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Maptalk-Digest Wednesday, December 31 1997 Volume 97 : Number 563

Wall St J article by James Bovard
    From: Peter Webster <>
(no subject)
    From: Tom Hawkins <>
Wall St J article by James Bovard
    From: Peter Webster <> (by way of "MAPNews Sr. Editor" <>)
Sent to several Newspapers re:Decrease In 'Drug-Related' Hospital Visits
    From: "Tom O'Connell" <>
(no subject)
    From: Tom Hawkins <>
My Inbound Mail is messed up
    From: Jim Rosenfield <>
Johnny Hart & Grant Parker op/ed
    From: Gerald Sutliff <>
Re:  Texas Op-ed makes it to CA
    From: Gerald Sutliff <>
Race divides teen-age smokers
    From: Gerald Sutliff <>


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subj: Wall St J article by James Bovard
From: Peter Webster <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 17:49:22 +0000

Monday Dec 29 Wall Street Journal has an article by James Bovard, "The Dangerous Expansion of Forfeiture Laws" which is quite good. Hope someone can get it for the lists, my faxed copy is un-ocr-able.
		Peter Webster	email: 

------------------------------

Subj: (no subject)
From: Tom Hawkins <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 10:13:03 -0800

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To: , , 
From:  (David Hadorn)
Subject: WP/US drug warriors ignore Switzerland's successful drug pol
Cc: 

Ethan Nadelmann posted this article a few hours ago, but I didn't see any of
the dpr internet lists I subscribe to on his to: list.  So at the risk of
redundancy, here it is.  What a great article!  How is it possible that 10
days have passed and this is the first we have heard of this article??
Who's monitoring the Washington Post (not to point fingers)?  We need to
bombard them with positive reinforcement.  Does the Post have e-mail LTEs
yet?

David
****************************************************************************
*****
                          Copyright 1997 The Washington Post   
                              The Washington Post
     
                    December 21, 1997, Sunday, Final Edition
     
SECTION: OUTLOOK; Pg. C01
     
LENGTH: 1583 words
     
HEADLINE: Hooked on Dogma; U.S. Drug Warriors Ignore Switzerland's Success
With 
Heroin Addicts
     
BYLINE: Joshua Wolf Shenk
     
BODY:
   In 1986, the Swiss city of Zurich designated its Platzspitz park as a
refuge
for drug users, a place where they would be tolerated by police and even
offered
sterile needles and medical care. The goal wasn't to condone drug use, but
to 
control its side effects -- mainly the diseases contracted by users and
spread 
to the population at large. But, by the early 1990s, "Needle Park" bulged
with 
Europe's outcasts. As crime rose in the area and a once-charming garden
became 
an eyesore, Zurich ended the experiment.
     
   The shapers of American drug policy -- from former czar Bill Bennett to
Drug
Enforcement Agency chief Thomas Constantine -- often cite Needle Park as an 
argument against changing America's hard-line drug policies. But the Swiss, 
aware that dispersing the Needle Park junkies did not eliminate the serious
harm
they were doing to themselves and to society, have continued to pursue novel 
approaches toward solving their country's drug problem. For the heroin
addicts 
who would not respond to conventional treatment, the government decided to
take 
the radical step of offering heroin itself.  
     
   From 1994 to 1997, in 18 treatment centers around Switzerland, 1,146 male
and
female addicts received injections of pure heroin three times a day. Led by 
Ambros Uchtenhagen, an internationally renowned social scientist, the
Addiction 
Research Institute in Zurich kept careful tabs over the experiment. The goal
was
not to offer the drug, in perpetuity, to all comers. Rather, the researchers 
hoped to mitigate the injurious behavior of a small group of addicts for
whom 
repeated treatment regimens had failed.
     
   The success was striking. Heroin maintenance, Uchtenhagen and his
researchers
     found, not only improved the lives of addicts but benefited society in 
     tangible ways. Before going on heroin maintenance, 59 percent of the 
     Swiss addicts in the program were involved in criminal activity. 
     Because they no longer needed cash to pay exorbitant prices on the 
     black market, by the end of the experiment that number dropped to 10 
     percent. For the same reason -- and also because participants in the 
     program were required to undergo counseling -- many addicts climbed 
     out of the underworld, found housing and began to work in mainstream 
     jobs. The rate of homelessness in the group dropped from 12 percent to 
     near zero. The health benefits were also unambiguous: HIV and 
     hepatitis infections dropped sharply, and the annual death rate fell 
     by half. Day to day, many fewer addicts contracted skin infections and 
     other diseases. A small but significant portion of the group even left 
     the program for abstinence treatment.
     
