Maptalk-Digest Tuesday, December 29 1998 Volume 98 : Number 508
PUB: National debate needed for sensible drug policy
Angela Y. Davis - Justice Pioneer
ART: U.S. strengthens ties with Colombian army
FW: INFORMATION REGARDING PENDING PAROLE FOR WILLIAM J. FOSTER, DOC #252721
From: "Don Beck" <>
Sent to Talk of the Nation
From: "Tom O'Connell" <>
SENT: WP and The Herald Re: Raspberry
From: Peter Webster <>
US CA: Lockyer to back medical marijuana
From: "Frank S. World" <>
Subj: PUB: National debate needed for sensible drug policy
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 08:44:42 -0600 (CST)
I think more letters of this type should be sent, not only
as LTE's, but also to reporters who pen stories about drug
policy. It would be great for assignment editors to issue
the task of arranging local and national debates on drug
policy. It could turn out to be the most challenging assignment
that a reporter could undertake.
From the 12-29-98 San Antonio Express-News
National debate needed for sensible drug policy
Al Ronnfeldt, in his Dec. 16 letter arguing that the war on drugs should
be continued in its present form, makes the mistake of assuming that the
government has prevented drugs from reaching people.
The Drug Policy Forum of Texas is, as I understand it, making the
The group is saying that prohibition actually increases children's
access to drugs by creating a profit opportunity for organized crime.
The forum believes that a national dialogue is needed to arrive at a
sensible drug policy that would not cause harm.
Subj: Angela Y. Davis - Justice Pioneer
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 08:44:46 -0600 (CST)
This was posted on the C-JUST list. It is a Boston Globe
article that ran earlier this month. I was wondering when
someone was going to make the prison/slavery connection.
The article contains come good stats relating to prison
growth and education shrinking.
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Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 12:54:36 -0500
Reply-To: "CJUST-L: Criminal Justice Discussion List"
Sender: "CJUST-L: Criminal Justice Discussion List"
From: "John V. Wilmerding" <>
Subject: Angela Y. Davis - Justice Pioneer
Angela Davis' new crusade
By Derrick Z. Jackson, Globe Columnist, 12/04/98
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- In the 1960s when she thrust her fist skyward against
oppression with the firmness of steel and issued critiques of America as
volcanic as her Afro, Angela Davis had a tremendous optimism that prisons
would become rusted hulks in an America that educated its children.
"When there were only 200,000 people in prison in the country, California
had the best public educational system in the country from kindergarden all
the way up through postgraduate," Davis said in a recent interview with the
Trotter Group, a national group of African-American columnists.
"And in a lot of ways, you could say people who wanted to get an education
could. In 1968, we had the strike at San Francisco State, University of
California-Berkeley. You had the beginning of open admissions. We had an
amazing amount of hope for the educational system."
Her hope has been shattered. The national prison population has zoomed
from 200,000 toward 2 million. African-American and Latino men now find
admission to jail far easier than college. A Rockefeller-funded study
released this fall by the Justice Policy Institute found that there are now
five times more African-American men in California prisons than in
state universities - 44,617 to 8,767. There are 53,881 Latino prisoners
compared with 30,454 in four-year state colleges.
The gulf is now so wide that Davis is on a new crusade. She is calling for
the abolition of prisons.
"Oftentimes people think I'm really a provocateur when I talk about prison
abolition," Davis said. "But there were those who felt the same way about
the abolition of slavery. There were those who assumed that slavery was
here to stay, that it was eternal. If you don't have those who are willing
to try to imagine a world where the prison doesn't loom so
large as it does today, then we'll never get there.
"Most of us can't imagine that. Most of us can't imagine living in a
society without prisons."
Davis's ability to imagine such a thing during this punishment-mad,
prison-happy era comes from her own perseverance. She was once labeled so
radical in California that Ronald Reagan, then governor, vowed that Davis
would never again teach in a state university after UCLA dropped her from
the philosophy department in 1969. A member of the Communist Party, she
was put on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List on false charges and jailed for
16 months before being acquitted.
