This Just In
(1)Supreme Court Denies Review of Medical Pot Law
(2)Report Details Bush Officials' Partisan Trips
(3)RCMP Launches Internal Review of Insite Report, but Defends Research
(4)Realtors To Host Grow-Op Meeting

Hot Off The 'Net
-New Video On Schapelle Corby
-Sacred Intentions: Inside The Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Studies
-Drug Truth Network
-Mexico Signals It's Had Enough Of America's Stupid War On Drugs
-Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies News
-NAOMI Opiate Maintenance Results Report Released

 THIS JUST IN  ( Top )


Pubdate: Fri, 17 Oct 2008
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Hearst Communications Inc.
Author: Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO -- The state Supreme Court turned back a challenge to California's medical marijuana law Thursday from two counties that said they were being forced to condone federal drug-law violations by state-approved pot users.

San Diego and San Bernardino county officials had sued to overturn Proposition 215, the 1996 initiative that legalized medical marijuana, and a more recent law that required them to issue identification cards to users who had a doctor's recommendation.

The justices unanimously denied review of an appellate decision in July that concluded California was free to decide whether to punish drug users under its own laws, despite the federal ban on marijuana.

The decision is "a momentous victory for countless seriously ill patients," said Adam Wolf, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who defended the state law in the appeals court. He said the counties should stop wasting money "in a doomed effort to undermine the will of California voters."

But Thomas Bunton, a deputy San Diego County counsel, said the county would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.




Pubdate: Thu, 16 Oct 2008
Page: A06
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2008 The Washington Post Company
Author: R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post Staff Writer

House Panel Finds Federal Appointees Attended Many Events on Taxpayers' Dime

When Karl Rove's office requested special help for beleaguered Republican congressional candidates in the months before the 2006 elections, the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy jumped to the task. Director John Walters was called a "superstar" by a Rove aide after carrying half-million-dollar grants to news conferences with two congressmen and a senator.

Walters's visits to Utah, Missouri and Nevada were among at least 303 out-of-town trips by senior Bush appointees meant to lend prestige or bring federal grants to 99 politically endangered Republicans that year, in a White House campaign that House Democratic investigators yesterday called unprecedented in scope and scale.

Federal law prohibits the use of public funds or resources for partisan activities -- and specifically barred Walters's office from any involvement in a federal election campaign -- but the agencies involved said most of the trips were paid for by taxpayer funds, according to the draft report released by the Democratic majority of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The report said that since the Rove aide and many others involved in organizing the trips are no longer in office, "there is no effective remedy" for any related violations of the 1939 Hatch Act, which restricts the use of public funds for partisan gain.

The report said the trips were freely described as political in subpoenaed e-mails and interviews. A list prepared at the White House two weeks before the election gave the names and dates of appearances by Cabinet secretaries in 73 key congressional districts, all under the heading "Final Push Surrogate Matrix."




Pubdate: Fri, 17 Oct 2008
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Mary Frances Hill, Vancouver Sun

Deputy Commissioner Defends Studies As a Normal Part of the Millions It Spends on Research

The RCMP has promised to conduct an internal review into reports that it commissioned which criticize Insite, Vancouver's supervised injection site.

But the force's deputy commissioner also defended the studies as a regular part of the millions of dollars worth of research it conducts every year.

On Wednesday, RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass wrote to Julio Montaner, clinical director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS Research, in an open letter posted on the RCMP's website.

He admitted the RCMP conducted some controversial research at an Insite supervised injection site, which discredited the Centre for Excellence's positive findings. Bass said the Mounties would be conducting an internal probe.




Pubdate: Thu, 16 Oct 2008
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Canwest Publishing Inc.

Homebuyers should be warned if their prospective purchase was used in illegal drug operations, a realtor says.

"We've heard about the elderly couple who bought a retirement home. The next day, the neighbours told them it had been a marijuana grow-op. The couple should know beforehand, not after," said Kelvin Neufeld, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

The board is hosting an invitation-only conference in Langley today for 150 realtors, fire chiefs, police, councillors and municipal staff, where the issue will be discussed. Currently, each municipality has its own reporting rules.





