Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #274

Expand Messages
  • DRCNet
    The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #274 -- January 31, 2002 A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network Raising Awareness of the Consequences of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #274 -- January 31, 2002
      A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network

      "Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

      Phillip S. Smith, Editor, psmith@...
      David Borden, Executive Director, borden@...

      Subscribe: http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html
      Unsubscribe or change address: mailto:listhelp@...
      This issue on the web: http://www.drcnet.org/wol/274.html

      Come to "Out from the Shadows: Ending Drug Prohibition in the 21st
      Century," Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, February 12-15, 2003 -- visit
      http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/shadows/ for info or to register.

      Join the HEA campaign to repeal the drug provision of the Higher
      Education Act -- visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com for info and
      an activist packet.


      1. The Road to Mérida: Interviews with Participants in the "Out
      from the Shadows" Campaign

      2. Road to Mérida: Dr. Silvia Inchaurraga, Argentine Harm

      3. Road to Mérida: Sala Errata

      4. Rosenthal Case Goes to Jury, Marijuana Grow Guru Faces 10-Year
      Mandatory Minimum for Oakland Medical Marijuana Grow

      5. Bush Treatment Initiative Draws Mixed Reviews from Reformers

      6. Into the Morass: Green Berets in Colombia as "War on Drugs"
      Morphs into "War on Terror"

      7. Drug Czar Says Nevada Election Laws Don't Apply to His

      8. Latin American Anti-Prohibition Conference, Feb. 12-15,
      Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico

      9. Cumbre Internacional Sobre Legalización, 12-15 Febrero,
      Mérida, México

      10. Cúpula Internacional sobre Legalização, 12-15 de Fevereiro,
      Mérida, México

      11. Newsbrief: Violence Continues as Talks Begin in Bolivia --
      Coca Growers, Workers, Indians Present Demands

      12. Newsbrief: DEA Moving to Schedule Two More "Hallucinogens"

      13. Newsbrief: Utah Drugged Driving Bill on the Move

      14. Newsbrief: Colorado Bill Equating Meth Manufacture and Child
      Abuse Moves Forward

      15. Newsbrief: Asian Drug Abolition Mania Spreading -- Malaysia
      Calls for "Total War," Drug Free Southeast Asia by 2015

      16. Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story

      17. Newsbrief: Judge Kane Speaks Out Again, Lambasts Federal Drug

      18. DC Job Opportunity at DRCNet -- Campus Coordinator

      19. The Reformer's Calendar


      1. The Road to Mérida: Interviews with Participants in the "Out
      from the Shadows" Campaign

      This week DRCNet continues our series of interviews with prominent
      participants in the "Out from the Shadows" Latin America summit
      and campaign. Due to interviewee schedules, only one of them was
      completed by press time, Dr. Silvia Inchaurraga, prominent
      Argentine AIDS and drug abuse researcher and head of the Latin
      American Harm Reduction Network.

      We will post further interviews as they become available. Keep
      checking the Week Online and the Out from the Shadows conference
      web pages -- http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/shadows/ (English) and
      http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/sombras/ (Español) for more
      interviews between now and the conference and thereafter -- and if
      you haven't read our Shadows interviews in the last three issues,
      you can check them out in the archives at:



      2. Road to Mérida: Dr. Silvia Inchaurraga, Argentine Harm

      Silvia Inchaurraga is Director of the Drug Abuse and AIDS Advanced
      Studies Center at the University of Rosario in Argentina. After
      having done post-graduate work exploring harm reduction programs
      in Spain and Holland, Inchaurraga returned to Argentina where she
      is now president of the Harm Reduction Association of Argentina
      (http://www.arda.iwarp.com), executive secretary of the Latin
      American Harm Reduction Network (http://www.relard.net), and
      Member of the International Council of the International Harm
      Reduction Association (http://www.ihra.net). She is editor of the
      recently published anthology, "Drugs: Between Harm and the Failure
      of Prohibition -- New Perspectives on the Decriminalization-
      Legalization Debate." DRCNet interviewed Inchaurraga Thursday via
      e-mail from Argentina.

      Week Online: You are the president of the Harm Reduction
      Association of Argentina (ARDA). What is ARDA's work and what is
      the nature of the drug problem in Argentina?

      Silvia Inchaurraga: ARDA is a national organization working in
      the field of harm reduction. We are very concerned by the health-
      related harms of drug use, such as AIDS. About 40% of AIDS cases
      are among intravenous drug users, and some studies have shown that
      in big cities like Rosario, over 60% of intravenous drugs users
      have HIV and Hepatitis C infection. The main problem here is
      cocaine injection, because of the frequency of the injections.
      But we are also now seeing the "poverty drugs," crack and freebase
      -- a phenomenon clearly related to drug prohibition -- with the
      related social harms of isolation, exclusion, criminalization and
      prison. Here in Argentina, even personal use is illegal.
      (Article 14 of Drug Control Law 23.737 punishes possession of
      drugs for personal use.) Some people who advocate for harm
      reduction in Argentina are not speaking about reforming the drug
      laws because it is more acceptable to speak about health and AIDS,
      and it can always be a problem to support decriminalization.

      ARDA is developing harm reduction programs in several Argentine
      cities targeted at such groups as the marginal populations in the
      shantytowns, prisoners, and the young people who attend rock
      concerts and raves. In early 2000, ARDA sponsored the first
      program in Argentina to deliver injection equipment with the
      government. We also provide harm reduction materials containing
      information about the harms related to the drug laws -- what to do
      if you are arrested, what are your rights, and how to avoid police
      brutality and corruption, such as providing false testimony to
      keep people in detention. Sadly, these are a frequent phenomenon.

      WOL: What is current Argentine drug policy? Is it based on the
      prohibitionist model, as here in the United States?

      Inchaurraga: Yes, Argentina has been following the North American
      "war on drugs" model. And as in North America, it has failed
      here, too. Drug use is on the increase, along with its associated
      problems. In Argentina, even the possession of small amounts of
      drugs for personal use is punished. Coerced, abstinence-based
      treatment is a sad lie. Our official policy has not changed under
      a number of governments, and we have had decades of prohibition,
      with the war against drugs and the war against drug users. Our
      officials and policy-makers and our drug agency, SEDRONAR,
      frequently argue that "we cannot modify international agreements,"
      but that too is a lie. There are other Latin American countries,
      such as Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay, that do not punish
      possession of drugs for personal use. We must make people here
      understand that drugs should not be a criminal justice issue.

      WOL: ARDA is part of the Latin American Harm Reduction Network
      (RELARD), a group designed to advance harm reduction policies.
      Who are the other members, and is there a continental focus?

      Inchaurraga: RELARD is a network founded in 1998 with the goal of
      strengthening harm reduction initiatives in the region. Curiously
      enough, only Argentina and Brazil -- the most prohibitionist
      countries in terms of policy 00 have needle exchange programs.
      Progress has been very difficult because of the "war on drugs"
      mentality in the region -- just look at Plan Colombia! -- and the
      idea that repression is the best legislative response and
      abstinence the best public health response. RELARD now includes
      member groups in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia,
      Costa Rica, Mexico, and Uruguay, as well as drug user networks in
      Argentina and Brazil. The latter groups advocate in defense of
      drug users' rights.

