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Drug War Chronicle
(formerly The Week Online with DRCNet)

Issue #306, 10/10/03

"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Phillip S. Smith, Editor
David Borden, Executive Director

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  1. Editorial: Summer's Over -- Long Live Summer
  2. Curtain Closes on Ontario's Summer of Legalization: Court Ruling Reinstates Possession Law, Loosens Medical Marijuana Rules
  3. Change the Climate Ad Campaign Riles DC Pundits, Politicos
  4. California in the Era of Arnold
  5. New England "Governors' Summit" on Drugs: Drug War Horse and Pony Show Inside, Protestors Outside
  6. This Week in History
  7. Urgent Action Appeal on Singapore Drug Case from Amnesty International
  8. Newsbrief: In Fall Term, Supreme Court Rejects South Carolina Crack Mom Appeal, Accepts Case on Ex-Drug User's Rights Under Americans With Disabilities Act
  9. Newsbrief: Georgia Supreme Court Throws Out Driver Drug Test Law
  10. Newsbrief: Walters Lies Pile Up in Canada Diatribe
  11. Canadian Prime Minister Talks About Toking Up
  12. Newsbrief: Sarasota Police Lure Would-Be Drug Dealers for Profit
  13. Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story
  14. Newsbrief: Pentagon Adds Drugs to List of Foes in Afghanistan
  15. Newsbrief: Vacation in Bermuda? Anti-Marijuana Campaign Underway
  16. DRCNet Temporarily Suspending Our Web-Based Write-to-Congress Service Due to Funding Shortfalls -- Your Help Can Bring It Back -- Keep Contacting Congress in the Meantime
  17. Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions
  18. The Reformer's Calendar
(last week's issue)

(Chronicle archives)

1. Editorial: Summer's Over -- Long Live Summer

David Borden, Executive Director, [email protected], 10/10/03

David Borden
An Ontario court's ruling this week, favorable to medical marijuana, also brought the nation's overall anti-marijuana law in compliance with Ontario's view of Canada's constitution, ending marijuana legalization in the province, at least for now. But that's not the end of the story. Coincidentally within the same one week stretch, Canada's prime minister, Jean Chretien, himself confirmed his administration's commitment to enacting some form of marijuana decriminalization, while humorously illustrating the deepening intellectual divide between Canadian and certain American politicians and officials on this issue.

Chretien explained in an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press not only that decriminalization in his view merely formalized the current practice, but even commented that he might try it sometime himself. Chretien said, "I don't know what is marijuana. Perhaps I will try it when it will no longer be criminal. I will have my money for my fine and a joint in the other hand."

During the same one week period, US drug czar fumed once again against Canadian drug law liberalization steps such as decriminalization, safe injection sites and medical marijuana. But Canada's justice minister wasn't having any of it either. Martin Cauchon noted that ten states within the US itself have enacted decriminalization schemes.

Unlike the Walters ideologues controlling federal anti-drug propaganda machinery south of the US-Canadian border, Chretien and Cauchon, as many of their north of the border colleagues, are realists. They understand the war on drugs does more harm than good. The boldest, such as Sen. Claude Nolin or MP Libby Davies, even overtly call for ending drug prohibition. Canadian parents don't truly want their children jailed or saddled with criminal records because of personal behavioral choices that apparently are in many cases at least relatively safe. And the marijuana industry itself is too deeply ensconced, certainly in British Columbia, to be effectively rooted out without massive political, social and economic turmoil.

Not that the situation is without some political risk of backsliding. Many marijuana reform advocates in the 1970s were convinced that legalization, not mere decriminalization, was around the corner, and for apparently good reason: The president of the United States himself, Jimmy Carter, seemed solidly behind at least decriminalization. In a 1977 speech, Carter commented, "Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Therefore, I support legislation amending federal law to eliminate all federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana."

Just as Chretien's remarks have no doubt prompted amused commentary in Canada, Carter's policy statement was the subject of joking around here in the US. I remember as a child hearing one late night talk show host, I'm not sure which one, saying, "more than an ounce of marijuana is bad, but less than an ounce is goooooood." Nevertheless, the Carter drug reform trial balloon ended up going south, 1980 brought us the "Reagan Revolution," and the drug war in its current form began to escalate.

But something tells me that in Canada this time it's serious. I could be wrong, but I don't think I am. Just as it took Soviet tanks to turn back Czechoslovakia's "Prague Spring" experiment with freedom in 1968, it might well require interventions of that drastic a level to reverse Canada's turn toward freedom in drug policy here in the early 00's. And while John Walters may well fantasize about sending US tanks to Ottawa, that's just not going to happen. Well, I guess nothing is certain these days. But I don't think it's going to happen.

Ontario's brief summer of legalization is over, at least for now. But Canada's long summer of sane drug policy is just beginning -- and if you like what you've seen so far, you'll be blown away by what's coming up.

2. Curtain Closes on Ontario's Summer of Legalization: Court Ruling Reinstates Possession Law, Loosens Medical Marijuana Rules

Canada continues to stagger down the twisted path toward marijuana law reform like a drunken sailor. After an Ontario Court of Appeal combined ruling Tuesday on a set of related cases, residents of Canada's most populous province who last week could possess and smoke small quantities of marijuana without penalty are now once again criminals. The ruling overturned a lower court decision in April invalidating Canada's marijuana possession laws because they failed to accommodate medical marijuana users.

To be more precise, the appeals court actually upheld a lower court's finding that the medical marijuana regulations were unconstitutional because they failed to provide patients with a legal source for their medicine. But where the lower court thus invalidated the marijuana possession law, leaving it up to parliament to craft a new one if it so desired, the Ontario Court of Appeals simply fixed the problem itself. It threw out portions of Health Canada's Medical Marijuana Access Regulations (MMAR) it deemed too onerous, thus satisfying itself that the marijuana possession law was once again valid. The MMAR, which have drawn criticism from patients and providers, were Health Canada's attempt to satisfy a 2000 Ontario court ruling invalidating the marijuana possession laws because they didn't adequately provide for medical marijuana usage.

Osgoode Hall, home of the
Court of Appeal of Ontario
But the court did agree that during the time between the Rogin ruling in April, and the issuance of its ruling Tuesday, Ontario had no marijuana possession law. Similar court rulings in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia remain in effect. Meanwhile, as marijuana wobbles between legality and illegality in the provincial courts, the federal government of Prime Minister Jean Chretien continues to push its marijuana decriminalization bill. And looming over everything is a pending Canadian Supreme Court decision in a set of cases that directly challenge the government's right to criminalize recreational pot possession and use.