   If the Swiss experiment had failed, you can be sure that American
officials
would trumpet the news, just as they so regularly refer to Needle Park. But
the 
actual results are less convenient for advocates of the status quo. And so
the 
response has been to ignore it.
     
   For example, in the past four months, the National Institute on Drug
Abuse
(NIDA), which controls a $ 520 million budget and 85 percent of all research
on 
the health effects of drug abuse and addiction, has organized two major 
conferences on heroin without considering the Swiss research.
     
   The lesson is not that heroin maintainence ought to be embraced here. The
episode illustrates, however, how discussion of America's drug policy has
been 
constricted by the dogma of the drug war. While vigorous research and debate
is 
taken for granted in public policy debates about, say, welfare policy or 
affirmative action, such discussion is largely absent from the study of
drugs. 
To ignore innovative ideas and approaches -- especially complicated,
unsettling 
ones -- is at best unsound. At worst, it will lead to outright failure.
     
   While it is a legitimate social policy goal to eliminate heroin use
entirely,
the American approach of zero-tolerance has proven remarkably ineffective.
About
600,000 Americans are addicted to the drug. That number has increased over
the 
past several decades, despite billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands
of 
arrests.
     
   Meanwhile, these addicts are causing a great deal of harm -- to
themselves
and to the rest of us. Intravenous drug users are now the single biggest
factor 
in the spread of HIV. Eighty-five percent of addicts commit some kind of
crime, 
ranging from petty burglary to homicide. The financial costs of untreated
heroin
addiction is an estimated $ 20 billion a year, according to a National 
Institutes of Health (NIH) panel.
     
   And yet, for the same reasons that they wouldn't contemplate heroin
maintenance, American officials have kept tight restrictions on the medical 
treatment with the best track record: methadone maintenance. Only 20 percent
of 
heroin addicts have access to methadone, a synthetic opiate that often
removes 
the craving for heroin. In November, a panel of scientists convened by NIH
and 
NIDA urged expanded use of methadone maintenance. This treatment regimen,
the 
panel concluded, "is effective in reducing illicit opiate drug use, in crime 
reduction, in enhancing social productivity, and in reducing the spread of
viral
diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis."
     
   The problem, the panel reported, is a public that refuses to consider
heroin
addiction in a medical context. Drug therapy for addiction is viewed with 
suspicion because it's seen as just another addiction. "It's not the zero 
tolerance option and so it's unpopular," says David C. Lewis, a professor of 
medicine and community health at Brown University. The irony is that
Americans 
embrace pharmaceutical treatments for every conceivable human ailment, from 
impotence to depression to hyperactivity to stage fright. But drug addicts
are 
regarded as castoffs.
     
   Even discussing heroin maintenance is strictly taboo -- as was evident at
the
same NIH conference that concluded by lamenting the stigma attached to
methadone
treatment. Before the conference, NIDA assembled a bibliography that was 
supposed to contain every known study of the medical treatment of heroin 
addiction. The Swiss study was not among them. When Lewis made brief mention
of 
the study, he was criticized by his colleagues for doing so.
     
   "Scientists and clinicians -- people I regard as leaders and look to with
respect -- are concerned that just bringing it up will cause difficulty,"
Lewis 
said. "You can't talk about these things in this country without causing 
controversy, which is a great sadness."
     
   NIDA is a perfect example of the paralysis that permeates the discussion
about American drug policy. In 1992, the institute was put under the aegis
of 
NIH specifically to insulate it from the prejudices of public opinion -- to 
evaluate and commission drug-related research based on science, not
politics. 
Nevertheless, NIDA gives priority to studies that are likely to support 
government positions and regularly interpret science with obvious political 
intent.
     
   That makes debate around scientific questions concerning drug issues
difficult. "If you were at NIDA," says Peter Reuter, the director of the 
University of Maryland's Drug Policy Research Center, "you would say, 'How
can I
seriously argue that [discussing heroin maintenance] would make a difference
to 
programs here?' " Worse than not making a difference, it could do a great
deal 
of harm, if outraged congressmen moved to slash the institute's research
budget.
     
   So public opinion keeps researchers from considering new ideas. But the
public can't reconsider its biases without being presented with new ideas.
     
