coup would succeed.  Now they are much less pleased.  But what happened in Venezuela was very similar to the coup in Chile in 1973 -- except this time it didn't work.  The US government was doing exactly the same thing: blaming Chavez as they blamed Allende for bringing it on themselves, but now we see these prior contacts at the Embassy.

The coup didn't work because Chavez' support was strong enough.  The chavistas came down from the hills [by the tens of thousands on Saturday demanding Chavez' return to power], and the other side, the American cronies that the US was going to put in were so bad, so corrupt, that even the anti-Chavez people thought they would be as bad or worse.  Also, Latin American leaders and the Organization of American States (OAS) immediately condemned the coup as a breach of democracy.  The US tried to control the OAS last weekend, but failed.

WOL:  Is Chavez now "inoculated" from further attempts to overthrow his government, or do these events signify that he is weakened and faces further rebellions?

Bigwood:  It will be difficult to pull off another coup.  He has shown he has popular support, the alternative wasn't very good -- one-day President Carmona quickly showed his intentions by decreeing the constitution invalid and dissolving the legislature and the supreme court -- and Latin America lined up behind democratic rule.  Any future coup plotter will have to factor in those things.  Much will depend on his performance.  Chavez might tune down the rhetoric when it comes to the Venezuelan oligarchy, but he won't move any closer to the US.  It's clear that the US was behind this or helping it.  He won't forget that.

Visit  to learn more about Jeremy Bigwood's work.

4. Drug War! Race & Party, NYC Saturday Night

This Saturday evening, April 20, 10:00pm in New York City, a new type of anti-drug war event will take place.  The DRUG WAR! Race is an "alley cat" cycling competition sponsored by the New York Bike Messenger Association.  In this race, the bikers play the role of drug runners, picking up money, delivering contraband, and bailing their friends out of jail, acting out the drug war as it is for many urban Americans.

The DRUG WAR! Party will follow the race.  It is produced by Shout Louder! and the New York Bike Messenger Association, and will be held at the Lunatarium ( 10 Jay Street on the Brooklyn Waterfront (F train to York, walk to the waterfront, last building on the left), and will benefit the Drug War Awareness Project, a new organization committed to raising awareness of the Drug War through art and education.  Information will be provided by the New York Medical Marijuana Patients Cooperative, Cures-Not-Wars, DanceSafe, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, Marijuana Policy Project, NORML, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and many more.

The event will feature installation art about the drug war created by a crew of more than 40 artists.  Music will be provided by Drum Circle, DJ Chrome, DJ Cync, DJ Nigel, DJ Ness, Kid Lucky, King Manic and other special guests.  Drug war victims are invited to bring a photograph and tell your story on the "Wall of War."

Contact Mike Dee at [email protected] for race information.  Contact Valerie Vande Panne at [email protected] for general information, to distribute information at the event or to get involved.

5. Save New York State Prison Art!

On March 29, New York State Corrections Commissioner Glen Goord ended 35 years of artistic expression in the New York State prison system by banning the sale of art by prisoners.  Goord also eliminated the annual Correction on Canvas Art Exhibit that was created by the State Senate and the Department of Corrections in 1968.  Prisoners in New York State were allowed to exhibit their art once a year in the legislative office building in Albany.  The art was sold, and fifty percent of the profits were donated to the Crime Victims Board.

In last year's show, however, a painting created by a serial killer was displayed, the press found out about it, and the political process went into overkill trying to look tough on crime.  The public reasoning behind Goord's decision was that he felt it was not worth the anguish that crime victims feel to allowing imprisoned artists to sell their art.

But for many men and women artists in prison, art is a life sustaining source.  For most of them, earning money selling their art enables them to buy food and toiletries and help support their families in the outside world.  More importantly, creating and selling art instills a sense of self-esteem which is a very important element in reentering society.  The corrections annual art show hence served the dual purpose of helping the rehabilitative process and providing an avenue for offenders to show remorse for their crimes by supporting the crime victims program.

On May 8, noon-2:00pm, a demonstration will take place across the street from Gov. Pataki's office, 40th & 3rd Ave. in Manhattan, protesting the closure of the prisoner art sales program and New York State's draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws.  For further information, contact Anthony Papa at (212) 596-9445 or [email protected].

You can download a petition to help with this effort from

The New York Times ran an editorial on April 8 calling for the resumption of the prison art program, available online at

6. Northeast Summit for New Drug Policies

On April 27 and the morning of April 28, in Middletown, Connecticut, Wesleyan University Students for Sensible Drug Policy, with Efficacy, will host the Northeast Summit for New Drug Policies.  Speakers will include Kevin Zeese of Common Sense For Drug Policy, former New Haven police chief Nick Pastore, Cliff Thornton of Efficacy and many others, and topics will include Colombia, treatment and incarceration, anti-prison organizing, harm reduction, hemp, and of course the drug war as a whole and how to end it.

Admission by donation, sliding scale, lodging available, contact Booth Haley at (860) 685-4350 or [email protected] or visit Wesleyan SSDP at for further information.  Visit to learn more about Efficacy.

