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Hemp FACT #41-Police News
Date: 95-02-23 11:11:31 EDT
Our Drug Laws Have Failed
By James P. Gray, U.S. Superior Court Judge
In Police News, Spring 94
What we are doing is not working We have focused our attention, effort and resources upon intercepting heroin, cocaine and marijuana, and incarcerating those who sell and use them. We have been increasingly successful in seizing even larger quantities of these drugs, con`vichog greater numbers of defendants who are involved with them and sentencing those defendants to even longer terms in our jails and prisons.
Nevertheless, the magnitude of the problem created by making these drugs illegal continues to grow. The only practical resolution available to us is to revise our laws so that the use by adults of heroin, cocaine and marijuana, and the purchase by adults of these drugs generically at licensed commercial pharmacies is legal.
Although under this proposal the purchase and use by adults of heroin, cocaine and marijuana from the pharmacies would be legal, the sale, transfer or furnishing hy anyone of any quantity of these drugs to minors would he severely punished. Also, present laws concerning public drunkenness, driving a motor vehicle while under the influence, etc., would not he changed, and the unlicensed sale of these drugs would remain a violation of the law. The price of the drugs at the pharmacies would be set at an amount that would be continually adjusted so as to undercut the sales price of any illegal sale "on the street." This would do away with the financial incentive to sell them illegally.
Without a doubt, some people will continue to buy and abuse these drugs under this proposal. However, since there would be no incentive to "push" these drugs, they would never be advertised or "on sale", and free samples would never be given to anyone, including non-users in order to get them "hooked", etc., the usage should not be above the present rate, and probably, after a possible initial surge, would be materially reduced.
All of the other results under this plan would be positive. Crime would he materially reduced. For example, there is no violence now in the manufacture, distribution and purchase of alcohol. Also, for those who would continue to burglarize in support of their drug habit, they would do so less often because of the reduced price. Since part of the sales price at the pharmacies would be a tax, resources for the education about and treatment of drug abuse would he substantially increased. Police and society's other pressing needs. No new taxes would be needed for jail or courthouse construction. Lower income areas would be reclaimed from the drug sellers. Monies obtained by juvenile gangs and other organized crime would be decreased. Violence and corruption in our country and abroad would be significantly decreased. Overdoses and other medical problems from the usage of these drttgs would be reduced because the Food and Drug Administration would ensure that the strengths of these drugs would be accurately set forth on the labels. Drug treatment would be encouraged because of warning labels outside, and literature inside the packages, including toll-free numbers to call for more information. Clean needles would reduce the spread of AIDS.
Many good, honest and intelligent people may disagree with this proposal on moral and/or other reasonable grounds. In addition, other people who have vested interests in the present system may also oppose this plan. However, in my opinion, the choice we have now is further to escalate our efforts and the
spending of our limited resources in a losing or lost "war on drugs," or to face the reality that is upon us and legalize these drugs under a plan of regulated distribution such as this one. The sooner we make the change, the sooner we can stop the bleeding.
Tomorrow ??????????????? Stay Tuned
Date: 95-02-24 11:20:01 EDT
Quotables from Notables (was <--- that too cute or what) More stuff from Police News
Views from the Front
George Schultz, the former Secretary of State for Reagan, says legalization would destroy dealers profits and remove their incentive to get young people addicted. He concedes, however, that such a proposal is unpopular.
"Sometimes at a reception or cocktail party I advance these views and people head for somebody else," says Schultz. "Everybody is scared to talk about it. No politician wants to say what I just said, not for a minute."
We over rely on law enforcement and interdiction. Only about 30% of our spending is on treatment, prevention and education. In Canada the balance is about the exact opposite.
Politicians get in a bidding war over who can talk the toughest. It started when I was police commissioner of New York when Rockefeller was governor.
A lot of people have gone to prison since then and drug abuse has gotten worse. I think NAVPO's effort to show police officers another way to look at this issue is a commendable and an enlightened approach.