Out of all the drug problems facing the United States, the drug czar used his time (and taxpayer money) to help prevent sick people from getting medicine legally in Michigan. And it happened only days before a new report was released showing that the drug czar's office was used repeatedly and improperly for political campaigning ( see the This Just In section above for details about the report).

Some Canadian activists claim their government is borrowing a classic play from the American drug warriors: suppressing inconvenient information. Also, in the Mexican drug war, journalists are being killed; while one city in Illinois is being very quiet while changing the way it enforces laws, including marijuana laws.


Pubdate: Tue, 14 Oct 2008
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2008 Detroit Free Press
Author: Dawson Bell, Staff Writer

LANSING - A team of top national anti-drug officials joined the late-starting campaign to defeat Michigan's medical marijuana initiative this morning, telling reporters Proposal 1 is a dangerous drug legalization scheme being pushed by outsiders that will lead to higher rates of addiction and despair.

John Walters, a Michigan native who heads the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said marijuana has no legitimate medical use.

Medical marijuana laws simply "make it easier for addicts to stay addicted," he said.

Walters is in the state through Wednesday, traveling to events with representatives of the anti-Proposal 1 campaign from law enforcement and medical organizations in an effort to make the case that approving medical marijuana will make it almost impossible to control cultivation, distribution and sales of the drug.




Pubdate: Sat, 11 Oct 2008
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2008 The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Greg Joyce, Canadian Press

VANCOUVER -- Several groups advocating for the downtrodden of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside yesterday released what they claimed were key findings from a trial project that provided prescription heroin to addicts. The groups criticized the Conservative government, claiming the Tories suppressed the release of the results during the federal election campaign because they might reflect poorly on the government.

But a spokeswoman for the project, known as the North American Opiate Medication Initiative, said in a brief statement released late yesterday that the final results are not ready and will not be released until later this month.

The groups, including the Pivot Legal Society and Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, also said that a lead researcher, Martin Schechter, released the findings earlier this year in Switzerland.

The groups said they had compiled some of the findings from a video they obtained of Dr. Schechter's presentation.

NAOMI spokeswoman Julie Schneiderman said Dr. Schechter spoke in Switzerland to a group of addiction experts but did not release the findings publicly. "They weren't ready because we are working on a final report," Ms. Schneiderman said.

"Dr. Schechter made a presentation in Switzerland to a closed-door conference of experts. I have no idea if something was secretly videotaped. He has not presented any final results."




Pubdate: Mon, 13 Oct 2008
Source: Christian Science Monitor (US)
Copyright: 2008 The Christian Science Publishing Society
Author: David Montero

A newspaper editor, a columnist, police officers, and bar patrons are among those killed in separate acts of violence this past week.

As drug-related violence continues to worsen across the border in Mexico, journalists are being increasingly targeted.

Mexico's widening war with drugs has claimed more than 3,000 lives this year alone. On Sunday, assailants opened fire on the U.S. consulate in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, reports the Associated Press. Nobody was injured in that attack, but on Saturday gunmen killed six young men at a family party in the gang-plagued Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, reports AP.

Saturday night's mass shooting was the second in the border state of Chihuahua in less than a week. Just before midnight Thursday, gunmen opened fire in a bar in the city of Chihuahua, killing 11 people.

The most recent violence underscores yet another frightening dimension in the violence: the targeting of journalists, the San Antonio Express reports.




Pubdate: Tue, 14 Oct 2008
Source: News-Gazette, The (Champaign, IL)
Copyright: 2008 The News-Gazette
Author: Mike Monson

URBANA - City council agenda items coming from the city attorney's office in recent weeks are not being made public on the city's Web site.

With increasing frequency, items from the city attorney's office are showing up on the city council and council committee meeting agendas with no accompanying information.

"There will ( be ) no packet information on this item except for Council members and Mayor - please contact Legal if any questions," is the standard message when a reader on the city's Web site,, clicks on such an agenda item.

At the council's Oct. 6 meeting, the council enacted an ordinance giving police officers the legal authority to charge someone possessing cannabis or drug paraphernalia with a city ordinance violation instead of a state crime. No information about the ordinance, other than the title, was included in either the committee or council meeting agendas.

On Monday, a proposed ordinance giving police the power to declare parties a nuisance under certain circumstances and to close them down was on the agenda. Violators would also be subject to a $200 fine.