She now is a tenured professor at University of California-Santa Cruz. She
has published six books. When she helped organize a national conference on
prisons in the Bay Area in September, she thought that perhaps 500 people
would attend. More than 3,000 came.
The attendance, Davis said, was a sign that people are recognizing that
prison has become less an institution for truly hardened criminals and more
of an instrument of social control of low-income people whom society has
decided not to educate.
In the last 10 years, spending on corrections in California has grown 60
percent, while spending on kindergarten through 12th grade went up only 26
percent and higher education declined 3 percent. Though it costs five
times more to incarcerate someone in California than to educate them in
college ($22,000 to $4,000), California has built 21 new prisons since
1980, and only one new college campus. The top pay for correctional
officers - $50,820 a year - easily surpasses the average salary range of
$32,000 to $37,000 for university instructors.
Underfunded state colleges in turn unload their burdens on the backs of
students, raising tuitions by as much as 485 percent since 1980. For
African-American men, the tuitions are a modern poll tax. Between 1990 and
1997, African-American male enrollment in state public universities
declined by 217 students while the number of black male prisoners
increased by 12,147.
Thus, for every black male eliminated from its state universities in the
1990s, California has added 57 to its prisons. Many of the new inmates are
nonviolent offenders who could be more effectively rehabilitated with drug
treatment and education.
"We've always known that the war on drugs is really a war on the
communities that so often are victimized by the drug trade." Davis said.
"Which isn't to say that people don't have responsibility or shouldn't be
accountable. But if we don't change things, we'll say perhaps 10 years
from now that a black man in California is 10 times more likely to go to
prison than to go to college or university.
"It seems to me that with all this discussion about slavery, we ought to
bring up the discussions about the vestiges of slavery within the prison
system and the fact that it is becoming a system that is increasingly
designed to hold black people - black men, black women - behind bars,
sometimes for the rest of their lives."
Derrick Z. Jackson is a Globe columnist.
This story ran on page A31 of the Boston Globe on 12/04/98.
Copyright 1998 Globe Newspaper Company.
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Subj: ART: U.S. strengthens ties with Colombian army
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 09:11:15 -0600 (CST)
Here's more of your tax dollars going down Colombia's
From the 12-29-98 Houston Chronicle
U.S. strengthens ties with Colombian army
By DOUGLAS FARAH
WASHINGTON -- Despite the roles of Colombia's military in human-rights
abuses and the nation's drug corruption, the United States is stepping
up its involvement with the Colombian armed forces because it fears that
they are losing a war to Marxist rebels who derive much of their income
from drug trafficking.
Washington is acting despite concerns about the army's dismal human
rights record as well as drug-related corruption that has long reached
into the highest ranks of the officer corps.
The American aid package will provide training and partial funding for a
1,000-man army counter-narcotics brigade as well as a CIA-sponsored
intelligence center and listening post deep in Colombia's Amazon jungle,
according to U.S. and Colombian officials.
The aid comes on top of training that has been provided to the Colombian
military on a smaller scale by U.S. Special Forces for several years
under a program of joint exercises by the U.S. military and its
counterparts around the world.
The decision to "cautiously re-engage" the Colombian military, in the
words of one senior U.S. official, marks a significant shift in American
policy toward Colombia, a violence-wracked Andean nation of 37 million
that supplies roughly 80 percent of the cocaine and 60 percent of the
heroin sold in the United States.
After working closely with the Colombian military in the late 1980s and
early '90s, the United States largely cut off direct aid, citing human
rights abuses. While the Special Forces training has continued, the bulk
of U.S. money to fight drug trafficking has been steered to the
country's national police force.
Human rights organizations charge that the United States, in returning
to a posture of greater cooperation with the Colombian military, is
rewarding an army with one of the worst human rights records in Latin
America while risking entanglement in the country's long-running civil
But U.S. officials say they have little choice given the growing
involvement in drug trafficking of Colombia's largest rebel group, the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish initials
FARC. In seeking to establish a Marxist state, FARC relies on drug
revenues to finance its increasingly sophisticated arsenal of weapons
and its intelligence-gathering and communications gear.