Jerry V. Willimas, Former Chief of Police, Washington D.C.:
(Former) Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders' suggestion that we study the idea of decriminalizing illicit drugs took me back to the early 1970s, when people were talking seriously about decriminalizing marijuana. One private conversation from that time stuck in my mind. "Personally, I don't think that marijuana is any more dangerous than my favorite psychoactive drug, the martini," the statement went. " But I'm afraid that decriminalization would send a signal to young people that it is all right to use it."
The words are not exact, for I did not make notes, but that is the crux of what President Nixon said to me some two decades ago. Here we are 20 years later, and I wonder if anyone received the signal Mr. Nixon was talking about. In 1992, local and state law enforcement agencies reported nearly a million arrests for drugs violations. Drug offenders make up one-third of the felony convictions in the state courts. In a nation where three-quarters of all robberies go unsolved and where violent offenders go free on bail awaiting trial dates on overburdened court dockets, we choose to clog the system with drug offenders.
Coming Tomorrow -- Some actual Drug Usage Stats from The Netherlands.
Date: 95-02-25 12:41:36 EDT
All Drug Warriors--Please Take Note--This is The Netherlands where soft drugs are legal and hard drug addicts are not thrown in jail--they are given treatment. This should go to add some proof to the argument that legalization SHOULD NOT lead to an increase in drug usage.
1.2 DRUG MISUSE IN THE NETHERLANDS
The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries of Europe, with 15 million inhabitants. Appr. 90% lives in urban areas. Amsterdam has 700,000 inhabitants.
Estimate of total number of drug misusers/addicts Netherlands:
21,000 addicts. Sources: 1) assessments of municipalities; 2) recent research on all methadone programmes in the Netherlands (Bureau Driessen, 1990;1993).
Amsterdam: 6,000 - 7,000 addicts. Source: capture/recapture method based on several data systems: Municipal Health Service, Municipal Police, local studies (1990)(1993). Prevalence/incidence_data_ Prevalence of drug use in 1990 (population of 12 years and over inAmsterdam)
|Have ever used||Used past year||Used past month|
Source: Licit and illicit drug use in Amsterdam: report of a household survey in 1990 on the prevalence of drug use among the population of 12 years and over J.P. Sandwijk, P.D.A. Cohen, S. Musterd. Amsterdam: Instituut voor Sociale Geografie, Faculteit der Ruimtelijke Wetenschappen, Universiteit van
Amsterdam. The table shows that even in Amsterdam (an urban area where drug use is always highest) cocaine use was very low in 1990. The household survey will be repeated in 1994.
Tomorrow--Haven't planned that far ahead yet. Suggestions Welcome
Date: 95-02-26 15:17:33 EDT
Sorry I'm late today. My wife decided the carpet cleaning was more important and I "had" to agree with her ;-)
In keeping with the Netherlands theme from yesterday, I came across a column in today's Dallas Morning News Viewpoints section written by Joanne Jacobs who writes for the San Jose Mercury News.
Following are excerpts from her column. (Any typos are mine)
Holland's Approach to Drugs
...Contrary to what Americans think, drugs aren't legal in the Netherlands. It is just that drug laws aren't enforced. Marijuana and hashish are tolerated, unless users or sellers cause problems, in which case a
coffeehouse may be closed down. Hard drug smugglers and vendors aren't tolerated.
Occasionally, police sweep a neighborhood where drug use is out of hand. Otherwise addicts are offered help at rehabilitation or residential treatment centers. Addiction isn't criminal.
A Baltimore grand jury recently came out for "medicalizing" rather than criminalizing--or legalizing--drug abuse. It proposed offering users treatment instead of time behind bars. The idea is lifted from the
Netherlands and other countries that try to reduce the harm caused by drug abuse, rather than turning users into criminals.
The grand jury concluded that legalizing drugs would increase addiction but suggested that doctors might be allowed to prescribe drugs to addicts. The goal isn't to make everyone clean and sober--that isn't possible--but, rather, to lower the level of street dealing and the crime that goes with it. "Removing the profit from the drug trade may be the only way to resolve" the problem, the report says.
According to the report, 80 percent of prisoners in Baltimore jails are in for drug-related crimes. Baltimore Circuit Judge Joseph P. McCurdy Jr. had told the grand jury to consider decriminalization, saying:"Many of us feel that the war on drugs hasn't succeeded (my note: duhhh), that we are losing ground with each passing day, that we are wasting resources and that we have to look at the problem anew".
