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

Issue #239, 5/31/02

"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Phillip S. Smith, Editor
David Borden, Executive Director

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Editorial: Skating on the Edge of Propriety
  2. New DRCNet/StopTheDrugWar.org Merchandise Out -- Discounted Purchase Available
  3. DEA Forges Alliance With Women Legislators Group to Wage War on Club Drugs, Terror
  4. DEA Raids Another California Medical Marijuana Dispensary Even as Advocates Gear Up for Day of Action Next Friday
  5. FBI Ends Drug War Role to Concentrate on Terror War
  6. Western Australia to Cite, Not Arrest, Marijuana Users Under State Government Plan
  7. National Drug Intelligence Center Gives Partial Response to DRCNet FOIA Request on "Drug Menace" Web Sites
  8. Report Charges Taft Administration Subverts Election in Ohio, Allies with PDFA and CADCA in Effort to Defeat Initiative
  9. Newsbrief: Seven Up Pulls "Prison Rape" Commercial Under Threat of Boycott
  10. Newsbrief: Feds Use RICO Against Virginia Oxycontin Doctor
  11. Newsbrief: US 9th Circuit Rules Religious Marijuana Use on Federal Lands Okay
  12. Newsbrief: Cannabis Cafe Vows to Open in England, Another in Scotland
  13. Newsbrief: Tennessee Town Pays for Drug Raid Killing
  14. Newsbrief: Oakland Rogue Cops Go on Trial
  15. Newsbrief: Will Foster Arrested on Minor Parole Violation in California, May Face Return to Oklahoma Prison
  16. Newsbrief: Swaziland Row Over Rasta Royals
  17. Newsbrief: Marijuana Advocate Sues Over Hawaii Aerial Eradication Program
  18. Newsbrief: Ed Thompson Does Weedstock, Says Legalize It
  19. Newsbrief: British Magazine "The New Statesman" Calls for Drug Legalization
  20. Newsbrief: Weird Scenes Inside the Pretoria Ford Plant
  21. The Reformer's Calendar
(read last week's issue)

(visit the Week Online archives)


1. Editorial: Skating on the Edge of Propriety
`
David Borden, Executive Director, [email protected], 5/31/02

One of the more insidious effects of the drug war is the corrupting effect it has on some who perceive themselves as law abiding. Drug warrior political officials are not an exception to this. An exposé written by Dan Forbes and released yesterday by the Institute for Policy Studies' Drug Policy Project reveals an intricate, probably illegal, conspiracy by elected officials, current and former appointed officials and anti-drug nonprofits to intervene in an Ohio election at taxpayer expense.

According to the report, Gov. Bob Taft, First Lady Hope Taft, Taft's chief of staff, two of his cabinet members and numerous senior and support staff on the public clock, carried out a behind-the-scenes scheme to defeat an upcoming "treatment not jail" ballot initiative sponsored by the Ohio Campaign for New Drug Policies. Aiding Ohio's conspirators were a variety of federal and state officials, a now-confirmed nominee for deputy US drug czar, a senior US Senate staffer, a senior DEA agent and the drug czars of Florida and Michigan, and government-connected nonprofits such as the Partnership for a Drug Free America and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.

It's not the first time that leading elected officials have skated on the edge of the law or stepped over it in service to misguided drug war zealotry. In 1997, Washington State's Lt. Governor, Brad Owen, used state resources to campaign against drug reformers' unsuccessful Initiative 685, ultimately paying $7,000 to settle a finding of misconduct by the state's Ethics Board. Owen expressed no penitence, however, declaring he would do it again if that's what it took to protect Washington's children from drugs.

How arrogant this governor and lieutenant governor, to think that they are above the law! These hard-liners, who live to strip nonviolent drug offenders of their freedom, think nothing of betraying the public's trust to violate the sanctity of the electoral process. But the arrogance is rooted in drug war fanaticism, the belief that the unacceptable somehow becomes acceptable, if it serves the drug war's extreme agenda.

In a different way, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy skated on the edge of propriety because of drug views. During arguments over a challenge to a high school drug testing policy, Kennedy appeared to personally attack plaintiff Lindsay Earls, posing a hypothetical with one school that had drug testing and one that did not, which he derided as "the druggie school." Kennedy told the plaintiff's lawyer, Graham Boyd of the ACLU, that any parent would opt to send their children to the first school, except "perhaps not your client." Outside the Supreme Court after the hearing, the visibly upset Earls told reporters: "I don't use drugs. I shouldn't have to prove that."

It's one thing for the Justices to give lawyers a hard time -- that's not so good either, but at least they're trained for it. It's another to insult a plaintiff -- a student, no less -- and her parents, because they, like many Americans, don't think high schools should be drug testing large numbers of students, if any. It undermines the respect and decorum of the Court, and suggests inappropriate bias, as Suffolk law professor Eric Blumenson pointed out when calling for his recusal in an editorial published in Salon.com. Yet none of this seemed important to Kennedy in that moment, when a mere student dared to challenge his own willingness to disregard privacy and Constitutional protections -- if, once again, it is in the name of fighting drugs.

Many officials and public servants strive to uphold the letter and the spirit of the law, in drug policy and otherwise. But many are skating on the edge, and their ranks span all the branches of government, from executive to legislative to judicial, in the capital and the states, from the cop on the beat to the governors' mansions to the Supreme Court itself. The drug war is poison to standards of ethics and propriety in government. Truth and reason are the antidote to drug war extremism and corruption.

Read the Forbes/IPS report online at http://www.ips-dc.org/projects/drugpolicy/ohio.htm.


2. New DRCNet/StopTheDrugWar.org Merchandise Out -- Discounted Purchase Available

Yesterday DRCNet announced the inauguration of new merchandise -- t-shirts, mugs and mousepads featuring the StopTheDrugWar.org stop sign logo -- available for free to new or renewing members.

In response to member feedback, we've decided to also make them available for sale apart for membership. Extra contributions or membership dues are appreciated and much needed, but will not be required for purchase of these items. The sale-only prices are $17 for t-shirts and $12 for mugs or mousepads, shipping included. For membership and one or more gift items, please donate $35 or more for a free t-shirt, $30 or more for a free mug or mousepad, $60 for any two or $90 for one of each.

Please visit http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/tshirts/ to place your order by credit card, or send your check or money order to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036 -- but please fill out the form too, or e-mail us at [email protected], so we can include your request in the next order. (Also, please contact us if you wish to make a contribution of stock.)

Please note that contributions to the Drug Reform Coordination Network are not tax-deductible. If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to support our educational work, make your check payable to DRCNet Foundation, same address. The portion of your gift that is tax-deductible will be reduced by the retail value of any gifts that you choose to receive, as per IRS regulations.

Thank you in advance for your support.