"This narrow remedy would create a constitutionally valid medical exemption, making marijuana prohibition... immediately constitutionally valid and of full force and effect and removing any uncertainty concerning the validity of the prohibition," Ontario's appeals court held Tuesday in a 3-0 decision. "...This case is not about the social and recreational use of marijuana, but is about those with the medical need to use marijuana to treat symptoms of serious medical conditions. Exposing these individuals to the risks [of the black market] does not advance the objective of public health and safety."

While the decision is a judicial rebuff of efforts to gain legalization of recreational use by piggy-backing on the medical marijuana issue, it appears to open the door to licensed commercial medical marijuana cultivation and distribution by private individuals or the "compassion clubs" that have already sprung up around the country. The appeals court ordered Health Canada to remove MARR provisions that barred licensed growers from being paid for their pot, from growing for more than one patient at a time, and from working together with other growers. The court also gutted the requirement that patients get recommendations from two doctors, calling it "redundant."

"This was a good decision in the sense that they've cut restrictive regulations," said Vancouver attorney and Canada NORML (web site at temporarily) head John Conroy, "but it was disappointing in that we can't say it's legal anymore. This decision also makes clear that the government was effectively condoning the black market supply of marijuana to patients. Anyone who has been arrested in connection with black market medical marijuana shouldn't be charged or the charges should be stayed or there should be an absolute discharge," he told DRCNet.

Conroy's American counterpart, NORML ( head Keith Stroup was singing a similar tune. "People should not be discouraged by the fact that prohibition is back in Ontario," Stroup told DRCNet. "It is disappointing that marijuana is still prohibited in Canada, but it is a positive thing that they declared the MMAR invalid. Now, maybe the medical marijuana program can work more efficiently under these less onerous guidelines. In fact, one can hope that it might begin to be run in the manner envisioned by the court -- to provide assistance to seriously ill patients."

Brian MacAndrews of Cannabis Health magazine (, a Grand Forks, British Columbia, publication devoted to medical marijuana issues, told DRCNet the ruling was getting a mixed reaction from medicinal users and providers. "Some say they like it because it makes things a little easier for growers and users," he said. "It's a nice little step in the right direction. But what we're really looking for is complete repeal of an ancient and unworkable law. Let's not talk about legalization; let's talk about repeal of a bad law and abolishing prohibition."

So things stand in Canada this week. Pot possession can get you arrested again in Ontario, but things are a little better for medical marijuana. Now it's up to parliament to act on Chretien's decriminalization bill or the Canadian Supreme Court to issue its decision in the Malmo-Levine/Clay/Caine set of cases that challenge the right of the state to criminalize the weed.

"Now we wait for Malmo," said Conroy. "I hope it comes down soon." That ruling could come down any time, he said, but probably not before Christmas.

3. Change the Climate Ad Campaign Riles DC Pundits, Politicos

Change the Climate, Inc. ( has once again brought its pro-marijuana law reform advertising campaign to the nation's capital, and if the reaction from Washington, DC, elected officials, editorialists, and columnists is any indication, they are working just as hoped. The series of three ads, which tout the benefits of marijuana legalization by suggesting it would improve improve sex, save taxes and protect children, premiered last month on DC Metro buses, bus stops, and billboards, and began appearing on the DC Metro subway system this month.

And, oh, the howls they have generated! Washington Post humor columnist Bob Levey certainly saw nothing funny in them. The sex and marijuana ad in particular aroused Levey's ire. It was "stunningly foolish" and "shrieky," not to mention "ridiculous and potentially dangerous." And Levey was shocked, shocked, and shocked again that anyone would attempt to use sex to sell something. DC Metro, the transit authority which okayed the ads, should forget the First Amendment, Levey wrote, and can them.

But DC Metro knows better. It tried to do just that before Change the Climate's first DC ad campaign in January 2001, timed to be seen during President George W. Bush's inauguration. Metro had to back down after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue on Change the Climate's behalf for violating the group's First Amendment rights. "While the subject may be controversial to some people, we have a commitment to present all sides of every issue," Metro spokesman Steve Taubenkibel explained to the Washington Times last week. "As long as an ad is not vulgar, crude, uses no four-letter words and presents their viewpoint, then they have a right to go up."

new Change The Climate
ad: click for info and t-shirt
or poster sales
DC Councilman Jim Graham wasn't going for that First Amendment guff, though. Graham, who is chairman of Metro's Board of Directors, told the Times, "These ads are intolerable, and we need to review our policies so that First Amendment considerations are not allowed to compel us to accept this type of advertising." Graham claimed to believe in the First Amendment, "but we are being carried to limits here that no one can tolerate. When it leads us down this kind of path, we must find another option," he added.

DRCNet was quite curious to hear from Graham whether it was the ads' pro-legalization message that so riled him or the sex-and-pot connection, as well as how he could reconcile censorship and the First Amendment. A Graham staffer promised he would call back. We're still waiting for that call.

Change the Climate also roused the Washington Times' editorialists from their usual dogmatic slumber long enough to lash out at the ads. Of course, in typical fashion, the Times editorial accused not Change the Climate but the "public transit system and the DC government" of "pushing for the legalization of marijuana." But DC Metro is required by law to reserve 10% of its ad space for public service ads. As a nonprofit organization, Change the Climate clearly qualifies. And as Metro has pointed out repeatedly in this and earlier confrontations over other controversial ads, the fact that Metro posts the ad does not signify that it takes any position on the ad's claims.

Still, the Times pronounced itself befuddled by the very message. "There are no logical explanations for legalizing marijuana or encouraging teens to engage in sexual activity," the paper fumed. Besides demonstrating its lack of awareness of the last 30 years of global social history, the Times also tossed out a red herring with its expressed concern about teen sex. The ad in question, which features an adult man and woman, does not mention teenagers.

In fact, Change the Climate explicitly notes on its web site that, "We want to stress that sex and marijuana are for adults -- or at least for individuals who have achieved a level of emotional & psychological maturity that is reflected in a balanced, productive life."

"It's certainly been a wild ride," laughed Joseph White, founder and director of Change the Climate, "and it's been working. We've seen a doubling of hits on our web site this past month, and more than 800 people have downloaded the sex and marijuana ads," he told DRCNet. "The campaign has also helped us raise thousands of dollars through our online contribution system at the web site."

