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Maptalk-Digest Thursday, December 24 1998 Volume 98 : Number 503

Sent:LTE Student Drug Use Down
    From: "McNamara, Mark P." <>
ART: U.S. efforts to train Mexican anti-drug force falters
    From: 
ART: Tobacco company pleads guilty in smuggling case
    From: 
SENT: They don't have to die
    From: 
SENT: Swiss Reply to Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
    From: 
Mexico: U.S., MEXICO ADMIT DRUG WAR IS FAILING
    From: Steve Young <>
Colombia: U.S. to investigate deadly Colombia raid
    From: Steve Young <>
A little holiday cheer from the DEA
    From: Steve Young <>


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

Subj: Sent:LTE Student Drug Use Down
From: "McNamara, Mark P." <>
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 23:37:35 -0600

Sent to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Recent news from the University of Michigan's "Monitoring the Future"
survey point to decreasing levels of drug use among high school
students. While any reduction in teen drug use should be considered good
news, we should ask - Why has this reduction occurred?

High school students are subjected to the most intense monitoring of any
non-prison population in the U.S. They are subject to searches of their
cars, lockers, and persons, with or without probable cause. 

Any student who wants to participate in sports know they will have to
pass a drug test. A school district in Indiana instituted a policy of
drug testing any student involved in extracurricular activity, chess
club included.  If you had to urinate in a cup to play on the company
softball team, would you?

Students are subjected to random searches of their cars, lockers, and
persons with drug-sniffing dogs at any time. In some cases, students
have been asked to strip. If you were asked to strip to prove your
innocence, would you mind?

Students are suspended, under zero-tolerance policies, for the most
incredible things. A 6-year-old Colorado Springs boy was suspended for
half a day for violating his school's zero tolerance policy on drugs and
drug look-alikes when he brought lemon drops to school.  Officials
declared a 12-year-old Maryland girl a "drug trafficker" after she
shared her inhaler with a classmate suffering a severe asthma attack. 

Is it any wonder that drug use is down? Students don't use drugs, not
because they have been convinced by society that drug use is bad, but
out of fear of getting caught. Newt Gingrich said that "Totalitarianism
is when people believe they can punish their way to perfection". I'd say
that the latest data on teen drug use shows that our schools are
becoming more "prefect" (through the threat of punishment) all the time,
but at what cost?

Regards,
Mark McNamara


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

Subj: ART: U.S. efforts to train Mexican anti-drug force falters
From: 
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 07:59:15 -0600 (CST)

Well....what did they expect?

From the 12-23-98 Houston Chronicle
http://www.chron.com


- --------------------------------------------------
U.S. efforts to train Mexican anti-drug force falters
By TIM GOLDEN
New York Times

WASHINGTON -- An ambitious U.S. effort to help train and equip Mexico's 
armed forces to pursue drug smugglers is in a shambles, officials of 
both countries say, souring U.S. relations with an ally that Washington 
has worked intensely to court. 

Three years after the Pentagon began donating dozens of helicopters to 
the Mexican army and training hundreds of Mexican soldiers in the United 
States, officials have seen only a handful of the anti-drug operations 
intended in the program. The helicopter fleet has been grounded by 
mechanical problems, and angry Mexican generals are sharply cutting the 
number of troops they will send to train. 

According to U.S. intelligence reports, the drug flights that the plan 
was designed to combat have virtually ceased. But that appears to be 
because the traffickers turned to smuggling schemes like containerized 
shipping before the enforcement strategy got off the ground. The flow of 
drugs into the United States has continued apace. 

Tensions over the failed strategy, the faltering equipment and 
continuing reports of Mexican military corruption have grown serious 
enough, U.S. officials said, that they have asked Mexico's commanding 
generals to reassess the program altogether. 

"The question, basically, is: How do we get out of this box?" a Clinton 
administration official said. "We will talk about the plan that they 
come up with, and we will talk about whether we want to support that 
plan." 

The conflict underscores the competing agendas that the Pentagon and the 
CIA have encountered in Latin America as they have tried to use the 
fight against international drug traffickers to remake their old 
alliances with military forces in the region. 

Like its counterparts in Colombia and Peru -- and like the Pentagon 
itself -- the Mexican military seized on the drug fight as a mission of 
growing importance and as a way to protect its budgets after the Cold 
War. But the Mexican commanders have pursued the effort with secrecy and 
independence, raising questions about whether the United States is 
strengthening powerful and sometimes autonomous military forces at the 
expense of civilian institutions like the courts and the police. 

"The answer here is that there is no silver bullet," said Jan Lodal, 
who, until his recent retirement as the principal deputy undersecretary 
of defense for policy, oversaw the Pentagon's anti-drug cooperation with 
Mexico. "You are going to have to build an effective civilian 
law-enforcement structure, and you're going to have to build it from the 
ground up." 