3. DEA Forges Alliance With Women Legislators Group to Wage War on Club Drugs, Terror

The DEA kicked off a joint campaign against "club drugs," such as MDMA (ecstasy) and the "narco-terror connection" with a little-known but politically potent group of women legislators at a May 23 press conference in Washington, followed by similar press conferences in states across the country. The "Shoulder to Shoulder" campaign is touted as educating youth and parents about the dangers of club drugs, but could have more serious political ramifications. The campaign will peak in November with a national conference where the DEA will assist the National Foundation for Women Legislators (http://www.womenlegislators.org), a more than six decades old group currently representing more than 3,000 female members of state legislatures, in drafting "model legislation" on club drugs and possibly even narco-terrorism.

"We have joined forces at a unique time in our history -- when Americans are focused on strengthening our country," said DEA head Asa Hutchinson at the inaugural news conference. "After the September 11th attacks, Americans came to understand as never before the kind of destruction drug money funds. The consequences of drug abuse are far greater than the individual or even the family or community," he said.

"But our fight against drugs is more than a battle against traffickers. It's a battle against misinformation -- the kind that tells our youth that ecstasy and other club drugs are somehow safe. It's the perception that so long as they drink enough water or take small amounts of ecstasy, no harm will come," Hutchinson continued.

"That can be a deadly distortion. Just two days ago, an 18-year-old California girl died after taking ecstasy at her senior prom," Hutchinson said. "The girl had told her sister she planned to take the drug. Her sister told her to be careful. And that's the misperception with ecstasy -- that it's different, safer, better than other illegal drugs. Today, we stand together so that no teenager will ever stand alone when they face that kind of misinformation."

For a more nuanced look at the dangers of MDMA, one can turn to last week's report from the British parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee on drug policy, which recommended lessening penalties for the popular drug and instituting harm reduction measures. During its 10-month inquiry, the committee turned to Professor John Henry, Professor of Accident and Emergency Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine at St. Mary's Hospital in London:

"Quite clearly it causes about 20 something deaths per year [out of an estimated 50-100 million doses consumed in Britain each year], and that is very small in terms of the large number of users. You could even use the word minimal for the short-term risks of ecstasy when you compare them with those of cocaine and heroin. Addictiveness is low. The other thing is that there is emerging evidence that it causes damage to memory processes. There are epidemiological comparisons of users versus non-users and even more recently we have seen studies which have followed up ecstasy users for a year and they have shown that aspects of memory function deteriorate during that year. Long-term use might lead to considerable impairment of memory," Professor Henry testified.

The select committee also cited a March 2000 Police Foundation inquiry, which relied on the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Faculty of Substance Abuse to evaluate ecstasy's harmfulness. The report observed that "population safety comparisons suggest that Ecstasy may be several thousand times less dangerous than heroin... there is little evidence of craving or withdrawal compared with the opiates and cocaine." The report continued: "Although deaths from ecstasy are highly publicised, it probably kills fewer than 10 people each year which, though deeply distressing for the surviving relatives and friends, is a small percentage of the many thousands of people who use it each week. Nor is it always clear whether the deaths are caused by ecstasy itself... or the circumstances surrounding its use... in many cases they are due to environmental aspects of the dance club scene, particularly overcrowding, overheating, poor availability of cool-out rooms and restrictions on or the high cost of drinks.")

But rhetoric like Hutchinson's flowed across the country. "Our youth are led to believe that 'club drugs' like ecstasy are harmless," Illinois State Sen. Kathy Parker (R-North Brook) told a Springfield press conference the same day. "The grim facts show otherwise."

In New Jersey, meanwhile, Assemblywoman Clare Farragher (R-Monmouth) told her local "Shoulder to Shoulder" press conference she wanted to raise awareness of the link between drugs and terrorism. "Long before September 11, New Jersey faced increasing illegal drug problems, but in the past eight months the nation has learned how drug habits often put money into the pockets of terrorist organizations," she said.

In Washington, Robin Read, president and CEO of NFWL, lauded the partnership with the DEA as "one of the most innovative programs the NFWL has embarked upon in its 64 year history. It's an important step towards correcting the growing misconceptions that Ecstasy and other Club Drugs are harmless," said Read.

Drug prevention is one thing, but the alliance between NFWL and the DEA could have a national impact with the model legislation plan. The model would be available to state legislatures across the country as a handy way to express their concern over club drugs. While the NFWL says that it "does not take ideological positions on any current issue," its alliance with the DEA -- a highly invested protagonist with rigidly ideological positions in the roiling debate over drug policy -- raises concerns that the group has embraced the DEA's drug war without examining the many alternative approaches embraced abroad, where law enforcement is leavened with a significant harm reduction component. A conversation with one of the NFWL's main movers in "Shoulder to Shoulder" did little to lesson those concerns, but did leave the impression that a tiny opening for differing viewpoints may exist.

DRCNet spoke with NFWL private sector co-chair Joy Westrum, who heads Second Chance, a California drug treatment program. According to Westrum, the effort will build a network, "a very, very powerful union" between the DEA and women legislators concerned with youth addiction rates. Together, they will craft a two-pronged attack, said Westrum. "The first prong is to attack the so-called club drugs and the second prong is to make the public aware of the connection between narco-terrorism and drug use," Westrum said. "When you do drugs, you are wittingly or not supporting terrorist activities around the world."

The campaign will include public service ads about the dangers of club drugs, said Westrum, but would also include a strong legislative component. "We'll be looking for effective model legislation and other drug-related legislation," she told DRCNet. "We'll try to shut down some of these rave establishments that house these horrible activities," she said.

The campaign will also look for effective drug treatment programs. "We need to take a good hard look at programs that aren't working -- like methadone maintenance programs," she said. "They are not a solution. Instead we need religious-based programs, prison-based programs that don't use alternative drugs."

When queried about alternatives to a law enforcement-heavy approach to club drugs, Westrum scoffed. "We are not interested in harm minimization," she said. "Harm reduction says we're not clever enough to handle the problem. Clean needles aren't the solution. Kids need to focus on education and the creative, productive things in life," Westrum explained. "That doesn't involve becoming addicted to any type of drug."

Besides, said Westrum, harm reduction is a front for legalizers. "George Soros is behind the legalization of heroin around the world," she told DRCNet. "People like that are trying to hide their agenda, starting out on other gradients, but that's not the direction the country wants to go," she said.

As for reports such as the Home Affairs Select Committee that argue ecstasy is relatively harmless, Westrum responded, "That is the fallacy we are fighting against. We have to educate on actual physiological harm that is being done. It's not true that it's not harmful."

But when asked about opening the November conference to outsiders or otherwise hearing from the drug reform movement, Westrum evinced a guarded willingness to listen. "If drug reformers want to talk, communication is the way," she said.

