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Maptalk-Digest Wednesday, December 31 1997 Volume 97 : Number 562

    From:  (David Hadorn)
Re:   Your Saturday Talk response [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
    From: "MAPNews Sr. Editor" <>
FWD: letter to island printing 
    From: Kenji Lawrence Klein <> (by way of "MAPNews Sr. Editor" <>)
Sent Re:  US: Forbes Says Tylenol Dangerous in Big Doses
    From: Alan Mason <> (by way of Richard Lake <>)
Texas Op-ed makes it to CA
    From: "Tom O'Connell" <>
Acop's plea to decriminalize
    From: Pat Dolan <>


Subj: Sun-Sentinel
From:  (David Hadorn)
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 13:05:01 +1300 (NZDT)

Hey, that was fun.  I just became the latest addition to the SS message
board.  And yes, the responses look like all from us.  Isn't anybody in
Florida paying attention?

Here was my bit:

The stench from James Driscoll's series of know-nothing articles on the drug
war has reached even this distant shore. When I saw them, I assumed the
Sun-Sentinel must be some sort of tabloid, but from your website it looks
like a legitimate newspaper.  What happened? Something went terribly wrong.
By the way, $20 says Mr. Driscoll wanted to "just fight harder" in Vietnam,
too.  Am I right?



Subj: Re:   Your Saturday Talk response [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
From: "MAPNews Sr. Editor" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 05:00:41 -0500

It appears that several, myself included, got this message. Of course I
responded promptly. Don't know if whatever they do will appear on the
accessatlanta website so I hope someone nails down a copy of the newspaper
and sends whatever they do to  if it is not on the website.

As a major, this newspaper may be available in some news stands that carry
out of town newspapers and even in larger libraries.


At 03:38 PM 12/30/97 -0600,  wrote:
>How many others have received this message?
>Just another example of the power of the message boards. :)
>Alan B.
><---- Begin Included Message ---->
>Date: 30 Dec 97 11:48:31 +0000
>From: Richard Matthews <>
>Subject: Your Saturday Talk response
>To: Alan Bryan <>
>                      Subject:                              Time:  11:52 AM
>  OFFICE MEMO         Your Saturday Talk response           Date:  12/30/97
>We're considering using excerpts from your response to the Saturday Talk 
>feature in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on next Saturday's page. Our 
>paper's policy on things like "letters to the editor" requires that we have 
>the writer's real name, address and telephone number for verification 
>purposes. We won't put all of that in the paper, of course -- just your real 
>name and city. If you're interested in having your comments published,
>respond to by e-mail to  by Wednesday morning.
>Richard Matthews
>Journal Editorial Board


Subj: FWD: letter to island printing 
From: Kenji Lawrence Klein <> (by way of "MAPNews Sr. Editor" <>)
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 05:11:54 -0500

From: Kenji Lawrence Klein <>

I'm sending the following letter to Island Printing regarding its
sponsorship of the D.A.R.E. program.  This letter is basically the same
one I sent to Kodak earlier, with just a few modifications. I don't
know how much impact something like this has, but anything to dampen 
corporate interest in D.A.R.E. seems good to me.  Anyone else interested?

Island Printing Company
Public Relations Department
539 Cooke Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

To the Head of Public Relations:

I am a high school teacher with serious concerns about issues relating to
drug use and abuse by young people.  The other day on television I saw a
public service advertisement sponsored by Island Printing promoting the
D.A.R.E. anti-drug program to young viewers.  As this issue concerns me
greatly, I would like to share with you my feelings about your sponsorship
of this program.  