...The Dutch say that their relaxed approach hasn't boosted the Dutch addiction rate and that marijuana use by teenagers is declining. Junkies steal car radios to finance their habits. But there is little violence. The streets are safe.
The Dutch success with harm reduction policies may not transplant easily to American society, which is more puritanical and more violent. But we have to get serious about the trade-offs in confronting drug abuse. Protecting law-abiding citizens from street violence should be our top priority. Making it harder for drug abusers to harm themselves shouldn't take precedence.
Medicalizing drugs wouldn't make the steets as safe as they are in Amsterdam. But it could help. And it would make room in prisons for the real criminals.
Talk to you folks manana, now back to my Web Browser (what a tool)
Date: 95-02-27 12:09:50 EDT
Following is a statement made by Raymond Kendall, secretary general of the International Criminal Police Organization. Let's all jump on his bandwagon.
Head of Interpol advocates "drug" decriminalization
On Wednesday, June 8, the head of the international police agency Interpol stated his support for decriminalizing drugs.
Raymond Kendall, secretary general of the International Criminal Police Organization, responded to the British Police's call to decriminalize drugs by saying, "I think we should accept the reality of the situation... that there are many, many drug users who are living in a situation of illegality already."
Kendall's comment touched on one of the main arguments for ending Marijuana Prohibition, namely that prohibition is not preventing or dissuading people from consuming cannabis.
Kendall also acknowledged that most British cannabis consumers are not even being dealt with by the law, probably because (1) most consumers go undetected by the law, and (2) many who are actually caught by the police are not arrested. This comment touches on two more NORML tenets: (1) It is simply impossible to arrest and incarcerate every marijuana consumer, and (2) marijuana's illegality is causing widespread disrespect for the law and makes police the citizens 'enemies'.
Many Supporters of Marijuana Prohibition repeatedly insist that marijuana "legalization" will encourage people to use the drug. The truth is that millions are already consuming cannabis in complete disregard for the law.
... Civil Forfeiture is Government Theft
--- DB 1.54/002827
* Origin: Elan Data Systems (1:147/1011.12)
If anyone is interested in the internet sites I find all this good info, e-mail.
Date: 95-02-28 10:58:30 EDT
Another Interpol Article
Date: 05-Oct-94 20:20 PDT
RTw 10/04 Interpol head says drugs a threat to democracy
By Melanie Goodfellow
ROME, Oct 4 (Reuter) - The global drug problem is one of the biggest threats to democracy and the scourge cannot be conquered by law enforcement alone, one of the world's top police officials said on Tuesday.
"I believe that the struggle between East and West has been replaced by the world's struggle against drugs," Interpol Secretary-General Raymond Kendall told reporters on the final day of the organisation's 63rd annual conference.
"But there is an imbalance between the resources put into the law enforcement side and that put into stemming the demand by which I mean the drug abuse side," he added. "Unless we address this we will not affect the problem."
Kendall said that the United Nations' drugs commission had recommended a move away from law enforcement which hit suppliers towards an emphasis on more powerful health and education campaigns which would cut the demand for drugs.
"Unfortunately there are very few countries which have adopted these recommendations," added Kendall, whose organisation coordinates the work of 176 police forces worldwide.
Over 500 top international policemen attended the six-day conference at a police school on the outskirts of Rome.
Money laundering, counterfeiting of currency and luxury goods, and environmental crime such as the dumping of toxic waste and trafficking of nuclear products were also high on the agenda, Kendall said.
Interpol also pledged to work closely with the International tribunal set up to tackle crimes committed in former Yugoslavia.
Next year's conference is to be held in Beijing in China, while Turkey and India are vying to host it in 1996.
Interpol, which will have a budget of $28 million next year, elected Swedish national police commissioner, Bjorn Eriksson, as the organisation's new chairman.
"It's a great honour for me. There are few trade names so well known as the concept of Interpol. Every little girl and boy in Sweden knows about Interpol because it's in all the detective stories," the 48-year-old Eriksson.