Some drug reformers are already talking about talking to the NFWL. If they want to do some real harm reduction, they need to get moving.

The NFWL, the nonprofit educational arm of the National Organization for Women Legislators, has a corporate partnership program. According to the NFWL web site, among the corporations with which NFWL has partnerships are ALZA Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Brown and Williamson Tobacco, Corrections Corporation of America, Enron, Guinness Stout, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Philip Morris, SmithKline, Westrum's Second Chance drug treatment chain and Wyeth Ayerst Laboratories.


4. DEA Raids Another California Medical Marijuana Dispensary Even as Advocates Gear Up for Day of Action Next Friday

Even as the nationwide campaign of demonstrations against heavy-handed federal marijuana actions directed at California medical marijuana providers gathers steam for a national day of action on June 6, the DEA struck again. In response, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which is spearheading the demonstrations, called for a national Flood Your Rep. Day today (Friday), urging voters to contact their representatives to denounce the latest federal intrusion into California's medical marijuana program.

The latest raid came Wednesday at the Aiko Compassion Center in Santa Rosa. Tight-lipped DEA men told local reporters two people were arrested and marijuana, cash, a car and a weapon were seized. According to the Santa Rosa Democrat, witnesses described DEA agents in dark-colored SUVs pulling up in front of the club Wednesday morning.

"They made a big show of it," said Mark Nabavi, who runs the Printing Express store next door. "They blocked the front entrance and wouldn't let anyone in. They took down everyone's license plate number."

A spokesman for the Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana was angry. "I'm not surprised but I'm outraged," said Ernest "Doc" Knapp, who added that the center serves more than 100 patients.

According to Santa Rosa attorney Rich Ingram, the two men arrested were Edward Bierling and Dan Nelson. Bierling is a medical marijuana user, Ingram told the Democrat, adding that DEA agents had raided Bierling's home in March and seized marijuana and grow lights. Ingram said that Bierling was in compliance with Sonoma County guidelines.

But that doesn't matter to the DEA. A local DEA task force operates in Sonoma County, and in the eyes of the feds, marijuana is simply illegal. "We have not targeted marijuana clubs. We have investigated marijuana trafficking groups," San Francisco DEA spokesman Rich Meyer told the Democrat. "As we develop leads, we follow those leads. If one takes us to a marijuana club, then we continue that investigation."

That's too much for ASA (http://www.safeaccessnow.org), an offshoot of the Cannabis Action Network formed to bring pressure to stop the federal harassment of the state's voter-approved medical marijuana program. As DRCNet reported two weeks ago (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/237.html#heatingup), the June 6 actions have been in planning for some time. According to the latest count from ASA, some 45 cities will see demonstrations, direct actions and some civil disobedience at DEA or other appropriate federal buildings next Friday.

The DEA appears to be doing all it can to make the day of action a success.


5. FBI Ends Drug War Role to Concentrate on Terror War

As part of a major internal restructuring of the FBI in the face of mounting criticism of its failures to prevent Al-Qaeda operatives from attacking the US on September 11, FBI Director Robert Mueller announced Wednesday that the Bureau will shift some 480 agents from criminal investigations, including more than 400 who were assigned to drug trafficking cases. The DEA has vowed to step up to the plate, but has yet to announce plans for an expansion or redeployment of its 4,600 special agents.

Mueller told a press conference at FBI headquarters that the Bureau would now make counterterrorism its top priority. "We have to be proactive," said Mueller. "We have to develop the capability to anticipate attacks. We have to develop the capability of looking around corners. And that is the change."

The 11,500 member Bureau will increase its terrorism prevention program from 1,000 agents to 3,000. The new orientation toward terrorism prevention marks a significant shift for the mammoth internal security agency. In its seven decades of existence, the FBI has concentrated on investigating crimes, not preventing them. In addition to its counterintelligence mandate, the FBI had concentrated on interstate violent crime, white collar crime, and, more recently, drug trafficking offenses.

But the FBI didn't go far enough for Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Grassley told the Washington Times that the Bureau should completely drop other traditional criminal investigations. "The FBI needs to let go of these areas and recognize we've got a Drug Enforcement Administration, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, a Coast Guard, a Customs Service, Secret Service, a Border Patrol and others at the federal level, along with state and local law enforcement nationwide, to handle these kinds of criminal investigations, arrests and prosecutions," he said. "The FBI has to concentrate on terrorism to get the job done."

The DEA said it was prepared to fill the drug enforcement gap. "The DEA stands ready to accept this new challenge that comes from the FBI reorganization," said agency administrator Asa Hutchinson in a prepared statement. "The DEA is the only single mission agency in this country dedicated to fighting drugs. We know how to fight drugs, do it very well, and are recognized worldwide for our expertise and results. This is a new opportunity for the courageous men and women of the DEA to do even more for our country," added Hutchinson.

Hutchinson did not say whether the DEA would seek additional agents to cover the shortfall left by the FBI's departure from drug enforcement, but he hinted that "additional resources" may be necessary and that the agency will be working with the Justice Department, Congress, and the Bush administration to discuss funding increases. "These are issues we will discuss to ensure the DEA has all the necessary tools to continue doing our job well," said Hutchinson. The DEA is currently budgeted at $1.8 billion dollars. Its agents were responsible for 30,000 drug arrests last year.


6. Western Australia to Cite, Not Arrest, Marijuana Users Under State Government Plan

Western Australia Health Minister Bob Kucera announced Sunday that the government would implement a system of "prohibition with civil penalties" for people caught smoking or possessing small amounts of marijuana. Under the Labor government proposal, cannabis would remain illegal, but people possessing less than 30 grams or two plants would be charged with a civil infringement, cited and fined. But police would retain the discretion to file criminal charges if they thought the law was being "flouted."

The measure drew praise from Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation state president Jason Meotti, who told the Western Australian that the move reflected growing acceptance of cannabis use in the state. But he did not address the discretion provision and he argued that removing the stigma could help those dependent on cannabis to seek help. "By taking it out of the criminal realm, people with cannabis use problems may actually seek help, particularly those who hold significant positions who may have been reluctant to come forward in the past," he said.

If Meotti was sanguine, the Labor proposal has already drawn fire from the Green Party, whose five members of parliament (MLCs) are crucial to getting it passed. MLC Chrissie Sharp said Monday that she would work to amend the discretion language, charging it would lead to corruption and uneven enforcement of the law. "If you have a policy of decriminalization, it should be clear and policed automatically, not left up to somebody's discretion," Dr. Sharp told the West Australian.