White is not the least chastened by the criticism from commentators and councilmen. "Politicians tend to mouth off a lot and offer very little constructive feedback on these important problems," he said. "Our campaign has the goal of promoting debate and discussion about marijuana issues, and I think we have done that in DC, given the reaction." Neither is he overly concerned about the charge that he is using sex to sell something. "Like other advertisers, we're using sex, but we're using it as an opportunity to get people thinking about marijuana and marijuana policy issues, not sell products," he said.

While Change the Climate has also done campaigns in Massachusetts, Nevada and northern California, Washington is a favorite target, White said. "Washington is one of our target markets because that's where the politicians who are standing in the way of meaningful marijuana reform are."

The DC bus and metro campaign cost $97,000, said White. Most of that money was raised from "parents and business executives," he said. "There are more campaigns on the drawing board," White warned. "Some of the magic created by Change the Climate is our ability to react quickly to situations around the country, like the federal assault on medical marijuana in California. We were able to get an ad campaign around the Ed Rosenthal trial up and running in a matter of weeks," White said.

And by acting as a lightning rod for prohibitionists, the ads may be easing the work of other reform groups, White suggested. "One of the leaders of the marijuana reform movement told me we are like the PETA of the reform movement," he said. "When we're talking about sex and pot or kids and pot, they can be seen as relative moderates when they talk about medical marijuana or decriminalization."

4. California in the Era of Arnold

California's voters, in all their wisdom, chose an unknown quantity in electing political neophyte Arnold Schwarzenegger as their new governor in the Tuesday recall election. The Austrian-born action film actor cruised to victory in change-hungry California without taking specific stands on the issues, instead getting by on a combination of celebrity worship, mass media fascination, and speeches consisting primarily of platitudes and buzzwords. Schwarzenegger boldly announced he was for "change" and against "politicians." That was good enough for 48% of the voters, and 48% was good enough to make him governor. But for drug reformers in the Golden State, along with many other policy observers, Schwarzenegger's victory raises more questions than it answers.

Schwarzenegger's storied past, replete with unrepentant tales of marijuana smoking during his wild youth, and his identification as a "socially liberal" Republican, provide reformers with some hope that, at the least, he will not be an ardent drug warrior. But the composition of his team of advisors, including most notoriously former Gov. Pete Wilson, who built a political career on turning California prisons into a growth industry, is causing some serious jitters.

In the campaign itself, Schwarzenegger allowed that medical marijuana should be legal, but, as with so many other issues, did not go into specifics on that question. Neither did he offer up positions on other drug policy-related issues. It should be noted also that supporting medical marijuana in a state where 80% of voters approve of its use was neither controversial nor groundbreaking.

With so slender a public record to weigh, reformers who spoke with DRCNet this week about drug reform in the era of Arnold had little to go on but hope and speculation. "We don't really know what Schwarzenegger's election means," said Judith Appel, deputy director of legal affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance's ( Oakland office. "This is really the first time a major party candidate in a large state has been clear about the fact he used drugs," she pointed out. "I don't know how that will translate into any kind of drug policy reform, though," she conceded.

"This is just bizarre," said Hilary McQuie of Americans for Safe Access (, the grassroots group leading an aggressive defense of California medical marijuana in the face federal assaults. "All bets are off when it comes to Schwarzenegger," she told DRCNet. "Nobody knows what he is going to do, how much he will be influenced by the Bush administration or the Kennedy family. Nor do we know whether he will be a corporate lackey or will be independent because of his wealth and lack of previous political connections."

"Well, it's a new day for California," said Dale Gieringer, head of California NORML ( "I hope the new governor, with all his talk about not raising taxes, will be mindful of all the waste in marijuana and drug law enforcement," he told DRCNet. But Gieringer, too, was unsure which way Schwarzenegger will lean on drug reform issues. "He has shown that he's a moderate Republican on social issues with liberal views on medical marijuana, but that's the mainstream view here in California," said Gieringer. "Certainly he shouldn't be pointing the finger at people for smoking pot, given his history. The question is how far will he go down the path of drug reform?"

Whatever Schwarzenegger does, the consensus among California reformers is that he will be better than ousted Gov. Gray Davis, who steadfastly refused to sign progressive reform bills and who, beholden to the powerful prison guards' union, oversaw the fruition of Pete Wilson's draconian vision of a state with more money for prisons than for colleges. "Gray Davis was terrible," said Gieringer. "He blocked sentencing reduction bills, he wouldn't sign the needle bill, he didn't even wholeheartedly support medical marijuana. Gray's loss is no loss in that regard."

"Davis didn't make any friends among reformers," agreed ASA's McQuie, "or among people interested in the public health and other normally Democratic constituencies. He has some good people working under him, whom I hope Schwarzenegger will keep on, but their hands were tied by Davis."

Only the Drug Policy Alliance, which still hopes to work with Davis to get him to sign pending reform legislation before he leaves office, declined to badmouth the outgoing governor. "Gray Davis has a chance to adjust his legacy by signing these bills he has been sitting on," said Appel.

As for Schwarzenegger, Appel said, he could give an early indication of support for drug reform if, in the event Davis neither vetoes nor signs the needle purchase or medical marijuana registration bills Davis has so far ignored, Schwarzenegger picks up the governor's pen and makes the bills law. "We hope that he will be positive on these issues. We hope when he says he supports medical marijuana that means he will sign Senate Bill 420 [medical marijuana registration] if it is still on the governor's desk," Appel said. "We hope we can work with him on drug policy reform."

The state's $8 billion budget deficit and Schwarzenegger's vow, reiterated since his victory, not to raise taxes, leave a huge potential opening, the reformers suggested. "Money spent imprisoning drug offenders is not money well spent," said Appel. "Hopefully, Schwarzenegger's emphasis on education and the fact there is no money will lead him to see that. He isn't beholden to the prison guards' union, and we can only hope he will surround himself with people who are open to being educated about drug reform."

"Schwarzenegger prides himself on being free of special interest entanglements," agreed Gieringer. "Everybody knows the prison guards' union has wielded substantial power over Davis with its contributions. Let's hope that Schwarzenegger will take a fresh look at the prison situation and the crime creation program that is our drug laws."

Even with all the doubts about Schwarzenegger and drug reform, Gieringer, at least, saw some other good coming from the election. "This just might break the grip the moralistic far-right Christians have on the state Republican party," he suggested. "The reason California has been so Democratic is that all the Republicans candidates have been anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-environment, anti-gun control. Now we have a Republican governor who supports all those things and the state Republicans are eating crow. This could have a salutary effect on the party here, and that could be a good thing, because the Democrats need some competition. If we can get the state GOP out of the hands of the blue meanies, maybe Democrats would not have to bear the burden alone of passing drug reform and other progressive legislation."