But there was no information on the Web site about what the proposed ordinance entailed, except for the title.




Some interesting justice news came out of Canada this week. Research there showed prison does not help injection drug users to stop their habits. A professor in Canada thinks he has a solution the problem of recidivism among drug users, but it doesn't sound perfect. And one columnist is very unimpressed with the Harper government's crime policy, particularly as it relates to drugs. And back in the USA, the New York Times takes a front page look at drug courts, with the usual hyperbole from supporters, but also some reasonable criticism.


Pubdate: Fri, 10 Oct 2008
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2008 The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Andre Picard

Injection-drug users who are incarcerated are less likely to kick their habit than those who remain in the community, new Canadian research shows.

In fact, there is strong evidence that addicts who end up in jail are more likely to stay hooked longer and less likely to be treated for addiction, according to the research published in the medical journal Addiction.

"The simple explanation is that by incarcerating people, you limit their access to help," Evan Wood, a researcher at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV-AIDS, said in an interview.

"While it may be politically popular to jail injection-drug users, it's not a very effective public health measure," he said.




Pubdate: Tue, 14 Oct 2008
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2008 The Edmonton Journal
Author: James C. Morton, Ottawa Citizen
Note: James C. Morton is a litigation lawyer at Steinberg Morton
Frymer in Toronto and adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School,
York University.

Instead of Jailing Repeat Petty Criminals, We Should Send Them to Mandatory Addiction Treatment

In a season of tough talk on crime, I propose a challenge to our political leaders. In Canada, one group of criminals commits a disproportionate number of crimes that we could easily reduce with more coercive sentencing. However, our usual form of coercion -- imprisonment -- doesn't work for them. They need a different kind of sentence. But to make that happen -- and to significantly reduce the number of crimes they commit -- would require will and wisdom that our legislators can't seem to muster.

The legal system refers to these men -- they are almost all men -- as chronic offenders. What everyone knows, but the justice system doesn't acknowledge, is that they are also drug addicts, hooked on heroin or crack cocaine. They steal not for gain but to support their addiction, to pay for their next fix.


Clearly, Canadians need more protection from chronic offenders than we are now getting.

With chronic offenders, we have an issue of both criminal law and public health. Addicted offenders must be required to undergo serious, long-term drug treatment.

Since 1996, Alberta law has required minors with an apparent alcohol or drug addiction to participate, with or without their consent, in an assessment and treatment program. Saskatchewan and Manitoba have similar legislation and even allow parents of drug-addicted children to ask a court to require treatment, whether or not the child is in trouble with the law.




Pubdate: Wed, 15 Oct 2008
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Peter McKnight, Staff Writer

During the election campaign, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that on the matter of criminal justice the Conservatives are not listening to "people who work in ivory towers" because "we believe they are wrong."

Now it seems odd to hear a prime minister proudly declare his intention to ignore the best criminological research and the advice of those who have spent their lives studying crime. And it would be nothing short of a miracle for a political party to produce a rational criminal justice policy when it ignores the research.

Alas, there will be no miracles in Harper's future. For despite all his talk of protecting the safety and security of Canadians, there's little evidence the Conservatives' justice policy will do so.

Take for example the Conservatives' approach to drugs and drug crime. Unwillingly to admit that the drug war has been a failure, the Conservatives have chosen not merely to continue that war, but to implement a "surge," if you will.

Specifically, the Conservatives plan to introduce mandatory prison sentences for trafficking in certain drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. This sounds good, since few people would object to putting drug dealers away.

But the research -- forgive me -- suggests that this will result in the incarceration of many drug addicts. For while many people draw a sharp distinction between dealers and users, the Vancouver Injection Drug Users study found that 20 per cent of users surveyed admitted to "low level" dealing.



Pubdate: Wed, 15 Oct 2008
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2008 The New York Times Company
Author: Erik Eckholm

SEATTLE - It was not your usual courtroom scene. For one thing, the judge choked up as he described one woman's struggle with opiate addiction after her arrest for forging prescriptions.

Over the last three years, she had repeatedly missed court-ordered therapy and hearings, and the judge, J. Wesley Saint Clair of the Drug Diversion Court, at first meted out mild punishments, like community service. But last winter, pushed past his forgiving limit, he jailed her briefly twice. The threat of more jail did the trick.

