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Maptalk-Digest Sunday, December 27 1998 Volume 98 : Number 506

ART: Heroin haunts Northeast Tarrant 
Rockefeller Drug Law Radio Ads
    From: Richard Lake <>
SENT: Ill-informed???
US FL: Ann Landers Censored
    From: Richard Lake <>
PUB LTE: Truth about marijuana
    From: Steve Young <>
ACM-Bulletin of 27 December 1998 (FWD)
    From: Richard Lake <>


Subj: ART: Heroin haunts Northeast Tarrant 
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 07:27:48 -0600 (CST)

From the 12-27-98 Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

- --------------------------------
Heroin haunts Northeast Tarrant 
By The Star-Telegram

Heroin continued to have a deadly impact on Northeast Tarrant County 
this year, killing five area residents and prompting authorities to 
begin pursuing federal charges against dealers suspected of selling even 
the smallest quantities of the opiate. Deaths involving heroin use also 
occurred in Denton, Plano, Allen and Lake Dallas. 

The region has been declared a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, 
which will combine local, state and federal resources to improve 
intelligence-gathering techniques and to coordinate investigations.

Northeast Tarrant's 1998 heroin death toll began Sept. 29 when Sonja Dee 
Cardenas, 32, of Bedford died after using heroin and cocaine. On Oct. 7, 
Stephanie Angela Holley, 18, of Bedford was found dead, and tests showed 
that heroin caused her death. About three weeks later, Kristen Taylor, 
19, died at a North Richland Hills hospital after a three-year battle 
with heroin addiction. Tests showed that she died after using heroin and 

On Oct. 31, Reef Dylan Mask, 21, of Haltom City died after using heroin 
and cocaine, tests showed. The year's oldest heroin victim, 48-year-old 
Claude Pittmon of Bedford, was found dead by his wife in their home. 
Tests revealed that heroin also killed him.

More than two dozen people in North Texas have died in the past two 
years after using heroin. In most cases, a more potent form of the drug, 
black tar heroin, has been used.

In Plano, an effort among local, state and federal law enforcement 
personnel resulted in a 36-count indictment against 29 people in July. 
Some of those indicted are being prosecuted with a sentencing 
enhancement, which means that prosecutors are attempting to prove that 
heroin supplied by the defendants resulted in death.


Subj: Rockefeller Drug Law Radio Ads
From: Richard Lake <>
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 08:52:09 -0500

From:	Deborah Small Sent:	Saturday, December 26, 1998 2:31 PM To:	 Subject:
Rockefeller Drug Law Radio Ads

Dear Friends:

On Sunday, December 27th two radio spots focusing on the impact of the
Rockefeller Drug Laws will air on stations in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse
and Long Island. These ads are especially timely in light of the fact that
Gov. Pataki has announced that he will not be granting any executive
clemencies this Holiday Season. This decision represents a significant
change in policy as Pataki has granted clemency to a select few of New
York's inmates each year since coming into office. Included among this
number have been several persons convicted under New York's draconian
Rockefeller Drug Laws, most recently Anthony Papa and Angela Thomnpson.

Below is the text of the spots which will air between Dec. 27th and Dec.
31st. The air schedule for the spots is attached to this message as a
Microsoft Excel worksheet.* If you have any questions or need additonal
information, feel free to contact me.

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday and Good Things in the New Year!


Deborah Small 
212 548 0370
212 519 0410

Radio/ :60 secs


Off from work today? Home with the kids, maybe returning some gifts?

Teaching them to ride that new bike or rollerblades? Lucy Brady wishes she
too could be with her family, her children. But she can't. Not this year.
Maybe not for many years to come. Her three children hardly know her.
Lucy's spent the last eight years in prison. Her crime? She was just there,
young, in an apartment where drugs were sold. Her sentence? 15 years to
life. Why? The Rockefeller drug laws, passed years ago, mandate sentences
longer than most rapists or murderers ever serve. No judicial discretion
allowed. Period.

When she went to prison, Lucy's children were just one, two, and three
years old. This time of year, you look at your children and think how
quickly the years pass. How lives move on. And you may even once in a while
think about the mistakes you made when you were young. You could have been
there, too. Call your legislator. Tell them that Lucy and all the Lucys of
New York State have done their time. Repeal the Rockefeller drug laws. 15
to life is too big a price to pay for just being there.