Even law enforcement officials who support the plan -- albeit with some misgivings about appearing to condone marijuana use -- have raised concerns about the discretion issue. "There is a risk with this sort of legalization, making it [cannabis use] seem like acceptable conduct," Western Australia Police Union president Michael Dean said. "I understand why they are changing the laws because it will free up police resources to focus on suppliers," he told the West Australian. "But I am concerned that the discretionary powers they plan to create could create confusion if the police service does not have clear guidelines."

The Labor proposal, which Kucera said would now be drafted and in place before the end of the year, is based on two years of meetings, studies and discussions throughout the state. It follows the recommendations of the recent report of the Working Party on Drug Law Reform (http://www.wa.gov.au/drugwestaus/), which in turn was based on the state's Community Drug Summit. The government cannabis provisions include:

  • People in possession of less than 30 grams or two placed may, at police discretion, be charged with a civil infringement and fined or charged with criminal possession. The stash gets confiscated in either case.
  • Thresholds for triggering distribution charges have been lowered. Under current law, possession of more than 100 grams or 25 plants is considered presumptive of dealing; under the Labor proposal, the threshold would be lowered to 100 grams or 10 plants.
  • Civil fines will range up to $200 and must be paid within 28 days. (Reformers have complained that under a similar ticketing scheme in South Australia, more people, especially the poor and the young, are ending up jailed for nonpayment of fines than were ever jailed for marijuana possession.)
  • Hydroponic grow operations, no matter how small, are not included.
  • Hashish and hash oil are not included.
"The reality is that cannabis is the most widely used drug in Australia," said Kucera. "Although only a minority of Australians would be considered to be dependent users, 39% of all Australians aged 14 and over have used cannabis at some point in their lives. The proposal put forward by the Working Party on Drug Law Reform offers a new way forward. Research has shown that people with minor cannabis convictions can have problems with employment, difficulty in obtaining accommodation, travel problems and an increased risk of future contact with the criminal justice system. But research also shows that applying civil, instead of criminal, penalties for the personal use of cannabis does not lead to an increased proportion of the population using the drug."

With the opposition Liberal Party having declared against the civil penalty scheme, Labor will need the votes of Green Party members to obtain a majority in parliament. Now, as the issue of discretion to file criminal charges takes center stage, the struggle to determine whether the new cannabis law will be a half-step forward or a quarter-step forward begins.


7. National Drug Intelligence Center Gives Partial Response to DRCNet FOIA Request on "Drug Menace" Web Sites

Last December, the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) quietly released a report, "Drugs and the Internet: An Overview of the Threat to America's Youth (http://www.usdoj.gov:80/ndic/pubs/682/682p.pdf), that purported to examine web sites displaying information facilitating the production, cultivation or use of federally controlled nonprescription drugs, specifically what it referred to as the three "club drugs" MDMA (ecstasy), GHB and LSD.

NDIC identified the "threat" to American young people as information. "The threat to adolescents and young adults in the United States accessing the Internet consists of information, disseminated by drug offenders or others, that is intended to facilitate the production, use, or sale of federally scheduled, nonprescription drugs," NDIC asserted. "Information facilitating production includes explanations of equipment or other resources needed or processes used. Information facilitating use includes explanations of the nature, effects, or administration methods of drugs. Information facilitating sales includes explanations of how or where drugs may be obtained or mechanisms allowing for online purchase of drugs."

In the report, NDIC wrote that it had examined 52 web sites, but "32 web sites were probably associated with drug legalization groups." NDIC did not list the web sites.

DRCNet requested the list of the 52 web sites from NDIC, but NDIC refused to make that information available. DRCNet subsequently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on March 27. This week, NDIC responded with a partial list of 37 web sites (see list below), only one of which was an obvious drug reform organization, The Lindesmith Center, now part of the Drug Policy Alliance. (In the typed, unsigned list of web sites delivered by NDIC, Lindesmith was listed as liendasmyth.org. DRCNet verified that there is no liendasmyth.org, but the complete URL with its spelling corrected does point to Lindesmith's ecstasy pages.)

For the remaining 15 web sites, NDIC FOIA officers ruled that identifying information must be withheld because such law enforcement records "could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."

But in the original NDIC report, the authors were careful to note that: "To ensure compliance with the Privacy Act, NDIC did not collect information on specific individuals."

When DRCNet pointed out the contradiction to NDIC FOIA officer Pamela Nemeth, she replied only that she was told she could not release information on private individuals. "The intelligence unit upstairs compiled this list," she said, "and I would have to take it further up the chain of command if you appeal."

DRCNet will file a FOIA appeal with the Department of Justice on two issues: The contradiction between NDIC's original claim that it did not collect information on specific individuals and its insistence that revealing the remaining web sites would invade someone's privacy, and the fact that 32 web sites "probably associated with drug legalization groups" appear to have vanished.

Except for the Lindesmith Center's ecstasy web page, the web sites revealed by NDIC are a motley group ranging from Dutch GHB sellers to numerous "make LSD" web pages to clear harm reduction sites to psychedelic experience archive sites such as Erowid and the Lycaeum.

While NDIC portrayed the information purveyors it surveyed as "drug offenders, drug culture advocates, advocates of an expanded freedom of expression, and anarchist individuals and groups," some of the web sites listed hardly see themselves that way.

Gary Bense is director of the Lycaeum, home of LEDA, the Lycaeum Entheogen Database, a compendium of information on psychedelic drugs. Bense told DRCNet that the Lycaeum "exists to supply unbiased and factual information concerning consciousness-altering plants and chemicals. As far as we're concerned, providing factual information is the most effective facet of harm reduction, so of course we consider our info 'harm reduction info.'"

And he isn't happy about making the government's "internet drug threat" list. "The intent of this study is obvious, but the effect in the long run will still be nothing more than intimidation," said Bense.

Bill McColl, director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, which includes the former Lindesmith Center, was equally displeased at making the list. "This is quite an outrage," he told DRCNet. "I have no idea what they think is a problem here. This web page consists of scientific research, my testimony before the Sentencing Commission and similar items. It is flat-out political speech. Ours is a responsible web site -- we acknowledge that drugs are dangerous and warn people that they need to be careful -- and to characterize it otherwise goes against every principle the founders stood for. The federal government ought to be ashamed of itself," he said.

McColl also lashed out at NDIC for its terminal confusion about harm reduction as "facilitating drug use." "I don't think the government ought to be in business of trying to prevent people from learning harm reduction information," he said. "Drugs are all around us, they are everywhere in our culture, and people have to learn how to live with drugs within the culture. That is the basic mistake the government made and continues to make. Their policy of repression and suppression hasn't worked for 70 years of drug prohibition. Why do they think it will work now?"

With the "war on terror" already leading to greatly expanded police powers, the NDIC study takes on especially ominous overtones. "It's absolutely clear they're aiming at political speech," said McColl. "This is stunning, even for this administration with its record of secrecy and attempts to crack down on dissent."