Now she was graduating - along with 23 other addicts who entered drug court instead of prison. Prosecutors and public defenders applauded when she was handed her certificate; a policewoman hugged her, and a child shouted triumphantly, "Yeah, Mamma!"

In Seattle, as in drug courts across the country, the stern face of criminal justice is being redrawn, and emotions are often on the surface. Experts say drug courts have been the country's fastest-spreading innovation in criminal justice, giving arrested addicts a chance to avoid prison by agreeing to stringent oversight and addiction treatment. Recent studies show drug courts are one of the few initiatives that reduce recidivism - on average by 8 percent to 10 percent nationally and as high as 26 percent in New York State - and save taxpayer money.


But some scholars say that, because of high up-front costs, the limited success of drug treatment and a shortage of judges with the required personal talents, drug courts are unlikely to make a significant dent in the prison population.

Some lawyers also say the courts can infringe on the rights of defendants given that offenders usually must acknowledge guilt to enter the court, or in some places have already agreed to a plea bargain and sentence. Thus an addict might opt for drug court to avoid prison or with sincere intentions of going straight, but if treatment fails and he is expelled from the program, he must serve a sentence without having seriously fought the charges. His total time in court custody, between drug court and then prison, may be longer than it would have been otherwise. Advocates respond that such offenders are facing a plea-bargaining mill in any case, and are offered an invaluable chance for change.

Critics also worry that the courts can monopolize scarce drug-treatment slots at the expense of other addicts seeking help.




Cannabis news junkies will recognize the tiresome, repetitive arguments proffered by prohibition apologists to counter cannabis law reform propositions and initiatives appearing on ballots this November.

American taxpayers are once again paying for ONDCP officials to travel around the country to lobby against these initiatives, complaining about out-of-state funders and fomenting fear of marijuana mayhem, as evidenced in California.

Meanwhile, the situation in California may be improving as a consequence of local, state and self-regulation.

In the U.K., a proposed "three-strikes" approach to cannabis possession appears to be out of play, now that proponents have learned that police do not record strikes.


Pubdate: Tue, 14 Oct 2008
Source: Daily News Tribune (Waltham, MA)
Copyright: 2008 The Daily News Tribune
Author: Rick Holmes, Local columnist

Not much has changed since Richard Nixon declared war on drugs in 1971, including the rhetoric being used this year against Question 2, a referendum on the November ballot that would change possession of small amounts of marijuana from a criminal charge to a civil infraction and a $100 fine.

Marijuana is more addictive and more potent than ever, opponents repeat with "Reefer Madness" alarm. It's a "gateway drug," they are still saying, with the same faulty logic: Almost every heroin user started by smoking pot, therefore a single puff starts you on the road to the hard stuff. Reducing the penalty for marijuana possession would "send the wrong message" to children, as if kids pay close attention to the actions of legislators and read the fine print in the drug statutes.

For 37 years, people have been ignoring these arguments and the laws they support. One study estimates that 100 million Americans have tried marijuana at least once. A federal agency reported a few years ago that 12 percent of Boston area residents had smoked pot within the last month.

Their real-life experiences have been undercutting war-on-drugs rhetoric for generations now, as have some obvious facts: For all the billions of dollars spent and millions of arrests made, drugs today are as available, as affordable and as potent as ever. No wonder a Zogby poll released this month found that three out of four U.S. voters believe the drug war is failing.




Pubdate: Tue, 14 Oct 2008
Source: Grand Rapids Press (MI)
Copyright: 2008 Grand Rapids Press
Author: Ted Roelofs, The Grand Rapids Press
Cited: Proposal 1

GRAND RAPIDS -- Listening to opponents of Proposal 1 list their arguments, Kentwood resident Deborah Brink had a different view on the statewide ballot question that would approve medically legalized marijuana.

In 1979, Brink became violently ill while undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia. She threw up four times an hour for four hours a day, five days a week.

Nothing she tried to relieve the nausea worked -- until she turned to marijuana.

"I did not throw up at all," recalled Brink, now 50. "You can't say for sure, but there's a possibility it saved my life."