"We are committed to maintaining the line between counter-insurgency and
counter-drugs, because we are not in the counter-insurgency business,"
said one U.S. official. "But to the degree counter-drug efforts bring us
into conflict with the guerrillas, so be it. That is the price we pay
for (giving this aid) and the price the guerrillas pay for being
involved with drug trafficking."
Adding urgency to the U.S. effort is a startling series of defeats
suffered by the Colombian army. In one battle last summer, FARC rebels
killed or captured 125 of the 152 members of an elite counter-insurgency
unit and made off with hundreds of automatic rifles, night-vision gear
and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, according to U.S. and
Of the trickle of aid that the United States has provided to the
Colombian military in recent years, almost all has gone to the air force
and navy, rather than the army, which has been linked to right-wing
paramilitary death squads. The United States has channeled most of its
counter-drug assistance to the National Police, which, under the
leadership of Gen. Jose Serrano, has improved its human rights record
and is now considered one of the world's premier counter-narcotics
In fiscal 1998 the United States gave the police $289 million, up from
$180 million the year before, making Colombia one of the largest
recipients of U.S. aid. In contrast, the military received $40 million,
of which $30 million was used to maintain two radar bases to monitor
suspicious flights from Peru and Bolivia.
Subj: FW: INFORMATION REGARDING PENDING PAROLE FOR WILLIAM J. FOSTER, DOC #252721:
From: "Don Beck" <>
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 12:27:09 -0600
- -----Original Message-----
From: Richard Kirby 
Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 1998 11:26 AM
To: IPM Return requested
Subject: INFORMATION REGARDING PENDING PAROLE FOR WILLIAM J. FOSTER, DOC
This information is in response to your inquiry regarding William J. Foster.
INFORMATION REGARDING PENDING PAROLE FOR WILLIAM J. FOSTER, DOC #252721:
1. William J. Foster was approved by the Pardon and Parole Board for parole
on August 15 at the August board meeting.
2. The Pardon and Parole process in Oklahoma is a two stage process. The
law requires that in order for a person to be paroled that person must
first be approved by the Pardon and Parole Board. The Board's approval acts
as a recommendation to the Governor that the inmate be paroled. The
Governor reviews the recommendation by the Board and makes the final
decision. The Governor has 30 days after he receives the file within which
he must make his decision.
3. When the Board approves an inmate for parole, the inmate must first meet
all conditions for parole set by the Board and have an approved residence or
"home offer" on file before the recommendation is sent to the Governor.
This process can take from 30 days to 6 months.
4. The Governor received the file on December 21, 1998.
5. The Governor will consider the entire file and the recommendations of the
investigative officer, the DA and the people of Tulsa County in making his
If you have any questions concerning the status of the file, you can call
the Pardon and Parole Board at 405-427-8601.
RICHARD W. KIRBY
DEPUTY GENERAL COUNSEL
Subj: Sent to Talk of the Nation
From: "Tom O'Connell" <>
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 12:54:25 -0800
Subject: A Sterile discussion of the drug problem
Dear Ray Suarez;
By restricting itself to two ardent supporters of our current policy of
prohibition, today's early show, purportedly devoted to America's drug
problem, was actually a disservice. There is increasing recognition
that our drug policy has little to do with drugs and even less to do
with addiction. Rather, it has everything to do with maintaining a huge
international criminal market and with the expensive effort to suppress
that market. As both lucrative enterprises expand in tandem, the truth that
we have constructed an expensive, failed, and ultimately disastrous
policy is increasingly buried in the kind of phony rhetoric today's
guests excel at.
Your own leap to defend prohibition because crack is such a nasty drug
was particularly witless. Don't you understand that without prohibition, a
crack would not ever have come on the market? It bears the same
relationship to drug
prohibition as the martini did to Prohibition; criminalizing any substance
favors marketing it in its most potent form.
I suggest you educate yourself, at least minimally, before tackling this
subject again. Start with "Drug Crazy" by Mike Gray; then read Eric
Schlosser's article on the "Prison Industrial Complex" in the December
Atlantic Monthly, and "Smoke and Mirrors" by Dan Baum.