The following are the 37 web sites provided by NDIC. Note that some appear to be outdated or no longer functioning.

Cokehead.8m.com/custom2.html
Ecstasy.org
English.de-sjamaan.nl
Heffter.org
Hipforums.com/viewthread.php3?FID=22&TID=2502
Leda.lycaeum.org/chemicals/mdma.139.shtml
Neutron.et.tudelft.nl/cupido_eest/cup_xtc.html
Rhodium.lycaeum.org/chemistry/index.html
Shovelcat.com/ghb_info/another.html
Vitalchemistry.com
Wads.www9.50metgs.com/lsd3.html
www.a1b2c3.com/drugs/x_08.htm
www.altculture.com
www.aromadome.com/ecstasy
www.a-structures/com/dam/ghb.html
www.biopsychiatry.com/mdma.htm
www.camarklabs.com
www.elitefitness.com/ubb/Archives/Forum1/03-2001/052642.html
www.erowid.org
www.erowid.org/chemicals/lsd/lsd.shtml
www.geocities.com/Hotsprings/Spa/5932
www.ghb.org/chemistry.html
www.ghb-online.com
www.highlife.nl/archief/1999/1999-6/ghb_eng.html
www.lindesmith.org/library/ecstasy_index.html
www.lycaeum.org
www.mylifeboat.com/ghb.htm
www.nepenthes.lycaeum.org/drugs/mdma
www.powerhousesupplements.com/verve.htm
www.raversunity.com/about/about.html
www.renewtrients.com
www.roninpub.com
www.rxorg.com
www.torontonightclub.com/drugs.htm
www.totse.com/en/drugs/pscychedelics/makelsd.html
www.undergroundnews.com/Kbase/underground/hacking/makelsd.htm
www.xenopharmacophilia.com/ee/Practicalghb.html


8. Report Charges Taft Administration Subverts Election in Ohio, Allies with PDFA and CADCA in Effort to Defeat Initiative

A report released Thursday (5/30) by the Institute for Policy Studies, by journalist Daniel Forbes, reveals improper intervention in an Ohio election by state and federal officials and government-connected nonprofits. A press release announcing the report, paraphrasing its introduction, stated:

Ohio Governor Bob Taft and the highest reaches of his administration have embarked on a concerted, months-long effort to subvert the state's electoral process, a report released yesterday charges. With overall control of budgets, jobs and sentencing policy at stake, the Taft administration has organized a sophisticated, sub-rosa campaign to defeat a "drug treatment rather than incarceration" referendum likely to appear on the ballot in November. Starting last spring, Gov. Taft himself, First Lady Hope Taft, his chief of staff and numerous senior and support staff have -- while on the clock, ostensibly serving the public -- conceived and directed a partisan political campaign.

A four-month Institute for Policy Studies investigation by journalist Daniel Forbes details political malfeasance, the misuse of public funds and the inappropriate use of government resources in Ohio. The effort has been aided by federal officials, including President Bush's publicly announced nominee to be deputy director of the White House drug czar's office (since confirmed), and a senior US Senate staffer. The drug czars of Florida and Michigan and a senior Drug Enforcement Administration agent also participated in the scheme.

Coming in for special scrutiny by Forbes were two powerful organizations, the Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA) and the federally-funded Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). In both cases, Forbes revealed unseemly and improper connections between the groups and the Ohio anti-initiative effort. PDFA, whose famous TV ads always follow a drug prevention theme, was preparing to run ads in Ohio touting the success of existing court-ordered drug treatment programs. The Partnership, which touts itself as "non-partisan" sent four executives to Washington for a "counter-legalization" brainstorming session, Forbes repeated. The "non-partisan" PDFA was clearly to play a role in an electoral issue -- defeating the Ohio initiative.

Similarly, CADCA, which receives federal funding to the tune of $450 million in the current five-year period, and one of its prime movers, Mary Ann Solberg, come in for much needed scrutiny. Solberg, a former teacher turned moral entrepreneur, is the focus of a supplement to the main report. According to Forbes, Solberg, who is currently deputy director of the Office for National Drug Control Policy and sits on the CADCA advisory board, is using her position and CADCA grant funds to subvert the electoral process in Ohio and her home state, Michigan. While up to 20% of CADCA grant dollars can be used for "educational activities," it is unlikely that the Congress intended such "educational activities" to be in support of electoral campaigns. Forbes details the instructive career of Solberg in depth.

The report further states:

Ohio officials consulted with and enlisted the aid of the wife of the former finance chair of the Republican National Committee, as well as several taxpayer-supported, staunch anti-drug organizations, including the supposedly apolitical Partnership for a Drug-Free America. The Partnership was slated to produce TV ads to sway public opinion in favor of the Ohio drug-policy status quo. Its four top executives advised the Taft administration during a day-long strategy session held in the US Capitol building itself.

Ohio spent $106 million on "community-based treatment" in FY 2000, and overall control of vast sums of money and vast numbers of jobs underlies the political struggle. One Ohio official worried that the state will lose both "its ability to control sentencing policy" and "control of its own budget."

Last fall, Ohio's first lady, cabinet officials and senior staffers in the governor's office attended weekly strategy sessions on the public's dime. State funds paid for out of town trips and overnight lodging, and the administration even proposed to divert US Department of Justice crime-fighting grants to fund their nascent campaign's eventual polling, focus groups and advertising.

Modeled on a similar measure, Proposition 36, that passed overwhelmingly in California in 2000, the Ohio amendment proposes to offer treatment rather than prison to defendants charged with a first or second instance of simple drug possession.

The report and its executive summary can be viewed and downloaded at http://www.ips-dc.org/projects/drugpolicy/ohio.htm online. The Institute for Policy Studies is the nation's oldest and largest left of center multi-issue think tank.


9. Newsbrief: Seven Up Pulls "Prison Rape" Commercial Under Threat of Boycott

Last week DRCNet reported that justice and prison reform organizations including Stop Prisoner Rape (SPR) and Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants had called for a boycott of the soft drink 7 UP and other Cadbury Schweppes products. Over 90 organizations concerned with human rights, HIV/AIDS and sexual violence had sent a letter to the company asking them to stop airing a commercial that, according to the organizations, made light of rape in prison. The boycott was called after the company initially declined to remove the ad from TV.

Last week, Philippa Dworkin, vice president of corporate communications for Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., told SPR executive director Lara Stemple that the ad would be taken off the air in response to the protest. "We really have listened to them. Their points are very valid and we are with them on human rights," Dworkin told a CNSNEWS.com reporter, before the company made the final decision to stop airing the commercial.

Visit http://www.spr.org for further information about this issue.


