DrugSense Weekly
of the Month

June 2001 - Elizabeth Wehrman

Beth is our highest producing MAP editor! Once she got the hang of how to take an article from a Newshawk and get it into our archives - she never stopped. Her throughput is averaging 400 articles per month which means she probably scans through 20-30 submissions every day.

If she does even half as much towards harm reduction as she does for MAP - prohibitionists better watch out!

We asked her a few questions:

DS: When and why did you become involved in the drug policy area?

Beth: I've been working in the field of HIV/AIDS for ten years and, specifically, harm reduction for the last four years or so. It is impossible to be associated with the people in either field without realizing the futility of American drug laws and the tremendous (negative) impact on so many lives. On the other hand, I've met some of the most dedicated and rational people on earth through the same process. I've also come to understand that unless the public steps up to the plate, "public health" is just another business - and that's where I think the potential for change lies: with the people who just don't know yet that they have a role to play.

As with many of my projects and beliefs, I guess it was as much by accident at first, followed closely by a strongly held feeling of necessity, and resulting in a passion for supporting any positive change. Getting involved with MAP has provided an invaluable education, an association with people I like and share that passion with, and the knowledge that, together, we'll make a difference.

DS: How did you get into editing for MAP?

Beth: I don't remember for sure - I read about MAP on a listserve, I think, and the call for volunteers. I actually signed on two years ago, had computer problems and lost touch, then happened onto the site again last fall. I decided that it was high time to get involved. DS: What do you consider the most significant story/issue of the past months?

Beth: Without a doubt: the incredible leadership of Gov. Gary Johnson. I am in awe of the brass this man has shown. DS: What are your favorite websites, besides the MAP/DrugSense sites?

Beth: The Lindesmith Center - Drug Policy Foundation, Drug War Facts, The Region 6 HIV Prevention Implementation Group, etc....etc....etc.....

(and, coming soon, www.lifeguardonline.org..... my nonprofit's homepage that is currently under construction :-) )

DS: Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers of the weekly?

Beth: For those who are current MAPsters - I am proud to be one of you! What this group can accomplish together is limitless.

For those considering getting involved - jump in and give it a try. (With the warning that, once you're in, it's impossible to walk away again.) I really think we're on the leading edge of change and it won't be long!

And to Sledhead and Robert Sharpe - you're great role models - I'm on the verge of jumping into letter writing and if I write just one letter that reaches people in the way you guys do, I'll be a happy lady.

DS: Thank you, Beth, for all that you are doing! Beth has been added to the list of honored volunteers at:

DrugSense Volunteers of the Month

March 2001 - Amanda Jones

Anyone who reads the articles in the MAP archives has seen the numerous articles submitted by Amanda. She is one of our most valued newshawks not only because of the number of articles she submits but also for her consistent coverage.

Amanda also takes time to review posted articles for problems. She reports any errors she sees in a timely manner to our editors which helps us keep the integrity of our archives intact.

Amanda is also a member of the Drug Policy Forum of Texas. She participated in the Texas Journey for Jubilee Justice. This gave her the opportunity to meet many of her fellow Texas reformers and increase the bond that these fine patriots feel for each other.

You can often find Amanda during our weekly chat sessions. We meet on Saturday and Sunday nights around 6 pm PT.

We asked her a few questions:

DS: When and why did you become involved in the drug policy area?

Amanda: Some forty years ago I first saw a television special about a scourge of drugs, specifically, heroin, that was coming to the United States. As a twelve year old, I had already been indoctrinated to be on the lookout for communist propaganda and I had a sense that our own government was, for some reason that I couldn't quite fathom, stirring up a propaganda driven feast of fear for the American people. Although I had no idea what the dreaded heroin was, I did have the feeling that our government was espousing attitudes, especially towards young people, that left me with a vaguely uneasy feeling.

Being an "on fire" Christian, even as a child and having been taught by the school system about "propaganda", and being led, I felt, by the Spirit of God, to seek the truth in all things, I kept my eyes open to what would happen as the "drug scourge" hit the country.

About fifteen years ago, I had seen all I could bear. I felt that if I didn't speak out against the injustices of the war on drugs that the "blood" of the victims would be on my "head" as well as the "heads" of the perpetrators (the prohibitionists and drug warriors, and those that just let it happen). I was disgusted by the hugely unjust and cruel war on families and people who were being demonized because of drug use. It was sickening that some people, who claimed to be Christians, were treating people so cruelly for drug use. Some were even calling for death to users and sellers. I was appalled.

Speaking out against the War on Drugs became a necessity. It was a taboo issue and often, though not always, I was ridiculed for my beliefs. That ridicule only strengthened my resolve to resist a movement that evokes the Spanish Inquisition and Witch hunts in it's insane, violent, and ignorant cruelty and condemnation. Letters and calls to legislators were ignored. I write about ten letters a week to editors. My letters have only been printed four or five times and only two of them were worthy of being posted to MAP. I keep writing though. Surely someone reads them!