Drug abuse and the illegal drug trade are among the most critical problems
facing our society today, and it is important that we deal with these
problems rationally, intelligently, and effectively.  That is why it
distresses me greatly to see Island Printing supporting a program as
ill-conceived, wrong-headed, and damaging as D.A.R.E. Although D.A.R.E.
advocates deny and often suppress this truth, study after study clearly
and scientifically demonstrate that D.A.R.E. does not reduce drug use
among young people.  In fact, a recent study commissioned by the Justice
Department reveals that in some cases D.A.R.E. graduates are more likely
to try certain illegal substances than non-D.A.R.E. graduates.  Despite
this fact, the D.A.R.E. program continues to be the largest drug education
program in the nation, aggressively using its high profile and political
clout to perpetuate itself and bag the lions share of public and private
funding for such programs.  

This is a phenomenal waste of monetary resources for a program that
accomplishes nothing.  By supporting D.A.R.E., Island Printing helps it
deceive the public about the programs effectiveness and enables it to
squander the precious resources needed to help our young people make the
right choices in life.  If you would like more information on the failings
of the D.A.R.E. program, please see the September 1994 issue of the
American Journal of Public Health or consult the Drug Reform Coordination
Network web site at  For information on
D.A.R.E. attempts to suppress unfavorable scientific evidence see the
March 3, 1997 article in the New Republic entitled "Don't You D.A.R.E."

I urge Island Printing to do what is best for our community and withdraw
your sponsorship of the D.A.R.E. program.  Thank you very much for your


							Kenji Klein


Subj: Sent Re:  US: Forbes Says Tylenol Dangerous in Big Doses
From: Alan Mason <> (by way of Richard Lake <>)
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 05:44:48 -0500

To the editor:

If I understand your recent article about Tylenol correctly, you do not
feel, in spite of hundreds of known fatalities, that Tylenol is too
dangerous to sell. At the same time, your publisher, Steve Forbes, feels
that marijuana IS too dangerous to sell, even to people with HIV and other
fatal diseases, in spite of the fact that no one has ever died as a direct
result of its use. I assume there is a logic in this that you will, at some
point, confer upon myself and your other less astute readers. In the
meantime, I can't help but wonder if Malcom Forbes would find himself
equally as baffled, or if he is not, at this moment, spinning in his grave.

Alan Mason
Contact info

At 10:38 PM 12/29/97 +0000, you wrote:
>Newshawk:  (David Hadorn) 
>Source: Reuters
>Pubdate: Mon, 29 Dec 1997
>NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tylenol, safe though it is in proper doses, can be
>very dangerous in slightly bigger doses, Forbes magazine reported in its
>latest issue. 
>The monthly magazine said that in the eight years since a five-year-old
>died of an overdose of Tylenol, there have been hundreds of fatalities and
>serious liver injuries attributed to acetaminophen, Tylenol's active
>ingredient. Johnson & Johnson, whose subsidiary McNeil Consumer Products
>Co. makes the flu remedy, has paid out millions of dollars in legal
>settlements, it said. 
>J&J officials could not be reached for comment on Sunday afternoon. 
>Forbes said its point is not that Tylenol is too dangerous to sell, but the
>question is simply one of disclosure. "Has J&J done all it should to
>publicize the hazards of Tylenol? Why not warn about possible liver
>failure?" the magazine said. 
>According to Forbes, J&J says that "organ specific" warnings would confuse
>people and mentioning the risk of death would promote suicides. 
>Forbes said J&J's estimated annual revenues of $1.3 billion from Tylenol
>may explain the company's reluctance to make people more aware of the
>drug's "dark side." 
>At least 100 lawsuits have been filed against J&J over acetaminophen
>poisonings, half in the past three years, it said. In four cases in
>Pennsylvania, Texas and Ohio, the company has made out-of-court settlements
>under agreements that require the plaintiffs to keep quiet about the terms,
>it added. 
>Copyright  1997 Reuters Limited. 


Subj: Texas Op-ed makes it to CA
From: "Tom O'Connell" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 08:37:16 -0800 (PST)

This op-ed, which  has been making the rounds in Texas for the past 2
weeks was printed in The San Mateo Times on 12/30. Pasted below is my

Fax/San Mateo Times:(650) 348 4446

MonacoHeroin's back and claiming our teens


THE parents who had to arrange funerals for their teen-agers probably
didn't think much about the global marketing trends that led to those
sad days in the Texas suburbs.