10. Newsbrief: Feds Use RICO Against Virginia Oxycontin Doctor

Roanoke, VA, Dr. Cecil Byron Knox, his nurse, and two office workers have been indicted by a federal grand jury under the direction of US Attorney John Brownlee for violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act in an apparent escalation of the federal government's war on pain management specialists, whom the feds routinely accuse of operating pill factories. Knox, who operated the Second Street Southwest Clinic in Roanoke, and his employees, had already been indicted in February for conspiring to illegally distribute the high-powered opioid painkiller Oxycontin and with prescribing the drug for no legitimate medical reason.

In a typical move, US Attorney Brownlee obfuscated the nature of the feds's problem with Dr. Knox by accusing him of "health care fraud," a technically correct but misleading charge. The fraud of which Dr. Knox is accused is the act of prescribing the Oxycontin in a matter which the federal government deems unlawful.

Dozens of doctors around the country have been charged in Oxycontin-related indictments and five were convicted in Southwest Virginia alone last year. But the RICO indictment is a first, marking a significant expansion of the federal war on Oxy docs. The statute was originally designed to prosecute complex organized crime cases, but its use has broadened over the years. RICO is a powerful tool in prosecutors' hands. Under the RICO charges, Dr. Knox faces life in prison and fines as high as $27 million. His nurse faces life and a possible $26 million fine. The two office employees are looking at 95 years and 105 years, along with fines of $2.5 million.


11. Newsbrief: US 9th Circuit Rules Religious Marijuana Use on Federal Lands Okay

In a case involving a Hispanic Rastaman bringing marijuana to Guam, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act precluded the US government from prosecuting people who possess marijuana on federal lands for religious reasons. The court reasoned that under the RFRA, Congress had the power to create religious exemptions to laws it had originally passed, in this case the Controlled Substances Act.

Unfortunately for defendant Bennie Toves Guerrero, also known as Ras Iyah Ben Makahna, who had been arrested at the Guam airport and charged with importing five ounces of marijuana and 10 ounces of seeds, the court ruled that he could be prosecuted for importing marijuana. "Rastafarianism does not require importation of a controlled substance, which increases (its) availability," the court said.

But the ruling's ramifications could be wide. The court's reference to the "federal realm," specifically the territory of Guam in this case, could apply to federal prosecutions on other federal property, such as national parks, San Francisco federal public defender Barry Portman told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The ruling, which is in line with rulings by two other appeals court, applies to the entire purview of the 9th Circuit, including Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, California, and eight other Western states. If extended nationwide, the ruling could apply to federal territories across the country, including Washington, DC.


12. Newsbrief: Cannabis Cafe Vows to Open in England, Another in Scotland

You can't keep a popular idea down. Although joint action by police and the courts shut down the Dutch Experience 2 coffee house in Boscombe, near Bournemouth, earlier this month, the original Dutch Experience in the Manchester suburb of Stockport remains open despite its proprietor, Colin Davies, having just emerged from six months in preventive detention and the cafe itself having been raided three times. Now, Leicester, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland, may soon see their first cannabis cafes.

According to a press release this week from the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, Chris Peabody of Leicester will open a members-only cannabis cafe on or shortly after July 1. "Proposals for shooting galleries so people can use heroin in a safe environment has only strengthened my resolve to open my 'cannabis cafe' -- a safe house for cannabis users," said Peabody. "With the announcement of the reclassification of cannabis from B to C, much support is expected for this soon-to-open venture. It will reflect the tolerance and friendly nature of Leicester, a multicultural, multi-belief city."

Earlier this month in Edinburgh, Rebel Inc publishing founder and Scottish Socialist Party drugs spokesman Kevin Williamson announced plans for a Rebel Inc Coffeeshop "in the heart of Edinburgh," with an opening date set for June. Williamson announced that the coffeeshop would be members-only and would sell at a discount to medical marijuana patients.

Although the pending reclassification of cannabis from a Class to B to a Class C drug will result in de facto decriminalization of simple possession -- the new penalty would be a simple citation -- distribution of cannabis will remain a crime subject to a maximum five-year prison sentence. Leicester police have not commented on Peabody's plans, but Edinburgh police have vowed to enforce the cannabis laws.


13. Newsbrief: Tennessee Town Pays for Drug Raid Killing

In October 2000, DRCNet reported on a rash of police killings during drug raids gone bad. Among them was the case of John Adams, 62, a black resident of Lebanon, TN, who was shot and killed by a police SWAT team raiding the wrong house on October 4 of that year. After masked officers burst into his home, Adams fired a shotgun at the intruders before they shot and killed him as his wife Lorine, 72, looked on in disbelief.

Lebanon Police Lt. Steve Nokes, head of the town's narcotics unit, was fired from the police department and indicted on charges of criminal responsibility for reckless homicide, tampering or fabricating evidence and aggravated perjury. He was acquitted of all charges in June 2001.

But the Lebanon Daily Times reported on May 24 that the city of Lebanon will pay at least $400,000 to Lorine Adams. She has received a lump sum payment of $200,000 and will receive $1,675 per month for the rest of her life. If she lives 15 years, the total pay-out would reach more than half a million dollars. The city also paid John Adams' medical bills of $45,000 and funeral expenses of $5,804. The city's insurance carrier will pay for the settlement. No word yet on Lebanon's new insurance rates.

See http://www.drcnet.org/wol/156.html#policeshootings for DRCNet's October 2000 report on bad drug raids.


14. Newsbrief: Oakland Rogue Cops Go on Trial

In October 2000, DRCNet wrote about "the Riders," four Oakland Police Department officers suspended from their jobs after credible and repeated allegations that they beat defendants, planted drugs and perjured themselves in court (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/157.html#oakland). The reverberations from the Riders' rampage through West Oakland have since then poisoned relations between the Oakland PD and the city's minority communities and wreaked havoc with drug cases. Charges have already been dismissed in more than 70 cases in which the Riders were involved, and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office is reviewing 300 to 400 more. And the city has been hit with 16 civil rights lawsuits with 117 plaintiffs so far; in February the city paid out $195,000 to a man falsely arrested and imprisoned on crack cocaine possession charges by the Riders.

Beginning on Tuesday, three of the four Riders went on trial facing a 31-count criminal indictment with charges ranging from kidnapping to assault. Clarence Mabang, 36, Jude Siapno, 33, and Matthew Hornung, 30, all face decades in prison if found guilty. The fourth Rider, Francisco Vasques, has disappeared and is believed to have fled to Mexico.

The rookie cop who blew the whistle on the Riders, Keith Batt, resigned from the Oakland PD and is now suing the city for lost pay, missed career opportunities, humiliation and mental anguish as a result of his decision to go to supervisors with his misgivings.