[Paid for by ...... ]

Radio/ :60 secs

VO #1 [young girl]:

Dear Santa.  Thank you for all the presents I got this year.  But you
didn't answer my real wish again.  Why can't I see Grandma and Grandpa?

AVO [male]:

Twelve years ago, Mary and David Brown's nightmare began when an informant
lied and told the police that they sold him drugs.  The Browns' car was
searched but no drugs were ever found. They depleted their life savings to
defend themselves.  But both were convicted. Their only crime was being in
an apartment where drugs were sold.  Mary was sentenced to 15 to life,
David 17 to life.  The trial judge wanted to show leniency, but wasn't
allowed.  Why? The Rockefeller Drug Laws require anyone selling 2 or more
ounces of any drug to serve more jail time than most murderers or rapists.
The Browns' daughter is now a mom herself with two kids who've never spent
a Christmas with Grandma or Grandpa.  Look at your children and know what
happened to the Browns could happen to anyone, even you.  Call your
legislators. Tell them 15 to life is too high a price to pay for being in
the wrong place at the wrong time.

[Paid for by ...... ] 

Forwarded by Richard Lake
* The  roboeditor software eats attachments, so the
spreadsheet can not be provided. However, there is a good review of the
impact of the Rockefeller laws at:


Subj: SENT: Ill-informed???
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 13:44:04 -0600 (CST)

<---- Begin Included Message ---->
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 13:21:42 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Ill-informed???

Dear Editor,

It always amazes me to see government officials say that those
of us seeking to change our nation's drug policy are *ill-informed*.

If we are so *ill-informed*, why is it that government officials
consistantly avoid public debate with us on drug policy issues?

A good challenge for the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram would be to try
and arrange a series of public debates concerning several areas of 
our nation's drug policy. Don't hold your breath waiting on the 
government to reply. It will be more deadly than a drug overdose.

Alan Bryan
Drug Policy Forum of Texas

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


Subj: US FL: Ann Landers Censored
From: Richard Lake <>
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 16:24:16 -0500

Newshawk: A tip from John Chase
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 1998  The Tribune Co.
Pubdate: 25 Dec 1998
Columnist: Ann Landers, Creators Syndicate Inc
Mail: Ann Landers, P.O.  Box 11562, Chicago, IL, 60611-0562
NOTE: Subject line by MAP! Readers, when I read Ann Lander's column I
always believed what I was reading was what she wrote. Silly me! While the
Tribune will probably say they edited the column for space, it is
interesting what was left out of the full column, changing the meaning, in
my opinion:

The lead sentence from the fourth paraghraph:
'Unfortunately, the "war on drugs" has turned out to be a colossal failure.'

And the entire paragraph:
"We are becoming increasingly desensitized to filthy language, garbage
"art" and rotten stuff on TV. Violence, bigotry and talking dirty must be
tolerated, we are told, because we dare not endanger "freedom of speech." I
am firmly against censorship, but where is the moral outrage against all
the filth? It's almost impossible to find a family movie these days. What
has happened to plain, everyday decency?"

See the column as published in the Washington Post and elsewhere at:

I wonder if it was censored in any other newspapers?

Richard Lake 
Senior Editor; MAPnews, MAPnews-Digest and DrugNews-Digest



Dear Readers:

In 1955, the year I began writing this column, I wrote an essay for
Christmas Day. Reader response was extremely rewarding, and I have
reprinted it each year, with topical modifications. This is my Christmas
message for 1998:

Dear Readers: 

Today is Christmas. What has happened to peace on Earth, goodwill toward
men? In many parts of the world, there is no peace, and in the hearts of
many men, there is nothing that could pass for goodwill.

Our youth insist that we are poisoning the environment, and they are right.
They resent living in a world they didn't make, and who can blame them? But
what generation ever made the world it had to live in?

Although our universities are once again places of higher learning, racism
abounds on many campuses. Prejudice against minorities is on the increase,
and I fear it's going to get worse before it gets better.

The increase in the number of homicides is staggering, and most of it is
drug-related. Guns and knives are standard equipment among teenagers. It is
not uncommon for a teenager to get shot or stabbed for his jacket or his
shoes. Metal detectors in schools help some, but not enough.

While alcohol is still the most abused drug of all, marijuana and stronger
substances like crack cocaine are commonplace in junior and senior high
schools. The dropout rate is appalling. Why should a kid stay in school
when he can get rich dealing drugs? This is the message too many young
people are getting.