5. New England "Governors' Summit" on Drugs: Drug War Horse and Pony Show Inside, Protestors Outside

US drug czar John Walters brought a high-level team of prohibitionists to Boston Wednesday to enlist New England governors' increased support in the war on drugs. While the presentation inside was predictable, the presence of demonstrators outside the summit let participants know that resistance to drug war without end is increasing.

Organized by the Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts, Massachusetts NORML affiliate MassCann (, and the Marijuana Policy Project (, more than two dozen people gathered at Faneuil Hall for a 9:00am press conference outside the building and subsequent picketing. Focused primarily on the medical marijuana issue, demonstrators carried signs reading, "It is evil to deny sick people medical marijuana," and chanted "Medical marijuana now!" as they handed out informational pamphlets to tourists, businesspeople and workers at Quincy Market, MassCann reported.

accusations of lying
continue against US
drug czar Walters
Inside, Walters, new DEA administrator Karen Tandy, Dr. Andrea Barthwell of the drug czar's office (, and fellow prohibitionist medicos Dr. Mark Kraus of the Connecticut Society of Addiction Medicine and Dr. Billy Martin of Virginia Commonwealth University assailed the six New England governors with their typical blend of hysteria, misinformation, and hyperbole. Referring to heroin use in the area, which was a major focus of the summit, DEA head Tandy offered up the notion that "you might as well be sitting at the border of Colombia in this New England region."

Tandy, Walters and crew blamed the region's high rate of heroin use on insidious dealers using gaily painted bags and free samples to entice young users, but Tandy herself inadvertently pointed to the fundamental reason for the incontrovertible signs of increasing heroin use. "In Boston, you can buy what used to be a $40 bag for $4," she said noted, failing to draw the obvious conclusion that three-plus decades of war on drugs hadn't worked.

If Tandy didn't get it, there were signs that at least one of the governors did. Connecticut Gov. John Rowland, once known as a hard-nosed drug warrior, criticized the emphasis on law enforcement. "I believe we can't put a dent in supply," Rowland said. "The drugs are here because the demand is here. There are six million people who need treatment while only one million are getting treatment. We're debating nickels and dimes for American people who are dying, while we spend $87 billion for the reconstruction of Iraq."

Still, like the other governors, Rowland wasn't about to turn down any federal money. And Walters, Tandy and company were happy to oblige by announcing the formation of a new, DEA-led task force to attack heroin use in the region. But even Walters found himself forced to urge prevention and treatment and not just law enforcement. "If we want to reduce the number of people in prison, we have to stop young people from starting," Walters said, making sure the governors knew the administration had allocated $200 million for treatment this year.

He also had another prevention idea: random drug testing for high school students. Although the Supreme Court has approved only limited drug testing of students, Walters was ready to take it to the next level. "This is a silver bullet," Walters told the governors. "I know this is a tool that will make a difference."

"It was pretty disappointing," said Fatema Gunja, newly-hired executive director of the Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts (the organization's first full-time staff person), who attended the sessions. "Heroin was the main angle, and while medical marijuana was on the agenda, they didn't really engage in any kind of debate or discussion about it," she told DRCNet. "One panelist [Billy Martin] went so far as to concede marijuana might have some medical value, but then said it wasn't worth spending the money to find out. Neither did the governors seem very interested. Only Massachusetts Gov. Romney even really asked about it -- he asked why it hadn't been studied more."

"It was more fun outside," laughed Gunja, referring to the protest. "It was interesting to see Walters and Tandy and the usual suspects do their rhetoric in person, but outside with the patients and the activists was better. The big media was all inside, but the local press was very interested in our stories and point of view."

May the drug czar receive a similarly warm reception wherever he goes.

6. This Week in History

October 12, 1984: The passage of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act establishes the first federal sentencing guidelines, drastically curtailing judges' discretion in handing down prison terms. Over the next two years drug sentences increase by 71% nationwide.

October 13, 1999: In a series of raids named "Operation Millennium," law enforcement officials in Mexico, Colombia, and Ecuador arrest 31 persons for drug trafficking, including Fabio Ochoa. Ochoa is indicted in a Ft. Lauderdale court for importing cocaine into the United States, and the US requests his extradition in December.

October 14, 1970: President Nixon spearheads the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the legislation that established today's "schedules" as a means of classifying drugs strictly by their medical value and potential for abuse.

And two from last week in history:

October 7, 1989: "It seems to me we're not really going to get anywhere until we can take the criminality out of the drug business and the incentives for criminality out of it. Frankly, the only way I can think of to accomplish this is to make it possible for addicts to buy drugs at some regulated place at a price that approximates their cost... We need at least to consider and examine forms of controlled legalization of drugs... No politician wants to say what I have just said, not for a minute."
– Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz addressing an alumni gathering at the Stanford Business School where he had returned to the faculty.

October 8, 1932: The Uniform State Narcotics Act was passed, endorsed by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics as an alternative to federal laws; by 1937 every State prohibits marijuana use.

7. Urgent Action Appeal on Singapore Drug Case from Amnesty International

Amnesty International has issued an urgent action alert asking human rights supporters to contact authorities of the nation of Singapore asking for clemency for Vignes s/o Mourthi, a 23-year old Malaysian national facing possible imminent execution for a heroin conviction following an unfair trial. Amnesty wrote:

Vignes s/o Mourthi may be at risk of imminent execution, following the recent rejection of his appeal for clemency to the President of Singapore. On 12 September, his lawyer lodged a motion for a retrial, on the grounds that there had been a miscarriage of justice and that he had not received a fair trial. However, the motion was rejected. On 19 September, his lawyer [was] due to file another application for a retrial with the High Court. If this application is rejected, Vignes s/o Mourthi could be executed shortly afterwards.

Vignes s/o Mourthi has received very little education and comes from a poor family. He was arrested after being found in possession of a bag containing approximately 443 grams of heroin. At his trial he stated that he had been asked by a family friend to carry the bag from Malaysia to Singapore, where he traveled every day for work. He claimed he was unaware of the bag's contents. In August 2002, he was sentenced to death for drug trafficking and his sentence was confirmed in January 2003.

Amnesty International is concerned about a number of alleged irregularities during the trial proceedings. The trial judge reportedly refused to adjourn the hearing to enable Vignes s/o Mourthi to appoint a new lawyer, which he had requested as he felt he was inadequately represented. His conviction appears to have been based largely on a written record, provided by the prosecution, of an incriminating conversation which allegedly took place between him and a plain-clothed police officer. Vignes s/o Mourthi denied the alleged conversation took place. The court, however, deemed the evidence to be admissible despite the fact that no date had been recorded on it and neither Vignes s/o Mourthi nor his lawyer were aware of its existence before it was produced in court. His current lawyer believes there is a strong possibility that he is innocent.