15. Newsbrief: Will Foster Arrested on Minor Parole Violation in California, May Face Return to Oklahoma Prison

Will Foster, the Oklahoma man who gained national fame after being sentenced to 93 years in prison for growing marijuana for medical reasons in his basement, has been arrested as a parole violator in California and faces a hearing today (Friday) that could send him back to an Oklahoma prison cell.

After an intensive, multiyear national campaign, Foster's sentence was reduced to 20 years, and he was released last year on parole. Foster relocated to the Bay Area of California, where he has been a productive member of society and active in the marijuana reform movement. According to a statement released by Ed Rosenthal, the marijuana cultivation expert recently arrested in a DEA medical marijuana raid in San Francisco, Foster provided expert witness services in marijuana cases and was called on March 28 to investigate a garden that had been seized that day.

When Foster arrived on the scene, law enforcement agents serving a second warrant stopped and arrested him for being more than 50 miles from his parole office, a technical parole violation. They also charged him with driving with an Oklahoma driver's license, even though he currently resides in California, another technical violation even though his Oklahoma license is valid. In a search subsequent to his arrest, agents found two grams of marijuana in his car, leading to a third charge of marijuana possession.

Such minor parole violations are typically treated with a warning or reprimand, but because Foster is a "guest parolee" from Oklahoma, his new parole officer, whom he has never met, is asking that he be sent back to Oklahoma.

Foster has been jailed in Nevada County since March 28. District Hearing Agent Denise Milano will determine his fate today.

Past DRCNet coverage of the Will Foster case:

Will Foster Freed From Jail, Had 93 Years for Medical Marijuana (4/27/01)
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/183.html#fosterfree

Will Foster Parole Denied (1/22/99)
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/075.html#noparole

Free Will Foster Campaign Continues (9/18/98)
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/059.html#freewill

Rally to Free Will Foster Scheduled for Oklahoma City (4/3/98)
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/036.html#freewill

Update on Will Foster - DRCNet helps get action! (7/1/97)
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/001.html#pastalerts


16. Newsbrief: Swaziland Row Over Rasta Royals

According to the BBC, aides of Swaziland King Mswati have evicted six young men, including the king's nephew, from the royal residence for wearing dreadlocks and allegedly smoking marijuana. This is the second time the self-described Swazi Rastafarians have been thrown out of the royal palace. Earlier this year, the Elders of the Swazi Nation, as the king's aides are called, accused them of smoking dagga (the local term for marijuana) and other "mischievious acts," including inviting non-royals into the palace and practicing Rastafarianism, the Jamaica-based religion that uses marijuana as a sacrament.

But Prince Bhamela, one of the Swazi Six and nephew to King Mswati, told the BBC the real reason they were being evicted was because they wanted to reveal to the king a certain dream concerning his reign.

According to another member of the group, Victor Zulu, the Rastas would refuse to leave the royal police and were messengers of peace. "We have the secret to life and we have been ordered not to give this information to anyone but the king," he told BBC. "We have not been told these words we are meant to have said when praise-singing the king. We have a lot of information about the nation, and we will persist in making our way to see the king. There are a lot of things happening which are leading the country to disaster, and we need to divulge these happenings before the king," Zulu explained.


17. Newsbrief: Marijuana Advocate Sues Over Hawaii Aerial Eradication Program

Longtime Hawaii marijuana advocate Roger Christie, who previously won a $75,000 out-of-court settlement after being arrested for possession of legal hemp seeds, has filed suit against all members of the Hawaii County Council over the council's continuing failure to review the county's marijuana eradication program, known as "Green Harvest."

At its peak, Green Harvest eradicated more than a million marijuana plants each year, but the program has drawn sustained and vociferous opposition, not only from marijuana advocates but also from citizens who complained of being buzzed by low-flying helicopters, subjected to drifting herbicide sprays and assaulted by SWAT-style eradication teams.

Thanks to the efforts of Christie and other "usual suspects" at government hearings, the county foreswore a $265,000 DEA grant for Green Harvest in September 2000 after the council was threatened with impeachment. The program restarted in a limited fashion in March 2001, with restrictions including a ban on aerial spraying and limits on how close to homes helicopters can fly or police can rapel from them. Last year, Hawaii police complained that their seizures had shrunk dramatically, but complaints of police abuses continued.

Fellow marijuana activist Jonathan Adler told the Honolulu Advertiser that eradication program critics would also seek the removal of council members for failing to uphold the charter, which require such programs to be audited every four years. No audit has been done on Green Harvest.


18. Newsbrief: Ed Thompson Does Weedstock, Says Legalize It

Ed Thompson, brother of former Wisconsin governor and current Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson and Libertarian Party candidate for the state governorship this year, stopped by central Wisconsin's annual Weedstock celebration Monday afternoon in Beaver Dam long enough to reiterate his call for the legalization of marijuana, according to the local newspaper the Daily Citizen.

While Tommy Thompson is one of the nation's most powerful Republicans, brother Ed's career has included stints as bar owner, prison guard, boxer and grocery store owner. Ed Thompson, campaigning on a typical Libertarian platform -- one that calls for an end to imprisoning nonviolent drug offenders but doesn't explicitly include marijuana legalization as one of its 10 "Top Wisconsin Issues" -- got explicit at Weedstock, the annual marijuana reform bash sponsored by longtime Madison activist Ben Masel.

Thompson told a crowd of 200 that marijuana should be legalized and regulated like alcohol and tobacco. "I'm a strong proponent of legalizing medical marijuana," said Thompson, adding that he also favored broader legalization. Legalization, he said, would lead to underage children having less access to it. "Gangsters don't have a problem selling drugs to our children," he said.

Thompson, who is running at about 10% in recent polls, has been the subject of articles in the Economist, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, as well as numerous Wisconsin outlets.

(The Weedstock web site is http://www.weedstock.com and the Thompson campaign web site is http://www.EdThompson.com online.)


19. Newsbrief: British Magazine "The New Statesman" Calls for Drug Legalization

The right-of center British magazine the Economist has for years called for an end to the drug war and the legalization of the drug trade. Now a venerable magazine of the British Fabian left has joined the call. In its May 27 issue, the New Statesman, which has been published since 1913, bluntly demanded, as the headline of its editorial put it, "Drugs: Legalize, Regulate, and Tax."

Spurred by the less-than halfway recommendations of the parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee on drugs last week (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/239.html#homeaffairs), the editorial referred to most of its recommendations as "tinkering." The New Statesman turned to the philosophy of John Stuart Mill to argue that "when it comes to individual behavior, the onus of proof is always on those who wish to legislate."

The New Statesman, which is more typically shrouded in the soft socialist values of George Bernard Shaw or Beatrice Webb than Mill, argued that prohibitionists had not met that burden.