But Jane Maxwell thinks about those trends a good bit. She's convinced
that changing international politics, along with global market
competition, is one  reason many kids in prosperous green-belt
neighborhoods are dying from heroin overdoses

"Heroin's back." she says. "And it's back big time."

Maxwell charts worldwide drug trends from Austin, where she's research
director for the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and a
member of the the National Institute on Drug Abuse community
epidemiology work group. She also holds a research fellowship from
Australia's National Drug Strategy program.

From Brisbane to Plano she sees the effects of a new kind of
heroin-many times more pure than in the past. It's so pure and potent
that users snort it rather than injecting. The high-quality, no-needles
angle is supposed to reassure yuppies and kids in the suburbs, the
newest consumer base.

These new customers are as different from the old solid core of
inner-city junkies as the new heroin is from the old, Maxwell says. And
it's not just that they have more cash. They're too young to remember
the celebrity heroin deaths of 25 years ago. Inexperienced in
evaluating dosage and dealers, faced with an array of bizarre and
dangerous new pharmaceutical combinations. And they're being told that
heroin is safe.

Heroin is far from being the state's biggest substance abuse problem.
Alcohol and cocaine are still way out front by just about any measure.
And middle-class addiction is far from being the biggest heroin
problem. But Maxwell and others in her field are convinced that as
cocaine use wanes, marketers have made the entirely logical decision to
cultivate heroin customers in the fast-growing suburbs. From her office
in North Austin she looks out to clean-cut places like nearby Round
Rock and worries.

As the world knows by now, Collin County, dominated by the prosperous
Dallas suburb of Plano, had 16 heroin overdose deaths in 1997. The dead
were very young, many of them just barely adolescent. The stunned and
grieving, community recently staged   major conference to focus on the
question: How could it happen here?

The father of a young Plano heroin addict who made it to treatment told
a reporter that the pervasiveness of drugs in the community was

Writer Katie Rolphe has written about  watching her sister slide into
heroin addiction as a teen-ager living in the midst of a big,
well-educated, upper-class family in New York. "It took us it
surprisingly long time to figure out that our sister was a junkie,
Rolphe writes of herself and her sisters. It took the parents much
longer. "They hadn't seen what was happening because the image of one
of their children  shooting up didn't register on their parental radar.
It was too far removed from their own experience."

Maxwell says such  naivete (perhaps compounded fed by what Roiphe calls
"deliberate blindness") is common. Even parents who talk frankly with
their children about drugs usually wait too long to do so. Experiments
with alcohol often start around the fifh grade, she says. Waiting until
the kids hit high school to think about the issue is unwise.

Looking at the supply side of the problem. Maxwell says most Texas
heroin c comes in from Mexico San Antonio, now the nation's No 6 hot
spot for heroin use, "has been a heroin town since World War II, she
notes. But drug trafficking has reportedly increased in tandem with the
general trade increase resulting from the NAFTA agreement and with
shifting economic conditions around the world.

The opium poppies used to make heroin are an increasingly important
cash crop for farmers in parts of Asia. The break-up of the Soviet
Union has stirred up exports. Myanmar, formerly Burma, is a major
heroin exporter. most likely with government and corporate assistance.
the State Department says.

But South American sources, such as the Colombian cartel, and, to a
lesser extent Mexico, are up and-comers and dominate the Texas market.
The 37-year-old dealer and four mid-level distributors recently
arrested in Plano were linked to a production site in Mexico's Guerrero

The drugged-out "heroin chic" look recently popularized in fashion
photography has been a sort of free advertising for the heroin sales,
along with publicity about drug use by sports and film stars and other

But to get to the root of why kids who look like they "have everything"
are easy marks for drug dealers. what it is that draws them to
experiments that in their hearts, they must know are flirtations with
death, is a more complex story. But it boils to the fact that something
in the culture is encouraging oblivion seeking and self-destruction.
That's difficult to explain and even harder to face.