      WOL: Mexico is on the other end of Latin America. Do you have
      many contacts there?

      Inchaurraga: One member of the RELARD executive board is from
      Mexico. She works for the Programa Companeros (Comrades Program)
      in Ciudad Juarez. We believe the exchange of information between
      Mexico and Argentina is crucial, because we share not only the
      same language but also some of the same problems related to
      prohibition, problems that show Mexico and Argentina alike that
      prohibition is causing more harm than the drugs themselves.

      WOL: And do you have connections with harm reduction groups in
      the United States?

      Inchaurraga: A delegation from RELARD attended the December
      National Harm Reduction Conference in Seattle sponsored by the
      Harm Reduction Coalition. We had a Latin American delegation of
      six persons from three different countries -- two from ARDA, one
      from the Bolivian network, one from the Argentine drug users'
      networks and two from the Brazilian user networks. In Seattle, we
      were able to make contact with many Latin Americans living in the
      US and working in harm reduction. We have been working with Allan
      Clear, Donald Grove, and Alvaro and Paula Santiago of the Harm
      Reduction Coalition based in New York City to strengthen our work.
      One example of the cooperation is that they will assist us with
      one of our ARDA harm reduction programs. We plan an intervention
      at rave parties, in which we will provide kits to test the purity
      of ecstasy. Those kits, available in the US, are not currently
      available here. We also have other good friends in the US, such
      as Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance.

      WOL: You are receiving funding from the Tides Foundation for one
      of your programs. Can you tell us about that?

      Inchaurraga: Our National Decriminalization Campaign is partially
      supported by the Tides Foundation. We began with a document
      collecting signatures from all around the country in favor of
      repealing the possession articles of Drug Control Law 23.737.
      This occurred in the context of our involvement in the Million
      Marijuana March. The first time Argentina participated was last
      year, with marchers here in Rosario asking for the
      decriminalization of the possession of all drugs, an end to
      marijuana arrests, and scientific research on medical marijuana.
      Our campaign with Tides Foundation support is currently developing
      workshops with journalists and policymakers and judges, and we are
      also developing a "Harm Reduction Manual on Drug Law-Related

      WOL: ARDA criticizes prohibitionist drug policy. Do you favor a
      policy of decriminalization or legalization or what?

      Inchaurraga: For ARDA, decriminalization is a key issue of the
      harm reduction field. Over 90% of drugs offenses are related to
      personal use, jails are crowded with drug users, and drugs users
      are avoiding the health system because of fear of prosecution. We
      have a high profile in the region as advocates for
      decriminalization. We are also involved in advocating for the
      legalization of marijuana for medical use, as is RELARD. But
      there are few voices in favor of legalizing even medical marijuana
      in the region.

      As for legalization, some ARDA members have taken a clear position
      in favor, even if it is not an official goal of the organization,
      like decriminalization. That would include me, as well as Dr.
      Elias Neuman, author of "Legalization of Drugs." We agree that
      legalization would advance harm reduction in the region through
      reducing the harms of drug adulteration, lack of knowledge about
      purity and overdoses, violence, and by allowing investment in
      information and health care instead of security and jails. Still,
      harm reduction can also be understood as a partial answer to the
      failure of prohibition in Latin America. Even without
      legalization, we can still reduce the harms of criminalization, we
      can still contact drug users through outreach with a non-
      judgmental approach, we can still deliver sterile syringes, and
      test drugs and try to modify the drug control laws.

      WOL: What do you expect from the conference in Mérida?

      Inchaurraga: I go to Mérida with the strong conviction that I
      will meet many people with very good ideas that can help people
      here in my country and in Latin America as a whole in our work of
      reducing the harms related to drugs and to drug prohibition. But
      I also go especially in the hope of finding people who can help us
      in our work to reduce harms related to ignorance and fear.


      3. Road to Mérida: Sala Errata

      In the introduction to our interview last week with Ricardo Sala
      of vivecondrogas.com, we erred in naming Sala as proprietor of the
      bicycle activism web site <http:/www.bicitekas.org>. While Sala
      is a member of the organization, he wants to give credit where it
      is due. The bicitekas web site is run by Javier Treviño.


      4. Rosenthal Case Goes to Jury, Marijuana Grow Guru Faces 10-Year
      Mandatory Minimum for Oakland Medical Marijuana Grow

      The fate of Ed Rosenthal is in the fate of 12 jurors today after
      both the defense and the prosecution rested their cases Thursday.
      Rosenthal, the author of numerous "how-to" books on marijuana
      cultivation, faces a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence on
      federal marijuana cultivation and conspiracy charges arising from
      a February DEA raid on San Francisco's 6th Street Harm Reduction
      Center and associated properties in the Bay Area.

      Rulings before and during the trial by presiding US District Court
      Judge Charles Breyer prevented Rosenthal and his lawyers from
      presenting the defense that his activities were legal under
      California law and done in cooperation with local authorities in

      Judge Breyer's intense interest in blocking the jury from hearing
      anything about legal medical marijuana in California -- a key
      concern of his ever since jury selection in this trial began three
      weeks ago -- was on display again Thursday, when he took the
      unusual step of taking over defense counsel's examination of a
      friendly witness in order to prevent the possible leakage of
      information about medical marijuana to the jurors. The witness,
      Alameda County (Oakland) Supervisor Nathan Miley, was allowed to
      testify as to whether Rosenthal was attempting to hide his medical
      marijuana cultivation after prosecutors had opened the door to
      such testimony by suggesting that Rosenthal had attempted to hide
      his operation and implying such acts constituted proof of

      Rosenthal "did not publicize at all, outside of an inside group on
      the Oakland City Council, what he was doing," argued Assistant US
      Attorney George Bevan. "Mr. Rosenthal has even written a book on
      various ways to conceal the growing of marijuana from police.
      I've read it," said Bevan, referring to the book "Ask Ed's
      Marijuana Law: Don't Get Busted."

      That was enough for defense attorney to argue and for Breyer to
      agree that Miley could testify as to whether Rosenthal was
      behaving in a clandestine manner and that he could testify as to
      the relationship between Rosenthal and the Oakland City Council,
      which worked with Rosenthal to ensure a legal medical marijuana
      operation. Still, Breyer sent the jury out and asked the defense
      for a proffer, or a description of Miley's proposed testimony.
      Breyer then redacted the proffer, striking any testimony that
      might mention legal medical marijuana, and brought the jury back
      in. But when defense attorney Bill Simpich attempted to question
      Miley, Breyer objected that it could lead to too revealing an
      answer from the witness. Breyer eventually took the proffer
      testimony and examined the witness himself.

      "Remarkable," said courtroom spectator and California NORML
      (http://www.canorml.org) head Dale Gieringer. "I've never seen
      anything like it. It's a real kangaroo court."