"The government's drug policy is not working," wrote the magazine, "and nor is any other government's. Governments have declared a war on drugs. Politicians love to declare wars: on terrorism, crime, litter, teenage pregnancy, street begging, hooliganism -- just about anything generally agreed to be bad. Wars allow politicians to inflate their importance and to strike dramatic, decisive poses; dissenters may be dismissed from public debate as traitors who undermine the war effort or even enemy agents. But these wars are rarely won. The war on drugs has been a Waterloo for almost every government on the planet. The victims, as always, are not the governments themselves, but the poor."

Better to regulate and tax, the New Statesman concluded. "The argument for the legalization of drugs is not about their safety but about the best way of controlling their dangers. The various classifications should determine not a hierarchy of criminal penalties but different forms of supply: prescription only, say, or wide availability on specifically licensed premises. The argument should be about degrees of regulation, not degrees of criminality."

The New Statesman looked at the estimated $6.6 billion pounds generated annually by the British drug market and, reverting to its Fabian inclinations, saw a potential revenue boost. "The Chancellor [of the Exchequer] can work out for himself what the duty from a legalized drug supply would yield, and how many of his public spending problems it could solve," the magazine noted.

The New Statesman joins The Economist in an increasingly crowded pro-legalization camp in Britain, including former Blair government drugs minister Mo Mowlam (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/235.html#momowlam) and Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament Dr. Jenny Tonge (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/234.html#legalcocaine).

Read the New Statesman editorial online at http://www.newstatesman.co.uk/site.php3?newTemplate=NSArticle_NS&newDisplayURN=200205270002.


20. Newsbrief: Weird Scenes Inside the Pretoria Ford Plant

One could expect high weirdness to occur when odd couple Bono, the Irish rocker, and Paul O'Neill, the US Treasury Secretary set out to tour Africa together last week. Bono, the wealthy friend of the world's poor, and O' Neill, a leading skeptic about the accomplishments of past foreign aid programs, have been crisscrossing the continent to survey its state of affairs and determine where foreign assistance might be targeted.

One place that won't be needing any financial aid is the Ford Motor Company assembly plant near Pretoria, South Africa. Bono and O'Neill toured the plant, the largest industrial enterprise in the southern hemisphere, on May 25, only to be brought up short by the pungent odor of South African marijuana.

As reported by Reuters, a Ford official explained that some employees did smoke marijuana while on the job. Furthermore, the official explained, the practice was not unusual at the plant and was tolerated as long as worker safety was not jeopardized.

Maybe someone should tell the United Auto Workers.

Treasury Secretary O'Neill seemed surprised to hear that assembly line workers were toking on the job. "They do?" he interjected. "What do I know? That's something I don't know anything about."

Bono, who is presumably more familiar with marijuana than O'Neill, joked about it. "I was getting off on the diesel fumes myself," he said.


21. The Reformer's Calendar

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

June 5, 7:00-9:00pm, Philadelphia, PA, monthly meeting of the Tri-State Drug Policy Forum. At the Women's International League for Peace, 1213 Race St., call (215) 633-9812 or e-mail [email protected] for further information.

June 6, nationwide, "National Day of Direct Action Against the DEA," protests in support of medical marijuana patients and providers. Visit http://www.safeaccessnow.org for information.

June 8, noon to midnight, Columbus, OH, "15th Annual Hempfest." Hosted by OSU SSDP, at the OSU campus, Mirror Lake/South Oval. For information, visit http://www.idjungle.com/ecards/ssdp.html or contact (614) 291-1026 or [email protected]

June 8, 1:00pm, DeWitt, NY, ReconsiDer Annual Meeting. Featuring Jack Cole, retired New Jersey state undercover detective, at Memorial Unitarian Universalists Church, 3800 E. Genesee. Contact Jim Schofield at (315) 471-2514 or [email protected] for further information.

June 8, 1:00-4:00pm, Waterbury, CT, "Street Drugs and Public Safety: Reconsidering the Current Model," live panel to be broadcast on the "Better Living" TV shows, channel 21. At the Wolcutt Town Hall, 10 Kenea Ave., contact (860) 285-8831 or mailto:[email protected] 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 http://www.trebach.org/abuse/conf2002/ for further information.

June 13, 6:00-8:00pm, Washington, DC, "Making Treatment Work: A Discussion of 'Hooked,'" book talk with author Lonny Shavelson. Hosted by Drug Policy Alliance, location to be announced. For information, call (202) 537-5005 (before June 1) or (202) 216-0035 (after June 1).

June 15, New York, NY, Drop the Rock march and concert/rally, location and time to be announced. Contact Tamar Kraft-Stolar at (212) 254-5700 x306 or [email protected] for further information.

June 20-23, New York, NY, 10th National Roundtable on Women in Prison: A Journey In/Justice. Contact the Women's Prison Association at (212) 674-1163 or visit http://www.wpaonline.org/WEBSITE/rt.html 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].

June 29-July 1, Washington, DC, National Summit on the Impact of Incarceration on African American Families and Communities. Call (252) 396-0884 or visit http://www.keepthetrust.org/summit/ for information.

July 5-7, Bryn Mawr, PA, "Liberty & Crisis," student seminar with the Institute for Humane Studies. Participation free, application deadline March 29, visit http://www.theihs.org/tab3/thefirst.html or e-mail [email protected] for further information.

August 24-29, Lagos, Nigeria, "Tenth International Conference on Penal Abolition." Contact Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) at 234-(0)1-4971356-8 or [email protected], Rittenhouse: A New Vision of Transformative Justice at (416) 972-9992 or [email protected], or visit http://www.interlog.com/~ritten/ 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.

September 30-October 1, Washington, DC, "National Symposium on Felony Disenfranchisement," conference sponsored by The Sentencing Project. Admission free, advance registration required, visit http://www.sentencingproject.org or call (202) 628-0871 for further information.

October 7-9, San Diego, CA, "Inside-Out: Fostering Healthy Outcomes for the Incarcerated and Their Families." Contact Stacey Shank of Centerforce at (559) 241-6162 for information.

November 6-8, 2002, St. Louis, MO, "2nd North American Conference on Fathers Behind Bars and on the Street." Call (434) 589-3036, e-mail [email protected] or visit http:/www.fcnetwork.org for information.

November 8-10, Anaheim, CA, combined national conference of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Marijuana Policy Project. Early bird registration $150, $45 for students with financial need, visit http://www.mpp.org/conference/ for further information.

November 9, Anaheim, CA, Bill Maher benefit show for Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Marijuana Policy Project. Admission $50, or $1,000 VIP package including front-row seat and private reception with Bill Maher. Visit http://www.mpp.org/conference/ for further information.

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 http://www.harmreduction.org or call (212) 213-6376.

April 6-10, 2003, Chiangmai, Thailand, 14th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm. Details to follow, e-mail [email protected] to request a full announcement by mail.


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