   The cycle is difficult to break, but not impossible. Consider the case of
medical marijuana. For years, NIDA has stonewalled researchers trying to
conduct
large-scale trials of the plant's utility in treating diseases such as
glaucoma 
and chemotherapy-related nausea. Then, California passed an initiative 
legalizing marijuana for medical use and the Clinton administration finally 
instructed NIDA to conduct studies. "It's a case where popular politics has 
really driven science," says Reuter.
     
   By contrast, Swiss scientists who, like their American counterparts,
depend
on government support, seem more free to conduct research in the addiction 
field, which citizens can then judge on the merits. Indeed, after the
results of
the heroin maintenance experiment were published this summer, Swiss voters
were 
asked in a referendum whether the program should continue. More than 70
percent 
said "yes."
     
   What Swiss voters seem to have realized is that there is a middle ground
between condoning heroin use and insisting all addicts kick their habits 
immediately. As with nicotine, a drug with a similar addiction profile,
heroin 
use is not a simple matter of exercising free will. Dependence is fierce and 
all-consuming; withdrawal wreaks havoc on both the body and mind. The
pleasure 
of heroin, writes David Lenson in his book, "On Drugs," takes over the body,
"so
that in withdrawal, ordinary consciousness is received as pain."
     
   Anja Dobler-Micola, a member of the Swiss research team, says, "We always
get
     this question: 'Shouldn't therapy be drug-free?' But is drug freedom 
     the first step, or is it the last step?" Addicts in the program, she 
     says, "realize how dependent they really are." Freed from the 
     consuming street life and required to undergo counseling, they are 
     able to reflect and make more rational choices about their future.
     
   Now, if only Americans could start making rational choices about their
drug
policy.
     
   Joshua Wolf Shenk writes for U.S. News & World Report.

------------------------------

Subj: Wall St J article by James Bovard
From: Peter Webster <> (by way of "MAPNews Sr. Editor" <>)
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 13:12:06 -0500

Monday Dec 29 Wall Street Journal has an article by James Bovard, "The
Dangerous Expansion of Forfeiture Laws" which is quite good. Hope someone
can get it for the lists, my faxed copy is un-ocr-able.
		Peter Webster	email: 

------------------------------

Subj: Sent to several Newspapers re:Decrease In 'Drug-Related' Hospital Visits
From: "Tom O'Connell" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 10:33:50 -0800 (PST)

To The Editor:
The hopeful utterances of Drug Czar McCaffrey in response to  mildly
encouraging data concerning "drug related" hospital visits is starkly
reminiscent of similar remarks made by another US military leader who found
himself mired in a  war nearly as devoid of coherent or attainable
objectives as the one McCaffrey is leading. I refer, of course, to the
"light at the end of the tunnel" quote from Viet Nam which is certain to be
among the more prominent recollections of General Westmoreland's career.

As the date for President Clinton's State of the Union speech approaches,
McCaffrey has been charged with finding some "successes" to justify the
bloated drug war budget. For drug prohibition, a policy which has enjoyed
no credible or lasting success dating back to its historic inception in
December 1914, this is a tall order, indeed. Those tempted to take the
general seriously are reminded that the volume and purity of heroin and
cocaine reaching our streets is at an all time high, and inflation-adjusted
per-milligram prices at an all time low. These are not the signs of markets
in retreat. Stay tuned for further developments.

Sincerely,
Thomas J. O'Connell, MD
195 Warren Road,
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 348 6841

------------------------------

Subj: (no subject)
From: Tom Hawkins <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 10:14:02 -0800

Approved MattORMark

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Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 12:06:22 -0500
To:  (David Hadorn), ,
        , , 
From: "MAPNews Sr. Editor" <>
Subject: Re: WP/US drug warriors ignore Switzerland's successful drug
  policy
In-Reply-To: <>
Mime-Version: 1.0
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At 12:23 AM 1/1/98 +1300, David Hadorn wrote:
>Ethan Nadelmann posted this article a few hours ago, but I didn't see any of
>the dpr internet lists I subscribe to on his to: list.  So at the risk of
>redundancy, here it is.  What a great article!  How is it possible that 10
>days have passed and this is the first we have heard of this article??
>Who's monitoring the Washington Post (not to point fingers)?  We need to
>bombard them with positive reinforcement.  Does the Post have e-mail LTEs
yet?
>
>
>David

Hi David and Talkers,

Yes, I am a little surprised we did not receive this one earlier. It has
been posted to the news so it should be out in a DrugNews-Digest as soon as
I pump some more items into the queue. Additionally I have forwarded a copy
to the harm reduction list, as there are folks on that list that may not be
on any other list.

fyi, we average about 20 news items per day, but there has been closer to
50 posted in the last 24 hours, so I had better get back to work!