In his speech, Eriksson called for greater cooperation among the world's police forces and the need for public support.
"It is vital that criminals should be unable to find refuge in any part of the world," he said.
REUTER Copyright Reuters America Inc. 1994. All rights reserved.
Poster's note: Drug addiction is a disease. There is nothing criminal about the use of drugs. I can't help it if "uninformed" people are in charge of making laws and the lawmakers that are "informed" are too "chicken" (haven't used that expression in a long time, but it seemed to fit) to do anything about it.
Date: 95-03-01 12:19:13 EDT
Back to the medical stuff again. If you have cancer or know someone that does, please read the following article.
A quote from the July 6-12, 1991 issue of the Economist
Drugs can be medicinal or recreational: marijuana is both. For nearly 20 years advocates of its medicinal use- to relieve the nausea of chemotherapy, to treat glaucoma and to help AIDS patients gain weighthave fought in the American courts to have the drug reclassified so that doctors can prescribe it. Currently marijuana is grouped with the most disapproved of drugs, such as LSD and heroin. The government argues it must remain so because it has no "currently accepted medical use in treatment". A new study by researchers at Harvard refutes this.
Mainly because of its effectiveness in treating the vomiting common among cancer patients during chemotherapy, tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, was approved for medical use in America in 1985. A synthetic form of THC is sold in pill form under the trade name Marinol; last year almost 100,000 doses were prescribed. Smokable marijuana, however, is available to just 34 people through a "compassionate use" programme. To the confusion of many a police officer, these patients are given a supply of marijuana cigarettes rolled by government hands at a research farm in Mississippi.
Proponents claim that smoking marijuana works better than taking oral THC. In 1988 Francis Young, a judge who examines administrative issues for the Drug Enforcement Agency, recommended that marijuana be reclassified on the ground that "current acceptance" of a drug is present if a "respectable minority" of doctors endorse it. The administration disagreed, claiming that the vast majority of doctors believe oral THC is as reliable and effective as smokable marijuana and produces fewer side-effects.
Enter Rick Doblin and Mark Kleiman, two drug-policy researchers at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. To test the administrations thesis, they conducted a random survey of members of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Some 1,035 responded, about 10% of America's oncologists. The results, published in the July 1st issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, surprised even Mr. Doblin and Mr. Kleiman; nearly half of the respondents said they would prescribe smokable marijuana if it were legal. Indeed 44% of them said they had, in effect, done so already by recommending it to one or more of their patients, despite the possibility of prosecution.
Nearly two-thirds of the oncologists agreed that marijuana was an effective anti-emetic, while 77% of the 157 who expressed a preference said that smokable marijuana is more effective than oral THC. A majority said that marijuana was no worse than Marinol in terms of producing bad side-effects.
Adios for today. Back again manana.
Date: 95-03-02 12:25:41 EDT
This is a column called "Notable People for Legalization". This column was published in the Daily Texan, the student paper at The University of Texas. Most of the columnist's research info came from Internet sources.
Support swells for legal drugs
In recent months, discussion of drug legalization has vaulted from the pages of High Times and obscure academic journals onto the front page of The New York Times. Prominent people are talking seriously about changing the direction of America's drug policy.
The shift in sentiment can be traced to an effort begun a year ago in California. Several notable names gathered at Stanford University's Hoover institution to draft and sign a letter demanding a fresh look at drug policy.
The original signatories included Nobel-laureate economist Milton Friedman, former Secretary of State George Shultz, Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke and about 20 others.
Since the initial meeting, hundreds of doctors, businessmen, attorneys, educators, judges and members of the clergy have signed the resolution. Among them are the mayors and police chiefs of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose; 20/20 correspondent Hugh Downs; and members of the California Medical Association.
On Feb. 27, The New York Times printed a similar proclamation by another Nobel laureate, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He's convinced more than 2,000 of his Latin American intellectual buddies to sign the statement declaring that we must "focus on the various ways in which legalization can be administered. This means putting an end to the self-seeking, pernicious, useless war that the consuming countries have inflicted on us."
To protest the inanity of our drug policy, roughly 50 of the nation's 680 federal judges now refuse to accept drug cases. One researcher surveyed 450 judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys and found that 95 percent believe "the drug war has failed and more innovative measures are needed."