Suicide is the second most frequent cause of death in this country among
teenagers ages 15 to 19. (The first is accidents.) Every 100 minutes, a
young person under 24 in America will kill himself. Over the past 35 years,
the youth suicide rate has tripled.

More bad news is that venereal disease is epidemic, not to mention AIDS,
for which there is no vaccine and no cure, although new drugs are providing

Because this is an advice column, I spend the greater part of every day
with grief and trouble. I am adored by some, despised by others, chastised,
castigated and dumped on. Does it depress me? No, it does not.

After 43 years, I still find writing this column immensely rewarding. I
realize that many people who write to me don't want advice. They just need
someone who will listen.

My column has provided me with an opportunity to shine a spotlight on
ignorance and fear, comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. I am
well aware that mine is an enormous responsibility, and I try hard, 365
days a year, never to let you down.

You, dear readers, are my friends. You invite me into your homes, and
often, we have breakfast together. I want to be there for you when you need

So, if you feel the need to unburden yourself, blow your top, register a
gripe or tell me off, I'm as close as your mailbox.

God bless you all. Pray for good health and an open heart so you can love
your neighbor, even though he or she may not be lovable. I hope 1999 will
be your best year ever. 

Ann Landers 


Subj: PUB LTE: Truth about marijuana
From: Steve Young <>
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 17:54:24 -0600

Newshawk: Steve Young
Pubdate: 27 Dec. 1998
Source: Daily Herald (IL)
Section: Sec. 1

Truth about marijuana

Common sense should tell us it's time to level with young people about the
real risks of marijuana and other drugs, but instead teens are getting more
overblown scare stories. The article "Pot use 'no big deal' to teens"
(Daily Herald, Dec. 10) is an excellent example. Whatever the credentials
of Susan Dalterio, the professor who spoke about marijuana at the College
of DuPage, her assertions about the drug can be categorized one of two
ways: ridiculous or downright dangerous. To produce a balanced story, the
Daily Herald could have contacted any number of respected researchers (Dr.
Lester Grinspoon, Dr. John P. Morgan, Dr. Lynn Zimmer, Dr. Andrew Weil, for
a few examples) who dispute most of Dalterio's claims. Instead, highly
suspect information was presented as hard fact.

Among the ridiculous ideas: In the 1960s marijuana had only "traces" of
THC, the agent that causes intoxication. Even if there is a bit of truth
submerged in this fallacy, several questions must be raised. If marijuana
was so mild in the past, why was it outlawed in the first place? Were
prohibitionists able to magically predict that it would become stronger in
the future? Or, could the very laws that are designed to stop marijuana use
actually encourage increases in potency? While the potency issue and
Dalterio's other notions were at best inaccurate, some other "information"
was just plain irresponsible. Why on earth would the Daily Herald publish a
method to mix marijuana with other substances to make a supposedly more
intoxicating, but definitely more dangerous concoction? How is this
information useful to anyone other than a reckless kid looking for a
stronger buzz? 

I believe the instructions were included because marijuana is just not
scary enough by itself. It does not kill. It does not produce physical
addiction. Many sick people use marijuana to treat a variety of maladies.
Despite these truths, the article reminds us that many journalists have
adopted a simple rule during America's extended period of reefer madness:
If you can't say anything bad about marijuana, don't say anything at all. A
corollary to the rule dictates that the more fear a story produces, the
better. Some people may think this approach will scare kids away from using
marijuana, but if drug use surveys are correct, the strategy is failing
miserably. For decades the dangers of marijuana have been exaggerated.
Often dangers have been completely fabricated.  It's time to take a new
approach, not based on fear, but based on honesty. Maybe if we try to show
respect for the intelligence of young people, they will show more respect
for our warnings against drug use.

Stephen Young 


Subj: ACM-Bulletin of 27 December 1998 (FWD)
From: Richard Lake <>
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 23:10:38 -0500

From:  (Association for Cannabis as Medicine)

- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- ---
ACM-Bulletin of 27 December 1998
- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- ---

* Science: Cannabinoid receptor system may play a role in regulation of
sperm function
* New Zealand: Negative effects of marijuana have been overstated


Science: Cannabinoid receptor system may play a role in regulation of
sperm function

Scientists at the University at Buffalo in New York have shown that
endo-cannbinoids like anandamide may play a role in regulating functions
of human sperm and influence their ability to fertilize eggs. Five years
ago Herbert Schuel, professor of anatomy and cell biology, and
colleagues had already demonstrated that sea urchin sperm contains
cannabinoid-receptors and that cannabinoids can block the acrosome

At the meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology on 15 December
the group presented new study results showing that cannabinoids can
affect three key fertilization processes in humans:
- - Inhibition of acrosome reaction, the normal release of the sperm
enzymes that enable sperm to penetrate the egg.
- - Regulation of very active sperm swimming patterns, called
- - Prevention of sperm binding to the egg cover, or zona pellucida.