Drug trafficking carries a mandatory death sentence in Singapore. Anyone over the age of 18 found in possession of more than 15 grams of heroin, 30 grams of morphine or cocaine, or 500 grams of cannabis, is presumed to be trafficking in the drug, unless the contrary can be proved, and faces a mandatory death sentence. Amnesty International is concerned that this presumption conflicts with the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Prisoners under sentence of death may lodge an appeal for clemency with the President. Decisions are made on the advice of members of the Cabinet, with input from the Attorney General. It is extremely rare for clemency to be granted.

Singapore, with a population of just over four million, is believed to have one of the highest rates of executions per capita in the world. Government figures show that out of 340 people executed between 1991 and 2000, 247 had been convicted of drug trafficking. Executions are by hanging and take place on Friday mornings at dawn. Families of convicts are normally only informed of the impending execution one week beforehand. There is virtually no public debate about the use of the death penalty in the country.

Amnesty asks human rights supporters to immediately send appeals to the following officials, urging authorities to commute Mourthi's death sentence, noting the serious concerns raised about the fairness of his trial, and asking he be allowed adequate time and resources to prepare and present a motion for retrial:
Minister of Law Prof. S. Jayakumar
Ministry of Law
100 High Street
The Treasury #08-02
Singapore 179434
Telegram: Minister of Law, Singapore
Fax: +65 6332 8842 (dial 011 65 from the US)
Salutation: Dear Minister

Attorney General Chan Sek Keong
Attorney General's Chambers
1 Coleman Street #10-00
Singapore 179803
Telegram: Attorney General, Singapore
Fax: +65 63325984
Salutation: Dear Attorney General

Chief Justice Yong Pung How, Supreme Court
Supreme Court Building
St. Andrew's Road
Singapore 178957
Telegram: Chief Justice, Singapore
Salutation: Dear Chief Justice

Copies to:
Ambassador Heng Chee Chan
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore
3501 International Place, NW
Washington DC 20008
Fax: +1 202 537-0876
Visit for further information.

8. Newsbrief: In Fall Term, Supreme Court Rejects South Carolina Crack Mom Appeal, Accepts Case on Ex-Drug User's Rights Under Americans With Disabilities Act

In announcing its fall docket this week, the Supreme Court dealt with two drug-policy related cases. The court rejected without comment an appeal from Regina McKnight, a South Carolina woman convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison for 12 years for using cocaine while pregnant and giving birth to a stillborn child. McKnight had challenged both the constitutionality of the law and her sentence, which she argued constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

McKnight was convicted under a unique South Carolina law that makes it a crime to cause the death of a child younger than 11 while committing abuse or neglect if the behavior constitutes "an extreme indifference to human life." Prosecutors argued that McKnight qualified because she knew using cocaine while pregnant could harm the fetus.

In a case that cuts close to the enduring debate over abortion and fetal rights, McKnight's attorneys argued unsuccessfully that no court had convicted a woman under general criminal statutes for conduct that harmed her fetus. They also attempted to argue that treating her as a murderer for contributing to a stillbirth was so outside the norm as to constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

South Carolina is especially interested in treating drug-using pregnant women as criminals. In one widely noted case, the state prosecuted women for drug crimes based on the results of urine tests run without their consent or knowledge. That was too much for the courts, but sending Regina McKnight to prison for years was not too much for the Supreme Court.

The court will hear (in fact, it heard oral arguments this week) the case of Joel Hernandez, a Phoenix man fired from Hughes Missile Systems after 25-years after testing positive for cocaine in 1991. He later applied for a new job with Hughes (since bought up by Raytheon), but was rejected because of a company policy against rehiring anyone fired for breaking company rules.

Hernandez sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which specifically protects recovering and recovered alcohol and drug abusers as "disabled." But Raytheon argued that it did not discriminate against drug abusers; it simply followed a policy against rehiring people who broke company rules. The ADA "does not give drug addicts or drug users (or former drug users) a free pass; it simply expects employers to consider them without discrimination. That is exactly what Hughes did here," Raytheon argued in court documents.

A California federal court judge dismissed the case, but Hernandez appealed to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which agreed the case should go to trial. Raytheon in turn appealed to the Supreme Court.

9. Newsbrief: Georgia Supreme Court Throws Out Driver Drug Test Law

The Georgia Supreme Court Monday threw out a state law requiring drivers involved in serious accidents to submit to drug tests or lose their drivers' licenses for a year. Under the law, any driver involved in an accident involving serious injury or death is presumed to have previously consented to tests to determine the presence of drugs or alcohol. But the court held that such a broad "implied consent" law violated both the state and federal constitutions because it "authorizes a search and seizure without probable cause."

Under the law, refusing to submit to a drug test meant drivers could have their licenses suspended for at least a year. A refusal could also be entered into evidence against a driver at any trial. Carey Don Cooper was involved in a two-vehicle accident and agreed to be tested after a state trooper informed him of the informed consent law. But he later challenged it in court, lost, and was convicted and sentenced to 15 days in jail because the tests showed trace amounts of cocaine in his system. He appealed.

Georgia law enforcement is not pleased, with a spokesperson describing Attorney General Thurbert Baker as "disappointed," and prosecutors warning the Associated Press that enforcement would be crippled. But attorney William Doyle Healen III, who argued the case, pointed out that the judges left intact a provision requiring testing for those arresting for driving under the influence.

"If somebody's knee-walking drunk and a cop sees a bunch of beer bottles in his car and the person's slurring his speech, certainly the police are going to be able to request that person's blood," said Healan. "This is not throwing out all blood, breath and urine tests. It only prevents police from taking blood, breath or urine when there's been an accident and police don't have any reason to arrest someone for DUI," he said.

10. Newsbrief: Walters Lies Pile Up in Canada Diatribe

Drug czar John Walters was in unusually mendacious form Wednesday as he warned an audience at Washington's conservative Center for Strategic International Studies of the Canadian marijuana menace. Walters has repeatedly expressed his displeasure with Canadian moves to liberalize the marijuana laws, his frustration with what he considers Canadian laxness on the issue, and his inclination to intervene in the domestic affairs of a friendly neighbor. It all must have been weighing on him Wednesday.

Mentioning administration "successes" in countries like Colombia and Bolivia, Walters called Canada a blemish on the hemispheric path to drug-freedom. "It is the one place in the hemisphere where things are going the wrong way," he told the assembled wonks. The Canadians had better watch out, he warned, or he might mess with the borders.