I sent out a followup note to the news service as follows:

Editors note: 

Also, reference the Washington Post article 'Hooked on Dogma; U.S. Drug
Warriors Ignore Switzerland's  Success With Heroin Addicts' David Hadorn
writes: "What a great article!  How is it possible that 10 days have passed
and this is the first we have heard of this article??"  

We have posted about three dozen Post articles this month, from about six
newshawks. It could have been missed because of the Holidays (there has
been a small dip in the number of items posted these last two weeks). It
could be because some of our newshawks focus on a more narrow issue than
this service covers. It could be that the article did not appear on the
Post website - most newshawks obtain the articles they submit from websites.

I am sure we miss other important articles. Our coverage, based on the kind
help of volunteer newshawks, will only  improve as more folks take the time
to send us items. If you see an item, please send it to   

If you do not wish to be known (we have newhawks who use government ISPs)
you may simply start the article with a line  Newshawk: followed by a pen
name, and that is all that will appear (or even put a note at the start
that you do not want your name or email address used).... Drop me a note if
you need more newshawking advice!

Will posting to  reach a wide audience? Yes, without a
doubt! Our three editions of the service (not counting the weekly summary
in our DrugSense Newsletter) reach a solid majority of the folks who post
to any of the talk lists, plus about as many more who do not follow the
talk lists. And more simply check for news articles of interest on the MAP
website.

Richard Lake 
Senior Editor; MAPnews, MAPnews-Digest and DrugNews-Digest
email:  
http://www.DrugSense.org/drugnews/
For subscription information see:
http://www.MAPinc.org/lists/
Quick sign up for DrugNews-Digest, Focus Alerts or Newsletter:
http://www.DrugSense.org/hurry.htm

------------------------------

Subj: My Inbound Mail is messed up
From: Jim Rosenfield <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 11:51:44 -0800

All week, my inbound mail is messed up.
Anyone needing to reach me, please phone 310-836-0926

jim

Jim Rosenfield           
- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
tel:  310-836-0926                  fax:  310-836-0592
http://insightweb.com		

------------------------------

Subj: Johnny Hart & Grant Parker op/ed
From: Gerald Sutliff <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 11:21:32 -0800

Dear Talkers,
	On 12/29/97 the comic strip "Wizard of ID" by Hart & Parker said it all:

The set up for those of you who avoid the mental stimulation of the comic
strips:
(Ghost: Is a guy who is, and has been in a dungeon forever and his only
contact in Turnkey.)

Ghost: Would you miss me if I died, Turnkey?

Turnkey:  I sure would kid -- I've got three kids in college.

vty, jerry sutliff

------------------------------

Subj: Re:  Texas Op-ed makes it to CA
From: Gerald Sutliff <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 10:02:40 -0800

At 08:37 AM 12/31/97 -0800, Tom O'Connell wrote:

>>>> 

This op-ed, which  has been making the rounds in Texas for the
past 2 weeks was printed in The San Mateo Times on 12/30. Pasted below is
my LTE:

Fax/San Mateo Times:(650) 348 4446

MonacoHeroin's back and claiming our teens

MARY ALICE DAVIS

THE parents who had to arrange funerals for their teen-agers probably
didn't think much about the global marketing trends that led to those sad
days in the Texas suburbs.

Ditto for the Oakland Tribune (12/30/97).  Both
papers belong to the same chain.  The Tribune has taken the most
intelligent editorial position (that is, closest to mine) on marijuana I
know of in California.  Legalize it for adults.

Trib Contact:  

vty, jerry sutliff

------------------------------

Subj: Race divides teen-age smokers
From: Gerald Sutliff <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 11:59:36 -0800

Dear Talkers,
	First my rant:  The following article illustrates my long held belief that
do-gooders and other social control freaks (liberal, conservative and
sanctimonious prudes common among theocratics) don't have a clue what
really causes or how to prevent drug use.
vty, jerry sutliff
PS I'm also posting this to the MAP editor, without the rant.