During normal reproduction, fluids within the female reproductive tract
prepare the sperm to fertilize the egg -- to swim vigorously and to
undergo the acrosome reaction when they arrive at the egg’s zona. The
researchers mimicked these processes in vitro. They investigated the
effect of THC and AM-356, a synthetic equivalent of anandamide. 

A press release of the University at Buffalo said: "Results showed that
after six hours, sperm exposed to THC or AM-356 had a 67 percent
reduction in premature acrosome reactions, compared to controls.
Motility studies showed that higher levels of AM-356 inhibited
hyperactivated swimming, while lower concentrations actually stimulated
hyperactivation. In the zona experiments, AM-356 inhibited sperm binding
by 75 percent."

"Our new findings suggest that anandamides and THC in marijuana smoke
may ... affect sperm functions required for fertilization in the female
reproductive tract," Dr. Schuel says in the press release. "The
additional load of cannabinoids in the systems of people who abuse
marijuana floods the natural cannabinoid receptors and appears to have
adverse consequences for reproduction in both males and females."

It is now of interest to have information about the used concentrations
to assess if these observations are really of relevance for the
therapeutic or recreational use of THC or marijuana. Low nanomolar
concentrations of THC are observed in the blood in this case. But the
meeting abstract only says "sub microM concentrations".

A "sub microM concentration" could mean e.g. 0.1 or 0.01 micromol. On
request of the ACM Dr. Schuel did not want to provide additional
details, to not compromise chances to publish their findings in
peer-reviewed journals. He used between 0.1 and 100 microM THC in his
former experiments with sea urchin sperm and revealed a dose-response

Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen from nova-Institute in Hürth/Rhineland said: "I
feel reminded of warnings about the influence of marijuana use on
hormones and the immune system in the 70s, after high THC concentrations
had caused severe immunsuppressive effects and a marked infuence on sex
hormones, cortison and thyroid hormones in cell and animal experiments.
Today this view has changed and there is a more differentiated
judgement. Because even heavy marijuana use does not have an evident
contraceptive effect, sensation-seeking conclusions from the actual
sperm research seem to be inappropriate." 

Among others four questions are of interest: 
- - What concentrations of THC can be found in the female reproductive
tract of heavy marijuana users? The concentrations may be lower than in
the blood.
- - Does THC at these concentrations exert a measurable effect on sperm
- - If there are any effects does tolerance develop to these effects? 
- - What is the natural function of the cannabinoid receptor system in
sperm? The observation of a biphasic effect in the motility studies
looks quite interesting.

Table: THC-concentrations and abbreviations
1 microM THC (1 micromol THC) 	 approx. 0.3 microg/ml THC
1 microM THC (1 micromol THC) 	 1000 nM THC
1 nM THC (1 nanomol THC)	 approx. 0.3 ng/ml THC

(Sources: Schuel H, et al: 1998 Meeting of the American Society for Cell
Biology, Abstract 1793; Press release of the University at Buffalo from
15 December 1998; Schuel H: Personal communication of 23 December 1998;
Chang MC, et al: Mol Reprod Dev (1993) 36:507-516; Schuel H, et al: Mol
Reprod Dev (1991) 29:51-59; UPI of 15 December 1998; Reuters of 16
December 1998)


New Zealand: Negative effects of marijuana have been overstated

After eight months of deliberation, a health select committee of the
parliament tabled its report into the mental health effects of cannabis
on 17 December, finding that the drug has probably been unduly
criticised. "Based on the evidence we have heard in the course of this
inquiry," the committee concluded, "the negative mental health impact of
cannabis appears to have been overstated, particularly in relation to
occasional adult users of the drug."

"Evidence received in the course of this inquiry has raised serious
doubts about commonly held beliefs about cannabis," wrote the committee.

But the committee has been careful that it does not underplay the
serious consequences of use of the drug for some people. "Moderate use
of the drug does not seem to harm the majority of people though we do
not deny the serious impact cannabis use may have on certain
individuals, particularly those with schizophrenia or those with a
vulnerability to psychotic illness."