"We're not kidding about this. This is not some kind of culture war with Canada," Walters said. "This is about the center of the drug problem in the United States." As evidence supporting that statement, Walters cited one of his favorite canards, telling the audience that marijuana was the cause of one-out-three teenage drug treatment referrals.

Canadian laws are too soft, Walters said, as he urged Canadians he claimed had privately objected to Prime Minister Chretien's decriminalization bill to stand up and be counted. Making a mysterious link between decriminalization of possession for personal use and Canadian marijuana imports to the US, Walters then explained how his comments were not really interfering in Canadian internal matters. "It's their domestic policy in a sovereign country, it's their business," he said. "Shipping poison to the United States is our business."

Oh, where to begin? Mercifully, Bruce Mirken of the Marijuana Policy Project has already succinctly dissected Walters's litany of lies: "Canadian marijuana is not 'the center of the drug problem in the United States,' Mirken retorted. "The Justice Department's 2003 Drug Threat Assessment estimates Mexican marijuana production at roughly 9 times the level of Canada's, and acknowledges that much Canadian marijuana is for domestic Canadian consumption. US production appears to be even greater than Mexico's.

"Marijuana is not 'poison,' Mirken continued. "It is in fact one of very few drugs that has never caused a fatal overdose, and marijuana use is not associated with an increased risk of death. And three out of five US teens in drug treatment are in treatment for marijuana not because they were addicted but because they were arrested," he added, citing for good measure, "Treatment referral sources for adolescent marijuana users," the DASIS Report, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, March 29, 2002."

Mirken's critique came in a letter to Reuters, whose reporter covered the Walters speech and uncritically reported each lie, distortion, and misrepresentation as if it were fact. "If the drug czar told the Center for Strategic International Studies that the earth is flat, wouldn't someone at Reuters consider it their journalistic duty to point out that such an assertion is at best unproven?" Mirken chided. "Surely statements about the life-and-death issue of drug policy deserve serious and fair scrutiny, whichever side of the debate they come from."

Thanks, Bruce.

Late update: Canadian Justice Minister Martin Cauchon wasn't particularly pleased with Walters' butting-in, either. In remarks to the House of Commons Thursday suggesting the Canadian government was open to tightening its pending decriminalization bill to appease critics, Cauchon made it clear he wasn't talking about Walters. "He should maybe look in his own backyard," Cauchon responded, noting that more than 10 US states have already decriminalized marijuana. "If it's not correct to move in that direction, maybe he should start spending some time talking to his own states."

11. Canadian Prime Minister Talks About Toking Up

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien told a Canadian newspaper October 3 that he would consider trying marijuana himself once it is no longer a criminal offense. Chretien, who will retire in February, has pushed a marijuana decriminalization bill in parliament that would end criminal penalties for possession of up to 15 grams (about a half-ounce). While marijuana would remain illegal under that bill, possession would not be a crime but only a ticketable offense.

"I don't know what is marijuana," said the 69-year-old Chretien. "Perhaps I will try it when it will no longer be criminal. I will have my money for my fine and a joint in the other hand."

The remarks about marijuana smoking came in the context of a discussion with the alternative weekly the Winnipeg Free Press about Chretien's political legacy. Was Chretien concerned that liberal policies like marijuana decriminalization and support for same-sex marriages would color how he was remembered? Not at all, the prime minister said. "The decriminalization of marijuana is making normal what is the practice," he explained. "It is still illegal, but do you think Canadians want their kids, 18 years old or 17, who smoke marijuana once and get caught by the police, to have a criminal record for the rest of their life? So what has happened is so illogical that they are not prosecuted any more. So let's make the law adjust to the realities. It is still illegal, but they will pay a fine. It is in synch with the times."

As for same-sex marriage, Chretien told the Free Press that the government's hand was forced by the courts, but the same general principle held in both cases. "For me, it is better to err on the side of giving more rights than taking away rights."

Chretien's uncommonly candid remarks predictable stirred reaction among the reactionaries. "To suggest to our young people that you can just start smoking marijuana, and just pay the fine and be done with it, is just irresponsible," said rightist Canadian Alliance Member of Parliament Randy White, who is also vice-chair of the House of Commons drug committee.

12. Newsbrief: Sarasota Police Lure Would-Be Drug Dealers for Profit

The Sarasota, Florida, police have turned asset forfeiture laws into a cash machine by luring outsiders with offers of sweet drug deals, then arresting them and seizing their goods. While "policing for profit" -- where police target individuals based on potential financial return -- is a common consequence of asset forfeiture laws, Sarasota's self-perpetuating scheme takes the game to a new level, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported this week.

Working with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, police in the medium-sized Florida town routinely set up "reverse stings" using paid informants to lure "high-level international buyers interested in large quantities of cocaine," the paper reported. In other words, law enforcement creates the opportunity to commit a crime in the hope that someone will try to do so. When the would-be buyer attempts to consummate the deal, he is arrested and his goods are seized. It's happened at least 40 times in the past decade, according to Sarasota police.

It's been quite profitable for the Sarasota Police Department, which has received more than $1.3 million from the scam since 2001. Of that, $500,000 came under state law, the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, while $800,000 was booty divvied up with the feds. Like any good hustlers, the Sarasota police are plowing some of the dividends into growing the enterprise, the Herald-Tribune found.

The department spent at least $215,000 on informants to scare up business, $160,000 to lease expensive cars, $45,000 on cell phone bills and $35,000 on lawyers who handle forfeiture proceedings, the paper found. Oh, and another $240,000 was spent on "training trips" to Orlando, Panama City Beach, and that asset forfeiture training mecca, Las Vegas. Officers stayed at the MGM Grand in Vegas and the Hilton Disney World in Orlando, the Tribune reported.

The practice and the spending raised eyebrows when the Tampa Tribune contacted asset forfeiture experts. "Most communities are not interested in spending their resources dealing with out-of-town bad guys," said David B. Smith, a former US Department of Justice forfeiture official. "It's obviously a money-making scheme." And quite unusual for a small department, he added.

While City Commissioner Fredd Atkins told the Tribune he didn't mind the international deals, he said perhaps the police could use some of the money on dealing with local drug problems. "They've basically ignored the opportunity to help the people," Atkins said. "Instead, they continue to buy their toys and take their trips."

13. Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story

While the Sarasota Police Department's legal institutional corruption is rewarded with trips to Orlando and Las Vegas, a Warren County, Virginia, sheriff's deputy's much more mundane but illegal corruption got him 40 months in federal prison. On September 30, now former deputy Kevin Glin Kinsey got himself sent up the river by a federal judge for using his position as a county jail supervisor as a crack cocaine franchise.

US District Judge James handed down five 40-month sentences, one for each count of cocaine trafficking for which Kinsey was convicted, but those terms will run concurrently. The 23-year-old Kinsey will be a free man again by 2007.

Kinsey, a first-year officer, came under suspicion from fellow employees in 2002, and the Warren County Sheriff's office asked the FBI to investigate later that year. The FBI found that Kinsey sold crack during his shift supervising work-releases prisoners, accepted drugs from them for his own use, and falsified drug test results for inmates. That probe led to his indictment in February. He was fired at that time.

14. Newsbrief: Pentagon Adds Drugs to List of Foes in Afghanistan

It was one thing when money from the opium trade financed the US-backed effort to drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan in the 1980s, incidentally paving the way for the Taliban's eventual rise to power. And the US managed not to be overly concerned when, after it overthrew the Taliban at the end of 2001, the opium poppies flowered anew, returning the county to its place as the planet's leading opium producer. After all, the heroin it produced was headed to Moscow or London, not New York or Washington.

But it's another thing when the profits from the traffic are financing a combined Taliban-Al Qaeda insurgency aimed at the US occupation forces in Afghanistan. Now, based on claims from the field that this is so, the Bush administration and the Pentagon are asking for $73 million to fight Afghan drug traffickers. The request comes as part of the administration's $87 billion Iraq war special spending request.

"This request would fund training, equipment, intelligence, infrastructure and information operations related to Afghanistan's unified campaign against narcotics trafficking," the budget request said.

Citing unnamed military intelligence sources, the pro-war Washington Times reported Monday that "convoys regularly move into southern Afghanistan from Pakistan, dropping off guns for the Taliban in exchange for opium from the world's largest poppy harvest."

Those military sources added that profits from the trade have reinvigorated the Taliban. In the last four months, Taliban fighters based in the inaccessible Pakistan-Afghanistan border region have regrouped and begun new offensives against the Americans and their allies. Last month, an estimated 1,000 Taliban fighters engaged in attacks across southeast Afghanistan, including major combat with US forces. One US soldier was killed and two others wounded in fighting in the region last week.

15. Newsbrief: Vacation in Bermuda? Anti-Marijuana Campaign Underway

The Atlantic resort destination of Bermuda announced this week that it is beginning a campaign to fight an "epidemic" of marijuana use among young people. While the freshly-minted effort is conceived of primarily as an anti-marijuana propaganda effort, it fits hand-in-glove with the Bermudan government's policy of targeting cruise ship visitors to the island nation.

"Marijuana use is an epidemic. It is time we faced facts about marijuana and what it is doing to our youth," Health Minister Patrice Minors told the Royal Gazette. "We as a community need to discredit the current misconceptions surrounding marijuana and increase awareness and information regarding its effect on people." Leading the campaign will be the National Drug Commission, the country's lead agency in setting drug policy. Typical of the commission's "information" is the now discredited charge that marijuana is a "gateway" drug. Commission chairman Rev. Andrew Doughty took advantage of the new campaign announcement to reiterate that legalizing marijuana would be "misguided," the Gazette reported.

While the Progressive Labor Party government officially opposes marijuana legalization, it has implicitly recognized the herb's pervasive use. Its Criminal Code Amendment Act, passed last year, instructs courts to use imprisonment as a last option for drug users. The majority of drug arrests in Bermuda are for marijuana, according to the commission. And even within the governing party, voices have risen in support of legalization. Minister-at-Large Ashfield DeVent and Deputy Premier Ewart Brown have both called for either decriminalization or legalization in the past two years.

But enforcing the marijuana laws can be a lucrative affair -- especially against foreign tourists. As the Gazette reported in June, cruise ship passengers to Bermuda, who are primarily US residents, are routinely fined $1,000 for possession of a joint. Bermudan Narcotics Chief Superintendent Larry Smith bragged to the Gazette about using drug-sniffing dogs as often as possible to snare unwary vacationers. Smith justified the dog searches as part of the effort against large-scale smugglers, but could point to no major cruise ship busts this year.

Smith, however, had a fallback justification: the safety of tourists. "There's a loss of coordination," he said of pot-smoking visitors. "They could be subjected to sexual assault or robbery or even to the most heinous crime -- murder. A short term fix could damage Bermuda's reputation as a tourism destination."

But then so could slapping a $1,000 fine on someone with a joint. And by the way, you get excluded from Bermuda for two years. But who would want to go back?

16. DRCNet Temporarily Suspending Our Web-Based Write-to-Congress Service Due to Funding Shortfalls -- Your Help Can Bring It Back -- Keep Contacting Congress in the Meantime

Due to funding shortfalls, DRCNet has been forced to suspend our web-based write-to Congress program. We will bring it back to life as soon as you and other DRCNet supporters make it possible through your financial contributions. Please visit and make the most generous donation that you can!

Most importantly, don't let this temporary setback at DRCNet prevent you from lobbying Congress. We intend to continue to issue legislative action alerts in the meantime, and you can act on them by calling your US Representative and your two Senators on the phone; go through the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or visit and to look up their names and phone and fax numbers or to contact them via e-mail or web form. The information contained on the alert pages of our legislative web sites will provide you with sufficient information to take such action. There are current action alerts posted at:
It's important that we get the web-based service online as soon as possible, for a few reasons:
  1. E-mails to Congress are more important and effective now than in the past, since the 2001 anthrax attacks and the resulting slowness and unreliability of snail-mail to Capitol Hill;
  2. The ease of going to a web site, reviewing and editing a prewritten letter, typing in your address and sending it at the click of a mouse, is highly effective for increasing our participation rates and resulting impact on Congress;
  3. The action alert web sites are a highly effective means for recruiting new people onto our e-mail lists, growing the movement and doing so in the process of carrying out needed grassroots activism -- and ultimately increasing our potential donor base and ability to maintain and enhance these services;
  4. The system lets us look up subsets of our list based on geography (e.g. state, congressional district, city, state legislative district, county), and target action alerts to people who live in the key areas whose legislators or officials need to be lobbied especially vigorously due to their membership on committees responsible for active legislation or for other reasons; and
  5. The personalization features the online system provides allow us to send each of you individualized e-mails containing the name and phone number of your legislators, making it easier for you to take it to the next level of lobbying by phone, thereby increasing the number of phone calls to Congress that we can generate, a crucial show of passion for the issue that members of Congress need to see. For example, if you've used our write-to-Congress web forms in the last 2 3/4 years, you've probably received a few e-mails from us recently with text like the following:
"If you haven't moved since we last communicated (zip code ___ in ___, __, than your US Representative is Rep. ___. Please call Rep. ___ at ____ and ask him to vote YES on ___ when it comes to a vote on the House floor..."