      Rosenthal's attorneys had prepared a group of character witnesses
      to testify to his long-standing interest in medical marijuana and
      marijuana law reform, but Breyer refused to allow their testimony.
      They included Keith Stroup, executive director of national NORML;
      Fred Gardner, formerly of the San Francisco District Attorney's
      office, who was to testify about the city sanctioning of marijuana
      dispensaries and Rosenthal's involvement in it; and Dr. Michael
      Alcalay, MD, the medical director of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers
      Collective, who was to testify about Rosenthal's commitment to
      family life and family values.

      With the prosecution having presented a standard marijuana
      cultivation case and the defense limited to nibbling at the edges
      of that case, defense attorneys were left reaching for straws
      during final arguments. But they did their best, with attorney
      Robert Eye zeroing in on "irreconcilable inconsistencies" in the
      prosecution case and hammering at DEA credibility. He also told
      the jury to examine the demeanor of the DEA agents. "We are
      asking you to take sides," said Eye, "and these people don't even
      seem to believe in their jobs."

      Before the jurors retreated to deliberate, Breyer repeatedly
      instructed them to ignore any concerns about medical marijuana.
      "You cannot substitute your sense of justice for your duty to
      follow the law," Breyer warned. "The issue is not what's just,
      but what's the law."

      Rosenthal supporters hope at least one juror will follow his or
      her sense of justice instead of Breyer's instructions. "Given
      Breyer's rulings in this case, it'll be a miracle if Ed gets off,"
      said Gieringer. "Still, I think the jury knows they were not told
      the whole truth, and it's possible there are some people who
      resent they way they were manipulated. If that's the case, we
      could see a hung jury."


      5. Bush Treatment Initiative Draws Mixed Reviews from Reformers

      During his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President
      Bush announced a new drug treatment initiative, promising a $600
      million dollar program to place an additional 300,000 people in
      treatment during the next three years. "As a government," said
      Bush, "we are fighting illegal drugs by cutting off supplies, and
      reducing demand through anti-drug education programs. Yet for
      those already addicted, the fight against drugs is a fight for
      their own lives."

      Bush tied the treatment initiative to his push for faith-based
      initiatives as "acts of compassion that can transform America, one
      heart and one soul at a time." He further emphasized the faith-
      based aspect of his program when the only treatment provider he
      mentioned in was the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, LA. And
      he waxed religious again, telling Americans who are addicted to
      drugs that "the miracle of recovery is possible, and it could be

      On Wednesday, Bush's point man on drug policy, drug czar John
      Walters, provided a few details at a Washington press conference.
      The new initiative creates a voucher program that will complement
      existing alcohol and drug abuse treatment programs, said Walters,
      increasing treatment capacity and access to effective treatment
      programs. Under the plan, people assessed as needing drug
      treatment will receive vouchers to pay for drug treatment under
      programs monitored by the states. The states will be required to
      monitor the outcomes of treatment and seek cost-effective
      treatment modalities.

      "This initiative offers a new and effective way for the federal
      government to help people get into recovery," said Walters. "We
      know that treatment works. But we also know that there are too
      many Americans who, for a variety of reasons, cannot access the
      treatment they need. By giving people a choice, and the direct
      means to help connect them with effective treatment, we will be
      able to more directly help drug users who have recognized their
      problem. This program will also help treatment providers and the
      overall drug treatment system by bringing increased accountability
      into the system."

      Drug reformers and treatment experts greeted the announcement with
      a mixture of wariness, mistrust and hope. "We hope this means
      that people given vouchers can seek out not just unproven faith-
      based programs, but also treatment modalities that are well-
      studied and known to be effective," said Bill McColl, a policy
      analyst for the Drug Policy Alliance (http://www.drugpolicy.org).
      "Study after study has shown there are effective forms of
      treatment, such as cognitive behavior therapy and moderation
      management," he told DRCNet.

      Dr. Bill Miller, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and
      Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico and former co-director
      of the school's Center for Alcohol, Substance Abuse and Addiction,
      also urged the use of proven drug treatment models.

      "I think the government ought to be putting its money into
      evidence-based treatments, not experimental ones," he told DRCNet.
      "Faith-based, what does that mean? What is the treatment that is
      being delivered?" he asked. "I haven't seen any evidence for the
      efficacy of treatment based on religious content, but that's not
      to say that a faith-based counseling center using couldn't use
      evidence-based treatments. We're not talking about faith healing
      here, and I hope the government will spend its money in a way that
      encourages people to use the scientific base that is available."

      Mary Barr, director of Conextions (http://www.conextions.org), a
      New Jersey counseling center that combines public education,
      broad-based counseling and drug treatment, was skeptical about
      where the treatment dollars would end up. "Bush is going to say
      this is a drug treatment initiative, but he is going to put more
      money in law enforcement anyway," Barr told DRCNet. "He said he's
      going to create 300,000 new spaces; how is he going to do that
      when he's putting everyone in jail? Will these be spaces for
      court-ordered treatment?"

      That's a good question, and there is as yet no firm answer. The
      Bush Justice Department sought substantial funding increases to
      support drug courts and their mandated drug treatment in budget
      proposals released last week. But the Drug Policy Alliance's
      McColl doesn't think drug courts will eat up all the funds. "It
      will be up to the states," he said. "The likelihood is that we
      will see substantial non-criminal justice system treatment, but a
      lot of grants currently go to coercive treatment. We just don't
      have any information on how much will go to drug courts yet."

      Kevin Zeese of Common Sense for Drug Policy (http://www.csdp.org)
      also expressed concern about what the treatment money would buy.
      "A word of caution is needed," Zeese told DRCNet. "The treatment
      push has been leaning too much toward coercion and faith-based
      treatment in recent years. It is important that we start to treat
      drug treatment as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue and
      not a religious issue."

      If groups like DPA and CSDP expressed reservations about the
      initiative, organizations representing marijuana users -- the vast
      majority of all drug users -- are even less excited. Among drug
      czar Walters' other initiatives is the ongoing campaign to portray
      marijuana as a dangerously addictive drug and its users as drug
      addicts needing treatment. "In many ways, this treatment
      initiative is shaped to play into the drug czar's campaign theme
      that marijuana is addictive," said Paul Armentano, senior policy
      analyst for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana
      Laws (http://www.norml.org). "Of course, that's not the case," he
      told DRCNet, "but with marijuana arrests at an all-time high, many
      will be arrested and face the option of treatment or jail. We
      don't believe the overwhelming majority of marijuana smokers need
      or will benefit from drug treatment, but that helps pump up the
      numbers of smokers in treatment and advances Walters' false
      argument," he said.

      "It's a double-edged sword," Armentano continued. "We don't want
      to see marijuana smokers going to jail. So from a pragmatic
      standpoint, I guess we applaud that choice. But we have to
      remember these people are seeking treatment not because they are
      in trouble with their habit, but because it's that or jail."