Administration officials contend that despite the tensions, the United 
States' relationship with the Mexican armed forces is better than it was 
several years ago. They say that the CIA's collaboration with a small 
drug-intelligence unit of the Mexican army, while largely secret, has 
been reasonably successful. And they emphasize that they turned to the 
Mexican military only after President Ernesto Zedillo did so himself, 
giving his generals a new public security role because the corrupting 
influence of the drug trade had so paralyzed the federal police. 

Clinton administration officials are still quick to say any long-term 
solution to Mexico's criminal-justice problems must focus on civilian 
institutions. But they also continue to spend considerably more on 
anti-drug training for the military than they have on court officers and 
the police, and they have largely approved as the Mexican armed forces 
have steadily expanded their influence over a range of law-enforcement 
programs. 

"From the start, all of us have believed that if you don't have a 
judicial system and a police force that are responsive to the elected 
civilian leadership, you're in trouble," the White House drug policy 
director, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, said. 

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

Subj: ART: Tobacco company pleads guilty in smuggling case
From: 
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 07:59:21 -0600 (CST)

Would I purchase my cigarettes on the black market to save
a dollar a pack? You bet your sweet bippy I would. 

For some reason my brand, American Spirit, did not take
a price hike.

From the 12-23-98 Houston Chronicle
http://www.chron.com


- --------------------------------------
Tobacco company pleads guilty in smuggling case
New York Times

A unit of the RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. pleaded guilty on Tuesday to 
federal criminal charges stemming from a scheme to smuggle cigarettes 
into Canada through an Indian reservation in upstate New York. The 
company also agreed to pay $15 million in penalties. 

The authorities said the guilty plea, filed in federal district court in 
Binghamton, N.Y., marked the first time that a tobacco company has been 
convicted of complicity in the shadowy and growing world of 
international cigarette smuggling. 

Experts estimate that nearly one-fourth of the billions of American 
cigarettes sold overseas pass through smuggling rings set up to evade 
taxes and sell major brands at a discount. 

Critics have long contended that this trade could not go on without the 
industry's knowledge and support. 

But while previous criminal investigations have led to charges against 
several mid-level managers, top executives at the large, multinational 
tobacco companies have always denied allegations that they encouraged or 
condoned any dealings with the contraband rings. 

In entering the guilty plea, the RJR Nabisco subsidiary, Northern Brands 
International Inc., admitted that it helped distributors evade $2.5 
million in U.S. excise taxes on shipments that, the authorities said, 
were ultimately smuggled into Canada to avoid high taxes on cigarettes 
there. 

But the company's plea also could have sweeping repercussions in 
Washington, where Congress has debated whether to raise the taxes on 
domestic cigarette sales to discourage smoking. 

Industry executives have argued that any significant increase in the 
taxes would immediately create a black market for cigarettes in the 
United States, much as it did in Canada. 

But the guilty plea "shows that the emperor doesn't have any clothes in 
making that argument," said Gregory Connoly, the director of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Tobacco Control Program. 

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

Subj: SENT: They don't have to die
From: 
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 08:57:23 -0600 (CST)

<---- Begin Included Message ---->
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 09:25:51 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
From: 
Subject: They don't have to die
To: 

Dear Editor,

The friends of Joshua Harman showed great courage by taking
him to the hospital in an attempt to save his life after a
suspected heroin overdose. One or more of these friends
could be facing life in prison were they found to be the
ones that provided Joshua the heroin.

It is quite possible that his life may have been spared had
paramedics been called to the scene. The problem with calling 
paramedics is that the police will also be summoned. This 
could have resulted in the arrest of Joshua's friends. They are 
more afraid of arrest than death.

There is no reason for anyone to die from using heroin. The Swiss 
have been prescribing heroin to addicts for years, and there have 
been no overdose deaths. The addicts are not stealing to support 
their habits. They are not enticing others to use the drug so that 
they may support their habit by selling to them. The spiral has ended.

I am very surprised that not one of our local politicians, 
substance abuse professionals, or journalists has visited 
Switzerland to view their program firsthand. Perhaps a "blue
ribbon panel" should be formed to do just this.

There is always hope for a living heroin addict. Close to 30% of 
the addicts in the Swiss program have overcome their addiction. 
Why can't our addicts be afforded the same opportunity? 

Alan Bryan
Drug Policy Forum of Texas
Dallas

<---- End Included Message ---->

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

Subj: SENT: Swiss Reply to Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
From: 
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 08:57:27 -0600 (CST)

This is the reply from André Seidenberg, former medical director 
of the heroin clinic ZokL1, Zürich, Switzerland to the LTE from
Sue Rusche that appeared in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: that Dr. Seidenberg says that 60 Minutes will
cover the Swiss heroin distribution program on this Sunday's
broadcast. 