Subject:  Race divides teen-age smokers
Source:  Oakland Tribune, 12/29/97 (Front page)
Contact:  
Newshawk:  Jerry Sutliff

Heading:  Race divides teen-age smokers
By Victoria Hudson
STAFF WRITER

	Smoking among black high school students continues to lag behind teen
smoking in other racial groups, despite an overall increase in the national
youth smoking rate from 25 percent in 1991 to 33 percent today.
	The trend is most pronounced among high school girls, where statistics
show white students are more than three times as likely to smoke than their
black counterparts, according to a 1995 federal survey showing smoking
rates of 40 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
	There are many reasons for the disparity, say local and federal
researchers, who mostly cite attitude differences for the ever-burgeoning gap.
	White teen-age girls usually start smoking for weight control and personal
empowerment, especially in relation to men and boys, they say.
 	On the other hand, researchers say, black high school girls tend to hold
extremely negative views of smoking, believing it adversely affects their
lives and is disrespectful to parents.
	"When I talk to young African-American youth, smoking is a 'white thing.'
It's just what they do," said Sylvia Jimenez, project director of the
Alameda County Public Health Department Tobacco Control Program.
	Jimenez joined Serena Chen, public affairs director with the American Lung
Association of Alameda County, in saying that thin girls are more valued
and accepted among Caucasians than in other ethnic groups, so white girls
often feel greater pressure to watch their weight.
	"It's cultural," Jimenez said. "With Hispanic girls it's also the same
thing. Latin women are not held to that same standard. Women with more meat
on their bones are more attractive, just like with the black culture."
	Local teen-agers, however, have their own reasons for the disparities
between white and black female high school smokers.
	They said, and state surveys support them, that in general smoking has
lost its appeal among most California teen-agers, 91.1 percent of whom
would rather date a nonsmoker, according to surveys by the Tobacco Control
Section of the state Department of Health.
	Even former young smokers such as Piedmont High School juniors Elisabeth
Watson, 17, and Meredith Cole, 16, consider smoking a "disgusting habit"
and something that's more acceptable among the "unpopular" students.
	They, like McClymonds High School seniors Letitia Henderson and Lesha
Tyler, say today's high schoolers are more apt to smoke marijuana than
cigarettes.
	Many experts consider tobacco use to be the main pathway to illegal drug use.
	"Alcohol is not the level of 'gateway drug as tobacco." Ralph Cantor,
coordinator with the Alameda County Tobacco Prevention and Safe, Drug Free
Schools program. said.
	"Tobacco is the No. One gateway drug," said Cantor, who has worked on
substance abuse issues for almost 20 years.
	Students of all races have told him they smoke cigarettes to enhance a
marijuana. high, Cantor said. And many smoke because they have nothing else
to do.
	Peer pressure, stress and relaxation were other reasons cited by local
teen-agers, and in surveys of youth ages 12 to 17 conducted by the
California Department of Health Tobacco Control Section.
	According to that data, white teen-agers showed the greatest Increase in
smoking rates, up from 10.6 percent in 1990 to 14.1 percent last year.
The rate for Hispanic youths grew from 9.3 percent in 1990 to 11.7 percent
in 1995, then dropping to 10.4 percent last year.
During the same period, the rate for young black smokers dropped from 4.5
percent to 2.9 percent. It reached a high of 6 percent in 1992.
	Despite extensive education campaigns, smoking rates among young people
continue to climb, especially for females.
	And a new law effective January punishable by a $75 fine in California for
any minor to possess tobacco, will do little to deter  future  and  current
smokers, said April Roeseler of the state health department.
	Roeseler cited peer role models, advertisements, promotional materials,
economics and parental influence among factors contributing to black teens
having the lowest smoking rate among any ethnic group, both nationally and
statewide.
	Local high school students offered other reasons.
"Guys don't like us if we smoke," Henderson said. "African-American
students will smoke marijuana over cigarettes. We don't think smoking is
cool at our school. We look at it as something that will kill you and harm
you. But marijuana 15 supposed to heal you. It's a high and won't hurt you
in the long run.

------------------------------

End of Maptalk-Digest V97 #563
******************************

Mark Greer ()         ___ ___     _ _  _ _
Media Awareness Project              /' _ ` _ `\ /'_`)('_`\
P. O. Box 651                        | ( ) ( ) |( (_| || (_) )
Porterville, CA 93258                (_) (_) (_) \__,_)| ,__/
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URL: http://www.mapinc.org/list/maplists.htm           (_)

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