      Mary Barr, herself a veteran of brutal "therapeutic community"
      treatment programs based on the Synanon model, remains wary of any
      sort of coerced treatment, but also reluctantly agreed that it
      beat jail. "I distrust mandated treatment," said Barr. "Mandated
      treatment leads us down a dangerous path. People are caught up in
      the criminal justice system and go to prison if they break the
      rules. I don't want to give up and say that mandatory treatment
      is okay, but until we have some real changes in policy, even that
      is better than nothing. What we really need is treatment on
      demand, not by court-order, and the only way to get money for that
      is to stopping spending it on throwing people in jail. Let's take
      the money out of corrections and put it in social programs."

      But this is the Bush version of a social program, and there may be
      some good to it. "No one really knows how this will work yet,"
      said DPA's McColl. "The devil is in the details."


      6. Into the Morass: Green Berets in Colombia as "War on Drugs"
      Morphs into "War on Terror"

      While the world's attention is focused on looming war against
      Iraq, while US troops engage in bloody firefights with erstwhile
      allies in Afghanistan and patrol the perimeter of inflammable
      North Korea, the long-running conflict in Colombia rages on -- and
      US troops are now on the ground in combat zones there, too. While
      Bush did not mention Colombia -- or anywhere else in Latin
      America, for that matter -- during his State of the Union address
      Tuesday night, US Green Berets were into their second week of
      training Colombian troops in the violence-ridden province of

      The arrival of the Green Berets, whose mission has nothing to do
      with drugs but is instead to train the Colombians to protect a
      450-mile oil pipeline belonging to the US-based Occidental
      Petroleum Company, is a concrete manifestation of the Bush
      administration's effort to wrap its increasing involvement in
      Colombia's complicated civil war in the clothing of the "war on
      terror." The shift from counter-narcotics to counterinsurgency
      and counter-terrorism became official last August, when the laws
      governing US lethal assistance to Colombia were changed to allow
      it to be used for not just for fighting the drug traffic, but also
      the leftist guerrilla armies, now defined as "terrorists."

      The change in the laws and the insertion of the Green Berets marks
      a sea change in US policy. As recently as the end of the Clinton
      administration, leading supporters of an expanded US drug war in
      Colombia pooh-poohed widely held fears that the US anti-drug
      effort would be subject to "mission creep," that involvement in
      the drug war in Colombia would lead to deeper US military
      involvement in the country's four-decade-old civil war. "The
      primary focus of this supplemental effort is to provide support
      for Colombia's intensifying counter drug effort. As a matter of
      Administration policy, the United States will not support
      Colombian counterinsurgency efforts," then-drug czar Barry
      McCaffrey told Congress in November 2000.

      "Now that we've begun to open that door from counter-narcotics to
      counterinsurgency, there is much more potential for greater US
      involvement," said Ingrid Vaicius, a Colombia expert at the
      Washington, DC-based Center for International Policy, and, along
      with Adam Isaacon, author of the brand new report on Colombia,
      "The 'War on Drugs' Meets the 'War on Terror,'"
      (http://www.ciponline.org/colombia/0302ipr.htm). "Colombia is on
      the back burner in terms of public and policymaker attention, with
      everyone watching Iraq and North Korea, but there is still a lot
      going on," she told DRCNet. "We have the Green Berets on the
      ground, we have 267 US troops in-country, along with some 270 US
      employees of private contractors like Dyncorp, who fly the
      helicopters that protect the coca fumigation, and who knows how
      many foreign employees. The Colombians already got a $25 million
      supplemental appropriation for counter-terrorism, $6 million of
      which goes to pay for protecting the oil pipeline, and they will
      get hundreds of millions more in US assistance this year, three-
      quarters of it for military or law enforcement."

      The rhetorical shift from "war on drugs" to "war on terror" may
      make the job of selling increased US intervention in Colombia more
      palatable. It is certainly difficult for supporters of the US
      drug war in Colombia to point to victories that might support
      further funding. In a report this month from the General
      Accounting Office, "Coca Cultivation Estimates in Colombia"
      (available online by searching for report GAO-03-319R at
      http://www.gao.gov), the GAO found that while the number of
      hectares of coca eradicated climbed steadily from 1998 to 2001, so
      did the total number of hectares under cultivation, with the end
      result being that the number of harvestable un-eradicated hectares
      of coca increased by more than 50%.

      "Eradication has not been very successful," said Vaicius. "We
      don't see much improvement at all. The US government claims it
      will reduce the amount of coca planted to one-third of current
      levels, but what we've seen so far is a 25% increase. And we are
      likely to see another increase with the new figures from the
      United Nations and the CIA due out soon. Coca production is
      spreading in Colombia, not retreating."

      "Fumigation has not put a dent in the supply of coke," concurred
      Jason Hagen, Colombia associate for the Washington Office on Latin
      America (http://www.wola.org). "Instead, the crop is moving
      westward out of Putumayo, into Nariño and other provinces. "The
      Colombian National Police are waging a very intense fumigation
      campaign -- they've dropped the whole pretense of crop
      substitution and alternative development -- and their slogan is
      'fumigate faster than they can replant.' They have to show
      results this year, and I suspect that when the numbers come out at
      the end of February, they will reflect not reality but
      bureaucratic imperatives. The numbers will show advances in
      eradication, but won't account for replanting of eradicated
      sites," Hagen told DRCNet. "This has not affected overall
      production in the Andean region, or even in Colombia. The crop
      just moves to different territory."

      Still, US military assistance continues to flow into Colombia and
      most of it is coming under the rubric of the war on drugs. US
      military and counter-narcotics aid to Colombia has reached nearly
      $3 billion since 1997, with more than $600 million coming this
      year. According to WOLA's Hagen, that number could top $800
      million next year. US and Colombian officials have promised for
      years that US military assistance would bring peace, stability,
      and democracy to the country while wiping out the drug trade. It
      has done neither.

      Some 4,000 Colombians have died in political violence in the last
      two years, and some 300,000 became internal refugees, pushing the
      total number of displaced persons within Colombia to well over a
      million. Under the hard-line administration of President Alvaro
      Uribe, peace negotiations with the rebels of the FARC and the ELN
      have been abandoned, and the leftist guerrillas have responded to
      government attacks with daring counteroffensives and car-bomb
      campaigns in the capital and other large cities.

      "If you follow where the US money goes, you see that intensified
      conflict follows," said Hagen. "The aerial fumigation in
      Putumayo, which punishes the weakest link in the trade, the
      farmers, has had the unintended consequence of driving people into
      the armed factions. It just gets hotter and hotter in Putumayo.
      And now, in Arauca, where the Green Berets are, it is becoming one
      of the most insecure regions of the country. We're seeing car
      bombings, mayors are resigning. The Uribe government has declared
      it a security zone, where military officers hold special powers at
      the expense of elected governments, but they can't provide any

      And the Green Berets are walking targets, said Hagen. "The ELN
      will make a show of force against the Green Berets. I expect one
      day soon we will see US military casualties. Their presence is a
      big issue for the ELN."