The chairman of the committee, Brian Neeson, said the inquiry found that
there was inadequate research into some areas. "We are concerned that
cannabis use may accelerate the onset of schizophrenia in predisposed
individuals and may be a complicating factor in the treatment of people
with mental illnesses."

"Evidence received during the inquiry supports the view that there can
be subtle cognitive impairment in cannabis users," the report says. In
this respect, the committee drew to a large extent on the work of Prof.
Wayne Hall of the Australian National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre,
who was commissioned to report on scientific research in this area. He
found that long-term use of cannabis may cause subtle impairment in the
higher cognitive functions of memory, attention and the organisation and
integration of complex information. "Hall and the Health Funding
Authority pointed out that cannabis should be viewed as a lesser threat
to cognitive functioning than alcohol."

The committee said the evidence also suggested that cannabis did not
cause behavioural difficulties, rather that cannabis was frequently used
by youths who misbehaved. Neither was it a cause of suicide.

The 18 recommendations contained in the report call for increased
funding of research, particularly among Maori, and for greater provision
and coordination of services to help people seeking drug treatment. It
was also believed that a change in the law may help to draw more people
who need help. "Those who develop problems are less likely to seek help
because they use an illegal substance and may spiral into alienation,
anti-social behaviour, criminality, mental illness or violence."

(Source: New Zealand Herald from 18 December 1998)


News in brief

Until now, the "Frankfurt Resolution" for the medical use of marijuana
is supported by the AIDS support groups in Frankfurt/Main, Dusseldorf,
Cologne and Munich, akzept, Association für Cannabis as Medicine,
Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe (Federal AIDS support organization), German
Association for Epilepsy, German Society for Algesiology, German Society
for Drug and Addiction Medicine, German Society for Poliomyelitis,
SCHMERZtherapeutisches Kolloquium (Society of pain therapists).

****Great Britain:
Britain's Prince Charles has expressed an interest in the effectiveness
of cannabis in relieving the pain of diseases such as multiple
sclerosis. During his annual visit to the Sue Ryder Home in Cheltenham,
Gloucestershire, the 50-year old heir to the throne asked
wheelchair-bound Karen Drake, who has MS: "Have you tried taking
cannabis? I have heard it's the best thing for it." A spokesman for the
Prince said that the conversation had been private: "If the Prince does
have a view on this matter, he is not making it known."
(Source: The Times of 24 December 1998, Reuters of 24 December 1998, PA
News of 23 December 1998)

Health Minister Andrea Fischer is ready to take new steps in drug
policy. Among them are considerations to sell cannabis in pharmacies.
Through the free sale of small amounts of hashish in selected pharmacies
the markets for soft and hard drugs could be seperated, Fischer said.
This would be a fussy debate but the topic should be discussed less
excited in the future. The health spokesman of the Christian Democrats,
Wolfgang Lohman, strictly disagreed. A sale in pharmacies would be a
wrong signal to children and teenagers. Also, the chairman of the
federal organisation of physicians (Bundesärztekammer), Dr. Karsten
Villmar, dismissed the considerations.
(Sources: Press release of the CDU/CSU Bundestag party of 23 December
1998, AP of 23 and 24 December 1998)

Will Foster will spend another Christmas in jail despite unanimous
approval from the state's parole board to release him. In 1997 an
Oklahoma jury sentenced Foster to 93 years in jail for cultivating
marijuana in a 25-square foot underground shelter and other lesser
marijuana-related charges. Foster maintains that he grew the marijuana
to alleviate the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. This fall, an appeals
court judge found Foster's sentence excessive and reduced the term to 20
(Source: NORML of 22 December 1998)

At the new web site of the Association for Cannabis
as Medicine will be builded up.



... in the course of the debate about Prince Charles question to a
multiple sclerosis sufferer

"We recognise that some people who use cannabis to relieve symptoms find
themselves on the wrong side of the law but we do not feel they should
be treated as criminals." 

        A spokesman of the UK Multiple Sclerosis Society, The Times of
24 December 1998

Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM)
Maybachstrasse 14
D-50670 Cologne
Fon: ++49-221-912 30 33
Fax: ++49-221-130 05 91

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End of Maptalk-Digest V98 #506

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Media Awareness Project              /' _ ` _ `\ /'_`)('_`\
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