The Plano father whose son had gone to treatment mused about how nice
his town looked on the outside-"like an ideal place to live." Then he
added: "But we weren't really aware of what was happening to the kids
on the inside."

Mary Alice Davis is an Austin  American-Statesman editorial writer.

Mr. John Horgan,

Editorial Page Editor

The San Mateo County Times,

1080 S. Amphlett Blvd., 

San Mateo, CA 94402-1802

Dear Mr. Horgan:      Re: Heroin's back and claiming our teens

Various versions of this op-ed have been appearing in newspapers across
Texas for the past two weeks, and the rash of overdose deaths among
affluent Plano teens has attracted considerable press attention
throughout the year; therefore as someone with an interest in drug
policy I am all-too familiar with the content and sentiments expressed.
They strike me as so fatuous and based on such a lunatic distortion of
reality that when they are carried in my home-town daily, I'm compelled
to speak out.

First of all, heroin is not "back-" it's never been away. The heroin
market in the United States has been building steadily since the end of
World War Two- the only truly effective drug war in history. Under the
economic stimulus of a misguided policy which assigns a lucrative
tax-free monopoly to criminals, the illegal market for drugs has grown
apace with the global economy and now accounts for nearly ten percent
of the world's gross domestic product. 

Despite billions of dollars spent on "interdiction," the volume and
purity of heroin and cocaine shipped into the United States (and other
countries) has increased, even as the price has dropped. The comparable
market model would be consumer electronics. As long as Ms. Davis, Ms.
Maxwell and others cling to the delusion that criminal prohibition is
an effective form of "control" of this market, criminals and corrupt
public officials will continue to get rich, foolish teens will be
tempted into lethal experiments, and editorial writers will pump out a
steady stream of hand-wringing lamentations wondering "Why?". It's


Thomas J. O'Connell, MD



Subj: Acop's plea to decriminalize
From: Pat Dolan <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 09:36:55 -0800

Source: Vancouver Sun
Date: Dec. 31, 1997
Page: FORUM: A19

              Guest column:
              A cop's plea to decriminalize drugs

  A Vancouver police officer doesn't want to tell one more mother of a
son's overdose death. He writes that a public-health crisis, not a
law-enforcement challenge, is besieging us all.


Gil Puder Vancouver Sun 

Recently, I had to tell a woman her son had died from a drug overdose.
Leaving her world shattered by tragedy, I asked myself what our society is
doing to help other mothers whose children are at risk. Absolutely nothing,
I'm embarrassed to say. And with seven Vancouver residents dying in one
24-hour period from drug overdoses - nine in less than two weeks - that's not 
good enough.  

Rather than constructive action, however, lawmakers frantically rearrange
deck chairs on the modern social Titanic. My hope for 1998 is that Santa
has left a large measure of courage and wisdom in a number of stockings, so
that our children can mark this year as the one when we finally began
treating drug abuse as a health issue, rather than a criminal industry.

We face no greater threat to the health and safety of our communities than
the drug problem. Illicit drugs are driving an HIV epidemic, perpetuating
systemic crime that has swamped the criminal justice system and providing
limitless business opportunities which bankroll biker gangs and other
criminal organizations.

The hollow rhetoric of a "war" on drugs has become believable only when
applying Clausewitz's definition - it's definitely an extension of
politics. This contrived contest is the creation of its beneficiaries, who
predictably cast themselves as winners in a rather one-sided game.

Politicians build a law and order image by demonizing drugs and marginalize
abusers as the epitome of moral decay. Unfortunately, victims such as a
recently murdered 14-year- old New Westminster high school student just
don't fit the rabid junkie stereotype.