But in a Monday news conference, law enforcement officials, including U.S. Deputy Drug Czar Scott Burns, called Proposal 1 dangerous and wrong.

"Proposal 1 is bad for Michigan and it is bad for America," Burns said.

"This issue is about dope, not about medicine."

Burns maintained the ballot proposal is being pushed by wealthy individuals from outside Michigan, who have backed similar proposals in other states.

"They are funded by millions of dollars from millionaires who live in Washington, D.C. to hire people to come to Michigan to try and con voters from the state to pass it."




Pubdate: Tue, 14 Oct 2008
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Hearst Communications Inc.
Author: C. W. Nevius, Chronicle Columnist

Three years ago, agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency broke down the door of a South of Market medical pot club and raided the premises. It looked like the first skirmish between federal agents and the city, which passed liberal pot laws in 1996.

Instead, the city took the crackdown as a wake-up call.

Quietly, with little fanfare, San Francisco is on the way to becoming a model for medical marijuana clubs done the right way. Exploitive, profit-hungry drug clubs are being forced out and community-based, patient-friendly ones are becoming the norm. Neighbors have shut down dispensaries in school zones, and patient services have been increased.

Beginning in 2005, when Mayor Gavin Newsom worried aloud about "a path that would allow for a club on every street corner," the city has made a series of small steps that have improved a situation that was nearly out of control. A moratorium on new clubs was enacted, and Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Michela Alioto-Pier pushed for restrictive legislation. Among other things, all pot clubs were required to get an operating permit from the Planning Commission. Neighborhood input, proximity to schools, and criminal and employment background checks were all included in the consideration for a permit.

Since then, almost half of the clubs have closed.

And here's an indication of just how well the regulations have worked. When state Attorney General Jerry Brown proposed strict state guidelines for marijuana dispensaries in August, and Newsom's office drafted similar regulations a month later, advocates responded immediately - they said they were wholeheartedly in favor.

"We went through 10 years of an unregulated cannabis environment," said Kevin Reed, president of Green Cross dispensary, which delivers medical marijuana to patients. "Now they are going to try something completely different, and to see it run correctly is a wonderful thing."




Pubdate: Tue, 14 Oct 2008
Source: Times, The (UK)
Copyright: 2008 Times Newspapers Ltd
Author: Richard Ford, Home Correspondent
Cited: Cited:

Plans for tougher penalties for cannabis possession were unravelling within hours of being announced yesterday by the Home Secretary.

Jacqui Smith outlined a tiered approach of stiffer sanctions for adult offenders repeatedly caught with cannabis after it is upgraded to a Class B drug in January.

Ms Smith said that she was backing a "three strikes and out" system of dealing with adult offenders, starting with a warning from police, increasing to an UKP 80 fine for a second offence and arrest for the third time that a user was found with cannabis.

The approach was undermined immediately, however, when the Home Office said that warnings for a first offence would not be placed on the police national computer. This would make it difficult for police to check whether someone found with the drug was a first or second-time offender, particularly if the cannabis user was caught in a different police force area from where he or she lived.


Ms Smith, who admitted last year that she had tried cannabis while at university, added: "We need to act now to protect future generations."


Danny Kushlick, from the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, said that the move was "populist posturing". He said: "Escalating penalties for possession only serve to further marginalise and criminalise millions of otherwise law-abiding people."



In New Zealand this week, there was a stunning confession by former undercover narcotics officer Patrick O'Brien (now 60) that he committed perjury sending hundreds of people to jail. "In every case I lied to the courts and I lied to the juries to obtain convictions against my targets," admitted O'Brien, who was "honoured" for his work by the government.

Ah, it was only in spring of 2001 that Colin Powell was off to Kabul, to reward the Taliban with millions of dollars - for their splendid job of ruthlessly enforcing prohibition on Afghanistan. But my, how times change! Immediately after the US-led NATO forces invaded and routed the Taliban, opium flowed from Afghanistan as never before. Now we are told, it is all about saving the children from Afghan dope; this (now) is Why We Fight. The UK Independent newspaper this week attempted to sell UK taxpayers on a newly re-packaged war in Afghanistan, this time a shiny new war, a war on the poppy plant. Expect this new anti-drug surge to be as effective as other prohibition "wars".