For heavens' sake, spare us the inane prattle of stooges like Sally
Satel and Michael Massing who already have unlimited access to op-ed pages for
their unabashed propaganda. At least arrange for one of them to debate an
spokesman for true policy reform, and not just argue against absent cops for a
larger slice of the prohibition pie. As informative news radio, today's
program gets a
Tom O'Connell, MD
195 Warren Road
San Mateo, CA 94401
Subj: SENT: WP and The Herald Re: Raspberry
From: Peter Webster <>
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 11:52:48 +0000
Letter to the Editor, The Herald
from: Peter Webster email:
Review Editor, International Journal of Drug Policy
RE: Mandatory Drug Sentencing Policy Doesn't Work,
William Raspberry, December 27, 1998
Merely questioning how many people we put in prison for drugs, or for how
long, misses the point entirely. The larger and far more important issue is
why society believes it must "punish" drug users in the first place. For a
mere insult to a morality which is at best in serious self-contradiction
about which "drugs" are "harmful" and what should be done about it, we are
ready to imprison otherwise law-abiding citizens for terms exceeding those
for horrendous personal-offense crimes with loudly complaining victims. Is
the "drug-taker" a threat to national security? Hardly. A threat to our
very way of life and civilization? C'mon. He may be a threat to that
faction of moral fundamentalists who are quite prepared to foist their
beliefs on us all and damn the consequences, or a threat to a government
and official policy which will eventually have to answer for the great
crimes and stupidities resulting from Prohibitionist mania, but I believe
it is becoming clear to many that "punishing drug-takers" is only a short
distance from persecuting them, and a nation which makes persecution of an
out-group its official policy will have a very difficult time avoiding what
typically happens to such nations. The 20th Century has plenty of examples.
International Journal of Drug Policy http://www.elsevier.nl:80/
DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy http://www.druglibrary.org/
Subj: US CA: Lockyer to back medical marijuana
From: "Frank S. World" <>
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 18:51:33 -0600
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Pubdate: Tuesday, December 29, 1998
©1998 San Francisco Examiner
LOCKYER TO BACK MEDICAL MARIJUANA
By Robert Salladay EXAMINER CAPITOL BUREAU
SACRAMENTO - With Gov.-elect Gray Davis promising, almost wryly, a soaring
era of government moderation and political fine-tuning, the most radical
change in Sacramento may occur just three blocks away in the attorney
At the fortress-like red marble Department of Justice building on I Street,
Democratic Attorney General-elect Bill Lockyer has already unrolled a list
of priorities - priorities that bear little resemblance to those set by his
Republican predecessor, Dan Lungren, during his two terms.
While Lungren focused almost exclusively on crime and punishment, Lockyer's
list of 12 key issues takes on a far different tone. His list includes
passing an enforceable ban on assault weapons and beefing up civil rights
and environmental and consumer protections. He wants to reform the death
penalty appeals process, curb school violence and regulate the state's
As his 10th priority, Lockyer promises to focus on legalizing the use of
medical marijuana in the wake of Proposition 215, the 1996 initiative that
was intended to allow seriously ill patients grow and use marijuana for pain
relief with a doctor's recommendation.
The initiative has largely failed because of efforts made through the courts
by Lungren and the federal government.
But Lockyer says he wants to make Prop. 215 work. "That means cooperating
with local communities if they have different approaches. So San Francisco
would be different than Kern County," Lockyer said.
The issue highlights one of the bigger differences between Lockyer and
Many marijuana clubs around the state, including the 9,000-member Cannabis
Healing Center in The City, have been shut down since the passage of Prop.
215 through Lungren's efforts and those of the Clinton administration's
Justice Department, seeking to enforce federal laws against marijuana
"I think (Lungren) was overly zealous in continuing to oppose (Prop. 215),
even after the people had adopted it," Lockyer said. "I joke that there are
days when I thought Dan had a copy of "Reefer Madness' at home."
Issues aside, perhaps the most noticeable change between his hand ling of
the job and Lungren's will be Lockyer's desire to demythologize the role of
Lockyer acknowledged he can be a powerful force in supporting crime
legislation, and that his office has a huge role in handling criminal
appeals. In the end, however, the job has limited influence over actual
street crime and the criminal courtrooms.