The Feb. 28 Time included a pro-legalization column by respected writer Barbara Ehrenreich. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders says that we would "markedly reduce our crime rate" by legalizing drug use. The Economist last year editorialized in favor of legalization. Conservative pundit William Buckley has said, "If you had all the facts, you would agree like me that marijuana should be legal."
This political change has begun to gather momentum because the Hoover signatories explicitly shied away from advocating a specific new policy. Some favor merely making marijuana available for medical uses. Others want comprehensive drug legalization.
All are part of the movement -- which has made for some strange bedfellows. Just imagine Friedman phoning up Garcia Marquez:
Friedman: "Gabriel, it's Milt. What's say you and me and Joy Elders get together to discuss this drug legalization stuff?"
Garcia Marquez: "Last night I awoke from the desperate slumber of a man who has tasted his lover's tears. In my bliss I felt a prescient understanding. Next Tuesday two men and a woman will meet on the zocalo in San Cristobal. While passionate men die on the streets in the name of revolution, the three friends will sip cafe con leche and whisper their desires."
Friedman: "OK, so I'll see you Tuesday. But you're buying. I don't carry any of that Mexican funny money."
The curious coalition shows no sign of breaking up. A proposal now being considered in Congress would charge a national commission with recommending a new national drug policy. The resolution has 17 co-sponsors in the House and five backers in the Senate.
Mark Smith, UT assistant professor of American studies and history, teaches a class in the "Cultural History of Alcohol and Drugs." He says the hardliners "have been discredited because they've been in power and their results have been absurd."
It's already possible to talk about legalization without having a "Dope Fiend" label pasted across one's chest.
Date: 95-03-03 12:05:37 EDT
Another interesting article I came across. This stuff's been around for a LONG time.
USE OF MARIJUANA IN ANCIENT TIMES
The use of marijuana is as old as the history of man and dates to the prehistoric period. Marijuana is closely connected with the history and development of some of the oldest nations on earth. It has played a
significant role in the religions and cultures of Africa, the Middle East, India, and China.
Richard E. Schultes, a prominent researcher in the field of psychoactive plants, said in an article he wrote entitled "Man and Marijuana":
"...that early man experimented with all plant materials that he could chew and could not have avoided discovering the properties of cannabis (marijuana), for in his quest for seeds and oil, he certainly ate the sticky tops of the plant. Upon eating hemp the euphoric, ecstatic and hallucinatory aspects may have introduced man to an other-worldly plane from which emerged religious beliefs, perhaps even the concept of deity. The plant became accepted as a special gift of the gods, a sacred medium for communion with the spiritual world and as such it has remained in some cultures to the present."
The effects of marijuana was proof to the ancients that the spirit and power of the god(s) existed in this plant and that it was literally a messenger (angel) or actually the Flesh and Blood and/or Bread of the god(s) and was and continues to be a holy sacrament. Considered to be sacred, marijuana has been used in religious worship from before recorded history.
According to William A. Embolden in his book Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L, p. 235:
"Shamanistic traditions of great antiquity in Asia and the Near East has as one of their most important elements the attempt to find God without a vale of tears; that cannabis played a role in this, at least in some areas, is born out in the philology surrounding the ritualistic use of the plant. Whereas Western religious traditions generally stress sin, repentance, and mortification of the flesh, certain older non-Western religious cults seem to have employed Cannabis as a euphoriant, which allowed the participant a joyous path to the Ultimate; hence such appellations as "heavenly guide".
According to "Licit and Illicit Drugs" by the Consumer Union, page 397-398:
"Ashurbanipal lived about 650 B.C., but the cuneiform descriptions of marijuana in his library "are generally regarded as obvious copies of much older texts." Says Dr. Robert P. Walton, an American physician and authority on marijuana, "This evidence serves to project the origin of hashish back to the earliest beginnings of history."
Date: 95-03-04 12:17:06 EDT
The following was posted to the Newsgroup alt.drugs
From: glo@globox.Eng.Sun.COM (Gary Owens)
Subject: Re: Death RATES among recreational drug users.