In Canada, the election (prohibitionist Stephen Harper won) crowded out cries of foul over the RCMP's funding of tailor-made anti-Insite reports. Some papers like The Province, seemed to downplay a new report that "North America's first heroin trial project has been a resounding success," to scold those who "seem to choose confrontation over consultation". Others weren't so ready to gloss over the RCMP's blatantly partisan propaganda-cum-research. Gary Manson at the Globe and Mail was unable to remain silent over "the Mounties' latest antics" using "taxpayers' dollars to hire researchers to author papers that undermine Insite" which "it obviously hoped and expected would cast the drug treatment centre in a poor light."


Pubdate: Sun, 12 Oct 2008
Source: New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2008 New Zealand Herald
Author: Jared Savage

Police have hired one of the country's top lawyers to investigate a former officer's stunning confession that he lied in court - and wrongfully sent at least 150 people to prison.

Patrick O'Brien wrote to Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias admitting to perjury, saying he was racked with guilt after carrying a "dreadful secret" for more than 30 years.

Now nearly 60, O'Brien was an undercover agent in covert drugs operations in the 1970s, immersed in a dark, criminal underworld, and the star Crown witness in the resulting court trials.

However, O'Brien says he lied on oath every time he took the stand.

In the confession letter, he said he could not guess the number of people with convictions or imprisoned "because of my lies", because he stopped counting arrests at 150, halfway through his three-year stint.


In his confession, O'Brien told Dame Sian he answered to the "grey men" who trained him, on whose orders he lied to obtain the convictions at any cost.

"They called it Doomsday work and instructed me to take this dreadful secret to the grave," O'Brien wrote.

"In every case I lied to the courts and I lied to the juries to obtain convictions against my targets.

"Telling lies was easy - 'policemen don't tell lies' - and my targets never stood a chance."

Tampering with evidence was also common, he said. Often the exhibit before the court was not the drugs that he bought from the target.




Pubdate: Tue, 14 Oct 2008
Source: Independent (UK)
Copyright: 2008 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.

Why are we asking this now? Nato and the U.S. are ramping up the war on drugs in Afghanistan. American ground forces are set to help guard poppy eradication teams for the first time later this year, while Nato's defence ministers agreed to let their 50,000-strong force target heroin laboratories and smuggling networks.

Until now, going after drug lords and their labs was down to a small and secretive band of Afghan commandos, known as Taskforce 333, and their mentors from Britain's Special Boat Service. Eradicating poppy fields was the job of specially trained, but poorly resourced, police left to protect themselves from angry farmers. All that is set to change.


General David McKiernan, the U.S. commander of almost all the international forces in Afghanistan, insited to journalists at a press conference on Sunday that Nato isn't losing.




Pubdate: Tue, 14 Oct 2008
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Canwest Publishing Inc.

Word has it that North America's first heroin trial project has been a resounding success.

According to preliminary findings discussed at a Zurich, Switzerland, conference recently, the health and social conduct of the 256 addicts who participated in NAOMI improved during the three-year study, which prescribed heroin or a heroin substitute to 190 Vancouver users and another 66 from Montreal.

While we welcome the official release of the hefty 100-page report when it lands on Health Canada's desk next month, we can't say the same for the reaction from the Pivot Legal Society and Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, which seem to choose confrontation over consultation, no matter what drug project is under the microscope.




Pubdate: Sat, 11 Oct 2008
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2008 The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Gary Mason

Those heading up our national police force must be so glad people have other things on their minds these days.

Otherwise, Canadians might be howling about the Mounties' latest antics and demanding our political leaders hold them accountable.


This week, we learned that the RCMP used taxpayers' dollars to hire researchers to author papers that undermine Insite, the supervised injection site in Vancouver opposed by the Mounties and the Conservative government.

Pivot Legal Society, the admirable advocacy group working on behalf of the poor and dispossessed, made the discovery through an access to information request

Internal RCMP correspondence turned over to the organization reveals a covert police plan to finance politically motivated research and use morally questionable tactics to advance its drug-war agenda.


An RCMP spokesperson said this week that the force sponsors research like this all the time.

If that is the case, we have a big problem.

It is clear what the RCMP's intentions were. The force asked two separate academics to write reports about Insite that it obviously hoped and expected would cast the drug treatment centre in a poor light.