- ------------------------------------------
Swiss Heroin Prescription

Heroin prescription is the most powerfull means to reduce drug 
related problems in Switzerland. These are the results of a large 
experiment of the Swiss federal office of public health. After a 
scientific trial, the medical profession usually judges it unethical, 
to withold an effective treatment for patients.

There is no better treatment, medication or measure to reduce 
criminality, unemployment, consumption of cocaine and other illegal 
substances among opioid addicts but prescribing heroin. And it 
lowered death rate as well as physical and mental diseases among 
junkies who failed with all previous other treatment. Heroin 
prescription is no means to reduce the high total number of drug 
addicts in Switzerland. 

Sue Rusche („Heroin and the Swiss", Dec. 5) is misinterpreting our 
results. In a special randomized study in Geneva, opioid addicts came 
out better with heroin prescription than with methadone or other 
conventional treatment. The Geneva researchers also demonstrated, 
that even after several failures with methadone based treatment, 
it was worth to try it ones more.

If you want to see the Swiss heroin experiment, watch CBS „60 Minutes" 
at Dec-27th. If Texan responsibles want to compare, they are invited 
to contact for a visit.

André Seidenberg, Dr.med.
Former medical director of the heroin clinic ZokL1 
Zürich, Switzerland
http://www.access.ch/datasci/ase


Who is André Seidenberg? He is a general practitioner in Zurich and 
a pioneer who was a prime mover in the Swiss drug policy. He guided 
the abolition of the needle and syringe exchange prohibition in 
Switzerland in the mid eighties. He built up the first low threshold 
methadone maintenance clinic in Switzerland and initiated a demand 
covering offer with methadone based treatment (clinic ZokL1). He 
proposed the Swiss heroin trial (PROVE-Project) and was the head of 
the first involved clinic (ZokL2). He designed and developed 
computerised prescription and dosing systems for opioids. He is a 
member of the safety assurance group of the Swiss heroin trial. He 
is also the author of a manual for the out-patient treatment of 
opioid addicts with methadone, heroin and other opioids, and worked 
for the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. 

Seidenberg A., Honegger U, 1998: Methadon, Heroin und andere 
Opioide - Medizinisches Manual für die ambulante opioidgestützte 
Behandlung, Verlag Hans Huber Bern, ISBN 3-456-82908-6

André Seidenberg, Dr.med.Weinbergstr. 98001 ZürichSwitzerland	
Tel. 	01 266 58 00Fax.	01 266 58 01


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

Subj: Mexico: U.S., MEXICO ADMIT DRUG WAR IS FAILING
From: Steve Young <>
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 21:49:00 -0600

Newshawk: Steve Young 
Pubdate: 23 Dec 1998
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Contact: 
web: http://chicagotribune.com
Author: New York Times News Service
Section: Sec. 1

U.S., MEXICO ADMIT DRUG WAR IS FAILING

An ambitious U.S. effort to help train and equip Mexico's armed forces to
pursue drug smugglers is a shambles, officials of both countries say,
souring American relations with an ally that Washington has worked
intensely to court.

Three years after the Pentagon began donating dozens of helicopters to the
Mexican army and training hundreds of Mexican soldiers in the United
States, officials have seen only a handful of the anti-drug operations
intended in the program.

The helicopter fleet has been grounded by mechanical problems, and angry
Mexican generals are sharply cutting the number of troops they will send to
train.

According to U.S. intelligence reports, the drug flights that the plan was
designed to combat have virtually ceased. But that appears to be because
the traffickers turned to smuggling schemes like containerized shipping
before the enforcement strategy ever got off the ground. The flow of drugs
into the United States has continued apace.

Tensions over the failed strategy, the faltering equipment and continuing
reports of Mexican military corruption have grown serious enough, U.S.
officials said, that they have asked Mexico's commanding generals to
reassess the program altogether.

"The question, basically, is: How do we get out of this box?" a Clinton
administration official said. "We will talk about the plan that they come
up with, and we will talk about whether we want to support that plan."

The conflict underscores the competing agendas that the Pentagon and the
CIA have encountered in Latin America as they have tried to use the fight
against international drug traffickers to remake their old alliances with
military forces in the region.

Like its counterparts in Colombia and Peru--and like the Pentagon
itself--the Mexican military seized on the drug fight as a mission of
growing importance and as a way to protect its budgets after the Cold War.

But the Mexican commanders have pursued the effort with secrecy and
independence, raising questions about whether the United States is
strengthening powerful and sometimes autonomous military forces at the
expense of civilian institutions such as the courts and the police.

"The answer here is that there is no silver bullet," said Jan Lodal, who,
until his recent retirement as the principal deputy undersecretary of
defense for policy, oversaw the Pentagon's anti-drug cooperation with
Mexico. "You are going to have to build an effective civilian
law-enforcement structure, and you're going to have to build it from the
ground up."