      Both Hagen and Vaicius counseled a shift in US and Colombian
      government policies.

      "We need to recognize that security is more than a military goal,"
      said Vaicius. "They say you can't have alternative development
      without security first, but we say you can't have one without the
      other. If local populations are to believe in the armed forces,
      it has to a professional institution, and it cannot abandon these
      populations. There must be a shift from fumigation to alternative
      development, and policymakers must listen to local populations.
      Washington and Bogota will not succeed if they try to impose
      reforms and decision-making on these people. We have to let the
      local populations lead."

      "US policy is on autopilot," said Hagen, "and that's unfortunate
      because you can't win this militarily. US assistance to the
      military and police are only fueling the fire, heightening the
      conflict. There are about 35,000 guerrilla fighters, and standard
      counterinsurgency doctrine says you need about a ten-to-one
      advantage to defeat guerrillas. Colombia has 55,000 troops for
      deployment. You do the math."

      "A huge military assistance package will not get to the root of
      Colombia's problems," said Vaicius. "We need to look at the
      underlying reasons for conflict and for the drug trade, we have to
      look at basic social problems, we have to look at impunity for
      human rights abuses and fixing the judicial system, we have to
      look at agrarian reform. But now, with the 'war on terror,' we
      have a whole new dynamic that might not be the most appropriate."

      "Neither the Green Berets nor other US military assistance will
      make the guerrillas go away," said Hagen. "They've been there for
      40 years. But the conflict will intensify, there will be more
      internal refugees, and I anticipate increasing attacks on human
      rights advocates by the Uribe government, which has labeled them
      allies of the guerrillas. But security as a result of US aid? If
      that's the goal, we'll be there for a hundred years."


      7. Drug Czar Says Nevada Election Laws Don't Apply to His

      The head of the White House's Office on National Drug Control
      Policy (ONDCP, the office of the "drug czar") refused Tuesday to
      tell Nevada election officials how much money he spent campaigning
      against Question 9, the November 2002 marijuana legalization
      initiative sponsored by the Washington, DC-based Marijuana Policy
      Project (MPP). That initiative failed, and MPP lays part of the
      blame on interference from Walters, who made at least two trips to
      the state to campaign against the measure. Nevada Secretary of
      State Dean Heller sent a written request that the drug czar file
      campaign finance reports as required under Nevada law after MPP
      filed a post-election complaint against Walters alleging he failed
      to file campaign finance reports as required under Nevada law.

      But in a letter from ONDCP counsel Edward Jurith dated Tuesday,
      the drug czar's office claimed he was "immune" from Nevada's
      campaign finance law "as a federal officer acting within the scope
      of duties, including speaking out about the dangers of illegal
      drugs." Thus, the one-paragraph letter continued, "Director
      Walters and the ONDCP respectfully decline to respond to the
      complaint accompanying your letter of January 14."

      In that letter, Nevada election officials, acting on the MPP
      complaint, reminded Walters that Nevada law requires "the
      reporting of contributions and expenses for every person or group
      of persons organized formally or informally who advocates the
      passage or defeat of a question or group of questions on the
      ballot at any election." They found ONDCP's response high-handed
      and insufficient. "We got one paragraph back from them," said
      Steve George, spokesman for the Secretary of State. "The problem
      we have is that the paragraph they sent may be correct or not, but
      they don't cite any particular law or statute, they don't show us
      chapter and verse that would exempt them," he told DRCNet.

      The Secretary of State's office will turn the letter over to the
      Nevada Attorney General's office to seek an Attorney General's
      opinion on whether ONDCP's reply was sufficient, said George. His
      office hopes for a response "within a couple of weeks," he added.

      "Walters basically told the state of Nevada to go to hell," said
      MPP communications director Bruce Mirken. "This dismissive, one-
      paragraph letter is an insulting non-response," he told DRCNet.
      "The Secretary of State was not asking Walters not to do
      something, but merely to report what he spent campaigning, just
      like everyone else, just like MPP had to do. They made great hay
      during the campaign saying ours was a well-funded campaign and our
      opponents were under funded, but they were using who knows how
      much taxpayer money without reporting it themselves. Their
      shamelessness is breathtaking."

      Still, MPP wasn't exactly sandbagged by ONDCP's non-response. "We
      expected something like this, so we sent a letter signed by MPP
      executive director Rob Kampia to the Secretary of State's office
      on January 22, pointing out the controlling principles the Supreme
      Court has defined in situations where federal employees may be
      subject to state regulations," explained Mirken. "What the
      Supreme Court has said is that federal officials basically are
      subject to state regulations if those regulations do not prevent
      them from carrying out their duties. Walters is apparently
      arguing that asking him to file campaign reports is interfering
      with his duties. That's insane."

      The Nevada complaint against Walters is only one prong of MPP's
      counterattack against Walters, who has aggressively used his post
      as a bully pulpit to pronounce against drug law reform in the
      states. As part of its bluntly titled "War on the Drug Czar," MPP
      has filed a separate complaint with the federal Office of Special
      Counsel charging Walters with violating the federal Hatch Act,
      which restricts campaign activity by federal officials. A
      response to that complaint is still pending, Mirken told DRCNet.

      MPP is also preparing a series of TV advertisements to run in
      February as a counter to the ONDCP's campaign of marijuana scare
      ads, the latest installment of which began running during the
      Super Bowl (http://www.mediacampaign.org/mg/television.html).

      "We're in the process of shooting several TV spots, and we've
      asked our members to weigh in on which scripts they like. Those
      ads are in production now, and we'll look at the end products soon
      and choose which ones to air," said Mirken. Those ads are
      scheduled to appear in the Washington, DC, market in February,
      provided funding is found.

      Check out MPP's "War on Drug Czar" at
      http://www.mpp.org/WarOnDrugCzar/ online.


      8. Latin American Anti-Prohibition Conference, Feb. 12-15, Mérida,
      Yucatán, Mexico

      Out from the Shadows: Ending Drug Prohibition in the 21st Century

      an international conference series uniting reform forces in a call
      for global sanity

      Please join activists, academics, politicians, journalists and
      others in Mérida for the first Latin America-wide summit opposing
      drug prohibition. Be a part of this historic gathering! Meet,
      listen, talk, collaborate and show your solidarity with our allies
      in the growing Latin American drug reform movement.

      February 12-15, 2003, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida,

      http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/sombras/ (Español)

      Register by credit card online
      (http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/shadows/register-credit.html), or
      print out a registration form to submit by mail
      Registration is free to Latin Americans
      and sliding scale is available to others who need it.
      Scholarships to assist with travel costs may be available. Please
      make a donation if you can afford to, so we can offer more
      scholarships to bring more Latin American attendees to the
      conference! Your registration fee will support scholarships too,
      so please register today!