"My view is perhaps Dan Lungren felt like he was the pinnacle of the
law-enforcement community, and I see my role as more of a support service
for local DAs and local law enforcement," said Lockyer, who takes office
Monday. "Of course, in four years I hope to run ads taking credit for all
the fine work they do, which is what attorneys general tend to do."
During the campaign leading up to his election in November, Lockyer, a
longtime Democratic lawmaker from Hayward, got slapped around by Republican
opponent Dave Stirling, a conservative former judge and chief deputy
attorney general. Stirling portrayed Lockyer as a dangerously squishy
liberal who may or may not have smoked pot. He accused Lockyer of trying to
trash the state's "three strikes" law. And he said Lockyer would likely
cause the crime rate to soar.
It didn't sell. Although voters generally view the attorney general as the
state's "top cop," they picked Lockyer over Stirling by 10 percentage
While Lockyer will have many unresolved issues to face, including 50,000
ongoing lawsuits and criminal appeals, among the biggest will likely be
dealing with Prop. 215.
The 7,000-member California Narcotics Officers Association endorsed Stirling
and differs with Lockyer on medical marijuana, calling Prop. 215 a sham.
Christy McCampbell, president of the association, said she has met with
Lockyer, found him to be interested in her work and thinks the Stirling
endorsement can be put behind them as "politics is politics."
"I think it's going to be kind of a learning experience, all the way around.
He's learning a new position and we really don't want to be involved in the
politics. Our membership is trying to do a job and trying to uphold the laws
on the street."
Although medical marijuana distribution centers have now gone underground,
supporters were buoyed last month when five states - Arizona, Nevada,
Alaska, Washington and Oregon - approved statutes similar to California's.
Lockyer, whose mother and a sister died of leukemia, supported Prop. 215.
During his campaign he said he wants "clinics, not cults." He has appointed
a task force that includes state Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-San Jose, and
Santa Clara County District Attorney George Kennedy, to find ways to make
Prop. 215 work.
"The change from Lungren is potentially very significant," said Dave
Fratello, spokesman for Americans for Medical Rights. "Lockyer has said he
understands the conflict we have with federal law and would like to see this
initiative work. And he has even said he would support regulated
distribution of marijuana, as long as there were safeguards."
Fratello said 1999 could bring efforts to set up an official registry,
perhaps in the state Department of Health, so that medical marijuana users
could show police an identification card if they are stopped. There may be a
move to determine exactly how much marijuana is appropriate per patient.
Meanwhile, Lockyer isn't pretending he knows everything about the agency
he's about to head. He still hasn't announced his picks for many top-level
positions, from the criminal law division to civil rights and, perhaps, a
new position in charge of environmental enforcement.
"The good news is that there are a lot of really fine law-enforcement
professionals who are willing to take on the task of managing the cop shop,"
Lockyer said. "Once that person is in place, I would want to get his
recommendations about the best way to use the department's budget."
Lockyer has asked Gov.-elect Davis for $25¸million in extra funding over
last year's budget to hire more attorneys in some departments and to
strengthen the state's crime labs.
He describes taking over the sprawling agency as similar to being lowered
from a helicopter onto a massive aircraft carrier at sea. Lockyer has spent
the past two months exploring his new digs.
He marvels that the attorney general's supercomputer processes about 1.5
million local law enforcement inquiries a day. He'll go from 50 employees in
the Senate to 5,000 as attorney general. He was astonished to find the
division of civil rights enforcement somewhere below the Registry of
Charitable Trusts on an internal organizational chart.
As a lawmaker, Lockyer was certainly influential as Senate president pro
tem, but ultimately he was just one chattering voice among 120 senators and
Not anymore. "(It's) the difference between having an opinion and having a
legal opinion," Lockyer said. "We all have opinions, and policy makers are
full of them. But having a legal opinion requires a certain kind of
discipline. And trying to motivate and manage and be a good team leader for
5,000 is a very challenging task as well."
©1998 San Francisco Examiner
End of Maptalk-Digest V98 #508
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