When neither report did, the RCMP commissioned two more, one by the director of a national drug-prevention organization that opposes Insite.

This time the RCMP got the results for which it was looking.


The RCMP has no business inserting itself into the debate around our drug treatment programs, especially in this manner.

The RCMP's job is to fight and prevent crime.


I would like to know who directed this little operation. Did the head of the RCMP know about it?

Did he approve it? Did federal Health Minister Tony Clement know the background of the anti-Insite research that the RCMP forwarded to him?



 HOT OFF THE 'NET  ( Top )


An independent film has today been released which condemns the Australian media over their misreporting of human rights abuse victim, Schapelle Corby.

The video, which is entitled 'Burying the Truth, Burying Schapelle Corby', can be viewed via YouTube at:

It is also available from several Schapelle Corby support sites,, and a number of human rights portals.


By Michael M. Hughes

"Working with these drugs was like the third rail. You don't touch that without damaging your career."


Century of Lies - 10/14/08 - James P. Gray

Judge James P. Gray, author of "Wearing the Robe, the Art and Responsibilities of Judging in Today's Courts", Dr. Norm Stamper, author of "Breaking Rank - A Top Cop's Expose"

Cultural Baggage Radio Show - 10/15/08 - Martine Ehrenclou

Martine Ehrenclou, M.A., author of Critical Conditions - The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive


By Silja J.A. Talvi

The U.S.-financed War on Drugs has had savage results in Mexico, and now its president wants to decriminalize pot, cocaine and heroin possession.


MAPS have received word from the FDA that the clinical hold on their LSD end-of-life psychotherapy study has been removed. Their ibogaine study is getting underway, and the development of their Canadian, French and Jordanian MDMA/PTSD studies are moving along at a considerable pace.


Researchers from the North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI Study) today released final data on the primary outcomes from the three-year randomized controlled clinical trial.

Results show that North America's first heroin therapy study keeps patients in treatment, improves their health and reduces illegal activity.

Background information on the study is available at:



Constitution Day is an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental rights and freedoms we enjoy as Americans. But for many, it also provides an occasion to take note of all the ways in which the promise of liberty handed down by our forefathers has been broken time and again as our criminal justice system grows sufficiently enormous to terrify even the best-behaved among us.

True as that may be, Flex Your Rights has always believed that the long-term survival of our basic constitutional rights can be realized only by understanding, appreciating, and exercising them.



By Gene Tinelli

To the Editor:

With respect to your editorial, "Rocky Place," we need much more than reform of the Rockefeller drug laws. Though admirable in intent, with reform hopelessly stalled by a dysfunctional New York state government, another approach is sorely needed.

In 1923, America was three years into federal alcohol prohibition, and every state except Maryland had enacted its own version of Prohibition. State courts became jammed with liquor cases, illicit commerce in alcohol caused rampant violence, and organized crime took hold.

In response to this crisis, New York State Sen. Louis Curvillier introduced a measure he claimed would give badly needed relief to the New York state criminal justice system. It was ingeniously simple and did not require any funding.

The measure merely repealed New York state prohibition laws, and replaced them with nothing. The bill passed the legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Al Smith.

The effect of this law was to shift the burden of enforcing the prohibition laws from state to federal authorities for the ten remaining years of Prohibition.

Not only did this unburden the New York state criminal justice system and save money, it reduced most of the Prohibition-related violence that plagued other parts of the country.

We now have a drug Prohibition that has the same pernicious effects as the old alcohol Prohibition and adds racial and economic discrimination. Eighty years ago, New York state set a precedent of common sense. It needs to do so again.

Repeal the Rockefeller drug laws, and replace them with nothing. This would be a wonderful way to start the 21st century.

Gene Tinelli Jamesville

Pubdate: Fri, 10 Oct 2008
Source: Post-Standard, The (Syracuse, NY)


Beth Wehrman, 1952 - 2008, A Life Well Lived  ( Top )

Thursday the following obituary appeared in the Quad-City Times of Davenport, Iowa:


LeClaire, Iowa - Elizabeth Ann Wehrman, 56, of LeClaire, Iowa, died October 14, 2008, at her home as a result of pancreatic cancer. A visitation will be held 4-8 p.m. Friday, October 17, at Weerts Funeral Home, Kimberly at Jersey Ridge, Davenport. Celebration of Life services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Private interment will be in Glendale Cemetery, LeClaire. A memorial fund will be established in Beth's honor. Beth believed life was best spent in a pair of blue jeans, so please join the family in honoring her wish by wearing them to all services.