      Steering Committee:
      Gustavo de Greiff, former attorney general, Colombia, Chairman
      Jaime Malamud, former attorney general, Argentina
      Mario Menéndez, publisher, Por Esto!, Mexico
      Marco Cappato, Member of European Parliament, Lista Bonino, Italy
      John Gilmore, United States
      Conference Staff Director: David Borden, DRCNet, United States
      Volunteer Media Advisor: Al Giordano, NarcoNews.com

      Details on program to be posted shortly. Visit
      http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/shadows/ for hotel and discount
      travel options. Other dates and locations to be announced for
      Europe, Canada and the United States. E-mail
      shadows@... (mailto:shadows@...) to
      sign up for an official event notication by mail or e-mail. Visit
      http://www.stopthedrugwar.org or http://www.drcnet.org to read or
      subscribe to our weekly online newsletter.

      Contact StopTheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network
      (DRCNet) at: P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, voice: (202)
      362-0030, fax: (202) 362-0032, shadows@...


      9. Cumbre Internacional Sobre Legalización, 12-15 Febrero, Mérida,

      Saliendo de las sombras: Terminando con la prohibición de las
      drogas en el siglo XXI

      Una serie de conferencias internacionales que unirá a las fuerzas
      de reforma en un llamado a la sensatez mundial

      Participa en "Saliendo de las sombras", la Primera Cumbre
      Internacional sobre Legalización, reuniendo Norte, Centro y
      Sudamérica, y a aliados de todo el mundo.

      Del 12 al 15 de febrero de 2003, en la Universidad Autónoma de
      Yucatán, Mérida, México

      http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/shadows/ (English)

      Por favor, ven a reunirte con activistas, académicos, políticos,
      periodistas y otros en Mérida, en la primera cumbre
      latinoamericana contra la prohibición a las drogas. Forma parte
      de este encuentro histórico. Encuentra, oye, habla, colabora y
      demuestra tu solidaridad con nuestros aliados en el creciente
      movimiento para la reforma en América Latina.

      Inscríbete en línea usando tu tarjeta de crédito
      o imprime un formulario de inscripción y envíalo por correo
      (http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/shadows/register.pdf). La
      inscripción es para latinoamericanos gratuita, y hay precios
      reducidos para quienes en verdad lo necesiten
      También podríamos tener becas disponibles para costear algunos
      viajes. Por favor, inscríbete ahora y dinos cuánto costaría tu
      traslado, trataremos de hallar financiamiento para ti. Por favor,
      haz una donación si es posible, para que podamos ofrecer más becas
      y traer a más latinoamericanos a esta conferencia
      (http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/shadows/donate.html). Tu pago de
      inscripción va a financiar igualmente esas becas -- por favor,
      inscríbete hoy mismo.

      Comité organizador:
      Gustavo de Greiff, ex fiscal general de la nación, Colombia, Presidente
      Jaime Malamud, ex fiscal general de la nación, Argentina
      Mario Menéndez, director del diario Por Esto!, México
      Marco Cappato, miembro del Parlamento Europeo, Lista Bonino, Italia
      John Gilmore, Estados Unidos
      Director del equipo de la conferencia: David Borden, DRCNet, Estados Unidos
      Asesor voluntario en medios: Al Giordano, NarcoNews.com

      En breve anunciaremos aquí detalles sobre el programa, los
      conferenciantes y las opciones para viajar. Hay información sobre
      hoteles un poco más abajo. Otras fechas y sedes serán anunciadas
      para Europa, Canadá y los Estados Unidos. Envía un correo
      electrónico a sombras@...
      (mailto:sombras@...). Para recibir más noticias
      sobre las conferencias. Visita nuestra página web y
      lee/suscríbete a nuestro correo semanal de noticias
      <http://www.drcnet.org> o <http://www.stopthedrugwar.org>.

      Contacta StopTheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network
      (DRCNet) en: P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, voz: (202) 362-
      0030, fax: (202) 362-0032, sombras@...


      10. Cúpula Internacional sobre Legalização, 12-15 de Fevereiro,
      Mérida, México

      Saindo das Sombras: Terminando com a Proibição das Drogas no
      Século XXI

      Uma série de conferências internacionais que unirás as forças da
      reforma em um chamado à sensatez mundial

      Participe do "Saindo das sombras," a Primeira Cúpula Internacional
      sobre Legalização, reunindo a América do Norte, do Sul e Central,
      e aliados de todo o mundo.

      Do dia 12 ao dia 15 de Fevereiro de 2003, na Universidade Autônoma
      de Yucatán, Mérida, México

      http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/sombras/ (Español)
      http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/shadows/ (Inglês)

      Por favor, venha reunir-se com ativistas, acadêmicos, políticos,
      jornalistas e a outros em Mérida, na primeira cúpula
      latinoamericana contra a proibição das drogas. Forme parte deste
      encontro histórico. Encontre, ouça, fale, colabore e demonstre a
      sua solidariedade com os nossos aliados no crescente movimento
      para a reforma na América Latina.

      Inscreva-se online usando o seu cartão de crédito
      ou imprima um formulário de inscrição e envie-o por correio
      (http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/shadows/register.pdf). A
      inscrição é gratuita para latinoamericanos, e existem preços
      reduzidos para os que realmente os necessitem
      Também poderíamos Ter bolsas disponíveis para custear algumas
      viagens. Por favor, inscreva-se agora e diga-nos quanto custaria
      o seu traslado, trataremos de achar financiamento para você. Por
      favor, faça uma doação se possível, para que possamos oferecer
      mais bolsas e trazer a mais latinoamericanos até esta conferência
      (http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/shadows/donate.html). O seu
      pagamento de inscrição irá igualmente financiar essas bolsas
      – por favor, inscreva-se hoje mesmo.

      Comitê organizador:

      Gustavo de Greiff, ex-fiscal geral da nação, Colômbia, Presidente
      Jaime Malamud, ex-fiscal geral da nação, Argentina
      Mario Menendez, diretor do diário Por Esto!, México
      Marco Cappato, membro do Parlamento Europeu, Lista Bonino, Itália
      John Gilmore, Estados Unidos
      Diretor do time da conferência: David Borden, DRCNet, Estados Unidos
      Assessor voluntário de imprensa: Al Giordano, NarcoNews.com

      Em breve, anunciaremos aqui os detalhes sobre o programa, os
      conferencistas e as opções para viajar. Há informação sobre
      hotéis um pouco mais para baixo. Outras datas e sedes serão
      anunciadas para a Europa, Canadá e os Estados Unidos. Envie um
      correio eletrônico para sombras@...
      (mailto:sombras@...) para receber mais notícias
      sobre as conferências. Visite a nossa página e leia/inscreva-se
      na nossa lista de notícias semanal em: http://www.drcnet.org ou

      Entre em contato com o StopTheDrugWar.org: The Drug Reform
      Coordination Network em: P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036,
      USA, Telefone: (00 1 202) 362-0030, Fax: (00 1 202) 362-0032,


      11. Newsbrief: Violence Continues as Talks Begin in Bolivia --
      Coca Growers, Workers, Indians Present Demands

      Although nearly two weeks of strikes, roadblocks, and repression
      have officially given way to negotiations between the Bolivian
      government and broad social sectors headed by coca farmer leader
      and Member of Parliament Evo Morales, sporadic violence continued
      to wrack the Andean nation. According to La Razon (La Paz), at
      least one and possibly two people were reported killed Thursday in
      a wild melee between villagers manning roadblocks and angry
      drivers on the highway between Caranavi and Alto Beni.