So while we can continue to send you legislative alerts without the online lobbying system, we can't make use of any of those very powerful features described in the paragraphs above. In order to resume our use of the service, we need to pay off our balance with the company that provides it as well as raise additional funds to ensure we can continue to afford it after that. All in all, we need to raise at least $10,000 in non-deductible donations to our 501(c)(4) lobbying organization, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, to reactivate the service and be fiscally responsible in continuing to subscribe to it. While this sounds like a lot of money, it's only slightly more than members like you gave us during our most successful previous fundraising appeal.

So please take a few moments to send DRCNet a few dollars today and make it happen! Please visit make a contribution by credit card or PayPal or to print out a form to send in with your check -- or just send your donation by mail to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036. Donations to the Drug Reform Coordination Network to support our lobbying work (like the action alert program) are not tax-deductible. Tax-deductible contributions to support our educational work can be made to the DRCNet Foundation, same address. We can also accept donations of stock: Our broker is Ameritrade, phone: (800) 669-3900, account number: 772973012, DTC number: 0188, make sure to contact us directly to let us know that the stocks are there and whether they are meant for the Drug Reform Coordination Network or the DRCNet Foundation.

17. Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions

The John W. Perry Fund, a project of the DRCNet Foundation in association with Students for Sensible Drug Policy, provides college scholarships to students losing federal financial aid because of drug convictions. The Fund has monies remaining for fall 2003 as well as future semesters, and eligible students are urged to apply as soon as possible.

Please visit to fill out a pre-application, print out an application form or brochure, or for further information. Students, financial aid officers, friends and family members and supporters of students, as well as media, activists, potential donors and other interested parties, are all welcome to contact us!

Supportive parties are urged to take copies around to financial aid offices, social services agencies whose clientele are likely to include drug ex-offenders, high school guidance offices, and to forward information about the Perry Fund to appropriate e-mail lists. Community and state colleges are of particular interest to the Perry Fund, because the low tuition rates enable us to fully finance a student's education in many cases, and because their student bodies include a high proportion of low income with especially great financial need.

Any applicant losing federal financial aid due to a drug conviction, however, attempting to attend any school, is welcome and encouraged to apply. We continue to raise money for the Perry Fund, and the more applications we have received, the more money we will likely be able to raise for them. Please urge potential applicants to visit for information and to apply, or to contact DRCNet at (202) 362-0030. Thank you for spreading the word.

18. The Reformer's Calendar

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

October 5-17, Deming, Silver City, Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces, NM, "Continuing Drug Policy Reform in New Mexico," speaking tour by Jack Cole and Peter Christ of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Contact Mike Smithson at (315) 243-5844 or [email protected] for details of individual engagements.

October 14, 7:30pm, Alpine, TX, "Confessions of a Dope Dealer," solo theatrical performance by Sheldon Norberg. At Sul Ross State University, not recommended for children under 13, call (415) 666-3939 or visit for further info.

October 15, 12:30pm, Alpine, TX, "Dynamics of American Drug Culture," lecture by Confessions of a Dope Dealer's Sheldon Norberg. At Sul Ross State University, call (415) 666-3939 or visit for further information.

October 15, 7:30pm, Odessa, TX, "Confessions of a Dope Dealer," solo theatrical performance by Sheldon Norberg. At Univ. of Texas Permian Basin, not recommended for children under 13, call (415) 666-3939 or visit for further info.

October 18, noon, St. Louis, MO, Missouri NORML 2003 State Conference, featuring keynote speaker judge James P. Gray, presentations by professors Fredric Raines and Chuck Terry and others, followed by dinner in St. Louis. Contact Dan Viets at (573) 443-6866 [email protected] for further information.

October 20, 6:30pm, New York, NY, Tribute and Dinner Party for Judge Jerome Marks, fundraiser for the Mothers of the NY Disappeared campaign to repeal the Rockefeller Drug Laws. At Gus' Place, 149 Waverly Place (just west of 6th Ave.), minimum donation $60, call (212) 924-6980 for further information.

October 22, 7:00pm, Syracuse, NY, "Against All Odds: Cops Fighting the War on Drugs," forum with Jack Cole of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Sponsored by Reconsider: Forum on Drug Policy and Syracuse University Students for Sensible Drug Policy. At Syracuse University, for further information contact Gerrit Cain at [email protected] or Mike Smithson at (315) 243-5844 or [email protected].

October 23-26, Lisbon, Portugal, Lisbon International Symposium on Drug Policy. Sponsored by the Senlis Council, visit for info or contact [email protected].

October 25, 9:00pm-2:00am, Knoxville, TN, benefit show to help NORML-UTK do public education on medical marijuana, featuring "Drum-N-Bass" and "Groove Bubble." At Friends bar, Univ. of Tennessee, 17th St. & White Ave., general admission $5 or $3 for NORML members, 18 and over. For further information, contact Greg Webber at [email protected].

November 5-8, East Rutherford, NJ, biennial conference of Drug Policy Alliance. At the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel and Conference Center, 2 Meadowlands Plaza, visit for further information.

November 7-9, Paris, "Fourth Hemp and Eco-Technologies Exhibition." At the Cité de Sciences et de L'Industrie, call +33(0) 1 48 58 31 37, e-mail [email protected] or visit for further information.

November 9, 9:30pm, Los Angeles, CA, "Sixty Spins Around the Sun," documentary about comedian/drug reform activist Randy Credico. Screening at the American Film Institute Festival, visit for further information.

November 16, 3:30pm, Los Angeles, CA, "Sixty Spins Around the Sun," documentary about comedian/drug reform activist Randy Credico. Screening at the American Film Institute Festival, visit for further information.

November 22, 11:00am-10:00pm, Portland, OR, "Second Annual Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards 2003." At the Double Tree Inn Lloyd Center, e-mail [email protected] or visit for further information!

January 28-February 7, 2004, Hannibal, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Louis and Kansas City, MO, "Special Delivery for John Ashcroft," speaking tour by Jack Cole of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Roger Hudlin. Contact Mike Smithson at (315) 243-5844 or [email protected] for details of individual engagements.

April 20-24, Melbourne, Australia, "15th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm." Visit or e-mail [email protected] for information.

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

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