Elizabeth (Beth) Ann Bemenderfer was born on September 15, 1952, to Ned and Mildred Bemenderfer in Rochester, Indiana. She completed nurse's training at St. Elizabeth's in East Lafayette, Indiana, and her BSN at MaryCrest in 1986. While working at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, she met her future husband, Randal Wehrman. They married on December 27, 1975, in West Branch, Iowa.

Beth continued her life as a nurse, a trailblazer in her field. She was head supervisor at the newly founded MEDIC, taught many EMS and Lamaze classes, was the Executive Director of AIDS Project Quad Cities, helped her husband as they established Wehrman Insurance, and most recently founded LifeGuard working as a "Street Nurse" providing harm reduction services. She was also the first female volunteer firefighter for the City of Le Claire Fire Department. The mother of four daughters, Beth ran the local softball league, taught confirmation classes, helped start Pleasant Valley Stingrays swim team and supported her children in all their endeavors. She also loved being Gamma to her eight grandchildren.

In her spare time Beth enjoyed reading, knitting, camping, traveling, cake decorating, and above all spending time with her family. Her most recent passion was working the grassroots movement to nominate and elect Senator Obama to the Presidency. Beth was beloved and admired for her community service, compassion and her commitment to being a voice for those less fortunate.

She will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Randy; daughters, Kristin (Mark) Coopman of Bettendorf, Anne (Jake) Stoefen of Hudson, Wis., Leah (Jesse) White of Davenport, and Sara (AJ) Sullivan of Iowa City. She will also be missed by her grandchildren, Chaeli, Kenzie, Ethan, Jackson, Joie, William, Addyson, and Erika; brothers, Todd (Judy) Bemenderfer and Neil (Lynn) Bemenderfer; and her parents. She will also be missed by special family friend, BJ Stevenson, and many other special friends and relatives.

Online condolences may be expressed to Beth's family by visiting her obituary at

As the obituary indicates, Beth was a dedicated harm reduction and drug policy reform activist. You may remember her from her attendance at various conferences. Or perhaps as the 'The 'Needle Lady'" as the Peoria Journal Star called Beth in this article Beth was a volunteer editor for the Media Awareness Project. She edited over twelve thousand news clippings. Plus Beth found and newshawked about five thousand news clippings - a slight majority of which were about her needle exchange and harm reduction areas of interest.

Beth received the Spirit of Marycrest Award on October 4th as this article 'Spirit of Marycrest Award Goes to AIDS Activist' states As indicated in the obituary a trust fund is being established. The trust fund will be allowed to grow and once a year grants from the fund's interest will be made to organizations that Beth supported and worked with.

Once the family lawyer establishes the trust fund there will be a new address for donations. You may send donations now. Please mark them as for the 'memorial trust fund.'

Please make your checks out to Randy Wehrman.

Mail them to:

Randy Wehrman

130 Riverview Heights Drive

LeClaire, IA 52753-0228


"The great end of life is not knowledge but action." - Thomas Henry Huxley

DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you.


Please utilize the following URLs


Policy and Law Enforcement/Prison content selection and analysis by Stephen Young (, This Just In selection by Richard Lake ( and Stephen Young, International content selection and analysis by Doug Snead (, Cannabis/Hemp content selection and analysis, Hot Off The Net selection and Layout by Matt Elrod ( Analysis comments represent the personal views of editors, not necessarily the views of DrugSense.

We wish to thank all our contributors, editors, NewsHawks and letter writing activists. Please help us help reform. Become a NewsHawk See for info on contributing clippings.

NOTICE:  ( Top )

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



Mail in your contribution. Make checks payable to MAP Inc. send your contribution to:

The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc. D/B/a DrugSense 14252 Culver Drive #328 Irvine, CA, 92604-0326 (800) 266 5759

RSS DrugSense Weekly current issue this issue

Back Issues: 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010