      The Associated Press put the tally of dead in the confrontation
      with the government at nine as of Tuesday, but Bolivian sources
      had tallied at least 15 by late last week.

      Morales, as head of the Six Federations of coca growers of the
      Chapare and leader of the MAS (Movement Toward Socialism) Party,
      ordered an end to the blockades Tuesday. "Blockades are
      suspended, but farmers should be vigilant," he told the AP.

      While coca farmers seeking an end to the Bolivian government's US-
      sponsored "zero option" coca eradication policy have spearheaded
      the protests, the mobilization in recent weeks has also included
      the nation's most powerful labor and indigenous groups, as well as
      landless peasants, school teachers, retirees, even sectors of the
      business community. The protest of the cocaleros is taking place
      within the broader context of a mass mobilization against the
      "neo-liberal" economic policies of the government of Gonzalo
      Sanchez de Lozada and its backers in the United States.

      But while the Bolivian government may view the talks -- taking
      place among a number of government ministers and different
      insurgent social groups -- as a means of placating and channeling
      the opposition, Morales has a different idea. Minister of the
      Presidency Carlos Sanchez Berzain, speaking Wednesday in
      Cochabamba, told La Razon that "the exchange of views and the
      broad consultation will serve to support government decisions."

      But Morales, speaking the same day, said that the talks "signify
      changing the [economic] model, Law 21060 [the coca eradication
      law], and the Law of Capitalization." All three are pillars of
      the Sanchez de Lozada government.

      The US, for its part, announced this week that it would decrease
      aid to Bolivia from $143 million this year to $132 million next
      year, $91 million of which will go to support the coca eradication
      campaign. Assistant Secretary of State for International Affairs
      Paul Simons made clear what US priorities in Bolivia are. It is
      important that Bolivia consolidate the "successes" in the war on
      drugs, said Simon, because "it is important to maintain the rhythm
      of eradication of coca" in the Chapare.

      Under Law 21060 up to 30,000 acres of coca can be cultivated for
      traditional purposes, such as a tea used to ward off hunger and
      altitude sickness. But no cultivation is allowed in the Chapare,
      the heart of the cocalero protests.


      12. Newsbrief: DEA Moving to Schedule Two More "Hallucinogens"

      The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics
      (http://www.cognitiveliberty.org) reported this week that the Drug
      Enforcement Administration has moved to place two more
      "hallucinogens" into Schedule I of the federal Controlled
      Substances Act. The two substances are Alpha-methyltryptamine
      (AMT) and 5-methoxy-N,N-disopropyltryptamine (5-MeO-DIPT).
      Neither is in wide use. The DEA acted under its emergency
      scheduling powers, which mandate a 30-day waiting period before
      the scheduling takes effect. Thus, as of February 26, it will be
      a crime to buy, sell or possess the two drugs without a DEA
      license. The agency has up to 18 months to permanently schedule
      the two substances.

      For more information on AMT and 5-Me0-DIPT, also known as Foxy
      Methoxy, visit their respective pages at the Vaults of Erowid:
      http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/amt/amt.shtml and


      13. Newsbrief: Utah Drugged Driving Bill on the Move

      A bill that would make drivers involved in fatal accidents guilty
      of vehicular homicide if they had even trace amounts of illicit
      drugs in their systems passed in the Utah Senate Tuesday. The
      bill would also criminalize driving with any illicit drug
      metabolites in the body. It must still pass the Utah House of
      Representatives, where it was sent to the Standing Committee
      Friday. While the bill contains some safeguards to prevent overly
      broad enforcement, it is of a piece with drug czar John Walters'
      national "zero tolerance" anti-drugged driving campaign announced
      in November (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/264.html#druggeddriving).

      Under SB007, the "Automobile Homicide Amendments," introduced by
      Sen. Carlene Walker (R-Halliday), prosecutors will not have to
      prove actual impairment caused by the presence of drugs, merely
      that drugs were present in the driver's system. And unlike Utah's
      approach with alcohol, which sets a blood concentration (0.08%)
      above which impairment is assumed, "any measurable amount of a
      Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance" is assumed as a
      matter of law to indicate impairment.

      "It is not quite a zero tolerance policy, but it is the same
      philosophy," Walker told the Deseret News. "It's just one more
      tool to get those with drugs in their system off the roads," she

      The bill requires prosecutors to prove that the fatal accident was
      caused by negligence and that proscribed drugs were present in the
      driver's blood. According to Paul Boyden, director of the
      Statewide Association of Prosecutors, the bill was amended to
      remove prosecution for the presence of "metabolites," the minute
      traces that remain in the body for days or weeks after ingestions.
      But in amending the bill, lawmakers made it a separate crime to
      drive "if the person has any measurable controlled substance or
      metabolite of a controlled substance in the person's body."

      The bill's language also contains two affirmative defenses: That
      the drug was legitimately prescribed by or a physician or if the
      drug was ingested unwittingly.

      Even supporters such as Boyden conceded that drugged driving
      incidents were both rare and highly publicized in the media.
      Boyden also told the Deseret News the law could be abused by
      overzealous prosecutors going after people who had used drugs days
      or weeks earlier. "Nothing can stop an over-zealous prosecutor,"
      he quipped.


      14. Newsbrief: Colorado Bill Equating Meth Manufacture and Child
      Abuse Moves Forward

      Colorado politicians and law enforcement representatives are
      moving quickly to pass new laws targeting home manufacture of
      methamphetamines. As DRCNet reported in December, Colorado
      lawmakers have crafted a three-bill package that would make meth
      manufacture de facto evidence of child abuse, make it easier for
      state authorities to remove children from homes of suspected meth
      cooks, and make it a misdemeanor to "knowingly" sell chemicals
      used to make methamphetamine
      (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/269.html#homemethlabs). One of those
      bills, HB003-1004, sponsored by Rep. Pam Rhodes (R-Thornton),
      unanimously passed the House Judiciary Committee on January 23 and
      is now headed for the Appropriations Committee.

      HB003-1004, the bill that would make it felony child abuse to
      manufacture meth in a home where children are present, passed in
      committee after legislators heard horror stories from law
      enforcement personnel. Lt. Lori Moriarty of the North Metro Drug
      Task Force told the panel of children being found in meth lab
      homes with rotted teeth or none at all after ingesting meth or its
      ingredients kept in soda pop bottles in refrigerators. "Our
      bodies were not meant to digest Coleman fuel or lighter fluid,"
      said Moriarty. "We really need felony charges for this crime."
      HB003-1004 would impose penalties of up to 12 years in prison for

      According to Colorado legislative analysts, there were six people
      charged with child abuse in connection with meth manufacture in
      each of the last three years. Those same analysts, who did a
      required fiscal impact study, found that even though the bill
      would not increase the number of prisoners (meth cooks are already
      charged with felonies), it would increase the sentences of those
      charged from an average of 39 months to 92 months. Such a move
      would cost the state $827,000 in additional corrections spending
      in the next five years, the analysts reported.