7. Alerts: HEA, Bolivia, DEA Hemp Ban, SuperBowl Ad, Ecstasy Legislation, Mandatory Minimums, Medical Marijuana

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

Repeal the Higher Education Act Drug Provision

US Drug Policy Driving Bolivia to Civil War

Oppose DEA's Illegal Hemp Ban

SuperBowl Ad Out of Bounds

Oppose New Anti-Ecstasy Bill

Repeal Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences

Support Medical Marijuana

8. The Reformer's Calendar

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

April 18-20, San Francisco, CA, 2002 NORML Conference. At the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Union Square, registration $150 on site only. Visit for further information.

April 18-May 11, 8:30pm, San Francisco, CA, "Confessions of a Dope Dealer," solo theatrical performance by Sheldon Norberg. At The EXIT Theater Cafe, 156 Eddy Street, between Taylor and Mason, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets $15 with $10 discount tickets for parents accompanied by their teenagers, not recommend for children under 13. Call (415) 666-3939 or visit for further information.

April 19, Uniontown, PA, "Got a minute for freedom?" demonstration, sponsored by the Fayette Area Decriminalization Effort. At the Fayette County Courthouse, 51 E. Main St., featuring Dr. Julian Heicklen and other speakers. Contact Ricki Garden, Chair at (724) 438-3926 or [email protected] for info.

April 19-20, Sweetwater, TN, "Freedom Fest," sponsored by NORML UTK. Visit to order tickets, or contact Rachel at [email protected] for further information.

April 19-21, Seattle, WA, Amnesty International USA 2002 Annual General Meeting. At the Renaissance Madison Hotel, visit for further information. (Dues-paying Amnesty members will have the opportunity to vote on a groundbreaking anti-drug war resolution.)

April 20, Eau Claire, WI, noon, Hemp Festival with UWEC SSDP. Music, information, speakers, raffle and more, at the Eau Claire Rod and Gun Park, visit for further information.

April 20, noon, Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Hemp Festival. Contact Scott at (904) 732-4785 for further information.

April 20, noon-11:00pm, Kingston, RI, Fourth Annual "Day for HOPE," sponsored by the University of Rhode Island's Hemp Organization for Prohibition Elimination (HOPE). On the URI Quad, featuring music, speakers, vendors and food. Contact Thomas Angell at [email protected] for further information.

April 20, 1:00pm, Denver, CO, marijuana legalization rally sponsored by the Ralph Shnelvar for Governor Campaign and Ken Gorman's Taste of Marijuana. At City Park, visit for further information.

April 20, 3:00pm, Oklahoma City, OK, event with Oklahoma NORML. At the Oklahoma State Capitol, two bands and several speakers, contact Norma Sapp at (405) 321-4619 or [email protected] for info.

April 20, 3:00-8:00pm, Atlanta, GA, "Atlanta 420," regional gathering of marijuana activists and reformers with entertainment, speakers and organizations. Presented by CAMP, in Piedmont Park, in downtown Atlanta, e-mail [email protected], visit or call (404) 522-2267 for information.

April 20, 4:00pm, Boulder, CO, "Patriot Act 4-20," marijuana legalization rally. At Farrand Field, Colorado University campus.

April 20, 4:20pm-1:00am, Detroit, MI, "4/20 at the Forum." At G.I. Forum Hall, 6705 West Lafayette, visit for further information.

April 20, 9:00pm, Indianapolis, IN, Indiana NORML & Flamin' Yawn Productions present a musical gathering at Tailgators, Illinois & South Streets. Admission free, 21 and over, call (317) 335-6023, visit or e-mail [email protected] for info.

April 20, 10:00pm, New York, NY, Drug War Race and Party. "Alley cat" cycling competition sponsored by the New York Bike Messengers Association, with cyclists role-playing as mock drug runners, picking up money, delivering mock contraband and bailing friends out of jail, racing to checkpoints around the city, followed by a party benefiting the Drug War Awareness Project. At the Lunatariam, 10 Jay St., Brooklyn, on the waterfront, featuring music, installation art about the drug war and info from a variety of drug reform organizations. For race information, contact Mike Dee at [email protected]. For general info, to distribute information at the event, to volunteer or to contribute, contact Valerie Vande Panne at [email protected].

April 20, 2002. Moscow Hemp Festival in Moscow, Idaho. E-mail [email protected] for more information.

April 20-21, Montreal, Canada, First Congress of the Marijuana Party of Canada. At the Université de Québec à Montréal, 320 Sainte-Catherine east, room DS-R510, for information contact Boris St. Maurice at (514) 528-1768 or mailto:[email protected]">[email protected].

April 21, 7:00pm, Hollywood, CA, "High Hopes," medical marijuana benefit event for the Inglewood Wellness Center ( Featuring Bill Maher, Kerry Talmage, Patton Oswalt, Chuck Roy and other top performers, as well as Center director Paul Scott. At the Key Club, 9039 Sunset Blvd., $20 cover. Dinner 7:00pm, show time 8:20pm, preferred seating for those with dinner/show packages. Contact Howard Dover at (323) 253-3472 for further information. Contact the Key Club at (310) 274-5800 ext. 404 for reservations.