Death RATES among recreational drug users.
The exact numbers vary, depending on the source and their methodology. I have presented several sets of numbers here. In general you will see that the vast amount of money/energy/etc. applied to "illicit" drugs is quite misplaced if one is counting deaths or death rate per user. You may have access in your library to things like the Center for Disease Control Mortality and Morbidity reports and yearly summaries. The last one I looked at listed 800 something deaths a year for aspirin (and more for acetominephin (sp?) and ibuprofen) - verses 0 for cannabis (hemp/pot/marijuana/...).
(on the back cover of The Emperor Wears No Clothes) "How Dangerous is Marijuana in Comparison to Other Substances?" Number of American Deaths per year that result directly or primarily from the following (selected) causes nationwide, according to World Almanacs, Life Insurance Actuarial (death) Rates, and the last 18 years of the U.S. Surgeon General's Reports.
Tobacco....................................340,000 to 395,000
Alcohol (not including 50% of all highway
deaths and 65% of all murders).....125,000+
Aspirin (including deliberate overdose).... 180 to 1,000+
Caffeine (from stress, ulcers and triggering
irregular heartbeats, etc.)........ 1,000 to 10,000
'Legal' drug overdose (deliberate or accidental)
from legal, prescribed or patent medicines
and/or mixing with alcohol e.g. Valium/alcohol... 14,000 to 27,000
Illicit drug overdose (deliberate or accidental) from
all illegal drugs................................ 3,800 to 5,200
marijuana (including overdose)........................... 0 (zero)
The Emperor Wears No Clothes
by Jack Herer
5632 Van Nuys Blvd suite 210
Van Nuys CA 91401 (213) 392-1806
>from Thinking About Drug Legalization
by James Ostrowski
Cato Institute Paper # 121, May 25, 1989 $2.00
to order or for information, write
224 Second St. SE
Washington DC 20003
pg 47 reprinted without permission (I didn't find "Copyright..." or circled-C, but they did say to contact them... I guess if you want to reprint the whole thing - what the hey - at $2.00 for 64 pages why reprint, just buy the whole thing from them!
[ my (glo's) the posters notes in  - glo]
[ glo note: *xxx* used in place of underlines - glo]
Table 4 presents the estimated per capita death rates for each drug. (While a number of people have died as a result of marijuana *enforcement*, there are apparently no confirmed deaths traceable to marijuana *use*.) The figures for cocaine and heroin have been adjusted downward, in accordance with the previous analysis, to include only those deaths due to drug use per se. The unadjusted death rate for these drugs is in parentheses.
Estimated Per Capita Death Rates by Drugs
Drug Users Deaths per Year Deaths per 100,000
Tobacco 60 million 390,000 (a) 650
alcohol 100 million 150,000 (b) 150
Heroin 500,000 400 (c) 80 (400)
Cocaine 5 million 200 (c) 4 (20)
(a) "Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress" Surgeon General's Report (1989).
References "b" and "c" on following post.
Hemp FACT #49-Pt2DeathRates
Date: 95-03-04 12:19:25 EDT
These are references from the previous post.
(b) Estimates vary greatly, depending upon whether all health consequences, or only those traditionally associated with alcoholism, are considered. The Fifth Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcoholism and Health from the Secretary of Health and Human Services contains two references indicating a death toll of 200,000: The report states, first, that alcohol "plays a role in 10% of all deaths in the United States," which comes to about 200,000 deaths each year. P. vi. It further states that present estimates of the death toll from alcohol abuse are as high as 93.2 per 100,000. Ibid., p. x. This ratio translates into a total of about 210,000.
(c) These figures were determined as follows: Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) heroin and cocaine fatalities for 1984, 1985, and 1986 were averaged. The number of suicides was subtracted. The figures were discounted to account for deaths in which both heroin and cocaine played a role. Since DAWN covers about one-third of the nation's population but almost all major urban areas where drug use florishes, totals were doubled to arrive at yearly estimates of 2,000 for heroin deaths and 1,000 for cocaine deaths. Finally, these figures were dis-counted by 80 percent in accordance with the analysis presented in the text
========== end of table 4, pg 47======================
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