      Those anticipated costs may slow the momentum of the bill in the
      House Appropriations Committee, whose members are grappling with
      withering budget problems.

      To read the bill, the financial impact analysis, and supporting
      documentation, go to http://www.leg.state.co.us and search for


      15. Newsbrief: Asian Drug Abolition Mania Spreading -- Malaysia
      Calls for "Total War," Drug Free Southeast Asia by 2015

      Last week, DRCNet reported on moves in Thailand and The
      Philippines to make the two Southeast Asian nations "drug free."
      Thailand will achieve that status on April 30, officials declared;
      The Philippines are willing to wait two-and-a-half years
      (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/273.html#southeastasia). Now,
      neighboring Malaysia, where any drug trafficking conviction brings
      the death penalty, has decided to get tough. According to a
      January 22 report from the Malaysia Star, that country's National
      Drugs Council will create an atmosphere of "total war" against
      drugs, which will free the country and the region from the "drug
      menace" by 2015.

      Efforts to combat drug abuse had not been "entirely successful,
      Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah told a press conference
      after a three hour meeting of Malaysian anti-drug officials in
      Kuala Lumpur January 21. "The drug menace covering the network of
      addiction, trafficking, smuggling and manufacturing continues to
      be a main threat to stability," he said. "Therefore, a new
      approach has to be taken immediately before this gets out of
      control to ensure that Malaysia and ASEAN [the Association of
      Southeast Asian Nations] are free of drugs by 2015."

      Malaysia has an estimated 220,000 heroin addicts, according to
      government figures. But while heroin use has traditionally been a
      habit of the lower class and Indonesian immigrant workers, the
      Malaysian press in recent months has quoted government officials
      as growing increasingly concerned about the spread of cannabis,
      ecstasy (MDMA), and amphetamine use among the middle class and the
      children of the elite.

      To fight rising levels of drug use, said Deputy Home Minister
      Datuk Zainal Abidin Zin, the council officially declared 2003 the
      "Year of Total War Against Drugs" and announced plans to recruit a
      million students to be "friends of PEMADAM [the drug prevention
      agency]." The agency will also allow drug users at
      "rehabilitation centers" to work in the private sector, he said.
      Malaysia currently has some 10,000 people in 28 centers -- 70% of
      whom will relapse, according to official figures.

      Other measures announced to eradicate drugs by 2015 include an
      electronic media blitz, instilling an "anti-drug" culture in a
      country where officials complained last year that the population
      was "less than enthusiastic" about the cause, activating all
      government agencies and non-governmental organizations to "enhance
      discipline and morality" among the public, and, of course, tougher
      enforcement directed at traffickers, manufacturers, and users.

      Also, Zin warned, cigarettes could be a gateway drug.


      16. Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story

      Tough competition this week, with strong nominees from West
      Memphis (illegal traffic stops and thefts of alleged drug money),
      but those Arkansas cops are pikers compared to former Chicago
      Police Department gang specialist Joseph Miedzianowski, who has
      been called "the most corrupt cop in Chicago history." Now,
      that's something special for a city that has seen police torture
      innocent suspects into confessing to murders they didn't commit.

      Miedzianowski was sentenced to life in prison on January 24 for,
      among other things, running a Miami-to-Chicago drug ring, shaking
      down dealers, fixing criminal cases and hiding a wanted murderer.
      He also got an additional five years to be served at the end of
      his sentence for federal gun charges, meaning he will probably
      never leave prison alive. During his April 2001 trial,
      prosecutors accused Miedzianowski of giving gang members guns,
      arranging sexual trysts for prisoners and thwarting investigations
      of criminals with whom he was working.

      US District Judge Blanche Manning said she issued the life
      sentence with "a heavy heart" and expressed sympathy for
      Miedzianowski's wife, daughter, son and other family members who
      were in court, some of whom periodically wiped away tears.

      During sentencing, Miedzianoskwi also played to family values,
      telling relatives in the courtroom, "I love you all... You know
      what's up. You'll always be here in my heart, right here."

      But Miedzianowski was caught with a drug-gang girlfriend and
      overheard espousing some not so family values on audiotapes. "I
      tell you, if somebody fucks me over, I would not only fuck them, I
      would fuck their brothers, their sisters, their aunts, their
      uncles," he told one gang member in a friendly chat. "If they had
      a parakeet, I'd fuck the parakeet."

      According to prosecutors, he attempted to apply those sentiments
      to them. He has been indicted on charges of plotting to kill US
      Attorney Brian Netols while in jail awaiting trial, in a plot that
      included having associates use guns and missile launchers to
      spring him from the slammer.


      17. Newsbrief: Judge Kane Speaks Out Again, Lambasts Federal Drug

      Denver US District Court Judge John Kane, Jr., has once again
      strongly attacked US government drug policies. Kane has been a
      harsh critic of the war on drugs since at least 1998, when he
      signed on to a famous two-page ad that ran in the New York Times
      under this banner: "We believe the global war on drugs is now
      causing more harm than drug abuse itself." That ad, which called
      on United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to lead a major
      shift in global drug policy, was also signed by veteran newsman
      Walter Cronkite, former senators Claiborne Pell and Alan Cranston,
      former secretary of state George Shultz, conservative economist
      Milton Friedman and former New York police commissioner Patrick

      Kane has not been silent on the subject since, speaking out at
      events across the country over the past few years. On Tuesday he
      spoke at Denver's City Club luncheon at the Brown Palace Hotel
      and, according to the Rocky Mountain News (Denver), "won a
      standing ovation" from the crowd of business people with his
      attack on the drug war.

      The war on drugs is costly, ignorant and futile, Kane said. Drug
      prohibition only encourages drug dealers to seek black market
      profits, even from children, he added. "I don't favor drugs at
      all," Kane said. "What I really am opposed to is the fact that
      our present policies encourage children to take drugs."

      The war on drugs is a miserable failure, Kane said, noting that
      drugs have become ever easier to obtain and drug use has risen
      despite decades of prohibitionist policies. The senior judge
      recounted a story about a friend of his in his 60s who was being
      treated for cancer. The man joked to his family that he wished he
      knew where to get marijuana to relieve the effects of
      chemotherapy. The next day, the man's 11-year-old grandson
      brought him three joints. "Don't worry, Grandpa -- I don't use it
      myself, but if you need any more just let me know," Kane quoted
      the boy as saying.

      The federal government has no real scientific basis for its drug
      policy, Kane said, nor does that policy fit with American notions
      of fairness and justice. "Our national drug policy is
      inconsistent with the nature of justice, abusive of the nature o<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.