Administration officials contend that, despite the tensions, the United
States' relationship with the Mexican armed forces is better than it was
several years ago. They say the CIA's collaboration with a small
drug-intelligence unit of the Mexican army, although largely secret, has
been reasonably successful.

And they emphasize that they turned to the Mexican military only after
President Ernesto Zedillo did so himself, giving his generals a new
public-security role because the corrupting influence of the drug trade had
so paralyzed the federal police.

Clinton administration officials still are quick to say any long-term
solution to Mexico's criminal-justice problems must focus on civilian
institutions.

But they also continue to spend considerably more on anti-drug training for
the military than they have on court officers and the police, and they have
largely approved the steady expansion of the Mexican armed forces'
influence over a range of law-enforcement programs.

"From the start, all of us have believed that, if you don't have a judicial
system and a police force that are responsive to the elected civilian
leadership, you're in trouble," the White House drug policy director, Gen.
Barry McCaffrey, said in an interview.

But he added, "You don't produce the Swiss police in a year."

 
 

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

Subj: Colombia: U.S. to investigate deadly Colombia raid
From: Steve Young <>
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 21:47:32 -0600

Newshawk: Steve Young
Pubdate: 23 Dec. 1998
Source: Daily Herald (IL)
Contact: 
Web: http://www.dailyherald.com
Section: Sec. 1

U.S. to investigate deadly Colombia raid

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Government said Tuesday it was investigating the use
of U.S.-supplied warplanes in a military attack on a Colombian village that
killed up to 27 people. State Department officials said initial information
indicated the Dec. 13 attack with OV-10 Bronco fighter-bonbers and rockets
was a legitimate raid on drug traffickers.

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

Subj: A little holiday cheer from the DEA
From: Steve Young <>
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 09:25:12 -0600

This is from the letter page of today's Chicago Tribune.

Newshawk: Steve Young 
Pubdate: 24 Dec 1998
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company
Contact: 
web: http://chicagotribune.com
Author: Peter B. Bensinger, Former administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration
Section: Sec. 1

POT'S HAZARDS

CHICAGO -- The editorial "Groundswell for medical marijuana" (Nov. 8)
represents a serious misperception of what is best for America. The
editorial reports that there is growing recognition that marijuana may have
therapeutic value as medicine and that our government ought to move in this
direction. Such advice does a disservice to the public and is very
ill-advised.

Why isn't marijuana medicine? Because federal law requires a substance must
be shown to be scientifically safe and effective and must be approved for
use by the Federal Drug Administration. Marijuana does not meet these
criteria. Marijuana contains an unstable mix of more than 460 chemicals.
Smoking marijuana produces 2,000 chemicals. Known carcinogens in marijuana
include napthalene, benzene and nitrosamines.

Are there other drugs available for chemotherapy patients? Yes. Marinol is
a synthetic pill with THC-active ingredients. Zofran is another approved
medication that has fewer side effects than marijuana, and it has been
found to be more effective as an anti-nausea agent.

Since when is burning leaves good medicine? Since when are the voters
responsible for determining what prescription drugs get stocked in our
pharmacies? In the early 20th Century, Congress passed the Food and Drug
Act to protect the public from snake oil salesmen, many of whom, in fact,
were selling opium and heroin and other products that failed to meet the
medical claims advertised. Now very carefully we watch what type of beef,
salad oil and pills are made available to the public.

Does the public know if a new drug is safe for heart disease or arthritis?
Scientists do, health experts do, the surgeon general does, the World
Health Organization does, the Food and Drug Administration does. Marijuana
does not qualify as safe or effective medicine in the views of any of these
professional organizations.

The fact that marijuana can pass in a referendum sponsored by the
pro-marijuana lobby is no basis to establish it as safe medicine. If this
were the case, then anytime someone wanted some smoking product to be made
available and was able to muster an adequate voting block to pass a
referendum, then we would have that new product on the shelf that could
lead to short-term memory loss, reduced immune system efficiency, loss of
motivation and vigilance, and at the same time could be as carcinogenic,
dangerous and unproven as marijuana.

The editorial board members have been leaders in molding public opinion and
reinforcing the need for justice. The Tribune's leadership and its
editorial opinions have been impressive. But I am disappointed that in this
case, the views expressed on marijuana are neither helpful nor safe.

Peter B. Bensinger 
Former administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

 

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

End of Maptalk-Digest V98 #503
******************************

Mark Greer ()         ___ ___     _ _  _ _
Media Awareness Project              /' _ ` _ `\ /'_`)('_`\
P. O. Box 651                        | ( ) ( ) |( (_| || (_) )
Porterville, CA 93258                (_) (_) (_) \__,_)| ,__/
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