April 23, 7:00pm, New York, NY, "America’s Oldest War: The Efficacy of United States Drug Policy," debate between DEA chief Asa Hutchinson and Graham Boyd of the ACLU Drug Policy Litigation Project. Sponsored by the Fordham Law Drug Policy Reform Project, at the Moot Court Room, 3rd Floor, 140 W. 62nd St, refreshments to be served following the debate. For further information, contact (646) 507-0309 or e-mail [email protected].

April 24-27, Albuquerque, NM, "Public Health for All is Justice Served," Twelfth North American Syringe Exchange Convention. For information, e-mail [email protected], visit or call (253) 272-4857.

April 25, 6:00-9:00pm, New York, NY, JusticeWorks Tenth Anniversary Celebration, featuring Ossie Davis, S. Epatha Merkerson, with music by jazz vocalist Patsy Grant and her trio. Admission $75 for students or ex-prisoners, $100-125 others. At the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street, contact Nili Rabin at (718) 499-6704 for further information.

April 25, 7:00-9:00pm, St. Paul, MN, "Just Say Know: Examining Drug Policy In America." Symposium featuring Minnesota state rep. Alice Hausman, Paul Bischke of the Drug Policy Reform Group of Minnesota, and DEA special agent Jeff Hartford, as well as presentations by students of the First-Year Seminar on Drug Policy. At Hamline University, Learning Center 100E, contact Mark Berkson at (651) 523-2918 or [email protected] for further information. A special exhibit titled "Faces of the Drug War" will also be displayed in the Learning Center Gallery from April 21 to May 1.

April 27, 7:00pm-4:00am, Mays Landing, NJ, 4th Annual Cures Not Wars Benefit Concert. Speakers and music, at Finnerty's Hut, 7134 Black Horse Pike (route 322), age 21 and over, admission $10. Contact Mark Dickson at [email protected] for information.

April 27-28, Middletown, CT, "Northeast Summit for New Drug Policies." Regional gathering of anti-prohibition thinkers and activists, hosted by Wesleyan University Students for Sensible Drug Policy and cosponsored by Efficacy, for interested parties of all ages. Recommended donation $5-$15 sliding scale, contact Booth Haley at (860) 685-4350 or [email protected] or visit for further information.

May 1, 3:00-7:00pm, San Diego, CA, "End the Drug War Rally," monthly in front of the Federal and State Courthouses at the intersection of Front and Broadway, downtown. Organized by the San Diego Libertarian Party, signs will be provided but participants are also encouraged to bring them. Contact Gardner Osborne at [email protected] or (858) 459-7382 or visit for further information.

May 3-4, Portland, OR, Second National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, focus on Analgesia and Other Indications. Sponsored by Patients Out of Time, the Oregon Nurses Association and Oregon Health Division, for further information visit e-mail [email protected], or call (434) 263-4484.

May 4, international, "Million Marijuana March," demonstrations in many cities worldwide. Visit for information and local event listings.

May 6, noon-4:00pm, Seattle, WA, "Hepatitis C: The Epidemic With a Voice, Ours," 2002 Statewide Awareness and Educational Day. At the Langston Hughes Performance Center, 104 17th Avenue South, contact (206) 328-5381 or (866) HEP-GOGO for further information.

May 8, noon, New York, NY, Mothers of the New York Disappeared rally against the Rockefeller Drug Laws. At 40th St. & 8th Ave., across the street from Gov. Pataki's office, call (212) 539-8441 or visit for further information.

May 23, Portland, OR, noon-1:30pm, "Rethinking the War on Drugs," luncheon forum with New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Sponsored by the Cascade Policy Institute, at the Benson Hotel, Mayfair Ballroom, 309 SW Broadway. RSVP to (503) 242-0900 or [email protected], or visit for further information.

June 8-9, St. Petersburg, FL, The Second Annual Conference on Adolescent Drug Treatment Abuse. Sponsored by The Trebach Institute, with survivors of abusive treatment programs and other concerned parties. Early registration $100, visit for further information.

June 22, Philadelphia, PA, "Mid-Atlantic Criminal Justice Colloquium: Fostering Compassion, Dignity and Hope," colloquium organized by the Drug Concerns Working Group of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). For further information or to get involved, contact Melissa Whaley at (856) 303-0280 or [email protected].

July 5-7, Bryn Mawr, PA, "Liberty & Crisis," student seminar with the Institute for Humane Studies. Participation free, application deadline March 29, visit or e-mail [email protected] for further information.

September 26-28, Los Angeles, CA, "Breaking the Chains: People of Color and the War on Drugs." Conference by the Drug Policy Alliance, e-mail [email protected] to be placed on mailing list for when details become available.

December 1-4, Seattle, WA, "Taking Drug Users Seriously," Fourth National Harm Reduction Conference. Sponsored by the Harm Reduction Coalition, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former US Surgeon General. For information, e-mail [email protected], visit or call (212) 213-6376.

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