DS: How did you get into newshawking?

Amanda: Late in the fall of 1999 I got my first computer. I wanted to find news on the drug war. I found MAP and George McMahon, Richard Lake, and Jo-D Dunbar. Jo-D spent a lot of time, more than I want to say, because I was so slow, teaching me about the computer and newshawking. I am very grateful for being led to them and the Media Awareness Project. So many people have been so helpful. The afore mentioned guys and Mark Greer, Ken Russell, Don Beck, and Doc Hawk have all been very helpful, and patient, with me at different times. So many of the MAP folks, Allan Erickson, G. F. Storck, Jacki Rickert, Kaptinemo, Kkraig, Gary and many more have been great and inspiring friends.

DS: What do you consider the most significant story/issue of the past months?

Amanda: Probably the approval of the voters for California's Prop. 36 and the recognition, in some areas, for the need for some sanity in forfeiture and seizure laws, and certainly the fact that a Medical Marijuana decision is now before the Supreme Court. The most stunning and devastating story, of course, is the death of Alberto Sepulveda, an eleven year old child, shotgunned to death by a paramilitary swat team, as he lay on his bedroom floor.

DS: What are your favorite websites, besides the MAP/DrugSense sites?

Amanda: Cannabis News, Drudge Report, and WorldNetDaily for news and The Bible Gateway and Wordsmyth for fast and easy reference.

DS: Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers of the weekly?

Amanda: Most of you already agree that drug prohibition causes more harm to individuals, families, this country, and the world, than all of drug use times ten. Freedom, while it has it's risks, is always the best choice.

DS: Thank you, Amanda, for all that you are doing! Amanda has been added to the list of honored volunteers at:

DrugSense Volunteers of the Month

February 2001 - Myron Von Hollingsworth

Myron has been very successful at having his letters published. His persuasive ideas appear in papers from Ireland, Canada and all across the United States. Myron uses The MAP Media Email Directory, www.mapinc.org/resource/email.htm, to send each of his letters to several papers.

You may read Myron's published letters at:

We asked him a few questions:

DS: When and why did you become involved in the drug policy area?

MVH: In 1998 I initially got involved in drug policy reform because of the issue of drug testing as I witnessed my employer's (beer distributor) random enforcement of their random lifestyle testing policy depending on who (what color) you were and how important you were to the company. When they rewrote the policy to accommodate the Salesman of the Year who should have been terminated after his second failure, I resigned after 10 years and numerous promotions.

DS: How did you get into letter writing?

MVH: Richard Cowan (marijuananews.com) was and is my inspiration and he is the one who motivated me to get involved. After a short and futile period of trying to communicate with the corrupt, elected idiots in D.C. I found Mark Greer and MAPINC and, with their help, began writing directly to the media. I am grateful to have found MAPINC and to be associated with the movement that is battling the greatest threat to democracy, liberty and individual freedom - the drug war.

I have compiled a library of almost 200 letters that I use to send volume LTE's on most of the different aspects of the drug war. This enables me to send 15-20 letters or more nightly and as many as 50-60 on a good night.

Since I'm sure I drive many editors crazy, I call it LTErrorism.

DS: What do you consider the most significant story/issue of the past months?

MVH: There is no way to single out just one. The movie Traffic is a significant statement on our current fraudulent and failed drug policy. Its timing is good with the Colombia issue looming over a new President with a corrupt Attorney General and no drug czar. I believe cannabis, however, is where reform is beginning. It's happening in Ontario, Belgium, Britain and California (sort of ). Addressing the fraud of cannabis prohibition will force the addressing of our current, fraudulent lifestyle testing methods and that's the issue that stokes my coals.

DS: What are your favorite drug policy reform related websites, besides the MAP/DrugSense sites?

MVH: Of course, Richard Cowan's sites (marijuananews.com and his 4:20 show on POT TV), the local and national NORML sites, The Libertarian Party site (highly recommended-no pun...) and The High Times site to name a few.

DS: Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers of the weekly?

MVH: I would only impart some of the wisdom that I have gleaned and been inspired by:

From Peter McWilliams - "I shall continue speaking the truth. The DEA and the IRS will continue to do whatever they continue to do."

From Mark Greer and MAPINC - "It's not what others do, it's what YOU do."

Last and most important to me, and what got me started in the reform movement -
From Richard Cowan -
"Speak out, but don't whisper a curse against the darkness."

DS: Thank you, Myron, for all that you are doing! Myron has been added to the list of honored volunteers at:


P. O. Box 651
Porterville, CA
(800) 266-5759
Contact:Mark Greer (greer@drugsense.org)
Webmaster:Matt Elrod (webmaster@drugsense.org)