"Tough" new programs and laws are regularly announced, despite
policy-makers knowing full well that there is no real money for
enforcement. The time-honoured practice of sneaking offenders out the back
door of parole and early release is the best evidence of the dearth of funds.

Any hope of "winning" with this plan is laughable and Team Western Society
is literally getting killed. Suggesting the status quo is flawed risks
portrayal as a "loser", however, and politicians quake at the thought of
challenging the myth that drugs require a law-enforcement solution.

There's plenty of blame to go around. The top is as good a place as any to
start: After all, the federal government retains jurisdiction over drug
laws and prosecution.

- - Allan Rock, when he was the justice minister, brought in the Controlled
Drugs and Substances Act; he ducked decriminalization then. Now that he's
health minister, he says he can't get involved in drug issues; they're
criminal matters. This guy wants the PM's job?

- - Attorney-General Dosanjh has declined to publicly endorse
decriminalization; his ministry has received a lengthy report from a former
chief coroner recommending just that. And it's "diverting" drug-related
offences from the justice system, pretending a problem doesn't exist. I
guess he would rather talk tough and count the bodies.

- - Our prison managers have allowed drug abuse to flourish behind bars. Any
reader contemplating tougher sentences for narcotic possession, should
first talk to a guard.

- - Police officers have no incentive to explore anything other than the
status quo. The Hollywood version of the war on drugs casts us as the good
guys. The only thing more addictive than a narcotic is public adulation -
and, maybe, all that overtime pay the singular pursuit of drug-users can
generate for individual officers.

- - The silence of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police makes me
wonder how many senior officers built careers in drug enforcement.

At some point the policing profession must live up to its image, place
public safety ahead of careers and take up the leadership challenge
abdicated by elected officials. Our Keystone Kops raid on a downtown hemp
cafe doesn't indicate that this will happen anytime soon.

Decriminalization would not result in heroin sold at corner stores
alongside the penny candy. Various drugs require different forms of
regulation, which could be phased in slowly once appropriate legislation
and management programs are in place.

Provincial jurisdiction could allow for regional differences. As in dress,
what is appropriate for Wreck Beach might not work in Labrador. In B.C.,
low-risk substances like marijuana could be regulated under a revised
provincial liquor act.

The benefits to government would be immediate. (I would rather see pot
revenues building schools than fortifying biker clubhouses.) The windfall
savings on law-enforcement dollars could be plowed into health care,
education and rehabilitation, which are the only methods proven to correct
substance abuse. Participation would be much easier to encourage when sick
people are not stigmatized by criminalizing their addiction.

Policing would be a huge beneficiary. Resources could be redirected towards
systemic public-safety problems. Enforcement against the few dealers who
remained might actually make a difference.

High-risk narcotics and pharmaceuticals would be managed by the medical
community, with guidelines. Trafficking, importation and exporting should
remain criminal offences, since these activities would subvert the
necessary social controls.

The clarion call for decriminalization advocates, is the ludicrous nature
of the arguments opponents advance. Drugs in schools? There already. Health
concerns? Got an epidemic now. Government's moral responsibility? Yeah,
right, just like booze, gambling and honest budgets.

In 1984, an armed addict robbed a bank; I fired a fatal round that cost
that man his life. Two years later, another junkie with a gun took the life
of a friend of mine, Sgt. Larry Young. I don't dislike the drug problem; I
hate it.

While millions of public dollars are squandered, people continue to die.
I'm tired of bringing their families the bad news. I don't care whether we
justify decriminalization fiscally or morally, but isn't 1998 about time
for a change?

Among those who have called for the decriminalization of drug use in this
newspaper recently are Perry Kendall, president of the National Addiction
Research Foundation, Nov. 18; former premier Mike Harcourt, Oct. 11; and
Ken Higgins, a deputy police chief of Vancouver, Oct. 8.



End of Maptalk-Digest V97 #562

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